Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Journey Home

Steven Curtis Chapman came out with a new song recently entitled "Long Way Home."  I love it.  Whether it is a good day or a bad day, there are lyrics in that song to remind us of where we're headed and the fact that God will never leave us because He is leading us home.  The first verse goes like this, 

"I set out on a great adventure 
the day my Father started leading me home.  
He said 'There's gonna be some mountains to climb 
and some valleys we're gonna go through.'  
But I had no way of knowing 
just how hard this journey could be. 
 Cause the valleys are deeper 
and the mountains are steeper 
than I every could have dreamed."

Deuteronomy 8:2 - "You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not."

This is another verse that has a lot of good stuff and I'm not entirely sure where to start.  *sigh*

I connected Chapman's song to this verse because of the idea of this "journey" that we're on.  As I read the verse I noticed that "way" wasn't pluralized and that bothered me.  Shouldn't it be "all the ways which the Lord your God has led you..."?  Then I looked up the definition.  The Hebrew word is derek which means "way, road, distance, journey, manner" (Strong's H1870). For me, it makes more sense to read, "You shall remember all the journey which the Lord your God has led you..."  

Then there is this matter of humbling and testing.  Nacah (nasa) means "to test, try...put to the proof" (Strong's H5254).  The Lexicon pointed out that "God is said to try or prove men by adversity, in order to prove their faith."  He wants to know what is truly in our heart and soul (Strong's H3824).  So that He knows we will keep, or rather, guard His commandments (Strong's H8104).  For more on the idea of guarding His commandments, check out my previous blog here.  

So we now know that along the journey God is leading us, He is testing us in order to prove our faith.  But let's go back to the beginning of the verse, "You shall remember..."  We are to remember the tests and trials of this journey, "the various dealings of God with you; the dangers and difficulties to which ye were exposed, and from which God delivered you; together with the various miracles which He wrought for you, and His longsuffering towards you" (Clarke).  But why?  Why do we need to remember?  You see, "It is very good for us to remember all the ways...by which He has led us" on this journey so "that we may trust Him and cheerfully serve Him" (HenryWesley).  I think that if we spent more time focusing on what the Lord has already done instead of focusing on what we think He hasn't done, we would be much better off.  This of all the times He pulled through when you thought it impossible, or the hundreds of times He has forgiven you for the same thing, or the hands that held you in the darkest of times...it makes the here and now seem so much smaller.  He is leading us on the journey home!

"Well I know we're gonna make it.
And I know we're gonna get there soon.
So I keep on singing and believing...
cause our God has made a promise
and I know that everything He says is true.
And I know wherever we go 
He will never leave us.
Cause He's gonna lead us home,
every single step of the long way home."

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