The Lord wanted the nation of Israel to show the glory of God. But when the Israelites were on the way to the promised land, they began to rebel against God. Their rebellion was shown in the way they disobeyed their leaders who were placed by God to help them, take care of them, lead them and to provide for them. God knew that the people of Israel would rebel and leave the ways of God after Moses’s and Joshua’s death; that even the little righteousness and fear of God that they had would leave them. God gives a glimpse of this in the following verse Then my anger will blaze forth against them. I will abandon them, hiding my face from them, and they will be devoured. Terrible trouble will come down on them, and on that day they will say, ‘These disasters have come down on us because God is no longer among us!’ – Deuteronomy 31:17 (NLT)
God is jealous of His people and expresses His heart for them in this verse. It is not because He hates them. This was an act of love, justice and discipline. He teaches them a lesson through abandonment. By hiding His face from them, God gives them the ultimate punishment that an individual can experience on earth. The blessing of having God’s face shine upon them was taken away.
Any amount of normalcy, blessing or goodness we experience is a result of God’s face shining upon us which brings us a favour. The reason we are not devoured is because of the face of God shining upon us. The ending of the verse talks about a realisation that comes after a process of events; beginning with God’s anger, abandonment, hiding His face from them, given to be devoured and terrible trouble coming upon them. When the terrible trouble came, they realised that God was not among them.God abandons Himself from us to teach us a lesson. Click To Tweet
When you face calamities and troubles, try to go back and inspect to see if there is anything you have willingly allowed in your life; like some patterns, covenants or relationships that have allowed the Lord to be pushed away. We are often so mesmerized by the gods that are worshipped in our culture; that God becomes a distinct reality. Inspect and see if it’s because of the lack of God’s presence that you are experiencing these troubles. And if it is the case, run back to the presence of God.
The Bible says that you can go boldly to His presence knowing that He will forgive you, welcome you and shower His love upon you. Come back to Jesus today, allow the Holy Spirit to minister to your heart, and allow that Father’s love to overtake you once more so that you never have to be in a place where the face of God is hidden from you and you can walk in the fullness of God’s favour and His blessings over your life.
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For the LORD hardened their hearts and caused them to fight the Israelites. So they were completely destroyed without mercy, as the LORD had commanded Moses. – Joshua 11:20 (NLT)
For they said, “Let us seize for our own use
these pasturelands of God!”- Psalms 83:12
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