Twelve Stone Faith: Rehearsing Journeys & Revisiting Battles

Today’s selected reading begins the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy which was written and recorded by Moses the servant of the Lord. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the first three chapters of this Old Testament book. REHEARSING VICTORIES! REHEARSING JOURNEYS! When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will immediately be confronted with what is in absolutely incredible truth concerning the congregation of the children of Israel. If you turn and direct your attention back to the first forty-nine verses of the thirty-third chapter of the Old Testament book of Numbers you will find Moses writing and recording the journeys which the children of Israel took from the time they left Rameses in the land of Egypt and journey into the wilderness. If you take the time to read the majority of this particular chapter you will encounter a tremendous and wonderful truth regarding the congregation of the children of Israel—namely, a retelling and recounting of their journeys into and through the wilderness. I am absolutely and completely convinced that it is necessary to pay attention to the description of these journeys, for by recounting and retelling the journeys the congregation of the children of Israel took from the time they departed from the land of Egypt until the time they were encamped within the plains of Moab, that which Moses the servant of the Lord was doing was retelling the congregation of the journeys which they had taken from the time they left the land of Egypt where they were slaves, and lived in bondage and oppression. This reality is absolutely remarkable and astounding when you truly take the time to consider it, for the generation of the congregation of the children of Israel which stood before Moses the servant of the Lord there in the plains of Moab was not the same generation which came forth out of and came up from the land of Egypt. All those who were twenty years of age and older which were numbered in the first census which Moses the servant of the Lord took had died and perished in the midst of the wilderness, and the generation which stood before Moses, Eleazar the high priest, as well as Joshua the son of Nun was an entirely new generation that was made up of the sons and daughters of that first generation. The generation that was encamped in the plains of Moab was not the same generation that stood before Moses in the wilderness of Sinai when the LORD God of the Hebrews originally gave the command to number all those men twenty years of age and older which were able to go forth to war.

As I sit here this morning I can’t help but think to myself how incredibly necessary and important it was for this new generation to hear the words which were spoken by Moses the servant of the Lord, for what you will find here is Moses not only reminding this generation of the journeys which they themselves took in the wilderness, but also the journeys their fathers and that previous generation had taken in the wilderness. With this being said I find it absolutely remarkable and astounding to think about and consider the fact that more often than not if we want to understand where we are going, and if we are to understand where we are being brought into—it’s first necessary to recognize and understand where we have come from, and what we have been brought through. There was a new generation which would emerge in the midst of the wilderness, and this new generation would be entirely different from the first generation which would enter into the wilderness, and yet this new generation would be the ones that would actually cross over the Jordan River and enter into the land of Canaan. I find it absolutely necessary to think about and consider the fact that for this new generation of the children of Israel to enter into the land of Canaan it was necessary for them to understand where they had come from and where the living God had brought them. What’s more, is that not only was it necessary to understand where the Lord their God had brought them, but also where the Lord their God had brought their fathers. In order for them to understand where they themselves were going and where they were being brought into, it was first necessary for them to recognize and understand the intrinsic link and connection to that first generation, and how that first generation had wandered in the wilderness for a total period of forty years before they would perish in the midst of it. There in the plains of Moab there would be an entirely new generation of the congregation of the children of Israel, and it would be this new generation that would in fact enter into the land which was promised unto their fathers, however, their journey into the land sworn on oath to their fathers was predicated on where they had come from, and where their fathers had already been.

The more I think about and the more I consider this particular reality, the more I can’t help but find a strong connection and a powerful link between what is found in the thirty-third chapter of the book of Numbers, and the first three chapters of the book of Deuteronomy. In the thirty-third chapter of the book of Numbers we find the congregation of the children of Israel—that new generation which had emerged and risen in the wilderness—hearing Moses speak of the journey which their fathers had taken from the land of Egypt, and how that journey of their fathers would lead to the journeys which they themselves had taken in the midst of the wilderness. One thing we must realize when considering this new generation is that the journey they took in the wilderness was entirely predicated and built on the journey which their fathers had taken, and the journey they were on in the midst of the wilderness. For this new generation of the congregation of the children of Israel to understand where they were headed—not only would they need to know and understand the journey which their fathers had taken through the wilderness, but it was also necessary for them to understand their own journey. Just as their fathers had wandered in the wilderness for a period of forty years and had perished in the wilderness, so also they had grown up in the wilderness and had made the same journeys their fathers made. I am sure there were those present in the plains of Moab which weren’t alive at the time the LORD declared unto that first generation that they would wander in the wilderness for forty years, and that their bodies would fall in the wilderness. I am sure that part of that new generation which emerged in the midst of the wilderness was an entirely new generation that was made up of essentially a third generation that would be present in the wilderness as the sons and daughters of that first generation would have given birth and brought forth sons and daughters of their own. It was entirely possible that there were some in that first generation—those which were nineteen years and younger—which might have very well experienced the deliverance from the land of Egypt, as the LORD their God exercised His judgments, signs and wonders in the midst of the land. I am sure there were some which were present in the midst of this new generation which beheld the salvation of the living God at the Red Sea, and how He completely and utterly destroyed the Egyptian army beneath the waters of the Red Sea. What’s more, is that I believe there were some present within this new generation which even witnessed the provision of their God in the wilderness, as the LORD not only provided bread from heaven, but also brought forth water from the rock.

The words which are written and recorded within the thirty-third chapter of the Old Testament book of Numbers are words that are meant to remind this new generation of where they had come from, and how where they had come from and where they had been had indeed and had in fact brought them to this point and place in the plains of Moab. This new generation would stand before Moses the servant of Lord, Joshua the son of Nun, and Eleazar the high priest and would hear the words which Moses would speak to them concerning where they and their fathers had come from, and how they had journeyed from place to place in the wilderness. It’s worth noting that this recounting and retelling of their journeys not only highlights how the LORD their God brought them out of the land of Egypt, brought them through the waters of the Red Sea, and brought them into the wilderness, but also how He had personally led them through the wilderness with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. By retelling and recounting the journeys which the congregation of the children of Israel had taken during those forty years in the wilderness they were being brought face to face with how the Lord their God had indeed and had in fact led them through the wilderness, and how He never left them abandoned, nor left them to themselves. The LORD their God had brought them forth from the land of Egypt, and had brought them through the waters of the Red Sea, and had even brought them unto the mountain of God in the midst of the wilderness, and that same God had indeed and had in fact led them through the wilderness for forty years. Despite the fact that they had spent forty years wandering in the wilderness, they did not do so absent and independent of the Lord their God leading and guiding them every step of the way. This congregation of the children of Israel was being reminded by Moses where they had come from—not only from the land of Egypt, but also through the waters of the Red Sea, and even unto the mountain of God in the midst of the wilderness. We dare not miss and lose sight of this absolutely incredible reality, for by reminding this first generation of where they had come from, Moses was indeed and was in fact preparing them for where they were headed—that place which their fathers should have entered into, but forfeited because of their rebellion and transgression before and against the living God. There is not a doubt in my mind that what we find within this passage of Scripture is an incredibly solemn truth concerning this new generation of the children of Israel which would rise and emerge within the wilderness and would enter into the land that had been sworn unto the descendants of Abraham for centuries.

I sit here this morning and I find myself considering how absolutely necessary and important it is for us to consider this retelling of the journeys of the congregation of the children of Israel—not only as a wonderful and powerful description of where they were headed, but also as a reminder concerning where they have come from and where have been brought through. This new generation would be that generation which would enter into the land of Canaan, yet before they would actually be permitted to enter into the land they would need to understand the past forty years—forty years when one generation would perish in the wilderness and another generation which would rise up and emerge within the land. The more you consider what is found within the thirty-third chapter of the Old Testament book of Numbers, and the more you consider the words which are found in the opening chapters of the book of Deuteronomy, the more you will encounter and come face to face with the reality of recounting journeys and rehearsing battles. There is not a doubt in my mind that before we can even consider where the congregation of the children of Israel were headed as it pertains to the land of promise we must not only recognize where they have come from, but also what they have done and what they had accomplished. In every great and every successful journey and conquest a child of God engages in and embarks upon there is an underlying truth concerning where they have been brought from and where they have been brought through, as well as what they have accomplished. For the congregation of the children of Israel they understood where they were brought from—the slavery, bondage and oppression of the land of Egypt-as well as where they were brought through—the waters of the Red Sea, and even the vast wilderness which they were preparing to exit. What I so absolutely love about these two portions of Scripture is that not only do they speak about where the congregation of the children of Israel had been, but also what they had done and what they had accomplished as the people of God. DO YOU REALIZE HOW FAR YOU HAVE COME? DO YOU REALIZE HOW MUCH YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED? Please don’t lose sight of these questions, for these questions have the awesome and incredible reality of directly confronting us with the faithfulness of the living God in our lives, and how He has led us this far and up to this point.

This rehearsing of battles won and this retelling of journeys taken directly confront us with the awesome truth that this congregation of the children of Israel needed to hear how far they had come, and how everything they had been through and every place they had come from had led them to this point and to this place. I consider the words which are found within these chapters and I find myself encountering the awesome and tremendous reality of how the children of Israel had come so far, and how from the time they had left the land of Egypt they had been brought far beyond that which they could have even thought or imagined. I can’t help but think to myself how if we are going to prepare for where we are headed, and if we are going to prepare ourselves for where the Lord our God is bringing us to, we need to look back and understand how far we have come from, and how far the Lord our God has brought us. In fact, this is what was so tremendous about the stones which Joshua had the men remove from the midst of the Jordan River and set up as a monument on the western side of the Jordan River, for those stones were a testament and monument to where they had come from, and how the Lord had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, and had brought them into the land of Canaan. Finally—after four-hundred and thirty years of slavery, bondage and oppression within the land of Egypt, and after forty years of wandering in the wilderness the congregation of the children of Israel had finally come to the place the LORD had promised, and that place they had been living in the wilderness forty years to come unto. The reality of what we find in these chapters is absolutely extraordinary the more in depth you look at it, for within these words we find a powerful principle and practice that must be exercised by any individual who seeks to walk with and follow the living God. There is within these chapters a powerful practice and discipline that needs to be present within our hearts and lives as we continue to talk with and follow the living God, for in order for us to enter into that place the living God has prepared and planned for us, it is absolutely necessary that we remember where it is we have come from and how far the living God has in fact brought us. It is important for us to remember where the Lord our God has taken us from and what He has brought us through, for the journeys we have taken have not only help shape us into who and what we are, but has also prepared us for that which the living God has before us.

I read the words which are found within these two portions of Scripture and I find myself being captivated by the reality that this new generation of the children of Israel needed to hear how far they had come, and where they had been brought from in order that they might possess the courage, the strength, the trust and the confidence that is needed to enter into the land of Canaan. Would it shock and surprise you to think about and consider that there are times within your life when it is needed to not only look back at how far you have come, but also where you have come from and how far the Lord has brought you. Permit me to ask you when the last time was you actually looked back over where you have come from and looked over how far the Lord your God has brought you? When was the last time you rehearsed where the Lord has brought you during the course of your life, and have looked at the journeys you have taken? When was the last time you rehearsed the path(s) you have taken within and throughout the course of your life, and rehearsed how far the LORD your God has brought you? I am completely and utterly convinced that there are specific times within our lives when before we can step into that which may before us it is first necessary that we rehearse just how far we have come and how far the Lord our God has brought us. One of the most important realities we can uncover within our hearts and lives is understanding that where we are today is and can be directly attributed to where and how far the LORD our God has brought us. I can’t help but read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and come face to face with the awesome truth that as we look back over our lives and look at where we are right now we must acknowledge the faithfulness of the Lord our God and how He has been intimately involved with our lives. The words which are found in the thirty-third chapter of the Old Testament book of Numbers are words that should inspire hope and a sense of encouragement within our hearts as Moses sought to remind this new and future generation of the faithfulness of the living God during those forty years they wandered and journeyed in the wilderness. If and as you read the thirty-third chapter of the Old Testament book of Numbers you will find the wonderful and powerful description from Moses concerning the journeys of the children of Israel, which went forth out of the land of Egypt with their armies. What’s more, is that within this chapter you will find that the going out and the going forth of the congregation of the children of the Lord was never even of their own volition or choosing, but rather it was at the commandment and leading of the Lord their God.

As I sit here today I can’t help but see a strong and powerful link and connection between the thirty-third chapter of the Old Testament book of Numbers, as well as the opening chapters of the Old Testament book of Numbers, and even chapters eleven and twelve of the Old Testament book of Joshua. I am thoroughly convinced that in order for you to understand that which is found in the opening chapters of the book of Deuteronomy it is first necessary to turn and direct your attention to the words which are found in the thirty-third chapter of the book of Numbers. What we find in the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy is a powerful description of the victories and triumphs which the congregation of the children of Israel had as they prepared to enter into the land of Canaan. It’s worth noting that the living God was willing to bring that first generation into the land of Canaan with only the victory over the Amalekites in their hearts, and yet that first generation was unwilling to enter into the land of Canaan because of their unbelief, the hardness of their heart, and their willingness to complain against Moses and the Lord. What I love about these chapters is that when the Lord was preparing to bring this new generation into the land of Canaan—while it was true they might not have experienced deliverance from the land of Egypt, and while they might not have experienced the salvation of the Lord at the Red Sea—He brought them in from a place of victory and triumph. The congregation of the children of Israel had secured major victories over enemies on the eastern side of the Jordan River—namely, against Sihon king of Heshbon, against Og king of Bashan, against the kings of Midian, and even against the king of Canaan. While they might not have had some of the same experiences their fathers and that previous generation had, they nonetheless were preparing to enter into the land of Canaan from a place of victory and triumph. What’s more, is that in addition to their entering into the land from a place of victory and triumph, they were also entering in from a place where the nations and inhabitants of the land were fearful at the sight and presence of the children of Israel. The king of Moab sought to curse the congregation of the children of Israel when he beheld them encamped in the plains of his country and saw how vast and powerful they were. What’s more, is that not only was the king of Moab intimidated by the sight of the congregation of the children of Israel, but they were also incredibly intimidated by what they heard concerning what the congregation of the children of Israel did unto Og king of Bashan, and even Sihon king of Heshbon.

REHEARSING JOURNEYS! REHEARSING VICTORIES! VICTORIES ON THE EASTERN EDGE OF THE JORDAN, VICTORIES BEYOND THE JORDAN! The words which we find in the opening chapters of the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy are absolutely tremendous when you consider what they would have meant for the congregation of the children of Israel. Pause for a moment and consider what it would have been like for this new generation—as they were preparing to enter into the land of Canaan which not even their fathers were able to enter—to hear Moses rehearse the victories they had achieved on the eastern edge of the Jordan River. Consider what it would have been like for the congregation of the children of Israel which was on the eastern side of the Jordan River to not only hear and have it rehearsed of where they had come from and how far they had come, but also what they had achieved before even entering into the land of Canaan. When this second generation prepared to enter into the land of Canaan they had something which their fathers did not have—namely, triumphs and victories over enemies which not only came out to fight against them, but also enemies which actually took some of them as prisoners. On the eastern edge of the Jordan River the congregation of the children of Israel had engaged in conflict, in battle, and in warfare against very specific enemies—one of which the LORD God Himself had spoken unto Moses and instructed to have the congregation of the children of Israel to exact vengeance against because of how they had caused the congregation and assembly to stumble in idolatry and immorality. As this new generation was preparing to enter into the land of Canaan they were doing so knowing they could obtain victory over their enemies, and knew that the Lord their God was with them as they engaged enemies and adversaries in conflict and battle. This new generation had defeated and overtaken a number of kings on the eastern edge of the Jordan River, and had even taken possession of land east of the Jordan River, which would ultimately be the inheritance and possession of the two and half tribes that would occupy that land. This is important for us to think about and consider, for it brings us face to face with the importance of rehearsing the journeys we have made within our lives, as well as the victories we have won and the battles we have faced. JOURNEYS MADE, BATTLES WON! When we consider the narrative and account of the children of Israel at this particular juncture we must recognize and understand that while many of them might not have departed from the land of Egypt and while many of them might not have passed through the waters of the Red Sea, however, there were two things they could draw from as they prepared to enter into the land of Canaan—the journeys they made which speak to where they have come from, and the battles they had won indicating what they had done through the strength of the Lord their God.

As you continue in these chapters you will find the narrative and account of the congregation of the children of Israel being described from the time they departed from the mountain of God in the wilderness in Sinai. It’s interesting and worth nothing that the language that is found within these chapters centers upon the absolutely and unbelievable truth and reality that the congregation of the children of Israel weren’t brought forth from the mountain of God in the midst of the wilderness that they might spend forty years wandering in the wilderness. If you read and study the words which are found within these chapters you will find that the living God brought the congregation of the children of Israel from the mountain of God in the midst of the wilderness that they might enter into and inhabit the land which was sworn in oath to their fathers. What we must recognize and understand concerning this reality is that the congregation of the children of Israel were brought forth from the place of revelation in order that they might rise up and take possession of the land which the Lord their God desires to bring them into. The congregation of the children of Israel were brought from the place of revelation and the place of glory and presence that they might go in and take possession of the land which they were destined to inherit. We must not think, and we must not consider the fact that the congregation of the children of Israel were brought forth from the mountain of God that they might wander in the wilderness, nor that their bodies and corpses fall in the midst thereof. The congregation of the children of Israel were brought forth from the mountain of God in the wilderness that they might ride up and take possession of the land for which they had been delivered from the slavery, bondage and oppression in the land of Egypt. What’s more, is that that first generation had every chance and every opportunity to rise up and take possession of the land. That first generation could never in good conscience declare unto their children that they weren’t given the same chance and opportunity they were given when it came to entering into the land, for as Moses writes and records in the opening chapter of this book—their fathers were given the chance and opportunity to go up into the land of promise and to take possession of it.

If there is one thing that so astonished and intrigued me when I consider the narrative of the congregation of the children of Israel it’s that that first generation could not declare that they had not been given the chance and the opportunity to rise up and enter into the land which was before them. It’s necessary that we understand how that first generation was not delivered out of their slavery and bondage in the midst of the wilderness that they might not enter into and inherit the land which was promised unto them and unto their fathers. When the living God brought them forth from the midst of the land of Egypt, He did so with every intention of bringing them first unto the mountain of God in the midst of the wilderness where He might speak to them, reveal Himself unto them, as well as give them the pattern of the tabernacle and show them how to please and worship Him. Once the Lord had accomplished that which He desired in the midst of the wilderness there at the mountain of God THR time had come for them to move forward from that place and to go unto the land which was sworn in oath to their fathers and unto their ancestors. It’s absolutely necessary that we recognize that when the living God brought forth that first generation from the midst of the land of Egypt He did so intending on also bringing them into the land that flowed with milk and honey. That first generation should have been the generation that entered into the land of Canaan, and they should have entered into it with their little ones and with their households and children. Instead—due to their iniquity and transgression against them command of the living God—they found themselves hearing straight from the living God that they would not enter into the land. What’s more, is that not only would they not enter into and inherit the land, but the bodies of all those which were numbered in the census in the wilderness of Sinai would perish in the wilderness. All those tenth years of age and older which were present at the time of the census would perish in the wilderness long before they would have the chance to enter into the land. Perhaps the most astonishing reality concerning that first generation was that they were given the same chance and the same opportunity their children were given—the same chance and the same opportunity to enter into and take possession of the land, and yet instead of rising up to enter into and take possession of the land they chose to shrank back in fear in the sight of the living God. That first generation was brought forth from the midst of their slavery, bondage and oppression within the land of Egypt, and they were brought forth in order that they might enter into and take possession of the land, and yet upon hearing the evil report of slander against the land which was brought unto them by ten of the twelve spies that entered the land, they rebelled against the command of the Lord, and even complained against Moses and the Lord.

The opening chapters of the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy are truly remarkable and astounding when you take the time to think about and truly consider them, for within the opening chapter you will find Moses speaking of two distinct truths concerning the congregation of the children of Israel—namely, that their fathers rebelled against the command of the Lord when they refused to rise up and enter into the land of Canaan. What’s more, is that within the first and opening chapter of the this Old Testament book you will find Moses recording and recounting before this new generation of the congregation of the children of Israel how the Lord their God had so multiplied them as the sand which was upon the shore, and as such, he was unable to bear them all by himself. What you find within the opening chapter of this particular book is Moses speaking of how he was unable to handle and carry all the burdens of the congregation of the children of Israel, and how judges and princes were appointed over them that there might be order and justice in the midst of the congregation. Within the first chapter of this Old Testament book we find Moses speaking unto this new generation of the congregation of the children of Israel how their fathers had sinned and rebelled against the word and command of the living God, and I can’t help but find within the words he spoke unto them a tremendous and powerful warning to not follow in, nor walk in the path and footsteps of their father. What’s truly interesting and unique about that statement is that for forty years this second generation would in fact walk in the same footsteps and would follow in the same path as their fathers as they journeyed through the wilderness over a period of forty years. This new generation would indeed be forced to bear the iniquity and the transgressions of their fathers as they would be forced to wander in the wilderness for a period of forty years until that first generation had passed away in the midst of the wilderness. That first generation had so sinned and so transgressed against the command of the Lord that the Lord had sworn according to Himself that not only would they not enter into the land of promise, but their carcasses would fall in the midst of the wilderness. It wouldn’t be until the last and final soul from that first generation would perish in the wilderness that this new generation would and could begin to rise up and enter into the land which was sworn on oath to their fathers, and unto Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The truth of the matter is this second generation was given a tremendous and powerful warning concerning the land which was before them, and how they ought not to be as their fathers were who rebelled against the command and against the word of the Lord. The words which you find in the opening chapter of this Old Testament book of Deuteronomy is absolutely remarkable when you take time to think about and consider the fact that it contains within it a powerful word of warning and word of caution unto this second generation that they might not walk in the same paths and follow in the same footsteps as their fathers did whose bodies fell in the midst of the wilderness.

It’s worth noting that as you continue reading the words which are found within the opening chapters of this Old Testament book that the second chapter contains tremendous and powerful language—not only concerning the victories and triumphs which the congregation of the children of Israel had secured against two very distinct enemies and adversaries on the eastern side of the Jordan River, but they were also given very specific instruction concerning the land and territory concerning the children of Ammon, the children of Moab, as well as the children of Edom. If and as you read the words which are found in the second chapter of this Old Testament book you will find and discover that the living God spoke unto this new generation of the congregation of the children of Israel concerning land which they would pass by—namely, the land which belonged to the children of Moab, Ammon and Seir—and gave them a very specific command. As you read the words which are found within this chapter you will find the Lord God of the Hebrews commanding and instructing them that they not meddle with the children of Ammon, nor the children of Moab, nor the children of Seir, for the land which had been given unto them did not and would not belong to them. The Lord God of the Hebrews had spoken very clearly unto the congregation of the children of Israel concerning these lands, for despite the fact that the children of Israel would pass by their territory, they were not to engage them in any type of conflict or battle. This is actually quite astonishing when you take the time to think about and consider it, for it is absolutely tremendous to think that the living God instructed the congregation of the children of Israel not to meddle with the inheritance of others while they pursued their own inheritance in the midst of the earth. Oh please don’t miss and lose sight of this absolutely wonderful and incredible truth, for while it was true the congregation of the children of Israel were going to obtain and take possession of their own inheritance in the midst of the nations of the earth, they were not to meddle, nor touch the inheritance which belonged to another. The Lord God of the Hebrews was very specific when speaking unto this generation of the children of Israel, for while they were walking along the path to enter into and take possession of their inheritance, they were not to touch the inheritance of Moab, nor the inheritance of Ammon, nor even the inheritance of Edom, for that which had been given unto them was an inheritance and possession according to that which the living God had given unto them. Concerning these lands it is absolutely necessary to think about and consider the fact that these three nations and these three territories would never belong to the congregation of the children of Israel, and would never be added unto them within and upon the earth, for the land which was before them belonged to the descendants of Lot and Esau.

DO NOT MEDDLE WITH YOUR BROTHER’S INHERITANCE! DO NOT TOUCH THE INHERITANCE OF ANOTHER! DO NOT SEIZE THE INHERITANCE WHICH DOES NOT BELONG TO YOU! In your pursuit of the inheritance with the living God had promised and given unto you, it is absolutely necessary to consider the tremendous reality that in that process you are not to meddle with the inheritance of your brother. If you study the history of the children of Edom you will find and discover that they were the descendants of the children of Esau who was the twin brother of Jacob whose name was changed to Israel at the Jabok River. If you study the history of the children of Ammon and Moab you will find that both of these people were descendants of the sons which were born unto Lot through the incestuous relations his daughters had with him. In order to preserve their name and the name of their father Lot’s two daughters got him drunk and each went in unto him that they might conceive through and by him. As a direct result of their actions both daughters would conceive of their father and would bring forth two nations which would inhabit the earth. When you come to the second chapter of the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy you will find an absolutely wonderful and powerful command that was given unto the children of Israel—namely, that while they were pursuing their own inheritance in the earth, they were not to touch, nor were they to meddle in or with the inheritance of their brother Esau, nor even the descendants of Ammon and Moab. I can’t help but be absolutely and incredibly challenged when reading the words found within this chapter, for there is a tremendous word of caution, and a tremendous warning that is found within those words which the living God spoke unto the congregation of the children of Israel. The word and command which the living God has spoken unto the congregation of the children of Israel was that while they walked along the path to taking possession of their own inheritance, they were not to meddle with the inheritance of those who had already received theirs within the earth. This is actually quite interesting and astonishing when you think about and consider it, for while Jacob whose name was later called Israel would obtain the birthright and blessing which belonged to Esau as firstborn unto their father Isaac, it would be Edom and his descendants who would enter into their inheritance before Israel would. Despite the fact that Israel had the birthright and had the blessing of the father, the descendants of Esau would enter into their inheritance and would take possession of territory that would be theirs for generations. It’s incredibly interesting to think about and consider the absolutely incredible and tremendous reality that the descendants of Edom would enter into their own inheritance and would take possession of their own land and territory while the congregation of the children of Israel were still living as slaves in the land of Egypt. How absolutely intriguing it is to think about and consider the fact that while Israel was in slavery, bondage and oppression within the land of Egypt, Esau his brother was taking possession of that land and territory which would be his inheritance in the earth.

I cannot escape this absolutely incredible and tremendous thought and concept of the congregation of the children of Israel being given a very specific command of the living God not to meddle with the inheritance of the children of Ammon, nor the inheritance of the children of Moab, nor the inheritance of the children of Edom, for that which belonged and that which had been given unto these three nations and peoples would be theirs as an inheritance. The land and territory which was given unto the descendants of Moab, Ammon and Edom would never be obtained by the congregation of the children of Israel, for the land and territory that was present there would already be given unto the descendants of Abraham—albeit, not descendants through Isaac, nor descendants through Jacob also called Israel. Oh the more I think about and the more I consider this reality, the more I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the living God spoke unto the congregation of the children of Israel, and how the Lord would give them very specific instruction concerning the inheritance of their brothers within the land given unto them. The word and instruction that was given unto them was that they do not meddle with the inheritance of their brother or their neighbor in the midst of the land which the Lord had given unto them as an inheritance by removing the ancient boundary stones, and by altering the ancient boundaries. In fact, if you read the final chapters of the Old Testament book of Numbers you will find that there were certain daughters who were concerned that if they married outside of their tribe, then that inheritance which was given unto them would be passed to another tribe, and would thus expand that tribe’s inheritance and possession within the land. The matter was well spoken by these daughters, and the LORD issued a command and decree that these daughters should not marry outside of their own tribe, and should marry within their tribe that the inheritance which was given unto them and unto the tribe of which they were a part of would remain and abide with them. It’s necessary that we think about and consider this, for the LORD was very specific when it came to the inheritance which belonged to and was given to others, for the LORD would not allow that which was given as an inheritance to one be stripped and robbed of them and given to another. The LORD would not allow inheritance to pass from one tribe to another, and the LORD would not allow another tribe enter into and take possession of the inheritance of another in order that they might somehow expand their own inheritance, territory and border within and in the midst of the land of promise.

As I sit here this morning I can’t help but think about and consider the tremendous word of caution and word of warning that was given unto the congregation of the children of Israel concerning not meddling, nor touching the inheritance which belonged to and was given unto the descendants of Ammon, Moab and Edom, for within it there is a powerful word of caution given unto us as we seek to pursue our own inheritance, and as we seek to pursue that which the Lord our God has placed before and promised us. The Lord God of the Hebrews would not allow the congregation of the children of Israel to enter into and take possession of the inheritance of another, and would not permit, nor would he allow them to engage in conflict and battle with them that they might somehow obtain their inheritance for themselves. It’s absolutely necessary that we pay close attention to and consider this, for it highlights something which we would later see in the Old Testament book of First Kings. If you turn and direct your attention to the twenty-first chapter of the Old Testament book of First Kings you will encounter a tremendous narrative and account of Ahab who was king of the northern kingdom of Israel and a man by the name of Naboth who had a certain vineyard which belonged to him and was an inheritance that was passed down through the generations within his family. If and as you read the words which are found within this particular chapter you will find a tremendous narrative that bears a strong link and connection to what we find within the second chapter of the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy concerning not meddling with the inheritance that belonged to another. Consider if you will the words which are found within this particular passage beginning with the first and opening verse of the chapter:

“And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money. And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee. And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, ,I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread. But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread? And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard. And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou not govern the kingdom of Israel? Arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobels that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth. And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: and set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him that he may die. And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters, which she had sent unto them. They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died. Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead. And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead. And it came to pass, when Ahab hear that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it” (1 Kings 21:1-16).

The words which we find within this particular passage of Scripture are absolutely astounding when you consider them in direct connection to the words which we find in the second chapter of the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy. If and as you read the words found in the second chapter of the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy you will find that the living God spoke unto the congregation of the children of Israel that they not meddle with an inheritance that was not theirs, nor were they to provoke the children and descendants of Ammon, Moab and Edom in order that they might somehow take possession of their inheritance. The congregation of the children of Israel were given a very specific command from the Lord that they not touch nor meddle with inheritance that was not theirs and which did not belong to them, and yet what we find in the Old Testament book of First Kings is Ahab king of the northern kingdom of Israel attempting to take possession of that which was the inheritance of another. Naboth was unwilling and refused to give the inheritance of his fathers unto Ahab the king of Israel, and as a result of his sayings, Ahab grew distressed and very heavy. Ultimately, Naboth would be stoned to death after being falsely accused by two men of Belial whom Jezebel had appointed and raised up to accuse him that he might be put to death. Upon the death of Naboth Jezebel then spoke unto her husband and instructed him to go down and take possession of the inheritance of Naboth the Jezreelite, and to take the vineyard unto himself for his own desires and passions. It is absolutely necessary that we think about and consider this narrative and account which is found in the Old Testament book of First Kings for within it we find a powerful example of that which the Lord God spoke unto the congregation of the children of Israel concerning the inheritance of the children of Moab, Ammon, and Edom. The LORD God of the children of Israel gave them a very specific command that they not touch, nor meddle with the inheritance which belonged to another, and that when they were on the way to taking possession of their inheritance, they were not to touch, meddle, nor take possession of an inheritance that belonged to another. Oh how absolutely incredible this reality truly is when you take the time to think about it, for there is a tremendous word of caution and word of warning unto us that as we are pursuing the inheritance which the Lord has prepared for us, we are not to meddle with, nor touch the inheritance of another—that which has been given unto them of and from the Lord. How truly intriguing it is to think about and consider the fact that in our pursuit of that which the Lord has promised unto us, we are not to lay a hand on, nor touch, nor even pursue that which has been given unto another. When we think and when we speak about inheritance we must recognize and understand that there is absolutely no place for laying a hand on, touching, and meddling in and with the possession and inheritance of another in order that we might somehow take it for and unto ourselves. The living God was very specific when speaking unto the congregation of the children of Israel, and that the congregation of the children of Israel not lay a hand on, nor meddle with, nor provoke the descendants of Ammon, Moab and Edom, nor with their inheritance. Oh that we would recognize and understand how absolutely incredible this truly is when you think about it, for it is not, nor has it ever been our place to overstep our borders and overstep our boundaries. There is a strong word that is ringing within the depths of my heart and soul that as I seek to take possession of that which the living God has prepared for and promised unto me as an inheritance, I am not to meddle with that which has been given unto another, nor seek to overstep my borders and boundaries, and to move beyond that which the living God has spoken and given unto me.

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