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The events in Deuteronomy should have taken 11 days. Instead, they took 40 years.

What had stalled the Israelites in the desert was not an issue of might but at the core the condition of their hearts. God could do anything, can do anything as He is over all and in all, but it was the heart of the people that put them on hold. Simply consider this thought. Actually, consider this question, what is my heart stalling of God’s work?


Yet, God’s work continues even when our hearts are not bent in obedience. He would use these 40 years to develop and reiterate their need to trust Him. He would use these years of difficulty and discouragement to make a lasting impression not only on them but we who read it. God uses such times for all of His children to get hearts ready to serve and be what He’s called.

The book of Deuteronomy is much like a series of sermons preached by Moses. His heart heavy because he knew he would not enter into the land with the people. His heart passionate because he knew that the unbelieving generation were gone and what stood before him was a new generation who needed to embrace faith like none other to receive what was promised. These speeches to the people was reiterating their need to be prepared for what God had and act upon His Word.

Moses remembers their journey and walks them back to significant marks to consider. Stakes in the ground if you will, where direction could have changed.

For the people of Israel, that line was when they stood and looked over at the land promised. When report came back from 10 men who spoke of nothing but defeat, that was the moment where things changed. The people listened. They grumbled in their tents. They dug in their feet and would not go forward. God had done nothing but showed His strength and might throughout their journey so far, but these faithless ones chose to simply rebel.