An Ignorance of God.
“But even after all he did, you refused to trust the LORD your God.“Deuteronomy 1:32 NLT
How well do you know God? As we begin reading through the book of Deuteronomy, let me challenge you to read it with new eyes. The danger is that you will read it with a familiarity that can breed a kind of contempt or spiritual laziness. After all, you’ve read through Exodus and Numbers, and this book contains a lot of the same stories. But this time, try to read with your eyes focused on God. Look for Him in these passages. See what you can discover about Him as you read these familiar stories from the lives of the Israelites. These people had been delivered, led and fed by God, yet even as early as chapter one we see that they really didn’t know Him. Chapter one recaps their unwllingness to go into the very land God had promised. Verse 32 puts it bluntly. They refused to trust Him. And they refused to trust Him because they really didn’t know Him.
Take a look at verse 27. “You complained among yourselves privately and said, ‘Because the Lord hates us he brought us from Egypt to deliver us over to the Amorites so they could destroy us!'” (Deuteronomy 1:27 NET). Do you see what these verse reveals about their knowledge and understanding of God? They had determined that God hated them and had brought them out of Egypt for the sole purpose of destroying them. What a warped view of God. We read that and think, “What is wrong with these people? What are they thinking?” But the truth is, we tend to have the same distorted view of God in our own lives. We take a look at our circumstances and we determine that God must be angry at us, because things have not turned out quite the way we think they should. We tend to view our God through the lens of our circumstances, rather than the other way around. When things are not going well, it is easy to conclude that our God is angry, vengeful, and out to get us. We can end up denying the very goodness of God. We can lose sight of His big picture plan for us. We forget that He has already delivered us and falsely conclude that he is out to destroy us. The truth is, we always fail to trust what we do not understand. Our lack of understanding of who God is leads us to trust Him for who He is. So we disobey Him. We rebel against Him. We refuse to do what He tells us to do. Because we don’t understand or trust Him.
As we read through Deuteronomy together, let’s look for God. Let’s try and see His character on display and learn more about Him. Because as we grow in our knowledge of Him, we will grow in our dependency on and trust in Him. We will learn to believe Him when He says, “Don’t be afraid! The LORD your God is going before you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt” (Deuteronomy 1:29-30 NLT).
Father, I want to know You better so that I might trust You more. Open my eyes and help me see You in the pages of the book of Deuteronomy. Show me Your love, faithfulness, goodness, greatness, power, trustworthiness, and providential plan for my life. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men