God is Still a Jealous God

Jealous_HeartToday’s post is a revealing story of the heart. With the upcoming Sunday being Easter and all about the resurrection of Christ, it is perfect timing to check our hearts. Numbers 16 is about Korah and his 250 followers who rebelled against God. There was jealousy and conspiracy from Korah and his 250 followers (incense burners) against Moses and Aaron because they were discontent with what God had given them. They had a special ministry to minster to the people of Israel given by God as their service to Him. Yet, they were jealous of Aaron and the priesthood. Moses had to remind them that they were rebelling against God, not him and Aaron.

Numbers 16:8-11 – “8Then Moses spoke again to Korah: “Now listen, you Levites! 9Does it seem insignificant to you that the God of Israel has chosen you from among all the community of Israel to be near Him so you can serve in the Lord’s Tabernacle and stand before the people to minister to them?10Korah, He has already given this special ministry to you and your fellow Levites. Are you now demanding the priesthood as well? 11The Lord is the one you and your followers are really revolting against. For who is Aaron that you are complaining about him?”

Deep Thought
Deep Thought

We do have to choose carefully who and what we follow. We will be held accountable for our choices. When Moses asked Dothan and Abiram to come to him during the confrontation, they refused. They were still stuck on being removed from Egypt, the land flowing with milk and honey. They were not content with God’s timing for entering the Promised Land and as seen, their hearts were revealed in the rebellion of Korah. They looked back and desired what they used to have (check Lot’s wife, the pillar of salt). They showed contempt for what God had for them and their future.

Numbers 16:12-14 – “12Then Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, but they replied. “We refuse to come before you! 13Isn’t it enough that you brought us out of Egypt, a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us here in this wilderness, and that you now treat us like your subjects? 14What’s more, you haven’t brought us into another land flowing with milk and honey. You haven’t given us a new homeland with fields and vineyards. Are you trying to fool these men? We will not come.”

Take note, we may be willing to follow something or someone but your heart will be revealed in the matter. Check your motivation for the things you do. Are you following truth? Or, are you following someone or something to justify your own ulterior motives. Remember, God knows the heart and He has not stopped revealing the truth so we can truly know ourselves.

In that, Moses was a human being, though called and anointed by God for his service to Him. Moses was angry with the Kohathites but unlike times before, he did not intercede for them before God this time. Korah and his followers were then told to present themselves before God the following morning with the appropriate preparation. In coming before the Lord, God’s anger toward the people was major and He was prepared to kill them all. This time, Moses and Aaron interceded again for the people. This confrontation was the Lord confirming Korah’s (and his followers) contempt for Him by doing something new; the ground opening up and swallowing the entire clans of Korah, Dothan and Abiram because He had mercy on the other Israelites who were not a part of this rebellion. The initial 250 followers, the incense burners, were burned up in the fire that followed the ground opening up because they had sinned with Korah in rebellion against the Lord. Because they were holy to the Lord as incense burners, their remains were used as a reminder to the other Israelites.

Jealous God_Chan quoteCheck this. Can you believe after such a day, the Israelites were still complaining the following morning? Yet again, Moses and Aaron interceded before God’s anger was released in full force but not before another 14,700 Israelites were killed by a plague. Listen, this was the Old Testament and since then, God has shown His love for us by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, reconciling us to Himself. That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t still want your love and devotion to Him. We are still accountable to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He will reveal your hearts to you. What does your heart to say to God? Do you make Him jealous?

Shoes…

A Sunset
A sunset at the end of a day’s journey.

SHOES…

There are times when I reflect on the people who I have met in my life and their impact. Both Christian and non-Christian have had both negative and positive impact. There is no cause for bitterness but sadness when I think about those who chose to leave me because of their judgment of me. I have had hard choices to make and they come with the shoes that I wear. Some people choose to judge us without consideration for those shoes. Whether they are new or old? Whether they fit perfectly or hurt our feet? Whether they have soles with holes or are barely there?

Not sure any of us truly know what empathy is and how it should move the heart within us. Jesus felt compassion for the woman at the well and the prostitute. He knew the choices they made. Sometimes choices have good intentions and sometimes they do not. I am sure we can all reflect on some really dumb choices we made because of an expected outcome. Not really understanding that we have no control over the outcome, only the choices.

As we travel this journey and make those choices, we must remember that everyone definitely wears a pair of shoes that reflects the outcome of choices made. Not just our choices, but also the choices of others. The consequences of choices impact the lives of others whether we accept that or not. When you see a person and do not understand the choices they made, consider the shoes they are wearing. Consider whether someone else helped to create the soles of those shoes. Consider whether your choices have made life hard for someone else. Even if they haven’t, and you would surely be a person that God has strengthened to always make the right choices, consider whether you would be willing to walk in those shoes.

When you see a person going through, and want to say that you would do something different, think about their journey. Where are they coming from? Would you be willing to walk the same miles and take the same direction? There are truly times when God directs us a certain way and we don’t understand why. But He does. He knows the way may be hard, but we don’t. He knows He will be there for us even when we don’t feel like He is. He knows the outcome of that direction, even when we don’t understand why we went that way in the first place.

God’s purpose for our lives is not easy, it’s fulfilling. It brings challenges, growth, tears and reward. Our rewards are not just of this world but also eternal. The hard choices and consequences help develop our character. They bring understanding and compassion (maybe even empathy) when we look at the people around us. My shoes are temporal and my soul is eternal. When it’s all said and done, I see that God is developing my character and giving me understanding for those people included in my journey. Whether they judge me or not, I am getting understanding. The shoes I wear are mine, given to me by the Lord.

Sandra

In the Trenches

God does know who you are.  He knows what you need and what you need to do.  Stay focused on the opportunity He has given you and quit looking at circumstances.  You need to be writing.  Write when you do not feel like it and more when you do.  This is about change.  The transition period can sometimes be in the trenches up to your waist in the mundane aspects.  Where do you go from here?

Paul was an awesome man of God and the Scriptures that talk about being content with a little or a lot are not just talking about material things. When we are called to change by choice, or by circumstance, sometimes we end up in the trenches.  That does not mean we made the wrong choice.  Just means we are in the trenches.  How do you get out?  Realize where you are.  If you are lost, acknowledge where you are to be found.

There are so many things I need to know and want to know about writing.  Beyond the actual act of writing, I must remember that I can only take in so much at once.  As I write to you, I talk to myself and clarify what obstacles lie in the road. Acknowledging the things that need to be moved, changed, or eliminated gives me clarity.  Clarity gives me hope.  Hope motivates me, and wha la! Here I am, writing to inspire, to encourage, to motivate, to assist, to inform, to make a statement, to hone my craft, to make a living, to glorify God, to understand myself, to move forward, to get out of the trenches.

Sandra R. Vercellono