“Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did He in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.” Psalm 135:6 KJV. In Christian theology this truth is expressed as the Sovereignty of God. It reminds us that because God is all powerful and all wise that He can do whatever pleases Him. There is no power able to resist Him. And if this were all that we knew about God, this could be a terrifying thought. But when we understand that God is also a loving and merciful Father, then it brings peace to our soul. When we realize that what pleases our Heavenly Father is always the things that are right and good for His creation and the souls that He loves. One of the reasons that Jesus came to this world was to reveal the Father! And as children of such a loving Father, we rejoice in His Sovereignty. So in all the times we cannot seem to understand His ways, let us be sure, that we can always trust His heart of love. And if we are uncertain of what our Father is like, let us look to Jesus! He said, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father”. And the more we see of Who our Father is, the more this truth of His Sovereignty will bless and comfort our souls. Ultimately it means, that this is God’s world, and He is in control.
“And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee…” Deuteronomy 15:15 KJV. In this chapter the Lord is speaking about having compassion on the poor and those less fortunate than us. He reminds us, like Israel once was, that we were poor slaves serving under a cruel taskmaster. For them it was a physical slavery in Egypt. For us, it was spiritual bondage in a life of sin. But the point is, we should always remember where we were when the Lord found us! We should never forget that it was He Who redeemed us from the hand of our enemy, and not ourselves. And when we were in that pitiful and helpless condition, we were bankrupt spiritually. We were in deep poverty of soul. But thank God, when Christ redeemed us, He made us children of God! And now, we are rich beyond measure! Now we are blood bought, blood washed children of the King and a part of His royal family. It is important for us to remember where we once were. That is one of the things that helps us to be humble and compassionate to those who are poor. But even more important, that is what keeps our hearts open to helping those who are lost and without a Saviour. By God’s grace, let us remember where He found us and then go out and find others for Jesus.
“Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping His commandments…” Deuteronomy 8:11 KJV. After all that God had done for Israel, after all that He had delivered them from, it is amazing that they still needed this warning. And yet, equally amazing is that we need it today just as much as they did then! So quickly and easily we forget. This world calls with all of it’s sinful and fleshy pleasures and most church people seem to forget God. Opportunity arises to make extra money and God is forgotten. Someone says or does something to hurt us, and so quickly we forget how merciful God has been to us and that He commands us to forgive others as He forgives us. This is one of the reasons that we need to keep God’s Word before us every day and spend personal time with Him in prayer, because it takes so little for us to forget Him. The truth is, people forget what isn’t important to them. May God help us to make Jesus Christ our hearts dearest Treasure, and then we will not forget Him.
“and thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” Deuteronomy 6:5 KJV. Can we imagine what a change would come into the church and into our world, if those who professed faith in Christ would truly obey these words? We would see true revival! We would see a lot of division and brokenness healed. We would see a spiritual awakening that would shake this world, if only we would love God supremely!! This would answer so many questions for people wondering about what is right and how they should live their lives. This would bring our lives into instant obedience to all of the moral law of God. This would cause us to live every moment with a desire to please and honor God above all else. And this would take so much worry and stress out of our lives. People usually worry because of insecurity over someone or something they love. But when we love God supremely, all fear is gone, because nothing can shake Him or defeat His purposes.
“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17 KJV. These are the words with which Jesus began His public ministry. The same words were spoken by John the Baptist as he preached. Peter preached repentance on the Day of Pentecost. Paul preached repentance. Every true minister of has made it clear that there is no salvation, there can be no genuine faith in God without repentance. Today much of religion tries to offer an easier way. They invite people to believe without any repentance. But the truth is, no one can truly believe in Christ until their attitude towards sin changes! This is what repentance is. It is a recognition that sin is wrong and must be turned away from. It is a fundamental change in the direction our life is going. We were running after sin and living selfishly, but when we turn to Christ we are turning away from, repenting of that old way of life. Until we see our need to repent, we will never see our need of a Saviour. Jesus said, “Except you repent, you will perish”(Lk 13:3). May God help the church in this compromising generation, to get back to the Gospel message of repentance from sin.
“Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, O LORD.” Psalm 130:1 KJV. We all go through times in our lives when we are down. As much as we enjoy the bright sunshine and the high places of spiritual victory, we still are mere mortals living in a fallen world. This doesn’t mean we have to fall into sin or fail God, but it means that physically, mentally or emotionally we reach a low place. Sorrow touches our lives and we can become cast down in spirit. We experience some loss and it takes us to a very low place. To the psalmist it felt like a deep pit. When we are in such a place it is easy to lose our perspective. Things begin to look dark and hopeless. But in these times what we desperately need to do is to cry out to our God! We need to remember that even in the depths of despair, He is with us. Even when we feel all alone, His presence is there. And when it seems there is no one else to look to, no one who can help or understand, may we be sure, that we have a Merciful Father Who listens for our feeble cry. He knows and understands what we are going through. And thank God, He alone has the power to lift us up, out of that deep pit we are in! And then, the light returns and our joy is restored.
“But ye that did cleave unto the LORD your God are alive every one of you this day.”Deuteronomy 4:4 KJV. In this generation of shallow religion and easy-believism, it seems there are few who understand what it means to ‘cleave unto the Lord’. Too often salvation is presented as something you receive because you mentally agree to a few religious statements. And then, it is implied that it can’t be lost and your life can be lived basically as you desire. But true salvation is experiencing a new spiritual birth and beginning a personal relationship where we cleave to Jesus Christ. It is letting go of the sin and selfishness we used to cling to, and stepping into a new way of life where we hold more tightly to Jesus than anyone or anything. And there is only one reason that we cleave to anyone! That’s because we love them supremely. This attitude towards Christ is what proves we have His life dwelling in us. One day when this life is over these words will still ring true. Everyone who cleaves to Jesus will live eternally.
“Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you.” Deuteronomy 4:1 KJV. Many people have the mistaken idea that the commandments of God are a list of ‘Thou shalt nots’ that basically make our life difficult. Today, there are many in the professing church, who actually reject the Old Testament and the commands contained in it. But let us realize, that God gave these commands (statutes and judgments) not to hinder or make life miserable, but so that we might live! In love for our souls, He gave us what we needed so that we might live the life we were created for. So we might live in constant fellowship and communion with Him. He tells us in Deut. 10:13, that these are given for our good. So while we thank God that the ceremonial aspects of the Law are fulfilled in Christ and we need not make sacrifices etc., yet let us be mindful that the moral law of God abides eternally, and is to be honored and obeyed. And all of these are for our good, to help make our lives what God intended.
“O Lord GOD, Thou hast begun to shew Thy servant Thy greatness, and Thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to Thy works, and according to Thy might?” Deuteronomy 3:24 KJV. As Moses talked with God, he knew very well that God had done great and mighty things in delivering Israel from Egyptian captivity. He knew that God had done many miraculous things to protect and sustain them for 40 years in the wilderness. On the mountain with God he had experienced things that no other man had ever experienced. And yet, as he talks with God, he realizes, that all of this is just the beginning! This was just the opening act of the glorious display of God’s greatness which one day will be revealed. May we keep this thought before our minds. That no matter how wonderful our experiences have been, no matter how much we think we have seen of God’s greatness, the reality is, it is only the beginning! One day we will stand in His holy presence, and as we think back of all that has been said, all that has been written, and all that we thought we knew, we will say at last “The half has not been told!”
“The LORD your God which goeth before you, He shall fight for you, according to all that He did for you in Egypt before your eyes;” Deuteronomy 1:30 KJV. What a wonderful and comforting truth! How blessed we are to know that our God goes before us preparing the way. He will fight our battles. He will subdue our enemies. He will make a way where there is no way. In those times of our lives when the way before us seems uncertain or dark, when we don’t know how we will make it, let us be confident in God! He is the One Who is going ahead of us to prepare the way, so that we can make it. He is still making the rough places smooth so our feeble steps can be taken without fear. He is the One Who deals with our enemies so that we are not defeated. And He can do all this and more, because He is God! Too often, in our impatience, we tend to get ahead of Him and get in trouble. But by His grace, let us put our battles in His hands, and humbly follow Him as He goes before us and leads us in the path of righteousness.