26 February, 2013

Let's Not Do That Again!

One of the things about the Bible that always amazes me is how many times Israel, as a nation, turned her back on the Lord. I've found myself thinking, "bunch of idiots!"  Then I stop and think, "Darrell... how many times have you done the same thing?" It's pretty easy to find fault and criticize someone else, even though we've done the same thing, or worse, ourselves. Right?

Anyway, I'm reading through the Old Testament again right now and I came to the portion of scripture where Israel and Moses have wandered the wilderness for 40 years and now once again they stand ready to cross over into their promised land... when some of these knuckleheads are about to pull the same stupid mistake that caused them to wander the desert for 40 years while an entire generation died off. I can imagine that as Moses was having the conversation with the tribes of Gad and Reuben, he must have been thing, "NOT AGAIN! It's like de' jevu all over again!"  Keep in mind that the whole reason Israel had wandered aimlessly for a generation was because they refused to enter into the Promised Land, and now, here are their children ready to make the same mistake. No wonder Moses' response was, “And here you are, a brood of sinners, standing in the place of your fathers and making the Lord even more angry with Israel.”  
I mean, come on! Have they not paid any attention at all? Seriously... shouldn't they know how this story was going to play out if they refused to follow God's directive? This blows me away! The next generation of Israelites had missed the point of a forty-year-long object lesson their parents had never bothered to pass on!

But hold on a minute... What about us? Have we learned the lessons from our parents and grandparents? Unfortunately, I don't think so. Look at the condition of the church. Man is once again trying to find a better way than what God said, and it shows in the church and in the world. Take a look at our nation. Take a look at the world. Once again, by and large people have turned their back on God... and we are paying the price. We are just as stubborn... or stupid... as the children of Israel. The simple truth is that God has provided a wealth of wisdom in His Word for us to learn and apply to our lives. And we can also avail ourselves of another source of wisdom: the experiences of the followers of Christ who have gone before us. Rather than look down our nose at "the old fogies" of the past, we could and should learn from them. They have lived through trials and temptations. They've come through and overcome so much, and if we ignore their lessons, we will be condemned to repeat them. Rather than despise them, as much of the church world does today, we can learn from their mistakes without having to make those same mistakes ourselves.

Someone recently sent me an email with this saying that I will close with for now:

Refusing to heed the wisdom of your elders is like ignoring a sign that reads “Bridge Out.”

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