In this new year
Did you have a good time ushering the New Year and Lunar New Year this year? Looking back, how do you feel? From where you are today and as you anticipate the future, what are your expectations and plans?
“But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.” (Deuteronomy 11:11-12)
Today’s Scriptures display a clear vision – the Lord has shown His people a picture of abundant life and direction!
Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, but after that, they spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness because of their rebellion against God. When the Israelites finally came to the plains of Moab by River Jordan, preparing to enter the land of Canaan, Moses told them: “It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.” (11:12). After spending 40 years in the wilderness, a new beginning now awaits the Israelites.
As we commence New Year 2023, may the Scriptures serve as a reminder to us:
1. Reaffirm our faith in God
The place “a land of mountains” refers to the northern mountainous region of the Holy Land, where green grass and beautiful flowers grow everywhere, attracting bees to gather honey and people to gather honey from the beehives. Truly, it is “a land flowing with honey”. This is God’s promise to Abraham, that the Israelites will inherit the land of Canaan. In this new year, let us hold on to God’s promises. Circumstances or experiences may change but let us trust God’s promises and acknowledge Him in all things, for He will guide us and bless us continually.
2. Renew our determination to love God and do our best in everything
To receive God’s blessings, we must respond to His call and love with action. We must enter Canaan to inherit the land as promised by God. Typically, it is a 2-week journey from Egypt to Canaan, but it took the Israelites 40 years because of their murmurings, lack of godliness and motivation, grumbling about every difficulty and challenge, laziness, idolatry etc. In this new year, let us give thanks for everything, renew our commitment, serve with enthusiasm, become useful vessels for God’s use, and glorify His name.
3. Receive blessings and face challenges positively
Valleys are usually fertile lands with abundant rainfall and lush vegetation. At the same time, valleys also represent difficulties and hardships in life. Nonetheless, these are often blessings of God in disguise, so that our hearts will turn back to God, and we will overcome life’s challenges with faith. Difficulties and hardships nudge us to go before God’s throne of grace; to wait upon His promises and receive His rain and grace from heaven!
4. Rest upon God’s favour
According to the Scriptures, “the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end”. The new year serves to remind us that our God is omnipotent, loving, and redeeming. His love is always with us. He never leaves us nor forsakes us. Regardless of circumstances, God is always our greatest source of comfort and strength!
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, before the Israelites stepped foot into Canaan, God’s promises awaited them there. In this new year, God’s wonderful promises also await us. As we trust Him, obey His Word, and draw closer to Him, His wonderful promises will be fulfilled in us and through us. God’s bountiful favour and blessings will be with those who belong to Him from the beginning of the year to its end.
By Ps Rebecca Kwok