He Never Promised “Easy Street”

When I finish reading a section of Scripture and then find myself staring at my blank computer screen,

I sometimes read the next days’ chapter selection in my chronological Bible……..

hoping for something to stir my thoughts.

This morning was one of those mornings.

The first few chapters I read left me wordless,

so I kept reading.

Hoping for something.

But if I’m honest,

the next day’s chapters left me wordless too.

God spends a lot of time in Deuteronomy going over specific laws with His people,

reviewing in explicit detail how to treat those who choose not to obey His commands.

Words like “grace” and “mercy” are alluded to only in the breaking of the necks of animals.

It’s a harsh chapter in human history,

and God’s presence doesn’t always bring what I would call “a sense of tranquility.”

Maybe that’s what I’m realizing this morning as I sit under a blanket,

sipping hot tea,

trying to find a connection between me and the children of Israel.

I like tranquility.

But the Bible often feels anything but peaceful, calm, and cozy.

____________________________

So I’m reminded once again this morning

that a lot has changed since the Israelites walked on planet earth.

Their sandals may have never worn out,

but I’m thinking the support of their arches wasn’t as high a priority as it is for us today.

God wasn’t the kind of father who ran himself ragged making sure his kids were comfortable.

And He didn’t work overtime so Disney Land could be added to an already-full summer schedule.

No.

The God of the Old Testament focused His energy on making sure His children were on the right path.

And then had his kids pick up the very stones they’d walked on and build an altar from them.

An altar on which they wrote all the things they had been taught along the way.

If God’s a business man,

He’s in the character-building business.

And I don’t have to read many verses

to realize the character of the Israelites

was never built while sitting under a blanket sipping hot tea.

So what is God saying to me this morning in a section of chapters full of so many laws and commands…..

and consequences of breaking them?

I think He’s saying,

Get up and get going,

never forgetting what it means to be Holy.

All along the way.

Oh, and while you’re at it……

take these stones you’ve walked on this morning with you.

Everywhere you go.

Even when they hurt your feet.

Being mine doesn’t mean you’re walking on “easy street.”

But it does mean I’m walking with you………….

on every street you face.

And like the Israelites,

your shoes will never wear out as long as you’re walking with me.

For I am sure that neither death nor life,

nor angels nor rulers,

nor things present nor things to come,

nor powers, nor height nor depth,

nor anything else in all creation,

will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

(Today’s reading was from Deuteronomy 20-27.)

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