Moses continues to share the history of Israel, adding different dimensions and important insight that should encourage the country he loves.
It’s interesting that Moses mentions certain nations – and rather than calling them by name, he primarily refers to them as, “the descendants of…”
Edom, Moab, and Ammon, are first referred to as the descendants of Esau (Edom), and the descendants of Lot (Moab and Ammon). With these three nations Israel was not to meddle for God had given them the land, defeating giants along the way. It’s as if God was saying, “I did it for them, and I will do this for you.”
Moses then recalls the way the LORD completely defeated Sihon, the Amorite King, and King Og of Bashan, these also were giants (Og’s bed was twelve feet long and 6 feet wide – Deuteronomy 2:11). A little something that I discovered as I dug, is the word giants is only found in these two chapters of Deuteronomy – four times (Deuteronomy 2:11, 20; 3:11, 13). God is here encouraging Israel that He’s defeated giants in the past, and He will do it again – for them.
This is intended to be a shot of confidence, they WILL inherit the land, Moses said, after all, Gad, Reuben, and the half-tribe of Manasseh already had!
Understandably Moses wanted to enter the land with the people, but he was not allowed to, Joshua would be the one to lead the people in. Moses prayed three times, but God said “No.” Moses encouraged Joshua with the same principle he had encouraged the nation – God’s impeccable history of faithfulness.
Deuteronomy 3:21–22 (NKJV) “And I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, ‘Your eyes have seen all that the LORD your God has done to these two kings; so will the LORD do to all the kingdoms through which you pass. 22 You must not fear them, for the LORD your God Himself fights for you.’
Joshua you’ve seen God’s fight, God’s faithfulness in the past! Do not be afraid for the future, for fear and faith are mutually exclusive – as a matter of fact, God was putting the fear of Israel into the hearts of the nations they would conquer (Deuteronomy 2:25).
Not only would God give them the victory in war, He would provide for their every need. Isn’t it wonderful the way the Lord provided for the children of Israel all those years? Even in the wilderness!
Deuteronomy 2:7 (NKJV) “For the LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He knows your trudging through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing.”
Isn’t that a beautiful passage? We can insert however many years we’ve been alive into that sentence. The LORD has been with us all along, we’ve lacked nothing.
I’m always blown away that Jesus spent all night in prayer, before He chose His Apostles (6:12-16). Was He asking the Father which ones to choose? Was He praying for them? Or was He simply spending some quality-quantity time with His Dad?
Jesus first called His “disciples” to Himself. A disciple is a follower, a learner. A disciple sits at his teacher’s feet and should become like His master (Matthew 10:25 see also Luke 14:26-27, 33). As Christians we are called to be Jesus’ disciples; we are also called to make Christian disciples (Matthew 28:19).
From these disciples Jesus appointed Apostles. An Apostle is, “one who is sent.” Jesus would spend the next three years pouring into these guys, so that they could pour into others. He would send them out (Judas Iscariot would be replaced by Paul the Apostle) and these twelve would turn the world upside down. The original twelve Apostles have a special place in the church, which had been built upon the foundational teaching of these Apostles (Ephesians 2:20) and in heaven the names of the twelve will be upon the foundation of the walls of New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:14).
The rest of Luke 6 is what we call the “Sermon on the Plain.” It’s very similar to the Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 6-8. This is the closest thing we have to a “Christian Manifesto.” This is how the Christian life begins and is to be lived out. Jesus would go from town to town and share similar, circuit teachings on true and Godly living – the terms of discipleship.
It begins with the beatitudes, the secrets to blessings (Luke 6:20-23) followed by warnings to consider and take to heart (Luke 6:24-26). A tree is known by its fruit and love is the most important one of all. If the root is right-and-real you will love your enemies, do good to them and pray for them. If we only love those who love us and are nice to us – how can we call ourselves a Christian? That’s the typical behavior of a non-believer! We prove our heavenly citizenship by loving our enemies.
We are to be gracious in our giving, we are to practice the Golden Rule (Luke 6:31) – IF we are children of God, doesn’t it make sense…since we have His DNA? Love is the reason this world continues to spin, it should be the reason and and heart to ours as well.
Luke 6:37-38 remind us, what goes around comes around.
Psalm 67:1 is an appropriation of the High Priestly prayer of Numbers 6:23-27. This was the blessing the High Priest was to pray over Israel. Here we see that we can even pray it for ourselves.
We desperately need God’s mercy and blessing. For His face to shine upon us, describes His smile over us, His grace and favor, and even His intimate presence.
This Psalm is an invitation to the whole wide world. One day Jesus will rule over ALL the nations. What a glorious day that will be.
As we allows the Lord to rule over our own hearts, we will experience His gracious blessings.
Earnestly seek good, seek God, not evil.
Do I do this earnestly? With sincere and intense conviction; seriously?
Do I earnestly seek good? Seek God? His promises in this realm are powerful:
Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV) “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
This really is the key to all of life! Where is my mind, my heart, my eyes, my ears – what do I seek? If God is the priority and passion of my life – all else falls into place.
Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.