Be Less Thankless, COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS, 29SEP
Moses must have felt like the parent of teenagers, reminding his hundreds of thousands of people to COUNT THEIR BLESSINGS. Remember these people weren’t his necessarily his followers simply because they chose to stick with him, they kinda had to. Imagine their travels. They may have traveled out of Egypt to escape Pharaoh, passing thru the parting of the Red Sea, but in the desert, they were stuck with RELYING ON GOD. And when the time was right for God to give the next instructions, Moses spoke directly to God and gave the people His commands (thousands not just 10). They were being granted the ability to live day by day and given the law to live by for forever – and they needed to keep their faith. Too many who lost faith lost their way and lost their chance to continue. And yes, like today, there were rebellious types too. Moses surely kept telling them “COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS” instead of griping.
Yeah, count me in on reminding us all to COUNT OUR BLESSINGS. Let us NOT gripe our way into desert wanderings. Be humble enough to take what you get. Make the most of it – and rely on God to know how to use it.
Moses wasn’t “wasting his breath” on telling the people (those generations that made it to the moment, now ready for entering the Promised Land) that God DID provide sustenance and direction all those nearly 40 years of desert travel, his purpose was to lead and teach – he was gifted from God, appointed by God. Moses was singled out by God to tell us too. Moses wrote down how it all went down. The free food, the clothes that never wore out, the land of milk and honey promised and the wins over enemies. God NEEDED them (and needs us) to know that He IS in charge. THAT HE PROVIDES. That ALL GOOD THINGS COME FROM HIM.
Sometimes we are like those tribes (Deuteronomy 3) who didn’t want to cross the Jordan but stay in territory familiar to them – where eventually God said OK, you can settle there AFTER you do My Will. Go out and fight for Me and your brethren Israelites, then you can return to set up camp. We too must pick up our marching orders, go do our work for the kingdom and our families. Then we are gifted the rest. Moses preached CONTENTMENT not contempt. He reminded that God made people WAIT those 40 years to sort out the bad seeds from the good. He said “the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.” We too can wait for good things.
Yes, count your blessings. I will too. The nights you sit on a cushy couch and count blessings after a LONG day. The moments you can relax as you know where your kids are and that they are safe and count blessings. How many days that I have had a FULL day of work then still had time to be with my children. Mom tired but content. Many days we can double count blessings. The days of letting the Lord step us thru our steps. He knew and knows what is important to us – but more importantly He knows what is important for all, and sometimes we get clued in. He makes us put first things first. Let us give Him time to set things right. He makes us put time helping out in the world, then allows us to return back. Yes, safety and sanity, and getting stuff done.
Over and over again God Himself gave the people their victory (or forced defeat as He decided). It was NOT the people from their own strength. And He reminded them of that. We should not think that our God who made EVERYTHING isn’t responsible for our everything and anything. We must remember to credit God for the very breath we have, let alone ALL our victories in life.
Moses also was instructed to lead the people gently thru areas that weren’t theirs, namely those of their relatives, the offspring of Esau. They were to take nothing without paying and just be gentle travelers passing thru. Don’t provoke war, pay for what you take, don’t covet what’s not yours. When God is not giving you even a foot’s worth of land there, KEEP MOVING. “…but be very careful. Do not provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land, not even enough to put your foot on.”
KEEP MOVING. That’s us too, God ALREADY told us about our promised land in heaven, let’s not attempt to stake out more than our share, here on earth or anywhere. Don’t squabble, use your money wisely and willingly for He give that as a tool. Pay your dues. Be fair. KEEP MOVING.
Let us count our blessings and THANK THE LORD. So PERFECTLY matched is the song that was singing in my head when I woke up: “So Thank the Lord”, from Godspell. It is a song that my children sang in a church choir and it sticks with me. It’s about realizing God gives us our lives and all good things, let us THANK THE LORD for all His love.
Contentment not contempt.
Cooperation not complacency.
Worship not wandering.
Wanderings in the Wilderness
Moses reminded them of their history:
Then we turned back and set out toward the wilderness along the route to the Red Sea, as the Lord had directed me. For a long time we made our way around the hill country of Seir. Then the Lord said to me, “You have made your way around this hill country long enough; now turn north. Give the people these orders: ‘You are about to pass through the territory of your relatives the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. They will be afraid of you, but be very careful. Do not provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land, not even enough to put your foot on. I have given Esau the hill country of Seir as his own. You are to pay them in silver for the food you eat and the water you drink.’”
The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, AND YOU HAVE NOT LACKED ANYTHING. Deuteronomy 2:1-7 Deuteronomy 1-2 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%201-2&version=NIV;KJV
commanded you at that time: “The Lord your God has given you this land to take possession of it. But all your able-bodied men, armed for battle, must cross over ahead of the other Israelites. However, your wives, your children and your livestock (I know you have much livestock) may stay in the towns I have given you, until the Lord gives rest to your fellow Israelites as he has to you, and they too have taken over the land that the Lord your God is giving them across the Jordan. After that, each of you may go back to the possession I have given you.” Deuteronomy 3:18-20
Lyrics from Godspell “So Thank the Lord”
We plow the fields and scatter the good seed on the land..
But it is fed and watered by God’s almighty hand..
He sends us snow in winter, the warmth to swell the grain…
The breezes and the sunshine, and soft refreshing rain…
All good gifts around us. Are sent from Heaven above. Then thank the Lord, thank the Lord for all his love
We thank thee then, O Father, for all things bright and good,
The seedtime and the harvest, our life our health our food,
No gifts have we to offer for all thy love imparts
But that which thou desirest, our humble thankful hearts!
All good gifts around us. Are sent from Heaven above.
Then thank the Lord, thank the Lord for all his lov