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Are you glorifying God by keeping your word?

It is not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart that you go in to possess the land. Deuteronomy 9:5

Chapter 9 of Deuteronomy begins with these words, “Hear, O Israel: You are to cross over the Jordan today.” To whom is God speaking? Or should we say, to whom is Moses giving the message that he was instructed to give? Most people would say he was speaking to the people that followed Moses out of Egypt. That really isn’t quite true. A lot of the people who came out of Egypt died in the wilderness. There were only two adult people who came out of Egypt who entered the promised land, Caleb and Joshua.

We must also remember there were proselytes who joined the Israelites; these were people who saw the favor and blessing of God on His people and wanted to be part of them. Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses father-in-law joined with the Hebrew people and journeyed with them. Judges 1:16 confirms this, “Now the children of the Kenite, Moses father-in-law, went up from the city of palms with the children of Judah into the Wilderness of Judah.” Exactly how many proselytes joined them on their pilgrimage is not clear.

Numbers 14:9 says, “The carcasses of you who have murmured against me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years and above.” Now why is that important?

cause the evil, wicked, people that came out of Egypt died, were killed, or swallowed up by the earth. You would think that the people who were left would be righteous, God fearing individuals, men and women of faith. But such was not the case!

The people who were getting ready to enter the promised land saw the death and destruction brought on by their sinful brethren; they should have been serving God with complete devotion. After forty years of wandering in the wilderness, seeing God’s deliverance and also His judgment, God still calls them a stiff-necked people. God also reminds them three times that they are not going in to possess the land because of their own righteousness. But God was going to drive those people out because of the evil and wickedness of those nations.

The Lord didn’t just send in the armies of Israel to annihilate the wicked people. Exodus 23:27-28 says, “I will send my fear before you, I will cause confusion among all the people to whom you come, and will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite from before you.”

Why was God bringing judgment on the Amorites, Hittites, Amalekites, Jebusites, Canaanites and many others. Because they were evil, wicked, ungodly people whose sinful lives called for the justice of God in judgment. In Genesis 15:16, God said to Abraham, “But in the forth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” Their bucket of sin was not yet full; they had not yet reached the climax of their ungodliness. They had not fallen to the lowest level of wickedness and depravity.

We find another example of this in Genesis 18 where the Lord took notice of the great sin and wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah. “And the Lord said, because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not I will know.” Then in Genesis 19, the Lord sent angels to deliver Lot and his family as He destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Through all the events leading up to His people entering the promised land, God was concerned about His honor and glory. God was glorified when He sent judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah and also annihilated the people. Why? Because Abraham and many other people rejoiced in the justice of God. God was glorified when Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, He then drowned him and his army in the Red Sea. Exodus 14:17 says, “So I will gain honor over Pharaoh and his army, his chariots, and his horsemen.”

God received honor, glory, and recognition when He provided for His people and led them to the land of promise. He then drove out the inhabitants or brought judgment on them through the armies of Israel. God took what those wicked people had accumulated or acquired and chose to give it to someone more righteous than they. God fulfilled His word that He had given to Abraham almost 500 years before.

Are you glorifying God by keeping your word, by being honest in your dealings? Are you making the honor and glory of God a priority in all you do? “The chief end (purpose) of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever,” from The Westminster Shorter Catechism. Comments or questions, contact me at thoughtsonword@gmail.com.

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Lyndon Stimeling, of Richfield, has been writing about faith and family for many years. He has self-published three books, “Common Thoughts on The Word” in 2016 and “Eye of a Needle” in 2017 and “Common Thoughts on The Word II” in 2019. He has also had articles published in The Coming Home Journal and local newspapers and has written a children’s book.

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