Forty years of wilderness wandering plagued the Israelites because they listened to the report of ten spies instead of God’s promise to give them the promised land. They had experienced God’s miraculous works for their deliverance, yet still, rather than believing God’s promise and facing their enemies with faith, they were caught up in human deception and discouragement.
The giants occupying their land were huge and the enemies were strong, the challenge too dangerous, the risk too great. They refused to move out and take possession for fear of their lives.
They wept and wailed through their night with bitterness! They complained and grumbled about their plight! Why did we leave Egypt? We’ll die in this forlorn land! Shouldn’t we just go back? Wouldn’t it be better? Be safer? Wouldn’t it just be easier back in captivity? Those unfaithful, unbelieving, grumbling Israelites twenty years and older never made it into the land of promise because God saw to it that their unbelief would not be honoured.
Oh, the wilderness wanderings we face when we focus on deception instead of truth. When we focus on the giants instead of the promises; when we rebel instead of trust! You know it don’t you? The wilderness of rebellion, unbelief, deception and despair? Does your old slavery and bondage to sin just seem more comfortable, easier, and safer than trusting God for deliverance? We need to move on out and take what God has promised through trust, while He still gives opportunity. Courage is found when we take God at His word and trust him even though the giants are many and the tasks impossible.
I wonder who we hear? The reports of people or the Lord’s promises to us.?
1 Corinthians 10:11 “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” #soulnotestoself #soulnote
So, when great leaders, whom we trusted, rise and fall and COVID trots around the world with icy fingers of death threats and lockdowns and evil riots protest in the streets and on steps of freedom and liberty, where do we turn? Where do we turn when a once normal world that we half trusted has fallen so far down, and gone clear mad, falling so far short of the beautiful Eden God originally created it to be!
It was a world we knew wasn’t perfect but it was livable for the most part. It had its sorrows and setbacks but there could be good news of small serendipitous moments along the way. Little things to add little sparks to our steps and a little hope in our journey. This thing we’ve got now seems wildly out of control in all corners and on all fronts. It’s been two years of ups and downs and thing is, it feels like ten. Anxiety rises and days are long. Nights are sleepless, dark and lonely and shut down is real and frightening. Loss is great, bank accounts topple and jobs are on the line. Kids are masked, overwhelmed and fear-ridden with self-isolation and school shutdowns.
Where on earth, in this wide world do we go with our concerns when even great leaders fall and those we trusted leave us reeling and flailing in our faith beliefs?
Let’s you and I and we and us, never lose sight of the fact that the sly serpent who introduced sin into the beautiful Eden to take it down still slithers slyly into our gardens. It’s apparent, He’s here big time and thing is, we’ve allowed him to worm his way in by letting down our once high standard of things. Over the years state laws have passed to allow him in with an invitation to have his way with things and so our selfishness, our rights and our freedom ruled but the consequences of our actions are devasting and now our stuff is catching up with us. Our selfishness has destroyed us and the freedom we fought for is gone and our freedom of speech is silenced while the death bell tolls the globe.
Thing is, it’s wild and it’s woolly, yet God reigns supreme over it all. His cross crushed the slithering serpent, years ago and His death and resurrection brought the victory that put our enemy in his place even though his arrogance still fights for the limelight, so evident in these days in which we find ourselves.
In spite of the turmoil, chaos and the way of things, God still reigns supreme and victoriously holds this old rugged, wretched world up against the old rugged cross, where mercy and justice meet! Truth is, He’s already defeated our enemy and He brings that victory to us as His victory people. Our part is to stand firm, trusting Him alone, not looking to the left or the right, but staying focused on His resurrection power, knowing that as believers, we are the resurrected people who can face the days with a message of hope and the promise of eternal life! Our role is to be faithful and move out courageously to share simply God’s message of salvation and love to a world ravaged by sin and distraught by its consequences.
There is a day coming when God will overturn this curse of sin and you can take that to bank! Malachi, as a stern prophet, warned of it to a tough audience of disillusioned, cynical, callous, dishonest, apathetic, doubters, skeptics and the truly wicked. Sound familiar? I wonder, how does one address this kind of crowd? Well, Malachi’s style was through dialogue and strong rebuke. His was a wake-up call that spoke of the day of judgment that was coming but with the message of hope for those who feared the LORD. Listen to his words penned in Malachi 4: 1, 2
“The Lord of Heaven’s armies says, ‘The day of judgment is coming burning like a furnace. On that day, the arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw. They will be consumed roots, branches and all. But for you who fear my name, The Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.’ “
A Psalm of David brings us back into a calm place, a place of reflection before the Lord, and giving praise to the One in charge when he pens in Psalm 65:5,
“You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our Saviour. You are the Hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas. You formed the mountains by Your power and armed Yourself with mighty strength. You quieted the raging oceans with their pounding waves and silenced the shouting of the nations.. Those who live in the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders.”
Let’s live there today in that quiet place before a God who is to be feared but a God of love and a God who desires your faithfulness and complete trust, even when others let us down and the world crumbles at our feet. #Soulnotetoself
Hey, beautiful one, it’s a fragile world and we’re pretty breakable in its crazy chaos and confusion. The fears are real and the worries are such obstacles in our journey. Sometimes we just feel really cracked, and bruised and beaten and battered and just plain broken. But, you gotta know that’s ok because for all the broken, there’s healing, and mending and repair and yeah, although frozen, cracked bubbles can’t be fixed, souls really can be and are, because through the eyes of Jesus we are perfected in our faith and in our walk! Oh, what a delight to know this One who fixes and forgives our fault lines and heals and seals our broken, to give new life and a new beginning. Oh yeah, Broken is beautiful through the eyes of Jesus, and so are “you!”
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
“He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
So I know, sometimes we just need to fix the fence and repair the building. Sometimes we just need to do what we need to do and nail it. But really for our soul health and our own peace of mind, in our own broken-down mess of trouble, it’s just simple faith is the all-important element in the dark moments of life! Just downright and outright faith in our Lord can get us through the maze of confusion and chaos. No understanding necessary, no worry, no figuring, no planning, no plotting, no scheming and no control mechanism. No, none of that….. Just pure, simple faith and trust in God alone….is our strength and our sanity.
So do what you need to do to mend what you need to mend. Fix, repair, forgive, forget, move on, and move out, but for the scars and the pain and the unknowns, trust in our Maker will soothe the soul of the fearful.