sermons to note

ernes1

. E. Anderson

WHERE GOD HAS BROUGHT US

Reading Deuteronomy 8

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Introduction

Christian believers have to reflect upon what the Lord has brought to pass within the realm of their lives. Since His blessed interruption and introduction there has to be a wholesome meditation on the gracious dealing and outworking of God within their experience. It is purposed to be a very good exercise that is intended to create and cultivate a good mind and heart set in their relationship with Him which is also anticipated to impact the future in a positive fashion.

Illustration: The Lord desired that Israel as a nation should do this so that it would serve to their great advantage in their immediate circumstances and would truly affect their future in a dynamic manner – Deut 8: 2 “And you shall remember all the way which the Lord your God hath led you these forty years in the wilderness”. A major problem with them was that soon ‘forgot Him and His works’.

In the performing of this procedure and spiritual exercise it is planned that it should serve to inspire with regard to the vision for the present and future. There should always be prevailing progressive thinking and expectancy that there is so much more to be known, entered into and greatly enjoyed. In thinking of where God has brought us there should be a tremendous thankfulness for the past, inspiration and hope in the present and knowledge that there is going to be an experiencing of even greater things in and from God in the unfolding future. The fresh chapter about to be written is to be full of significance, pleasure and delight. It commences with

1/. WHAT THE LORD HAS BROUGHT US OUT OF – Exodus 6:7; Ex. 11:45; Lev. 12: 42; Psalm 105: 43

The psalmist never forgot where the Lord had brought him from and was both glad and grateful – “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings” – Psalm 40: 2. What an awful situation he was in until the Lord moved in and acted on his behalf and it was so for Israel as the earlier chapters of Exodus reveal!

• In a state of slavery and captivity. Israel was in what has been termed ‘the house of bondage’ under the awful dictatorial powers of Pharaoh and Egypt. It was not a very nice period being under the whip and experiencing untold suffering and humiliation at the hands of their evil taskmasters. Pharaoh, as we know, is but a type of the oppressive powers of Satan who afflicts the whole of mankind and is oppressed by him. It was a happy day when Pharaoh’s rule and authority was forever broken!
• In a state of inferiority and without any real identity. One couldn’t regard this people has being a nation, a people of worth and note. They had no standing or station or reckoning whatsoever and were utterly shamed and despised. One viewed them as being a woeful and worthless non-entity. How could they escape such a sentence upon their state and status? But God was to bring them out as ‘Israel’ make them a ‘Prince’ and establish them as the foremost people and nation.
• In a state of poverty and penury. All they had was a mere existence and just managing to keep life going. Their enemy was being made rich and prosperous whilst they were in an utter reduced situation, just making ends meet. When the Lord brought them out he was to see that they were duly recompensed! – “And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians” – Exodus 12: 36.
• In a state of inability. They could not help themselves. They were in an utter vulnerable and impossible circumstance. In no way could they free or rid themselves from the tyrant and the awful conditions they were. Outside help nd supernatural assistance was called for to break the hold of this despotic power. In their distress they cried to the Lord – “the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto god by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groanings, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and god had respect unto them” – Exodus 2; 23-25.

Israel’s circumstance is but illustrative of the plight of every sinner until the intervention of Christ and His great work of salvation. His first task is to bring out of these evil situations. The deliverance of the Lord from the evil conditions must never be forgotten. ‘He brought us out’.

2/. WHAT THE LORD HAS BROUGHT US THROUGH – Deut. 8: 2; 29:5; Psalm 78: 14; Jeremiah 2: 6

But then the Lord had a major task to perform in bringing this vast company of people through the wilderness before establishing them in the Promised Land. This next stage and phase was to be a very important part of the programme of going on to becoming possessors. It was not a meaningless exercise but a vital period that was purposed to prepare them for the land of promise and blessing. It was something that had to be negotiated well and one that required divine understanding. It was God’s purpose to bring them through and make them a better and more able people to inherit the land. It can be call ‘a probation period’ where they would be subject to divine tests in order to establish three divine qualities “And you shall remember all the way which the LORD your God led you these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, and to prove you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments, or no” – Deut. 8: 2.

It was to be a real testing time and a period where sanctification would take place amongst them. They were to be sifted and sorted out so that the ways and ideas of Egypt would be purged from the minds, hearts and actions. Three things were to be birthed and developed in them to make them into a good and great people and representative of God.

• There was to be in place a real love for God. He had loved them and embraced them as His people and His great intention was to visibly and powerfully demonstrate His love for them. What he had done was but the commencement of a living and loving dynamic relationship and accord with them and what He desired was pure, unadulterated love simply for Himself. The primary command and demand was “And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your might” – Deut. 6:5; 30:2; Luke 10 27. He could bring them through every fiery trial if they possessed a genuine love for Him. He wanted to bring them through into a great state of love and affection for Him, where they gave Him utmost regard and worship.
• There was to be in place a dynamic faith in Him. This was to be a phase where they began to learn to trust Him to work the miraculous and extraordinary In spite of the impossible conditions to be confronted. It took a major miracle to get them out and it would require major miracles to take them through. It was needful that they grasp and exercise faith in Him all the way. He not only could open the Red Sea, but Jordan, too, bring Jericho down, give meat in abundance, rain manna from on high, give gushing water from the rock, overcome those who opposed. It was the time when their faith should have grown with their love but regrettably it did not occur. The curse of unbelief was present and prevailed at the occasion when the twelve spied went to spy out the land and brought back their evil report – Numbers 13-14; Hebrews 4. The evil heart of unbelief has to be confronted, dealt with and purged from the life of the believer and Christian leader. God brings through on the principle and procedure of faith – Hebrews 11: 6.
• There was to be a place of constant obedience to Him. As Joshua was about to assume leadership of Israel for the next stage he was made aware of the fact that obedience was very much an integral part of the agenda – “Be strong and very courageous, that you may observe toi do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded you, turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper withersoever you go. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate therein day and night” – Joshua 1: 7, 8. The Lord seeks to create and produce a people or person who will carry through every sacred command, implicit obedience, and having secured this there is nothing that he can and will not do for such. In carrying through His directives there is the guarantee that all will surely come to pass as He has planned. Obedience is the clear marker to Him that He is believed and so there is sure to be readiness to receive all he has purposed.

3/. WHAT THE LORD HAS BROUGHT US INTO – Deut. 8:7

It must be realised and never forgotten what He intends to bring into. He brings out to bring through in order to bring into. There must be no stopping short of this wonderful objective. The Lord is not forever wanting to test those who love, trust and obey but delights when His grace and blessings can be multiplied in multiple ways. “For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates . . . . “ Deut.8:7.

• He seeks to lead and bring into an experience of victory. No matter who or what was to confront, there would be the complete mastery and domination of all obstacles and opposition. There was to be the onward, forward march that would see them conquerors and no-one and nothing would frustrate their progress or success. The land was to be theirs and they were to take possession and become its owners. The Christian has to learn to enter into and live in the conquest of Christ and enjoy victory over all. To learn to be a possessor.
• He seeks to lead and bring into an experience of prosperity. They may have languished in desperate straits in Egypt but this was not to be the case in this new land. The good of all the land was before them and they were to enjoy all the delights of it. It was no longer to be a case of want but wealth. It was to become a new era of blessing leaving behind all the hardship of Egypt and the trials of the wilderness. Christians must learn to believe for and enter into seasons of rich and untold blessings. God to prosper a person with other things.
• He seeks to lead and bring into an experience of superiority. No long were they to be reckoned as being a nobody, to be trodden down and treated as nothing. Because of their unrivalled status all the other peoples and nations would have to take note. They were to be the ‘head’ and not the ‘tail’. Christians learn to live and rule in and throughout life.
• He seeks to lead and bring into an experience of progress. Entering the land was but the start of complete take-over. To be ever in the driving seat till all was conquered and ruled over. Brought into be kings and establish a dynamic kingdom. Christianity is all about founding the dynamics of Christ as King and His kingdom.

CONCLUSION

The question that needs to be asked is where are we placed in all this?

1/. Have we been delivered from Egypt and brought out of the condition of slavery. Is that where we are and are stuck at that point?

2/. Are we still in the midst of our tests and have we learned the important of the strength of our love for God, the growth of our faith the response of our obedience?

3/. Are we moving into our divine inheritance and enjoying God’s best?

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