Vol. 8-04 – 01-22-2023 – Misunderstanding God’s Care
Will He Really Provide?
Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, “When you come into the land that I give you, the land shall keep a Sabbath to the Lord. For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its fruits, but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard. –Leviticus 25:2-4
Rotate your crops. Lay fallow a portion of your fields. Just grow grazing fields. God did not say any of that. He simply said, “Do not plant.” What part of that do we not understand?
If you are a farmer (agricultural engineer), you mumble something about the nation depending upon you to feed them. You make your living from your crops. The nation makes its living by being able to eat the crops you grow. Makes sense, does it not?
According to God, He has a different plan. How would you respond to God? Might you think that God has missed this? Is the implication that He will provide should you choose to follow His instructions, correct?
Hey! It is only a year! With all our smarts we know better. Do we not? Is it just the fields that need rest, or does God have something else in mind as well? If you think about grapes, not growing them for a year means you will not have a harvestable crop for two years.
“I will command a blessing upon you!” You get to harvest a bumper crop in the sixth year that will carry you for three years.
“Trust Me!” And because you can trust God, it follows that we should obey Him as He expects. Why? I am reminded of a famous line I often received from my mom: “Because I said so!” There are many positive blessings for following those who are over you. 😊
I think that Matthew 6:33 applies here as well: But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Misunderstanding God’s Care
And they said, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants for a possession. Do not take us across the Jordan.” –Numbers 32:5
Hold on to that last remark: “Do not take us across the Jordan.” Do we not utter similar demands? God, if You love me, keep me from COVID. Never let me be in an accident. I trusted that our government had our best interest at heart, so I took the “vaccine” jabs. Then I found out it was not a vaccine, but a government word ploy. God, I should have trusted in You.
Israel was readying to go into the promised land, but they had to cross the Jordan. Sometimes God prepares a new place for us. To live. To work. To raise a family. To minister. But, you know, this seems like a good place. We do not need to move to be happy. Why don’t you sit for a little while and think back to how God has had you in His care? Absolutely dependable.
Donna and I are convinced that God placed us in a church for particular people (there are others we minister to, but some are directed for us by the Almighty). I still maintain close communication with such a one in northern Ohio. He remains a great friend. He has a ministry to some unusual people—Hell’s Angels. They invite him to share his faith. He does not back away. He cares for their souls. His connections are growing. He lives in North America; he thinks, accuses me, of living in South America. We talk often. God has blessed me with his friendship, we speak often, and he is consistent in sharing the gospel. God’s thoughts are higher than ours; His ways are higher than ours.
We do not fully understand the depth of God’s care for us. Sometimes, He points us to a Scripture so that we can understand His heart more. He truly cares. Think for a moment about His love for us – not only does He chase us with His love, grace, and mercy but He holds us in His hand (John 10:27-30). No one is allowed to snatch you out of His hand.
Does He care for us? Yes.
You, like almost all of us, have had misunderstandings with people. It happens. Our need is to re-establish the relationships; unfortunately, some of those relationships do not allow for a two-way reconciliation. It is a sad experience in life when that reconciliation will not happen.
We are blessed by our Great God in that His intent is to have a relationship of the highest value with those who belong to Him. He is always ready for restored relationships.
It is strange, is it not, that there are people in our lives that do not want a restored relationship. You probably have one, two, or a few of those.
God never promised us that we would avoid every heartache of life. He has promised His presence, His heart, and His eternal promises. He is absolutely reliable (even though we are not always reliable). He never stops loving us.
How are we doing with loving those who do not love us back?
Is our response to God, too often, “If we have found favor in your sight.” I do not know about you, but to me, that smacks of self-interest.
One last thought. Do we really hear when God asks us to take a step of faith? It is within our advance to the fields that are white unto harvest.
Not everything that God asks of us has to make sense at the moment; it may invite us to an unusual experience in our faith.