As I recently read through Deuteronomy 7, I thought about the fact that God displayed His power to save and deliver Israel before they were to conquer and enter the Promised Land. Their story as a nation, a people set apart by God began with His deliverance.

That mighty deliverance — the miraculous demonstration of the power of God, the plagues, the Passover, the parting of the Red Sea (shall we call them the 3 P’s?) — all these things happened before it was the time for them to enter in to the Promised Land (P #4) and receive what God destined for them to inherit.

Why does it matter that the deliverance happens first?


I believe it’s the same in our own lives — God meets us wherever we are, and when we are willing to listen, to hear and to understand the Gospel, and when we receive the forgiveness bought by the cross for our sins, we too, become a people set apart by God. And it starts with our own deliverance. That deliverance from our own sinful and selfish nature — that marks the beginning of the journey toward walking in the destiny and purpose of God for our lives. It starts with God — showing His power, His amazing Love, His incredible Grace.

Moses was recalling the stories of God’s deliverance to the people of Israel in Deut. 7 — and repeatedly giving them the charge to Remember.

The power that the people of Israel had already seen — the mighty power of God that forced Pharaoh to free the thousands of slaves that were causing his empire to prosper — that was the power the Israelites could believe in when they faced the giants in the land they were supposed to conquer.

We cling to our faith by remembering.

As the story continued in Deut. 8, five times more Moses instructed the people to remember or not to forget.

And in Deut. 9 Moses told them not to for a moment think that the deliverance was because they were good people:

It is not because you are so good or have such integrity that you are about to occupy their land. The LORD your God will drive these nations out ahead of you only because of their wickedness, and to fulfill the oath he swore to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You must recognize that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land because you are good, for you are not — you are a stubborn people. (v 6) {He goes on here to recall a story of their stubbornness as a reminder.}

Does any of this sound familiar or have a parallel in your own life?

It was not because of my own goodness that God delivered me — I was actually a mess, not listening even though I could hear His whisper and see Him continually providing a way of escape. I always had a choice to get out of the destructive patterns I was walking in, and I sensed it was the Lord opening that door. But I ignored it until it became so glaringly obvious — God loved me, my life was a mess. As undeserving as I was, He still choose to show me His love, and He showed me that He had a better plan for me.

Like the people of Israel, enslaved in Egypt, He first chose me and showed me His deliverance when I was a slave to my own sin. He is a God who never changes, so I can trust that the power to deliver was not a one-time deal… not a “I saved you, but if you get yourself in another pickle or life passes you a problem, you’re on your own.”

When God pursues us, He has more than just deliverance in mind.

He has a Promised Land for you and me to inherit.

Sometimes we have to face giants to walk in the promises of God. Sometimes the giants are challenging circumstances — empty bank accounts, frightening diagnoses — but sometimes the giants are things we need to overcome in our own soul.

It wasn’t God that kept the Israelites out of the Promised Land. It was their own fear about whether or not they could take it.

This is where that remembering can come in, strong and powerful to shape our destinies. If He has delivered and does deliver, He will deliver. He was able to bring me out of that trial, He can bring me through this one.

The writer of Hebrews summed up the Israelites’ wandering in the wilderness in this way:

So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest. {Heb. 3:19}

God has rest for us. Peace for us. Joy for us. There are unspeakable riches to be found in Christ Jesus. It just takes believing in the possibility that you can enter that Promised Land, and stepping out in faith to fight for it.

If you’ve been delivered, Egypt is behind you. Remember what the Lord has done, and look ahead with eyes of faith. In this life and the next, we will receive the promises of God by faith.

We have a glorious inheritance.


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