Study from Exodus 15-18; Passage for Reflection : Exod. 17:7 … NIV
And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the LORD saying, "Is the LORD among us or not?"
My Journal for Today … What a time it was for the Israelites. Just a few months earlier they had witnessed and been a part of one of the greatest miracles of deliverance in man’s history; and here they were in the desert wilderness grumbling that God had forgotten them and was letting them starve. But before we start pointing fingers of blame and disbelief at these forgetful Jews, can you remember what happened just after 9/11?
After that mega tragedy, people in the good ole US of A flocked into churches in droves, claiming a resurgence of faith and repentance; and then, just a few months later church attendance was back to the pre – 9/11 levels. What is it about the faith of mankind when it is tested by any degree of hard challenge for any prolonged period of time?
Well, I think what was evidenced in the deserts of the Negev post Red Sea and in the hearts of post-modern Christians post 9/11 is a measurement of what the Prophet Jeremiah wrote about in Jeremiah 17:9 where God writes thru this man, “The heart (i.e., the sin nature) is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” The Bible (in Hebrews 11:1) defines “faith” as, “…being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see.” But it does not take the deceitful heart of man very long to wane in faith when we don’t see what we hope for over any period of time.
How many times have we made New Year’s resolutions about weight loss or exercise saying, “This time I’m going to do it!” and before we’re even into February our faith in our own resolve has dissolved? Real faith takes real resolve in the face of real challenges; and let’s face the truth of Jeremiah 17:9 and Christ’s challenge of discipleship in Luke 9:23 (oh, how I hope you know that one!). Real faith ALWAYS takes real discipline.
Can we face the next challenge which will come around the bend of life, deny our feelings and weak faith and, by picking up that cross of challenge, faithfully follow Jesus? If we can give a likely “YES” to that one, I think yours is a mature faith in Christ. But if the answer is a sincere “MAYBE” or a likely “NO,” I think it is time for us to get our Christian rear-ends in gear and do what it takes to exercise our relationship with Christ to the point where an unqualified “YES” is our response in following Christ when life puts us to the test.
How about it? Do I sense an “AMEN” from my readers?
My Prayer for Today: Help us, Lord in our unbelief! Amen