Welcome to expound, our verse by verse study of God's word. Our goal is to expand your knowledge of the truth of God by explaining the word of God in a way that is interactive, enjoyable, and congregational.
Father, there is a commonality that we share, a communion that we have as brothers and sisters. We have all, all of us who believe, we all have that common fellowship experience of having an exodus, a departure from the old way of life, of freedom from the old standard of living. You've delivered us, Lord, from the shackles of bondage. Like the children of Israel had an exodus, you took them out. But as Moses said in the previous chapters, the Lord brought you out that he might bring you in to a new land.
Lord, as you have brought us out, I pray we wouldn't languish in the wilderness because though all of us have been brought out of bondage, not all of us have entered in to a land of rest and provision and abundance, not materially necessarily, but in fellowship with you in a walk with you, where we are connected to you and we fellowship with you, and our hope is in you. And that gets us through the day, Lord, and gives a spring to our step, a life, as Jesus described it, more abundantly.
Father, I pray that we would, as we have a deutoronomy after our exodus, a recalling again of the covenant that we have, we're reminding ourselves here in this place of the great truths that are written about in the scripture, I pray, father, that there would be a rejoicing and there would be a retention. We would endure. But more than that, we would thrive and grow and become everything you have for us to be. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
I remember reading years ago a little quip in Reader's Digest. You remember those little sayings they had? They had a page with this, like little quips, little axioms. And one caught my attention. It said, the way some people are living today you would think that hell has become air conditioned. And that just sort of arrested me. It stopped me. I thought about that.
Because when it comes to the judgment of God, most people have relegated that to a fable. It doesn't exist. There's no final account or final reckoning. And yet we find that principle of judgment in Chapter 7.
In Chapter 7, we see a promise that God had made years before coming true before our eyes. He holds in account, he brings accountability to the people living in Canaan. Now you remember way back in Genesis before the flood. God said, my spirit will not always strive with man.
And as he was looking all over the earth, the Lord said that he noticed that the thoughts of the intents of man's heart was only evil continually. It got to a point before God judged the world with a flood that the thoughts of the intents of man's heart were only evil continuously, consecutively, consistently. All they could think about is evil they could invent or do or enjoy.
And so god judge the world. Chapters later, when we get to the 15th chapter of the book of Genesis-- don't have to turn there. Just a little bit of recap to where we are. By that time, when God is speaking to Abraham, a group of people, the Canaanites, the Amorites, had been in the land of Canaan, the land that God promises the children of Israel will possess. They had been there already for about 400 years. They had occupied the land for about 400 years.
And the Lord said to Abraham, now Abraham, the land that you are in, which is they Canaanite, Amorite land, this is the land I've promised to you and to your descendants after you. But your descendants are going to be taken to a land not here, but somewhere else. That was Egypt. And they're going to be there for about 400 years. And then there are going to return here to this land.
And God tells the reason why. Because the iniquity, or the sin, the inequity of the Amorites, the civilization living there, the inequity of the Amorites is not yet full. That to me is a fascinating text. It gives me insight into God's mercy, patience, and God's judgment. God is patient, slow to anger, the Bible says, long suffering. But my spirit will not always strive with man.
So the land that you are in, the land of the Amorites, Abraham, they've been in it 400 years. They are a wicked people. But even though they're a wicked people, their iniquity hasn't reached the mark, the full mark, the top of the cup, to where I will act in judgment.
The iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. In other words, it's as though God waits for a certain time when God's long suffering, his patience, his mercy is exhausted. And his wrath must then eclipse his mercy. And the time is now.
400 years they had been there. Abraham is there. They're leaving the land. I'll They'll be back in 400 years. Now they're back. It's been about 830 years. And the Amorites have not changed their ways. They haven't turned from their sin, even though the testimony of the children of Israel was clear.
As Rahab, the harlot-- the only one who turned by the way-- said, all of the people in this land are in dread because of you, the children a Israel. We have heard what your God has done. We know His reputation. We know His mighty power. And yet none of them turned.
So god waited 830 years. Now he's going to pounce on them. Now is going to eliminate them. Now he's going to exterminate them by using the rod of his wrath, the children of Israel through Joshua entering into the land in the book after this to push them out and to occupy the land. Because now the iniquity of the Amorites is full. It's reached the top of the cup. And now God's mercy will be eclipsed by God's wrath, His judgment. My spirit will not always strive with man. Now is the day of reckoning. Now is the day of judgment.
I would say, by the way, if you're into this whole thing, well the God of the Old Testament never had any love or grace. I would think 830 years is a long time and shows the incredible patience of God. Do you know any landlord who would let his tenant get away with not paying rent for 830 years? I doubt it.
Now the day is come for them to come and to march into the land. So the Lord will command Joshua. They're just there on the border right here. This is the last five weeks of Moses's life before he will die, be buried. The children of Israel then we'll march over the Jordan River under the leadership of General Joshua.
But he will order Joshua to take care of the population, the Amorite population, and the other ites that are mentioned in Chapter 7, verse 1, and push them out, eliminate them, exterminate them. He will also sanction David it to do the same later on.
I am not a pacifist. I love peace. But I love peace enough to fight for it. Sometimes the only way to secure a peace is a very strong military presence. Otherwise, you give thugs in the world a permission slip to run rampant and do whatever they want and they can get away with anything. The Jews, the rabbis, looked at this as justifiable.
Righteously administered judicial execution-- that's what they called it-- righteously administered judicial execution. I find it fascinating when we get to the New Testament, by the way, when the soldiers, the military, the guys who fight in wars, Roman soldiers, come to John the Baptist at the Jordan River. And he's telling everybody to repent and turn to God. And the soldiers come and say, what shall we do? Do you remember John's answer? He didn't say, well get out of the military. He said, be content with your wages. In other words, stay as a soldier, but just don't gripe and complain for what you get paid.
And I also find it fascinating when Jesus meets a centurion, a leader in the Roman army. Jesus doesn't say, now if you want to follow me or be righteous, you've got to go AWOL. What he says of the centurion, he doesn't demand that. He, in fact, uses the Roman Gentile centurion as the example of faith greater than anyone he has seen in Israel. I have not found so great of faith in all of Israel as this soldier.
It's fascinating to me. More could be said, but this isn't the place or the time. When, verse 1, the Lord your God brings you into the land, which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites the Girgashites the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perrizites the Hivites, the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, and when the Lord your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. We covered that last time.
But what I do want you to notice is God says, I will deliver them to you, but you have a role to play as well. It's not like you're going to just take front row seats and fold your arms and eat popcorn. Well, I destroy them. You're going to be with shield and sword in the battle fighting. I'll give you the victory, but you've got to do the stuff. Right?
So there's always a joint participation. The Lord does his part. We do our part. The Lord says to Joshua in chapter 1-- when we get there we'll see it. But it's there. He said, every place where the sole of your foot shall tread, I have given to you. I have given it to you. So I've given it to you, but your feet still have to be on that ground. You still have to walk through it. And you still have to conquer it.
In Ephesians 1, Paul says, now you have been given a position high above all things here in heavenly places. But I'm praying for you, that the eyes of your understanding would be enlightened, that you would know the hope of His calling, and that you would know the exceeding greatness of His power toward you who believe. That is, God gives you the power to fulfill your role to see His promises enacted.
Verse 3, nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son nor take their daughter for your son, for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods. So the anger of the Lord will be roused against you and destroy you suddenly. Boy, did this happen to a king named Solomon.
I know the Bible says he was wise. But he had 700 wives. It's got to be a slip in wisdom somewhere. One's enough. One's plenty. One husband. One wife. One lifetime. 700 wives. 300-- I was going to say porcupines. Concubines. Though I'm sure they had some very pointed arguments from time to time with that many.
And many of those wives were from other nations. And it says-- the Bible says-- and they turned Solomon's heart away from following the Lord. And then when the kids grow up and they're watching this with mom and dad displays before them, you're giving them a certain permission slip. You're exposing them to all of the abnormalities and all of the idolatry. The kids get exposed and they're swayed because of that.
So be careful. Now there's a lot to say. You know what? Every time I read the Bible I notice more stuff. And that's why I like to read it and re-read it and re-read it. And notice, it says, you shall not give your daughter to their son or take their daughter for your son. That verse is impossible today.
No parent has the right over their children to say, you can't marry that person. Good luck if you try. Unless you have a very special bond, where they say, mom and dad, I believe that you are hearing from God and I'm going to trust you. I just don't see that happening.
But in those days, it was the permission of the parents. That's how things got done. The Bible does say in Corinthians II, do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. Do you remember that verse? Unequally yoked together with unbelievers.
Now, if you don't have a Bible background, you go, what on earth does that mean? Unequally yoked together. Well, in those days, in ancient times, way back when, a farmer would get oxygen to plow a field. And you put a yoke on them. It was a wooden crossbeam. The oxen were joined or yoked together on this apparatus called a yoke. And these two oxen would plow the ground.
A wise farmer would not only pick the same species, but a wise farmer would pick the same temperament, the same size, the same energy level, so they wouldn't be mismatched or mated or unequally yoked. That's the idea. Some of it is a relationship.
If you have an unequal yoke, if you have a believer and an unbeliever, they're pulling in two different directions. One is pulling toward God. The other is pulling away from the Lord. You don't want to live a marriage as a tug of war. I see too many of them. They're all around me.
The marriage isn't a beautiful pulling together toward the Lord. They're pulling apart from one another. They're going in different directions. It's a tug of war. It's mismatched. It's an unequal yoke. Don't be unequally yoked together.
Not everyone who is dating believes what I'm saying. I've told a young man or a young lady, you know, I notice you're with an unbeliever. This is what the Bible says. This isn't healthy. Oh well, you don't know. My relationship is different. And it's like I'm a missionary. And that's why it's called missionary dating. The problem with missionary dating is it turns into a missionary marriage.
Now you're married to an unbeliever. And the first, the unbeliever might say, sure honey. I'll go to your church. After a while, it's like, I don't want to go to your stinkin church. I don't even want to go to church. I don't want to pray or read that Bible. So find a person who loves God more than he loves you. Marry that person. Don't be unequally yoked together or they'll turn your hear away.
But thus you shall deal with them. Verse 5, you shall destroy their altars, break down their sacred pillars, cut down their wooden images, burn their carved images with fire. For you, are a holy people that is set apart. You're different. You're distinct.
You have an identity that's different from the world. You're a holy people to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.
The Jews are a chosen people. The Bible says it over and over again. You'll have to rip great sections out of the Bible if you choose not to believe this. You are a chosen people. You're a chosen generation. Jesus said to his disciples, you didn't choose me.
I chose you and ordained you. Now some people here this, and they go, well that's unfair for God to choose certain people and not choose others. I don't think it's unfair. Hear me out.
I have certain people that I like to hang out with. I choose them as friends. We all do. I have the right to do that. You have the right to do. There's just some people I don't like hanging out with. Right? Isn't that everybody on Earth's prerogative? Right? Doesn't mean you can't love every one, but you may not have the same propensities, proclivities, background, hobbies, whatever. It's everybody's prerogative. We all do this.
Why would we ever deny God the right or privilege that every human being enjoys. He has the right to choose who he wants to hang with. Now you say, but that's not fair. Maybe He didn't choose me. Well how do you know that? Well, because I'm not a Christian. And maybe I'm not a Christian because He didn't choose me. OK.
Fair enough. If you think that, let me assure you that if you were to give your life to Jesus, you will discover. Even though you choose to follow him, that you have been chosen before the foundations of the earth. You go, well OK. I don't know that. But now you're getting a little too preachy.
And I don't want. I don't see a need to follow Jesus. I don't need to be forgiven. I don't see that need. I don't want to do that.
Maybe you're not chosen. That's not fair. It is fair. Choose Christ. Trust. I don't want to choose Him. Well, OK. Maybe you're right. Not chosen. But you will make a discovery. If you say, I have a need for God, I'm giving in my life, that your volition, your power of choice is not negated by God sovereign pre-determination or election. .
He took it into consideration. He knows the end from the beginning. And so he can say, I chose you. And you will discover you have been chosen before the foundations of the earth. And yet you have the power to make a decision or not to follow Christ.
So he says, I've chosen Israel. He's determined that. But look at verse 7. "The Lord did not set his love on you, nor choose you, because you are more in number then any people, for you or the least of all peoples." By the way, they still are.
The nation of Israel, the Jewish people, the Jewish people worldwide for that matter, because half of them aren't in Israel-- about half are-- accounts for 0.2 percent of the world's population. The population of Jews is 1/300 the population of China.
And yet, and yet, what a great nation. As God told Abraham, I will make you a great nation. Did you know that in the Middle East Israel is an amazing country, a very strong country. One of the first things you notice when you get to Israel is how strong they are economically.
Did you know that Israel is in the top 10 most powerful nations on the planet Earth? Though there surrounded by enemies on all sides who want to destroy them, their economy is booming. There's more technological startup ventures in Israel than any country on the planet.
Amazing. But God said, I didn't choose you or set my love upon you because you're great in numbers. You're not. You're the least of all the people.
But look at this. Verse 8. But because-- here's the reason why. "Because the Lord loves you, and because you would keep the oath, which he swore to your father's, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh, the King of Egypt." The Word set his love upon you, in the previous versus, is the word Hashak in Hebrew. Hashak.
And it speaks of an emotion, an affection. I guess it would be equivalent to the English falling in love with the person. Now we have given to us the emotional attraction that God has toward His people.
It's more than just I've made a covenant with Abraham. No. I set my love upon you. I am drawn to you. But here's why. Not because of you, but because of me.
See the great reason God says I chose you, not because of the attractiveness of the object, but because of the attentiveness of the subject. I, the Lord, I just made a decision within myself that I'm going to set my love upon you. And I have this great emotion toward you, but it's not based on you being great and wonderful.
Now keep this in mind. You're a child of God. You're going to heaven. But don't ever say, well you know, the Lord chose me. Well because, well look at me. You couldn't pass me up. I'm just so awesome.
You need a good friend to tell you the truth. 1 Corinthians 1, "God has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise, the weak things to confound the mighty, the things that are nothing to confound and put to shame those things that are." I love this verse. It speaks to me.
"Therefore, know that the Lord your God, He is God, faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for 1,000 generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments." In other words, His love will go on. The covenant that he makes is incessant. It won't stop because it's modern era.
If you wanted to be technical about it, 1,000 generations-- people say, well a generation is 40 years. And that's really not that accurate. A generation really is the time it takes for one generation to have children. That's about 20 years. 20 to 30 years most people have their children. That's a generation.
In the olden days they did a much younger. Nowadays, I don't know. People wait a lot longer. So 1,000 generations is between 20 and 30,000 years, technically. But that's not the idea here. The idea is that it goes on and on and on. Its incessant. It's unable to be numbered.
"And he repays those who hate Him to their face, verse 10, to destroy them. He will not be slack with them who hate Him. He will repay him to His face. Therefore, you shall keep the commandments, the statutes, the judgments, which I command you today to observe them.
Then it so come to pass because you listen to these judgments and keep and do them, that the Lord your God will keep with you the covenant and the mercy, which he swore to your father's. And he will love you and bless you and multiply you.
He will also bless the fruit of your womb. the fruit of your land, your grain, and your new wine, and your oil, the increase of your cattle, and the offspring of your flock in the land which he swore to your fathers to give you.
You shall be blessed above all peoples. There shall not be a male or female barren among you or among your livestock. And the Lord will take away from you all sickness and will afflict you with none of those terrible diseases of Egypt, which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you."
Some of the common diseases like boils, and Ophthalmia and dysentery that we're very common in Egypt we're kept from the children of Israel. Miraculously, but also remember God gave them very strict dietary laws. And one book that came out years ago called, "None of These Diseases," shows the medical background of how God kept the children of Israel free from these diseases by giving them these laws of diet and hygiene. And especially in those primitive cultures it was their safeguard.
Also, "you shall destroy all the peoples whom the Lord your God delivers over to you. You're eye shall have no pity on them. Nor shall you serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you. If you should say in your heart, these nations are greater than I. How can I dispossess them?"
Now stop right there for a moment. Had they ever said that before? Yes, they did. It's almost like God is bringing back a very painful memory of their parents at Kadesh Barnea, that gateway, that entrance way in Moab to the land of promise.
And years before, 38 years prior, when they stood at the entrance to the promised land, some of their forefathers went in, '12 of them to spy it out, to check it out. And they came back. And '10 of those men said, there's giants in this land. They're greater than we are. We're little in their sight. We can't do it. It's too big of a fight.
Joshua and Caleb were the only two that said, Oh, come on. God made a promise. Let's have a little fun. Let's go on an adventure. We can handle these guys. They're big, but that means they're easy targets. They'll fall down. Let's go. But they didn't go.
So He's bringing that up again, bringing that painful memory. You shall not be afraid of them. You shall remember. This where memory is very, very valid. You shall remember well what the Lord your God did to the Pharaoh and all of Egypt.
It's a matter of principle when you are facing a difficult time to stop, take your eyes off of that difficulty, your mind off of that problem for a moment, before you think forward think backward. I'll expand on that in chapter 8. It's a short chapter. Look backward. And remember what God did in the past so that in the present you can march into the future.
Looking backward at what God did so far gives you the faith to say God will do it again. God's brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home, as we sing.
"You shall remember what the Lord did to Pharaoh unto all of Egypt, the great trials, which your eyes saw. The signs and the wonders, the mighty hand, the outstretched arm by which the Lord your God brought you out. So the Lord your God-- so shall the Lord your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid.
Moreover, the Lord your God will send the hornet among them until those who are left who hide themselves from you are destroyed. You shall not be terrified of them, for the Lord your God, the great and awesome God, is among you. And the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you little by little. You will be unable to destroy them at once, less the beasts of the field become too numerous for you."
So the settlement will be gradual, he's telling them. Don't expect this to happen in a week. I'll drive them out, but I'll drive them out little by little gradually. And isn't that the Christian life?
We don't wake up one day suddenly mature. Little by little we add to our faith virtue, and to virtue, knowledge, and to knowledge, self control, et cetera, et cetera. It's little by little. And that is because if you settle it too fast, if you eliminate humans from off the landscape, the beasts will be replenished.
The wild animals will be replenished to the extent that they will become a snare to you. They will become a threat to you. So God was staging it for them. "But the Lord your God will deliver them over to you. You will inflict defeat upon them until they are destroyed.
And he will deliver their kings into your hand. You will destroy their name from under heaven. And no one shall be able to stand against you until you have destroyed them. You shall burn the carved images of their gods with fire. You shall not covet the silver or gold that is on them nor take it for yourselves lest you be snared by it. For it as an abomination to the Lord your God.
Nor shall you bring an abomination into your house lest you be doomed to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is an accursed thing." Now as we get into chapter 8, and I am confident that will make it through, I want you to stop for a moment. And I want to jog your memory.
Do you remember? Can you think back? Can you recall the evening, the morning, the afternoon, when you first received Jesus Christ? Do you remember that moment? Do you remember what it felt like for you?
Some of you are overcome with emotion. Some of you were overcome with joy. Some of you had tears. For me, I remember the afternoon. It was a summer afternoon in 1973.
I was in San Jose, California in my brother's apartment. I'd watched Billy Graham on television. I turned it off and I had a little talk with God. It wasn't a fancy prayer at all but it was from my heart.
And I didn't weep. I didn't jump for joy. But I had a sense and I remember it well of a burden gone, a burden that I didn't even know I had. But it was lifted. I felt light.
I felt airy. I felt confident. I just felt good. Happy, like I've never had had it before. So remember that. Hold on to that.
Jesus tells the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2, "remember from where you have fallen. Repent. And do your first works over again." It's always good to remember. And that's your testimony.
And like a picture book, like when you take the old pictures out, I love to do it every now-- and get the old albums in. Oh, I remember that. But I've forgotten. Yous see, until I fix my mind on it I forget about it.
And it's good to do this from time to time to be refreshed with your testimony, your background, your salvation, for you to be reminded and refreshed, but also for you to use it in telling your story to unbelievers. Because they might dispute. Oh, I don't believe in God and Jesus and God. You know, I think-- and they'll argue.
But nobody can argue with your testimony. it's your story. Tell them your story first and how your life was changed. Oscar Wilde said, your memory is the diary that we all carry around with us. Take the diary out. Read it. Reread it. Use it.
Every commandment-- that's really the theme of chapter 8 that I've just mentioned. "Every commandment, which I command you today, you must be careful to observe that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land, which the Lord swore to your fathers. And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these 40 years in the wilderness to humble you, to test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not."
You shall remember. Literally, you shall mark the way. It means to mark or to chart or to map out. You shall remember. You will stop and remember the journey you were on.
Map it out. Chart it out. Mark it out. But as you do, remember how the Lord lead you through the wilderness. He's getting them to think back to the wilderness, the problems, I mean, the confinement of the wilderness, the complaining, of the hardship.
Remember when you guys were box into a corner and the Egyptian army was behind you and you were at the Red Sea? Do you remember that? And you remember that you were in a trap? You were boxed in.
To one side, there was a terrible open wilderness of desert and high mountains. And the other side, another wilderness with more high mountains. Behind you, was the Egyptian army. In front of you was the Red Sea. You were in a perfect box, no way out.
And then God gave you a way out. God shows you. He'll give you a way when you think there is no way. Remember that? That's what he's jogging their memory for. Mark. Chart.
You shall remember the way the Lord led you in the wilderness. And notice, here's the reason for the wilderness. To humble you, to test you, and to know what was in your heart. Not that God needed to know-- he already knew. He wanted them to know whether you would keep His commandments or not.
Now the easiest thing for all of us to say is this. I love the Lord. I trust the Lord. And I want to obey the Lord. That's a wonderful thing to say. But how do you test what you say?
Ah. The test for that is the wilderness. And when you're in a wilderness when it's hotter and the temperature goes up, the heat is up, the heat goes up, it's drier, it's more miserable, it's a trial, that wilderness is the test for all the things that you say. And that's why we need a test. You need to understand the level of your commitment.
So if you ever wonder, why would God allow me to go throw wilderness. Now you know why. To humble you, to test you, or so you can prove where you are at on the map, the spiritual journey you are taking of maturity, so you will know what is in your heart.
You remember the parable that Jesus gave of the sower throwing seed? Remember that? Remember He said some seed fell on rocky soil, or rocky ground where there was not much depth of earth? And because that plant couldn't get a root system down, when the sun came out it just withered away.
Jesus said, those are the people who hear the word, the gospel. They hear the truth and they immediately respond with joy. It's a wonderful, emotional experience. But because they have no depth to them, as soon as persecution arises, as soon as hardship or wilderness come their way, they fall away. They wither away. Too much heat.
So you need a wilderness to test. He humbled you, verse 3, and allowed you to hunger. And he fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your father's know. I'm emphasizing that because I'll get back to that.
"That he might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord." Who quoted that verse? Jesus did. Where did he quote that? In the wilderness.
The Children of Israel were in the wilderness how many years? 40 years. Jesus was in the wilderness how many days? 40 days. Very interesting. Very interesting parallel.
He quotes this. He has no food. And Satan comes and tempts him and says hey, since you're the Son of God, command these stones to be turned into bread. Jesus quoted this verse. Hey, man shall not live by bread alone but by every word of God.
In other words, listen. Jesus is in the wilderness going through a hot trial. No food, no provision, that's what Satan is suggesting. And he's having devotions in the wilderness. He's hanging onto a promise of his father.
Man shall not live by bread but every word, promise that proceeds from the mouth of God. I'm going to have my devotions here in that place of emptiness and heat and trial. It's a promise.
Verse 7, "for the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land." I skipped a couple verses. Excuse me. You're saying, no. No. Really, keep going. It's OK.
Verse 4, "your garments did not wear out on you. Nor did your foot swell these 40 years." OK. This is cool.
I remember reading the account of a missionary doctor who said, one of the symptoms of having an imbalanced diet, a sameness of diet, when you don't get all the necessary balanced ingredients, is that your feet will swell.
In other words, the manna that God gave them was so balanced. I mean, talk about a power bar. Right? That they're fee didn't swell. It gave them enough energy, protein, and balanced nutrition to march every day through that wilderness. Incredible. Something else is incredible. Imagine having the same pair of clothes for 40 years. Pretty gnarly, right?
Pretty ripe smelling. But they still look good. What a marvel this would be. And what a pain this might be for some. Just think.
I wonder how many gals said to their husbands, sweetheart, I need a new robe. I think it looks brand new to me. It looks perfect. So it may not have stayed in style, because it was 40 years. But it held together.
The integrity of the thread work was still great. It's an amazing verse. Your garments did not wear out on your. Your feet did not swell. You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you.
God spanks you. I know parents who don't believe in spanking. God does. And He's a good parent. And if they say, well I don't spank my children because, you know, that's cruel. And they won't love me if I do.
Oh it doesn't matter what they think about you today. What matters is what they think about you around age 20, 25. You are not doing them any favors or showing them any love by withholding discipline from a child at all.
Enough proverbs to speak to that. I don't have enough time to get into them. They come to my mind. Trust me, but I'll go on.
God took care of you all this time, even through the chastening. So here we are. Just for a moment, just think back over your life. I don't know how long you've known the Lord.
But a verse comes to my mind. I had my 60th birthday a couple weeks ago. And so now I can quote this verse. I wasn't able to quote this verse till, I think this is probably a good time. David said, "I was young and now I am old. And I have never seen the righteous forsaken or God's people begging bread."
I think back to the times in my life where it was dicey. I remember the time where I lacked funds. I lacked income. I remember, even while I was single, I had Hamburger Helper. And the way I'd make it is I'd cook it up. And I didn't even have enough sense to refrigerate it. I'd just keep it up, eat a little bit, and then just keep it on the stove with tin foil on it all week.
I know. It's pretty bad, isn't it? Maybe this is why I can go to foreign countries and eat really bad food and survive. Maybe I've been trained. I trained myself. Missionary training. The life of a single bachelor.
But I would eat a little bit, and then I'd cover it. The next night, I'd eat a little more and cover it. But then there were times where I'd run out of Hamburger Helper. And, you know, pay day wasn't for a while. And then, but I had peanut butter and bread up in the cupboard. So I had peanut butter bread and peanut butter sandwiches.
The sandwich, because I could put jelly and two pieces of bread. But then I was running out of bread, so I'd just do a half. You know, it's one slice. It's just a peanut butter bread, not a sandwich. Unless you halved it, and then it's just a half a sandwich. But if you keep it open, it looks bigger.
But then I remember the day when I ran out of bread. And I just had a peanut butter jar, a little bit and a spoon. But I'm eating it. And yet I survived. Right? I look back and go, the Lord, I was young. Now I am old.
I've never seen the righteous forsaken or God's people begging bread. Through all the wilderness God keeps us. Therefore, verse 6, cutting it close.
"You shall keep the commandment of the Lord your God to walk in his ways and to fear him." We covered that term last week. "For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, or fountains and springs, that flow out of the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley and vines and fig trees, pomegranates, a land of olive oil, a land in which you will need bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and out of who's hills you can dig copper."
If you look at the produce of the land in those versus, there are seven that are listed. The rabbis, the ancient Jewish text refer to this as Shivat Haminim. Shivat Haminim is the Hebrew word for the seven species. These are the seven fruits, the grains and fruits of the Holy Land.
And what's interesting is that, when you take a tour of Israel, we usually explain this the first day in the bus. At least some of the tour guides do. This is the land of Israel. God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt where they got water from a Nile River, the Nile delta.
But this land is different. It drinks in water from heaven. There's hills and valleys, and there's springs here. And here are the seven species. The Shivat Haminim
And today, all over Israel, there's farming with these seven same species. And it is a bread basket. And they produce with these. This Is the staple of Hebrew Israeli Jewish cuisine, Israeli cuisine, is right here in this verse. Very, very healthy stuff by the way that God is saying I will give you.
Verse 10, "and when you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord you're God for the good land which He has given you." Now this is called-- ready for another Hebrew word? Birkat HaMazon And the Birkat HaMazon is the Hebrew word for the prayer after the meal.
Nobody does that. As Christians, we do that before the meal. Let's give thanks before the meal. Jesus did that. So we do it.
But in the ancient days, the Jews believe a really good time to be thankful is after a good meal. Once you've eaten and you are full, you stop. And that's a good thing to do.
We mentioned a couple weeks go, maybe last week. Mix it up a little bit. Next time, instead of just, let's go the routine. OK. Lord, thanks for this food. In Jesus' name, Amen. Just wait. Eat. Eat.
Now the Christians in the restaurant seeing you not pray, they may judge you. But they won't know what you're doing. It's OK. They shouldn't be judging you anyway. So just get over it and then have a nice meal.
Then afterwards, you'll go wasn't that great? Yeah. Let's thank the Lord. Lord, man, those potatoes were awesome. You've got something to thank Him about.
So once you've eaten and are full. Be aware. Be aware, verse 11, "that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, His statutes, which I command you today. Lest, when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses, and dwell in them, and when your herds and your flocks multiply, your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, when your heart is lifted up , and you forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt from the house of bondage, who lead you through that great and terrible wilderness in which we're fiery serpents and scorpions and a thirsty land where there was no water, who brought water for you out of the flinty rock, who fed you in the wilderness with mana--"
That's what we mentioned a little bit ago. It's written again. Manna. Now here it is again. Watch. --"which your fathers did not know that he might humble you, did he might test you to do you good in the end."
You may recall when manna first showed up in Exodus 16, they got out of their tents in the morning. They saw this white stuff on the ground. It looked like frost. And this is the middle of the desert. It's like you're in Phoenix. And there's frost on the ground. It's warm.
And first thing they say-- You know what they said? What is it? That's a good question. What is it? What is it? What's it? What? They've never seen it before.
Today, in Hebrew, when you want to say, what is it, you say, Mazeh. Mazeh. What is it? Now Mazeh, what is it? Some believe the ancient way to say it was manna, that it was an old Hebrew term. Or better yet, they got it from hearing it in Egypt.
That question, what is it, manna, that could be an Egyptian term. That's a possibility. Perhaps a better explanation is man, M-A-N, was an old Egyptian word and Arabic term for-- listen to this.
In the Sinai desert, there is a shrub that grows. And in the months of May and June it exudes a sweet, sappy substance, a honey-like substance called man, or man, M-A-N.
And that's what it reminded of them. So they looked it out and they thought, huh. What is it? Because they thought it was-- or manna, or it must be man. It must be that sweet, sticky substance that grows on the bushes. But it's all over the ground.
So the thought there is a correlation. It's an interrogative participle in the Hebrew. But who cares about that. We're not going to remember that after tonight. OK. But manna is interesting. It's an interesting study.
In Psalms 78, the Psalmist calls it the food of angels. I think it's a poetic device. But it's called angel's food. So it's the first angel food cake.
Now, it was sweet. The Bible says it looked like coriander seed. And it tasted sort of like honey. So it had a sweet, you know, I like to say a Krispy Kreme doughnut kind of a taste. Just Oh, that's good.
So it's called angel's-- in Psalm 105, it's called bread from heaven, ha lechem shamayim, the bread from heaven. Again, I think a poetic device. Back in the book of Numbers, it says the people could grind it, they could beat it, and they could make it into cake.
So there was obviously some way to use a variety of recipes to make it not boring. Because it's the same food, might have nutrients, but doing power bars every single day, 365, 40 years does get old. So you want to mix up the manna and maybe make manna cotti one night or things like that. Change it up.
"He fed you with manna, to do you good in the end." Then you say in your heart-- here's the temptation. "You might say in your heart, my power and my might of my hand has gained me this wealth. And you shall remember the Lord your God, it is he that gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant, which He swore to your fathers as it is this day."
Are you a success in your business? God gave you the power to do that. Has the Lord brought you incredible finances? The Lord gave you the power to do that. The Bible never condemns money. It condemns the love of money, which is a root of all kinds of evil.
There are many examples of those who had wealth. But here God says, I've given you that power. And it's by being diligent. We know the Ten Commandments. Right? We always quote the commandment of rest.
It's the Sabbath. We all need a Sabbath. And God commanded them to rest. Ah, but read the whole commandment. God says, six days you shall labor. That's a commandment. Work hard.
Work so hard that there's one day you just got to crash. Don't be afraid of hard work. That's how the Lord gives you power to get the wealth. Then it shall be, verse 19. Hey, we're almost done. See?
So wait for it. We're almost there. Here it is. "It shall be if, by any means you forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you will surely perish. As the nations, which the Lord destroys before you, shall perish because you would not be obedient to the voice of the Lord your God."
Now, as we close I am reminded of a New Testament verse about the voice of God during this time. He says, don't forget the voice of the Lord your God. So the writer of Hebrew says this. Today, if you will hear his voice, Do harden your hearts as they did in the wilderness.
Today, if you can hear His voice, don't close off your heart. As we close the service, some of you need to open your heart wider than it's ever been. Perhaps some of you are not saved. You don't know the Lord personally.
The Lord has been speaking to your heart over weeks, maybe months, maybe longer. But you're closing off. You're not hearing. It's becoming more difficult to feel the voice of the Lord and hear it. Today, if you will hear his voice, if you will do that, if it's a matter of your will, if you're willing to hear his voice, then open up your heart. Don't close it off.
And be open to the voice of God saying, come unto me, all who you labor and are heavy laden. I will give you rest. The voice of Jesus offering you forgiveness and peace.
Father, as we close, I pray for brothers and sisters to hear your voice, the voice of comfort, the voice of assurance, the voice of provision. I pray for those who, maybe up until now have thought they are OK with you.
But they realize my heart isn't right with God. I'm not living for the Lord. I may have said I know the Lord. I love the Lord. I want to do what he says. But the wilderness has proven that's not the case.
Lord, I pray that there would be a repentance, a turning, a turning from, a turning toward, a bringing out in order to bring them in, bringing them out of the past, the darkness, the dark ways, the evil thoughts, the power and grip of the devil, of habits, and release them, Lord, to experience the abundant life in salvation.
As we close tonight, if you're here and you don't know the Lord, if you've wandered away from Him and you need to come back to Him, I want you to raise your hand right now. Our heads are bowed. Our eyes are closed. Mine will be open.
I'll acknowledge your hand and pray for you as we close this service. Raise your hand up and say, pray for me. God bless you, and you, and you to my right, and you to my far right. Anyone else?
Toward the back in the middle, God bless you. Right over here to my left, God bless you guys. Anyone else? Raise your hand up. If you're in the family room or on the balcony, raise it up.
Father, for these I pray that you would work a work, a real work, a deep work. Save them, Lord. May it be an authentic touch from heaven, where they experience a new kind of power, a newness of life, the Bible says.
I pray, Father, that you would also give to them an assurance of your love for them, and assurance of their salvation once they give their hearts to you. It's in His name we pray. Amen.
Let's stand to our feet. We're going to close with this song. And I'm going to ask those of you who raised your hands-- and I don't want you to be afraid to do this. Because we're going to get all excited about it as you do.
But Jesus called people so often publicly. And I think it's important for people to make a public stand because we're called to do that every day as believers. But it begins here. It begins surrounded with God's people.
If you raised your hand to give your life to Christ for the first time or come back to Him, as we sing this last song, I'm going to ask you to get it from where you're standing, wherever you are, whatever row, and just fin the nearest aisle, and walk up here to the front, where I'm going to publicly before the angels in heaven and before brothers and sisters, lead you in a prayer of repentance of salvation.
Will you turn your life over to Him or come back to Him So as we sing this song, No matter where you are, if you raised your hand, find the aisle and come right here, right now, and just stand right here. And let me pray for you.
We're going to wait just another minute.
How grateful we are to God for you being here right now at this moment. I'm so thankful to see you, each and every one of you up here making this decision. It's really simple. I'm going to lead you in a prayer. A prayer is just talking to God.
I'm going to lead in a prayer. I'm going to ask you to pray these words out loud after me. I'll break it up so that you can do it in phrases. I want you to say these words from your heart. You say them to the living God who will hear your prayer and we'll come in. And He will save you and change you. Ready? Let's pray.
Say, Lord, I give you my life.
Lord, I give you my life.
I know that I'm a sinner.
I know that I'm a sinner.
Please forgive me.
Please forgive me.
I believe in Jesus Christ.
I believe in Jesus Christ.
I believe that He died on a cross.
I believe that He died on a cross.
That he spilled His blood for me.
That He spilled His blood for me.
But that He rose from the dead.
But that He rose from the dead.
And that He's alive right now.
And that He's alive right now.
I turn from my sin.
I turn from my sin.
I leave my past.
I leave my past.
And I turn to Jesus as my Savior.
And I turn to Jesus as my savior.
Help me to follow Him as my Lord.
Help me to follow Him as my Lord.
In Jesus' name.
In Jesus' name.
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