April 25

Your people say, “The way of the Lord is not just,” when it is their own way that is not just. Ezekiel 33:17

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. John 14:15

When reading the verses for today I was reminded of the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt to the promised land of Canaan. Through Moses the Lord told the Israelites exactly what to do and provided for them along the way. Were the Israelites satisfied and thankful? At first, they seemed thankful as they praised God for delivering them from the oppression of the Egyptians. God provided potable water for the Israelites to drink and food for them to eat during the entire forty years of their sojourn. Each time God helped the Israelites they praised and thanked God, but soon they would be complaining and asking for something more.  God helped the Israelites defeat Amalek. God commanded the Israelites to make no other gods while Moses was on Mount Sinai, but did they obey? No, they decided to make their own god, a golden calf, out of the jewelry and metal available to them. Then they worshiped the golden calf. God was angry and wanted to destroy these stiff-necked people. Moses intervened on their behalf, but when he saw what the Israelites were doing, he broke the tablets at the foot of Mount Sinai, burned and ground the calf, spread the ashes on the water, and made the Israelites drink ash-infected water. God forgave his people and continued to show them his way for them to follow.

How many times did God forgive them? How many times must he forgive us when we decide to follow our own way and not listen to what his word teaches us? Every one of us sins and falls short of the glory of God. We do not love him enough to always keep his commandments. Yet he loves us enough to continue to open his arms to welcome us back into the fold. We have just celebrated the resurrection of Jesus who rose from the dead in expiation of our sins. The love God has for us that he would sacrifice his son and continue to save us from our sinful selves is beyond our understanding of how much he loves us. He is just in asking us to keep his commandments.

Dear Lord and Savior,

We love you and your just ways. Sadly, we often choose to go our own ways even when we are wrong. Help us to recognize our waywardness and lead us back to you. Thank you for loving us enough to give your only begotten Son for us. Help us to love ourselves and one another. Amen. 

Florence Smallfield