I imagine the energy, the confidence, the awe of Old Testament days–from walking with God in the garden, to experiencing God’s might through the plagues, to walking through parted waters. I imagine the rush of knowing that if God said he’d deliver, he would do it–a soaring hope, a battle cry. How could one doubt God’s majesty in the midst of all that?
I think of the disciples and wonder how it must have felt to walk with Jesus. The miracles they saw. The lessons they learned. The healing they witnessed. Wouldn’t that have been so convincing–and for many it was.
27 “Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. 28 For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.’
29 “But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’
30 “The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’
31 “But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’” (Luke 16:27-31, NLT)
I’m reading through a roundabout recommendation Disappointment With God by Philip Yancey that has completely flipped my perspective, just halfway through.
Today, I mentally stand on a battlefield watching Joshua and the Israelites in Joshua 9-13, and great emotion wells within me. God was with them.
I read through Luke 16 and Jesus’s story of the rich man and Lazarus–Jesus, God with them.
It’s easy to think that faith would be firm and resolute if one had witnessed Old Testament presence or New Testament flesh. But I have at my disposal the very word of God. I read those words of a long-ago time. I am comforted by the Lord. I am surprised by the Lord. I am reminded of his very real presence. I hold tightly to truth.
14 So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the Lord. (Joshua 9:14, NLT)
Lord, when the world displays its evidence before me, may I consult you first and always.