Numbers 14-15; Psalm 90

I sometimes find myself wanting to argue with the Lord as I read through the Bible.  I encountered that uncomfortable feeling a few days ago after reading about the “bitter water” test to be given to wives when their husbands suspected unfaithfulness.  Then the sermon at church on Sunday reminded me (again) of the TRUTH of God’s word.  Whether I agree with it or not, God is God, He is just, and His laws are perfect.

And yet…God is apparently not against arguments, at least for his servant Moses.  Moses pleaded with the Lord…he reasoned with Him…he reminded God of what the Egyptians and other nations would think about the Lord if He destroyed the people in the desert before they got to the Promised Land.

God relented.

Aren’t those beautiful words?  There was definite punishment for their sin of disbelief — none of those who disbelieved would ever reach the land…but their children would.  The reason they wandered in the desert for forty years was to give those who had that unbelief time to die.  Then their children would enter the Promised Land with the Lord’s favor.

I have to wonder if God planned to relent before Moses even spoke.  He is omnipotent, so he knew the arguments Moses would bring.  The whole desert wandering was an object lesson on a massive scale — and it is also symbolic of what happens to us when we reject him and his Word.  Our souls become empty, and we enter a desert of our own making by turning our backs on God.

The hope, though, is eternal:

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.  James 8

Thank you, Lord, for your great mercy in the times that we turn away in unbelief.  May we draw nearer to You every day.

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