Snapshots: Day 126
The Snapshot: “But the Israelites were unfaithful.” (Josh 7:1) The long and the short of this story is that Israel were told not to take the plunder from the Canaanites (probably because it had links with idol worship.) Everything appeared right on the surface until they went into battle – and lost! Then they get around to asking the Lord what’s happening and then they find Achan had been disobedient. How easy it is to bumble through the life of grace as a Christian and not pay attention to things that might not please the Lord. Now the Lord wants us to rule our own lives with His wisdom but being casual or careless is not wise and can end up with painful, unforeseen consequences. At Communion Paul said to “examine yourselves” (1 Cor 11:28). That is wisdom.
Further Consideration: Life and how it works is a strange thing, a thing we take for granted – it just keeps on going … until of course we die. The Bible suggests it keeps on going only because Jesus, administering his Father’s rule, says so (Heb 1:3b) But God has given us air to breath, food and drink, a heart to pump blood and a brain to direct us, and so it seems we can just putter on through life doing our own thing and sometimes that works well and sometimes it doesn’t. End of story.
Well not quite because the Bible is very clear that God does have a hand in the lives of His people. He tells them how to live and when they do, it all seems to work well. When they don’t they get into a mess. Now this could appear mechanical, rather like a big machine just trundling through history but it’s not that simple because God does have a hand in the lives of His people. How? Ah, that’s the key issue.
Because He loves us, when He sees us going astray He may let us go our own way until we pull the roof down on our own heads and learn that’s not the way to do things. Sometimes though He is more proactive, if He sees that is the better way, and dumps some negatives on us to bring us to our senses. We’ve seen it before in Deuteronomy, this thing about curses and blessings. The curses bit is the negative stuff. Sometimes that negative stuff is just Him stepping back and removing His protection or His enabling from us, as happened in Israel’s case with Achan. Sometimes that negative stuff is more proactive, like Him causing a drought or a storm, but it’s all designed to make us pause up think, reassess what we’re doing, and put it right.
The positive side of this, is when we are living out our lives in the manner He has suggested, yes it works, but as with the curses bit, sometimes He is proactive and acts into our situations to improve them and just make them work better. It is just that simple. That’s Him blessing us.
Whichever it is – curses or blessings – He does it all for our long-term wellbeing, for our best, simply because He loves us. Great isn’t it!