We don’t like to think of God as getting angry. At least not at us. We like to think of God as our friend, as someone who will put up with pretty much anything because He’s such a nice and loving God.
It is true that the LORD is loving. As a matter of fact God is Love. (1 John 4:8, 16)
And it is equally true that the LORD is the Sovereign, Holy, Righteous, Almighty Authority of all that exists, over all that He has called into being. And that means the LORD has the right to rule over us.
We all want to be loved. We like that part of God. But this whole obedience thing on our part—and following the will and ways of the LORD—is a whole other matter. At least we think so.
The Israelites on their journey out of captivity from slavery in Egypt to the promised land kept rebelling against the LORD’s will and ways. They refused to yield to and trust the LORD’s authority. They would not–could not see the LORD’s leadership as His love and protection for them. And there were sad consequences for most of them.
The LORD’s anger was aroused that day and He swore this oath:
“Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of the men twenty years old or more who came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—
not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the LORD wholeheartedly.”
Going in our own selfishly-determined ways and doing things based on our own stubborn independence and self-absorbed pride—only ends up hurting us. And often hurting those around us.
The LORD wants us to obey and follow Him wholeheartedly. And this desire comes completely out of the LORD’s love for us. Because the LORD knows that it is only in following Him wholeheartedly that our hearts will be wholly filled with His love and the joy of knowing His good and faithful promises as realities in our lives.
Caleb and Joshua knew this. I pray that each of us will, too.
Following the LORD wholeheartedly fills our whole hearts—in our lives now and for all eternity!
In love, peace and purposeful passion, Sylane