GOD AS OUR LEADER
As we have looked at the Old Testament so far this year, to see Jesus in every book, it has been a challenging and wondrous learning experience for those who have dived into this study. Throughout the pages of Scripture, God is the leader. Everything is done according to the counsel of His will. I have been amazed at the interaction God has engaged in to save man from their sins. I kneel in amazement at His love, care and concern for all of mankind, and pray that he will use me to help others to know Him.
GOD AND HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH THE JEWISH PEOPLE.
In Exodus God chose to lead his people, Israel, out of Egyptian bondage. We know and remember how that worked out, not for the best (because one generation was lost because of their failure to live by God’s commands and laws). Though they were given the commandments in Exodus and Leviticus, and repeated in Deuteronomy, God’s people did not obey God. Do you and I do any better? DOES THE CHURCH DO ANY BETTER?
Yet God still led them. In Deuteronomy 8:2 the Bible states, “And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.” A whole generation was lost because they did not follow God.
NOTICE THE TEST WAS FOR FORTY YEARS! Time is as nothing with the eternal God. He gave them chances time and again to obey His will, and they chose not to obey.
WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE OF THE TEST? TO HUMBLE THEM. Our pride gets in the way of our relationship with God. (It is interesting to me that those who engage in outright sin today are PROUD of the life they are living, though it is in opposition to God’s law in Scripture – read Romans 1 and the culture of the first century. Notice the clear references to sin that the people of that day, and today, still engage in.) They were separated from God as a result, because of the pride of their hearts. As God watches us today, does he see sinful pride and an arrogance that challenges God to do something about sin? REST ASSURED – HE WILL!
GOD ALLOWED THESE TESTS SO THAT GOD AND THE JEWS WOULD KNOW WHAT WAS IN THEIR HEARTS. As humans we can only know what is in our hearts, and we make assumptions (right or wrong) based on the life another person is living. God has a better understanding of each man, woman, and child on this planet, because he knows what is in man (study the contexts of John 2:23-25; 1 Kings 8:39; Matthew 9:4 and Luke 9:47). In Genesis 18:19, speaking of Abraham, God said, “For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice.” In 1 Samuel 2:3 we read, “talk no more so very proudly, Let no arrogance come from your mouth, for the Lord your God is the God of knowledge; and by him actions are weighed.” In Psalms 69:5 the psalmist wrote, “O God, you know my foolishness; and my sins are not hidden from You.” (See also for your own studies — Psalms 139:2; Isaiah 29:15; Isaiah 40:14, 28; Daniel 2:22; Matthew 6:8; 1 Corinthians 3:20, and 1 John 3:20). Truly, these are sobering thoughts!
I close this missive with another Old Testament passage that should cause us to pause and ask, “Does God know me?” Because he does know me so well, then the words of Nahum 1:7 hit home as well, “The Lord is good, a Stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.”
DOES HE KNOW YOU?