God's Plan (Numbers 11-30)
God has had a plan for humanity even prior to our creation. The scriptures show us that He will adjust his near-term plans based on our response to His leading. In our reading this week (Number 11-30), we continue to follow the journey of God's chosen people and see the results of their failure to align themselves with His plan. I don't know what the Israelites' expectations were but obviously God intended a journey through a wilderness to allow them to demonstrate their trust in Him. And even though His glory is displayed a number of times, many of them continually fail in this time of trial.
It is easy to look at these "stiff necked" people in disbelief at their lack of trust after all the wonders that God has shown them. However, their actions are fairly consistent with human nature. The Lord provided manna as daily food. But let's be honest, we would most likely be unhappy as well if we were eating the same thing every day for weeks. When their expectations are not met, they begin complaining. Their discontent and criticism is then turned toward their leadership followed by discord among the leadership itself – even Moses's own family. We continue to see this in today's world. This is not to say that there are not issues that need to be resolved but it is more about how we respond to the challenges in our lives. We cannot resolve issues by blaming others and tearing each other and our leadership down. We need to maintain our trust in God and His plan for us.
A characteristic that is key to helping us react/respond better is humility. I think it is important to note that in the middle of turmoil in his own family what the scriptures point out about Moses.
Numbers 12:3 "(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)"
If we are humble, we will not consider our opinions to be better than anyone else. This attitude allows us to have constructive discussions with leadership, family, and neighbors about any divisive issue. Most importantly, by humbling ourselves before God, we will be more easily aligned to His will for us. We will put more emphasis on God's commands for our lives than our desires in this world. We can often be just as impatient as the Israelites especially in our current culture of instant gratification. It is difficult to be patient as we are told in Psalms:
God had an amazing future planned for the Israelites, but they let their own fears and opinions keep them from participating in it. God has a plan for each of us and we need to remember this especially in times of trial. Today we have a clearer vision of God's plan to redeem us through Jesus which should be a reason for joy and peace in every situation. But it is challenging to do as Paul says:
Philippians 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!"
I think we all have seen the positive impact in lives and situations due to maintaining a proper attitude. With a bad attitude almost any situation can appear negative, but with the proper attitude and dependence on God, even the most challenging situations can be overcome.
Finally, let's look at how maintaining the proper trust and attitude impacts your entire family. It's not just your own life that is affected by a lack of trust in God's plan. I shudder at the horrific outcome as the earth swallows up the entire families of Korah and others that rebelled against God's plan. Regardless of how you may feel about this terrible punishment, it clearly demonstrates that our attitudes and actions can impact so many others. Without having an attitude of trust toward God which is demonstrated in the leadership of our families, we may find that our children are figuratively swallowed up by the culture of today.
Ultimately even Moses fails to follow the Lord's instructions. We all fail and rely on God's unfailing love and grace to save us. Each of us should be in prayer with the proper attitude and openness that is truly listening for God's leading. God has plans for each of us and is able to work through our weaknesses. We can accomplish amazing things in His kingdom through Christ.