- Righteousness Before Relationships (Deuteronomy 13:6-11)
- Morning Meditation: Listen to Words not Wonders (Deuteronomy 13:1-5)
- Morning Meditation: Inquiring After Their Gods (Deuteronomy 12:28-32)
- Morning Meditation: Obedience is Always an Option (Deuteronomy 12:20-27)
- Morning Meditation: How to Enjoy God’s Blessings (Deuteronomy 12:15-19)
- Morning Meditation: One Pattern, One Name, One Place (Deuteronomy 12:8-14)
- Morning Meditation: Shrine or Sanctuary? (Deuteronomy 12:1-7)
- Morning Meditation: A Blessing and a Curse (Deuteronomy 11:26-32)
- Morning Meditation: A People of the Book (Deuteronomy 11:18-25)
- Morning Meditation: The Primacy of Obedience (Deuteronomy 11:13-17)
- Morning Meditation: Characteristics of the Land (Deuteronomy 11:8-12)
- Morning Meditation: A Heritage of Obedience (Deuteronomy 11:1-7)
Todays Reading: Deuteronomy 11:8-12
The condition in which God’s people serve Him is of supreme importance, as is their motivation for service. Here, the Lord reminds Israel that their obedience should be entire so that His blessing can be entire. Thus, He surveys the character of the land to motivate their warfare and not fall back as did the previous generation. Canaan is an illustration of the Christian life: it still contains enemies but is the place of divine blessing and progress. These verses demonstrate the character of the same God Who desires to bless us in our “land.”
It is a Possessed Land (v. 8)
There is a direct cause and effect between obedience and spiritual blessing. The Lord says, “You shall therefore keep every commandment which I am commanding you today so that you may be strong and go in and possess the land.” Have you ever asked yourself why God demands full obedience? Think about it: why would God give us commandments at all? One reason is that He is holy, and that ought always to be our motivation. But why would God desire us to align with His holiness if He could just as easily show it by judging us in our sin? The answer must be that He desires to bless us. He commands us so we may be more like Him so we may be sharers of His joy. Let us not live our life in half-obedience, for then we only live a half-life. There is no disconnect between obedience and living; they are one and the same to the Christian. Supreme commitment yields supreme spiritual blessing.
It is a Promised Land (v. 9)
Another motivation for Israel to possess the land was their anticipation of it. Generations before them had desired the land yet could only appreciate it in a measure, if at all. Our inheritance, however, extends far beyond Israel’s anticipation. Ours begins before the world began. Our inheritance is Christ Himself (Ephesians 1); thus, wherever Christ fills Scripture’s pages, our blessing is anticipated. Let us marvel at the heart of God that had our blessing in view from eternity. Our “land” is more of a promised land than was Israel’s, and we ought to enjoy it with confidence knowing that we have the goodness of a sovereign God on our side.
It is a Particular Land (v. 10)
Canaan was specifically not like Egypt. When Israel asked, “What will the land be like?” the Lord could respond, “You remember Egypt? It will not be like that. Whatever Egypt is, that is what Canaan will not be.” Even Egypt’s natural beauties were inferior because they were turned into idols. Only Israel, fully consecrated to God, could possess true beauty in every respect.
So, our Christian life is defined by what it is not: it is not like the world. In the world, the energy was the flesh, just as Egypt’s energy was not in flowing milk and honey but rather garden-treading and seed-planting, things that were laboursome. Our energy is that of the Spirit, and this has no parallel in the world. Let us be a separate people today, for our blessing lies in the unique place of God’s purposes. Christ’s burden is light only when we are walking in step with Him, for the yoke will be uneven as long as we walk the pace of the world. Let us learn well: the world contains no spiritual resources for the Christian. To live this is revolutionary.
It is a Pleasant Land (v. 11)
There are three characteristics of the land: hills, valleys, and rain. The hills speak of security as ideal places to build a fortress. The valleys speak of lush pasture because of the rivers flowing through them. The rain of heaven reminds us of God’s provision for fruit and food. The Christian life will contain hills, experiences which build us up and stabilize our faith. These God brings in His faithfulness; therefore, we need not despair to think that life is equivalent to hardship. Life contains hardship, but life is not hardship itself. It will also contain valleys, places with pasture where we feed. Yet, as valleys are often overcast by shadow, so life will be overcast by trial even as one pursues the will of God. But in all of this we are directed heavenward to the God Who faithfully sends needed rain. Our sufficiency is of Him, not life’s ups and downs. Heaven remains steadfast, and it is that which makes our lives pleasant while we dwell below.
It is a Protected Land (v. 12)
The two clauses that stand out are “The Lord your God cares” and “The eyes of the Lord your God are always on it.” His heart is there. His eyes are there. The land is a place protected by divine passion. So, we can be sure that every experience we endure, every aspect of divine inheritance we enjoy, God is “for us.” The plan began with Him, and therefore it will continue by Him. He brought us into life by His own will; we need not think He will forsake us or leave us now. Why would He have invested so much to yield so little? God cares. God watches. God will not suffer the righteous to be moved. Our “land” is blessed because God is there, and He makes His own Being our very portion, our lot of inheritance. Do you despair that life is crumbling in your hands? Rest assured that it is really in God’s hands, and that is the confidence we need.