Thursday, January 21, 2010

Preaching to the Choir

I was reminded yesterday of just how good God really is.

I was reminded through a song, and then through an unexpected blessing.

And it got me to thinking.  Remember the Israelites when they were in the desert after God had brought them out of Egypt? What did they do?  They whined and complained about every little thing.  They were negative, pessimistic, fearful.   They even said they would prefer to go back to Egypt and be slaves than to be there in the desert.  Good Grief!  Did they so quickly forget what God had just done for them?  How he had sent 10 plagues to torment the Egyptians and had rolled back the wall of the sea for them to cross through?  If God had gone to so much trouble to get them out of Egypt, does it make sense that He would let them starve or be defeated by an enemy the minute they got into the desert??  No, it doesn't.  What kind of people were they?

It's easy to think that way about the Israelites long ago.  We read their story and criticize them for their lack of trust in a God who obviously had gone to a lot of trouble to show how much he loved them.  But, fast forward several thousand years to us.

When was the last time that you had a stomach ache because you were worried about something?  When was the last time you were grouchy with your family because it seemed that life wasn't treating you fairly?  What about laying awake at night rehearsing all the bad things that could happen?  Is that not murmuring, whining and complaining??  No, God didn't send 10 plagues to miraculously annoy your enemies, or even roll back a sea for you to walk through.  But, he did do something.

Does it make sense that a God who was willing to sacrifice his only Child for you would now leave you out to dry?  That's about like a parent entering a burning house to save his beloved child and then refusing to give him food to eat.
“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him."

God has made the ultimate sacrifice for us.  He is a good Father.  He has our best interest in mind.  His will is good, pleasing, and perfect.  That means we can trust him to take care of these things (little or big) in our lives.  We will like the way it turns out!

Our problem is the same as the Israelites.  We forget and we are short-sighted.  That's why God instituted the passover feast and other rituals for the Israelites so that they would never forget what God had done for them in Egypt.  It's the same with the Lord's Supper for us.  When we remember Christ's death, it's not just so we can be appropriately sad that he died.  It's a reminder of God's goodness and His love.  Love that is big enough for our day to day problems.  

Of course, I am speaking to myself here.  Just look what I wrote at the beginning of this post:  an unexpected blessing.  I wasn't expecting God to show up and bless that situation like He did.  But, in His infinite patience and love, he did it anyway.  

Take a few minutes today to remind yourself how much God loves you and the many ways that He has proven that love to you over and over again. This song will help.

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