Friday, February 17, 2023

God Protects

Israel came up against some pretty big enemies on their way into the Promised Land. God said He would drive out their enemies in front of them, a little bit at a time so that they could take the land and fill it without having to clear it all over again from overgrowth and wildlife. Still, the people knew that the armies in front of them were formidable. 

And, let's just be honest - they didn't do a fantastic job of completely ridding the land of these peoples anyway. Plenty of remnants remained. 

Then, God gave them a command: three times per year, you will all come and assemble at My meeting place for worship. Three times a year, you will leave your homes and your fields and your livestock and your cities and you will come together in one spot to worship. 

It doesn't sound like a great plan. A people who have had to fight their way into the promise in the first place are probably not inclined to leave their captured land vulnerable, with all their best stuff in it, to go worship somewhere else. What's to keep their enemies from retaking their cities when they leave? What's to keep the remnant peoples from coming back and burning everything to the ground? What is the guarantee that if they all come together to worship, they will even have homes to go back to? 

God is. 

Because in the same breath that God tells them they must gather three times per year to worship, He also says this: and when you do, no one will try to take your land from you

No one will even try. No enemy will come against you while you humble yourselves in worship. While you're vulnerable, you won't really be because God Himself will be protecting you. 

Sometimes, the security we think we have in our land can keep us from coming wholly and humbly to God. We like our stuff. We like our homes and our fields and our livestock and our vineyards and our stuff. We don't want to put all of that on the line to come to God. 

The good news is that God says we don't have to. God says that when we come, when we obediently come in worship, we don't have to worry about what happens to our home. We will have a place, even when we leave it, because God says that no one will come to take it from us while we're out doing the next faithful thing. 

Do you believe that?  

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