Something big is coming! Something important is coming! Something that will change the future for everyone!
So what are you going to do about it? Will you speak life into the people? Will you speak hope into the people? Will you give them wisdom? Will you give them instructions? Will you give them a reminder? Will you set them up for success? Will you prepare them for what is yet to come? Will you remind them of where their hope comes from? Will you remind them where to put their trust? Will you remind them of what happened in the past? Will you give them enough information that they won’t repeat the mistakes of the past?
What will you do?
Today’s reading begins at Deuteronomy what Moses does just as the people are preparing to take the promised land…
Devarim: The Words that Moses Spoke
1These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan—in the wilderness, in the Arabah opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Di-Zahab. 2It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea. 3Now Moses spoke to Bnei-Yisrael, according to all Adonai had commanded him for them—in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, 4after he had struck down Sihon king of the Amorites who lived in Heshbon, and Og king of the Bashan who lived in Ashtaroth and Edrei. 5Across the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses began to explain this Torah saying, 6“Adonai our God spoke to us at Horeb saying: ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain. 7Turn, journey on, and enter the hill country of the Amorites and all their neighbors, in the Arabah, the hill country, the lowland, the Negev, and by the seashore—the land of the Canaanites and the Lebanon as far as the great river, the Euphrates. 8See, I have set the land before you. Enter and possess the land that Adonai swore to your fathers—to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob—to give to them and to their descendants after them.’
Bad Report and Poor Response
9“I spoke to you at that time saying: ‘I am not able to bear the burden of you by myself. 10Adonai your God has multiplied you—and here you are today, like the stars of the heavens in number. 11“‘May Adonai, God of your fathers, increase you a thousand times as many as you are, and may He bless you just as He has promised you! 12How can I bear your load and burden and bickering by myself? 13Choose for yourselves wise and discerning men, well known to your tribes, and I will appoint them as your heads.’ 14“You answered me and said: ‘The thing you have said to do is good.’ 15So I took the heads of your tribes, men who were wise and well known, and appointed them as heads over you—leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, leaders of tens, and officials for your tribes. 16“I commanded your judges at that time saying: ‘Hear cases between your brothers, and judge fairly between a man and his brother or the outsider with him. 17You must not show partiality in judgment —you must hear the small and the great alike. Fear no man, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me and I will hear it.’ 18“I commanded you at that time everything you should do. 19“Then we journeyed from Horeb and went through all that great and terrible wilderness that you saw on the way to the hill country of the Amorites, as Adonai our God commanded us. Then we came to Kadesh-barnea. 20I said to you: ‘You have come to the hill country of the Amorites, which Adonai our God is giving to us. 21See, Adonai your God has set the land before you—go up, take possession, as Adonai God of your fathers has promised you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.’ 22“Then all of you came near to me and said: ‘Let’s send men ahead of us to explore the land for us and bring us back word about the way we should go up and the cities we will enter.’ 23“The idea seemed good to me, so I took twelve men from among you—one man for each tribe. 24They turned and went up into the hill country, and they came to the Wadi Eshcol and spied it out. 25They took in their hands some of the fruit of the land and brought it down to us. They also brought back word to us and said, ‘Good is the land that Adonai our God is giving to us.’ 26“Yet you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of Adonai your God. 27In your tents you grumbled and said: ‘Because Adonai hates us, He has brought us out from the land of Egypt to hand us over to the Amorites, to destroy us! 28Where are we going? Our brothers have discouraged our hearts saying, “The people are greater and taller than we are! The cities are great and fortified up to the heavens! Besides, we have even seen the children of Anakim there!”’ 29“Then I said to you, ‘Don’t tremble or be afraid of them. 30Adonai your God, who goes before you, He Himself will fight for you—just as He did for you in Egypt before your own eyes, 31and in the wilderness, where you saw how Adonai your God carried you as a man carries his son, everywhere you went until you came to this place.’ 32Yet for all this you did not trust in Adonai your God— 33the One who goes before you on the way to scout out a place for you to camp and to show you the way you should go, in fire by night and in the cloud by day. 34“When Adonai heard the tone of your words, He was angry and swore an oath saying, 35‘Not one of these men of this evil generation will see the good land that I swore to give your fathers— 36except Caleb the son of Jephunneh. He will see it—yet to him and his children I will give the land that he has walked on, because he has followed Adonai wholeheartedly.’ 37“Adonai was even angry with me on your account, saying, ‘You will not enter there, either. 38Joshua son of Nun, who stands before you, will enter there—encourage him, for he will enable Israel to inherit it. 39“‘Moreover, your little ones—whom you said would become plunder, and your children who today have no knowledge of good or evil—they will enter there. To them I will give it and they will possess it. 40But as for you, turn around and journey into the wilderness by way of the Sea of Reeds .’ 41“Then you answered and said to me, ‘We have sinned against Adonai. We will go up and fight, just as Adonai our God commanded us.’ So each of you strapped on his weapons of war, figuring it was easy to go up to the hill country. 42“But Adonai said to me, ‘Tell them, “Do not go up and fight—for I am not with you, and you will be defeated by your enemies.”’ 43“So I told you, but you would not listen—you rebelled against the command of Adonai and presumptuously went up into the hill country. 44The Amorites who lived in that hill country came out against you, and they chased you as bees do and scattered you from Seir to Hormah. 45Then you returned and wept before Adonai, but Adonai did not listen to your voice or pay attention to you. 46“So you stayed in Kadesh many days—like the days you had spent before.
–from Deuteronomy 1
Will you provide them with enough to make sure they aren’t wandering endlessly? Will you provide them with enough to make sure they know where to turn when they have questions and need help? Will you provide them with a leader who can help?
Moses Recalls Wilderness Journey
1“Then we turned and journeyed into the wilderness by the way to the Sea of Reeds, just as Adonai told me. We went around the hill country of Seir for many days. 2“Adonai spoke to me saying, 3‘You have gone around this hill country long enough—turn to the north. 4Command the people saying, “You are about to cross into the territory of your relatives, the sons of Esau, who dwell in Seir. They will be afraid of you, so be very careful. 5Do not provoke them, for I will not give you any of their land—not even a footprint—because I have given the hill country of Seir to Esau as a possession. 6You are to buy food from them for money so that you may eat, and you are also to buy water from them for money so that you may drink. 7For Adonai your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand—He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness. These 40 years Adonai your God has been with you—you have lacked nothing.”’ 8“So we went on past our relatives the sons of Esau who dwell in Seir, away from the way of the Arabah from Elath and Ezion-geber. We turned and passed by the way of the wilderness of Moab. 9“Adonai said to me, ‘Do not harass Moab or engage them in battle. For I will not give you any of his land for a possession, because I have given Ar to the children of Lot for a possession. 10(The Emim used to live there—a great and numerous people, as tall as the Anakim. 11These people also are considered Rephaim, like the Anakim; but the Moabites call them Emim. 12Now the Horites used to live in Seir, but the sons of Esau drove them out and destroyed them from before themselves and settled in their place—just as Israel did to the land of its possession that Adonai gave to them.) 13Now rise up, and cross over the Wadi Zered.’ So we went over the Wadi Zered. 14“The time that we traveled from Kadesh-barnea until we crossed over the Wadi Zered was 38 years—until all the generation of the men of war from within the camp came to an end, as Adonai had sworn to them. 15Indeed, the hand of Adonai was against them, to destroy them from within the camp until they came to their end. 16“Now when all the men of war had finished dying from among the people, 17Adonai spoke to me saying, 18‘Today you are about to cross the border of Moab at Ar. 19When you come opposite the sons of Ammon, do not harass or provoke them—for I will not give you any of the land of the sons of Ammon for a possession, because I have given it to the sons of Lot for a possession. 20(That also is considered a land of Rephaim. Rephaim used to live there, but the Ammonites call them Zamzummim— 21a great and numerous people, as tall as the Anakim. But Adonai destroyed them from before them, and the Ammonites dispossessed them and settled in their place. 22It was just as Adonai did for the sons of Esau, who dwell in Seir, when He destroyed the Horites before them. They drove them out and settled in their place even to this day. 23As for the Avvim who lived in villages as far as Gaza, the Caphtorim who came from Crete destroyed them and settled in their place.)
Defeat of Sihon and Og
24“‘Rise up, journey on, and cross over the Wadi Arnon. See, I have handed over Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land—begin to possess it! Engage him in battle! 25This very day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the peoples everywhere under heaven. When they hear the report about you, they will tremble and twist in anguish because of you.’ 26“So I sent messengers from the wilderness of Kedemoth to Sihon king of Heshbon with words of shalom saying, 27‘Let me pass through your land—I will go only by way of the road. I will not turn to the right or to the left. 28You will sell me food for money so that I may eat and give me water for money so that I may drink. Just let me pass through on foot— 29as the sons of Esau dwelling in Seir and the Moabites in Ar did for me—until I cross over the Jordan into the land that Adonai our God is giving to us.’ 30But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him, because Adonai your God stiffened his spirit and hardened his heart, in order to hand him over to you this very day. 31“Adonai said to me, ‘See, I have begun to give Sihon and his land over to you—begin to take possession in order to take hold of his land.’ 32“Then Sihon came out against us—he and all his people—to battle at Jahaz. 33Adonai our God gave him over to us, and we struck him down along with his sons and all his people. 34We captured all his cities at that time, and utterly put under a ban of judgment every city—men, women and children. We left no survivor. 35We took only the livestock as plunder for ourselves, as the spoils of the cities we captured. 36From Aroer which is on the edge of the Wadi Arnon and the city by the wadi, all the way up to the Gilead, there was not a town too high for us. Adonai our God gave everything over to us. 37Only you did not come near the land of the sons of Ammon—all along the Wadi Jabbok and the cities of the hill country and wherever Adonai our God had commanded.
–from Deuteronomy 2
Will you point them to God? Will God be the answer? Will you give them hope through Jesus? You have your chance, so how will you share it? Remember their fragility! Remember the treasure they are! Before it is too late…
Treasures in Jars of Clay
1For this reason, since we have this ministry, just as we received mercy, we do not lose heart. 2Instead, we renounced the hidden shameful ways—not walking in deception or distorting the word of God, but commending ourselves before God to everyone’s conscience by the open proclamation of the truth. 3And even if our Good News is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4In their case, the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, so they might not see the light of the Good News of the glory of Messiah, who is the image of God. 5For we do not proclaim ourselves, but Messiah Yeshua as Lord—and ourselves as your slaves for Yeshua’s sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Messiah. 7But we have this treasure in jars of clay, so that the surpassing greatness of the power may be from God and not from ourselves. 8We are hard pressed in every way, yet not crushed; perplexed, yet not in despair; 9persecuted, yet not forsaken; struck down, yet not destroyed; 10always carrying in the body the death of Yeshua, so that the life of Yeshua may also be revealed in our mortal body. 11For we who live are always being handed over to death for Yeshua’s sake, so that the life of Yeshua may be revealed in our mortal body. 12So death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 13But we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, and therefore I spoke.” So we also believe, and therefore we also speak, 14knowing that the One who raised the Lord Yeshua will raise us also with Yeshua, and will bring us with you into His presence. 15For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace that is spreading through more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow—to the glory of God. 16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. 17For our trouble, light and momentary, is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18as we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.
–from 2 Corinthians 4