Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Get Over Yourself

Some of the Old Testament is hard for me to have a desire to read or put forth a dedicated effort to study. I would prefer to stick with Psalms and Proverbs and throw in some New Testament encouragement. I have never been a big fan of History despite how many teachers told me, "you have to know where you've been to see where you're going." For me I have to be honest and say that I like something a little more upbeat, exciting, inspiring. This morning what I found in the Old Testament was humbling.
Deuteronomy is a book mostly made up of recollection of prior events. A book of remembering and of history. "It is because of someone else's wickedness, not your righteousness" is repeated throughout the beginning of this chapter. The Israelites are about to go war in a battle that Moses is giving a motivating speech preparing them and telling them they have already won. I'm sure there was excitement and whooping and yelling. Men getting all siked up for their next victory. They knew they weren't going to fail. I'm sure moses felt like the exhausted and depleted mother and wished he could walk around and flick each of them on the foreheads at this point. Because he tells them to "get over yourselves. This victory is because those people inside that city are going to lose because they are full of wickedness not because you Israelites are so wonderful. It is not because you are righteous, God is just using you as His vessel to fulfill a promise He made. You're lucky you get to be a part of this promise coming true! In fact, think how bad these people must be when you look back at all the mistakes you have made! I let you out of my sight for a couple of weeks and you make a golden calf? That is just one of many mistakes that have made God so mad at you. I have spent more time praying for God not to kill you than I have spent sleeping!"
I am guilty of being a smug Israelite at times throughout my life. There have been times when something I did, ended with great success and pride filled me up. But I wonder how many of those times really had anything at all to do with me? I know there have been instances when the pride was out of control and I started to judge others against myself, my beliefs, my history. But thankfully I have a God that has flicked me on the forehead, many times. We call them "God's love smacks". I know that just 5 years ago we had gotten judgemental of the "poor" and didn't understand how anyone could be in that situation, just get another job, quit spending so much. And what happened? Allen was demoted and we took almost a $2000 pay cut a month. Who's poor now? And it seems each time we are too dense to figure something out on our own God gives us a little or sometimes a big love smack to get our focus back on Him and the fact that He is in control. Sometimes we just have to get over ourselves.

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