Thursday, March 17, 2016

Neglect or Rebellion?

I’m reading more lately. I used to last summer, waiting in doctors’ offices or the hospital. I’ve become a bit more focused now, wanting more stories Christian based, even in fiction. This one, “And He Healed Them All” was a freebie from Amazon a few days ago – and is still free today (March 17.) But, this is not going to be a book review.

48% into the book I was caught by a couple of sentences:
I let Jesus become that faded historical figure. It was like neglect instead of open rebellion.
Rebellion against God is not new – and often is posed as rebellion against something else.  Last night our lesson was on Numbers, where after 40 years of murmuring, the people were still blaming Moses for taking them from Egypt:

And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the LORD! And why have ye brought up the congregation of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there? And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink. (Numbers 20:3-5 KJV)

This is their 40th year wandering outside of their promised land and they’ve forgotten what Egypt was like – but it had to be better than where they were now. They also forgot about being afraid to enter the promised land – ten spies had told them about giants, only two told them God keeps His promises.

Did they neglect God? Or were they in rebellion to God. Oh, they made their complaints to and about God’s designated leader, but it was God’s planning they neglected or rebelled.

Of course, I wanted to look at my own attention to God over my lifetime and there were both times of neglect, rebellion and overwhelming love. That last attribute is the one I found to be the best times in my life. Why?

Rebellion first – rebelling in itself is sourced in anger, what Jesus described to Paul:

And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. (Acts 9:5 KJV)

Paul was following his religious beliefs, personally working to destroy people’s belief in Jesus as Christ, Israel’s Messiah. That was rebellion against Jesus’ teaching of love and that He was speaking what God wanted the people to hear. Paul’s work created anger and fear – which never has been God’s message to those who know and love Him.

Neglect – the easiest to do because it requires nothing. No church attendance, no prayer, no Bible reading – and I’ve been there, too. Again, no happiness, no comfort, no peace that does pass our own understand.

It is so easy to neglect God. To let Him become a figure on a throne completely beyond our comprehension. To think He is too large, if He exists, to be concerned about one world, and especially one person. If he was, it was an important, bigger than life person such as Moses, Elijah, Paul – someone much bigger than we are.

God does not think as we think:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV)

But – He has given us what we need to know:

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 20:31 KJV)

I believe that.

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