Reminders- Why God shows His power
Shortly after God calls Moses to the top of a mountain, where he spends 40 days and 40 nights and is given the ten commandments. But, while he is gone, the Israelites grow impatient, lose faith, create idols and begin worshipping them. When God finds out about this He grows so angry He wants to kill them all, but Moses pleads with him and God agrees not to. God shows mercy.
Moses descends the mountains, sees the idol the Israelites are worshiping and is filled with rage. Moses throws the stones with the commandments God had given him and breaks them, and then releases his own rage on the Israelites. A lot of Israelites are killed, but many still survive. Although I am disturbed by the massacre, it is here that I finally begin to understand why God was so adamant about showing His power in these days. The Israelites were full of doubt, and eager to follow whichever 'god' they believed would provide for them. Unlike Moses, their faith wasn't in God alone, but in whatever any god could DO for them, and if they weren't getting what they wanted, they were quick to serve whomever or whatever they thought would get them what they searched for. What shallow faith.
And after all God had done from them! After all of the plagues, after the separation of the waters, after being provided abundant food and water (food literally rains from the sky in this book); all it took was 40 days of Moses' absence, for them to turn on God and worship an idol. Really? If the acts that God had done hadn't convinced them yet, what would? What could? God shows very human emotion here- so much frustration with the people who He has done so much for. What unfaithfulness! What doubt! Understandably, He is quite angry. Had they forgotten what God had done for them? Had they forgotten His power? Quite possibly - yes. Surprising? Maybe not.
Don't we all do this? Aren't these the trials and tribulations we all fight?
Just like me, as long as God is providing I am content and happy and worship God easily. But, as soon as I feel He is no longer there, I begin doubting. I get angry, I turn to alternatives. Don't we all do this? Haven't we learned by now that God is greater than us, and can do anything? That He was here before we were ever born, and that He will continue to be here after we are gone? That He created us and everything we know and beyond? He is greater than I, and will never leave me. It is only ME that leaves Him.
But in a way, this is our condition - not just today but a condition of the Israelites as well. A side-effect of the fall- we no longer completely and utterly trust in God- now we have knowledge, and we try to be gods ourselves. But this is our fight, our fight of faith. NOT to give in to the temptation of denying that God will provide- this is the hallmark of superficial faith. Not to be steadfast in love and belief in God only while things are going well, like the Israelites- but to hang on through the trials and tribulations - like Moses. My prayer is to be more like Moses- steadfast in faith. Knowing that if God put me here to do something, He WILL provide everything I need exactly when I need it. There is no need to doubt or be scared. And if I feel He is not near, to pray harder, to hang on longer, to keep going up to my neck, so He can perform a miracle.