Then believed they His words; they sang His praise. They soon forgot His works; they waited not for His counsel; but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul (Psalms 106:12-15).
We read of Moses, that “he endured, as seeing Him Who is invisible.” Exactly the opposite was true of the children of Israel in this record. They endured only when the circumstances were favourable; they were largely governed by the things that appealed to their senses, in place of resting in the invisible and eternal God.
In the present day there are those who live intermittent Christian lives because they have become occupied with the outward, and centre in circumstances, in place of centring in God. God wants us more and more to see Him in everything, and to call nothing small if it bears us His message.
Here we read of the children of Israel, “Then they believed his words.” They did not believe till after they saw– when they saw Him work, then they believed. They really doubted God when they came to the Red Sea; but when God opened the way and led them across and they saw Pharaoh and his host drowned—“then they believed.”
They led an up and down life because of this kind of faith; it was a faith that depended upon circumstances. This is not the kind of faith God wants us to have.
The world says “seeing is believing,” but God wants us to believe in order to see. The Psalmist said, “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
Do you believe God only when the circumstances are favourable, or do you believe no matter what the circumstances may be? — C. H. P.
Hero worship is, unfortunately, a common problem among Christians today. We have our favourite preachers, evangelists, ministers and servants of God, authors and pastors. We may even have certain political leaders as our heroes. And we end up worshipping these heroes, knowingly or unknowingly.
There were few times when I saw some theology posted online and had the temerity to point out certain Biblical verses which directly contradict the said theology. And then the wolves would come out – how dare you question our pastor/preacher/minister of God? Do you have his anointing? No one knows who you are, but our pastor/preacher/minister has so many followers on Facebook, Twitter, etc,.
But no one would say whether what I wrote is correct or not, based on the Bible. That’s never the problem. How dare you question our ….?
Especially in Pentecostal churches, the hero worship is so easily visible to human eyes, except those who are into it. The church attendance would drop if certain pastor is not preaching; the church will be full when a certain person leads the worship.
There are some Christians who believe that God our Father do not listen to our prayers, but if such a minister of God prays, then there will be an immediate answer to those prayers. So when they need prayers, they will write to those ministers of God or call them, so that they can get an instant answer from God through the “direct line”.
Is it wrong to have someone else pray for us? Of course not. Is it wrong that some men of God are asked to intercede on our behalf. No, it is not. But to depend on them, to follow them blindly, is wrong and it will lead to spiritual idolatry and spiritual adultery.
In Exodus chapter 32, we see the idolatry of Israelites. But what we don’t read between the lines is most revealing.
That morning, they collected manna – which was provided by our Lord God.
That day, they drank water that came from the rock – again the provision was from our God.
During the entire day, when they were busy preparing the idols, they were under the shadow of the pillar of cloud – provided by God.
During that night, when they were worshipping the idols and celebrating, they received light by the pillar of fire – provided by God.
If all these were not enough to remind them of the presence of God among them, they were at the base of Mount Sinai and the peak was covered with clouds, symbolizing the glory and presence of the LORD God.
There were thunders and lightning that would have reminded them the awesome power of our God.
Imagine this. After eating the manna and drinking the water provided by the Lord our God, they proceeded to create and worship an idol under the pillar of cloud and pillar of fire that the Lord had given them in His mercy. HIS awesome power and magnificent glory were visible whenever they looked up. Yet they went ahead and created the idols. Why? Because they were worried about their hero, Moses.
Exodus 21:1 says: Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”
Since they could not see their hero and did not know what happened to him, they decided to choose another leader… no, wait, no, they did not do that. That would have been the right thing to do. Instead, when they thought they lost Moses, they replaced him with idols. Hero worship had led them to idolatry. And there were so many things that would have reminded them of the presence of the Lord among them, the LORD God Who actually brought them out of the land of Egypt. But when people have heroes, true and living God cannot be seen – only idols can be seen.
So, who is your focus? Are you looking only Jesus, Him crucified or your preacher? Are you focussing your eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, or some Christian author whose books have revived your faith? Let us focus our eyes only on Jesus and Jesus Christ alone. Amen.
From 2000+ Bible Illustrations…
Ben Jochai was teaching a group of students about the miracle of the manna when Israel was on the way from Egypt to the Promised Land.
One of the students asked, “Why didn’t the Lord God furnish enough manna for Israel at one time to last the entire year?”
The teacher said, “I will answer you with a parable. Once there was a rich man who had a son to whom he promised an annual allowance. Every year on the same day, he would give his son the entire amount. After a while, it happened that the only time the father saw his son was on the day of the year when he was to receive his allowance. So the father changed his plan and only gave the son enough for the day. Then the next day the son would return for the allowance for the day. From then on, the father saw his son every day.”
This is the way God dealt with Israel. It is the way God deals with us.
|Luke 1:46-47, 49“[Mary’s Song] And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is His name.”
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To do everything in this world, there are ways to go about it. We can do it our way, or follow someone else and there is always a traditional way – the way things are done always. This is the voice of Bildad – the second friend of Job.
Whenever we want to follow the voice of the LORD, there will be always some distraction from the traditionalists. If you don’t believe me, try to do something different in your church and see how many are offended by your action. Been there, offended many, got hurt in return , much wiser now.
Always beware of the voice of Bildad. It explains how things are done always in the world and how it is good for us to do the same. And if we ever give in, it will lead to losses that we never could dream of.
Most of us know about the incidents of chapters 13 and 14 in the Book of Numbers in the Bible. The Israelites sent 12 spies to the Promised Land and they came back with the report about the Land they were meant to inherit. 10 of them gave bad reports about the Promised Land, but two of them, Caleb and Joshua, had different things to say about the same land as they saw the Promised Land through the eyes of faith.
The Israelites, disheartened by the bad report, murmured against the LORD and as a result, they had to spend the next 40 years in the wilderness, till the every single person who murmured had to die in the wilderness. During the 40 years, both Moses and Aaron died in the wilderness, forfeiting their calling. Why did these things happen? The answer is: the traditional way – the voice of Bildad.
In Numbers 13:1-2, we see the LORD giving permission to Moses to send the spies to the Promised Land. Note that the LORD did not COMMAND Moses to send the spies, He just gives PERMISSION to a petition that Moses submitted. So, why did Moses, the servant of God, who asked the LORD’s advice for every single thing, submitted a petition without asking the LORD first?
In the first chapter of Deuteronomy, Moses recounts what happened during that time. Under direction from the LORD, Moses gives this command to the Israelites in Deut. 1:21.
The command was given by the LORD through Moses to go and occupy the Promised Land. But instead of obeying the LORD’s command, the Israelites come to Moses with a suggestion.
Then you all came near to me and said, “Let us send men ahead to spy out the land for us and bring back a report about the route we are to take and the towns we will come to.” The idea seemed good to me. – Deut. 1:22-23 (NIV)
God had given a command to them. Instead of obeying it, they had an idea. God was leading them in the way they should go, but they decide to send spies to find their own route. Why?
Because by tradition, before invading a land, they send spies ahead to find out the weakest link in the enemy’s fortresses. And, Moses, who grew up in courts of Pharaoh, would have known about this tradition better than anyone else there. So, that idea seemed good to him.
As a result, they spent the next 40 years in the wilderness and except Joshua and Caleb, everyone else lost his life in the wilderness.
Today, there is the LORD’s command to you regarding your future, your blessings, your family and your church. And there are people who suggest you to wait and approach the problem methodically – the proper way to deal in the traditional manner. Who are you going to listen to? To the LORD Almighty or to the tradition? Let us not forget the admonition of our LORD Jesus Christ.
|Psalm 112:5 “Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice.”Brought to you by BibleGateway.com. Copyright (C) . All Rights Reserved.|