It’s interesting, well, I find it interesting, that God gave all these provisions and laws to the Israelite community because they were a “stiff-necked people”. I wonder what He would have done if they had bent their necks.
But, I suppose that is moot.
We still rally to our own flags. We still refuse to listen or to follow. He prefer to talk and to lead.
When Moses came down from the mountain, the people complained and they grumbled; but eventually (after forty years in the desert), they grew to accept the laws that God had given them.
I’m sure they even began to feel comfortable with the yoke around their necks. Almost like they could continue on and not need to bend their backs so much.
But then Jesus came and said, “You know the laws my Father gave to you through Moses, the ones you thought were so terribly difficult. The laws my father gives you through me, make those look simple.” Jesus knew the people were using the laws to judge their fellow Jews. He wanted them to stop. He wanted us to be more concerned with our own hearts, minds, and intentions than the sins of our brothers and sisters.
And, of course, the people grumbled. We still do. I still rebel against the divine.
Why? If we know that He wants whats best for us, why turn away?
He knew we’d make mistakes. That’s why the Israelite community has so many provisions, including things like divorce and accidental murder (they set aside six sanctuary cities). God knew we’d need to find our way.
The only way I find my way is by running full speed toward a target. Usually a long term goal that I have no concrete plans to reach, just an abstract idea of how to get there. But, along the way, I learn what I need to do or I break.
It is not only when I’m truly broken that I can see God; however, it is one of the few times many of us even begin to look. Not that it’s a bad thing; it’s just how we are. We are a stiff-necked people.
We can seek the Lord. We can follow the Lord. But a lot of the time, we follow what we think is right. At least, I do. And, one day, our desires and God’s desires for us will line up. But until they do, I know I’m going to make a lot of mistakes along the way.
Does that mean I shouldn’t turn to God? Does that mean I’m already turning away from God? Does that mean I think I don’t need God?
I would suggest that I need God more than I even know. And I know I need Him a lot. Not just to shore up my weaknesses, but to show my how to use my strengths. Not just to forgive my mistakes, but to increase my appreciation.
So I seek Him and I hope to avoid pitfalls; but I know that even at my worst, He will take me back. Though I may buck Him numerous times, He will take me back.
But I should still make the effort.