Tuesday, February 8, 2011
I have recently been studying the first five books of the Old Testament and especially the life of Moses as he was called by God to lead the nation of Israel out of Egypt and into the promised land. Most of you are familiar with the burning bush that wasn’t burning that caught Moses attention when God first called him. You are also aware of the various plagues that happened in Egypt thru Moses in order to have Pharoah let the people of Israel go. You have for sure heard of the Red Sea Experience where God split the sea and allowed the Israelites to go thru on dry ground while the Egyptians drowned in it as they were pursuing the Israelites. You might be aware also of the manna (white breadish substance) that God placed on the ground for 6 mornings for the Israelites to eat and be nourished along the way to the promised land.
What struck my mind as I read the passage this time is the incident that caused Moses not to be able to enter the promised land. The people were thirsty and had no water to drink and began complaining. God said to Moses to speak to the rock as compared to an earlier time where God told Moses to strike the rock. Moses was angry with the people and rather than speaking to the rock to bring forth water, he struck the rock and water did in fact come out of the rock, but God was displeased with Moses for not treating Him as holy and said because of his actions Moses would not be able to enter the promised land with the rest of the Israelites.
What struck me recently in reading Deuteronomy 3-4 was something that I had never seen. In Deut. 3:23-26, Moses blames the Israelites for not being able to go into the promised land. Also in Deut. 4:21 Moses says the same thing that God was angry with him on account of the Israelites. What I hear Moses doing is blaming the Israelites and not taking personal responsibility in not doing what the Lord wanted him to do.
It reminds me of the story of Adam and Eve after they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. When God asked them what they had done, Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent rather than taking personal responsibility. It was Adam and Eve’s pride that got in the way and didn’t allow them to humble themselves and take responsibility for what they had done. It was Moses’s pride that caused him to blame the Israelites and not humble himself by taking personal responsibility for what he had done.
With Adam and Eve, they were kicked out of the garden and didn’t experience the promised garden of God. With Moses God wouldn’t allow him to enter the promised land because he blamed others for his own mistake.
In relationships we often are not experiencing the connections we want with God or with others because we often fail to take responsibility and humble ourselves for what we have done. It is easier to blame others for our own mistakes but that pride stops us oftentimes from experiencing the promises that God wants to give us in our relationship with Him and with others.
It might be helpful to check our pride at the door and begin looking at how we might humble ourselves by admitting mistakes so that we could begin to experience the promises God has in store for each of us this day. Things to think about as we go on this journey together.