I have been reading Deuteronomy 8 this morning. There is so much about the Israelites that reminds me of myself. Reading this chapter in The Message paraphrase gave fresh meaning. Allow me to share the tidbits I pulled out:
"Remember every road that God led you on, pushing you to your limits, testing you so that He would know what you're made of (prove your character). He put you through hard times. He made you go hungry, then He fed you with manna - so that you would learn you can't depend on yourself. He wants to provide for you."
I've always pondered all the tests God gave His people as they wandered. He wanted to see if they'd believe He would take care of them. All through the Old Testament, Abraham, Noah, Moses, Joshua, they were all pushed to have faith and step out into the great abyss trusting that God had led them that far and He would not leave them now. He would be faithful. He would fight the battle. He would provide. He would be victorious.
In Deut. 8, Moses challenged the people to REMEMBER. Remember every road, even the roads in the wilderness. God made them go hungry so that He could be the one to feed them. I have been thinking about this. Losing our home, belongings, dreams and hopes for our ministry and losing track of our friends, has definitely focused our eyes on the Lord more than ever. We choose not to look anywhere else, but to Him. In the void, we wait, we expect, and we hope. And so far God has provided in such miraculous and unbelievable ways that all we can do is recognize it is from HIM. I wonder if God gives generously, over and above what we expect, so that the glory cannot go to anyone but Him.
Verse 6 continues: so... "it's paramount you keep obeying - walk down the roads He shows you and reverently respect Him." In light of all this. In all the tests and struggles and in His provision, it is of utmost importance that we keep obeying and honor God above everything else. Keep moving forward.
A few verses later comes a promise, a comfort: "God is about to bring you into a good land." From here God will take us somewhere good. But in the goodness and satisfaction of it all, make sure you don't forget God. Make sure you don't become so full of yourself and your things that you forget God - the God who has brought you through so much.
This has caused me to reflect on our 40 days in Melut. I hope we hadn't become carried away with all the ministry opportunities and taken anything for granted. I know we recognized it as all coming from the Lord. We knew He had brought us to Melut for that time. We knew He was granting us strength and power to serve Him.
The warning Moses closes with in this chapter is that if we forget God, it will lead to our doom and destruction. This leads me to pray:
"Lord, help us keep obeying, following you where you lead. Help us to see you in every provision and step. Help us not to forget where all good things come from. You are King. You are the one and only God. We humbly surrender and bow."