Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Thankful in Times of Opposition – Part 2 of 4
God is not looking for flawless people but for real people willing to offer their strengths and weaknesses for His service. Perhaps Moses seemed an unlikely candidate, but God wanted him because he had become a humble man and was therefore ready for God to use. He was used mightily in signs and wonders and on such a dramatic scale. Perhaps an even greater achievement was that God used him to write the first five books of the Old Testament.
God believed in him before all of these great achievements had taken place. God could see what no one else could even imagine. And because Moses obeyed, the unimaginable happened. Yet the Israelites didn’t believe in Moses the same way God did. They didn’t fully trust him as their leader. They also didn’t trust God Almighty. How come? Wasn’t it obvious that God was someone they could trust? Wasn’t He the God of their forefathers, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?
Well, a long period of slavery took its toll on them. They were stripped of their identity as God’s chosen people and, for most of them, their Jewish faith had become a thing of the past. Many of them by now were following the idolatry of the Egyptians. They did so because idolatry was more tangible to them than an obscure God.
God was dealing with people who had forgotten who He was, and they needed proof in order to believe in Him again. That’s why God performed such awesome miracles in their sight. He was also demonstrating to the rest of the known world that He was the only God; there was no other god beside Him.
No matter how many times God proved Himself to them, they continued in their fear and unbelief. As you already know, because of this, almost an entire generation never inherited the land that was promised to them.
Ongoing sin in their lives, for which they never willingly repented, as well as their past slavery, caused them to see themselves as weak and powerless. They didn’t believe that they were able to make a difference in their world. Ultimately, they didn’t believe that with God they had what it took to make their lives and their futures a success.
Of the first generation that originally left Egypt, only Joshua and Caleb ever entered the Promised Land. They helped the second generation take hold of their inheritance because they had refused to succumb to fear and unbelief.