Deuteronomy 32-34; Mark 3; Psalm 40

The reality of life – ups and downs. Good choices and bad. Gratitude and regret.

I see it in my kids, the eight year old just learning about life, the young adult “kids” figuring out the world around them. I see it in my parents, turning 80 this year and still seeking to honor God and not let past mistakes hold them back from that. And, I see it in myself, every day.

My only hope is to trust in Him . . .

People all around me are making daily choices and watching as I make mine.

Just like they watched him – to accuse him

And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart (Mark 3:2-5 ESV)

Jesus drove to the underlying question – is it lawful to do good or to do harm?

They still could not see the good, only saw his breach of their rendition of the law and their hatred led to the natural next step – a desire for his death.

Check down a few verses  for the polar opposite reaction. Jesus has to have an escape plan so he isn’t crushed by the crowd of humanity that can’t get enough of him. They saw the good. The healing. The love. The Truth.

And, his family thinks he is crazy.

Scribes think he is possessed.

We, too, will be misunderstood at times.

This story  of struggle to respond to God as He deserves is as old as time.

For I will proclaim the name of the Lord;
ascribe greatness to our God!

“The Rock, his work is perfect,
for all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
just and upright is he. (Deuteronomy 32 ESV)

Israel had these opposite responses for millennia. The crooked and twisted generation could be seen in Egypt and to those who walked the earth when Jesus lived.

In the blessing Moses passed along to the tribes of Israel we also see this mixture of blessing and curse, devotion to God and those that lived with regret.

Even Moses who knew God face to face had his moments of rebellion and died before stepping foot in the promised land. Yes, still, his reward in heaven is great.

We will fail, we will knowingly or unknowingly speak or act in ways that are contrary to God’s Truth.

Yet, if we are surrendered to Him as our Lord and Savior, we can find in Him our help and deliverer  and pray as the Psalmist did:

I waited patiently for the Lord;

he inclined to me and heard my cry.

He drew me up from the pit of destruction,

out of the miry bog,

4 Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust,

11  As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me;

your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!

17 the Lord takes thought for me.

You are my help and my deliverer;

do not delay, O my God! (Psalm 40 ESV)

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