Today I was reminded of what a friend of mine told me many years ago, “as now, so then.” Over the years, I have come to appreciate the truth of that statement. What did he mean by that comment? In effect he meant, what I am doing now, I will be doing in the future, if I do not make plans to act differently.
This reminder came when I was reading Ps. 95:7-11 which says,
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
as on the day at Massah in the wilderness, when your fathers put me to the test and put me to the proof though they had seen my work.
For forty years, I loathed that generation and said, ‘They are a people who go astray in their heart, and they have not known my ways.’ Therefore I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’”
What hit me about this story is that it is mentioned in three different time periods in the Bible. The first time was with the wilderness generation (Deut. 6; Ex.17). They chose to test God by being stubborn in resisting to believe his promises which really was a challenge to his character. The second time period this story is mentioned is here in the book of Psalms. This reminder was a few hundred years later when Israel was a major nation in the world. Even then they still could choose to rebel against God’s leadership if they stubbornly chose not to follow his Word. Thirdly, it is mentioned in the New Testament era in Heb. 3:7-12 showing that the choice to test and rebel against God is still something that can be done in the church age!
What is the point? Just as the wilderness generation was prone to choose to disbelieve God and his promises, so also was the nation of Israel at the height of its glory! Since the passage is in the New Testament, that tendency in us has not changed even with the birth of the Church. I, today, must be careful not to question God, his faithfulness, nor his ability to live up to his promises. I need to know that this is a real possibility for me today. In addition, I need to choose to live by faith in God and his promises.
Father, thank you for the clear teaching of your Word. Some things in life do not change with time. Just as the wilderness generation was in danger of responding to you and your promises with a lack of faith, so am I today. May you help me not to doubt you, your promises, your love, nor your ability to fulfill your promises. Instead, may you help me to live by faith in spite of my circumstances.
Following Jesus with you,