Yesterday’s sermon talked about obedience. There was more to it, but that’s what stuck with me. Of all the Israelites to be led out of Egypt, only one actually entered the Promised Land. That was mind boggling — and alarming. So much had to do with obedience. God gave them directives and they said, “Thanks for the suggestion,” and did their own thing. Even after he specifically said they would not enter the Promised Land, they tried to anyway. I could feel myself wanting to slide down in my seat. How often do I grumble when I don’t understand what God is doing, or why I don’t have what I want. And sadly, I could relate to their complaints even after God opened the waters of the sea, struck down firstborns, and all other manner of miracles to get them out of captivity. I could probably make a list of the times I felt God told me to do something, and I said “Thanks for the suggestion,” and did my own thing anyway.
I struggle with the idea that obedience, far from being a restrictive thing, is actually freedom when we live within the context of what God has for us. Perhaps I can take a lesson from the story of Israel before I spend 40 years wandering in the wilderness.