"We have sinned
like our fathers,
We have committed iniquity,
Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Thy wonders;
They did not remember
Thine abundant kindnesses,
But rebelled by the sea,
at the Red Sea.
Nevertheless, He saved them
for the His name,
That He might make His power known."
There are certain things that sum up a trip that you won't do again, like using Expedia to book a room as your finger hovered over the click button when suddenly the price jumps from $149 to $1500; like going to a chain (Black Bear Dinner) where the almost inedible meal cost more than eating seafood on the waterfront in Morro Bay; like hitting the traffic on highway 80 at its bumper to bumper time--well, you get the gist. The trip that the Israelites took had a little higher cost, that took a little longer-forty years longer--that caused the Hebrew children to complain, grumble and fall away in rebellion and fall into blatant sin. Our nation's journey of 240 years has also forgotten God's wonders and is falling into open iniquity and rebellion. We hope and pray for the "Nevertheless" of God's mercy to save us, to make His power known.
"He led them through the deeps, as through the wilderness.
So He saved them from the hand of the one who hated them,
And redeemed them from the hand of the enemy...
Then they believed His words;
They sang His praise.
They quickly forgot His works;
They did not wait for His counsel,
But craved intensely in the wilderness,
And tempted God in the desert.
So He gave them their request..."
The verses to this song have been sung over and over throughout human history from Adam and Eve and on in one form or other. Those scary deeps, dried mud paths between walls of water standing on end, the wandering through the wilderness, needing to be led out of our lost states and saved or perish at the hand of enemies, all these times we are desperately quick to believe, quick to praise and then quick to forget. Impatient to wait on God's counsel, and craving intensely sounds too familiar. What have you craved intensely, I mean besides chocolate?
We just drove through a hot and dry and ugly desert wilderness which seemed to have a grey covering of dust all over it. Even the Joshua Trees are dying and needed to be propped up or they'd fall over and bite the dust. I'd hate to wander there for forty years. Then we dropped down to the valley floor, almost as hot and ugly but covered by endless freeways and businesses and masses of humanity. The trees stood as an oasis, as patches of green in a grey landscape, so different from our recent trip to Tennessee where everything was immensely green. Somehow, I felt like singing in the green state a little more than the hot end of the map where we ended up on this trip.
I crave green. I crave lushness. I desire with my whole being to be led by Him to green pastures beside still waters. I want to believe His words, to sing praise, and to wait on His counsel. How terrifying it is to tempt God until He gives in and lets us have our own way like temper-tantrum toddlers. It is dangerous to crave intensely after things that lead away from God. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree as in the forbidden fruit in the Garden. We are not that different from the first man and woman, who become ashamed of their nakedness before God.
Are we there yet? How's your journey going for you? What would you do differently from here on out?