I was going to write about how much I love the weather this week (cool, overcast, kinda breezy), but since I’m writing this in the middle of a brewing thunderstorm, perhaps I should hold off on that until I see what kind of damage the storm will bring as of tomorrow morning.
But this was a great week for us here at First Covenant. We had a lot of fun in our Sunday School class -- because, really, how could the Seven Years’ War not be a lot of fun? And then we had a great time of worship as a church family, even getting to say “Hello” to a couple of old friends who were in town visiting. And then I was able to go out and have lunch with some newer guys who were thinking of officially becoming members of our church family. Lots o’ fun, all the way around on Sunday.
In our message this week, we continued to look at the ministry of Moses, but instead of continuing through Exodus like we have been, we picked the narrative up in the Book of Numbers (and I’m amazed how many people just seem to skip on past that book without reading it).
See, after having problems with grumbling and trying to domesticate and control God last week, the people of Israel went on to try to domesticate and control God this week. Yes, they did it a little differently, but it’s still the same problem, wrapped in some new clothes--
Moses goes up on Mount Sinai, the people get impatient, they grumble, and they make their own (easier) god.
The people leave Sinai, the people get thirsty and hungry, they grumble, and they whine that they should’ve never listened to God.
God answers their prayers and gives them miraculous water and miraculous food... which they get tired of, so they grumble.
God promises that He’ll give them meat, and Moses grumbles that he doesn’t know how he’s going to get the meat.
God gives Miriam and Aaron authority, and they grumble that He doesn’t give them enough authority, compared to Moses.
God gives the people their promised homeland, and they grumble that it looks like it would be hard to take possession of.
God promises that He’ll give it to them Himself, and they’re back to grumbling and whining that they should’ve never listened to God...
Now, you could argue that the people’s problem was that they kept on grumbling, but that’s not really quite it. The real problem is that, over and over again, they wanted God to jump through their hoops, and they were dissatisfied every time that He refused to do it.
Even after He declared that no one in that generation would enter into the promised land because of their lack of faith, they disregarded Him even in their repentance, and they finally tried to follow His lead into Canaan... after He’d told them that He was no longer leading them into Canaan.
So today, it’s probably good that we stop and think for a moment about our own relationships with God. What do those look like? What does our prayer life look like? What does our response to God’s answers to our prayers look like? In everything that we do, we probably need to ask if we’re following God’s lead, or if we’re too often frustrated that He’s not following ours...