Preparing to Enter Canaan

It has been said that there are four main bones in every organization: The wish-bones: Wishing somebody would do something about the problem.The jaw-bones: Doing all the talking but very little else.The knuckle-bones: Those who knock everything.The back-bones: Thos … More


The book of Deuteronomy opens with Moses giving a brief history lesson of what God has done for His people (vv. 1-11). The people are at Kadesh Barnea and they are in the 40th year after their deliverance from Egypt. (v. 3). Moses is about to expound God’s law and prepare the new generation to enter Canaan. He didn’t want them to fail as their fathers had failed before them. The purpose is that the Israelites would rededicate their lives to Him. They had spent 40 years on a journey that should have taken 11 days. It wasn’t distance that prevented them from entering the promised land, but the condition of their heart.

A knowledge of history is important  because if you know where you are and where you came from you will have an easier time discovering what you should be doing.Moses summary of Israel’s 40 years begins at Mount Sinai and not in Egypt. This was where God gave his covenant to the people (Exodus 19:20). In His covenant God gave His people a comprehensive set of laws and guidelines that stated how He wanted them to live. The people could no longer say they didn’t know the difference between right and wrong.

Moses shares how it was a tremendous burden for him to lead the nation by himself so he was forced to share the leadership with others (v.v. 12-18). He identifies some of the qualities of good leadership such as wisdom, understanding and impartiality. God gave him 70 elders to assist in managing the affairs of the camp.


Like Moses I have often had a tendency to try to do everything myself instead of sharing my work load with others. Moses made a wise decision to share his leadership with others and I need to do the same. This gives others an opportunity to exercise their God-given gifts and abilities.

Deuteronomy 1:1-18 (English Standard Version)

These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel beyond the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab. It is eleven days' journey from Horeb by the way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea. In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the people of Israel according to all that the LORD had given him in commandment to them, after he had defeated Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth and in Edrei. Beyond the Jordan, in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to explain this law, saying, "The LORD our God said to us in Horeb, 'You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Turn and take your journey, and go to the hill country of the Amorites and to all their neighbors in the Arabah, in the hill country and in the lowland and in the Negeb and by the seacoast, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates. See, I have set the land before you. Go in and take possession of the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their offspring after them.' "At that time I said to you, 'I am not able to bear you by myself. The LORD your God has multiplied you, and behold, you are today as numerous as the stars of heaven. May the LORD, the God of your fathers, make you a thousand times as many as you are and bless you, as he has promised you! How can I bear by myself the weight and burden of you and your strife? Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads.' And you answered me, 'The thing that you have spoken is good for us to do.' So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and experienced men, and set them as heads over you, commanders of thousands, commanders of hundreds, commanders of fifties, commanders of tens, and officers, throughout your tribes. And I charged your judges at that time, 'Hear the cases between your brothers, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the alien who is with him. You shall not be partial in judgment. You shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not be intimidated by anyone, for the judgment is God's. And the case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.' And I commanded you at that time all the things that you should do."

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