“Woe to the rebellious children,” says the LORD, “Who take counsel, but not of Me, And who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, That they may add sin to sin; Who walk to go down to Egypt, And have not asked My advice, To strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, And to trust in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore the strength of Pharaoh Shall be your shame, And trust in the shadow of Egypt Shall be your humiliation.”
Where do you put your trust in? Do you trust God to lead you through any and every situation of your life ? Or is God your last minute go-to person when all your own methods and ways fail?
The Israelites went after Egypt and Pharoah. They relied on the “strength” of Pharoah. And God had enough of it. In verse 3, He tells them, the trust they put on Egypt and Pharoah will lead to their downfall. They had the God of the universe on their side and yet they somehow failed to see His might and power and put their trust in the world. This was their undoing.
As children of God, who have you placed your trust on? Do you rely on God to supply all your needs or do you, like the Israelites, place your trust in the world and the ways of the world?
You may place your trust in your bank balance or your health or even your family but you need to know these don’t last. They are temporary. But the trust we place in Jesus can lead us to eternity.
In Psalm 20:7, David says “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the LORD our God.”
If David has to say this, there obviously were people who put their trust in chariots and horses. We need to realize David was the king of Israel, a nation. Can you imagine how many chariots and horses he must have had ? Can you imagine how many battles he might have won using those horses and chariots? But do know what made him stand apart from the others ? His faith in God. He knew his victory was to trust God and not the horses and chariots. He knew that as long as he put his trust in God, victory was on his side.
If David could have that vision, what about us? You only need to analyze your own life and see. How much trust do you put in God. Or do you have your eyes set on the horse and chariots in this world.
It’s perfectly normal to have problems in life. In fact, they are part and parcel of leading a life on earth. Especially for a Christian, the difficult and trying times are indeed more numerous and often even harsher than for others. Nobody likes to willingly go through trials though the outcome of such an ordeal is only for our benefit. As a human being, it’s not too easy to comprehend why our Father would make us endure so much pain – pain that has the capacity to challenge our physical and mental strength.
Thus says the Lord:
“The people who survived the sword
Found grace in the wilderness—
Israel, when I went to give him rest.”
In the above passage,we read that the people who survived the sword found ‘grace in the wilderness’. It speaks about the children of Israel and their experience in the arid dry lands. When one thinks of a desert, what’s the first thought that comes to mind? Dryness, emptiness, nothingness, dead, no life, etc. There is no freshness and no life to be expected in such a place. But the children of Israel found ‘grace in the wilderness’ and they survived by the Lord’s hand. In the harshest conditions, the Lord never left them. He made sure His grace and comfort was there to see them through.
Our life situations too at times may feel like a parched and dried up land – nothing new to expect, nothing to look forward to. This dryness can be felt in academics, work, relationships between husband and wife, parents and children, brother and sister, friends, colleagues and even between us and God. Spiritual dryness can often leave us down and hopeless. Our communication with Him gets affected and it may come to the point where we seem to have lost all contact with Him. You pick up the phone to make a call to Him but He doesn’t seem to be on the other line. His silence can be piercing.
But the Lord who promised us, ‘I’ll never leave you nor forsake you’ (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8) lives even today. And He didn’t give that promise only during good times but even through the bad and normal times as well. Our Lord is not one who makes empty promises. If He says something He will bring it to pass in His time (Isiah 55:10,11). Not ours. We need to be patient because He waits for that perfect time. After undergoing a tough situation, we realize that the Lord’s grace, comfort and kindness were with us all along. He never leaves us as orphans. How can He? We are His children. If our Father doesn’t take care of us, who else will? The next time you are faced with a crisis, just remember that God’s silence doesn’t mean His absence. God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble (Psalm 46: 1).
But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.
When God delivered the Israelites from Egypt, it was not a partial deliverance; He did not do any particular selection. All were rescued and hence every one of them was entitled to enter the Promised Land. However, what happened in the course of the years after they left Egypt? Most of them grumbled and complained and they disbelieved God’s promises. That led to their downfall and they were utterly destroyed. Only 2 entered Canaan- Joshua and Caleb.
This situation can be compared to ours too. As Christians, we take pride in the fact that we have been saved from destruction – deliverance from Egypt can be compared to our deliverance from our sins. But what happened in the course of the years? Is your faith still intact? Or do you grumble and complain at the slightest hint of a problem that comes in your life? Haven’t you seen the Lord’s wonders in the past? Doubting Him is a sin; Disbelieving in His capabilities to perform is a sin. It is like we are questioning His supremacy. If you need to run the Christian journey faithfully, we need to be among those who are chosen to enter eternity with the Lord Jesus. We need to be like Joshua and Caleb, who remained faithful and hence were able to enter the land God had intended for them. Praise God.
1 Corinthians 10:1-5
Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
It says here that all the Israelites were subjected to the same spiritual experiences. They all passed through the Red Sea, they all ate and drank from the same spiritual source. There were no differences. They all saw and experienced God’s miracles and ways. Yet, how many of them actually entered the Promised Land? Only 2 – Joshua and Caleb. As Christians, we all go to Church on Sundays, all of us in the congregation sing together , clap together, hear the same sermons, praise the same God. But how is your walk with God? Are you able to truly experience God in your day to day life? Christian experience and living is not restricted to the 4 walls of the Church room. Let us be able to examine our ways, our thoughts, our actions and deeds. Are we indeed able to lead true Christian lives. Or are we , like the Israelites, always grumbling and complaining about things that have not worked out the way you planned? If any of you are going through such an experience, we need to make some rectifications in our lives , if we need to reach the Promised Land which God has prepared for us. For many are called, but few are chosen. (Mathew 22:14)
Today let us think , which side are you on ? Are you part of only the “Called” group or are you “Chosen” to reach the goal? Leading a victorious Christian life may not be easy but with the guidance of the Holy spirit in our lives, we can be sure we are on the right path. Amen!