It was in the sovereignty of God that the Children of Israel were told before entering the Promised Land that there would come a time in their future when they would demand a king to rule over them. For over 2,500 years since man’s creation the LORD had been caring for His own, watching over them, leading them, providing their every need, but a time would come when they would desire to be like all the nations round about them by having their own earthly king to judge them, go out before them, and fight their battles for them (I Samuel 8). God revealed in Deuteronomy 17 how that king would come to rule and the guidelines he would abide by:
- God would choose him (v.15)
- He would be chosen from among their brethren (v.15)
- He would not acquire a multitude of horses for himself (v.16)
- He would not return the people to Egypt (v.16)
- He would not acquire multiple wives (v.17)
- He would not multiply to himself silver and gold (v.17)
Just as prophecy was fulfilled 350 years later in the anointing of the first king of Israel, King Saul, the following chapter of Deuteronomy also foretells of a coming Prophet whom God would raise up from among their brethren whom they should hear. They were further told God “will put My words in His mouth; and He shall speak unto them all that I shall command Him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto My words which He shall speak in My name, I will require it of him,” (18:15-19). It was outside the little town of Bethlehem shepherds keeping watch over their flock by night were told by the Heavenly Host the Prophet, Priest and King foretold of by God the Father 1,450 years earlier in the Old Testament had finally come. “Unto Him ye shall hearken.”
Witness the response of the Gospel coming to the Mouk tribe of Papua New Guinea, a tribe who were known for their murderous sorcery and deceit before their conversion. Hearing the Gospel message presented by a Christian missionary almost 30 years ago, this tribe celebrated for two and a half hours upon believing their sins could be forgiven through Jesus’ death on the cross.
To watch the full length New Tribes Mission Official Video click here.
The offspring of the Children of Israel who had wandered in the wilderness were moving closer to the Promised Land. Moses was giving final instructions while rehearsing for them the history of what had transpired to bring them where they presently found themselves, on the east side of the Jordan River. It was then he revealed a prayer he had prayed that God was not going to answer in the affirmative.
Moses told the congregation of the Children of Israel he had prayed, “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? I pray Thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon,” (Deuteronomy 3:24-25). It was at the waters of Meribah in the wilderness of Zin where Moses had struck the rock instead of speaking to it as God had commanded, that Moses was denied the privilege of entering the Promised Land with those he had led for 40 years, (Numbers 20:1-13). The nearer they traveled to their destination, the more Moses wanted the opportunity to place the sole of his foot on the sacred soil.
Moses continued to relate the extent of his prayer, “But the LORD was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the LORD said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto Me of this matter,” (v 26). God’s answer to Moses was very clear… “The answer is NO and don’t ask Me again.” But God was merciful to Moses in His denial of Moses’ prayer, in that He allowed Moses to climb to the top of Mt. Pisgah and take in the panoramic view of the Promised Land from his vantage point, which was quite great reaching unto the Mediterranean Sea (Deuteronomy 34:1-4).
Many prayers that seemingly go unanswered are in fact answered, but not in the way the petitioner pleads God to answer them. In Moses’ case it was his sin that kept God from giving him what he so desired at the end of his journey. For other requests it may be a multitude of different reasons an omniscient God does not respond according to the thoughts and intents of an individual’s prayer. It is then trust must be placed in the hands of God to lead, guide and direct according to His perfect will in one’s prayer life.
“But they cried, saying, Crucify Him, Crucify Him,” (Luke 23:21).
“Three days later. Three days later…”
When the storms of life come it is comforting to know “all things,” no matter what, “work together for good” (Romans 8:28). It was the Apostle Paul who penned those words under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; the Paul who had five times received forty stripes save one, was beaten with rods, stoned and left for dead, three times suffered shipwreck, being in the deep a night and a day. He found himself in many perils from robbers, his own countrymen, and false brethren. He experienced weariness, painfulness, hunger and thirst beyond measure (II Corinthians 11:24-27). And yet Paul was able to write with confidence, “We know that all things work together for good.”
But all things do not work together for good for everyone. He continues, “All things work together for good to them that love God.” Not everyone loves God. Some only give Him a passing nod; some only seem to tolerate Him, while others completely try to ignore Him. This promise of all things working together, the good and the bad, only applies to those who love God. All others are exempt.
There is a reason “all things work together for good to them that love God;” they are being “conformed to the image of His Son,” (v. 29). Those who simply ignore God or want Him totally out of their lives definitely do not want to be conformed into the image of His Son, Jesus. That is the furthest desire of their hearts and minds. They want to be conformed into their own image of themselves.
Those who truly love God have called upon the name of His Son, Jesus, to save them from their sins, repented of their sin and become a new creation in Christ. They no longer do the things they use to do, think the things they use to think. They surrender their total lives to the One Who created them, loves them and gave His life for them. Those are the ones who “know all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose… to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brethren.” Not all brethren; many brethren.