Living on Sabbath Time: Day 22/31
- “Whenever I need a psychiatrist, I go fishing.” _Havilah Babcock
- “I pray for emotion driven by worship…not worship driven by emotion.” _Sonja Kemp, from my prayer journal/06.22.10
Numbers 11:1 “Now when the people complained, it displeased the LORD; for the LORD heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the LORD burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp.”
One of the signs of a civilized person is that they control their impulses. Just think what the state of the world would be if everyone did what they felt like doing. Think of all the conversations that you have endured over the years where what you really wanted to do was to tell the person to get to the point. Think how many times you would have liked to kicked somebody in the shin for being a jerk, but instead you swallowed real hard and walked away.
I hear people say, “Please be honest.” But honestly, they don’t really mean it. I hear people encourage me to “Be real” or “Be
myself.” But really they don’t mean it. I doubt that we could really handle complete honesty. And if we really were “ourselves”
we’d probably alone most of the time!
Thankfully, God is also “civilized.” Reading the Old Testament is a reminder of this. Just think how long you would have been dead if God zapped you when you first complained! When you read through the Old Testament and come across “honest” accounts of God’s reaction and wonder why God responded the way he did, know that part of the reason was to give you an example of how He really feels (1 Corinthians 10:11).
In other words, God made an example out of Israel. Time after time they offended his holiness, dishonored his name and rebelled against his loving will. And occasionally he was completely honest with them and they felt the sting of his righteous wrath and judgment.
Today I’d suggest that you join with me and let’s bow our heads in humble gratitude and thank God for his decision to be “civilized” and extend to us mercy and grace; and while we’re at it, let’s follow his civilized example and also extend mercy and grace to those we meet today.