Read time: 2m 7s
Deuteronomy 1:11 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!
“May the LORD…bless you as He has promised.” How has the LORD promised His people?
First, the Lord swore to give the promised land to them. The land of promise is a gift. They could never have gotten it on their own, for themselves. It’s grace. He promised; He delivered. Enjoy.
But, second, “go in and take possession of the land.” (8) The land of promise is a gift that needs to be received. We receive it by taking it. We could never get it for ourselves, on our own; but also we will never get it at all if we don’t go and get it! “Take possession,” God says, because we need to make it our own. Jesus died for your sins, sure, but if you don’t feel clean, it don’t matter. Jesus forgives you, sure, but if you don’t feel free, it don’t matter.
“May the LORD…make you a thousand times as many as you are.” Now, Moses is about to start fussing about how much of a burden managing this “numerous” (10) people is. But still, he prays that they continue to grow. Why? Why should Israel go from “numerous” to a “thousands times” numerous? Because these are the people who receive the blessing; they’re the ones who have it. They have what all the world needs!
How will Israel increase “times a thousand”? Not merely through procreation. Also by attracting people to the community. And also by going out and making a name for the LORD through their witness. Procreation, attraction, mission: a three part strategy for exponential disciple-making! And all buried within the dusty tomes of Torah.
To apply this to us today: we’re the ones who have it. We have the promised blessing: sworn, sealed, and now delivered; it's ours! We’ve received it; we have it. Who wouldn’t want our number to be more numerous? To multiply a thousand times over? That would mean that that many more people know Jesus and know His grace. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Wouldn’t that be worth joining Moses in praying for?
So Moses’ blessing calls us to attend to three realities.
First, praise the Lord for the promises delivered in Jesus.
Second, possess what Jesus has done; make it yours, make it real.
Third, pray that many, many, many, many more people meet Jesus like this too.
Praise, possess, pray: sounds like a plan.