Monday, May 10, 2010

Such a loving God!

In our daily reading of our Bible, we are once again going through the "Israel experience", as I like to call it. It consists of humanity at it's best, and worse! There are so many lessons applicable to our lives today. Remembering that the Israelites were actual, real, live humans with thoughts and emotions and desires and hopes and dreams and hurts and families and jobs and the struggle to relate to and obey the God who called them out to be His own people - whew! I find myself at times so overwhelmed with the details of it all, I just have to shake my head and throw up my hands and thank GOD that He doesn't give what is deserved - annihilation in most cases! - but that He gives GRACE! Oh, Grace! That joyful, freeing, free gift! Holiness is the requirement - GRACE is the loving gift.

The sheer amount of sacrifice that was required to keep the Israelites right with God is astronomical. There were morning sacrifices, sin sacrifices, peace offerings, pledge offerings, special offerings and ritual cleansing offerings, monthly, weekly, daily sacrifices plus all the Occasions and Festivals and Feasts and Remembrances!

As Clay and I were talking about it, we wondered "Why would God require such frequent sacrifice? When did the people have time to do everything else life required of them, when did the Priests have a moment? So many animals sacrificed!" It seemed excessive to say the least, until we looked at the bigger picture. God parted the Red Sea and delivered the people from return to Egyptian slavery, and the Israelites response? Whining and complaining about something as simple as food! Let's face it, they could have taken care of that themselves. They could have planted, hunted or even gone to neighboring land and purchased. There were options! They did the right thing in that they turned to God, but they did it the wrong way - acting like they were entitled - had the right to His provision. The funny thing is, they did! He intended to care for them. It would have been nice if they'd asked with faith, received with joy, been grateful and loving toward the Lord for His provision. They weren't, as we often aren't.

All those sacrifices? Totally necessary to keep the people REMEMBERING!! To keep them focused on the God who loved them. We humans have a very short attention span! How quickly and easily we forget the things done for our benefit, and how selfishly we demand more, More, MORE!!!
We’ll continue to develop this idea over the next few days or so…..
Til then, keep this thought in mind and heart – GOD IS FAITHFUL, TRUSTWORTHY, STEDFAST AND HE LOVES YOU!

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