The Lord will vindicate his people
and relent concerning his servants
when he sees their strength is gone
and no one is left, slave or free.
Wow, I sure struggled today. I went round and round, back and forth, between pain, uncertainty, confusion, love and joy.
For example, today's reading as a whole seems to be Moses saying (from God): You will fail. You are going to let me down, as if God already knows this and perhaps he does, but what do we do with this?
“I will hide my face from them,” he said,
“and see what their end will be;
for they are a perverse generation,
children who are unfaithful.
21 They made me jealous by what is no god
and angered me with their worthless idols.
Doesn't God already know what their "end" will be?
All this brings up more weird questions, I'm a father, if my kids decided that a tooth pick (which isn't a Father at all) was thier Father, what would my response be? Judgement and Jealousy or patient endurance in love? (Both?)
A sarcastic, but I still think faithful, summery of the reading might look like this:
Moses: I'm gonna die. Josh is taking over. You're gonna suck, lets sing a song about that!
It's just a tough bit, it comes across at times as an attempt to fighten the people into obedience. Is that holy? There are fires that burn straight to the pit. Their are arrows drunk on blood. There's a promised vengence. Boo...I don't like any of it.
But, my job isn't to like it, is it? My job is to be faithful, loving, Jesus.
So, I'm wrestling with all of this stuff again, one thing I can say that I'm learning (perhaps not quit enough to teach well as of yet) is the value in pain, uncertainty, confusion.
I find that when I am over the top confused or dizzy from uncertainty, one of two things are true in my life, I'm either experiencing suffering in some way or experincing love in some way. Both can bring me to the end of myself--and I haven't found anything else that can cause that posture in my life. A place where ego, intellegence, selfishness, self-sufficency, and the like all fall away.
Only love and pain can bring that emptying that I need--when I love so much that I expect my head to explode I'm not thinking about my way.
When I hurt (or watch others hurt) in ways that make no sense and seem to be without rhyme or reason I may not enjoy the process but I find a holy` emptiness there as well.
God is in the bussiness of filling everything we are willing to empty for him.
So, yes, I struggled with todays reading but a far greater struggle that I think God knew from the start is my temptations to idolotry (which was the same issues with the folks in our text.)
Idolotry is easy to avoid if I think it's about Twilight movies, Stephen King books, or Harry Potter (all of which I love by the way.)
Idolotry is easy to avoid if it's about simply knowing the right doctrines to hold to.
Idolotry is easy to avoid if it's about building statues or storing eye of newt for our culdrons.
But...when we avoid loving others, when we won't sacrfice (hurt) for the kingdom do we ever think of that as idolotry.
I think God wants us to decide to consecrate (big word) give over all that we are, unto him in surrender. I want that...not once, not in a way that only fits within my doctrinal understanding. I want that daily but friends I never do that without love or pain (cross bearing) that provides the emptyness and then:
With God. Yes and Amen.
The Lord will vindicate his people and relent concerning his servantswhen he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free.