Let me just say: I love the Israelites.
Not to say that I’m proud of it, but I must say they’re my kind of people. And they never fail to make me feel better about myself and my own self-centered, stubborn inclinations. I know from them that I’m at least in ‘good company’.
But, as I read up on their journey through the desertlands tonight, I have to admit that even they are making me look bad! And leaving me to rethink where I am on my own path and what kind of ground I’m covering… or rather not covering.
Allow me to explain.
We are told back in Exodus 15 of how the Israelites were led from the Red Sea into the Desert of Shur. There, they traveled for three days without finding any water. No water. In the desert. For three whole days. Not good, right?
So, from there they pressed on to Marah. And finally, they found water!! But, wait… not so fast… it’s too bitter to drink. What?!? Might as well have been a mirage. Now, that’s just cruel. Who can blame them for their grumbling? Something just tells me that I would be right there with the best of ‘em.
But, as it turned out, the Lord had a simple solution that they discovered upon crying out to Him. Problem solved. Moving on…
Next destination: Elim. And all we get is one verse to tell us of this stop. “Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.”
(Next verse): “The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the 15th day of the 2nd month after they had come out of Egypt.”
Next thing you know…. they’re back at their grumbling and complaining. So, first thing that crossed my mind: Why didn’t they stay longer in Elim?? My word, it sounds like Paradise! They had it made in the literal shade! Palms and springs in the desert?! Who would want to pull up stakes from there to continue on to the Desert of Sin?
Well, evidently the Israelites. And I’m thinking “Why???“
Then, I’m reminded, that even through the grumbling and complaining, bad attitudes and rose-colored rear view perspective…. they were still set on being obedient (at least for the overviewed, generally speaking, most part) and pressing on toward God’s promised land.
And that’s when it occurs to me, that my ‘good and plentiful company’ just left me in the dust. In the land of ‘good enough’. Left alone to determine the fine line between contentment and complacency. Completely missing out on the provisions of His hand in the Desert of Sin. And eventually forgoing the promised land flowing with milk and honey.
Withering in the shade of my 'prosperity'. Pruning up in my plentiful springs. Forced to live on coconut milk.
And I really hate coconuts.
.... If you'll just .... excuse me .... for just one .... minute....
….. “Hey, everybody! …. Wait up for me!!!!”
*For more Sunday Stirrings: http://www.jodiyork.com/2010/01/24/sunday-stirrings-forgiveness/