Learning from our mistakes is difficult! It is not so difficult for the generation that made the mistake and paid the price. It is hard for future generations! With progress and “outgrowing silly past flaws” future generations easily become unaware of vanity’s cost. Even in what seem to be the best of times we are easily deceived by our inflated opinions of ourselves. Older generations shake their heads as younger generations commit themselves to needless death and hardship.
Too late Israel realized God was not with them. Too late they understood they were on their own. Disaster came to them in God’s absence. It was not just that God was absent—God actually opposed them! They forgot God did not serve them, but they were supposed to serve God. The result of their forgetfulness—disaster!
Incredibly, this disaster was Israel’s fault, yet God rallied the faithful! The faithful begged God to recall His commitment. He would champion His holy nation for His purposes, but he would trample His people’s foes.
Israel’s renewed awareness was awful! It was always God, not them! Without God they were nothing! Their need for God’s help was overwhelming! The difference was God’s presence or absence!
This was not a matter of immediate manipulation but of long-term realization. It was not an effort to move God to “our side,” but a commitment to serve God’s purposes. God’s purposes and their nationalism were two different things! The meaning of being God’s people rested in serving God’s purposes, not in seeking their material ambitions.
A difficult realization: God’s purposes differ from our material dreams.
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