Thursday, January 22, 2009
I've been keeping up with my daily Bible reading so far this year, and of course I'm in the book of Genesis. I'm constantly amazed at how much there is to learn about the will of God for my life from this ancient book. Since I've been reading on materialism and simplicity I see so many points of application in this area. God forced his people into a place where they were daily dependent on him for their food. They could only gather enough manna (or in the Hebrew "what-is-it") for that very day. They couldn't store up, they couldn't save, all they could do was acknowledge their need and brokenness before God and wait in faith. God never failed them. "And the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they come to an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan." That's what you call hand to mouth living. It seems to me that so much of their wanderings in the desert was about creating and testing the faith of these chosen people. The Israelites celebrate the parting of the Red Sea and God's victory over the Egyptians with a party, reveling over the power of God with singing and tambourines and dancing. Then God moves them three days travel into the wilderness and suddenly they are complaining for water. How often do I do this very thing? I look around at how slow things are at work, how hard jobs are to come by, how friends are closing businesses, and I feel the panic of wanting to gather as much "what-is-it" to save for tomorrow, completely forgetting God powerful works in my past. There is a solution for our problems and pain, but it doesn't come from our attention to them and frantic planning. It comes from focusing beyond these problems to God, the El Shaddai (God All Sufficent), Jehovah-Jireh (The Lord Will Provide), Jehovah-Rophe (The Lord Who Heals), Johovah-Shammah (The Lord is There), EL ROI (God of Seeing)...I could go on and on. And in those brief moments of focus on God while the storms swirl around us we find we can rise above it all and walk on water.