February 16, 2017

February 16, 2017

NUMBERS 11-13

Focus Verse: “Soon the people began to complain about their hardship, and the Lord heard everything they said. Then the Lord’s anger blazed against them, and He sent a fire to rage among them, and He destroyed some of the people in the outskirts of the camp.”

Numbers 11:1

 

Pretty harsh. Though I think it could do the Christian church some good if God were to do that same kind of thing today. This is one of those hotly contested passages from the Bible where we see the anger of God on full display. Some people love these passages, it’s the fire and brimstone they love to throw on others. Other people walk away from the faith because of passages like these, or at the very minimum write these parts off as highly symbolic or folk-tales from primitive people to explain some sort of natural disaster.

Either way, we’re wrong. It’s God’s job to judge, not yours…so stop throwing fire and brimstone. It’s not yours to throw. And if this part of the Bible is just symbolic, if this part of the Bible is just folklore, then where does that end? Did Jesus exist? Did He actually perform miracles or was He just a decent guy who people liked?

I’m getting off track though. Fact is, it doesn’t really matter what we think about this. If God is the Lord of all creation, what you and I think doesn’t really matter, so I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time discussing what I think God’s reasons were for doing this.

I do want to look at one thing though. Notice where the focus of the Israelites jumped to here. They took their eyes off of God and put them onto their hardships. Why do we complain? Because we take our eyes off of God and put them onto our hardships. Can you imagine how much we would stand out in this world if we simply stopped complaining? I don’t think people would know what to do around us.

When you believe the Gospel, there is no way you can complain about anything. I don’t care how bad life is. I’ve talked about this definition of the Gospel from Timothy Keller before, but if “we are more wicked and sinful than we dare believe, but more loved and accepted in Christ than we could hope” how can we be upset about anything!

The Lord of all creation came down from heaven and gave His life so you could be forgiven of everything wrong you have ever done! Why are you upset? Jesus Christ did nothing wrong…ever…and yet suffered humiliation, pain, agony, and isolation from God, all so that you never have to. Is there anything else that compares to that?

Please don’t think I am trying to make light of your trials. It’s not that at all. And God isn’t doing that either. Because amid all of that…all of what Christ went through, He still beckons you to His knee. He still wants to hear your deepest pain and cry with you. He still wants to hear your greatest victory and rejoice with you.

He loves you like no one else. He loves you like there is no one else.

The joy that comes from knowing that, from know who you are to Him, should be enough to rejoice through even the darkest of days. If you don’t know that joy, you can experience it right now. All you have to do is ask Him for it.

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