Monday after the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Deuteronomy 1:19-36 (NKJV)
19 “So we departed from Horeb, and went through all that great and terrible wilderness which you saw on the way to the mountains of the Amorites, as the LORD our God had commanded us. Then we came to Kadesh Barnea. 20 And I said to you, ‘You have come to the mountains of the Amorites, which the LORD our God is giving us. 21 Look, the LORD your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the LORD God of your fathers has spoken to you; do not fear or be discouraged.’ 22 And everyone of you came near to me and said, ‘Let us send men before us, and let them search out the land for us, and bring back word to us of the way by which we should go up, and of the cities into which we shall come.’ 23 The plan pleased me well; so I took twelve of your men, one man from each tribe. 24 And they departed and went up into the mountains, and came to the Valley of Eshcol, and spied it out. 25 They also took some of the fruit of the land in their hands and brought it down to us; and they brought back word to us, saying, ‘It is a good land which the LORD our God is giving us.’
26 “Nevertheless you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of the LORD your God; 27 and you complained in your tents, and said, ‘Because the LORD hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. 28 Where can we go up? Our brethren have discouraged our hearts, saying, “The people are greater and taller than we; the cities are great and fortified up to heaven; moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there.”‘ 29 Then I said to you, ‘Do not be terrified, or afraid of them. 30 The LORD your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, 31 and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.’ 32 Yet, for all that, you did not believe the LORD your God, 33 who went in the way before you to search out a place for you to pitch your tents, to show you the way you should go, in the fire by night and in the cloud by day.
34 “And the LORD heard the sound of your words, and was angry, and took an oath, saying, 35 ‘Surely not one of these men of this evil generation shall see that good land of which I swore to give to your fathers, 36 except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and his children I am giving the land on which he walked, because he wholly followed the LORD.'”
“These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel…” begins the Book of Deuteronomy as Moses recounts the history of the Children of Israel during their forty years in the wilderness. By doing so, Moses prepares them to enter the land God had promised to their forefathers.
In today’s reading, Moses reminds them of how they had refused to enter the land of the Amorites because they were afraid. They were looking at the situation with the eyes of their flesh rather than with the eyes of faith. They had already seen God in action as He had delivered out of Egypt and had destroyed the armies of Pharaoh. Yet, even though the eyes of their flesh had seen God’s mighty acts, those same eyes deceived them into thinking that God had brought them to the wilderness to destroy them.
Moses would have the people look back in remembrance to see what God had already done for them so they could go forward without fear as they were about to enter the Promised Land. Every step of the way, God had been with His people. Though many times they were unfaithful, God remained faithful to the promise He made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Yet these words of Moses aren’t just for the Children of Israel. They are meant for God’s children, today. The whole of Scripture is written to remind us of God’s faithfulness to His people throughout time and the fulfillment of His promises. God promised to send a Savior. Jesus came and rescued us from sin, death, and the power of the devil. Now all that remains for us, His people, is His promised return.