Deuteronomy 1

Deuteronomy begins with Moses giving a history lesson on what has happened during the journey to the Promised Land.  If you want a short play by play reminder – this chapter is a great place to begin as he outlines the main parts of the journey.  He begins by reminding them of God’s promise to “Go in and take possession of the land that the Lord swore to your fathers”.  God had provided a place.  They merely had to go take it His way. Of course that is where things broke down.  They did not obey.  God continued by growing their numbers.  “The Lord your God has multiplied you, and behold, you are today as numerous as the stars of heaven”.

As the numbers grew, Moses recalls the way he led.  Wise leadership meant he had to enlist others to help.  Here was his approach:

–       “Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads

–       charged your judges….hear the cases

–       commanded you at that time all the things that you should do

Moses put leaders in charge of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.  He put judges in place to hear the disputes.  He moved to the role of giving the big picture leadership and put others in the day to day tasks.  That made the growing numbers manageable.

As the people approached the Promised Land, spies were sent in.  Remember that story.  They came back and talked of how great the land was they were to inherit.  But they also said they should not go in – they could not take it.  And what happened? “Yet you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of the Lord your God….and you murmured”.  Bad plan – to murmur against God.  Moses reminded the people that it wasn’t about their power.  “The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you”.  He reminded them of God’s faithfulness along the journey – fire by night, cloud by day, a place to pitch tents, provision all along the path” – but they did not believe and God was angry.  God was even angry with Moses for the failure of the people to obey.

Then, a lot late, they decided maybe they were wrong and they should go in and try to take this land.  Moses warned them of God’s words: “Do not go up or fight, for I am not in your midst”.  As usual, “you would not listen….rebelled against the command….presumptuously went”.  We can’t take things into our own hands and succeed.  It is only when we obey God’s direction that we can be assured of the outcome.  So it didn’t go well.  “The Amorites….chased you as bees….beat you down….you returned and wept….the Lord did not listen to your voice or give ear”.  Things don’t go well when we try and do it our way.  We need to learn to listen, and do things God’s way.  Trust and obey – there is no other way!

3 responses to this post.

  1. […] Deuteronomy 1 ( […]


  2. […] Deuteronomy 1 ( […]


  3. Posted by Brad Kowerchuk on November 29, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    The Israelites have wandered for 38 years in the wilderness, yet if traveled directly, how far had they come? See Deuteronomy 1:2 for the astonishing answer! What a price to pay for disobedience!


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