Text: Numbers 32:5-9
We are at the end of the children of Israel's 40 year journey in the wilderness.
In their exodus, God has them pause to examine themselves.
The first generation that left Egypt has died off, because of their unbelief.
The children endured famine, and God supplied quail. They gorged themselves on the quail, and God had to remind them that He is not only the God of the feast, but also of the famine.
Be careful not to waste all your living, in excess.
Before the Promise, there is always a test, a tribulation and a trial.
The children even tried to back away from God. When Moses went to Mt. Sinai to commune with God and receive His laws, the people decided to party-on since God had forgotten about them.
Even though the struggle of your trial and the test of your faith has become difficult, just hold on to God.
Here, the children face one last trial as they ask the question, "How shall we possess the blessing?"
God's blessings come out of His grace. And what is grace? The unmerited favor bestowed on us because He loves us so much.
Just as with the current crisis in Japan, we question the validity of God in the light of our current circumstances. Why does He allow suffering?
Just because you are struggling now, does not mean that you will struggle always.
We must summon the faith to make it to tomorrow.
We must remember that God loves us in our ugliness, shame, filth, frailty, limits and in our less.
We need the love of God most when we are at our bottom.
Grace moves God's love into action. Goodness travels on grace's highway.
Some of us do not try to secure God's blessings because we feel that we do not deserve it.
At those times we want to rely on God's "common" graces; on the grace that He gives to all people.
[We become fatalistic] We say, "If God wills it, it will happen," rather than asking for His blessing in our prayer life.
The enemy keeps us bound up. He accuses us before God and before the brethren. He tells us that we do not deserve God's love.
We don't want to position ourselves only for God's leftovers. We want to be in a position to receive God's best!
"I deserve God's best blessing!"
God can be moved by your condition.
It matters whether we perceive God as a mountain of granite or a mountain of grace.
We must climb to that mountaintop to get God's blessings.
The God of the Old Testament is a God of cooperation. He'll work with you if you work with Him.
In the text, we have the Twelve Tribes of Israel. All 12 tribes did NOT go into the Promised Land. Moses becomes upset with the people and begins to pronounce woes on them.
They have corrupted the blessing Of the Almighty God. He feels they have become like the first generation that left Egypt who did not truly believe that God would bless them. The Lord's anger mirrors Moses'.
The Lord says, "They have not wholly followed Me."
Two of the tribes want to get their blessing beforehand!
But God gives a counteroffer. Before you get your promise, you must help your brothers first.
It's not all about you.
Are you willing to help someone else secure their blessing before you get yours?
"If there is anything I can do to help you get your blessing, I'll be there for you."
They begin to work for the blessings of other people, and the Lord's anger turned to favor. God blessed them because of their willingness to help others.
If you're willing to help someone else, God will look in on your "stuff."
Illustration: The Smile-Smile taxi company in Japan.
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Will you help someone else while your own life is in shambles?
God is a movable mountain of grace.
Illustration- Drake- Yoda Yoda Best, LORD; Best I ever had, LORD!