“But the lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.’” (Numbers 20:12 – Faith Gains Understanding of History)
Faith is not a spiritual or intellectual reality distinct from history. Trusting faith reveals itself in obedient historical acts. To fail to act in our history in accord with God’s known will is to demonstrate lack of faith and to deserve God’s historical judgment. Moses and Aaron wee heroes of faith who endured heart breaking discipline and judgment for misusing positions of leadership among God’s people. What was their failure you ask? God told Moses and Aaron to gather the people and stood at the rock at Meribah, speak to the rock and it will spring forth with water for people to drink and enough for animals and herds. Instead, with the staff, the rock was struck twice, when they were told to merely call upon the rock to give up its water for all God’s people to see.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Dear Abba, we read in this verse from numbers and find why it was that Moses and Aaron would not be allowed to go into the Promised Land. Harsh, yes, but the disrespect shown by striking the rock with the staff, made it appear that they had brought forth the water and not God. Respect of God’s holiness takes precedent over all things. Today we continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that a peaceful solution might be found and let the fighting be silenced. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Non-believers believe in “Good Luck,” while Christians believe in the Good Lord!”
“No sooner had Gideon died that the Israelites again prostituted themselves to the Baals. They set up Baal-Berith as their god and did not remember the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the hands of all their enemies on every side. They also failed to show kindness to the family of Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) for all the good things he had done for them. and did not remember” (Judges 8:33-35 – Faith Gains Understanding of History)
History is a call to see God in action and depend totally on Him. Israel was too often tempted to see history in Canaanite terms as a cycle of recurring agricultural seasons. They wanted to depend on Yahweh, the God of Israel, for political leadership and on Baal, the god of Canaanite agriculture and fertility, for crop protection. Even a leader like Gideon had received a name honoring Baal from his parents. God controls all aspect of history—-military, political, economic, social, and agricultural. He expects His people to depend on him in each new season because He has proved his power and case through history, not because He has proved his power and care trough history, not because they go through proper rituals to cause the seasons to repeat themselves.
“At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king o Judah and said to him: because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the Lord, he delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.” (2nd Chronicles 16:7-9 – Faith Gains Understanding of History)
God used history to cal His people to faith. They repeatedly sought security in international alliances. He showed them their covenant alliance with Him was all they needed to true security.
SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Please read this for yourself” (Hebrews 11:1-40– Faith Gains Understanding of History)
Faith involves absolute confidence in God’s historical saving acts. The nature of faith leads to deep involvement in the historical world not isolation and escape into a life of meditation. Furthermore, the “roll call of faith” illustrates the nature of belief in God. Faith is action based on certainty without physical evidence. Faith please God. Knowledge of God comes only through faith, since God is invisible. Faith is the human action which God counts as righteousness to wipe out all sin charged against us. Faith trust God’s promises even when hey appear impossible. Faith reaches out out to the eternal reward God has promised. Faith obeys God even when the divine demand appears unreasonable. Faith fears no human, only God. Faith identifies with God’s people no matter how disadvantaged they are. Faith perseveres even when on reward is in sight. The faith of all Israel’s heroes found its goal and reward in Christ and His atoning work.