Monday, June 2, 2008

To Look But Not to Touch!

Deu 32:48-52 On that same day the LORD spoke to Moses, (49) "Go up Mount Nebo in the Abarim range in the land of Moab, across from Jericho, and view the land of Canaan I am giving the Israelites as a possession. (50) Then you will die on the mountain that you go up, and you will be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people. (51) For both of you broke faith with Me among the Israelites at the waters of Meribath-kadesh in the Wilderness of Zin by failing to treat Me as holy in their presence. (52) Although you will view the land from a distance, which I am giving the Israelites, you will not go there."

Maybe you remember as I do walking into the house right after mom had finished baking the world's most beautiful chocolate chip cookies, or maybe oatmeal and raisin, or quite possibly her world famous snickerdoodles (or at least I thought so). You know what I mean, the smell of the brown sugar and butter simply filled the house. And just as you were ready to try to sneak one off the plate, mom said that you were not able to have one. They were for some special event a little bit later.
Can you imagine what it would have been like for Moses? For all those years he had put up with those people. And now, there was to be no reward for him because he had forgotten to keep God holy in front of the children of Israel. Can you imagine how heavy his steps must have been up the mountain? Can you imagine the bittersweet joy tears and sorrow tears he shed because he realized the error he had made, perhaps and probably thoughtlessly and carelessly in the moment and passion of anger? And even then, God buried him. Imagine going to your grave knowing that no man would ever pass by where you were, knowingly at least, when you should have been a national hero enshrined in front of the world for all of known time. Or at least many of us would think that way!
My mind runs in a hundred different ways as I consider the lesson of the moment. But if I had to choose one, it would be this one. Ignorant and passionate mistakes still have consequences. Just because our heart is right does not allow open rebellion against God to be passed off as just a moment of humaness and we need to understand that right now. We must press on toward the mark of the high calling of God and our personal moments of weakness may be forgiven but never accepted. Every moment of weakness we find ourselves in, every time we are forced to take a heavy step in sorry, every incident we find ourselves lacking in needs the forgiveness of Christ and strength of the Holy Spirit. May we never be satisfied with our human frailties but may we always look like Christ or at least strive our best to that end.
Father God, thank you for your grace and love. Though we know we will falter in our steps, and though you know we will falter in our steps, forgive us, please. And never let us be happy about our ways until they reflect the steps of Jesus. In His name, Amen.

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