Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Tuesday, December 26, 2017
This is devotional thought number 30 in our devotional series, God’s Promises are Sure!
“And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8).
When God makes a promise, He does not break it. Obviously, we have been underscoring that fact since we started the series, but today it seems more evident.
Promises to Faithless People
God’s ancient people were a strange bunch. They saw God’s wonders in ways nobody had before. They saw Him afflict Egypt with plagues that dethroned every one of their false gods, including the pharaoh. He parted the sea, manifested Himself in a miraculous cloud and fire by day and night. They experienced God’s victories over armies and sicknesses. They experienced His power to break the yoke of oppression. For whatever reason, they often turned their backs on Him despite His mercy, yet He still made almost unbelievable promises. Let’s focus on the one in our theme text. He said He would lead them through the Jordan River, and neither fail, nor forsake them as they faced their enemies on the way to the Promised Land.
God’s promise, in this case was remarkable because the people were so faithless that they could not recommend themselves for God to fulfill it. He predicted that they would be complete sellouts, yet for the sake of their father Abraham, God would keep His word.
Most of the older generation would die due to a lack of faith, besides Joshua and Caleb, but the ones aged 20 and younger would inherit the promise. God would be with them, against all odds. I also find the context interesting. Moses was about to die, because he did not give God glory at Meribah, and struck the rock, which represented Christ who did not need to be smitten to give His life for us. The people were dependent upon him, but God wanted to show that He had always been the One leading, and He would fulfill His promise using Joshua.
God Upholds His Part
What can we learn? Well, first we need to learn faithfulness. Joshua and Caleb stood as stalwarts in their generation in ways that Moses and Aaron hadn’t even done. Second, we have to give thanks for God’s patience and willingness to work with enfeebled people. Last, we need not be dismayed or fear defeat if God has promised to be with us, no matter what we’ve done. Please understand that I am not saying that God does not care what we do. What I am saying is that if God’s promises were dependent upon us, we would been in worse trouble than we already are. God promises to show mercy to everyone, although His mercy runs out for those unwilling to cooperate. God promises never to forsake us, although so many of us forsake Him. He pledges His love, although so many hate Him.
Never, ever take God for granted, because although He is full of love and mercy, He is also full of justice and truth. He will in no way clear the guilty, but will show mercy to generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments. The mouth of the Lord has spoken.