| | Posted 25th March 2012 at 10:07 AM by sedberry
For the purpose of this discussion, let's set aside for a moment the argument about whether or not the Bible is literally accurate. Instead, let's assume that some biblical stories are metaphor. I know it sounds heretical, and I don't personally believe it, but for this discussion, let's assume that some of the stories are metaphorical life lessons. I just don't want you to get distracted from the point of this post. We can debate later about biblical accuracy.
We humans are funny creatures.
Adam and Eve had it all. They had everything that they needed. God, the supreme Creator of the universe, created them and provided for them as only their Creator could. He knew what they needed. He knew what was best for them. And until the serpent came along, they thought they had everything that they wanted.
But Satan came along and planted a little seed of doubt. "Surely God didn't mean that you couldn't eat fruit from that tree, did He? That makes no sense. Why would God create a tree for you, if He didn't want you to eat from it? You know what? I'll bet He's worried that you will become as powerful as He is. Yeah, that's it. He doesn't care if you eat the fruit- He just doesn't want you to have what He has."
And blah, blah, blah.
A number of generations later, God has freed the nation of Israel from Egyptian slavery. Formerly slaves and at the very bottom rung of the hierarchy, now, they were free. God had delivered them from Pharoah and his army. God parted the Red Sea, allowed Israel to cross, and closed it back up on top of the Egyptian army. They didn't even have to worry that Pharoah would come after them. God had taken care of them.
As part of their Exodus to the Promised Land, God provided them with a heavenly food, called "manna" to eat. Manna doesn't exist today, but based upon the biblical description, it appears to be a flour or meal of sort, from which cakes were made. It may not have been prime rib, but it was what they needed to survive. God had instructed them not to store any of it. Instead He would provide for them on a daily basis.
It wasn't enough. Eventually, the Israelites complained to their leader Moses. They were sick of manna. But some of them decided that they would save it, just in case. "What if God skips a day with the manna? How will I feed my family? What if He doesn't give me enough? I should save some up, just in case. Sure, He said for us not to do it. But He couldn't have really meant it. Who does He think He is anyway, God?"
And blah, blah, blah.
We might read these stories and say, "I would never do that. If God told me to do something, of course I would obey Him." We might look at the Israelites as prideful and foolish. After all, how smart is it to disobey God?
Here's the point. We all do exactly the same thing. We do what the nation of Israel did, time and time again. God provides exactly what we need, but it isn't enough. We have to take matters into our own hands, just in case He doesn't.
God wants one thing from us. He wants us to have faith in Him. If we have faith in Him, the rest of it- obedience, resisting temptation, loving others, dealing with all the bad stuff- anger, lust, gluttony, you name it; it will all take care of itself.
I do it every day. Actually, I'm kidding myself. I do it every hour. Maybe even that is an exaggeration. I fall out of faith and turn to myself to deal with something, about every ten seconds.
The hardest thing to do, but the most important thing we can do is to remain in a faith relationship with God. We have faith in His plan. His plan required His Son to be sacrificed for the sins of all mankind. We have faith that Jesus paid the price, for every single sin I have committed and ever will. That faith frees us up to have faith in God for every single step that we take, from that point forward. If our sins are forgiven, and our eternal salvation is assured, then the rest of our lives are simple window dressing by comparison. Sure, we want to live as He wants us to live while were here on Earth for 70 or 80 years (assuming that we die of natural causes). But in the grand scheme of things, our eternal life with Him, makes this life pretty unimportant, by comparison.
So we respond in gratitude to Him. We live as He wants us to live. We read His word and pray to Him, to try and discern how He wants us to live. And we try to do it every single second of every single day.
Anything else is like Adam and Eve. Or, it's like the wandering nation of Israel, grumbling about manna.
And blah, blah, blah....