Monday, January 28, 2013

Sometimes It Just Doesn't Seem Fair

Who served God better than Moses? I mean the guy was steadfast and solid for about 80 years in leading the Israelites out of captivity, wandering through the desert for 40 of those years listening to and trying to appease the whining and dissatisfaction of the Israelites. He fought battles and risked life and limb, and it could be said he was one of the most successful leaders in all of world history.

Yet, the one thing he most desired, and that at the end of a very long life of 120 years, was to walk freely into the land God had promised would belong to Israel.

Yes, the one thing he desired more than anything was to see Canaan land and it was the one thing that God denied him.

One little minor infraction during the wandering years in the desert kept him from his hearts desire.

What did he do? He failed to trust God and tried to produce something on his own.

He tapped a rock with a stick looking for water. 

Pretty insignificant sounding, huh?

Not to God it wasn't. God was trying to build faith in hundreds of thousands of people in a critical situation and he was using Moses to accomplish it. When Moses failed to obey God it made God "look bad". It made it look like Moses had more power or more knowledge about taking care of the people than God did.

When we disobey God, when we show off and make Him look bad or foolish there will be repercussions.

There may be forgiveness forthcoming, but forgiveness often does not revoke the punishment or penalty.

We are held responsible for our actions.

Sometimes it just doesn't seem fair.

Deut. 32:51 - "Because you broke faith with Me in the midst of the Israelites at the waters of Meribah-kadesh in the Wilderness of Zin and because you did not set Me apart as holy in the midst of the Israelites. (52) For you shall see the land opposite you at a distance, but you shall not go there, into the land which I give the Israelites."

Moses' punishment was exactly what God told him it would be. You will see the land from afar, but you will never walk on it.

You may look, but don't touch.

Moses died on that mountain top, and the privilege of leading the Israelites into Canaan was given to Moses' right hand man and main military leader, Joshua.

Perhaps he died from old age. More than likely his broken heart was a contributor. However, in all of that Moses remained true to God and we can be assured that he is with God today in His Paradise. Moses was such a strong figure of faith in God that the devil and Michael the Archangel struggled over his body (Jude 1:9).

We struggle over the harshness associated with what appears to be a minor infraction. However, God knows better than we do all of the time.

I believe God did not get any pleasure out of punishing Moses. I do believe that there was much at stake and it went beyond Moses. God was trying to establish a much needed authority and if he had to sacrifice Moses to accomplish that then so be it. God knew Moses could handle it.

Could you handle it? Or would you stomp your feet and cry and whine? Would you pull up the stakes of your tent and move to greener pastures? Or would you accept the penalty maturely and still love and serve God?

It happens sometimes in our lives and we may not even recognize it. God will chastise us. He will discipline us. He will deny us pleasures and shiny objects. He will see far down the road for us and deny us the things that we may not see as harmful.

He must. That discipline is a sign of love and caring.

Sometimes it just doesn't seem fair. We must rest assured that God knows what is fair and what is best.

His grace must be sufficient, and when we recognize that and abide by it we advance strongly.

Be blessed!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

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