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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
(412)822-7255
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February 27, 2007

Deuteronomy 1-2
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Deuteronomy
Chapter 1
  1. These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red sea, between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab.
  2. (There are eleven days' journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.)
  3. And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them;
  4. After he had slain Sihon the king of the Amorites, which dwelt in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, which dwelt at Astaroth in Edrei:
  5. On this side Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moses to declare this law, saying,
  6. The LORD our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount:
  7. Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates.
  8. Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.
  9. And I spake unto you at that time, saying, I am not able to bear you myself alone:
  10. The LORD your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude.
  11. (The LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!)
  12. How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife?
  13. Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.
  14. And ye answered me, and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do.
  15. So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes.
  16. And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him.
  17. Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.
  18. And I commanded you at that time all the things which ye should do.
  19. And when we departed from Horeb, we went through all that great and terrible wilderness, which ye saw by the way of the mountain of the Amorites, as the LORD our God commanded us; and we came to Kadeshbarnea.
  20. And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which the LORD our God doth give unto us.
  21. Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.
  22. And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come.
  23. And the saying pleased me well: and I took twelve men of you, one of a tribe:
  24. And they turned and went up into the mountain, and came unto the valley of Eshcol, and searched it out.
  25. And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the LORD our God doth give us.
  26. Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God:
  27. And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.
  28. Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.
  29. Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them.
  30. The LORD your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes;
  31. And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place.
  32. Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God,
  33. Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day.
  34. And the LORD heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying,
  35. Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers,
  36. Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the LORD.
  37. Also the LORD was angry with me for your sakes, saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither.
  38. But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.
  39. Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.
  40. But as for you, turn you, and take your journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea.
  41. Then ye answered and said unto me, We have sinned against the LORD, we will go up and fight, according to all that the LORD our God commanded us. And when ye had girded on every man his weapons of war, ye were ready to go up into the hill.
  42. And the LORD said unto me, Say unto them, Go not up, neither fight; for I am not among you; lest ye be smitten before your enemies.
  43. So I spake unto you; and ye would not hear, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD, and went presumptuously up into the hill.
  44. And the Amorites, which dwelt in that mountain, came out against you, and chased you, as bees do, and destroyed you in Seir, even unto Hormah.
  45. And ye returned and wept before the LORD; but the LORD would not hearken to your voice, nor give ear unto you.
  46. So ye abode in Kadesh many days, according unto the days that ye abode there.


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Deuteronomy
Chapter 2
  1. Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea, as the LORD spake unto me: and we compassed mount Seir many days.
  2. And the LORD spake unto me, saying,
  3. Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward.
  4. And command thou the people, saying, Ye are to pass through the coast of your brethren the children of Esau, which dwell in Seir; and they shall be afraid of you: take ye good heed unto yourselves therefore:
  5. Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth; because I have given mount Seir unto Esau for a possession.
  6. Ye shall buy meat of them for money, that ye may eat; and ye shall also buy water of them for money, that ye may drink.
  7. For the LORD thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the LORD thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.
  8. And when we passed by from our brethren the children of Esau, which dwelt in Seir, through the way of the plain from Elath, and from Eziongaber, we turned and passed by the way of the wilderness of Moab.
  9. And the LORD said unto me, Distress not the Moabites, neither contend with them in battle: for I will not give thee of their land for a possession; because I have given Ar unto the children of Lot for a possession.
  10. The Emims dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims;
  11. Which also were accounted giants, as the Anakims; but the Moabites call them Emims.
  12. The Horims also dwelt in Seir beforetime; but the children of Esau succeeded them, when they had destroyed them from before them, and dwelt in their stead; as Israel did unto the land of his possession, which the LORD gave unto them.
  13. Now rise up, said I, and get you over the brook Zered. And we went over the brook Zered.
  14. And the space in which we came from Kadeshbarnea, until we were come over the brook Zered, was thirty and eight years; until all the generation of the men of war were wasted out from among the host, as the LORD sware unto them.
  15. For indeed the hand of the LORD was against them, to destroy them from among the host, until they were consumed.
  16. So it came to pass, when all the men of war were consumed and dead from among the people,
  17. That the LORD spake unto me, saying,
  18. Thou art to pass over through Ar, the coast of Moab, this day:
  19. And when thou comest nigh over against the children of Ammon, distress them not, nor meddle with them: for I will not give thee of the land of the children of Ammon any possession; because I have given it unto the children of Lot for a possession.
  20. (That also was accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonites call them Zamzummims;
  21. A people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims; but the LORD destroyed them before them; and they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead:
  22. As he did to the children of Esau, which dwelt in Seir, when he destroyed the Horims from before them; and they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead even unto this day:
  23. And the Avims which dwelt in Hazerim, even unto Azzah, the Caphtorims, which came forth out of Caphtor, destroyed them, and dwelt in their stead.)
  24. Rise ye up, take your journey, and pass over the river Arnon: behold, I have given into thine hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land: begin to possess it, and contend with him in battle.
  25. This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven, who shall hear report of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee.
  26. And I sent messengers out of the wilderness of Kedemoth unto Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying,
  27. Let me pass through thy land: I will go along by the high way, I will neither turn unto the right hand nor to the left.
  28. Thou shalt sell me meat for money, that I may eat; and give me water for money, that I may drink: only I will pass through on my feet;
  29. (As the children of Esau which dwell in Seir, and the Moabites which dwell in Ar, did unto me;) until I shall pass over Jordan into the land which the LORD our God giveth us.
  30. But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him: for the LORD thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand, as appeareth this day.
  31. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee: begin to possess, that thou mayest inherit his land.
  32. Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz.
  33. And the LORD our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people.
  34. And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain:
  35. Only the cattle we took for a prey unto ourselves, and the spoil of the cities which we took.
  36. From Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon, and from the city that is by the river, even unto Gilead, there was not one city too strong for us: the LORD our God delivered all unto us:
  37. Only unto the land of the children of Ammon thou camest not, nor unto any place of the river Jabbok, nor unto the cities in the mountains, nor unto whatsoever the LORD our God forbad us.


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Thought for the day:
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 The opening verses of the book of Deuteronomy are some of the most tragic in all Scripture. There the reader is informed that,

"(There are eleven days' journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.) And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel..."
Understanding the geography of this region helps us to see the painful truth of this passage. The terms Horeb can be used interchangeably with the term Sinai. Horeb usually refers to the mountain range, and Sinai refers to the specific mountain upon which Moses received the law. Kadeshbarnea is on the southern tip of the Promised Land, and was the area from which Moses originally sent the ten spies into Canaan. The Bible says that it was only an eleven day journey from Sinai to the Promised Land, but because of the Israelite's fear and rebellion, it took them forty years to make the trip.

 What a waste of human life and precious opportunities! A generation's worth of men, with the exceptions of Moses, Joshua, and Caleb, died during that forty year period. In addition, think of the victories that could have been won during that time! Think of what a blessing it would have been for those men who had come out of Egypt to have been able to enjoy the land that had been promised to Abraham so many centuries before. Yet all that was sacrificed because the Jews were unwilling to trust and obey their Lord.

 God has a wonderful plan for the life of every believer. To be sure, it will include difficulties and battles, but He promises to give us the victory and bless us abundantly along the way. Yet how many of God's children never reach the Promised Land of the victorious Christian life. Somewhere along the line they veer off the path that God has laid out for them, and they find themselves wandering in the wilderness of an empty, wasted life for many years. Unfortunately some people never return to the place where they should be. and die in that wasteland. For others, they finally make it back to their Kadeshbarnea, but so much time has passed that they are never able to accomplish in their lives what God had planned for them. Victories and blessings are thrown away because of a refusal to follow the Lord's leading.

 Are you enjoying the Promised Land of the victorious Christian life today, or are you wandering in the wilderness of a wasted life? What a tragedy it would be to come to the end of life and not have accomplished all that we could have, or all that the Lord had prepared for us. Paul's testimony of II Timothy 4:7 is insightful:

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."
His was not a life characterized by emptiness and unfulfilled potential, but was one of continual faithfulness and service unto God. His ultimate reward is mentioned in verse eight:
"Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness...",
but during his lifetime he also saw souls saved and he experienced the wonderful hand of God upon his ministry. Why did this happen? Because he never hesitated to trust the Lord.

 The land of promise is only a short distance away, and is attainable by all Christians. Let's not take forty years to get there.

Pastor Dr. Mark J Montgomery

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