Reflections of a Believer
Today I am going to be brutally honest. There have been times where I have wondered how God could be so harsh to the Israelites. How could he bring them from slavery and then want to kill them?
I get we cannot fathom the full scope of God’s character. After all, He knows the beginning and the end, but those are His people.
So, as I was reading Numbers today and contemplating this very thought, something struck me; one small word stuck out.
Read Numbers 14:29 NIV and see if you can find it.
“In this wilderness, your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me.”
Numbers 14:29 NIV
For years, after reading this book, I would think things like, “Should age have been the determining factor in their punishment?” or “What if someone older did not grumble against God?”
Then today, after reading this passage for many years, the word “and” stuck out like a sore thumb.
Merriam Webster defines “and” “as a logical operator that requires both of two inputs to be present or two conditions to be met for an output to be made or a statement to be executed.”
Did you catch that? By having the word and in this verse, it shows us the very heart of our God. He was not just lumping everyone into a group and passing judgment. No, He was rightly and justly judging them. The people would have had to be 20 years or older and grumbled against God.
How important this one small and is! It shows us that our God is a gracious God. It shows us that He is just and fair.
The Bible tells us, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 NIV
Our God never has and will
never change. (Hebrews 13:8) He will always make way for us to escape His judgment. That is why He sent Jesus to be the perfect sacrifice.
As I reflect on the fact that I have passed that one small and up for years, I am so excited to see what else I can learn from the Word of God. The truth is, if we invest the time to get to know our God on a personal level, He will continue to reveal His true character to us.
I thank You for the the “ands” in our life. I thank You that you make way for us to escape the judgment that we deserve.
And I thank you for allowing us to learn more about you each day we spend with You. Amen