Nation of Israel
The Nation of Israel is proof of God’s existence. As the Children of Israel made their way into the Promised Land given to them by God at the culmination of their Exodus from Egypt, they were admonished not to follow after the gods of those who inhabited the land. It wasn’t long before the Children of Israel began to wander off into idolatry and began to sin against the commands of God given to them during their sojourn in the wilderness. After being taken into captivity by foreign kingdoms, allowed to return to their land and rebuild the Temple, only to come under Roman occupation and crucify the Son of God, the Jewish people were scattered to the four corners of the earth for almost 2,000 years. The re-gathering of the people back into their land in recent years is fulfillment of God’s prophesy in Scripture that such an event would take place in the last days as all nations of the earth will come against Israel, her people, and the City of Jerusalem. No other nation of people in the history of mankind has been preserved and re-established.
In six days God created all the things man would need to live on this earth, including rest on the seventh day. Every tree, plant and herb was created to give man what he would need to nourish life on this earth and build shelter for himself and his family. Every animal God created serves a purpose in continuing life on this planet. God created just the right mixture of gases in the atmosphere and molecules in the water to sustain life. The changing of the seasons remains fixed year in and year out, along with the rising and setting of the sun at just the right distance from the earth each and every day. The creation and ongoing life on this planet is testimony to the proof of God.
If not for God, man would not exist. The idea of man did not come from man. It was God who formed the first man from the dust of the ground. It was the breath of God blown into man’s nostrils that allowed man to begin to breathe and continue to breathe. It is the intricate pumping of the heart and the flow of man’s blood as designed by God that keeps a body from death. The very existence of man and the continued propagation of mankind up to this time is proof of God.
Once again the Children of Israel were taking the long way around. Upon the crossing of the Red Sea the LORD did not allow them to make a beeline for the Promised Land; instead He guided them to a desert place to regroup and spy out the land before entering. Because of their unbelief in conquering the land with God’s help, He caused them to wander in the wilderness for 40 long years until the unbelieving generation died off leaving their descendants to enter the land flowing with milk and honey (Numbers 13-14).
Moses had heard it all before; the people were once again complaining about a lack of food and water but this time they even loathed the manna from Heaven that had kept them alive throughout the previous decades. Not only were the men, women and children of the new generation grumbling against Moses for their present circumstance, they were murmuring against God, too. It was then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people. Those who were sinning in rebellion against the LORD were bitten, causing “much people of Israel” to die from the venomous bites (Numbers 21).
As the people came in repentance, confessing their sin and asking Moses to “pray to the LORD that He take away the serpents from us,” the LORD instructed Moses to make a serpent of brass, set it on a pole, “and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.” In John 3 Jesus told Nicodemus “as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Jesus then spoke the words of the most familiar verse of Scripture, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” (John 3:14-16).
Look to Jesus in Repentance of Sin
Key Verse: Joshua 1:9, “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid… for the LORD thy God is with thee.”
Joshua Takes Command – Chapter 1
Rahab and the Spies – Chapter 2
Crossing Over Jordan – Chapters 3-5
Battle of Jericho – Chapter 6
Conquest of Ai – Chapters 7-8
Victories in the Land – Chapters 9-11
Dividing the Promised Land – Chapters 12-22
Tabernacle Set-up in Shiloh – Chapter 18
Last Words of Joshua – Chapters 23-24
Joshua’s Death – Chapter 24
Key Verse(s): Deuteronomy 6:4-5, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”
Review of Wilderness Wanderings – Chapters 1-4, 8
Ten Commandments Restated – Chapters 5-6, 9
Chosen Because of Love – Chapter 7
Warnings – Chapters 10-11
Conditions of Blessing – Chapters 12-26
Instructions Living in Promised Land – Chapters 27-30
Book of Law in Ark of Covenant – Chapter 31
Moses’ Encouragement, Last Words – Chapters 31-33
Moses’ Death – Chapter 34
Key Verse(s): Numbers 6:24-26, “The LORD bless thee, and keep thee; the LORD make His face shine upon thee… and give thee peace.”
Numbering of the Tribes – Chapter 1
Order of Encampment – Chapter 2
Levite’s Service – Chapters 3-4
God’s Instructions – Chapters 5-10
Murmuring in the Wilderness – Chapters 11-12
Spies in Promised Land – Chapters 13-14
40 Years in the Wilderness – Chapters 15-25
New Generation Numbered – Chapter 26
Prepare to Enter Promised Land – Chapters 27-36
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.”
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.