chance (noun): an opportunity to do or achieve something
Something struck me today when we studied Numbers 20:1 - 13 as part of our bible discussion in church today. This passage tells us of the instruction issued to Moses & Aaron, after the children of Israel complained (again) about being brought out of slavery to die in the wilderness. Understandably, Moses, their chosen leader, was frustrated with all the complaining and when God instructed him to speak to the rock to bring water out, he struck it in anger instead. God then reprimands Moses for his disobedience, explaining that the purpose of the instruction was to demonstrate the holiness of God to the people of Israel. You see, when God see His children, He looks at us through the lens of unconditional love, which means even in our states of negativity, He will be trying to show us who He is.
Man, on the other hand, because the flesh makes us weak, makes us focus very easily on the flaws of others and anger... Man, what can I say about anger? It lies in the bosom of fools and I'm sorry to say I've been a fool on more than one occasion but that's a story for another day. Anyway, so Moses in this passage, gets angry and decides that rather than demonstrating God's holiness to the Israelites, he would do God a favour and show anger. At different points, God will choose to show His attributes, which are best suited to the situation at hand. For example, He demonstrated His power & might to Pharaoh when He wanted the Israelites to leave Egypt. He demonstrated His mercy to judgement & mercy to Noah when He destroyed the whole world and saved Noah and his family. There are countless attributes of God and in order for Him to show us who He is, we need to give Him a chance and not interfere with our own agendas.
Sure, in our eyes, it may not have made sense to demonstrate Holiness to the Israelites who were behaving as though Egypt was the promised land they'd been forced to leave. But that was not Moses's place to make that judgement, especially not on God's behalf. Jonah did the same thing when he was sent to Nineveh to tell the people to repent. Why should God save a sinful nation? Why not just destroy them? That was according to Jonah, a man. According to God, Nineveh had 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness who deserved to be brought into the light. God wanted to demonstrate His mercy to the people of Nineveh and Jonah was the chosen messenger to deliver that particular message to the people of Nineveh.
When God tries to move in our lives, do we explain away His grace, His mercy, His faithfulness, because we feel that we don't deserve it? That God cannot possibly solve that problem we have because there's no logical way out of that particular problem? Do we decide that that particular issue needs a human dose of anger, greed, selfishness, etc. because we don't trust God to do things the way we would like them done? If that is you, please, STOP. Allow God to be who He is in your life and lean on Him to see you through. He will never let you down and He is more powerful, mighty, full of grace than you can ever imagine. And most importantly, He loves you more than anything or anyone. And if God uses you to demonstrate His holiness, please let your actions match God's instruction and do not take matters into your own hands because there are consequences. There are others relying on your obedience to God, others who are waiting to see the mercy and holiness of God in their lives.