If God Be For Us

I enjoyed a delightful time in my Bible reading this morning. So delightful, that I want to share it with you. Let me warn you, however. The delight was in seeing God’s truth opened up to me a little bit more about a very serious topic.

Numbers 14 tells the story of the reaction of the Israelites to the report of the 12 spies sent to scout out the Promised Land. This group of people had witnessed God sending ten plagues on Egypt in order for Pharaoh to let them go. They experienced God parting the Red Sea and walking on dry ground to the other side. They watched as God sent the waters crashing back to normal around the approaching Egyptian army. And they had just been led through the wilderness by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.

God had revealed His power and majesty over and over to these people.

But when ten of the spies said that the people of the Promised Land were too big, too scary, too fierce, the people responded: “That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

This whole chapter is a perfect representation of us all.

We see God work miracles, but we don’t think He will do it again. We forget how hard life was when we were slaves to sin. We groan and moan and complain. We don’t want God’s best for us if it involves struggle. We want to go back to slavery.

God responded to Moses: “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them?”

I wondered that exact thing. God was ready to get rid of them all. Who could blame Him? (We would never act this way, would we?)

But Moses responded:  If you put all these people to death, leaving none alive, the nations who have heard this report about you will say, ‘The Lord was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath, so he slaughtered them in the wilderness.'”

So, the people disobey, receive the consequences of their sins, but God gets the blame? There is nothing new under the sun.

God did not destroy the people of Israel; however, He did punish them. “For forty years—one year for each of the forty days you explored the land—you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.”

That last phrase made me think about Romans 8:31, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” These things refers to the suffering we endure as we  live out our faith.

But what if God is against us? God loved Israel. They were His chosen people. But He could not overlook their continued disobedience and lack of faith and trust in Him. Could this possibly apply to us? Are there times we ask why is God against us, when we should be examining our lives for sin? Do we blame God when we suffer the consequences of our sin?

Perhaps it is easier to understand from the ESV which translates “know what it is like to have me against you” as “you shall know my displeasure.”

Wisdom comes in asking ourselves every day, “Am I pleasing God with my life? With my words, actions, and attitudes? With the way I spend my money? With the way I spend my time? With my thoughts?

A favorite camp song that brings tears to my eyes and crushes my heart every time I sing it is To Be Pleasing You:

Lord, I want to live my life to please you, I bring my heart before you to remold,
Make of me a vessel fit for honor that I might shine for you as sparkling gold.

To be pleasing You, pleasing You. This is all I really want to do.
To be pleasing, You, pleasing You, This is all I really want to do.

Lord, I lift my heart in full surrender, All that I hold dear I give to You,
Purify my heart and make me holy, that I might live the way that’s pleasing You.

To be pleasing You, pleasing You. This is all I really want to do.
To be pleasing, You, pleasing You, This is all I really want to do.

Let’s please Him today.

Colossians 1:10 “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

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About Lynnette

A sinner saved by grace, adopted, and now a Child of the Living God. My greatest desire is to please my Heavenly Father in all that I say and do.
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