Their enemies oppressed them
and subjected them to their power.
Many times he delivered them,
but they were bent on rebellion
and they wasted away in their sin.
In much the same way that some beasts of burden react stubbornly to the instructions of their muleskinner, the human race is determined to resist the direction and guidance of God. Although God’s grace has always been there to favor humanity, men have rejected the authority of the Creator and have rebelled against him under the pretense of being masters of their lives. Those who act so do not know that every breath and every heartbeat depend on the wonderful life that God has given them and that they have no power or control whatsoever of these things. However, in open rebellion and victims of their own pride, these wicked beings have declared themselves independent and if this is something that is in their hands to do. For them the Lord has prepared various disciplinary actions but their pride and stubbornness prevent them from recognizing the majesty of God and his unparalleled love.
Let us not behave ourselves, God’s children, as those wicked rebels or stubborn beasts of burden who are opposed to any order or instruction they receive because they rather obey their own rebellious nature than their legitimate owner’s commands. Oftentimes we find ourselves under the oppression of the enemy because God is disciplining us and anytime we’re faced with adversity we must review ourselves internally to ensure that what is happening is not the result of our rebellion. Cry out to God for his compassion. His mercy is abundant and always available to rescue us from oppression. God is faithful and he will not forsake us.To God alone be the glory!
By the waters of Meribah they angered the LORD,
and trouble came to Moses because of them;
for they rebelled against the Spirit of God,
and rash words came from Moses’ lips.
Oftentimes when things go wrong the responsibility for what happened lies with the leaders. No wonder, since those who are in leadership positions are granted more power and this implies a greater accountability for the outcomes of their decisions. A good leader knows what he is exposed to and when something does not go as expected he takes full responsibility for what happened. However, on rare occasions, the responsibility lies not with the leader but on the followers. In the case of the popular protest against Moses because the shortage of water in the desert, the level of gossip of the people was so strong and so repetitive that it made Moses, an extremely humble man, to loose his cool and he ended up acting stupid and rashly carrying out the instructions that God gave him. Moses could blame the people, in fact, God disciplined the people for this and many other instances of complaint and murmuring. Moses’ failure was a result of his rebellious spirit which considered that what God had ordered him to do was a nuisance for his life.
We all receive God’s direction but sometimes we believe that the way we resolve the issues is better than God’s way and we end up rebelling against him. The basis for rebellion is pride and disobedience and we know that none of these things is pleasing to the Lord. When God commands us to do something and we think that there is a better way to do it, we should immediately stop and analyze where we are failing and identify what we need to do to fulfill God’s instructions to the letter. Otherwise it is very likely that we will end up falling into the deep pit of error and sin. Let us heed the voice of God and let us allow his Holy Spirit to lead us into the path of righteousness. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged anger, Christianity, discipline, God, Holy Spirit, Moses, obedience, Psalms, rash, rebellion, sin, trouble, trust, wisdom, words
When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers,
but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.
No one should be surprised by the wave of rebellions and uprisings that are happening in some countries in the Middle East. When a ruler attains power for the first time, his thoughts are full of fantasies and utopias. With delusional optimism he starts dealing with the tasks of government, and little by little his good intentions, if they ever were good, are transformed into broken promises, populist maneuvers, violation of human rights and persecution of those who oppose him, embezzlement, nepotism and plain abuse of the power that has been entrusted to him. Now that he has a power that he never had before, he thinks that he does not need God’s guidance anymore and he ends up straying from the path of righteousness. The arrogance that dominates his behavior eventually becomes the sword that cuts off any resemblance of legitimacy of his mandate. The people, who at first supported the selection or election of this leader, end up disappointed by his resounding failure and soon a process of rebellion begins that result in something that the ruler’s eyes, blinded by the power he wields, would have never envisioned: his dethroning or the loss of his life.
Rulers, good and bad, just like people, they come and go. In fact, very few of them remain in power for long. In contrast, the word of God endures forever. The law of God is the only thing that can uphold the ruler. The wisdom required to govern ─not just cunning─ comes from above. If there is not a stable and deep relationship with God, the wisdom stops flowing and folly takes its place. Do not be surprised, then, of the dramatic way in which some leaders are being confronted by the people that they once wanted to help but now are being considered by him as mere pawns in a chess board. Everything has its time and the judgment of God will come swiftly. To God alone be the glory!
The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows,
turned back on the day of battle;
Apart from infidelity and rebellion, one of the main traits of postmodern man is self-sufficiency. All of us behave this way to a lesser or greater extent. When we are unabashedly self-sufficient, we think we do not need anything or anyone to get on. If someone in view of our need offers a hand, we refuse to be helped, just because in our perception, we have all we need to overcome any difficulties. Pride prevents us from acknowledging someone extending a helping hand. We think we know everything and we believe we are the smartest of the pack. In fact, sometimes inadvertently we get into trouble just to prove to others that we can do all right without support. We do not need anyone to teach us because we know it all and we do not need anyone to support us because we are more than able to accomplish anything by ourselves.
The life of a child of God is quite the opposite. Our life is a life of dependence and not of independence. First, we depend of the mercy and goodness of our heavenly Father, who is pleased to bestow upon us every blessing and to fulfill all of our needs so that nothing is lacking. To a smaller extent we depend on our loved ones who show much forbearance when they have to literally deal with us to overcome our refusal to accept their aid. No less important is the dependence on fellow Christians and friends, who with selfless appreciation extend a hand to help us get out of trouble. As it can be seen, in everything we depend on others and very little we depend on ourselves. Let us put aside our pride and let us not despise the loving hand that extends from the heavens or from somebody around us to help us in times of trouble. To God alone be the glory!