As I read the Old Testament, I’m amazed by how many times the Israelites fell away from God. He rescued them from the Egyptians, but they worshiped other gods. He chose them as His “peculiar treasure” (Exodus 19:5), and they created idols. He delivered the Canaanites into their hands, but they chose to follow other gods. God continually demonstrated His goodness and faithfulness to His chosen people, but their faith and obedience continually wavered.
Before begging for a king so they could be like their neighboring countries, Israel had a theocracy – perfect leadership by God Himself. Haven’t we all wished at some point or another that God would make Himself known and show us His will in obvious ways like appearing as a pillar of cloud to show us which direction we should go? But even with perfect, supernatural government and witnessing God’s incredible miracles in the wilderness, the Israelites still fell short.
Einstein was credited with defining insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Somehow the Israelites couldn’t seem to grasp for any length of time that life lived in accordance with God was better than trying to live without Him. God promised, “In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not” (Isaiah 30:15; emphasis mine). How often do we in the here and now refuse to claim God’s promises for ourselves?
Really, how we act echoes the lives of the Israelites (as if we needed to be reminded of our humanity and our penchant for making mistakes). They may have had a theocracy, but through the completed canon of the Bible, we get to see more of God’s big picture than they did, so we are still without excuse. Even so, we frequently choose to live our way instead of God’s way.
The beautiful beacon of truth and hope remains that God’s faithfulness is perfect. Prone to wander though we may be, God will never forsake us. The Lord doesn’t forget His people, His peculiar treasure. He hasn’t abandoned us even though we deserve it. He is at work in our lives and in the world around us enacting His good, pleasing, and perfect will. Praise the Lord that keeping His promises isn’t dependent on our actions!
“My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” II Corinthians 12:9Click to tweet
Family Radio Staff