I’m still reading through the Bible, with my goal to be all the way through in 90 days. I’m currently finished with day 17 and just started the book of Judges.
I was a bit glad to be done with Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. For some reason, those books are difficult for me to read. All the laws, pages and pages of them. And then, in Deuteronomy, a summary/review of all the laws before Moses dies. And, even with the reminders, the Israelites still had problems remembering the laws and following them.
Ex 32:7-14: This is the story of the golden calf. When the people, who are sick of waiting for Moses to return from up on the mountain, want a god they can see, Aaron builds them a golden calf. God sees them and tells Moses “Your people whom you brought from the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves” and then adds that He planned to destroy the people and turn Moses into a great nation. The people were Moses’, not Gods. Moses then pleaded with God and God showed mercy and didn’t destroy all the people. However, about 3000 died that day because of their disobedience.
This seems to become a pattern for the Israelites: forget to follow God, God punishes them, they return to God and then forget again. And, when they cry out to God, he shows mercy again and again and again.
This is the same God that we have today. I am always straying from what I know He wants and yet he is always merciful to me. That doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences for my actions. But it does mean that God will always love me and be there when I do fall.
In Deuternonmy, I was reminded of God’s provision. For 40 years the Israelites wandered in the wilderness, but their clothes didn’t wear out and their feet never blistered or swelled (Deut 8:4). And, when Moses died at age 120, his eyesight was clear and he was still as strong as ever.
Now, I’m in Judges. The Israelites have settled in their land. And, the same patterns emerge. First, they didn’t drive out all their enemies. Then, their enemies start to control them and they cry out to God. He shows mercy and sends a judge to save them. Once the judge dies, the people once again forget to serve God and the cycle continues.