D’varim – “Words”

This week’s Parasha is called Devarim, which means words and covers Deuteronomy 1:3-22. The book of Deuteronomy will be a recap of all that has occurred from the Exodus up to this moment.  Moses gave instruction and history to this new generation of the Jewish nation that were not of the age of consent when the Jewish nation previously came across the Red Sea and sinned with the golden calf incident. Moses reminds them of all that has happened to this point as he readies them to cross over into the promised land.

In chapter 1, the Jewish nation is reminded of how God went before them and fought their battles with King Sihon, as well as King Og.   The Lord conquers these two Kings, as El Gabor Mighty God promised he would do.  The Lord reminds them that they should trust him as they prepare to go into the promised land, and that God will protect them as he did their forefathers when they crossed the Red Sea.

Forty years previous, the Jewish people wandered the desert; but from this point forward, they begin to make their journey to the promised land.   Moses is tasked to make sure they understand all that God has stated in order that this new generation follows the Lord their God.

In chapter 1 verse 9, Moses is reminding them how God has multiplied them as numerous as the stars of heaven. Moses then says “may the Lord the God of your fathers make you a thousand times as many as you are and bless you as he has promised you”. Moses then tells the people of each tribe to choose men that can be their judges, who can handle all the small issues but also large issues, sending only the biggest issues for Moses to handle.  After the peoples choosing of judges,   Moses would confirm the elected and they would manage each their own tribe, and Moses would oversee the judges. Moses instructed them to judge wisely and righteously in all that came before them.

Moses then reminds the Jewish people of their refusal of the 12 tribes to enter the promised land the first time around, almost 40 years has passed since then when the Jewish nation refused to go into the promised land with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, when God originally told Moses to lead them into the land.   Their faith was very week, and instead of just going into the land, they wanted to send in spies to check it out not trusting God’s word that he would give it to them and that he would fight their enemies.    Moses trusted God and allowed the people to pick one person from each tribe to go and spy on the land; and, after 40 days when they return, only Caleb and Joshua saw the beauty of the land and had faith in God’s word of protection for them.  However, the rest of the spies did not go to Moses, instead they went to the people and told them of the terrible things they saw.  The people were giants in the land.   They were afraid and they desired to return to Egypt. For their disbelief, that generation would never see the promised land again — only Joshua and Caleb would enter the promised land. In verse 37, Moses relays to this new generation that even he cannot enter the promised land.  Not because of this incident over the 12 spies, but because he took credit for bringing water forth from the rock when he and Aaron struck the rock twice, and when he uttered “WE” bring water from the rock.

Brothers and Sisters, God does not share his glory, it is His alone. When the Jewish nation put their faith in the three-in -one God, He fought their wars.  When they failed to trust him and lean on their own understanding, they were always defeated.

This is what occurred when the Jewish people get rebuked by Moses, and decide to battle the enemies on their own terms.   God does not accompany them, and they are defeated.   When they return to the camp crying to the Lord, the Lord refused to hear their prayers.

Moses reminds them to leave the Edomites, which are Esau’s descendents; as well as the Moabites and the Ammonites, which are Lot’s descendents — as their land was promised them by El Elyon the Most High God. Again, Moses reminds the Jewish people how He fought for them against the Amorites King Sihon and King Og.

What can we learn from this Parasha,

This Jewish nation too often relied on their own understanding just like we do today getting ourselves into trouble and then count on God to bail us out, but our disobedience always comes with a price.

It is also good to remember that even in the midst of all their challenges, God has always protected the Jewish people even if it was only a remnant for all these thousands of years.  This tiny nation still exists; yet if you look at a map of the countries and nations of the people that inhabited this land before God gave it to his chosen people, these much stronger nations are now extinct.  God has protected His people.  In John chapter 6 verse 37, Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ says “all that the Father gives me will come to me and whatever comes to me I will never cast out”.  In John chapter 10 verse 29, Jesus says “My father who has given them to me is greater than all and no one is able to snatch them out of my father’s hand”. For those that God chooses no mortal man nor angels or demons can have what God’s has ordained!

No one is more powerful than God and that means us as well so just as in that generation with Moses, there would be faithful men that would follow God just as there has been ever since and continues to be.

God disciplines those that he loves from the very beginning with Adam and all the way to us today and, in doing so, we see His glory in our trials and tribulations. Brothers and sisters there is no God like ours.