guard your heart

in the book of Numbers, we are given a glimpse into the lives of the Israelites after their deliverance and escape out of Egypt. God is exceedingly specific concerning their rules for living, worship, and sacrifice. and everything else, for that matter.  it's not an easy book of the Bible to digest, there are so many things that i read that, honestly, i don't completely understand. {this commentary has been a huge help to me}

and yet, there are days that i pray and ask God to show me what he wants me to see in the Word, and he is so faithful to reveal his truth.  one such truth i feel like i've 'uncovered' is found in Numbers 10 and 11.  The Israelites are leaving Sinai and God gives them explicit instructions on how to expedite their departure.  it's quite in depth and specific, as are all of God's commands.  the Israelites set out, following all the rules...they got  up, they packed up, and moved on, led by the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night. God's presence led them, guided them, directed them. that truth alone blows my mind.

they followed for 3 days, God showing them when and where to rest, when to head out. and then...they complained. they grumbled. they'd had enough. and the Bible says that God heard every word. and he was not pleased.

now, as someone who travels quite a lot, i can say that it is not easy to carry all your own bags, and live out of a suitcase for any length of time. it gets old pretty quick. so, in my flesh, i can understand the Israelites frustration. however, there is a big difference between heavy and hard, and grumbling and groaning.

saying out loud that something is hard, that a load is heavy, is not, in and of itself, wrong.  admitting your pain leads to surrender and dependence. "God this is hard!!! help me!!"

but grumbling and groaning about your situation leads to bitterness and disobedience. "this is ridiculous. why should i have to do this..."

it's a matter of the heart...remember what's in your heart comes out of your mouth. (Matthew 12:34)

their grumpy and ungrateful attitudes unfortunately opened the doors to all kinds of other insatiable dissatisfactions.  even so far as a desire to go back to Egypt! oh that we, believers, would not so quickly forget what God has done in our lives! that we would be mindful of our attitudes, that we would guard our hearts.  that we would REMEMBER what He's done, and BELIEVE what he's about to do!