"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


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Sunday, November 20, 2022


Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez, and James Fire

DEUTERONOMY 1: “FINDING OUT WHO YOU ARE AND WHERE YOU ARE GOING” by Albert Lopez, check out the complete teaching here!

INTRODUCTION: Deuteronomy means “double law” or “repeated law” - This is where we will read about the next generation; we’ll get a history lesson on who they are, where are they going and most importantly Who’s taking them because that’s Whom they belong to.

How many of you remember doing current event articles while you were in school? In those articles you were told to include key things; such as answering The Who, What, Where, When, How and Why of the event being reported. This is important because we didn’t just have random facts but a paper that would make sense to any reader and most importantly to your teacher because our grades depended on it.

1 These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel on this side of the Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain opposite Suph, between Paran, Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab. 2 It is eleven days' journey from Horeb by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh Barnea. 3 Now it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spoke to the children of Israel according to all that the LORD had given him as commandments to them, 4 after he had killed Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, who dwelt at Ashtaroth in Edrei. 5 On this side of the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses began to explain this law, saying…

Deuteronomy 1 along with chapters 2 and 3 are not news articles, but they’re like a news article that includes all these key things. It makes it all make sense

For the new generation, it’s a reminder of who they were and how they got to where they were.

Verse 2: Regarding Kadesh-Barnea, the people of Israel are now at Kadesh-Barnea in the 40th year after their deliverance from Egypt.

Verse 5: Expound this law

Moses is about to expound God’s law and prepare the new generation to enter Canaan.

In the same way Pastor Sonny, Pastor James and myself make ourselves vessels so that God’s law; which we have as an entire 66 book bible is expounded and understood as the Holy Spirit gives light as to what it says and means.

Like The Who, What, Where, When and Why which we would also do well to ask ourselves as we are reading in what we call Context.

Context - the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.

So like the current event news, this give us context when we ask these questions. The Bible will also give us context and clarity and direction to be in God’s will regardless of the circumstances.

Although Moses himself wouldn’t enter the land, he would explain to the people what they had to do to conquer the enemy, claim their promised inheritance, and live successfully in their new home to the glory of God.

God was giving His people a second chance and Moses didn’t want the new generation to fail as their fathers had failed before them.

We should always want better for our kids then what we got. This also applies in serving the Lord. We should want our kids who are the next generation to be used in greater ways for God’s Kingdom and His glory. That is why it’s important to teach them or train them up in the ways of the Lord so that when they are old, they will not depart or turn from the straight and narrow path. We want to make the narrow minded in a way that they recognize the broad or open path and they don’t choose that path that leads to destruction.

Israel should have entered Canaan 38 years before, but in their unbelief, they rebelled against God. As a result, the consequences for their disobedience and rebellion, the Lord condemned them to wander in the wilderness; until the old generation had died: With the exception of Joshua and Caleb aka the two believing spies.
George Santayana a Spanish philosopher said:

So the first thing Moses did in his farewell discourse was to review Israel’s past and remind the new generation who they were and how they got where they were. Most of all he I’m sure reminded them Who’s they were!

Knowing their past the new generation in Israel could avoid repeating the sins of their fathers.

We told the boys in the youth Bible study, it’s better to learn from the experiences, especially the mistakes of others rather than having to suffer the consequential experiences for those same mistakes yourselves!

An understanding of history is important to every generation because it gives a sense of identity. If you know who you are and where you came from, you will have an easier time discovering what you should be doing.

The new generation of Israel needed to understand they were a chosen people who were called out of the house of bondage in Egypt to be free to worship the Lord who chose them and set them free.

6 "The LORD our God spoke to us in Horeb, saying: 'You have dwelt long enough at this mountain. 7 'Turn and take your journey, and go to the mountains of the Amorites, to all the neighboring places in the plain, in the mountains and in the lowland, in the South and on the seacoast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, as far as the great river, the River Euphrates. 8 'See, I have set the land before you; go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to your fathers-to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob-to give to them and their descendants after them.' 9 "And I spoke to you at that time, saying: 'I alone am not able to bear you. 10 'The LORD your God has multiplied you, and here you are today, as the stars of heaven in multitude. 11 'May the LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times more numerous than you are and bless you as He has promised you! 12 'How can I alone bear your problems and your burdens and your complaints?

13 'Choose wise, understanding, and knowledgeable men from among your tribes, and I will make them heads over you.' 14 "And you answered me and said, 'The thing which you have told us to do is good.' 15 "So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and knowledgeable men, and made them heads over you, leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, leaders of tens, and officers for your tribes. 16 "Then I commanded your judges at that time, saying, 'Hear the cases between your brethren, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the stranger who is with him. 17 'You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small as well as the great; you shall not be afraid in any man's presence, for the judgment is God's. The case that is too hard for you, bring to me, and I will hear it.' 18 "And I commanded you at that time all the things which you should do.

Verse 6: You have stayed long enough: The Lord was saying it’s time to move!

Verse 7: Go

Verse 8: See, I (God) have placed the land before you. Go in and possess the land!

As a fellowship Shine Bright Church is being told both by the city it’s time to move. More importantly, our sovereign GOD is leading us out of our present location!
This can be a scary time for many as it was for the children of Israel, but we need to see that as it says in verse 6- You have stayed long enough. Can it be that God is telling us that through the City?

The Tribes leave Sinai

Now in the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth of the month, the cloud was lifted from above the tabernacle of the testimony; 12 and the sons of Israel set out on their journeys from the wilderness of Sinai. Then the cloud settled in the wilderness of Paran. 13 So they moved on for the first time in accordance with the command of the LORD through Moses; (NUMBERS 10:11-13).

Why did the Lord have the Jews tarry or remain so long at Sinai?

He wanted to give them His Law and teach them how to worship. Something to note about the Law or the 10 Commandments that were given is this:

The Lord didn’t give Israel His Law to save them from their sins, because it says in:
“By the works of the law shall no flesh be justified”.
Under the old covenant, people were saved by faith just as sinners are today. The Law however reveals the sinfulness of man and the Holy character of God. It explained what God required of His people if they were to please Him and enjoy His blessing.

The Law also prepared the way for the coming of Israel’s Messiah as we read about this:
1 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, 2 but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
The law also prepared the way for the various tabernacle furnishings and ceremonies which pointed to Jesus.

Back to Verse 7 briefly when God said to them Turn and set your journey and go to the hill country.

Knowing that wars and dangers lay before them, many of the people might have been content or would want to stay at Sinai; but the Lord ordered them to move. Not only did the Lord command them but He also encouraged them.

We read that He said I have given you this land where I am commanding you to go.

He also promised to keep the covenant He had made with the patriarchs to whom He had graciously promised the land of Canaan.

"So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey"
So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.
With all this all the army of Israel had to do was follow God’s orders and the Lord would give them victory over their enemies in Canaan.

Speaking of coming down; Jesus the God Man would later come down from heaven be born under the law and keep the law perfectly, die the death of the unrighteous which speaks about us sinners. With his death he brought life and gives it freely to anyone who puts their trust in Him by faith recognizing who He is and who we are apart from Him. He would save his people from their sins and can do the same for anyone who trusts in him.
“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Him our Lord and Savior Jesus” (ROMANS 6:23).
Speaking of giving us victory just as the Lord promised victory to the children of Israel over the Canaanite enemies. To the son and daughter of God He has promised victory over the power of sin, the power of death which also is connected to the payment of hell.
Therefore there is now no condemnation at all for those who are in Christ Jesus. (ROMANS 8:1).
Back to Deuteronomy:

9 "And I spoke to you at that time, saying: 'I alone am not able to bear you. 10 'The LORD your God has multiplied you, and here you are today, as the stars of heaven in multitude. 11 'May the LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times more numerous than you are, and bless you as He has promised you! 12 'How can I alone bear your problems and your burdens and your complaints?

In these verses we see an overwhelming problem in particular referring to Moses. Moses has too much on his plate as we have read before back in Numbers and also there are too many people to look over.

Verse 12: How can I alone bear the load and burden of you and your strife or complaints?

It wasn’t easy for Moses to lead this great nation because he frequently had to solve new problems and listen to new complaints. Accustomed to the comfort of their camp at Sinai, the people resented the hardships of their journey to the promised land.

We need to be careful not to have this heart that is not trusting and depending on the Lord’s sovereignty over our own feelings and wants instead of the Lord’s will and purpose.

Regarding hardships listen to the Apostle Paul and let us learn from these powerful words which he walked out:
“For our momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 CORINTHIANS 4:17-18).
Something to note here regarding the children of Israel as we have read is this:

They forgot the distress of their years of slavery in Egypt and even wanted to turn around and go back! They got accustomed to the Manna that God sent them from heaven each morning and soon took it for granted, and they longed for savory meat and vegetables they had enjoyed eating in Egypt.

It is no wonder Moses got discouraged and cried out to the Lord! He wanted to quit, and he even asked God to take his life back in Numbers.

13 'Choose wise, understanding, and knowledgeable men from among your tribes, and I will make them heads over you.' 14 "And you answered me and said, 'The thing which you have told us to do is good.' 15 "So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and knowledgeable men, and made them heads over you, leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, leaders of tens, and officers for your tribes. 16 "Then I commanded your judges at that time, saying, 'Hear the cases between your brethren, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the stranger who is with him. 17 'You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small as well as the great; you shall not be afraid in any man's presence, for the judgment is God's. The case that is too hard for you, bring to me, and I will hear it.' 18 "And I commanded you at that time all the things which you should do.

The Lord answers Moses. 

The Lord sees Moses and he saw his discouragement; church, He also sees you and your discouragement and just like he answered Moses, He will answer you at His time and His way.

Moses was a great leader and a spiritual giant, but even he could do only so much. God’s answer to Moses’s prayer was to give him seventy elders to assist him in managing the affairs of the camp.

In a similar way, the Lord has given Pastor Sonny two more elders in James and myself to lighten the burden for our loving Pastor.

He and the elders organized the nation by thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens, with competent leaders in charge. This created a chain of command between Moses and the people so Moses could get a little break and wouldn’t feel like dying as we previously mentioned.

We see the same thing happening with the Apostles in the book of Acts as they needed to delegate and set their priorities
ACTS 6:1-4
1 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. 2 Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. 3 "Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; 4 "but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.
The world says that “teamwork makes the dream work” but we are told that we are one body with many members, and we all need each other in the body of Christ who he himself is the head of all. Let us carry each other’s burdens in love and patience. Amen!

19 "So we departed from Horeb and went through all that great and terrible wilderness which you saw on the way to the mountains of the Amorites, as the LORD our God had commanded us. Then we came to Kadesh Barnea. 20 "And I said to you, 'You have come to the mountains of the Amorites, which the LORD our God is giving us. 21 'Look, the LORD your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the LORD God of your fathers has spoken to you; do not fear or be discouraged.' 22 "And every one of you came near to me and said, 'Let us send men before us, and let them search out the land for us, and bring back word to us of the way by which we should go up, and of the cities into which we shall come.' 23 "The plan pleased me well; so I took twelve of your men, one man from each tribe. 24 "And they departed and went up into the mountains, and came to the Valley of Eshcol, and spied it out. 25 "They also took some of the fruit of the land in their hands and brought it down to us; and they brought back word to us, saying, 'It is a good land which the LORD our God is giving us.'

Kadesh-Barnea was the gateway into the Promised Land, but Israel failed to enter the land because of fear and unbelief. They walked by sight and not by faith in God’s promises.

Verse 21: “See the Lord your God has placed the land before you; Go up and take possession and on top of that it’s like the Lord knew how they were feeling so he adds: “Do not fear or be dismayed or discouraged”

We tend to fear and be discouraged when things are out of our control, and we can’t figure things out. Instead let us listen to these words that God says; Do not fear or be dismayed; I am in control I don’t need you to figure it out. Just trust in me.

How much more evidence did the people need that their God was able to defeat the enemy and give them their land? Had he not defeated and disgraced all the false gods of Egypt, protected Israel, and provided for them on their journey? The answer is an emphatic Yes, he had done all those things with great power!

God’s commandment is always God’s enablement, and to win the victory. His people need only to trust and obey.

Verse 22-25: The first indication that the nation was wavering in faith was their request that Moses appoint a group of spies to search out the land.

It was like, “I know God who knows all told me to ‘Go and take’ but let us be sure He didn’t miss anything.

They wanted to do recon when God had already done the recon for them; and He even gave them the names of the nations living in the land. Surely the people knew that the will of God would not lead them where the grace and power of God could not keep them.

Something to note is that when Moses came to the Lord with the request of the people to spy out the land, the Lord graciously gave him permission to let them do it. God knows how weak we are apart from Him, so He sometimes lets us have our way. This isn’t because we are right, and God is wrong; but because he is patient with us!

We find an example with Gideon of God allowing man to see signs from God; but instead, man should be obeying and trusting in what God says: Let us read:
Then Gideon said to God, “If You are going to save Israel through me, as You have spoken, 37 behold, I am putting a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will save Israel through me, as You have spoken.” 38 And it was so. When he got up early the next morning and wrung out the fleece, he wrung the dew from the fleece, a bowl full of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not let Your anger burn against me, so that I may speak only one more time; please let me put You to the test only one more time with the fleece: let it now be dry only on the fleece and let there be dew on all the ground.” 40 And God did so that night; for it was dry only on the fleece, and dew was on all the ground (JUDGES 6:36-40).
This however should make us walk in fear in humility. Because there’s always a danger that we will become proud and self-confident and start telling God what to do! Doing God’s expressed will is the safest course because God never makes a mistake.

26 "Nevertheless you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of the LORD your God; 27 "and you complained in your tents, and said, 'Because the LORD hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. 28 'Where can we go up? Our brethren have discouraged our hearts, saying, "The people are greater and taller than we; the cities are great and fortified up to heaven; moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there."' 29 "Then I said to you, 'Do not be terrified, or afraid of them. 30 'The LORD your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes,

31 'and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.' 32 "Yet, for all that, you did not believe the LORD your God, 33 "who went in the way before you to search out a place for you to pitch your tents, to show you the way you should go, in the fire by night and in the cloud by day. 34 "And the LORD heard the sound of your words, and was angry, and took an oath, saying, 35 'Surely not one of these men of this evil generation shall see that good land of which I swore to give to your fathers, 36 'except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and his children I am giving the land on which he walked, because he wholly followed the LORD.'

37 "The LORD was also angry with me for your sakes, saying, 'Even you shall not go in there; 38 'Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall go in there. Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. 39 'Moreover your little ones and your children, who you say will be victims, who today have no knowledge of good and evil, they shall go in there; to them I will give it, and they shall possess it. 40 'But as for you, turn and take your journey into the wilderness by the Way of the Red Sea.' 41 "Then you answered and said to me, 'We have sinned against the LORD; we will go up and fight, just as the LORD our God commanded us.' And when everyone of you had girded on his weapons of war, you were ready to go up into the mountain.

42 "And the LORD said to me, 'Tell them, "Do not go up nor fight, for I am not among you; lest you be defeated before your enemies."' 43 "So I spoke to you; yet you would not listen, but rebelled against the command of the LORD, and presumptuously went up into the mountain. 44 "And the Amorites who dwelt in that mountain came out against you and chased you as bees do and drove you back from Seir to Hormah. 45 "Then you returned and wept before the LORD, but the LORD would not listen to your voice nor give ear to you. 46 "So you remained in Kadesh many days, according to the days that you spent there.

Rejecting the Land

There will always be nay-sayers as they say: 10 spies out of 12 which was the majority said to the people. No, we can’t conquer the land because the people are giants, and their walls are too tall.

The minority Joshua and Caleb boldly affirmed that the Lord was able to give His people victory because He was greater than any enemy. Unfortunately, the nation sided with the majority and became discouraged and even more afraid.

Twice as we read in Verse 21 and 29 told them not to be afraid, but his words fell on deaf ears.

The whole nation with the exception of 4 men rebelled against the Lord and failed to claim the land he had promised them. In their minds it was as if the Lord could bring them out of Egypt, but He couldn’t take them into Canaan!

We have gone over all of this to ask this question; What was the cause of Israel’s failure at Kadesh-Barnea?

“They forgot what He had done, the wonders He had shown them.” “They did not remember His power” They forgot His deeds And His [f]miracles that He had shown them. (PSALM 78:11)

God had demonstrated His great power by sending the plagues on Egypt and by opening the Red Sea so Israel could escape, and yet, none of these wonders had really registered in the minds and hearts of His people. Even the miraculous provision of bread, meat and water didn’t increase their faith.

Note this:

They gladly received the gifts but failed to take to heart the goodness and grace of the giver. They forgot that we should love the Giver more than we love the gifts.

As a result, they hardened their hearts against the Lord and developed “an evil heart of unbelief”.

What can we learn from this?

If God’s blessings don’t humble our hearts and make us trust Him more, then those same blessings will harden our hearts and weaken our faith. Unless we receive His Word in our hearts and give thanks to God for His blessings, we become proud and selfish and begin to take the Lord’s blessings for granted.

We should with thanksgiving take the Lord’s blessings that come our way but like the psalmists says have the heart that says this:

The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;You support my lot. (PSALM 16:5).

Inheritance - their source of security, and in this case, their hope.

Yet in spite of the Lord’s presence, protection and compassion, the people failed to trust the Lord, who acted as a military scout to guide them every step of the way during their journeys in the desert.

In response to their rebellion and grumbling, the Lord was angry and said that none of the men from the evil generation would see or enter the land because of their unbelief that showed through their rebellion and disobedience.

Let us take heed or pay attention to this warning found in Hebrews related to what we are reading about and what we have read about in Numbers.

15 While it is said, “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS, AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME.” 16 For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose dead bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 And so we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief (HEBREWS 3:15-19).

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