Remembering that God is gracious should not be too difficult of a matter. However, when we as human beings and as Christians get side tracked from the obvious, ie., God’s grace; it is generally due to blessings we have received. We tend, at times, to be side tracked, and caught up in the blessing rather than the Blesser.
My reading for day 12 consisted of Deuteronomy 1 – 14. The reading of Deuteronomy is of Moses reminding the children of Israel of the events of the past 40 years wandering in the wilderness. He reminds them of their deliverance from Egypt; of times when God supplied them water; when there appeared to be no water. How God supplied them bread when there was none to be had; and He, the LORD, gave them Manna – bread from heaven; and they ate it each day. He reminded them of their past failures; particularly of their sin with the golden calf. He also reminds them of God’s grace; and His promises to give them a land “flowing with milk and honey”.
“Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, ‘For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land:’ but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee. Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that He may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Understand therefore, that the LORD thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people.” Deuteronomy 9:4-6 (KJV)
In the four hundred plus years since Jacob entering Egypt God was providing grace to the people of the land of Canaan. Someone may ask the question, “Does scripture tell us that anywhere?” I do not have a particular verse or verses in mind, but scripture always assumes and promotes the wonderful grace of God; so that is what I stand on here. While God is preparing Him a people, a nation of people He is also giving the nations in Canaan opportunity to repent; but rather than repent their sin escalates toward destruction.
God reminds Israel of His grace by reminding them that He is giving them this land, and driving out its inhabitants; not because Israel is a righteous people, but because of the “wickedness of these nations”. God does know that the children of Israel are a “stiffnecked” people – a stubborn, obstinate, rebellious people. Yet, God in His grace blesses them with His grace.
God has blessed the world with His grace. It is available to all who will believe in, trust His Son Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins, was buried – carrying our guilt and condemnation away, and rose bodily from the grave to ever live making intercession before the Father for all will believe.
Grace is God’s undeserved favor toward those who believe in Him.
People today are a stiffnecked, obstinate, stubborn and rebellious people. We are undeserving of God’s grace, yet He offers it freely to all who will trust in His Son and His finished work. Jesus said,
“This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” John 6:29
The presence of God, His glory, and righteousness is for us because of the cross of Jesus, His burial and bodily resurrection. Remember God’s Grace.
-Tim A. Blankenship