Getting Ready For Canaan
by Mervyn Paul
Have you ever felt that life was useless, meaningless, and that nothing you could do was worthwhile? Some of us who have been “laid on the shelf” feel this way rather keenly at times. Then, too, there are so many of the Lord's people who are crying out of the depths of sorrow and perplexity, “Why, oh Lord? Oh, why did this have to happen to me?” Others seek to comfort themselves with the thought, “There must be some good reason.”
If perchance the reader should be among the number who know what it means to be dismayed, frustrated, and discouraged, or grievously cast down, the message to the Hebrews of old found in Deuteronomy chapter 8 should prove to be full of light and re-assurance, particularly verse 2; for the word in this verse might well be paraphrased: "God has been at work in your lives.” God had wrought great things for His people in the wilderness, to which reference is made in verses 4, 15 & 16. Yet when He wishes to stress the evidence of His presence with them, and of His faithfulness and love, He calls on them to remember how He had led them: “To humble thee, and To prove thee, To know what was in thine heart.”
He humbled them to reduce dangerous pride — pride that could have caused them to forget God, to exalt self, to abandon dependence on Himself (verses 11-18).
He proved them fo reveal defects in their sin-spoiled characters. With such knowledge they would be enlightened in their struggle to become “overcomers.” (Compare verse 5 with Hebrews 12:10-11 & Rev. 21-7).
He sought also to know (to discover, to reveal) what was in their hearts. Other interests can crowd both Himself and His Word out of men's lives. (Compare verses 3 & 11-13 with Mark 4:19; Luke 14:16-20 & 16:13). Thus did the Lord show His hand at work in His people's lives. And “why?” "To do thee good in thy latter end” (verse 16) was the answer to the riddle. In other words (verses 7-9), He was - Getting Them Ready for Canaan.
Turning now to the New Testament, we learn that God is at work in our lives also (Philippians 2:13; Hebrews 13:21; Philippians 1:6). That He is using similar methods is shown in many passages, e.9., Romans 5:3-5 & Hebrews 12:3-11.
Why does He deal with us in such ways? Why must we be “dragged through the mill” so often? Why should He labour ceaselessly to teach us, “To will and to do of His good pleasure?” . .. “There must be some good reason.”
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Also in this edition
Powerpoint - Tim Palmer
From The Editor's Desk
Getting Ready For Canaan
Our Statement Of Belief
Zephaniah 1:1-13 - An Exposition
From Our Israel Desk
God's Strange Work
Signs Of The Times
Pre-Tribulation Signpost - Expectations
Through The Eastern Window
Church & Branch Listings
What In The World Is Happening?
Book Of The Month