Wednesday, February 10, 2016

It's Your Fault God!

But they said, “We will not come! Isn’t it enough that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness? And now you also want to lord it over us! Moreover, you haven’t brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey or given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Do you want to treat these men like slaves? No, we will not come!”
Numbers 16:12-14

These are the words of two men who blame God for the consequences of their own sin. Two men who love the things of the world more than the things of God. Two men who throw God's kindness back in His face then have the audacity to impugn His goodness. The earth opened up and swallowed these two men, Dathan and Abiram, whole (Numbers 16:31-33). But don't think that you are incapable of falling into the same trap. Scripture tells us that the human heart is deceitful above all else (Jeremiah 17:9). So let's take a moment to learn from their sin.

These men were part of Korah's rebellion which took place after Israel was condemned to wander in the dessert for forty years. You'll remember that 12 spies were sent out into Canaan and brought back a unanimously good report from the land. They all said that it was indeed a "land flowing with milk and honey" just as God had said. But in regards to their ability to possess the land, there was a split decision. Only two of the spies believed that God could drive out the inhabitants of the land. The other ten filled Israel with fear. When the people refused to go up and possess the land God condemned them to wander in the dessert for forty years. After they had all died their children would learn to trust Him and would possess the land.

This is the context into which these men speak, and it casts light on the true nature of their sin. Look again at what they said. "Isn’t it enough that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness?" They never entered Canaan. The place they are calling a land flowing with milk and honey is Egypt, where they were enslaved and treated like animals! When they use this phrase which was used repeatedly in Scripture to describe the land God had promised to give to His people they are in essence saying, "Compared to where following God has brought us, being slaves in Egypt was like being in the Promised Land." They are unhappy about being stuck in the wilderness, but they wholly ignore that it was their own sin that put them there. Instead of taking responsibility for their sin, they lash out at God. After all that God had done for Israel in their lifetime, how could they possibly have such disdain for Him?

They were deceived. They loved the world and the things of the world more than God. I John 2:15 says, "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them." Are you mad at God for not giving you the things of the world? Be careful or you may end up despising the holy things of God and pouting that He hasn't given you material possessions, fame, the approval of men, athletic prowess, or an easy life. The New Testament doesn't suggest Christians should expect any of these things. Rather, we should thank God for giving us His Son, forgiveness, grace, righteousness, hope for eternity, a clear understanding of the truth, and the church. Or maybe, like these men, you blame God for things that are actually the consequences of your own sin? Take a long look at the reason you are angry with God. Is He really withholding something from you that you have a right to? The truth is that we have no rights before our Creator God, and though we deserve punishment He has given grace instead. Fall back on that grace today in gratitude.

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