Many times we find ourselves reflecting on the past. We look back with the glow of the difficulties and the stresses that our current situation has shone before us and think back to a time when things weren’t quite so difficult. Life seemed so much easier. It is perfectly normal, and actually quite healthy to take some time now and then to reflect back on our history to gain a clear perspective of God’s faithfulness and goodness; to see how God provided a way to work something out. Yet, when it can become unhealthy is when we dwell there too long. When we begin to stay there and become complacent about the present is where we can become tragically disillusioned. God wants us to remember our past. But, He doesn’t want us to abide there. We are to learn and grow from our past. He desires for us to use what we learned (both victories and failures) to address our present.
We notice a similar pattern with the Israelites as they proceeded to wander around the wilderness. One day they were faithfully obedient to Moses and to the Lord. The next day they were grumbling and complaining about this or that and longing for the Good ole days in Egypt. Before you jump in and denounce the immature fickleness of these people, take a real quick look at yourself (me, too!). How often do we in a particularly difficult situation find ourselves resorting to daydreaming about days in the past that seemed so carefree? Again, God desires for us to reflect on the past. Yet, we need to maintain perspective. Our purpose of doing this is to recall to mind the faithfulness of the Lord and how we can transition this faithfulness from the past to the current situation we are now faced with.
Thoughts for your walk:
- Have you ever daydreamed about how amazing it would be if you could enjoy the privilege of having God’s presence now? How would that affect your relationship with Him? How did it affect the Israelites? How does God’s very real presence in your life affect how you are living right now?
- Meditating upon the Old Testament, what was it about God’s presence that struck fear into the people who were exposed to it?
What does it mean to be righteous or holy? How does God grant us access to His presence even though we are sinful?