Trust and Obey
God’s Testing Ground of Faith
A. God’s Expectations (11:1-12)
1st. God expects us to love and obey Him because of what He has done for us in the past (11:1-7)
NOTE: God rehearses Israel’s history from their bondage in Egypt, through their deliverance at the Red Sea . . . to their judgment in the wilderness.
2nd. God expects us to love and obey Him because of His promises to us for the future (11:8-12)
NOTE: God describes the Promised Land to a nation that has not yet experienced it.
1. It’s a land of promised blessing (v.9)
2. It’s a land unlike anything experienced before (v. 10)
3. It’s a land under God’s care (vv. 11-12)
B. God’s Response (11:13-21)
1st. God will bless those who trust and obey (11:13-15)
1. God will provide the needed rain (vv. 13-14a)
NOTE: Israel’s rainy season extends from late November to early March, but in a good year the rains begin in October and extend into April. The “early rain and the latter rain” are these extensions and signal abundant rainfall and a good harvest.
2. God will provide the needed food for the people and their animals (vv. 14b-15)
NOTE: The “grain” refers to wheat and barley, Israel’s main food source. The “wine” comes from the vineyards, and the “oil” from the olive tree. Theses are four of the seven main species of the land that God promised Israel (see Deut. 8:7-8)
2nd. God will judge those who turn from Him (11:16-21)
God’s warning against turning from Him (vv. 16-17)
God’s remedy for turning from Him (vv.18-21)
1. Know His Word (v. 18)
NOTE: Orthodox Jews today take this literally and bind phylacteries on their arms and foreheads when praying.
2. Teach His Word (v. 19)
3. Exalt His Word in the home and in the city (vv. 20-21)
NOTE: Orthodox Jews today take this literally and place mezuzahs (a box containing a portion of God’s Word) on the door frames of their homes and businesses and on the gates of the city of Jerusalem.
C. God’s Reminder (11:22-32)
1st. God reminded the people of His promises before they entered the land (11:22-25)
Obedience brings victory over opposition (vv. 22-23)
Obedience brings victory over limitations (v. 24)
Obedience brings victory over obstacles (v. 25)
2nd. God commanded the people to remember His promises after they entered the land (11:26-32)
NOTE: Israel fulfilled this command in Joshua 8:30-35. Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim today stand guard over the Arab city of Nablus.
Conclusion: The land of Israel was God’s “testing ground of faith.” God expected His children to move ahead by faith and take the land He had promised them. But their walk of faith was not to end once the land had been conquered. God wants His followers to live out His command to “trust and obey.”
All material in this section comes from
The Christian Traveler’s Guide to the Holy Land
by Charles H. Dyer and Gregory A. Hatterberg, Published by: Broadman & Holman Publishers; Nashville, TN 1998