Hills and valleys

Deuteronomy 11:11-12 “But the land that you are going over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water by the rain from heaven, a land that the Lord your God cares for. The eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.”

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, as you look back over this past year, are you able to see how the hand of God was at work in your life?  Well, whether you can see it or not, the truth is that God was surely at work in it.  We get a glimpse of how God works as we look at the nation of Israel as they were on the verge of entering the Promised Land.  It is here that Moses reminds them of how God had so continually been at work in their lives. He points to their time of slavery in Egypt, the miraculous way in which God had delivered them, and how God had cared for them, led them, and taught them each and every day of the 40 years since.  And then he tells them about the land they were to enter and how God would be at work in their lives constantly there as well. In the verses above he tells them that Gods’ eyes would always be upon that land, from the beginning of the year to the end, and with that it was certain that His eyes would be constantly upon them.  He tells them that the land they were about to enter was a place of both hills and valleys, and upon both of these territories God would pour down His rain with a watchful eye of care.  

So does this passage say anything to us?  Well, if we take to heart the truth that “ALL Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,  that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” 2 Timothy 3:16-17), we know that the answer is surely “Yes!”  As I reflected on these verses this morning, I was grateful for the promise that God’s eyes would be on my life every moment of every day in 2022.  I was reminded that this wonderful God has told me that “(I know) when (you) sit down and when (you) rise up; (I) discern (your) thoughts from afar. (I) search out (your) path and (your) lying down and (am) acquainted with all (your) ways” (Psalm 139:2-3).  I know that in the months and years to come, I will face both wonderful times of blessing (hills) but also difficult times (valleys) as well.  Nevertheless, I know that because the eyes of the Lord are on me, that His rain (i.e., His blessings) will fall on both.  

Isn’t it an awesome thing to know that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28)?  And isn’t it an awesome, inexpressible truth that “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, or You are with me” (Psalm 23:1-4)?  

May the Lord open our eyes to His continual, moment by moment work in our lives. May He fill our hearts with thanks for how He has led us over this past year, and how He promises to most assuredly lead us in the year to come.  And may He turn the hearts of many who have no assurance of these truths to put their lives in the hands of One Who is both the Good Shepherd and the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.

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