Posts Tagged ‘Provision’


Deuteronomy 2 “Then at last the LORD said to me, ‘You have been wandering around in this hill country long enough; turn to the north. Give these orders to the people: “You will pass through the country belonging to your relatives the Edomites, the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. The Edomites will feel threatened, so be careful. Do not bother them, for I have given them all the hill country around Mount Seir as their property, and I will not give you even one square foot of their land. If you need food to eat or water to drink, pay them for it. For the LORD your God has blessed you in everything you have done. He has watched your every step through this great wilderness. During these forty years, the LORD your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing.”’… “Then as we turned north along the desert route through Moab, the LORD warned us, ‘Do not bother the Moabites, the descendants of Lot, or start a war with them. I have given them Ar as their property, and I will not give you any of their land.’”… “When all the men of fighting age had died, the LORD said to me, ‘Today you will cross the border of Moab at Ar and enter the land of the Ammonites, the descendants of Lot. But do not bother them or start a war with them. I have given the land of Ammon to them as their property, and I will not give you any of their land.’”… Moses continued, “Then the LORD said, ‘Now get moving! Cross the Arnon Gorge. Look, I will hand over to you Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and I will give you his land. Attack him and begin to occupy the land. Beginning today I will make people throughout the earth terrified because of you. When they hear reports about you, they will tremble with dread and fear.’” Moses continued, “From the wilderness of Kedemoth I sent ambassadors to King Sihon of Heshbon with this proposal of peace… “Then the LORD said to me, ‘Look, I have begun to hand King Sihon and his land over to you. Begin now to conquer and occupy his land.’ “Then King Sihon declared war on us and mobilized his forces at Jahaz. But the LORD our God handed him over to us, and we crushed him, his sons, and all his people. We conquered all his towns and completely destroyed everyone—men, women, and children. Not a single person was spared. We took all the livestock as plunder for ourselves, along with anything of value from the towns we ransacked.

One aspect of the Israelite story that is hard to digest is God’s authorization for murder for the purpose of establishing His people in the promised land. Is that not cruel and self-serving and what can we learn out of this passage? (more…)


Numbers 14:5-9,11-12,17-22,24,34,41-43 Then Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground before the whole community of Israel. Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. They said to all the people of Israel, “The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!”… And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them? I will disown them and destroy them with a plague. Then I will make you into a nation greater and mightier than they are!”… “Please, Lord, prove that your power is as great as you have claimed. For you said, ‘The Lord is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. But he does not excuse the guilty. He lays the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations.’ In keeping with your magnificent, unfailing love, please pardon the sins of this people, just as you have forgiven them ever since they left Egypt.” Then the Lord said, “I will pardon them as you have requested. But as surely as I live, and as surely as the earth is filled with the Lord’s glory, not one of these people will ever enter that land. They have all seen my glorious presence and the miraculous signs I performed both in Egypt and in the wilderness, but again and again they have tested me by refusing to listen to my voice… But my servant Caleb has a different attitude than the others have. He has remained loyal to me, so I will bring him into the land he explored. His descendants will possess their full share of that land… “‘Because your men explored the land for forty days, you must wander in the wilderness for forty years—a year for each day, suffering the consequences of your sins. Then you will discover what it is like to have me for an enemy’… But Moses said, “Why are you now disobeying the Lord’s orders to return to the wilderness? It won’t work. Do not go up into the land now. You will only be crushed by your enemies because the Lord is not with you. When you face the Amalekites and Canaanites in battle, you will be slaughtered. The Lord will abandon you because you have abandoned the Lord.”

As we read through this chapter, we see God’s wrath clearly and traces of His mercy but how can an all-seeing and all-loving God permit the Israelites to suffer so much? (more…)


Exodus 23:10-11,13,20-22,29-30 “For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what they leave. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove… “Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips… “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him. If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you… But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.

Being agrarian and shepherds by profession, these laws were written to deal with every issue the Israelites might encounter but the one purpose they were given these laws was to keep them walking God’s path and not falling away.

Today we do not follow these laws and therefore we wonder what God’s purpose is in revealing this to us? (more…)


Exodus 14:2-4,10-12,25,30-31 Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’ And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.” So the Israelites did this… As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”… He made the wheels of their chariots come off so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt”… That day the LORD saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. And when the Israelites saw the great power the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.

Clearly the Egyptians responded to this whole episode just as we would today. We try to control everything with our human intellect and judgment and are often humbled by factors outside our control which mystify us.

As I type this, there are scores of people suffering in different parts of the world including New Zealand which was rocked by powerful earthquakes a few days ago and all of man’s wisdom and power could not stop or control the earthquake.

What is God speaking to us today and is there any hope for humanity or are we simply doomed to a humiliating death? (more…)


Exodus 13:3,8-12,15,17-18 Then Moses said to the people, “Commemorate this day, the day you came out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, because the LORD brought you out of it with a mighty hand. Eat nothing containing yeast… On that day tell your son, ‘I do this because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that this law of the LORD is to be on your lips. For the LORD brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand. You must keep this ordinance at the appointed time year after year. “After the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites and gives it to you, as he promised on oath to you and your ancestors, you are to give over to the LORD the first offspring of every womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock belong to the LORD… ‘When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the LORD killed the firstborn of both people and animals in Egypt. This is why I sacrifice to the LORD the first male offspring of every womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons’… When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.

The start of an annual memorial to God’s goodness to the Israelites is a gist of this chapter and it is beautiful to see how the Israelites chose to thank God for His goodness as they embarked on their journey that would take forty years.

Forty years for a journey that should have only taken them 2 weeks sounds a bit much by any standard but clearly God had a purpose and in that we can celebrate today.

So far we have seen that God hears the pains of His people, intervenes for them at a time that He considers proper, redeems in a way that can only be credited to Him as glory, delivers on His promise without fail, brings out witnesses to sing His glory, desires praise from the lips of those He redeems and works in and through the situation to touch the lives of everyone who witnesses His mighty works!

We now see that God goes even further to pave the way for the Israelites and walks with them every step of the way by being a pillar of pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.

Is that not amazing reassurance that God is in it for the long haul, not just the moment? Is it not evidence that God purposes a life long relationship, not just a passing acquaintance with us?

What also stood out to me in this passage was what God revealed as His purpose in the killing of the Egyptian firstborn. Clearly God did kill to simply seek revenge but there was a bigger reason, one that only God could purpose.

The killing of the Egyptian firstborn served as a sacrifice for the blood payment of the Israelites and in much the same way the Israelites were to dedicate their firstborn to God to redeem their own.

Today we are spared of blood sacrifices because of Jesus’ own blood shed on the cross as a sacrificial lamb and that sacrifice was enough for all people from that time until the Lord’s much anticipated return.

However, God clearly wants us to never forget His goodness to us and to submit to Him the first fruits of what He blesses us with. Whether it be our time, our wealth, our strength or anything that God has blessed us with.

We clearly are a people who do not deserve God’s goodness but He chose to love us because we are His own creation and sacrificed His own son for us that we might have a relationship with Him that lasts an eternity.

If you are not a member of God’s family yet and want to be one, call on Jesus to be your Lord and Savior now and give your brokenness to Him so that He can clean and transform you into His likeness for His glory.

If you are one saved by the grace of this great God, forget not to commemorate His goodness to you and sacrifice to Him the first fruits of all that He has blessed you with in gratefulness.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Hebrews 9:15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

If you would like to know about Jesus, then please click here.


Genesis 35:1-3,5,9-13 Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.” So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes. Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone”… Then they set out, and the terror of God fell upon the towns all around them so that no one pursued them… After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him. God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel.” So he named him Israel. And God said to him, “I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will come from your body. The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.” Then God went up from him at the place where he had talked with him.

Another interesting portion in Jacob’s life was covered today and we are fortunate to be able to journey with him and his family.

There were several aspects that stood out to me but the two I chose were key to my understanding and I pray are helpful in yours too. The first was God’s request of Jacob to build an altar in Bethel and the next was God’s blessing of Jacob.

The question that lingered in my mind was why did Jacob not put away the idols until now? (more…)


Genesis 29:22-23,25-28,30-35 Laban gathered all the men of the place and made a feast. Now in the evening he took his daughter Leah, and brought her to him; and Jacob went in to her… So it came about in the morning that, behold, it was Leah! And he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served with you? Why then have you deceived me?” But Laban said, “It is not the practice in our place to marry off the younger before the firstborn. “Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also for the service which you shall serve with me for another seven years.” Jacob did so and completed her week, and he gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife… So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and indeed he loved Rachel more than Leah, and he served with Laban for another seven years. Now the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. Leah conceived and bore a son and named him Reuben, for she said, “Because the LORD has seen my affliction; surely now my husband will love me.” Then she conceived again and bore a son and said, “Because the LORD has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” So she named him Simeon. She conceived again and bore a son and said, “Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore he was named Levi. And she conceived again and bore a son and said, “This time I will praise the LORD.” Therefore she named him Judah. Then she stopped bearing.

Jacob finally reaches the land of Laban and has a chance meeting with Rachel, the beautiful younger daughter of Laban. In order to marry Rachel, he offers seven years of service to Laban and gets married.

Deception does not seem to go far from Jacob either in his own doing or as done to him. He is deceived by his uncle who gives Leah, Rachel’s older sister, in marriage to Jacob and he realizes only after he consummates the wedding.

However his uncle makes Jacob an offer to keep Leah as his wife, marry Rachel and serve another seven years. Jacob, so in love with Rachel, agrees and has two wives, one who is beautiful and one who has poor sight, both sisters and both his responsibility.

Unfortunately, Jacob’s love for Rachel makes him less considerate of Leah and she is left wanting. God intervenes and opens Leah’s womb so that she can have four sons while Rachel has none.

Why does God permit these strange situations and did He not promise to be with Jacob and bless him? (more…)