PSALM 91 – A TESTIMONY OF MOSES

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Psalm 91:1-2 (New Living Translation)

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.

 

It is commonly believed that Moses wrote Psalm 91 when Israel was traveling through the desert on their journey to the Promised Land.

We remember that during their 40 years journey, a cloud was always over the children of Israel during the day to protect them from the sun; and a pillar of fire appeared in the middle of their camp at night to provide light, warmth, and security (check out Exodus 13:21). Psalm 91 is thus a testimony of how God cares for his children.

While it is often difficult for us to see the many ways God cares for us, especially in times of trouble and trials, we have the testimony and praise of people like Moses, to encourage us. Moses lived in the palace of Egypt from birth till he was 40; was then driven away and lived a tough life as a shepherd for another 40 years.

During his 40 years as a shepherd Moses must have felt abandoned; likely concluded he was a failure; and lived with pain at not being able to rescue Israel from slavery. All this turned around when Moses met God at the burning bush and was empowered to go deliver Israel (check out Exodus 3 for this terrific experience). 

We see Moses in Psalm 91, now as deliverer of Israel with full support from God, testifying that ‘those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty… he is my God, and I trust him.’ Moses speaks strongly to us today, let’s not give up on God no matter the challenges we face – Amen!

 

Image: Moses and the burning bush (Source: Wikimedia)

MILK AND HONEY – Part 2

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Deuteronomy Chapter 8 (shortened) (New Living Translation)

God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character… to teach you that people do not live by bread alone – we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD… [He] is bringing you into a good land… 

…when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes… do not become proud… never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’ Remember the LORD your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful…

If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods, worshiping and bowing down to them, you will certainly be destroyed.

 

Last week in MILK AND HONEY – Part 1 we saw from Exodus Chapter 3 that the Lord promised Israel that he is rescuing them from Egypt and taking them to a land flowing with milk and honey; we also saw that this gospel of milk and honey is very popular, with many Christians seeking God because they want to get out of poverty.

The narrative from Deuteronomy 8 shows how the Israelites left Egypt; were in the wilderness for 40 years; survived on manna; and passed through God’s school of character building, in preparation for entering the land of milk and honey.

Lesson: before providing milk and honey, God will first build godly character in us.

Why is this important? If God does not build godly character in us, when he answers our prayers for milk and honey, we might become proud, lose interests in serving him, and become much more committed to other activities like politics, sports, pleasure travel, shopping, sexual diversions, excessive eating and drinking.

We have thus moved from the Lord just promising Israel milk and honey in the book of Exodus as a motivation for them to leave Egypt and worship him, to the Lord teaching them 40 years later in the book of Deuteronomy, that worshiping him as the source of their milk and honey is the more important thing he wants them to do.

Lesson – Yahweh will provide us bread as we pray for bread; but an abundance of bread should not turn us away from worshiping him to worshiping our own idols. He will build godly character in us so that success does not make us go astray; but if we still choose to turn our back on him, he won’t save us from eternal death. 

May the goodness of God, not be a stumbling block to us, Amen!

Read – Pray – Share! 

 

Image: By jules – Goats Cheese & Honey, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45846370

 

MILK AND HONEY – Part 1

Milk and Honey

Exodus 3:7-10 (New Living Translation)

Then the LORD told him [Moses], “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey… Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me… You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”

Would Israel have followed Moses, if his message to them was ‘I will rescue you out of Egypt and take you into bondage to the Canaanites‘. I doubt it!

We all hope for a higher quality of life, free of poverty, suffering, and oppression.

This is why the most popular message from the Bible to a large number of professed Christians today, is the gospel of milk and honey. The gospel with the message that God wants to rescue us all from Egypt into a land flowing with milk and honey.

Egypt has come to represent everything evil and oppressive in our personal lives, family relationships, and societies in which we live in. Everybody has a ‘Egypt experience‘, moreso in poor countries in Africa, Asia, and South America.

So the gospel of milk and honey has many followers rightly desperate to get out of poverty. If poor countries were to become as wealthy as rich countries today, some think the gospel of milk and honey might not be so attractive.

Until then, the Church and her gospel of milk and honey provides hope to many poor and suffering people, telling them that though their governments are failing them, heaven won’t, and God will bless their hard work with good success.

May the Lord lead us into ‘well watered lands’ flowing with milk and honey, Amen! 

Read – Pray – Share!

 

Image:  Milk with honey, By Nandhinikandhasamy – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40029266