Miles to go...

I have miles to go... please pray each day for the next leg of my Biblical journey!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Day 51: Though You're Just A Worm...

Where The Jews Are. Img By Skalskal [Public domain]

Isaiah 41:9-10

New Living Translation (NLT)
I have called you back from the ends of the earth,
    saying, ‘You are my servant.’
For I have chosen you
    and will not throw you away.
10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.


As I read through the Bible, I see so many examples of Israel's rebellion, even from the very beginning. These were His chosen people, who He brought out of slavery in Egypt! He parted the Red Sea for them, and then flooded it behind them killing their enemies.  When they wanted food, God provided Manna from heaven for them to make cakes and bread from. The original Angel Food Cake. But it wasn't good enough. They wanted meat. So God gave them enough dead birds to provide meat for a month, til they were sick of it. Were they happy yet? No! The ungrateful people whined that they didn't have water. So God brought water out of a rock. This was a lot of people, and you can count on the fact that they didn't line up one by one with their Dixie cups to get a drink. There had to have been enough water from that rock to create quite a river to quench their thirst! And still it wasn't good enough.

When Moses spent time on the mountain with God, the people decided that a calf made of gold would be a better god than one they couldn't see. Forget that the golden calf wasn't going to be parting any seas or providing them food, they wanted something pretty to worship. Or how about, generations later when they were in the Promised Land, all the times that they burned incense to other gods, or worshiped at pagan shrines and in Asherah groves? Some of them even sacrificed their own children to Molech, the god of the Moabites! Oh, how that angered God.

I don't have time to write down all their rebellious acts any more than you have time to read them. But they were many, and they were frequent. God was angry with them a lot... and He warned them that if they didn't start living for Him, that He would scatter them all over the world. 

But they wouldn't listen, so God made good on His threat. You can see by the map above that they really are scattered to the four quarters of the earth, just as God had warned. But that warning also came with a promise. His love for His people is unconditional, and no matter what He has to do to get their attention, He's never going to completely abandon them. He will always call them back. He's doing that even now, and has been for decades. Despite having no homeland for centuries, the Jewish people retained their identity. And in 1948, Israel once again became a nation. It was a hard-fought victory, and the battle for independence has never really ended. They've been under constant attack for more than 60 years since, and yet Jews are still returning to their homeland. It doesn't really matter how many nations oppose them, God will never let them lose their land again. And despite the fact that they're still just humans, stubborn and headstrong and tripping over themselves all the time, He's going to protect His people, because He is their God.

For I hold you by your right hand—
I, the Lord your God.
And I say to you,
‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.14 
Though you are a lowly worm, O Jacob,
don’t be afraid, people of Israel, for I will help you.
I am the Lord, your Redeemer.
I am the Holy One of Israel.’
(Isaiah 41:13-14)

It's a great history lesson, isn't it? But the best lessons are those that we can learn from. We need to apply what we glean from scripture to our own lives. Do you really think that this story is only about the Israelites? You don't have to be Jewish to experience God's grace, forgiveness, and protection. Listen, if He has put a calling on your life, He's going to strengthen you however you need to be strengthened so that you can fulfill the calling He's given you.

How do you know if He's called you to anything? Well, duh! You're here, aren't you? He has a purpose for anyone who answers His call. But whether or not you answer is entirely up to you. He won't force you. But He is calling. Don't think you're not good enough. Seriously, nothing you have ever done or could ever think of doing can be any worse than the things that have been done already. God has put up with Israel playing the whore, being the drunkard, worshiping trees carved in the likeness of penises, burning their own children alive for the sake of some mythical, non-existent god that they wanted to please. Do you honestly think you can top that? 

No matter how far down you've gotten, God's at the top throwing a lifeline down to you. If you'll just reach out and take the help that He's offering you, He's going to lift you up with His mighty right hand. No matter what kind of enemy you're facing, God will handle it. He's telling you, he's called you from the abyss! No matter what gutter you've crawled into, He's calling you out of it! And He's telling you to trust Him... Don't be afraid or discouraged, because He is God, and He will be your God, if you'll let Him be.!

Come on, what are you waiting for?

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