God’s Guidance And Providence For His Chosen People

God’s guidance despite the rebellion of the children of Israel; God’s providence despite the disobedience of His chosen people. And this is the “farewell speech” of Moses, reviewing the history of the nation. Thus, Moses recounts God’s guidance and Israel’s rebellion and defeat when they were about to enter Canaan for the first time 12.

Deuteronomy is the last book of Moses. The name of the book means “second law” (from Greek deuteros and nomos). Evidently, it took its name because Deuteronomy 5:6-21 reiterates the Ten Commandments and many other Mosaic laws as first given in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers.

Nearly the entire Book of Deuteronomy consists of messages spoken by Moses to the people of Israel, reviewing their 40 years in the Wilderness, along with the laws, commandments and promises made to them by the Lord 1.

Particularly Deuteronomy chapter one through chapter four is the part of Moses’ first speech (Deuteronomy 1:6-4:43). Including Deuteronomy 1:1-5 as the prologue, brief section which provides the chronological and geographical settings.

Weekly Insight Bible Reading

So, in this weekly insight, we will learn about (1) God’s Guidance and Providence Israel through the Wilderness; (2) God’s Guidance and Providence in the life of Christian; (3) Example of God’s Guidance and Providence; (4) and God’s Guidance and Providence for Obedient Believer. Therefore, I would love you to read Deuteronomy 1 & 2. Please, take your time to study these chapters by yourself, with your family or study group.

Also, you might be interested in what was the last week. Please, check our previous weekly insight – Divinely Chosen Mediator and The High Priest – Christ. Moreover, watch the video Overview: Numbers from BibleProject to refresh your memory.

God’s Guidance and Providence for Israel through the Wilderness

First, Moses opens his speech reminding his people about the goal that God has set before them. Thus, in Deuteronomy 1:8, he recants the promise to possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Further in Deuteronomy 1:9-18, Moses recollects the appointment of tribal heads to help him judge and lead the people (Ex. 18:18-26, Num. 11:14) 4.

It is worth mentioning here the settings of Moses’ speech – on this side of Jordan, in the land of Moab (Deuteronomy 1:1-5). Finally, about 38 years later, they are already at the point of their destination with the help of God’s guidance and providence through the great and terrible Wilderness.

Second, Moses reminds Israelites why it took so long to come to the promised land. Thus in Deuteronomy 1:19-46, Moses rehearses Israel’s failure to enter the land of Kadesh to warn the current generation not to repeat the sins of their parents 4.

As a result of their rebellion and disobedience, God denied them to possess the promised land until the last of the old generation will die. Except for Caleb and Joshua, who fully followed the Lord (Deuteronomy 1:34-38).

Question to ponder:

Why do you think the children of Israel keep rebelling against the Lord despite His guidance and providence?

God’s Guidance and Providence in the life of Christians

The ultimate thought for this chapter is that God’s guidance and providence for His people are equivalent to that of the father’s. That is to say that God led Israel faithfully and lovingly as a man does bear his son (Deuteronomy 1:31). And again, God’s guidance and providence for us are like that of the shepherd’s who carries his lost sheep on his shoulder (Luke 15:4-6).

Therefore, this picture of God’s tender care for His people should provoke us to love and trust our Lord Jesus even more (Isa. 40:11; 63:9).

Hesitated and yielded to mortal wisdom (v. 22), surrendered to human fear (vv. 26, 27) and unbelief (v. 32), resulting in loss of blessing (vv. 34-39); rebellion (vv. 26, 40-43), defeat (v. 44), and alienation from God (v. 45) 12. And this is the list that characterizes not just the children of Israel but us too.

Thus, it is vital that we trust God’s Word (Prov. 3:5). We must trust His Word indeed. Just take the example from Caleb and Joshua who wholly followed the Lord (Deuteronomy 1:36).

Jesus Christ has set the promised land before His followers just like He had set the promised land before Israel (Deuteronomy 1:21; Hebrews 11:13-16). Sure, it may be a lonely and bumpy road thither, but its travellers always reach their destination 12. And here is the formula: God’s guidance and providence but our obedience and thankfulness.

Question to ponder:

Why is it necessary to trust in God’s wisdom and obey Him over the life term?

Example of God’s Guidance and Providence

In the second chapter of Deuteronomy, Moses recounts Israel’s journey through the Wilderness. Thus, in his speech, Moses describes the nations they met and recalls God’s guidance that He gave on how Israelites should deal with them.

Namely, the children of Israel on their way to the promised land have met Edomites, Moabites, Ammonites, and Amorites (Deuteronomy 2:1-8, 9-15, 16-23, 24-37). And the latter is non like the first three, and further, we will see why.

So, the Edomites are the children of Esau, brother of Israel (Gen. 25:19-34; 35:10). And God gave him mount Seir for a possession (Gen. 36:8). The Moabites and Ammonites are the descendants of Lot (Gen. 19:36-38), who was the nephew of Abraham. Thus, they are all children of Abraham, hence, a family.

But the Amorites were not related to the Israelites like the Edomites, Moabites and Ammonites, and there is no statement that Amorites were given possession of land by the Lord as these others were (Deuteronomy 2:5, 9, 19). Moreover, the Lord clearly stated that He is the one who would deliver Sihon and his land over the Israelites as a possession (Deuteronomy 2:31) 7.

Question to ponder:

Why do you think it is important to focus on God?

God’s Guidance and Providence for Obedient Believer

First, it proves that God gives the land to possesses to the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as He has promised. Secondly, it shows that God’s guidance and providence are sufficient for all. Thirdly, through the example of how God helped Edomites, Moabites, and Ammonites to possess their land, the Lord encourages the Israelites not to fear the enemy (Deuteronomy 1:27-28). Lastly, in Deuteronomy 1:44-45, we can see clearly the result of their disobedience and disbelief in God’s guidance and providence.

As a result, Israel lay for 38 years in the Wilderness paralyzed by unbelief, just like the man at the Pool of Bethesda (John 5:5). And Jesus, the true Joshua, brought him over the unseen Jordan into the goodly land. The Lord was guiding His people in the cloud and fire, by day and by night.

It is comforting to know that the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (John 1:14); that Christ was made like His people (Rom. 8:3, Heb. 2:17) to experience the believer’s plight in this sin-cursed wilderness. However, disobedience wreaks horrible consequences. Even among God’s people, those who rebelled made themselves God’s enemies 12.

Question to ponder:

How can this comfort you, to know that the Lord understands all your afflictions and has suffered Himself?

Insights

  1. We are all making our way through the land of giants, through the great and terrible Wilderness. These are our fear, unbelief, disobedience, rebellion, defeat and, finally, alienation from our Lord God.
  2. But God is a loving and caring Father. He knows the afflictions we are going through. Moreover, He Himself was made flesh to carry the burden for us and to pay the price for our endless transgressions.
  3. Thus, we must have faith. God’s guidance and providence are sufficient for all. And disbelief is our enemy, but belief and trust in the only One who saves will be rewarded (Exodus 6:6; John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10; Hebrews 11:6)

If you have not yet accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not now!? Please, do not wait until it is too late! Embrace God’s Grace, Mercy and Love now – Accept Jesus Now!

Prayer

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer: Matthew 6:9-13

Study Materials:

  1. The Henry Morris Study Bible – KJV
  2. The Matthew Henry Study Bible – KJV
  3. The MacArthur Study Bible – ESV
  4. ESV Study Bible
  5. Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible KJV
  6. The Complete Bible Commentary – George Williams
  7. The Moody Bible Commentary – a one-volume commentary
  8. Studies in the Sermon on the Mount by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  9. NASB Zondervan Study Bible
  10. Chronological Life Application Study Bible – NLT
  11. Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps, and Time Lines
  12. The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible
  13. Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary

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