Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20020731.htm
DEUTERONOMY: GETTING OTHERS TO BE VICTOR, NOT CASUALTIES
Part V: Doing ALL We CAN DO To Example Scripture Obedience For Disciples
Lesson: Until GOD directed Moses to END his capacity to influence Israel in his DEATH, he did his BEST to EXAMPLE obedience unto the Lord, even assigning three cities of refuge with the best of his ability and experience to care for the unique needs of innocent fugitives in the transjordan tribes.
- From a human perspective, we are very limited in ministry efforts toward leaving a great impact on those in our families, churches or communities we wish to disciple for Christ.
- However limiting they may seem, God wants us to be humble about our assignments, to accept them and use His gifts to us for ministry to abound in serving Him in the assignments we receive, Rom. 12:1-2, 3-8.
- Moses exemplified how we are to do all we can do where God grants us the opportunity to serve Him:
- Doing ALL We CAN DO To Example Scripture Obedience For Disciples, Deuteronomy 4:41-43.
- Moses earnestly desired to be able to lead Israel into the Promised Land, but God judged him to die in the transjordan area due to personal sin, cf. Numbers 20:1-12 with Deuteronomy 3:23-26.
- In fact, against Moses' express wish, God would not let him personally enter the land even just to see it, but to view it from the transjordan hills, Deuteronomy 3:25-26, 27.
- However, though limited from his dream of leading Israel into the Promised Land, Moses had full jurisdiction of Israel in the transjordan land. Accordingly, he took advantage of that jurisdiction to do his best to example obedience to Scripture relative to the transjordan cities of refuge (as follows):
- Following the allotment of the transjordan lands to the 2 }> tribes, God commanded Israel to set up six cities of refuge for parties to use as shelters from avengers of blood, Numbers 32:1-42 with 35:6.
- The choice of six cities provided easy access for refugees: this is shown in Moses' later call to urge Israel to supply adequate roads and spacing between these cities for ready access, Deut. 19:3 NIV.
- Well, Moses was aware the Jordan River was a formidable barrier to travel, and created an unjust advantage to an innocent party fleeing for his life from an avenger of blood. He thus knew there had to be cities of refuge for tribes on both sides of the Jordan.
- He also knew he had jurisdiction of Israel on the transjordan and not on the West Bank.
- Accordingly, Moses gave instructions utilizing the best of his abilities and experience for three of the cities of refuge, those that were to serve the needs of the 2 }> transjordan tribes, Deuteronomy 4:41-43:
- Moses chose half of the cities of refuge to be located in the 2 }> transjordan tribes, Deut. 4:41-42.
- They were split between the three tribal groups represented on the East Bank: Bezer for the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth for the tribe of Gad and Golan for the half tribe of Manasseh, Deuteronomy 4:43.
- This was the best allotment Moses could personally make on the matter as follows: (a) There were 2 }> tribes in the transjordan, so Moses felt if each tribe with its own interests had a city of refuge, claims of favoritism or an unjust hearing between people of the various tribes could thus be the most minimized. (b) Akin to this, knowing the 2 }> transjordan tribes were geographically alienated from the greater policing power of the other more populated 9 }> tribes, Moses' choice of a city of refuge per tribe for the transjordan counterbalanced the tendency for less law-and-order in these 2 }> tribes. (c) Also, the transjordan terrain was more open than that of the West Bank, Num. 32:1, 4. From his own personal experience as a fugitive from Pharaoh in open, exposed terrain (Ex. 2:11-22), Moses was uniquely aware that innocent transjordan fugitives had less of an advantage of protective cover and were thus more exposed to unjust harm by pursuing avengers. His experience dictated the transjordan tribes needed more cities of refuge per area than the 9 }> tribes, so he planned for it! (d) Finally, Moses' empathy from his past experience for fairness to innocent fugitives is seen in his call for even spacing and good roads to these cities of refuge in Deuteronomy 19:3 NIV.
Application: Though God's WILL for our lives might SEEM to be LIMITING to US, as in Moses' case, we should make the MOST of each OPPORTUNITY God GRANTS us to EXAMPLE obedience to Him for others, Eph. 5:16. Let us (1) ACCEPT God's roles, and (2) ABOUND in them, 1 Cor. 15:58!