Interesting Things To Know

Monday, 28 March 2016

Reverberations - Humility - Part One

These days, I have been reading a variety of plans. Two, in particular, seem to be interesting to be reading together. They are strictly just reading scripture. One is called 'As It Happened', the chronological Bible. The other is called 'New Testament Epistles and Acts'. The assignment is usually 2-3 chapters from each plan each day. No devotional attached to either. I wanted to read through the Bible chronologically, but I also wanted to read the Pauline writings as well. Reading them both simultaneously has been interesting.

In todays offerings, two very different men have showed up for me to learn from.

I am mid-way through Numbers right now. So much depth, so much richness in the journeys of the Children of Israel once they leave Egypt. Their responses. Their quarrels. The miracles. The unbelief. The jealousy. The unhappiness. All on the shoulders of one man. One man who had to stand in the presence of The Almighty, but also face all the thousands of people who just didn't 'get it'. How did he do that? What was inside him that gave him that kind of strength? 

Here's the funny thing. 

God took the vast multitude of people around Philistine specifically so they wouldn't get discouraged when they saw war. He took them another way for their own sake. 

They got discouraged anyway. 

They took it out on the man God chose. Railing against him, casting blame, cursing God to him. Over the last few days, I've been settled into Numbers 11-17. What speaks to me is just what kind of man Moses is. Not perfect. Certainly frustrated. But seemingly content to believe the God who was doing the work. When confronted with the angry mob, it says on three different occasions, he fell on his face before them. (14:5, 15:4, 16:4). Twice with Aaron and once on his own. He also begged God to be merciful. Seriously. He begged God on their behalf.

This stuns me. In his leadership position, he had every right to call on heaven to rain fire down on those he was frustrated with. He could have asked God to wipe them out, leave them to die, forget them all. After the release from Egypt, the miracles, the protection....after everything, nothing was going to be good enough for them or make them happy, ...not ever. 

But he didn't. 

What he did do, was stand up for them in front of the Almighty. He prayed for them. He asked for mercy for them when they didn't even understand that they needed mercy. In his humility, he saved them. 

Now, I understand that he is given to us to be a 'type of Christ', and clearly he is. Many very good scholars have written at length about that. But what strikes me today, what is pinging so loud in my heart is he was just a man. A human man. In my humanity, I wouldn't have responded that way. I don't respond that way now. When someone insults me, when someone doesn't respond the way I think they should, when someone is less than I think they should be, .....whether they know what effect they had on me or not, it is probably my LAST thought to plead on their behalf. In my thinking that I am okay, or that placing my bitter and angry judgements over someone, I am actually placing myself in the midst of that crowd of Israelites. I am actually putting myself in with those who need mercy. When I am thinking that I am more spiritual than so-and-so, because of this-or-that,....all I am really doing is removing myself farther from where the voice of God is speaking. 

I wonder what would happen in my heart, in my life....if I was humble. What would happen if when met with disappointment in others, I very quickly turned to lift those very ones up to Him who loves us all. 

Because the truth is, I actually am just one of the crowd. How many times I have forgotten God's mercy and grace? How many times have I preferred to complain and moan and become bitter, instead of embracing the truth that God is a good, good Father. 

Father.....please embed this in my spirit. Humility speaks loudly in Your ear. And when I bring those who have also forgotten Your grace and plead for mercy on OUR behalf, this is what saves both of us from our endless wanderings. 

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