Friday, September 25, 2009

"Obedience - result of a lesson learned"

Today's reading: Acts 7:37-40 (NIV)

37"This is that Moses who told the Israelites, 'God will send you a prophet like me from your own people.' 38He was in the assembly in the desert, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers; and he received living words to pass on to us.

39"But our fathers refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt. 40They told Aaron, 'Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt—we don't know what has happened to him!'

Just a brief reminder, the scripture passages I have been writing about are those Stephen was speaking to the Sanhedrin. The footnote in my bible states Stephen used the word ‘ekklesia’ translated as ‘assembly’ to describe the congregation or people of God in the dessert. Stephen’s point was that the giving of the law through Moses to the Jews was the sign of the covenant and to continue to be God’s covenant people, they would have to be obedient.

Being obedient is not a simple task. Some toddlers in their growing years are searching the world they live in as if they were the only ones there and obedience makes no sense to them. As the Israelites waited for Moses to return from Mt. Sinai, they quickly became impatient and their lack of obedience to God was demonstrated in their rush to ‘carve’ their own God.

We have two dogs in our house, both rescued; one is here in her forever home, but Emmitt is a ‘foster’ that came to us from a pound. This is our first attempt of fostering a rescue and we agreed to try it thinking it would be fun! He definitely captured our hearts right away and he plays well with others but that is about it. We have taken him into our home and find ourselves with a boxer who behaves like a toddler. He is in his own world, trying to figure out our world and his past has definitely affected his progress. Obedience training is not going well.

The Israelites have also lived very hard lives in the past and Moses is offering them a way to follow God and be freed from bondage. As they approached their new territory and grew impatient, they strayed from obedience to God into refusal to wait for the Lord.

Obedience is the result of a lesson learned and from this comparison we learn that our lives and surroundings can change as abruptly as they did for the Israelites and for our dear Emmitt. God’s covenant offers us a way to be His people and we must push every struggle away; every evil force of wickedness must be casted out by God and not followed by man. If we begin to accept our own struggled lives and can’t seem to let go of the past issues, we are taking it on as a new possession, and begin to worship that possession.

There is nothing tangible in this world that we can take hold of that will offer us eternal life with our Lord and Savior. We must reach our hands out to the master, let His touch change us to be obedient to Him and life will be blessed!

Lord, let us not become an Israelite or an Emmitt and reject what is being offered to us freely; your love and grace through Jesus Christ our savior. You have blessed us, Amen.

Dorothy Brucks
Aldersgate UMC
Nixa, MO.

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