Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 2023
Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 2023
Do… do the commandments! Why? For very temporal and earthly benefits: life and children, and possession of the promised land (vs. 1). The Lord tested his people, the Israelites… he tested them in the keeping of his commandments. That keeping was their discipleship. A connection exists between the two words “discipline” and “discipleship.” Each word has the same root… the meaning of instruction or training. Discipleship means learning from an exterior source, a source like a teacher or a leader, or by specific philosophical constraints. Discipline, on the other hand, comes from an inner motivation to obey rules or a code of conduct. Such obedience can be called self-control or correction. Disciples need discipline and discipline produces disciples.
In his disciplining of his people, the Lord humbled them, led them to hunger, and then fed them on manna—which heretofore had been entirely unknown to them (vs. 3). His people came to know the truth: that they lived solely and entirely by the Word of the Lord (vs. 3). The whole of the forty years wandering in the wilderness was to prepare them to live in the land where the Lord their God was leading them. This land was not wilderness and desert; it was a good land, fertile and lush. This land was not scarce and desolate; it was abundant and fruitful. The discipline acquired during the sojourn in scarcity would be practiced by the people as they lived in abundance. Even in that abundance, the people would continue to live solely and entirely by the Word of the Lord.
So, now, to you… You have known times of scarcity and times of abundance. You have known both wilderness wanderings and sojourns in secure, abundant places. The Word of the Lord, Jesus Christ, has been your companion in all those times and places. He constantly and continually holds you in the discipline and discipleship of living solely and entirely by “every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (vs. 3).
Table Talk: Discuss the ways you have lived by the Word of the Lord in times of both scarcity and abundance.
Pray: Heavenly Father, lead me into thanksgiving for times of scarcity as well as times of abundance. Amen.
The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers. 2 And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. 3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you. 6 So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him. 7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, 8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, 9 a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. 10 And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.