So my seven year old has a new mantra…”I hate sin and I wish I never sinned.” I try to assure her that I feel the same way, but God continues to forgive. Isn’t that amazing? That even though we mess up over and over. Many times in the exact same way, He forgives us!!!
Then there are those Israelites. I hate to admit it, but I am so much like them…They rebel against God, they receive punishment, they cry out for help, God rescues them, they obey for a while, then they rebel again. From my perspective, it is hard to believe that God is patient with these chosen people, these children of God. Seriously the first census at the beginning of Numbers and the second one at the end of Numbers tell us the story clearly…The total number of Israelites after they left Egypt was 603,550. However over 40 years later at the end of Moses’ life and before they enter the promised land there were only 601,730. Why were there fewer Israelites? They rebelled and God punished that rebellion.
Clearly this people was not purposeful in reminding their children much less themselves of what God did for them. Do you really think that if they taught their kids and reminded themselves that God brought them out of Egypt through miraculous plagues that they would rebel? In fact they practically plundered Egypt as the final plague caused the Egyptians to beg the Israelites to leave and “here take whatever you want as long as you go.” What are we thinking when we don’t remind ourselves what God has done for us? What are we thinking when we don’t tell our kids, our friends, our neighbors, our families what God is doing in our lives? Or is it that we just don’t always see God when He moves in our lives? Have we become that spiritually blind that we don’t even acknowledge God when things happen? Honestly, is it just a weird coincidence or was it God? We are so ready to say it just happens that way, but most likely it was/is God!
So bottom line…I am thinking the Israelites in the desert have taught me about God’s forgiveness. He is merciful above and beyond what we deserve! They have also taught me that I need to talk about God in my life. I need to be willing to share my difficulties so that others can glory in what God did/has done for me. All of that talking and living so that God’s name is glorified. I need to talk about God and what He is doing now so that God is relevant to those around me. We so often see God in the Bible, but forget that the same God is working NOW!