Deuteronomy 9:1-6

Sunday Morning Bible Study

August 5, 2001


God is getting the people ready for the Promised Land. He’s using Moses to tell the people what is important if they want to have all that God intends for them to have.

In a way, it’s kind of like getting ready for a vacation.  It’s been brought to my attention that Noah getting the ark ready was much like this.



10.  Did anyone think about bringing a couple of umbrellas?
9.  Hey, there are more that two flies in here!
8.  I finally get a bass boat and now I have to take the whole family....
7.  Wasn’t someone supposed to put two shovels on board?
6. OK, who’s the wise-guy who brought the mosquitoes on board?
5. “Don’t make me pull this ark over and come back there!”
4. No Ham, you cannot eat the Pig!
3. “And whatever you do, DO NOT pull this plug out.”
2. Nice Doggie!
1. “Are We There Yet?”

Just like going on vacation, God wants you to be prepared.  He has GOOD things for us.

:2 the children of Anak!

The children of Anak were some of the giants in the land, specifically those who had lived near the area of Hebron. Caleb, one of the two faithful spies sent into the land, had been to Hebron and knew that God was able to deliver the giants into their hand. When they came into the Promised Land, Caleb asked Joshua for a special piece of land for his home, he asked for Hebron. He was in his eighties, but he was still ready to take on the giants.

:1-2 greater and mightier than thyself


You can do great things

God had already told the people several times that what they are about to accomplish in taking the Promised Land was something bigger than they could really handle.
(Deu 4:38 KJV) …To drive out nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou art …
Does that make it impossible? Not if God is on your side.
Paul wrote,
(Phil 4:13 NASB) I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Jesus said,
(John 15:5 KJV) I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
When you are tempted to think that you can’t handle what God has placed before you, you may be right. You can’t without God’s help. But with God’s help, anything is possible.

I heard of a story about a small village where an elderly woman died. She died penniless, uneducated, unsophisticated, but during her lifetime her selfless service had made a tremendous impact for Christ. On her tombstone they chiseled the words, “She did what she couldn’t.”


I like the spirit of men like S.L. Potter, a La Mesa, California, resident who bungee jumped for the first time at age one hundred! Potter’s children, ages sixty-eight to seventy-four, were vehemently opposed to the leap, but Potter climbed a 210-foot tower and successfully executed his jump. His first words when he got off the Cord? “Give me back my teeth!”

-- Ed Young, Been There. Done That. Now What?, Broadman, 1994, p. 189.


Hudson Taylor, the great missionary to China, said, “Many Christians estimate difficulty in the light of their own resources, and thus they attempt very little, and they always fail. All giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on His power and His presence to be with them.”

Do you face some big things in your life? Has God put some challenges before you? If these are challenges that God has put before you, there isn’t anything that God can’t do.

:3 which goeth over before thee


God goes ahead of you

You will find when you are walking in God’s will, entering into the good things that God has for you, that He has already been there ahead of you, getting things ready.
That doesn’t mean that life is trouble free.

In a sense, my parents have gone to the “Promised Land”.  They moved this week. We think that God has given them a wonderful new home, but it hasn’t been easy. The escrow closed about a week late. They had problems getting phones switched. On Friday there was a power blackout at the old house and we thought they had turned the power off. It was almost getting comical, all the things that were going wrong. Then yesterday, after getting up at 4:30 a.m. to get ready, the movers showed up four hours late. But they’ve done it. They’re in their new home.

The Israelites would still have to face the giants and conquer their enemies, but there would be a sense in which God would be preparing things for them.
When Israel was preparing to conquer the first city of the Promised Land, Jericho, two spies were sent to check things out. They stayed at the house of Rahab the harlot who filled them in on the conditions of the city:
(Josh 2:9-11 KJV) And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. {10} For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. {11} And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.

God had gone before the people in making sure their enemies knew of God’s great work. The victory was prepared by God.

I think of what God did for us as a church with our current facility. For years we prayed while we were meeting at the YMCA that God would prepare a place for us. We prayed that God would have a place all built out for us. And while we prayed, there was a nightclub using the Ice House. They helped get things like exits and air conditioning in place. Then they moved out and an advertising agency moved in. The artists wanted the place to be colorful and so they spent thousands of dollars on the cool paint job. They put in the carpet in the sanctuary. They had the offices wired for a computer network. And when we found this place, after we received city approval, we simply moved in.
Sometimes we worry how we could ever get to the places where we think God is leading us. But don’t worry, He’s already at work. When you arrive, you’ll find that God has been at work getting things ready.

:4 but for the wickedness of these nations


God will judge

God didn’t give the land to Israel because they were so wonderful, but because it was time to bring judgment to the people that were living in the land.
Abraham was told that one day his descendants would go live in another land, but that God would one day bring them back:
(Gen 15:16 KJV) But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

One of the reasons God would bring the people back was to bring judgment on the wickedness of the people living in the land.

Archaeological evidence shows us that these nations that Israel conquered were some of the most morally depraved cultures to have been in existence.

All of mankind will one day face judgment. The Bible says,
(Heb 9:27 KJV) And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
All of mankind will be judged according to their sin. And the outlook doesn’t look great. The Bible says that we’ve all sinned.
(Rom 3:23 KJV) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
This is why God sent Jesus, to die on a cross and take the punishment for our sins. Now all we need to do is come to Jesus, ask Him for forgiveness, and trust that He will save us.
(John 3:16-18 KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. {17} For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. {18} He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

God will one day judge the world. But if you have put your trust in Jesus, you have passed out of judgment into eternal life.

:5 Not for thy righteousness


God is great, not you

Forgive me if this damages your self-esteem, but the greatest things you can ever do are the things that God does through you.
There is a danger of falling into the trap of thinking that when God uses you, it’s because of your excellent spirituality.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe that God wants us to grow spiritually and that God will honor our faithfulness in things like praying and studying His Word.
But even in these things, the bottom line is that God is the one at work.
A young seminary graduate came up to the lectern, very self confident and immaculately dressed. He began to deliver his first sermon in his first church and the words simply would not come out. Finally he burst into tears and ended up leaving the platform obviously humbled.
There were 2 older ladies sitting in the front row and one remarked to the other, “If he’d come in like he went out, he would have gone out like he came in.”
I came across a quote that I’m trying to put into my life:
Former UCLA Coach John Wooden learned a lot about life from his many years as a basketball coach. He had seen Phil Woolpert win back-to-back national championships at San Francisco in 1955 and ‘56 and then struggle in the crucible of trying to keep winning. Then he saw Ed Jucker also win two in a row, at Cincinnati in ‘61 and ‘62, only to leave coaching because of similar pressure. That’s when he resolved never to exult unduly in victory or to languish in defeat. “One’s life,” he says, “should be the same.”

-- Sports Illustrated, April 3, 1989, pg. 111

Not only should we be careful not to get too excited about the “victories” in life, but we need to keep it clear in our head that anything good that comes out of us has come from God.

:6 thou art a stiffnecked people.

stiffnecked – The figure is that of a stubborn ox who refuses to submit to the yoke.


Stubborn Ship

Actual transcript of a radio conversation of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October 1995. Radio conversation released by the Chief of Naval Operations 10-10-95.

Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.

Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, DIVERT YOUR COURSE!

Canadians: No, I say again, you divert YOUR course.


Canadians: This is a lighthouse! Your call!


God even loves stiffnecked people

How’s that for grace! God is going to give the Promised Land to these people, but they’re a bunch of stubborn sinners!
In fact, God actually LOVES these people (Deut. 7:8).
Don’t think that God couldn’t love you. He does.
What should a stubborn person do? Surrender.
Room For The Oil
Tears filled my eyes, my body trembled.
My heart was heavy - longing.
I looked up at the stars from the depths of my heart
and I cried out to God, Lord! I Love you!
I want more of You. Please give me more of You."
"There's no room left for me.
Not understanding, I cried out again, pleading,
"Lord, Please fill me."
He gently said,
"There's just no more room for me.
You have all you can hold."
My heart sank and I cried,
"Lord, I don't understand,
I NEED more of You, Please!"
Then the Lord showed me a big glass vase,
a pile of handkerchiefs and a pitcher of oil.
He said, "This vase is your heart and I am the Oil."
He picked up a handful of handkerchiefs and
put them into the vase.
He said, "These are your family,
these are your cares, your worries,
the things that consume your heart and
the things you tend to put before Me:
family, home, income, entertainment, friends,
bills, every anxiety, worry and fear.
Tears fell as I saw the vase FULL.
Then the Lord picked up the Oil and poured it into the vase.
As He put it down, I saw that the pitcher was Still Full.
He said, "you see---
Your heart is already Full.
There's so little room for Me.
These are all the things that fill and weight your heart,
leaving no room for me."
My sweet child, give me ALL your cares.
That is Why I died.
Give me ALL your heart and I will fill you with MYSELF.
You want so much more of Me --
then leave room for Me"
To be Full of God, is to Surrender ALL.
    ~ Shanna Martinez "Handrails"


“Father, I want to know thee, but my coward heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from Thee the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a rival. Then shalt Thou make the place of Thy feet glorious. Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for Thyself wilt be the light of it, and there shall be no night there. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
- A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God