Behind and Before
Intro: This chapter contains some amazing and powerful prophecies concerning Christ, the Messiah and Deliverer or Israel. It also contains some tremendous prophecies concerning Israel’s final deliverance and redemption. God promised to Redeem Jerusalem and show his might in the sight of all the nations of the world. In the midst of this great prophecy, God told his people that they would not have to flee from their enemies any more; they would go forth with power and victory. God made this promise to them: The Lord will go Before You, And the God of Israel will be your rereward.
The word rereward is an obsolete English word that means Rear Guard; so God promised that he would go Behind his People and Before his people. Well, this is great news for we are leaving an old year Behind, and we have a new year Before us. We need God to be Behind Us and Before Us.
I. The Foes that are Behind
Even though we make a big deal about a new year; “celebrate” out the old year and “celebrate” in the new one; the fact is much of the Old Year goes with us into the new one. Its true that we not only turn over a new page on a calendar, we actually start a whole new calendar, BUT the Past often pursues us into the Present.
The Failures that are Behind would love to pursue us into this new year. The devil rejoices when a Christian suffers failure; whether it be in a business; in a relationship; in a financial venture; in a job or career; and especially if there has been a Failure in a Spiritual area of life. The devil would like nothing better than to bring the Foe of Failure from Behind you into the new year. However, the Lord has promised to go Behind us. He will deal with those failures in our past year IF WE WILL LET HIM.
You need not be pursued into the new year by your failures.
The Sins that are Behind us would love to pursue us into the new year. The devil rejoices when a Christian sins; and we all know that we are not immune to sin. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” I have not allowed sin to conquer my soul this past year, but I know that I have come short of the glory of God; the best God wanted of me and for me. Those sins are pursuing us from behind but the Lord promised to go Behind us; he will deal with those sins if we will allow him to. Why go into a new year pursued by sins from the past one? If we confess our sins, Jesus is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we sin, we have an advocate with God the Father, Jesus Christ.
Even the Mistakes that are Behind us would love to pursue us into the new year.
There are words we said that were terrible mistakes.
There were things we did that were terrible mistakes.
There were decisions we made that were terrible mistakes.
Most of those terrible mistakes were unintentional; we certainly didn’t mean for that to happen.
That we Meant no harm makes little difference, for Life often punishes blunders as if they were crimes. Its kind of like Fire that burns and destroys whether it is started by accident or on purpose.
Don’t allow those mistakes to pursue you into the new year. The Lord promised to go Behind you, so allow him to deal with those mistakes and do everything in your power to Make them Right! Those Foes that are behind us can handled by our Great God.
II. The Fears that are Before Us.
When we enter a new year we are sailing out into uncharted waters. I’m reminded of Israel as they prepared to cross the Jordan river and enter the land of Canaan. Joshua gave them strict instructions to follow the Ark of God so they would know how to proceed, “for (Joshua said) ye have not passed this way heretofore.”
We have never actually been down the path the new year will bring us and because of that we have Fear of that which is before us.
The future is definitely Uncertain. No one of us knows what tomorrow holds; we certainly do not know what the month of January holds and we definitely do not and can not know what the year of 2019 holds for us. There are fears of uncertainty.
There are fears of the surprises that will come our way. We love those good surprises, but we dread those other kind!
There are fears of the Trials that may come our way; the reversals we may experience; the sorrows that may overwhelm us and on it goes.
But Remember today- God has promised to Go both Behind and Before Us.
- God Behind Us Is our Comfort!
He forgives our sins; his blood covers our trespasses; he understands our weakness and our frailty; he loves us in spite of our mistakes; he gives us a New Chance; A Fresh Opportunity; He Keeps our Enemies at Bay.
You know the saying, “I’ve Got your Back?” Well, it’s really true about our God, He really does have our back.
When the people of Israel were trapped at the Red Sea, the army of Egypt came up behind them to over take and over come them. In Ex 14 we read that the cloud of God’s glory that was Before Israel, removed and went Behind them and stayed between them and the Egyptian army all that night so that the warriors of Pharaoh could not come near the Israelites. So it is that God does Go Behind Us and God behind us is our Comfort.
- God Before Us is our Confidence.
Goes before us to Clear the way. In the words of an old song: “When in service for my Lord, dark may be the night, but I’ll cling more close to him, he will give me light; Satan’s snares may vex my soul, turn my thoughts aside, But My Lord Goes AHEAD, Leads whate’er betide...When in valleys low I look toward the mountain height. And behold my Savior there LEADING in the Fight.” He Goes Before!
In Mt. 28, women came to the tomb of Jesus hoping to anoint his body with spices. When they arrived, the stone was rolled away and an angel said to them, “go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him” He goes before you!
That’s why Paul said in Rom 8, If God be For Us, Who can be against us?
If God Go Before Us; who can be against us? God Behind and Before! God Behind us is our Comfort and God Before Us is our Confidence.
So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
The Lord is my helper, I will not fear what 2019 may bring my way.