Proof and still mistrust
Hebrews 8:8,10 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. . . . this is the covenant I will establish with the people Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them in their hearts.
Hebrews 10:16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them.
Jeremiah 31:33 “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people
Isaiah 59: 21 “As for Me,” says the Lord, “this is My covenant with them; My Spirit, who is upon you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants–from this time on and forever,” says the Lord
When the Israelites first were led out of Egypt, they grumbled and complained, wished for the certainty of what they had known even though the conditions they had lived under were not wonderful; they knew what those were. But now they were getting frightened for what they could not see… they could not see where they were going, they feared the travel and the unknown, they had no idea where food would come from, and what about water? How like us. It is easier for us to reach for what we do know, even if we grumbled about not having enough—’we knew what we had and it was familiar—albeit safe.’ Sound familiar? It is sometimes so difficult to go forward when you can’t see clearly–maybe there seems to be no light, you felt alone in some darkness, and of course, we are unsure we are making the correct decisions–especially if we have a family depending on us to make the right ones.
We often feel fearful and unsure when we cannot see where we are going. Trust. Faith. Hard to o]hold onto sometimes. Yet, for me to read and see what the Israelites saw, I find it shocking to see how they ran to idols for gods. They say His miracles–for them.
While in Egypt, the Israelites witnessed the miracles of the plagues God sent on Pharaoh and the Egyptians. There were very few Israelites who suffered the boils that the Egyptians suffered, and many of the other damaging things that struck the Egyptian people. Most were free or about protected from any of these plagues. They saw this. They saw how they were protected from the loss of their firstborn–animals as well as children. The Israelite slaves were protected from these punishments.
They were told to sprinkle blood over their doorpost with hyssop, kill a perfect lamb and feed as many as they could while —leaving nothing behind, and to stay in their homes while death raged over the Egyptians, and all homes which did not have the mark of the lamb’s blood. They then heard the crying, wailing, and utter bereavement of the Egyptians who had lost their firstborn. Yet they were alive, spared the wrath of God’s death pronouncement. They had witnessed miracles.
God, through Moses led them all, a few million people into the desert, away from Egypt, and then lifted the sides of the Red Sea so they could ALL traverse across the expanse, away from the Egyptians who had now decided to pursue, and they all made it to the other side. Remember several MILLION persons—young and old, and how many animals? I can not fathom seeing that many people at one time, never mind trying to see all of them hustle across a river with its sides held up as a wall of water on each side to allow them all to pass. THESE WERE BIG MIRACLES, AWESOME, SAVING MIRACLES!
I wonder what God was doing to stall the Egyptians further so they could not overtake them—they had chariots and horses and were now in hot pursuit, and only a few days had passed—yet, again God defeated them. He stalled their progress long enough for all Israelites to travel across the dry Red Sea (not a pond or creek—a Sea!), and reach the other side. And then He turned the Egyptians into the amazing wall of water—‘oh, yes! How awesome, let us scramble across and we will have them! We will capture them and bring them all back! And probably kill Moses and his sound piece while we capture them.’ Ah, not so, says God. And He turned the walls of water upon them, killing all.
The Israelites were leaving what they knew, unsure of where they were going, but they DID know why—their grumbling had been answered, and He had sent a leader to lead them from Egypt—and they were being fed, saved from the Egyptian army when Pharaoh had a change of heart, they were intact as a HUGE group of people and livestock. And yet they grumbled and doubted and feared.
God appeared to them in a cloud by day and a fire by night. He was present! Always! He supplied food, water, safety, guidance, and leadership. But these people still grumbled and moaned, wondering about this, and complaining about that. They experienced and saw, and yet still DOUBTED! No wonder Jesus proclaimed, “How blessed are they who have not seen, yet believe.” (John 20:29).
God gave a bunch of commands and rules and laws—what they could and could not eat, when they were considered clean and unclean, what was considered good, and what was considered not worthwhile. He also gave them the Ten Commandments—and while writing them, the Israelites decided they wanted to have a “god” they could see and worship, something visible to worship. It had only taken a few days for them to mistrust God, and obviously Moses, and they were quick to leave God behind, even after He had delivered water from a rock, parted the Red Sea and ensured their safety while crossing and then ensuring the Egyptians all died as the waters flowed over them. They had experienced all sorts of miracles; yet they chose to run to something THEY constructed, nothing that was a miracle, nothing that would help and feed or supply them with anything.
Although they saw how God helped to ensure they were released from the Egyptians and were promised a land of milk and honey, I wonder how they could so easily be swayed away from God.
I do know that sometimes there are worldly allures that pull us away from God, and temptations which reach out to us. But I do find it hard to think these people could so easily beg Aaron for a visible “god” and then they formed one, threw gold into a pot and formed a molten calf. Aaron had been beside Moses throughout all of this—ten plagues, parting of the Red Sea, seeing water delivered from a rock and so forth. How was it so easy for Aaron to turn aside from his brother and all he had seen? How could he be so easily led away from God and the miracles he had seen and experienced? He was the priest, the religious leader of these people, and yet, he walked away from the true God, within days as his brother was gone for a total of forty days. At the pressure and complaints of the people, he was easily swayed.
How often do we give up waiting, losing patience with God’s promises, and reverting to something to assuage our feelings of loss, frustration, impatience, and try to take matters into our own hands? Certainly, I have railed against waiting, and waiting, and….
Yet, Abraham waited for forty years to have his own son with his wife. He believed and held onto God’s promises. And when God told him to sacrifice Isaac, he willing packed up the supplies, and carried the youngster to the mountain where he’d been told to sacrifice the boy. He trusted God would provide the sacrifice. He waited, expectantly, all the while doing exactly as God commanded
Sara became impatient and encouraged her husband to have a child with her slave. And again, serious issues developed because she had taken matters into her hands; what does it take for us to believe and wait on Him with trust? Right, patience….and I don’t have much.
There’s an entire book written that encourages us to wait on His promises, that tells us He alone is the ONLY GOD; He alone is with us always; He alone tells us to not fear, not grow weary of trusting in Him. Yet, often, we drift as though on an air mattress tossed into the ocean and without anchor, we doze off, then waking find ourselves much further away from shore than is safe and healthy.
Story after story tells of the need to wait. A savior would be provided; a star would shine in the town to announce the birth; He would be borne of a virgin…. The Israelites waited hundreds of years for a savior. There is always waiting throughout the bible; because that is life. We wait for His promises.
I pray I lose no more patience –waiting, and in truth, it has become easier to wait. I believe His timing is perfect. It may still not be my timing preference, but still, I have seen time and again, that He comes and answers. So I’ve learned to hand over my impatience; sometimes, annoyingly it pops back into my head. So, while thinking of it, I pretend it is in my hands, then raise it to God to take away, so I can no longer actually think of it. It’s in His hands; no longer mine to keep as a “god” to worry and therefore, worship over.
So many times over the years I have rebelled against waiting, yet now, as You have been faithful, even when I was not, I am willing to wait, trusting, because You have proved your steadiness, love, and forgiveness over and over. Lord, I am so sorry I have been impatient, at times mistrusting, and very bratty; I pray I continue to grow trusting You and deepen my relationship with you.
Thank You for your patience and guidance during all these years of You giving to me and ‘mybellaviews.’