Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them. — Deuteronomy 1:8
After living in the same community for over thirty years, my family moved to a different state. There were many new things for us to experience. We had a different house, different schools, a different church, and even different weather. Not knowing how long we would live in the area, we decided to “see what there was to see” while we had the opportunity.
Even before we were completely settled, we began to ask questions concerning geography, events, activities, and special sites we should investigate. Soon, our family began to experience wonderful things. We visited enormous trees, walked on pristine ocean beaches, beheld the view from mountain peaks, ate delightful foods, and encountered many other exciting wonders simply because we took advantage of the opportunities available to us in the new area.
Since then, our family has moved a number of times. In each location we have purposed to see what there is to see while we have the opportunity. We have had rich experiences, and yet, a question always comes to mind: Why do those who live here take these wonderful things for granted? How could one live in Paris, France, and not experience the view from atop the Eiffel Tower? How could one live in upstate New York, USA, or southern Ontario, Canada, and not visit Niagara Falls? How could a beautiful Caribbean beach seem ordinary?
Today’s text reminds us of Israel’s failure to take advantage of the wonderful opportunity to possess the Promised Land. God’s promise to us is for a life fulfilled by a relationship with Him. This opportunity is offered to each of us, yet, it seems, it can be much too easy to ignore, neglect, or even refuse to recognize and take advantage of on a daily basis. To know Him and to live in His perfect plan for our lives is the greatest opportunity that will ever come our way. Take time to listen for His voice.
The Book of Deuteronomy is a series of sermons or addresses given by Moses to the Israelites just prior to his death and their possession of the Promised Land. This is the generation whose parents had died as punishment for their refusal to obey the instructions of the Lord concerning possession of the same land. It is this generation that would be led by Joshua across Jordan and on to defeat Jericho.
Israel had made a covenant with God on Mount Sinai (Horeb) (see Exodus chapters 19 through 24). The beginning of the covenant concerning the possession of this land was with Abram and is recorded in Genesis 12:7. Moses reminds this generation of the surety of the initial covenant with Abraham as the binding nature of the covenant established with them on Sinai. Exodus and Leviticus focus on God giving the Law to Moses. Deuteronomy tends to be Moses retelling and reminding the next generation of the covenant nature of the Law and its practical application, particularly as they enter the Promised Land.
This first address by Moses continues through the first 4 chapters of Deuteronomy. Primarily, it is a historical review reminding Israel of God’s blessings to them. In this sermon, Moses encouraged the people to remember God’s many promises to them and be confident that He would be with them in the future as He had been in the past.
It is interesting to note that Deuteronomy is quoted in the New Testament nearly one hundred times. Jesus also quoted more from this book than from any other Old Testament book.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I. The first discourse: Historical review
A. Introduction (1:1-4)
1. The setting (1:1-2)
2. The time (1:3-4)
B. The wilderness sojourn
1. From Horeb to Kadesh (1:6-46)
a. The instructions to leave Horeb (1:6-8)
b. The selection of elders (1:9-18)
(1) Their choice (1:9-15)
(2) Their duties (1:16-18)
c. The events at Kadesh-Barnea (1:19-46)
(1) The mission of the spies (1:19-25)
(2) The rejection of the people (1:26-33)
(3) The wrath of God (1:34-46)
(a) Loss of privilege (1:34-40)
(b) Cause for defeat (1:41-46)
What promise or opportunity has God given you today? Will you possess it or miss it? Thank God for His promise to you and determine to “see what there is to see” in His kingdom!