At that time, I begged GOD, “GOD, my Master, you let me in on the beginnings, you let me see your greatness, you let me see your might — what god in Heaven or Earth can do anything like what you’ve done! Please let me in also on the endings, let me cross the river and see the good land over the Jordan, the lush hills, the Lebanon mountains.”
But GOD was still angry with me because of you. He wouldn’t listen. He said, “Enough of that. Not another word from you on this. Climb to the top of Mount Pisgah and look around: west, north, south, east. Take in the land with your own eyes. Take a good look because you’re not going to cross this Jordan.
“Then command Joshua: give him courage. Give him strength. Single-handed he will lead this people across the river. Single-handed he will cause them to inherit the land at which you only look. ”
That’s why we stayed in this valley, near Beth Peor.
As I read these verses this morning it struck me that I’m afraid to seek after God’s greatness. I don’t want to see all that He can do — then, what, what would He ever do with me?
I have gotten comfortable with the present realities of God’s plan for me, but now I don’t want to move on. I think that I say He can take me to what is next, it will mean a final good-bye to all the benefits to following Him that I’ve gotten used to. And what about all the test and troubles that await me, God’s perfect tools to transform my heart by faith to love Him more? I don’t know if I can handle that.
I don’t know if it’s okay with Him that I be awed at first by fear, but He certainly has my attention. There is nothing else so great that I should turn my eyes from straining to see His next move. This is where I ought to be.
God, You are good to set me at attention like You have. I cannot find peace by looking inward; You are making ever so clear to me how little I have to rely on inside myself. I don’t want to hold onto the emptiness, but embrace the fullness only You can fill me with.
But even there, if you seek GOD, your God, you’ll be able to find him if you’re serious, looking for him with your whole heart and soul. When troubles come and all these awful things happen to you, in future days you will come back to GOD, your God, and listen obediently to what he says. GOD, your God, is above all a compassionate God. In the end he will not abandon you, he won’t bring you to ruin, he won’t forget the covenant with your ancestors which he swore to them.
Ask questions. Find out what has been going on all these years before you were born. From the day God created man and woman on this Earth, and from the horizon in the east to the horizon in the west — as far back as you can imagine and as far away as you can imagine — has as great a thing as this ever happened? Has anyone ever heard of such a thing? Has a people ever heard, as you did, a god speaking out of the fire and lived to tell the story?
Or has a god ever tried to select for himself a nation from within a nation using trials, miracles, and war, putting his strong hand in, reaching his strong arm out, a spectacle awesome and staggering, the way GOD, your God, did it for you in Egypt while you stood right there and watched?
You were shown all this so that you would know that GOD is, well, God. He’s the only God there is. He’s it. He made it possible for you to hear his voice out of heaven to discipline you. Down on Earth, he showed you the big fire and again you heard his words, this time out of the fire. He loved your ancestors and chose to work with their children. He personally and powerfully brought you out of Egypt in order to displace bigger and stronger and older nations with you, bringing you out and turning their land over to you as an inheritance. And now it’s happening. This very day.
Know this well then. Take it to heart right now: GOD is in Heaven above; GOD is on Earth below. He’s the only God there is. Obediently live by his rules and commands which I’m giving you today so that you’ll live well and your children after you — oh, you’ll live a long time in the land GOD, your God, is giving you.