The goal of entering the promised land - restoration
1 "Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the Lord your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it,2 so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.3 "O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey
Deut 6:1-3 (NASB)
10 "Then it shall come about when the Lord your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build,11 and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied,12 then watch yourself, that you do not forget the Lord who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery .13 "You shall fear only the Lord your God; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name.14 "You shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who surround you,15 for the Lord your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; otherwise the anger of the Lord your God will be kindled against you, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth.
16 "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested Him at Massah.17 "You should diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and His testimonies and His statutes which He has commanded you.18 "You shall do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may be well with you and that you may go in and possess the good land which the Lord swore to give your fathers,19 by driving out all your enemies from before you, as the Lord has spoken
.Deut 6:10-19 (NASB)
O - So after a long period of living in the land between - freedom from slavery and Egypt, and the promised land ahead, the Israelites where finally ready to enter the Land promised to Abraham. It is important to remember it took them 40 years to be seasoned, and prepared, to be a nation of God, that trust in Him, and not themselves. They had faced many trials, seen many miracles from the time of their liberation to their arrival to the promised land. They had been given clear instructions on how to live, and commandments to guide their relationship to God and each other. They had traveled with God amongst them in the Tabernacle, and been organized as nation by tribes and by roles each would play. God had been purposefully preparing them to be His nation, a Holy nation, set apart, from which the savior of the world would ultimately come. His purpose was clear to Him, to restore his creation, into direct loving relationship, from the separation that sin had created.
A - Knowing this was God's most excellent plan, I have grown a deep appreciation for His wisdom, patience and power. Since the Adam's fall, the goal of restoration never left God's heart. The complex nature of man, precluded a God from simply making it so. He created us complex, like himself (in His image), and would take a complex solution to deal with the now fallen nature of man. So God set out to to restore man, through a man, Jesus Christ, who would bridge the gap between God and man. So it seems (though I am not trying to proclaim I completely know God's mind) that God chose to bring the Christ to earth amongst a nation that was as familiar with Him and His ways as possible. Abraham would be the father of that nation, and Israel the nation that struggles with God, all the while growing a fertile ground in which the savior of the world would be born. As we see though, the nature of man even in God's promised nation, leans toward separation, either by violating his commandments, worshiping other gods or completely ignoring God's existence. Christ ultimately was born into this "close enough" but not there nation, in which He performed the final necessary steps to restore relationship of God with man, through his sacrificial acceptance of the penalty of sin for all of us. This scripture in Deuteronomy is understandable from the context of God's plan, and even forgivable of the nation of Israel, given the the context of which God is sending them into the promised land. Seemingly God has been fair and prepared them completely for their future in the promised land, but not even the abundance of the land and protection of God is enough to keep the nation from falling away from God (ultimately being put back into exile in Babylon). So what am I to make of all of this. Bottom line: Entering the promised land is not the goal, the goal is restoration and relationship with God. For me that means God is bringing me and my family into the promised land for a purpose, and that purpose is restoration of His people. I am to use my experience and past as a building block to understanding God and His ways, so that I might be strong, and live according to His purpose for my life, to see more people come to the saving knowledge of Christ.
P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's power lesson , may it be sealed to my heart. I pray Lord that you would help me to enter the promised land in a way that honor's you and all that you have taught and shown me. I pray that I might face the challenges ahead with hope and confidence in who you are Lord. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.