I have a friend whose dad recently passed away, and now he has to deal with all his dad’s “stuff”: here’s a photo he posted on Facebook of just ONE of the storage buildings of his dad’s stuff. Someone might say: “HOW did he accumulate all that stuff?” Well, you know how he did it, don’t you? He didn’t just go out there one day with a semi truck and get a bunch of stuff and fill that building up. Hardly anyone ever does that. It just happened “little by little,” didn’t it? Just a few things he picked up off the side of the road; just “a little bit” from this garage sale; “a little” here, and “a little” there. It’s the same way with those “hoarders” shows — “little by little,” it becomes a LOT!
Which leads us to the Book of Deuteronomy this morning. Our readings there this week have been so rich; there is the Shema in Chapter 6: “Hear O Israel, YWHW our God, YHWH is one;” “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD,” and more. But one verse that addresses a principle that many of us need to understand about how God works, is found in Deuteronomy 7:22, where God tells the people of Israel through Moses how He will help them take the Promised Land. He says:
“The LORD your God will clear away these nations before you little by little; you will not be able to put an end to them quickly; for the wild beasts would grow too numerous for you. But the LORD your God will deliver them before you, and will throw them into confusion until they are destroyed.”
That phrase in :22 is a key one: “little by little.” How would God give them the Promised Land? Not all at once in “one fell swoop;” but “Little by little.” This reveals a spiritual principle: that God often works — not only in Israel, but in our lives too — “little by little.” Continue reading