Monday, Dec. 5
Doug’s sermon from Zech. 10 included a statement that really made me think. “God punishes His people; He doesn’t abandon them or abolish them.” My first thoughts went to how God allowed an entire generation of “God’s chosen people” to die in the desert as recorded in Exodus and Numbers. These rebellious people made up the very first nation of Israel and they were on their way to become an independent nation in the “promised land.” They witnessed miracle after miracle, some of them constant—the cloud by day and the fire by night. They saw the waters held back so they could cross the Red Sea, and the Egyptian army wiped out by those same waters. Their clothing did not wear out, they were well fed by manna from heaven, and even had more quail than you will ever see when they complained about the manna. God offered to start over with Moses but Moses declined. So God let them perish in the desert and began to deal with the next generation. Back to Doug’s statement. Did God abandon them? It looks as though he did. But Paul gives us a different slant on this. Were these really God’s chosen people? Paul makes a case in Romans 9 that they weren’t. Romans 9:6-8: “For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham‘s children . . . it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.” This truth is applicable to us who call ourselves Christians. I’m not destined for heaven because I grew up in a Christian home. I wasn’t born into God’s family until I understood and accepted the grace that comes through the cross. I believe Doug’s statement is correct.