I Know What You Have

big-flock-of-sheep

Sometimes commands in Scripture appear to be overlooking something. Obedience is required without taking into account the unique features of individual situations. Humanity is given instructions that cannot be customized. It appears to set some of us up to fail. These are not helpful thoughts. They are also not biblical. Take the children of Israel for example. The tribes of Reuben and Gad were told to leave their families and farms behind in the plains opposite the Promised Land, and go fight the natives. Their response is reasonable. How can they leave everyone behind? Who will feed and protect them? Doesn’t God realize how much they have and how vulnerable their people are? God makes two statements in Deuteronomy 3:18-22 that give us an answer. The first is in the parenthetical note of verse 19. God is intimately aware of every individual situation, and even makes a point of acknowledging “I know you have much livestock”. God knows every detail. He won’t lower his expectations, but maintains them despite knowing all the grounds for our excuses to disobey. Secondly, he comforts the tribes by reminding them he is a warrior in verse 22. He fights for us in both the physical and spiritual world. He gives us reasonable commands, and then the faith to move forward with full assurance that he has already been there and cleared the way.

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