Milk & Honey

January 31, 2013

"Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them. I promise you what I promised Moses: 'Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you- from the Negev wilderness in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.' No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. 'Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do no deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command- be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.'" Joshua 1:2-9

I know.
That's a lot of scripture.
But I'm going somewhere with this.
I hope you'll stick with me.

So, I'm about 100 days into reading my Bible through in a year.
And this morning, Moses died.
After God buried him, He went to Joshua and told him what I've shared with you in that scripture.
So here are a few observations I have made that I want to share with you all.

First, I've noticed that God had a time line.
You see, Moses knew ahead of time that he would never set foot in the Promised Land.
God told him that he would die before that happened.
But it didn't happen immediately.
God had some business to take care of first.

Enter Joshua.
God tells him exactly what's going down.
Fulfilling His promise.
And He has a few things to say to Joshua.

He let's Joshua know that it's time.
The waiting is over.
Whatever needed to happen has happened.
It's go time!

He spells out exactly what He's giving them.
Here it is.
Yours for the taking.
My gift.
This is Me keeping a promise I made to Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob.

And then He tells Josh
(is it okay that we call him that?)
something important.
He's letting him know that He still wants to hang out with them.
God tells Josh that He's not going anywhere.

He tells him over and over to "BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS".
Okay. Wait.
Why would God need to tell him that?
You would think that after 40 years in the wilderness God would just be like
"Okay. You've paid your dues. 
Go get it! I'll clear the way. 
Have fun. 
You deserve it."
Uh uh. Nope.
Not so fast!
It's not going to be that easy.

God did not just hand these sinners the prize.
Yes. It was theirs. He gave it to them.
But, it was going to be hard.
Because they had sinner's hearts.
We all do.
If it was easy, then they would be filled with pride
at what they had accomplished on their own,
forgetting that it was all God's doing in the first place.
God wants to give us our land flowing with milk and honey, too.
But He wants the glory for it!
He wants everyone to realize that we can do nothing without Him!
He makes the impossible possible.

And there's one more thing.
God tells Josh to "be very careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave".
He told him to "study the Book of Instruction continually"
so he would "be sure to obey everything written in it."
Obedience is the only way to prosper and succeed in all you do!
God gave instructions.
He. Wrote. Them. Down.
In stone.
"Then the Lord told Moses, 'Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones. I will write on them the same words that were on the tablets you smashed.'" Exodus 34:1

This is such a great example of how we are to grow in our Christian faith.
We need to learn to trust God's timing.
We're impatient by nature.
But, God does have our best interest at heart.

God wants a relationship with us.
We are His children & He wants to spend time with us.
He wants us to know that He will always be there for us.

God does not intend for us to live a life in fear and weakness.
He wants us to know that when we trust in His timing
and we have invested time a relationship getting to know Him,
He will give us the strength and courage we need to complete His will for us.

God has given us the rules and the rewards.
They go hand in hand.
He wants us to be obedient
And then we will be successful.
Know why Moses didn't make it to the Promised Land?
Disobedience and selfish pride.

Seems pretty simple.
Trust. Relationship. Strength & Courage. Obedience.
Milk & Honey.

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