A Land for Which the Lord Your God Cares
Monday, January 02, 2006
When God created man and woman in His image, He told them to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth. He gave them every plant yielding seed, that is on the face of all the land, and every tree, with seed in its fruit, for food (Genesis 1:27-29). In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve did not need to plow, plant, water, or harvest the food they ate. All they needed to do was to watch it grow, pick it and eat it.
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they opened the door to sin and unleashed hell on earth. God told Adam, “Because of you—because you have listened to your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat, the ground is under a curse. In sorrow and toil, you shall eat of the fruits of it all the days of your life. It will also bring forth thorns and thistles. In the sweat of your face you will eat bread, until you return to the ground, because you were taken out of the ground. You are made from dust and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:17-19)
With sin and disobedience, came death, disease, destruction, and degeneration. Nothing would ever be easy for them again. Instead of just resting in God’s presence, protected and provided for, now they had to fend for themselves. They had to work hard for everything they got with opposition from every side. Thorn and thistles would come up and choke all of their efforts—they would need to fight for their very survival.
For your eyes have seen all the great work of the Lord which He did. Therefore you shall keep all the commandments which I command you today, that you may be strong and go in and possess the land which you go across [the Jordan] to possess, And that you may live long in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give to them and to their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. For the land which you go in to possess is not like the land of Egypt, from which you came out, where you sowed your seed and watered it with your foot laboriously as in a garden of vegetables. Deuteronomy 11:7-10 AMP
Even though the earth is still in the condition that God said it would be—full of thorns and thistles competing for domination in amongst the food-bearing plants—God is, and always has been, reaching out to man—His crowning creation, created in His image—to draw him to Himself and to bless him. He reached out to Abraham and promised that He would bless his descendants with land. He reached out to Moses and the children of Israel and promised them a land flowing with milk and honey. He told them that this land was not like Egypt, in which they had to work laboriously. He told them:
But the land which you enter to possess is a land of hills and valleys which drinks water of the rain of the heavens, A land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it from the begin-ning of the year to the end of the year. And if you will diligently heed My commandments which I command you this day--to love the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being-- I will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. And I will give grass in your fields for your cattle, that you may eat and be full. Deuteronomy 11:11-15 AMP
The Lord told them, “This is a land for which I, the Lord your God, personally cares. I am watching over it. My eyes are always upon it from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. And if you’ll listen to Me and obey Me, I will give your land rain at the exact right times of the year so that your job will be made easier. You will harvest all that you planted and eat all the fruit of your labor. I’ll even provide food for your cattle, so that you may eat and be satisfied!”
This principle has not changed through the generations. We can do things our own way and battle through the thorns and thistles of life, plowing, planting, and watering our crops and yet never enjoying the fullness of the bountiful harvest that we could enjoy if we would obey God and submit to Him, or we can submit every part of our lives to Him and allow Him to come in and bless us way beyond what we could produce by our own efforts alone.
We can then claim the promise, as the children of Israel could, that God will personally take care of us and our families and everything we have, and that He, personally, will watch over us and our affairs, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year, providing everything we need, and prospering everything we do. Start now to ask the Lord what you need to do to be fully obedient to Him alone and then stand on his promise that He will watch over you and provide for you, exceedingly, abundantly, far above anything you could ever ask or imagine!