The crying need today
is for people of faith to live faithfully.
— Richard Foster (The Challenge of the Disciplined Life)
Jerusalem had fallen. Thousands were dead. Survivors were fleeing the ruins like ants from a kicked-over anthill. God is shifting the focus of his messages to hope in place of judgment. As this shift in messages is happening, God hears the refugees grumbling.
There logic was simple. Abraham was only one person, and he inherited the promised land. There are many of us, so why don’t we own the land?
God’s answer: You’re not like Abraham!
. . .
When tough times come, it’s easy to grumble. Difficult events seem put a negative filter over our eyes, crippling our perspective.
The people of Jerusalem had the worst atrocity imaginable happen to them—and they responded accordingly. Still, until they could understand the purpose of the judgment, God wouldn’t give their land back to them.
God answered them by listing a few of the ways the refuges were unlike Abraham:
- You eat flesh with blood in it (prohibited in the Torah)
- You (still!) worship idols
- You murder
- You rely on your own military (how miserably has that failed you?)
- You commit abominations (this is a catch-all expression for bad actions)
- You have sex with your neighbour’s wife
How could they still expect to inherit the land?
. . .
The message is crystal clear: when bad things happen, do we grumble and complain—or do we take some time out to pray and ask God about the situation? It’s human nature to complain and whine. It’s our renewed nature to listen to the Spirit of God.
. . .
Lord God, help us to run to you even in the most horrible times of our lives. Remind us to seek you for the solutions to our problems. In Jesus’ name, Amen.