Saturday, November 23, 2013

"What takes God so long?" Deut 1:1-3

There seems to be an overcast sky when we are waiting on God
These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel on this side of the Jordan in the wilderness, in the plains opposite Suph, between Paran, Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab. It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh Barnea Now it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spoke to the children of Israel according to all that the LORD had given him as commandments to them,(Deut 1:1-3)

This is a rather sticky subject for me because I always feel like I am waiting on God to do one thing or the other in my life. I am waiting for that wonderful husband, for those kids, for that vision, to finish school, to know what God created me to do, for when my family will be perfect or not so perfect. I have found myself waiting for that next great job that pays more, or gives me more time to spend with my family, I have waited for the job that would not require me to work on Sunday, or cause me to travel too much. I have asked God a few times before this question, "what is taking you so long to answer my prayers".

So reading our story today, struck a nerve with me. As we jump into the brand new book of Deuteronomy, let us see if we can deduce from our story one of the reasons why God takes so long sometimes to answer our prayers.

Here is the context of our story; Israel has wandered in the desert for forty years and they are across the Jordan ready to enter into the promise land of Canaan. Their first city to conquer will be Jericho, however before they go right in, the Lord through Moses writes a whole book of remembrance. This was to remind this new generation of their history, where they came from, how the Lord delivered them with miracles from Egypt–when some of them were not even born or were too young to remember–God took their parents to the land he promised but because of their disobedience, rebellion and distrust of their God, they refused to enter the land and complained, "...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" (Deut 1:27). 
Even when Moses reassured them that God will fight for them (1:28). They would not listen. So God grew angry at them and disciplined that generation to wonder in the desert for forty years for a journey that was only eleven days. Imagine that, 40 years for an 11 days journey….that is messed up!!!!!
God's plan is for clearer skys once we get on His program
So what made the former generation take forty years instead of eleven days to receive their awaited promise? The verse tells us, it was because they disobeyed God. God said go into the land, they said; let us send spies (1:22). God said I will be with you, they said; "we shall be defeated against these giants and our children will be killed" (1:26-28, 39). So since they refused to trust and obey, deciding to take matters in their own hands, God decided to withdraw the Promised Land from them and give it to their Children. Then he allowed that generation to die off in the desert, never receiving the promise he had first offered them. 

The first generation of Israel rejected the promise and so God offered this promise to their children who accepted to go into the land just as God had directed. People are still rejecting God's promise today. 2000 years ago God gave another promise–a promised one– given not only to Israel but to the world, some are receiving the promise by faith and others are saying, there must be another way (John 3:16-21). God says believe in my son Jesus and you will have life, however those who reject him say, crucify him. But the generation that receives the promise one, He has given the right to be called Children of God (John 1:12).

Apart from the big promise of a savior who takes away the sin of the world–God has made individual promises to us, as we live our lives. How are we doing in following his leadership?

If I look at my life, are there things God–through his word and His Spirit–has asked me to do, but I have become stubborn or rebellious not to do them? Maybe God has asked you to forgive that friend or co-worker who has done you great wrong, maybe the Lord is telling you to leave that boyfriend of girlfriend you are living with, or sleeping with. For some it might be Him saying, "stay in that Marriage, it is something you will have to surfer for my name. However I will make it right". To others God might be telling you to quit that job and take a leap of faith, trusting that God will supply all your needs. To me it has been, "be still and know I am God". On bad days I struggle with this command, and what helps me is when I remember God's faithfulness and goodness in my life through the ages…it moves me to be still and wait on His timing.

So until we come to terms with what God is asking us to do, and offer a sacrifice of trust, faith and obedience we might not be ready–like Israel–to go to the promise land which God has for us. I am not saying that everything we do not have now, is because we are disobedient–we all know we have not been promised to have it all in this life–in this life we will still suffer even when we do the right thing (1 Pet 3:17-19)–but what God has promised is that He will supply all our needs according to his riches in glory and He will always be with us (Phil 4:19).
To Trust and Obey God's ways, brings a brighter horizon for our lives
Therefore, if you are that one who still needs to take that step of faith–may this come as a reminder to you and an encouragement for you, to trust God and obey Him, because there is truly no other way to be happy in Him. There is no other way to victory, to peace and fulfillment but to trust and obey God in a timely manner. 

So what takes God so long?... Maybe it is because He is waiting for me to obey. In His grace, this time of waiting never goes to waste–in the waiting process He is changing my heart to get in step with His. Only as my heart becomes more and more conformed to His, will I start seeing more clearly the purposes and will of my God (2 Cor 3:18, Col 1:9-11).

Be encouraged, His grace is sufficient to help you take that hard step of faith. Try it and see if God will not make good on His promise to you. May this be true comfort for your soul…

For those who are waiting on God, because He says, "wait"..then glean encouragement from this song, on the right way to wait.
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Until next time Read…Share…and be Comforted.

1 comment:

  1. Way to go my sister. Very inspiring and comforting word. May God blessing you so much. I believe He is going to use you tremendously to the glory of His Holy Name. Count on my prayers. With much Love.


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