I am sometimes jealous of the Israelites. Don’t get me wrong I am thankful to be living in an age with all the technology we have invented. I am thankful for modern medicine. I am thankful for my mode of transportation. I am thankful that I am saved by Christ death on the cross, and that I no longer have to practice animal sacrifices. Most of all I am thankful that I am the temple, that God lives in me, and that I can have an intimate relationship with God.
But … how cool would it have been to have the very presence of God living among you and your people!?!? The Israelites did. That is how the book of Exodus closes out … “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. … In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out-until the day it lifted. So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire in the cloud by night.” Exodus 40:34 &36-37 NIV84. What a really cool sight to see and what an awesome representation of God.
What baffles me is even with God’s presence among them in such a manifestation, they still struggle to believe and follow. They see Moses disappear upon a mountain in a cloud of smoke and they struggle to believe. God did all the amazing things in Egypt and at the Red Sea and they struggle to believe. In a short time Moses will send twelve spies into the land and the people will listen to the ten naysayers and not the two who have faith in God. They had this entire struggle with faith, and yet they see the presence of God in a cloud during the day and fire at night. He has done what we would call miraculous and yet they struggle to believe.
I wander if we would be any different? I don’t know. I know I struggle with faith from time to time. I think it is part of our sinful nature. It is a tactic used by Satan himself. If those who had the miraculous done in the presence and they struggled, I am sure we will as well. Here is the lesson, let us learn to fight off Satan so we don’t go down the tragic slope that the Israelites did, so that our faith remains strong and pure.
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