Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Eternal God Is Thy Refuge

Temple Baptist Church - 2-8-2009

Deuteronomy 33:26-29


A. The years of wandering are now over for Israel. Once again they stand upon the threshold of the land “flowing with milk and honey.” Forty years is a long time and the Israelites have no doubt gotten comfortable with their fate. God has cared for their every need, they have faced little adversity from enemies, Moses has been staunch in his leadership, and little has been required of them. A generation has now passed away who doubted the God of Israel in the presence of the land of Canaan with all of its seemingly impossibilities.

B. Israel now faces a two-fold dilemma as they approach the land:

1. They will now face the giants “greater and taller than we” as well as cities “walled up to heaven!” The giants are no smaller and they have probably heard many stories about them over the years by those who turned back in discouragement. The walled cities loom as opposing in the skyline as ever, seemingly impregnable structures that cannot be breached.

2. Moses is not going to lead the people into Canaan’s land! (34:7-10) He is now to be replaced by Joshua. Though Joshua is a great man in the eyes of the people, he is not Moses!
C. What an awesome prospect that must have been! Here in these verses, Moses speaks his last to his people as he prepares to be “gathered unto his people” as God had said. These last verses of his are to encourage the people to push forward under their new leadership with the confidence that God would not let them down. As it was 40 years ago, victory was assured. God had promised and Moses assured the people that He was able to deliver the land with its inhabitants into Israel’s hand.

D. Moses instilled confidence into Israel by placing their confidence in Jehovah God. What a wonderful thing, the knowledge of just who or God is! I am glad that the God of Israel is my God! In these days, we also face giants who inhabit cities walled up to Heaven and yet the promises to Israel are also promises to us. We will always find God faithful to His purposes as well as to His people.

1. Our God Is One Of A Kind – vs. 26 (There was none before Him; there is none co-existent with Him; and there will be none after Him. There is none like Him!)

a. There Is None Like Him In His Power – All Power in Heaven and in Earth is His! No job too hard; no enemy too tough; no task impossible!

b. There Is None Like Him In His Performance – What God does is done right! What God does is done in a right way! What God does brings a right result!

c. There Is None Like Him In His Perpetuality – He is the eternal and unchanging God! He never goes to sleep or takes a break. In prayer He does not “lose a signal!” He takes no vacations or time off. He is and always will be there for us!

2. Our God Is Active In Our Help – vs. 26 (Did one ever have a Friend so faithful? Others may want to help and even try to help but the Lord IS our Help!)

a. His Help Is Promised – Our help cometh from the Lord! Vain is the help of man, horses, or princes! The arm of flesh will fail you. The Lord is our Confidence.

b. His Help Is Present – A very present help in time of need! Very present and always on time! Never early and never late, our Lord is always there.

c. His Help Is Purposed – He does not give us what we want when we want it. He gives us what we need when we need it!

3. Our God Is A Refuge In The Time Of Trouble – vs. 27 (The Lord is more than just a place to “run to,” He is a place of abode! Hid with Christ in God is more theology that I can explain. It is a place of permanent residence in the “Beloved!”)

a. He Is A Covert In The Storm - When The Whirlwind Comes! When the clouds swirl about us and the wind blows, we stand secure!

b. He Is A Castle In The Battle - When The Enemy Approaches! When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will raise a standard against him!

c. He Is A Comfort In The Night - When Sorrows Like Sea Billows Roll! In the night of deep despair, my faith keeps telling me He is there!

4. Our God Is Able To Keep Us From Falling – vs. 27 (We cannot fall so deep into distress or so low in affliction that the grace of an ever-faithful God will not still encircle us!)

a. Our Foundation Is Secure – Our feet are upon the Rock of Ages! God Himself is our sole support. It is upon Him that we stand firm. I’m standing on the Rock of Ages, safe from every storm that rages.

b. Our Steps Are Sure – Our goings have been forever established! Our path shines brighter as the darkness of this world deepens. The Word is our Lamp and Light as the Spirit is our Guide!

c. Our Way Is Straight – He both girds us and undergirds us. We may fail but we will never fall!

5. Our God Will Defeat Our Enemies – vs. 27 (I does me well to remember that the battle is the Lord’s and He cannot be defeated!)

a. Our God Will Stand With Us – He will never leave nor forsake us!

b. Our God Will Fight For Us – If the Lord is for us, who can be against us?

1) There Are No Giants Too Tall For God

2) There Are No Walled Cities Too High For God

3) There Are No Devils Too Powerful For God

c. Our God Assures Us Of Victory – vs. 29

1) God Will Expose Them

2) God Will Enthrone Thee

6. Our God Will Keep Us Both Safe And Secure – vs. 28 (The horse is prepared against the day of battle but safety is of the Lord!)

a. We Are Kept Safe Spiritually – He gives us eternal life. Eternally secure!

b. We Are Kept Safe Physically – Psalms 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

Conclusion: Moses told Israel, “Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.” What a wonderful God we have this morning! He knows all of our needs and makes sure that they are met.

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