Wednesday, September 08, 2010

On those Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Days

There was a book I read a few years ago, a children's book called " Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" . In it the authors presented a day in the life of Alexander, a young boy whose day just turned out badly.

It happens to all of us.

And how we react can help us get a grip on just how much we reflect the character of God.

1 In early spring the people of Israel arrived in the wilderness of Zin and camped at Kadesh. While they were there, Miriam died and was buried.2 There was no water for the people to drink at that place, so they rebelled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The people blamed Moses and said, "We wish we had died in the LORD's presence with our brothers! 4 Did you bring the LORD's people into this wilderness to die, along with all our livestock? 5 Why did you make us leave Egypt and bring us here to this terrible place? This land has no grain, figs, grapes, or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!" Num 20:1-5 (NLT)

Moses buried his sister Miriam at the place when his greatest disappointment as a leader had taken place. Kadesh was where the people of Israel refused to trust God to deliver the promised land to them. So God sent them away, into the wilderness for 38 years. A place with bad memories just got worse.
Moses has heard an unending murmur of criticism and rebellion from the people - for 38 years! He had interceded with God again and again for them. And today was just another Groundhog day, as the people complained like they had the day before. At least he could go to God and know that God would be mad at the people too.


Moses and Aaron went to meet with God. His glorious presence appeared and instead of wrath, God granted the people's request. Instead of affirming Moses, God told him to go and bless the people with water for themselves and their livestock. Moses wasn't pleased. He did as he was told, but can you tell anything about his attitude from what he said once he assembled the people?

"Listen, you rebels!" he shouted. "Must we bring you water from this rock?" Num 20:10 (NLT)

Uh, Moses. "We?"

Got a frog in your pocket? Big Queen Elizabeth fan? Too big for the little people?

God is the author of miracles, not Moses. He alone deserves the glory. Then Moses compounds his error by not speaking to the rock, but striking it with his staff. The people never realized Moses had sinned. They got their water and God got the glory. But Moses knew that he had deliberately disobeyed God.

Moses left God's presence that day and decided he'd do what God told him, but he'd do it his own way. Did the people deserve God's grace? NO. They were classic gripers and complainers sired by a previous generation of gripers and complainers.

Here's the deal though.

There's only one way to obey God, and that's to obey His instructions.

When we have a bad day, when we are stressed, stretched and strained to our limits - we do NOT get a free pass from God. He expects us to obey when every thing's going well, and obey when everything is not.

And even though people might see us doing things that would seem to say that we are a person following Jesus closely, our heart and attitude may very well reveal that we aren't doing them for God at all, but for the praise of people.

Moses had an opportunity that day to show that God was Holy, set apart, beyond all human ability. Instead of pronouncing God's grace, he shouted in his anger, and assumed credit that wasn't his.

It was a bad day for Moses.

So how do we guard against such behavior?

On those days when you are being pushed to your limit, by work, by people, by whatever - pray!!! pray for God's peace, for His heart, for His wisdom. If you look at the situation and see it as beyond your ability to bear, then confess that weakness to God and let His strength flow through you. Rely on His power, made perfect in your weakness.

Moses was a person just like we are, with a faith that had to fight its way through everyday life. He had lots of successes in his walk with God, but on this one day he let his own emotions lead him out of God's will.

Guard your heart friends. Guard your heart.

1 comment:

  1. As usual, some really good thots... Maybe I have my sermon for Sunday now. ;-)