Claiming God’s Promise

MEMORY SELECTION: “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.” —Deuteronomy 1:21

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Deuteronomy 1:19-26, 29-31

BECAUSE of Abraham’s faith, God made a covenant with him concerning the land of promise. The circumstances are recorded in Genesis 15:13-18. He first explained that Abraham’s offspring were going to be slaves in Egypt during a period of four hundred years, but at the proper time God promised he would deliver them from Egypt and they would come out with great substance. “But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. … In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.”

In fulfillment of this prophecy by God, we know that the Israelites were slaves in Egypt during the latter part of the four hundred years. At the end of the specified time the Scriptures tell us “it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day, it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.” (Ex. 12:41) (Apparently, the difference of thirty years from the Genesis account was understood and probably resulted from dates of reckoning.) The point is that God fulfilled his promise.

The wonderful demonstration of power God displayed in delivering the Israelites from Egypt was to be forever remembered by them. In Exodus 12:14 we read, “This day shall be unto you for a memorial and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever.”

Then followed the deliverance of the nation through the Red Sea from certain death or from re-enslavement by the Egyptians; and from the Red Sea to Mount Sinai, the Lord, on several occasions, demonstrated his power and overruling providence on behalf of this people.

At Mount Sinai God himself was represented as meeting with them, and the conditions were such as to strike terror in the hearts of the people. The account in Exodus 19:16 reads, “And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.” This culminated in the making of a covenant with them—the Law Covenant—and by this they had God’s full assurance of blessing and his overruling providence in their behalf, if they were obedient and faithful.

It was after all of these experiences that Moses brought the children of Israel to the borders of the promised land. The details are recorded in Numbers 13:1-33; 14:1-45. The Lord instructed Moses to select twelve men, one from each of the twelve tribes, to search out the land. They found that the land was rich and fertile and they brought back samples of the fruitage of the land which were more wonderful than anything they had ever seen. But while they were in the land, they saw the inhabitants who were strange in appearance, and larger than they were. Also, according to historians of the time, the inhabitants had constructed small garrisons in various parts of the land to help them ward off attacks. The combination of the size and appearance of the people together with their fortifications made ten of them fearful and they conveyed a message of fear to the people. Only Joshua and Caleb had faith in the Lord, that he, by his mighty power already fully demonstrated, would deliver them from the Canaanites and give them the land.

In claiming God’s promises, we too are sometimes prone to forget the mighty demonstrations of God’s power which he has exerted on our behalf, and not have sufficient faith to believe he will do what he has said he will do. Some of life’s problems appear to us to be giants in the land—insurmountable obstacles. It is then that we should turn to the Lord and claim his promise to help in every time of need. One of these wonderful statements is found in I Corinthians 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape [or will direct the issues, Diaglott] that ye may be able to bear it.”

Dawn Bible Students Association
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