Am I an Israelite?

I am reading Sons of Encouragement by Francine Rivers at the moment, and have just finished the section about Caleb, the warrior who led the Israelites, along with Joshua, into the Promised Land.

All through the book, although it is fiction, it is taken straight from Scripture, the emphasis is on waiting on God and being faithful to what He asked the Israelites to do, even though it did seem very basic for the most part: Be obedient.  Basic, but so hard to do when being obedient to God goes against human flesh desires.

(All the following comments come from thoughts having read the story written by Francine Rivers):

Once in the Promised Land, God told the Israelites to rid the land of all idol worshippers, and people and things that were not aligned with Him.  The Promised Land was a huge, beautiful place comprising of lots of villages and settlements which contained lots of 'non-Israelites' who practiced all kinds of sinful things. At first, the Israelites went into battle with fervour to rid the land of people and things not pleasing to God, as He instructed.  But as time wore on, and we are talking years here, the Israelites started to grumble and grouse.  They did an awful lot of that, an awful lot.  They no longer wanted to fight for God and be obedient, they wanted to do what they wanted to do.  They wanted to take a break from fighting, to farm the land, to kick back and enjoy all that God had given them in the Promised Land.  Compromises were made, and the Israelites started to live alongside the very people that God had instructed be got rid of, and as they did so, they slid into moral decline and lost their focus and passion for God and went about pleasing themselves.

This part of the story really hit me between the eyes.  How many times have I grumbled at the life that God has blessed me with, for starters?  How many times have I overlooked his tremendous blessings and provisions to complain about the work that I have to do?  How many times have I wished to 'farm my land' both literally and physically when God has called me to do something different?  Life has been challenging at times with two small children and lack of sleep, and many times I have wanted so badly to be doing what I selfishly want to do rather than be the mum that God has called me to be.

Yet looking objectively at the Israelites and myself, we want to 'farm the land' to a)provide for ourselves and b) to have some fun and relaxation with selfish time.  But God already provided everything the Israelites and myself needed in utter abundance.  He already provided amazing food and shelter for the Israelites, the Promised Land was flowing with milk and honey (which means it had plenty of livestock, fruit trees, vegetable plants, insects etc) all ripe for the taking.  They moved into houses that had been built by previous inhabitants, so didn't have to toil over that.  And yet, the Israelites wanted to work for that rather than work at what God had asked them to do.

As for me, God has provided me with an amazing husband who shares the nighttime get-ups, who is more than happy to pitch into family life in all its fullness when he comes home from work rather than sitting on his computer and waiting for dinner to be served.  God has provided me with a lovely lovely home and lifestyle that is totally and utterly beyond anything I could have ever imagined for myself, and relationships around me which for the most part totally blow me away.  And yet I complain that I don't get time to dust more, or make more things on my sewing machine etc etc.

And so, while I like to think I have a Caleb heart, following after what God has asked me to do and nothing else, I do fear that I am nothing more than a complaining Israelite, overlooking God's blessing and instruction for a selfish life.  And that was not a nice look in the mirror.  So I have repented, and I think that it is going to take ongoing repentance and taking those 'Israelite' thoughts captive to really change my heart.

It all seems so silly, to want to live my own way when God's way has shown time and time and time again that it is the best, most abundant way.  When will I learn?!


Val said…
I often find myself that life is about the Apostle Paul's struggle - learning to be content with what God gives you. Sometimes I thank God for what I have, but other times I am also tempted to stroll outside of the land and take a gander at those things outside of our faith. Oh - to not be tempted!

In other less weighty news - you won the dish cloths on my giveaway! Thanks for entering. :)xxx Val