每日诗歌: 主愛改變我 (http://www.mbcsfv.org/chinese/library/hymncampanions/026.html)
Numbers 32 [Read]
Numbers 33 [Read]
Mark 10:1-31 [Read]
After 40 years of wandering, the Israelites finally came to the edge of the Promised Land. An entire generation of rebellious people had passed away, and the new generation was ready to receive their inheritance from God. Everything seemed to be going so well until another incidence happened. This incidence again stirred up some painful memory in the mind of God’s faithful servant Moses.
The Reubenites and Gadites saw the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock, and they asked to be given to them as their inheritance (Nu 32:1-5). They even said: “Do not make us cross the Jordan” (32:5). The blood pressure of Moses most likely shot through the roof, and he was probably thinking “here we go again”. Who can blame him? After 40 years of suffering, 40 years of caring these stiff-necked people, 40 years of tirelessly teaching them about the God who led them out of bondage, he was suddenly facing another situation that could send them back to the wilderness (32:15).
His answer overflew with fury: “you are a brood of sinners” (32:14). After all these years, it turned out that they were just like their rebellious fathers. The moment they saw something good, they would forget about their mission and wanted to settle. Such action had the potential to discourage all the other tribes (32:9), and also to cause God’s anger to come upon the whole nation (32:14). Although the situation was resolved (32:16-19), and the two tribes did follow through with their promises (Jos 22:2-3), this episode does make me ponder about our faith.
Why did we come to God in the first place? What is the foundation of our faith? If our eyes still fixate on this world and the prosperity we hope to have, we may very well settle for the first thing we see as good enough, just as the Reubenites and Gadites. Conversely, our faith will likely falter when troubles come our way, just as the fathers of the Reubenites and Gadites. But if our eyes are on the other side of Jordan, the Promised Land, then we shall march on with our leaders and enter the land of milk and honey.
At the end, it’s a matter of seeing versus longing and of wanting something we can hold in our hands versus joyfully receiving the vision from a distance. It’s a matter of focusing on HERE versus THERE. “Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” (Rom 8:24-25). O Lord, help us lift our eyes to THERE, to the home you have prepared for us. Amen.
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