This message was preached by Justin Jaykumar Y. Sam at Word of Grace Church on January 10th, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click here.
The future is unknown and we don’t know what’s in store for us.
Today we will look at Deuteronomy 11:10-14
“The land you are entering to take over is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot as in a vegetable garden. But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end. So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul— then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil”
We live with an unknown future, but the eyes of the Lord are on us. The Israelites were ready to enter into this new land.
Q. What did the Lord expect from the Israelites as he does from us today?
1. We need to possess- “ the land you are entering to take over”. To possess means to take over, claim, dominate, rule. That’s the first thing God expected Israel to do. Israel was coming out of bondage. They are not called as slaves but as sons and daughters.
He says, in verse 12 that his eyes are on us from the beginning to the end of the year- so all 366 days of this year, his eyes will be on us. Israel was to destroy the enemies and take over the land. You and I are called to that.
Judges 1:8- “ The men of Judah attacked Jerusalem also and took it. They put the city to the sword and set it on fire”
Judges 2:2-“and you shall not make a covenant with the people of this land, but you shall break down their altars.’ Yet you have disobeyed me. Why have you done this?”
They were given instructions to destroy everything so that it doesn’t become a snare for them. Israel however did not do that and kept back some of the plunder. But God desires obedience.
The messengers in Canaan said they saw giants and that they were like grasshoppers. In Deuteronomy 11:23-24: “then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you. Every place where you set your foot will be yours: Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea.”
Colossians 3:5- “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry”. Are there things that need to be put off things that may even be advantageous to you but God wants you to put off? We are to enter into the new year having put off certain things.
Judges 1:20- “As Moses had promised, Hebron was given to Caleb, who drove from it the three sons of Anak. “ When Joshua and Caleb saw the giants, their reaction was- God help me, I’ll possess this land. He went after what he was promised and he took it over.
Philippians 4:13- “I can do all this through him who gives me strength”
2. There will be both hills and valleys: this new land that the Israelites were going to enter is not like Egypt. Egypt was a different set up- it was a flat land. The promise land had new challenges- of mountains and valleys. The flat terrain can be boring.
In this New Year, we will have both mountains and valleys. Maybe your year started in the valley, but there will be mountains as well.
God says, you don’t have to irrigate the land. Jacob had a lot of problems in his life- he did not know where Joseph was. But God knew it. In Genesis 42:36 he says that all things are against me. Sometimes we may think this.
Romans 8:28- “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”
We don’t like problems- the ups and downs. But power is generated with friction. We need to go through to have power and have an impact. Opposition is essential for a equilibrium. The best of creation will have to experience these ups and downs.
“Let us then thank God for both the weight and the wings and with power that comes from heaven to press on with faith and patience.”- AB Simpson.
2 Corinthians 12:9- “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
3. God cares for this land- this is the motivation for the Israelites. God cared for the Israelites, provided for them and lead them. The same God will lead us forward. That’s our motivation.
1 Peter 5:7- “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” It’s an unknown future but he cares for us.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.