Friday, 22 October 2010

Good Things We Did Not Provide

I was listening to Charles Price on one of my favourite radio ministries the other morning on my way to work. In fact, his program comes on from 8:30 to 9:00 AM every morning. So I have arranged to start work at 9:00, I leave the house at 8:30, and I make sure it takes me exactly half an hour to get there.

The other day, in his series on Abraham, he touched on the following passage;
When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. (Deuteronomy 6:10-12)

I never knew quite what to make of this or similar passages. Was God being unfair to those who actually did build, or plant? Was He like an overly doting parent, spoiling his children, removing their motivation to provide for themselves?

But then it struck me like a ton of bricks! This is a picture of God's amazing grace! This is a foreshadowing of what he has done for us in Jesus Christ! He has given us a salvation we did not deserve and could never provide for ourselves. What was a new land for the ancient Israelites is a picture of our new life in Christ.

I can never again think of the Israelites critically for accepting something for which they did not work, because this is what each and every Christian, born again by the Spirit of God, has received as well: a salvation for which we did not work, and which we did not deserve.

And of course, this passsage is immediately preceded by one many will recognize, and which I will quote just because it is there and cannot go unquoted:
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (Deut 6:4-9)

Take Care

1 comment:

Warren said...

You speak truth. It is so easy, though, to fall into the trap of thinking that, if we can provide God with right belief (a good thing), we can somehow justify ourselves. That if we can convince others to believe rightly, and to act in accordance with those beliefs, that God will bless our society.