Scripture study Deuteronomy 1:1-29.
This is the first lesson in a series about fear. Please join us as we study where it comes from and why it is in our lives.
That I see,
Who's the enemy
No, that's not how the rhyme goes, but maybe it should. We all have something that holds us back from being the person we want to be.
I am severely claustrophobic. At least I used to be. When my house flooded, my husband's employer bought a travel-trailer for us to live in while our house was being renovated. It was about 10' wide and 26' long. If I was cooking, my husband couldn't get to the bathroom. I would have to step out of the 'kitchen' so he could get to the bathroom door. I never put food on the table because he could refill his plate from the stove without getting up from the table. It was not comfortable, but my gratitude for a place to live over-came my claustrophobia. I no longer fear small spaces. I had created that fear for myself. I do not know if at some point in my young life I was trapped in a small space or where the fear came from. But at my age, I had been in enough small spaces without an incident that I should have been able to rationalize that the odds of a problem were minimal.
In the first chapter of Deuteronomy, Moses recaps what has happened to the Israelites since leaving Egypt. He reminded them what God had told them on Mt. Horeb --Enter the hills of the Amorites and the surrounding areas in the desert, the highlands, the lowlands, the arid southern region, and the seacoast—the land of the Canaanites—and the Lebanon range, all the way to the great Euphrates River. Look, I have laid the land before you. Go and possess the land that I promised to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as to their descendants after them. Deut. 1:7-8. Then Moses reminded them how he had split them into groups with leaders to better govern the people.
They had obeyed God's instructions and traveled to the land which He had promised them. The people weren't willing to enter the land without knowing what they would encounter. They requested that spies be sent in and return with a report so the people could better plan their attack. Seems reasonable. Moses said to them: Then all of you approached me, saying, “Let’s send spies ahead of us—they can check out the land for us. Then they can return with word about the route we should use and bring a report about the cities that we’ll be entering.” Deut. 1:22. Notice what they said. They wanted to plan their route 'that we'll be entering'. There was no doubt about entering. However, when the spies returned with the report of giants in the land, the Israelites began to question the wisdom of taking the land which God had given them. They had seen God send plagues in Egypt while protecting them. They had watched God lead them by fire at night and cloud by day. They had crossed over Jordan on dry land. Then they had watched Pharaoh's army drown in the same river they had just crossed. They had seen how God had provided food for them every day. Now they believed that God had brought them to this new land to die.
Moses reminded them of the incident. They took some of the land’s fruit and then came back down to us. They reported to us: “The land that the Lord our God is giving to us is wonderful!” But you weren’t willing to go up. You rejected the Lord your God’s instruction. You complained in your tents, saying things like, “The Lord hates us! That’s why he brought us out of Egypt—to hand us over to the Amorites, to destroy us! What are we doing? Our brothers have made our hearts sick by saying, ‘People far stronger and much taller than we live there, and the cities are huge, with walls sky-high! Worse still, we saw the descendants of the Anakites there!’” Deut. 1:26-29. Can you imagine leading your child to something or someone you know will harm them? If God wanted to kill them, why not just leave them in Egypt? The Egyptians were killing them work. Did they not trust God? Had God not proven Himself already? Was their fear rational?
The next time you experience FEAR, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I believe that God wants to harm me?
- Do I trust God?
- Has He proven Himself to me in the past?
- Is my fear rational?