Monday, November 25, 2013

This is what I read today...

I feel like after that title there should be a ... fa la la la la

Why do we doubt?  Why do we not easily trust?

I know this has been the theme of my life lately.  I get it.  I need to trust more.  I am astounded still 6 hours later that I ended up reading two completely different passages in two different books of the Bible, and both were about not trusting.  I thought I'd share.

Deuteronomy 1 - God had faithfully brought the Israelites out of Egypt and was ready to lead them into the Promised Land.  I imagine they could on some level even see the land God had promised to take them to.  Promised. He had promised them this land.  Why would they easily doubt the promises God had made to them?  I don't know why they didn't; I don't know why I don't fully trust either.  But they did.  And I do so often.  The Israelites did not want to trust God's leadership (apparently they easily forgot the parting of the Red Sea) into the new land, so they sent spies ahead.  They sent spies to check everything out and make sure it was just as God had promised.  Instead of trusting God at His Word, they wanted to take matters into their own hands and test the waters themselves.  Holding onto control and power.  Upon hearing the reports of the spies, they were hesitant and scared.  Although God had PROMISED them this land, they were backing away and ultimately were not allowed to enter for 40 years. Missing the blessing because of a lack of trust.

Ruth 1 - I think most people think of Ruth, and they immediately think of the courtship between Boaz and Ruth.  There's a whole book dedicated to the subject matter.  But there is so much more in the book of Ruth that needs more attention.  Elimelech and Naomi moved their family out of Bethlehem because there was a famine in the land.  Bethlehem of Judah is where God's chosen people were.  These were the people he loved and had provided for all along.  Yet, all of this was happening during the time of the judges when "there was no king in Israel and everyone did what they wanted." Judges 21:25.  This is pretty clear because Elimelech just packed up his family and moved.  His move to Moab is considered a move to an enemy territory.  The bigger picture that we must recognize here is that Elimelech moved his family away from the place where the Almighty God's people lived and the ark dwelt... and was going to a place of other gods.  Some may say "He was just providing for his family."  I think we need to recognize more seriously Elimelech's mistrust in where God had him and God's provision.  Elimelech abandoned the God he worshipped and went to another land.  Instead of remaining in Bethlehem and praying for a repentant people, Elimelech doubted God's power of change over the Israelites and sought to control his own destiny.  Elimelech did not trust His God in the very town that is translated to mean "House of Bread."  

Both the Israelites and Elimelech were leaning on their own understanding.  I lean on my own understanding. Yet God is calling me.. constantly.. to trust Him with all of my heart.  His grace is greater than I will ever be able to understand, and He is showing me his goodness to me.  He is showing me his faithfulness.  He is showing me his constancy.  For that I am grateful.

"Child of weakness... watch and pray.. Find in me thine all in all."  

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