by Stewart Topping
Since we have to make decisions everyday, it is important to make all of them correctly. God is going to help us if we expect Him to. We must believe that he is a reward er of those that diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6), We must want a personal relationship with God before He can help us.
Please read and pray for help and understanding. Have you ever wondered if the decisions we make affect our relationship with God!I want to use an example in the Old Testament that is a practical lesson for us today.
These verses tell a story about the children of Israel who were led out of Egypt by Moses. God supplied all their needs during that trip; God was with them day and night, but when it came to the decision to obey God and go across the Jordan River into the land of Canaan they refused. They were afraid of the Giants in the land.
This could be a similar situation with us; where God has taken care of our needs and then God asks us to do something and we decide not to do it. Maybe for some fear of making the wrong decision. We don’t want to make the same mistake they did. They spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness until they decided to follow God instructions.
Hebrews 3:7-12 (KJV) 7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice, 8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. 10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. 11 So I swear in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) 12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
Paul is telling us that if we hear God’s voice, we should not harden our hearts. We harden our hearts when we don’t obey God. We can become very cold to the things of God. This is what happened with the Children of Israel; God supplied all their needs, but they couldn’t trust him with the decision to go over the Jordan River into Canaan. Therefore they couldn’t go over the Jordan River for 40 more years. God said that they couldn’t enter His rest (Canaan) because of unbelief.
If we go back a little bit in history we find that God made a covenant with Abraham. This covenant contained 3 aspects to it: (Gen 17:7-8)
- Possession of the Land: Canaan: (Gen. 12:7)
- He would make him a great Nation: (Gen. 13:14,15,17, Gen. 15:7, Gen 13:2, 24:34,35)
- His seed would be blessed: Jesus (Gen. 17:19)
After the covenant God was made with Abraham, sometime later, Joseph was sold into slavery and ended up in Egypt as one of the leaders. The rest of his family followed him into Egypt because of the famine in the land. At that time the total number of Jews were 75. They spent the next 400 years in Egypt and when Moses led the Jewish people out of Egypt and across the Red Sea they had grown to somewhere between 3 to 3.5 million. After going through the opening of the Red Sea, it took them between 2-3 months to get to Mount Sinai where God gave them the Law. This gave them enough time to completely understand that God was in the midst of them day and night to take care of them. But the 400 years in Egypt had more affect on them then the 2-3 months in their trip to Mount Sinai.
What I want to do is show is that the Children of Israel are very much like us. They had unbelief and we can to. Sometimes it just takes time to understand that God is real and wants to help us. It could have been easier and quicker for them to obey but they took the hard way. They were only concerned with their own wants and needs and not their personal relationship with God. God was hoping that since they had grown to a large nation, but in slavery and bondage to the Egyptians that they would be excited to be free and on their way to a new land promised to them; a land of milk and honey with God taking care of them.
Here are but a few of the reasons for the Law?
- He wanted them to worship one God.
- He wanted them to understand that He was a personal God.
- He wanted them to Trust Him; not complain and murmur.
- He wanted them to depend on him for everything.
- He wanted them to know that He would provide all their needs.
In a way there is no difference today the way we have gained our freedom from the bondage that we were in. Moses delivered the children of Israel from bondage to a new country called Canaan which means “Gods Rest”. We have been delivered from bondage of satan because of what Jesus has done on the cross and we are now citizen of heaven. Heaven is where we have peace with God and a new relationship.
The Blood placed on the sides and top of the door saved Israel from death when the Egyptians children were killed. We have been saved by the blood of Jesus. In both cases it was the sacrifice of a lamb; one imperfect and the other perfect. Jesus was the perfect lamb and we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. They Jews had to sacrifice on a regular basic. Their sacrifice never took away sin forever.
Hebrews 10:4 (KJV) 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
Remember that Israel was an earthly people that had earthly promises; they lived by faith in obeying the Law. Christians are saved by grace and are heavenly people; filled with the promise of salvation by the Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 5:5 (KJV) 5 now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit
.Earnest of the Spirit is a down payment, in this case this down payment is heaven and our salvation.
Ephesians 1:13-14 (KJV) 13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
There were many trials along the way for the children of Israel. Stop and think about the needs of 3-3.5 million people; Housing, clothing, water, food, and of course their health. The county was also a desert. Sometimes I think we are very similar to the Children of Israel in that we sometimes want to do our own thing. But it is important to have a positive attitude towards God. We should believe that God will provide us with food, clothing and housing, just like he did for the children of Israel?
Philippians 4:19 (KJV) 19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 (KJV) 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Trusting in God for our daily needs builds a solid relationship with God; if we trust Him to take care of our basic needs shouldn’t we trust Him with all our needs. We need to make sure that our decisions are in line with Gods Voice. We need to listen and obey his voice. It will take time, but it is possible. If not we can be wandering without direction for a long time.
“Life isn’t about how you survive the storm, But how you dance in the rain”