Exodus 14:21-22 nlt

redsea2

The Lord can have His creation do what He wants.
Often, He did (and does) have the natural world do unimaginable things.  
Think about the sea dividing and there being a path of dry land.
Amazing!

He could make man do what He desires but He allows us freewill.  
Think about the people walking between the walls of water.
Even more amazing!

When God opens up the way for you do you walk through the opening?
Do you understand that He will not force you to walk through the waters?

Blessings this day of grace,

patricia

photo courtesy of Susie of Arabia

Remember What He Has Done For You

We learn in 1 Samuel that the Israelites wanted a king.  They had a King, God, but they wanted a man as their king.  They rejected God in favor of Saul.  When Saul was confirmed as king, Samuel reminded the people of the things that God did for Israel in the past and how they would turn from Him and forget His faithfulness.  Samuel reminded them of all the times they cried out to God for mercy telling Him that though they had sinned they would come back to Him and serve Him, only to sin again.  Samuel reminded the people of all the times God delivered them from their enemies.

The people knew they had sinned against God in asking for a king.  They were afraid because of their wickedness.  Yet, Samuel told them not to be afraid.

And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil.  Yet, do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.  And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty.  For the Lord will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself.”
 1 Samuel 12:20-22

Notice that Samuel does not just tell the people what to do but also what not to do and why;

  • Do not be afraid and do not stop following the Lord
                       because He will not forsake you. 
  •  Serve the Lord with all your heart,
                        because it pleases Him that you are His people.
  • Turn away from empty things, idols,
                         because they are useless and cannot save the people

How like the Israelites we are.  We sin, ask forgiveness, and say we will  sin no more, only to sin again.  We ask for things that will replace God in our hearts, empty things of no real value. Yet, He is ever merciful because He is pleased to have us as His people.  Pleased!  Does that not make your heart sing?

Only fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart.
Consider what great things He has done for you.
1 Samuel 12:24

Not a lot was asked of the ancient people of God and not much is asked of us.  Only to fear Him and serve Him whole-heartedly.  We do make it seem like a great sacrifice on our part; to worship Him and serve Him without reservation.  But is it when we remember all the great things He has done for us?

When I think of all He has done for me–I am filled with wonder…

Truth or Consequences?

 

The people of God, Israel, finally came into the land of milk and honey, the Promised Land.  During the life of Joshua and while the elders of his time were alive all was well; Israel served God.  When all those who had witnessed everything the Lord had done for Israel before they entered the Promised Land were dead, things began to change.

The people became comfortable with where they were and began to mingle with the foreigners and strangers.  They were obedient and followed God’s Law when, and if, it was convenient and to their liking.  Israel was on a downward spiral; falling farther and farther away from God.

In those days there was no king in Israel.  Everyone did what was right in their own eyes. 

 Judges 21:25

Because Israel had no king, they had no leader; no one to look to for direction and guidance, no one to focus their energies.  They looked around at the cultures of other people and other gods and like sheep without a shepherd they were led astray.  The other gods were seductive and made life enticing.  The followers of these gods seemed, and many were, prosperous and happy, living “the good life.”  What they did not know and what Israel did not see is that unlike the true God these other gods could not give them a future and a hope.

In straying from God and being only partially obedient, God’s chosen people became like the pagans.  Life was not really prosperous and happy, it was anything but good.  Life was one of violence, idolatry, sexual abuse, lawlessness, and even civil war.  A king was needed.

Sound familiar?

Moving away from God and what is true brought the destruction of their families and nation.  Disobedience and rebellion have consequences.  God would not be disrespected and disobeyed forever.  He would act and there would be judgment.

The same is true today.  We will pay the consequences for our actions.  The time will come when God will act and disobedience and rebellion will be judged.

Rejoice, oh young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth.  Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes.  But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

Ecclesiastes 11:9

I wonder how much time is left before God acts?

Just wondering…

What none need ask…

I wonder why when someone makes a statement we usually follow with a question.  It does not matter who makes the statement, even if it is someone we trust and respect, we are skeptical and want assurance that what has been said is fact and true.  It is not wrong to question when we do not understand something or need more information or clarification or do not know the person speaking.  However, there is a statement  made that did not and does not need  questioned–but it was and is.  It is found in Malachi 1:2

“I have loved you,” says the Lord.  But you say, “How have You loved us?”

The statement is easily understood, no more information  needed.  It is clear, concise, and straight-forward. It is a statement of God.  Because He is trustworthy what He says is fact and truth.  The question is arrogant, defensive, and quarrelsome.  The asking of it denies God is the Most High, Almighty, and Sovereign.

Asking Him, “How have You loved us?”, shows how self-centered were the Israelites, God was not the center of their world they were.  They were, in their minds, important and expected an accounting of God’s actions and in what ways He loved them.  They denied who God is by implying that He did not love them or that His love needed  proof. The difficult times, times of trials and tests, crisis and conflict were remembered.  The blessings, mercy, and salvation were forgotten. They were, in effect, telling the Creator to answer to the created.

I wonder how the Israelites could be so…well…stupid is the word that comes to mind.

Then I wonder, am I like Israel?  Am I self-centered, arrogant, defensive, and quarrelsome?  Do I question God’s plan and purpose for me–and the world?  Do I remember the difficult times and forget the blessings?  Have I denied God by wanting proof of His love?  Sadly, I can answer yes to all the questions I have asked.

Who in the world are you to second guess God?  Do you for one moment suppose any of us know enough to call God into question? Romans 9:20

I wonder if I will ever be able to answer no to the questions I asked.

I wonder at His love!


Just wondering…