Moses was minding his own business when he was interrupted by an unusual phenomenon. A flame was housed in a bush; however, the bush was not consumed. The bush maintained its own identity and was subsumed into the flame. This theophany seized Moses’ undivided attention. Moses goes over to investigate this closer. When he gets closer, the voice of the Lord speaks to him. The Lord informs Moses that the Lord has seen the affliction of His people, and that he has heard their cry. The wholesale jerseys Lord continues by affirming his concern. God can’t see and hear and not be concerned. God goes beyond concern and tells Moses, that he himself is come down to set them free. The Lord says that he is going to take them out of Egypt and into a land flowing with milk and honey. God’s deliverance is inclusive of what God is taking them out of and what God is bringing them into. Because God is incarnational, because God uses the instrumentality of human personality, God informs Moses that he is sending Moses to go tell Pharaoh to let his people go.
Most of this sounds good to Moses. He is thrilled by the fact that God has noticed the plight of the Hebrew people. Moses is excited that God is personally getting involved in liberating the Hebrews from oppression. And then to hear that God is bringing them into a land flowing with milk and honey lifts the spirits of Moses. And although there is some initial reservation and reticence on the part of Moses, he is awed by the fact that God would use him to make this happen; especially in light of Moses’ history. This initial call of and promise to Moses and the Israelite people is brimming with good news.
But there is one issue. There is one small fact that is included in this call and promise that can’t be ignored. The euphoria of milk and honey might cause one to ignore this seemingly perfunctory truth. When God tells Moses that he will bring the children of Israel into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey, he also refers to this land as the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. This is not trivia. This is not some tangential reality. The land that God has promised them is occupied by someone else. The land is inhabited by the enemy. What God has for them is in the possession of other parties.
God does not hide this from them. God does not try to get them to buy in to this liberation dream by hiding the reality of the obstacles. God does not hoodwink them by selling them on all the positives of following him. Following Jehovah would not be all about blessing, breakthrough, success, and prosperity. There is the reality of the “ites”! God does not hide the adversity from them. He does not present them with a “people-friendly” religion. What they are about to embark on is inclusive of milk and honey, but it’s not all about milk and honey.
Christian discipleship is not all about milk and honey. This journey is not just about “a good and spacious” land. Following Jesus includes having to deal with some “Canaanites.” Following Jesus is inclusive of having to encounter the enemy. Following you Jesus does include some suffering and sacrifice. Jesus never hides this fact. He says “if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” He says “in this world you will have tribulation…” In an attempt to attract people and “build” ministries, too much teaching and preaching highlights “milk and honey” and hides the issue of the Canaanites. The reason some people depart from the road of discipleship is that in the pursuit of the milk and honey of the faith, they ran into some Canaanites; they ran into some hardship; they ran into a season of suffering, and ended up turning back because they were never informed about the Canaanites.
God never tells Moses how the occupants of the Promised Land are going to be dealt with, he only informs Moses and the people of the existence of the enemy. He never gives them a sense of how he will deal with their issues up front. The only thing they are to do is to get on the road of liberation. The blessing is that Moses and the people commence the journey with the Canaanites in their heads and without knowledge of how the enemy will be dealt with. They don’t know how the anticipated obstacle will be handled but they begin their pursuit anyway. There are some dreams you pursue, there are some things you go after even if you don’t know how the obstacles will be dealt with. The call of God does not always come with details, specifics and contingency plans. God does not spell out how the enemy will be dealt with. God is more into “what’s” than into “how’s”. We want to know HOW it’s going to happen; God just declares what is going to happen. Mature faith leaves the “how’s” up to God. We’re not wise enough or strong enough to deal with the “how’s”. The only thing we can do is to focus on the “what’s”! Leave that to God!
If God promises you arrival, you have to trust that he will see you Hacked through the turbulence. You may not be able to see how God is going to do it. You may not be able to figure it out based on what God says up front. But when you can’t figure it out, you have to faith it out. To “faith it out” means you have to travel even with the reality of the anticipated obstacle in your head. It may be in your head but you can’t let it hinder your movement. The Canaanites may have been in the psyche of by the Israelites but they kept on walking. The women had no idea how the stone was going to be moved, but they kept on walking. It is clear that the enemy may have been in their heads, but the enemy was not in their hearts. When the wholesale jerseys obstacle is only in your head, you can keep on walking! If I let the enemy get in my heart, progress will cease. Some of you went off to school/college not knowing how tuition was going to be paid, but you went anyway. Some of you went on that job interview knowing that you did not meet all the requirements, but you went anyway. Some of you started that business without knowing how it would work, but you launched out anyway. You have to know how to travel even the Canaanites in your head. A consciousness of the enemy can’t stop you from moving. Faith does not mean to live in denial of anticipated obstacles. Faith says I’m moving anyway.
The occupants of the land had not been mentioned for a while. They were included Online in the original call and promise; but since that original mentioning of them, God had not brought them back up. But now, toward the end of this conversation with Moses and the people concerning covenant, God brings the enemies back up. They find their way into the conversation again. God has been speaking to Moses who would in turn speak to the people. Toward the end of this conversation with Moses a cascade of promises come flowing from the mouth of the Lord. In the midst of these promises God tells them how their obstacles will be dealt with.
In this part of the promise, God gives them THE PLAN. God says “little by little I will drive them out….” Already the Lord explained to them that he was going ahead of them to deal with the enemy. There were headed to the Promised Land, but there were obstacles in claiming the Promised Land. But God says while you are journeying, I’m ahead of you working. The journeying is up to the people; the working is up to God. Ahead of them God would invoke some fear. God would cause the enemy to become afraid of God. The fear would not be a fear of the people. It would be a fear of God. The occupants of the land would hear of what God was doing in other places and that would cause a fear of the Almighty. It’s not you that causes fear in your enemy, it is the power of God. You thought some folks left you alone because of your bravado. It wasn’t you, it was him. In the movie “The Bear”, a young bear cub suffers the accidental death of his mother from a rockslide. He is then adopted by an older male grizzly, who teaches him how to hunt and fish. While playing alone, the cub is soon confronted by a cougar. He’s chased down a hill, and then out on a limb over a river. The bear cub goes out on a limb and limb breaks and he falls into the river. He floats down the river right to the cougar who IT circled around. The cougar corners the cub, who tried to defend himself by roaring. Pretty soon the cougar runs off. The tiny bear probably thought that it was his roar that scared off the cougar, until he turned around. When he turned around he saw that the big grizzly was standing on it’s hind legs roaring! It’s not your roar, it’s the roar of the Father that scares the enemy. Sometimes you think it’s you, it’s really the power of God that took care of what was in front of you.
God would deal with their obstacles by invoking fear and by instigating confusion. The confusion would cause the enemies to turn on themselves. Some battles you don’t have to fight because the enemy turns on themselves and start “cannibalizing” each other. Certain political parties end up imploding because of internal confusion! Sometimes you don’t have to do anything. Just sit back and watch how the enemies cannibalize each other.
God would deal with the enemy by invoking fear, instigating confusion, and by inciting the hornets. God would use nature against the occupants of the land. God can use whatever God chooses to use in God’s purpose. Nature is easily co-opted into the God’s salvation history. The sting of the hornets would chase some of the enemies away.
God would deal with the enemy by invoking fear, instigating confusion, and by inciting the hornets. And God was going to do this “little by little.” This Lab was not going to be some overwhelming blitzkrieg that would drive out the enemy. God was doing it “little by little.” Gradually God was going to get rid of the occupants. God chose to do it little by little. The need of the Israelites was not going to force God into rushing. What seemed urgent to them was not emergency for God. There are times when what is urgent for us, is not an emergency for God. An urgent matter for Jairus, whose daughter was sick unto death, did not translate into an emergency for Jesus. God views emergencies differently. God was going to do it “little by little.”
This is how God works sometimes. God does not always work all at once. God is able to do it all at once. God is able to open up seas all at once. God is able to bring down the walls all at once. God is able to make ways all at once. But many times God does what God does “little by little.” God deals with your enemies “little by little.” Gradually God deals with gets what and who is trying to stop you or hinder your progress. There are times when God heals “little by little.” We want healing now. But God does not always work that way. In one case he healed a blind man immediately by the name of Bartimaeus. In another case, Jesus had to touch a blind man twice in order to heal him. God empowers you to overcome temptation “little by little.” The song says “each victory to will help you some other to win!” God enables you to accomplish your dreams little by little. It may not happen all at once. It may not come to you overnight. But God just chips away at possibility. God opens doors little by little. It’s not always all at once.
I have to learn how to rejoice in today’s “little”. And then I need to praise God for tomorrow’s “little.” You have to know how to survive on today’s “little” . You have to know how to appreciate today’s little! They were having testimony service in the nursing home, and the residents were talking about their blessings. Many of them spoke about the blessing of their families coming to visit them. Some of them testified about the fact that they were feeling pretty good. There was one old lady who could not NEU testify about any of that. But she did raise her hand, and she said “I thank God that I have two teeth. One on the bottom and one at the top. And they both meet each other!” Sometimes you have to shout about the little!
In this promise God conveys the plan, and then God shares THE PURPOSE. “Little by little, I will drive them out, until you have increased…” Why does God work little by little? Why doesn’t God drive them out overnight? Why doesn’t God work faster and harder in my situation? Why does God take so long in opening doors? I’ve heard God do it for other people.
According to the context, God works little by little in order to avoid the desolation of the land. In the verse before this verse the Shampoo Lord says “I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate. If God drove out the enemy too long ahead of time, the land would be overgrown with weeds. There would be no one to till and work the land. The Lord leaves the enemies in place because their work will end up yielding a harvest for God’s people. The occupants did not even know that there work was going to end up blessing the incoming Israelites. What they were doing would end up blessing God’s people. The Lord left Judas in the number, because his work would serve God’s plan. Sometimes the enemy does not even know that their working some land for you. They are serving God’s plan. I wonder why God leaves certain people in place. I wonder why the Lord allows certain disgruntled faces to be in my face. I can hear God saying “I need to keep them in place because they are working a harvest for you!”
Why does God work little by little in getting rid of the enemy? God does it to avoid the desolation of the land. God does it to avoid the multiplication of the enemy. God says “I will not drive them out in a year, lest the land become desolate and beasts of the field become too numerous…” If God drove out the enemy too soon, there would be no one there to keep the wild animals from taking over. The wild animals would be a worse enemy than the present occupants. God keeps one enemy in place in order to keep a worse enemy from taking over! Sometimes you think things are bad, you really don’t know how crazy it could be, if God allowed everyone to get at you who wants to!
Why is God working little by little? It is to avoid the desolation of the land, the multiplication of the adversary, but also to allow for the maturation of his people. He says “little by little I will drive them out, until you have increased. “The people of Israel would grow as a people as they journeyed. They would prosper and develop on the road to where God wants them to be. You don’t have to wait to get to where you want to be before you grow. You grow as you go. On the way to where God wants you to be you can be productive. They would produce and reproduce in the wilderness. When God’s hand is on you, you can produce and reproduce in the wilderness.
In order to have some strength in numbers, which would subsequently intimidate the enemy, God needed to give them some time. They weren’t ready for milk and honey yet. They needed to grow before they would reach the promised land. They needed maturation before blessing. God needed to know that their level of maturation was commensurate with what they were about to be blessed with. God knows what you can handle and when you can handle it. You want God to give it to you now. You may not be ready for it. You may not be ready for him efficace or her. You wholesale jerseys might mess it up if he gave it to you now. Some blessings can kill you if you get them before you are ready for them. I like the prayer of Jabez because before Jabez says “enlarge my territory”, he says “bless me.” In other words mature me before you enlarge my elegir territory! We have to trust God’s wisdom and timing. God knows how to match blessing and maturity. My dad use to take me to this horse farm where I would ride a little pony around in the circle. Pretty soon that got boring to me. While I’m riding the ponies, my eye would be on the big horses that I saw the bigger kids riding out on the trails. Every time we went I would cry and complain because I wanted to ride the horses instead of these ponies. My dad kept telling me you aren’t ready. You have to get bigger. One day he got tired of my complaining and he allowed me to ride a bigger horse. He got on one and I was on the other. We did alright for a moment, until another horse road up beside my horse. My horse started bucking a little bit. I started sliding off the horse, and then I just jumped off. Guess what I jumped into? A pile of horse manure! That was all because I didn’t trust my father’s wisdom. You may want to ride a horse when all you’re ready for is a pony. If you don’t trust God’s timing, you may end up falling into a pile of. Some of us are in some “stuff” right now because we did not listen to the voice of God.
In this promise God describes the plan, God declares the purpose, and then God affirms THE PROVISION. “Little by little I will drive them out…, until you have increased, and you inherit the land…” God affirms the fact that they will inherit the land. God is still working even if it By is little by little. God’s work goes undetected sometimes. Don’t think God is sitting on the sidelines just because God is working “little by little.”
God details the boundaries. The land that God will give them will be bordered on one side by the Red Sea in south and the Mediterranean up north. It was bordered on the other side by the Euphrates river to the south and the Desert in the north. This lines up with the original promise made CHUS to Abraham. This basically the same promise that God made Abraham. This is nothing new for the people of Israel. The promise still stands. The promise had been through the storms and rain but it still stood. In the movie “the Book of Eli”, Denzel Washington’s character is trying to get a book to a certain destination. We discover that the book is some kind of Bible. Along the way that book is stolen it is almost burned. It goes through adversity trying to get to the coast. When Denzel finally gets it to its destination, he says to the person to whom he gives it, “it’s a little beat up, but it still works!” That’s how God’s promises are, they are a little beat up, but they still work” .God is true to God’s promise.
Trust that God is working it out little by little!