January 13, 2019

“Beginning Of The Year – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

“Now pay attention to all the commandments I am giving you today, so that you may be strong enough to enter and possess the land where you are headed, and that you may enjoy long life in the land the LORD promised to give to your ancestors and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. For the land where you are headed is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, a land where you planted seed and which you irrigated by hand like a vegetable garden. Instead, the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy is one of hills and valleys, a land that drinks in water from the rains, a land the LORD your God looks after. He is constantly attentive to it from the beginning to the end of the year.” (Deuteronomy 11:8-12)

The phrase, “the beginning of the year,” occurs only twice in the Bible, here in Deuteronomy 11:12 and in Ezekiel 40:1. The Bible is not referring to January 1, but to the month Abib, in the spring, just before Passover.

“Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.” (Deuteronomy 16:1)

“This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.” (Exodus 12:2)

Moses is reminding Israel that their blessings depend on God’s favor and that favor depends on paying attention to all His commandments, all the time. This is one of the most obvious and powerful lessons to be learned from God’s dealing with Israel.

In this passage, the Lord, through Moses, is speaking of the “promised” land, which He had prepared for the children of Israel. It was “a land flowing with milk and honey,” a phrase used eight times to describe a fertile, generously productive land. It was not like Egypt, which receives its produce from the overflowing Nile. Instead, this was “a land that drinks in water from the rains, a land the LORD your God looks after.” It required God’s constant, continual attention. This promised land was promised God’s blessings if they obeyed God. It was promised God’s judgment if they disobeyed.

“When Lot was choosing his portion of the land we read, “Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere — …like the garden of the LORD…”

This is the way it was, a paradise, like the Garden of Eden. Today it is a desert land, a pile of rocks. It takes a proud, blind prejudice to ignore the contrast. God’s repeated warnings have been dramatically fulfilled.

‘Yet if in spite of this you do not obey Me… ‘I will make the land desolate … I will scatter among the nations and will draw out a sword after you, as your land becomes desolate and your cities become waste.” (Leviticus 26:27, 32-33)

God has withdrawn His attentive care, on which Israel’s “water from the rains” depends. It does rain in Israel, only in the winter, when they don’t need it.

Although these promises were made specifically with reference to Israel, blessings of a covenant relationship with God are now extended to individuals of “all the nations” (Matthew 28:19), including America. God has certainly blessed our nation most abundantly, founded as it was in its beginnings on the principles of God’s words. Sadly, however, there may be indications that His blessings are being withdrawn. Apostasy dominates religious service and moral decay has overtaken us. Could His judgment be on the way?

Here, at “the beginning of the year,” let us resolve pray and work to bring America back to the God of our fathers before it is too late and final judgment falls on our once-blessed nation. Our text reminds, “He is constantly attentive…from the beginning to the end of the year.”

Adapted from some thoughts expressed by Henry Morris







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