“The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.
In spite of this, you did not trust in the Lord your God, who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go.” (Deuteronomy 1:30-33)
Imagine this. After years of oppression in Egypt, the Lord delivers the Israelites from slavery with His mighty power, defeating the most powerful nation at that time.
The Israelites witnessed how they were supernaturally protected in the midst of the devastation in Egypt. About a million of them walked out from Egypt with articles of silver, gold, clothing and livestock. There did not seem to be a single person too sick to walk!
God kept them from having to face war soon after their exodus and provided a pillar of cloud to guide them by day and a pillar of fire to give them light during the night.
Yet, they were terrified when they saw the Egyptians coming after them!
They saw how the pillar of cloud kept them safe by going between them and the armies of Egypt. How the Lord parted the Read Sea for them and they crossed on dry land with a wall of water on either side. How the Egyptians who went after them were thrown into confusion and then drowned.
This was nothing short of spectacular!
“And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.” (Exodus 14:31)
Three days later, the Israelites complained that they did not have water to drink!
They just saw a magnificent demonstration of God’s power and they were whining about not having water????? Like a loving Father that He is, God graciously provided them with potable water in the middle of the desert.
Amazingly, the grumbling did not stop there! They just kept complaining about everything! They even rebelled against God’s authority and indulged in blatant sin! Talk about being ungrateful!
Well, to be totally honest, I didn’t fare any better!
Before I started studying the Bible, I had very little faith in God. I didn’t understand how He saved me or why He saved me. I just knew that salvation was available to me because my Christian friend said so.
Because I did not know the power of God, I lived in depression for the early part of my Christian life. Yes, God saved me from going to hell but can He provide the tuition fees that we need? Will He be able to heal? Does He care enough to fix our relationships? Will He deliver my children?
What I failed to do was to continue to live my life in faith. I believed that Jesus saved me and I stopped there. I was not rooted nor built up in Him and definitely not overflowing with thankfulness!
Just as the Israelites failed to trust in God’s goodness in spite of the awesome display of His love and favor towards them, I failed to see that God had demonstrated His love for me in this: while I was still a sinner, Christ died for me!
If, being wicked, God loved me enough to die for me, how much more would He love me now that I am His child? Looking back, I have come to realize that God protected me and cared for me countless number of times even before I was born again. How much more now that I belong to Him?
(And yes, the tuition fees were always paid on time. We have been healed from various illnesses. Our relationships are so much better and all my children have been delivered from the kingdom of darkness! Praise God for His faithfulness!)
Just as the Israelites failed to realize that since God saved them, He will sustain them, I failed to see that Jesus was not just the Author of my faith but also the Finisher and that it is God who will keep me standing firm. I did not know then that He had the power nor the willingness to do that! I did not realize that He cared about every aspect of my life!
Having personally learned of God’s unfailing love, His grace, mercy and holiness, I can understand why those who did not trust Him entered His rest. It wasn’t that God did not reveal Himself to them, it was because their hearts were too hard to believe Him.
“In spite of this, you did not trust in the Lord your God…”
This must be one of the saddest verses in the Bible.
If you are saved, then you have witnessed the incredible, mighty power of God. Just as Moses spent time with God and learned to trust Him, we can, too. Make the choice each day to trust in God. You won’t be disappointed!
“You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”
— Rochelle Mendoza