From Lynda Lindsey
God’s Word, through Moses, to the Israelites preparing to enter the Promised Land:
You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Turn and take your journey, and go... See, I have set the land before you. Go in and take possession of the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their offspring after them. Deuteronomy 1:6(b)-7(a); 8
For the Lord you God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He knows your going through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you. You have lacked nothing. Deuteronomy 2:7
Know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the Lord is God...; there is no other. Therefore you shall keep His statutes and His commandments,... that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for all time. Deuteronomy 4:39-40
There comes a time for action, a time to pick up the reins of a new assignment. To tarry too long, from fear or laziness, invites inaction and disobedience. Moses encouraged the Israelites to turn and take up their journey, to trust God and obey His command to take possession of the land. The nation’s previous rebellion, reminded Moses, resulted in a forty year delay. Moses’ emphasis on obedience was motivated by his own failure to comply with God’s specific instructions; God, angry at Moses, denied Moses entry into the land. Sin carries grave consequences.
The Israelites were to turn obediently and follow God’s orders for occupying the promised land. The parallel for Christians? Turn away from our former state of sin, take up our new life in Christ, and appropriate or “own” what is ours. As in Moses’ day, the Lord our God goes before us and behind us as our rear guard. God protectively carries us, lovingly keeping us close. We need not fear; God is with us and in our midst, fighting for us. In Him we lack no good thing. God has given our enemies into our hands; Satan is crushed under His foot.
The Lord God is our Savior, our deliverer; nothing can prevail against us. Setbacks? Yes. Total failure? No. We continue our labors, in trust and obedience, until God gives us rest. Because God loved us, He brought us out of our Egypt of sin in order to bring us into a relationship with Him. He saved us by grace, through faith, not by our own doing, but as His gift to us. Obedience is our offering of worship and thanksgiving for His gift. Turn and take your journey. Cast aside fear. Take up the reins of your new life in Christ. Lay it to your heart and revel in this fact: the Lord is God and there is no other!