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Archive for December 8th, 2018


Deuteronomy 2God’s Presence

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Written on January 22 and posted today as a Favorite . . .

The Lord, your God, has blessed you in all undertakings; he has been concerned about your journey through this vast desert.  It is now forty years that he has been with you, and you have never been in want. 

In today’s Noontime we have an accounting of the Hebrew travels with God and we may – or may not – be astonished by the intimate conversations between these people and their Lord.  They contain both detail and emotion, and perhaps these are attributes of our own interchanges with God as well.  He advises specifically where they are to go, what – and whom – they are to avoid, what they are to purchase, and how they are to survive.  As we read we come to understand the reason for the drawn out period of time in the desert.  We impatient humans murmur to ourselves that God’s time and plan are long and intricate; but if we read carefully we understand that God is doing two things as he accompanies these tribes in their wanderings: he is refining his people through trial, and he is establishing a strong bond of trust with them.  Who can doubt this awesome God after reading these accounts?  In today’s Noontime we see the toughened and strengthened Israelites begin to experience success in battle.   I now deliver into your hands Sihon, the Amorite king of Heshbon, and his land . . . This day I will begin to put a fear and dread of you into every mouth under the heavens.

We each make a journey through the desert, anticipating the promise in which we believe.  We each have need of specific instruction.  We each must express to God our fears, wants and joys.  We each are accompanied by the Lord.  We each are at the heart of God’s plan.   We each are blessed, and we each are the holy dwelling place of God.

The Lord, your God, has blessed you in all undertakings; he has been concerned about your journey through this vast desert.  It is now forty years that he has been with you, and you have never been in want. 

We have two ways to look at life as we know it. It is either a dreadful series of difficult situations . . . or a delightful record of God’s attentive love.  My parents always told us that just because things don’t turn out they way you think they should does not mean that God has not been with you.  In fact, God has been with you.  And God is with you now to help you learn what it is you are supposed to learn.  Be open. 

We were raised to expect the best from people and from God, to practice patience and understanding, and to act in compassion and honesty.  Not all of those lessons took, to be sure, but I remember them often, especially when I feel I am in danger.

As we skirt hazards and are sometimes nipped by anxiety and dread, we must remember that just because we may not feel God’s presence at all times does mean that he is not with us.  When we forget this, we forget who we really are: the daughters and sons of God.

This is the message you  heard from the beginning:We should love one another.  Dear children,let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.  This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us.  For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. (1 John 3:11, 18-20)

If God knows all, then he knows who and what we ought to avoid, where we ought to go, and how we ought to proceed.  We do well to remember that the creator of all loves each of us, knows our pains and joys, and knows the best steps for us in our particular journey.  We do well to listen to God’s word . . . and to rely on him who is always with us . . . even when we might not feel his presence.


A re-post from November 5, 2011.

Images from: http://www.jewishworldreview.com/wein/wein_matos_masei.php3?printer_friendly

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