If you have been following these devotions, you know that we have completed the first four books of the Pentateuch and are today beginning the Book of Deuteronomy. The word Deuteronomy means ‘the second giving of the Law’ and the book is essentially Moses’ final sermon to the nation of Israel before they cross-over into the Promised Land. In this God-inspired, farewell address Moses revisits most of what occurred (and what was recorded) in the previous four Old Testament books, which leaves us to consider the notion of skipping over it, after all, we just read all this stuff.
Without illuminating every doctrinal point, we should be mindful of at least two significant truths: it was God’s directive to Israel that this entire book was to be read to the congregation once a year during the feast of Tabernacles and that of all the Old Testament books, Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy more than any other. So if we are tempted (and I was) to skip-over the book, those facts should give us pause.
If God Goes Before Us…
If God does in fact go before us, then it stands to spiritual reason there is no rationale for spying out the land. Despite the fact that Moses agreed to it, there is recorded nowhere in the Bible that he sought God’s will on the matter. The opening passage of today’s devotion should clearly illustrate that if God checked-out the region beforehand, there is no cause for man to go in and make sure God got it right. The fact that God allowed it to happen does not mean He condoned it, but serves to illustrate that He allows free will and that He can pull goodness out of the messes we tend to leave behind when we choose unwisely.
For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7
In formulating a modern-day application, we should consider what it really means to spy-out the land, first putting aside secular wisdom. It means we don’t trust God. It means we have abandoned the measure of faith that He has provided. It means we want proof, visual or otherwise. It means that we will not move obediently forward until we make sure God got it right. It means we miss out on the blessings. It means we could wander around the wilderness for a very long time. It means we might very well die in the wilderness.
Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 1 Corinthians 10:11
In his final instructions, Moses is warning Israel to not repeat the errors of their fathers. The Apostle Paul would remind us that these words were written for our admonition as well. Our Father would have us know that sight is subject to interpretation, while faith is absolute and without question. It is a true testimony that If God leads us to it, He will most certainly lead us through it.