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  • Rev. Thomas Abraham

Walk By Faith, Not By Sight.

Deuteronomy 2:1-3 – “Then we turned back and set out toward the wilderness along the route to the Red Sea, as the Lord had directed me. For a long time we made our way around the hill country of Seir. 2 Then the Lord said to me, 3 “You have made your way around this hill country long enough; now turn north.”

Once again, Israel wasted their time by going around the hill country, the same way they wasted time when they were held up in Horeb last time.

Why do we as Christians, as believers, need to study about the Israelites’ journey?

It happened almost three thousand five hundred years ago, what does it have to do with us today?

The answer is clearly written in the New Testament by Paul:

1 Corinthians 10: 11 – “These things happened to them (Israel) as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.”

The scripture says that we are people of the NEW covenant – as the Israelites were the people of the OLD covenant – in other words, we are the new Israel.

Just like old Israel traveled through the wilderness to their promise land – we are also traveling through the wilderness that is this wicked world to our promise land in heaven.

1 Corinthians 10: 1 – 11 “For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. 6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge(spoil) in revelry (partying -merriment).” 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died.9 We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.”

1 Corinthians 10: 11 – “These things happened to them(Israel) as examples and were written down as warnings for us (the church), on whom the culmination of the ages has come.”

For a safe and smooth spiritual journey, we need to strictly follow divine rules. We learned why and where the Israelites failed, which serves as a warning for us to refrain from certain dangers and to follow God’s divine instruction carefully.

Deuteronomy 1:19 - "Then, as the Lord our God commanded us, we set out from Horeb and went toward the hill country of the Amorites through all that vast and dreadful wilderness that you have seen."

Why did God send the Israelites through such a vast and dreadful wilderness?

  1. To take Egypt out of their heart

  2. To teach them who their God is

  3. To mold in them a heart of a conqueror instead of a heart of slave.

  4. To make them understand the outpouring of His grace – 29: 4 – 1:39

Deuteronomy 29:4 – “Yet the Lord says, “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet.”

Deuteronomy 1:39 – “And the little ones that you said would be taken captive, your children who do not yet know good from bad—they will enter the land. I will give it to them and they will take possession of it.”

Even though the Lord allows us to walk through the valley of the shadow of death – we have nothing to fear because He is with us.

Deuteronomy 1: 22 - “Then all of you came to me and said, “Let us send men ahead to spy out the land for us and bring back a report about the route we are to take and the towns we will come to.”

This was another big mistake the Israelites had made – if they had done the same thing before they left the land of Egypt, what would have happened? No one would have left. Our walk is not by sight but by faith.

God didn’t tell them to go and explore the land first, instead He said go and possess the land that had already been given into their hands - instead of listening to God’s command, they used their human intellect.

Their duty was to follow the cloud, not to go ahead of the cloud

Deuteronomy 1:24-25 - “They left and went up into the hill country, and came to the Valley of Eshkol and explored it. 25 Taking with them some of the fruit of the land, they brought it down to us and reported, “It is a good land that the Lord our God is giving us.”

Numbers 13:25 – “At the end of forty days, they returned from exploring the land.”

They spread negative reports among the Israelites even though they said good about the land:

  1. They brought some of the fruit of the land

  2. It was a good land

  3. The Lord our God is giving us this land

Their words and deeds were different – that is our same problem as well.

Our songs are good, the preaching is good, our prayer is powerful, but we live out poor practical spiritual lives.

Deuteronomy 1:26-27 - “But you were unwilling to go up; you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God. 27 You grumbled in your tents and said, “The Lord hates us; so, he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us.”

In the church they were good believers, but in their tents, they were worse than non-believers.

In the church we sing – Yeshuvepole aakuvan……

In the church we sing – Kashtathayilum paduvan ….

In the church we sing – Adiyanitha deva………

We spend two hours in the church with our Lord, but in reality, the Lord is with us 24/7 in our homes.

Verse 27 - “They grumbled in their tents against the Lord and said, “The Lord hates us;”

Psalms 101

What is going on in your houses my dear friends?

Deuteronomy 1:26-27 - “The Lord hates us; the Lord will destroy us”

How did they get this depiction of their loving Lord?

This is the number one deception from the devil.

This is the way the Devil presented the loving God before Eve in the garden.

The truth is that our Lord is always with us and for us – Jeremiah 29:11.

God is our loving father – 1:31

Our Lord Jesus said, the devil is a liar – John 8:44.

The devil’s native language is lies – he is a liar and the father of lies.

Deuteronomy 1:28 - “Where can we go? Our brothers have made our hearts melt in fear. They say, ‘The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.”

When we lose faith, fear replaces it.

Verse 27 - "You grumbled in your tents and said, “The Lord hates us”

Psalms 106:25 - “They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the Lord.”

Numbers 14: 1-3 –“That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. 2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?”

Numbers 14:28 - “So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say:

Deuteronomy 5:29-30 – “Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever! 30 “Go, tell them to return to their tents.”

The Israelites’ tents were covered with God’s shekinah - yet they misused God’s blessings.

Job 29:4-5, 3 – “Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house, 5 when the Almighty was still with me and my children were around me, (3) when his lamp shone on my head and by his light I walked through darkness!”

What a revelation Job had about his residing place – that was the secret of his and his children’s blessing.

Psalms 119:54-57 – “Your decrees are the theme of my song wherever I lodge. 55 In the night, Lord, I remember your name, that I may keep your law. 56 This has been my practice: I obey your precepts. 57 You are my portion, Lord; I have promised to obey your words.”

Psalms 119: 15 - “Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!”

Within such tents, will our God come down to meet you and your family’s needs.

Genesis 18:1 – “The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day.”

Verse 27 - "You grumbled in your tents and said, “The Lord hates us”

Psalms 106:25 - “They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the Lord.”

After hearing the grumblings of the Israelites, God responded to them with His anger – see the words of our Lord:

Numbers 14:26-28 – “The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 27 “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. 28 So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say:

Numbers 14:34-35 - “For forty years—one year for each of the forty days you explored the land—you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.’ 35 I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this wilderness; here they will die.”

Deuteronomy 2:14-16 - “Thirty-eight years passed from the time we left Kadesh Barnea until we crossed the Zered Valley. By then, that entire generation of fighting men had perished from the camp, as the Lord had sworn to them. 15 The Lord’s hand was against them until he had completely eliminated them from the camp.16 Now when the last of these fighting men among the people had died.”

The fighting men symbolizes carnal nature, fighting each other in the home and in the church.

We must put to death the flesh, for with it, we cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 10: 11 – “These things happened to them (Israel) as examples and were written down as warnings for us (the church), on whom the culmination of the ages has come."

Dear church, let us examine our hearts, humble ourselves before God, confess our sins, be an obedient child of God, and follow as the Lord directs us.

Please don't miss out on Heaven!

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