Friday, May 18, 2012

120517 - Deuteronomy 08-09 - The Path of the Humble

Thursday SOAP: When he first heard the good news that because of Jesus we could go to spend eternity with God, my son pictured it happening right away. Why doesn't God just immediately take us out of this fallen world to eternal bliss? He has a program for us. It has to do with the consequences of sin, but also our own growth.

S: And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. (Deuteronomy 8:2-3)

“Know, therefore, that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people. Remember and do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness. From the day you came out of the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD. (Deuteronomy 9:6-7)

O: God is careful to explain that the 40-year wandering was to humble the Israelites because they were naturally a stubborn ('stiff-necked') people and they had been so rebellious against Him.

A: Why is Almighty God so concerned about humbling tiny man? Because we are all so naturally rebellious (depravity) and have a personal history of pride and rebellion against Him.

His program for us, as the wilderness wandering pictures, is a pilgrimage in this life, with challenges and adversaries to overcome. In the meantime, we must learn to dispel the illusion that we are self-sufficient and depend upon Him for everything we need, even our daily bread. And not our bread alone, but His Word to transform us by the renewing of our minds. (Rom. 12:2)

Otherwise, we begin to conceive an image of Him in our own mind, just as the rebellious Israelites did - and it's a wrong one. (Acts 17:29; Deut. 4:15-19)

P: Lord, feed me, reshape my thinking and humble me, so that I have the right concept of you and of myself.


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