Summary: The Love of God will never let us go.
FOCAL Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.
Opening Illustration: Napoleon, the Great Emperor of France, was sitting on his horse one day looking at some papers when he dropped the bridle of the horse. The horse, startled, reared up, and if it had continued to do so Napoleon could have been thrown or even killed. A young corporal stepped forward and, risking his life, reached up and grabbed the bridle. Pulling down he calmed the animal. Napoleon saluted the corporal and said, "Thank you, Captain". Without a pause the young man said "Captain of what company, Sire- Napoleon responded, "Captain of My Guards". The young man immediately saluted and walked across the field to the Emperor’s staff, tearing off his corporal stripes as he went. When he stepped in amongst the officers one asked him what was he doing. He said, "I am now Captain of the Guards". Another asked, "By whose order- Unbending the young man said, "By the Emperor’s Order". This is the difference between mental assent and genuine faith. This young man trusted that the Emperor’s word was good, and he obeyed that word without question. He could have - when challenged - allowed fear of the other officers to dictate his actions. Instead he stepped up, following Napoleon’s word, and was blessed because of it.
The greatest leader and prophet - perhaps of all time - is the Prophet Moses. God used Moses to write the first five Books of the Bible. God used Moses to destroy the pagan kingdom of Egypt. He used Moses to lead Israel out of Egypt, and to the very border of the Promised Land. This great man - a man of faith commemorated all throughout the Scripture, and quoted numerous times throughout the New Testament - this great man was about to die. For forty years he labored to bring a hardheaded people from bondage and into the Promised Land. But Moses wasn’t going to go into the Promised Land. He was going to die and be buried by God Himself (see Deuteronomy 34:5-6). Moses didn’t die because of bad health. The Bible says that when he passed into the glory of Heaven that Moses was
Deuteronomy 34:7 (KJV) ... an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.
"His eye was not dimmed, nor his natural force abated". Another version reads "his vitality had not left him". At the ripe old age of 127 Moses was just as spry, just as full of energy as he was at the age of 18. He didn’t die from heart disease - and he didn’t die lonely either. Moses was loved by both God as well as by the Israelites. The Bible says that
Deuteronomy 34:8 (HCSB) The Israelites wept for Moses in the plains of Moab 30 days. ...
Why did this great man Moses die? He died for the same reason that the first Generation of Israel died: because he did not hear and do the Word of God.
Before Moses died he gave a blessing to the Israelites who were going to enter the Promised Land.
A Biblical "Blessing" is not only a prayer that an elder says for those he will leave behind, but it is also contains instruction and wisdom that you need to live by.
As Moses prepared to die he knew that every minute left was precious. What words of wisdom should he leave with all of Israel, words that would help them experience the greater blessing of God?
1. You must obey the Word of the Lord if you want to enter the Promised Land. The door to blessing swings on two hinges called "obedience" and "trust".
FOCAL Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is thy refuge ...
Illustrate: A "refuge" is "a den, a dwelling place, a hiding place". A refuge is a place you go to in times of trial, of attack, and of storm. When I was growing up my next door neighbor had a "bomb shelter" that he stocked with non-perishable food and supplies in the event that America was bombed. We never used it for that purpose, but when tornadoes were in the area Mr. Poole often called us up and invited us to come to the refuge with his family.
You go TO a refuge, a refuge doesn’t chase you. You hide in a refuge, and gather your supplies from the refuge. The refuge doesn’t care how you feel, but is there for you to come to and be blessed - but you MUST come to it. God is our Refuge.
I am told that the human body is composed of around 60-78% water. We need water - in the right amount - to live. If you study the history of Israel you’ll see that Lord used water to test the faithfulness of His people. When Israel first came out of Egypt the Bible says that they first came to the Red Sea. They can’t run any farther! Some six million Israelites - all slaves - were freed from Egyptian bondage by God’s mighty hand. Now they’re stopped at the edge of the Red Sea. The armies of Egypt are marching toward them. Rather than turn to God as their Refuge, trusting Him, Israel cried out in faithlessness, "Moses, why did you bring us here? We’re going to die in this wilderness!" (Exodus 14:12). Moses - faithful Moses - said "be still and see the salvation of the Lord. The Lord shall fight for you, and you shall be quiet!" (Exodus 14:13-14). God parted the waters of the Red Sea, and Israel went between the walls of water, crossing that vast sea with no problem. The army of Egypt, however, bogged down in the muddy bottom of that sea, and were crushed as the two walls of water violently slapped together. God is our Refuge.