My quest to read through the Bible in 2017 finds me in the book of Joshua. So far, I see that God has established a people who are in the process of becoming a nation while claiming the promised land.
I’ve noticed two things– 1) These people seem to go out of their way to screw up and to disobey what God has decreed, even when they’ve learned from numerous experiences that God’s ways are always best. 2) God continues to be patient with His people, though not always letting the people’s rebellion slide.
At first glance, it’s easy to be come frustrated with the people of Israel. Why can’t they just do what God says the first time and save a lot of trouble and heartbreak?
The more I look at these people, the more I see myself mirrored back. Why is it that I have such a reluctance to do what I clearly know God is asking of me? Why do I have such a tendency toward disobedience and outright rebellion?
Maybe the real question is this– why is God so patient with me after all the times I’ve given Him no reason to? Why is God still pursuing a love relationship with me when all I seem to do is respond with anything but love?
God’s people continue to be an imperfect representation of God and His Kingdom. We’ve gotten it wrong far more than we’ve ever gotten it right. We’ve made it far more complicated than it needs to be to get to God as we’ve set up way too many obstacles between people and God.
Still, we’re a broken people trying to figure out what it means to follow and serve God individually as well as corporately. We’re a work in progress that thankfully remains in progress not because we deserve it but because God has promised to finish what He started in us.
Now back to those meddling Israelites.