children of Israel journey toward the Promised Land, they are given various instructions
by Moses.One of the things they are
told is that the land they are headed to is nothing like the land they left
behind, v. 10.They are told that it is a brand new type of
land.It is a land that will require
them to think of things in a new way.It
is a land that will require them to depend upon the Lord and upon Him alone.
As I read
these verses, I see a parallel between the words of Moses concerning Canaan and this New Year that we have just entered into.Like the Israelites, we are beginning a
journey into the unknown.This New Year
will be nothing like the year we have just left behind.It is, in truth, a new land into which we are
entering.Success in this New Year may
require that we do things differently than we did last year.Certainly, it will require that we walk in
total dependence upon the Lord God as we journey through the days of 2002.
trying to tell Israel that the land of Canaan is their land.He is telling them that all they need there will be looked after by the
Lord.He is, in effect, telling them “This
land is your land.”I would like
to tell you that this land, this New Year, is your land too! As the Lord gives liberty this evening, I want
to look into this passage and share with you the promises we have as we enter
this New Year.Regardless of how things
may look this evening, this land is your land!Let us enter it with understanding and confidence knowing the Lord will
take care of everything that may arise.Let’s look at these two verses this evening and come to realize that
this land is your land.
I.THE WANDERING OF THE NEW LAND
A.The Promised Land is described as a land of
hills and valleys.As such, it is
Egypt.Egypt is a flat land.There are no valleys and mountains there.But, Canaan is different.Everywhere the
Israelites traveled, when they entered Canaan, they encountered the hills and the valleys.
B.I want you to know this evening that 2002
will be a year of hills and valleys.There will
be times when you will experience the mountain top
experiences and there will be times when you will walk through the valleys of
life.As we enter this New Year, let us
not do so blindly, but with the knowledge that it will bring with it both the
up experiences as well as the down times too.
C.Be that as it may, let us also remember that
all our times, both the ups and the downs,
are controlled by the
Lord, Psa. 37:23.Let us remember that God must allow anything
that comes our way, Rom. .His intentions for us are not
evil but good, all through the year, “For Iknowthethoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”,
D.Therefore, do not be
surprised when you descend from the mountain into the valley as
progresses.None of us knows what lies
ahead, but we walk with a God Who does.We walk with One Who intimately knows the way, and Who has prepared the
way as He has seen fit.Since this is
true, we need not worry nor fear, but we should walk quietly, peacefully and
humbly with the Lord as He leads us through the ups and the downs of 2002.
E.Thank God for the
hills and the valleys!Imagine what the
world would be like without
mountains we are surrounded by!So it is
in our spiritual life as well.Imagine a
life where every day was the same.Imagine a life that was dull and boring because the landscape never
changed.Thank God for the good days of
life they produce rejoicing in our souls!Also, thank God for the difficult days of life.They drive us to our knees and cause us to look
heavenward for the help to make it through.Friends, we could never appreciate the anchor if we never felt the
II.THE WATERING OF THE NEW LAND
A. The land of Egypt was a land that required irrigation to make it
fertile.Those who lived
and farmed there had to work very hard to bring water
from the NileRiver
to the places where they grew their crops.They depended on the yearly flooding of the Nile to fertilize the land.This
flooding process was as necessary as it was destructive.Egypt was a land of many unknown and of hard and difficult
labor for the people who lived there.
wants the Israelites that Canaan will be different.In Egypt they worked for their water.In Canaan, God Himself
would see to sending the water they needed.They would not have to dig canals and build complicated irrigation
systems to make the land fertile.They
would simply have to depend on the Lord to take care of them.He would let the rain of Heaven fall upon them.It would run off the hills and water the
valleys and their land would flourish as a result.God’s promise to them is that is they would
walk in obedience to Him, He would see that their need for rain would be met, v. 13-17.
B.What a lesson this is for the church!The world (Egypt) all around us struggles from day
to day to provide the things they think they
need.They work and they labor to try
and take care of themselves.Sometimes
it works and at other times it does not!However, those who have entered the place of rest in Jesus do not have
to struggle as others.As we pass
through the days of our lives, we serve a God Who has promised to take care of
His children, Phil. 4:19; Matt. 6:25-33.He will see to it that the rain falls as it
is needed and that this New Year will be a time when we will see the needs of
our lives and our hearts met.
C.Let us also remember that when we are on the
mountains of life and the rain of Heaven
is falling upon us that that rain will also run down
into the valley we will soon enter.The
rain from one hilltop is sufficient to water a hundred valleys!There it will cause even the valleys of life
to become fertile ground for us.When we
pass through the valley, we will encounter the blessings of God and we will
find the rain of the hilltop experience sufficient to sustain us through the
valleys we are destined to pass through.This is illustrated in Psalm 84:6.When we walk through the valleys of this
year, we can do so with confidence knowing that the rains of the hills will
cause the Lily of the Valleys (Song
2:1) to blooming for us when we pass that way!
III.THE WATCHING OF THE NEW LAND
A.The Bible tells us that this new land is a
land that God cares about.The children
Israel can go there in confidence knowing that their God is
going ahead of them and looking at all they will face before they arrive, and
that even as they journey, His eye will ever be upon them.The land they are headed to is a land that commands
the attention of the Lord.He is
committed to watching over their land and over them as well.
B.His eyes are on every curve of the road and
the see every hill and valley that His
children will face.He sees the situations that are arising ahead of us and He goes before
to insure that everything we need will already be in place before we ever
arrive.He looks to that way His
children take.(Ill.Job – Job )If God will
keep His eyes on the sparrow and the needs it has, Matt. 10:29-31; we can rest assured that He will keep His eye on
those who have been purchased by the blood of the Lamb.
C.May we never forget that whether our steps
lead us through the glorious heights of the
mountain top experience, or through the rugged
valleys below, we will never leave the gaze of our Father.May we never forget that with every steps we
take, He is watching and He is working our His perfect will in our lives.May we remember that even when the would and
life make no sense, we are in His hand and His presence is ever with is, Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20.
(Ill. Bob Richards, the former pole-vault champion,
shares a moving story about a skinny young boy who loved football with all his
after practice, he eagerly gave everything he had. But being half the size of
the other boys, he got absolutely nowhere. At all the games, this hopeful
athlete sat on the bench and hardly ever played. This teenager lived alone with
his father, and the two of them had a very special relationship. Even though
the son was always on the bench, his father was always in the stands cheering.
He never missed a game.
this way in grade school, in high school, and even in college: he never missed
a practice and he never got to play because he was smaller than every other
member on the team. He was kept on simply because he was an inspiration to the
other members of the team.
At the end
of his senior football season as he trotted onto the practice field shortly
before the big playoff game, the coach met him with a telegram. The young man
read the telegram and he became deathly silent. Swallowing hard, he mumbled to
the coach, "My father died this morning. Is it all right if I miss
practice today?" The coach put his arm gently around his shoulder and
said, "Take the rest of the week off, son. And don't even plan to come
back to the game on Saturday."
arrived, and the game was not going well. In the third quarter, when the team
was ten points behind, a silent young man quietly slipped into the empty locker
room and put on his football gear. As he ran onto the sidelines, the coach and
his players were astounded to see their faithful teammate back so soon.
please let me play. I've just got to play today." said the young man. The
coach pretended not to hear him. There was no way he wanted his worst player in
this close playoff game.
young man persisted, and finally feeling sorry for the kid, the coach gave in.
"All right," he said. "You can go in."
long, the coach, the players and everyone in the stands could not believe their
eyes. This little unknown, who had never played before was doing everything
right. The opposing team could not stop him. He ran, he passed, blocked and
tackled like a star. His team began to triumph.
was soon tied. In the closing seconds of the game, this kid intercepted a pass
and ran all the way for the winning touchdown. The fans broke loose. His
teammates hoisted him onto their shoulders. Such cheering you never heard!
after the stands had emptied and the team had showered and left the locker
room, the coach noticed that the young man was sitting quietly in the corner
all alone. The coach came to him and said, "Kid, I can't believe it. You
were fantastic! Tell me what got into you? How did you do it?"
at the coach, with tears in his eyes, and said, "Well, you knew my dad
died, but did you know that my dad was blind?' The young man swallowed hard and
forced a smile, "Dad came to all my games, but today was the first time he
could see me play, and I wanted to show him I could do it!")
IV.THE WINNING OF THE NEW LAND
A.34 times during the days of Israel’s wilderness wanderings, God sounded the
triumphant note that they were going to possess the
land.This was not a maybe so
proposition, but it was a divine given.The land was theirs and they would be victorious in entering it,
conquering it and possessing it.It was
their land and nothing could or would stand in the way of that becoming a
B.There isn’t a person in this room that knows
what this year will bring into view.
However, I believe I can tell you with absolute
confidence that this year will is your year.When the mix of hills and valleys has all been averaged together, when
all things are considered from the perspective of the Lord, when the smoke has
cleared and the dust has settled, we will see that God has indeed brought us to
the place of victory in our lives.No
one is telling you that this will be all fun and no problem, but I am telling
you that this year will, in the final analysis, be a great blessing!
C.Please remember that God’s promise to His
children is victory and not defeat, Rom.
; 1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 2:14.Just
like Israel, we are guaranteed the victory before
we ever step onto the field of battle.God help us to walk in that truth as we make
our way across the hills and through the valleys of this New Year.
Conc:I want you
to notice verses 13-17.The people of Israel are reminded that the only thing that can prevent
them from enjoying the victory in the Promised Land is themselves.Friends, the only thing that can hinder us
this year, as a church family, and as individuals is ourselves.If we will walk with the Lord, patiently, and
in faith, we will recognize that victory has been ours in 2002.This land, this land of a New Year, is our
land.Let’s claim it by faith!Let’s march into it free from fear and full
of hope.Let’s go into it with the deep
settled confidence that victory is ours, that there is nothing to fear, that
there is power and glory awaiting us in 2002.