Israel’s wilderness wandering

The Living God #3

Thursday, March 3, 2016

For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? (Deuteronomy 5:26 KJV).

Exactly why is the God of the Bible called “the living God?”

The Jews, sons of Abraham but also (sinful) sons of Adam, had been barred from entering the Promised Land because of their unbelief (see Numbers chapters 13 and 14; cf. Hebrews 3:7-19). Refusing to take God at His Word, Israel doubted He would surely drive out their enemies. They doubted they would dwell safely in Canaan. So, once that generation had died off in the wilderness, at the end of 40 years, Moses addressed Israel’s new generations in Deuteronomy (see today’s Scripture). He reminded them just how strict God is under the current Covenant of Law. Not long after today’s Scripture, Moses died, making Joshua God’s leader for Israel. We come to the second instance of “the living God.”

Reading Joshua 3:10: “And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.” Israel is where she was with Moses 40 years earlier, before the wilderness wanderings. Joshua reaffirmed that Israel had “the living God” on her side. There was great power to give them victory. While Israel under Joshua’s command had some notable military triumphs, Israel once again doubted God’s Word to her and was never faithful in remaining separate from her pagan neighbors.

The next two instances of “the living God” concern little boy David’s victorious fight with Goliath: “And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?….Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God (1 Samuel 17:26,36). There is power with “the living God!”

Aged, But Strong, in the LORD

Thursday, February 5, 2015

“…I am this day fourscore and five years old. As yet I am strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in” (Joshua 14:10,11 KJV).

How could Caleb, despite his old age, be so bold?

Recall Israel’s rebellion entering the Promised Land with Moses (Numbers chapters 13 and 14). For 40 days, 12 Jewish spies scouted its landscapes. Ten spies reported back to Moses with a very negative report: “We cannot overcome the giants in the land.” They contradicted JEHOVAH’S promise to give them victory over all Gentile inhabitants. However, two spies—Joshua and Caleb—believed God’s Word.

Numbers chapter 14 continues: “[6] And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh… rent their clothes: [7] And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. [8] If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. [9] Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.” Israel still refused to enter Canaan, and thus wandered in the desert for 40 years!

Fast-forward to today’s Scripture. Caleb is now 85 years old… and still ready to fight the Gentiles to possess the land that God has given him! The verse following today’s Scripture reveals Caleb, despite agedness, is confident that the LORD will give him victory! “Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.”

Like Caleb, a wise man will rely on his Almighty LORD, not his weakly flesh!

Riches and the Ages to Come #3

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5 KJV).

If Israel’s believing remnant is to endure the seven-year Tribulation’s economic depression, she must remember that faithful JEHOVAH is with her, and that He will bless her in due time.

The so-called “Lord’s Prayer,” repeated today ad nauseum, has this third petition: “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). Who should be uttering this? Not prosperous Gentiles in this the Dispensation of Grace, but Jews who are so poverty-stricken they lack daily meals! Why would they be asking for “daily bread?” Remember, did not Israel’s little flock do as Jesus said, and sold all their possessions and gave to the poor (Matthew 19:21; Luke 12:31-34; Luke 18:22; Acts 2:44-47; Acts 4:32-37)? Just as God blessed Israel with manna, “daily bread,” in the wilderness, with Moses (Exodus 16:1-36), so He will during the seven-year Tribulation (Micah 7:14,15; Revelation 2:17).

Recall Jesus’ words: “[25] Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? [31] Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? [32] (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: ) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. [33] But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. [34] Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:25,31-34; cf. Luke 12:22,29-34).

Jesus Christ taught that, provided His little flock sought first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, He would meet all their physical needs (food, drink, clothing, et cetera). Unlike us, they would not have to work for their food (2 Thessalonians 3:6-15). Let us see exactly how this principle will operate after our Dispensation of Grace….

On the Holy Bible

Friday, February 28, 2014

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4 KJV).

If you are seeking God’s words today, you can find them today!

Where are God’s words? In non-existent original manuscripts? In a preacher’s inner impressions? In our emotions or circumstances? In a prayer closet? In a denominational handbook, hymnal, Bible commentary, or Hebrew or Greek grammar? In an “angelic visitation?” In Bible study footnotes? In the latest, best-selling modern translation? These are usually the places where people look for God’s words, but despite all that reading and praying, they rarely find them. Very few ever actually find those precious words of God because of the confusion as to where to find them and because nearly all of the places that are presumed to have God’s words have everything but them!

In today’s Scripture, the Lord Jesus Christ affirmed that mankind needed spiritual food just as much as he needed physical food. To be physically alive but spiritually dead is not God’s original plan for man! Jesus is quoting Deuteronomy 8:3, where Moses taught Israel the same principle: Israel had 40 years of physical manna to eat but they were starving spiritually, experiencing “leanness [of] soul” because of their unbelief (Psalm 106:15)!

The prophet Isaiah foretold how God the Father “wakeneth [Jesus Christ] morning by morning, [his] ear to hear as the learned” (50:4). Every morning during His earthly ministry, Jesus studied the Old Testament scrolls, and He learned God the Father’s will (cf. Luke 2:40,52; John 8:26-29). Even Jesus Christ depended on the Holy Bible for wisdom, and He knew today’s Scripture firsthand. Jesus lived completely reliant on God’s Word—living the life God originally wanted mankind to live!

Jesus Christ reassured us, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33). We have those preserved words of God in English, the King James Bible. May we never, ever take them for granted and may we never, ever abandon them. May we study them and believe them, lest we spiritually starve!