Have you ever wondered if your decision’s affect your relationship with God!
by Stewart Topping
I want to use an example in the Old Testament that is a practical lesson for us today. These verses tell a story about the children of Israel after Moses had led them out of Egypt. God supplied all their needs during the trip and God was with them day and night; but they did not trust God and would not go across the Jordan River into the land of Canaan. This could be a similar situation we could find ourselves in and we don’t want to make the same mistake.
Hebrews 3:7-12 (KJV) 7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice, 8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. 10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. 11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) 12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
Paul is telling us that if we hear God’s voice, we shouldn’t harden our hearts. How did they harden their hearts? They did not Trust Him and then didn’t obey Him. This is what happened with the Children of Israel; God supplied all their needs during the trip, but they didn’t trust God when He said go into Canaan and I will protect you.
If we go back a little bit in history we find that God made a covenant with Abraham before Joseph went into Egypt, sometime later his family followed him into Egypt at the time of the famine.
Here is a summary of the covenant God made with Abraham:
- The promise of Land (Gen. 12:1)
- The promise of descendants (Gen. 12:2)
- The promise of blessing and redemption (Gen. 12:3)
God’s method of fulfilling the Abrahamic Covenant is literal, inasmuch as God partially fulfilled the covenant in history: God blessed Abraham by giving him the land (Genesis 13:14–17); God blessed him spiritually (Genesis 13:8. , 18; 14:22, 23; 21:22); God gave him numerous descendants (Genesis 22:17; 49:3–28). The important element of the Abrahamic Covenant, however, demands a future fulfillment with Messiah’s kingdom rule:” The Moody Handbook of Theology by Paul Enns.
After the covenant God made with Abraham, Joseph was sold into slavery and ended up in Egypt. When the family of Joseph went to Egypt there were about 75 people in total. They stayed in Egypt for 400 years. When Moses led the Jewish people out of Egypt and across the Red Sea they had grown to about 3-3.5 million. Now this was the Nation of Israel. Moses delivered the Jewish people to God at Mount Sinai to receive the Law. After going through the opening of the Red Sea, it took those about 3 months to get to Mount Sinai where God gave them the Law.
What I want to do is show that the Children of Abraham are very much like us.
They were disobedience and so are we. God took care of them even though they had other gods (Idols) and were only interested with their own wants and needs; not their relationship with God. God was hoping that since they had grown to a large Nation and were in slavery and bondage to the Egyptians that they would be excited to be on their way to a new land promised to them in the covenant with Abraham, a land of milk and honey. They would be free, free indeed.
Here are but a few of the reasons for the Law?
- They were into worshiping other gods; practice in Egypt and they had to make a change to one God.
- He set up dietary law to keep them well and healthy. There were a lot of sickness in Egypt.
- He wanted them to understand that He was a personal God.
- He wanted them to ask for help, not complain and murmur.
- He wanted them to depend on him for their prosperity.
- He wanted them to know that He would heal them.
No difference today, their freedom out of bondage is the same for us. Moses delivered the children from bondage to a new country called Canaan. It is very interesting that Canaan means “Gods Rest”. We also have been delivered from bondage from satan by Jesus to a new country called heaven. “Heaven is resting with God”
The Blood placed on the sides and top of the door saved them from death. We have been saved by the coverings of the blood of Jesus. In both cases it was the sacrifice of a lamb. The only difference is Jesus blood is permanent and we are sealed by the Holy Spirit. They had to sacrifice on a regular basic. Their sacrifice never took away sin forever.
Hebrews 10:4 (KJV) 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
Remember that Israel was an earthly people that had earthly promises; they lived by faith by obeying the Law. Christians save by grace are heavenly people; filled with the promise of salvation by the Holy Spirit. 2 Corinthians 5:5 (KJV) 5 now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
Earnest of the Spirit is like a down payment on something, in this case a down payment on heaven; our salvation.
Ephesians 1:13-14 (KJV) 13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
There were many trials along the way for the children of Israel. Stop and think about the needs of 3-3.5 million people; housing, clothing, water, food, and of course their health. They wandered for 40 years in the wilderness going round and round until they learn their lesson on obedience. The key is when you hear what God want’s, do it.
We are similar to them; we should have the right positive attitude towards God; do we believe God will provide food, clothing and housing to his children.
Philippians 4:19 (KJV) 19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 (KJV) 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Trusting in God for our daily needs gives us confidence in His ability to care of all things. Reread the last two scripture verses and see if you agree with them.
Remember that Canaan means God’s rest, in this case God’s rest is for Israel, and is similar to the Peace of God for Christians.
Hear, Obey and Receive the Peace of God