Sunday, July 04, 2010

Then it shall be in that day (DT 26:1-11) Part 2

"You shall go to the priest who is in office at that time and say to him, 'I declare this day to the Lord my God that I have entered the land which the Lord swore to our fathers to give us.'" (Deuteronomy 26:3)
Confession. Most often, when we think of confession, we think of either the confession of our sins or the confession of what we desire, in the traditional "name it and claim it" style of confession. However, here Moses is referring to the confession of what God has already done. In this case, we are not confessing what we have done, nor what we wish God would do, but rather what God has already done for us. Confession of the past works of God is important in pursuing our futures. Consider David, when he was about to face Goliath he recited to King Saul the previous time God had come to his aid. It was in his remembrance of God's past faithfulness that David had hope in God's future deliverance of him before Goliath.
"But David said to Saul, 'Your servant was tending his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.' And David said, 'The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.'" (1 Samuel 17:34-37)
By confessing our past victories with God, our hope and faith in God's future victories is built up and strengthened. Paul says that, "faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." (Romans 10:17) Sometimes we need to hear the word of God spoken from our own mouths rather than from another. When we hear our confession of God's word, and especially the fulfillment of God's word in our lives, our faith is increased and we grow in our faith towards God.

When we confess the work of God in our lives we magnify God over and against our problems. David says to, "magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together." (Psalms 34:3) Unfortunately we far too often magnify our problems; our problems seem huge while our God seems small. When we have big problems and a small God we are in trouble. We need to magnify our God and minimize our problems, which, in truth, is the reality of our every situation.

Asaph understood this principal. There was a time when he was disquieted by the enormity of his problems. He wrote, "Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and washed my hands in innocence; for I have been stricken all day long and chastened every morning... When I pondered to understand this, it was troublesome in my sight" (Psalms 73:13-14. 16) Yet when he started to consider and confess who God was and what He had done, his faith was buoyed.
"Until I came into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end. Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. How they are destroyed in a moment! They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors! Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when aroused, You will despise their form. When my heart was embittered and I was pierced within, then I was senseless and ignorant; I was like a beast before You. Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand. with Your counsel You will guide me, and afterward receive me to glory." (Psalms 73:17-24)
It was only after Asaph entered into the sanctuary, remembered who His God really was, and confessed the truth about God and what He had done in the past that his heart was strengthened and he was able to go forward in his life. They say that confession is good for the soul, but it is also good for our faith.

David Robison

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