Every few years I read through the Bible. Back in the “olden days” (you know, 2010) I carried around a little tattered up piece of paper with each day’s assigned chapters. Now thanks to technology, I use the YouVersion Bible app. The plan I’m using this year goes from beginning to end – except that you read one Psalm every day – so far, so good. I generally read using the NIV translation, but sometimes there’ll be a particular passage I want to read the way I learned it and I’ll use the KJV for that that section.
Anyhoo, I’m smack dab in the book of Numbers. Now I’ll be honest – this part of the Bible drags for me. A lot. Basically the Israelites are wandering around in the desert (because of their disobedience), complaining a lot, doubting God, angering Moses, and more importantly, angering God. They wander, God smites, they repent, they anger God…repeat.
So as I was reading this go round I was thinking about what awful people the Israelites were. God chose them to be his people. He delivered them from slavery, he promised them a land full of milk and honey over which they would have dominion. He was giving them a pretty sweet deal. But they just weren’t feeling it. So many times they wished they’d just been left in Egypt as slaves – at least they’d have meat, water, etc. Then they’d do something completely contrary to His word. So of course I’m thinking “man, if God did all this for me, there’s no way I’d ever doubt Him.” Well…lies.
God shows up for me over and over again. He shows me that He is in control, that He’s got me. And yet, there are times when I can’t see or feel His presence the way I’d like, or nothing’s going right and I complain, get all moody and funky, wonder why things aren’t happening for me when, where and how I’d like. And that makes me just as wrong as I was so ready to accuse the Israelites of being. No, there’s no Moses leading me out of wilderness, tapping on rocks for water, or telling me to go out and collect baskets full of manna to sustain my family. But God is always there, He is always faithful, and His love and concern for me are unwavering and never ending.
I need to remember that.