Sunday, December 6, 2009

What I’m reading lately


In October I finished reading the New International Version of the Bible and started a refresher read-through of the King James Version. I’m in the book of Numbers now, and sometimes it feels like I am just slogging through, often having to back track when I zone out and don’t register what I read. But yesterday I hit a stretch in Numbers 20-24 that was a timely reminder of two common tendencies humans exhibit in our relationship to God.

The first is the tendency to have short memories. How often are we like the children of Israel when they complained about their water supply and about how tired they were of the manna that God provided for food? Had they forgotten how the power of God had sustained them time after time in the challenges of their sojourn in the wilderness? Sometimes I panic when faced with a trying circumstance, even though my personal history is filled with God’s supply of answers, resources and grace. What a relief when I finally remember that I can depend on Him.

Balaam in Numbers 22 brought to mind the temptation to pay lip service to God’s will while persisting in fulfilling our own will. Balaam is best known for having a donkey that talked and that was smarter than he was. He is an example of operating in league with forces against God’s will and trying to stay in God’s will at the same time. It doesn’t work. 

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