Whenever I read the Old Testament it always strikes me how absurd the Israelites are forgetting the great deeds of God. There they were in Egypt and saw miracle after miracle. God separated the Red Sea, drowned the Egyptians, rained bread down from heaven, made water flow from a rock. But with each time the Israelites grumbled and doubted. There was even a time that Aaron set up a golden calf and declared that this was the very god that brought the Israelites out of Egypt.
I thought many a time that these people were so foolish for not remembering the God of their Fathers who saved them from slavery. After closer inspection of my life I found I have been just as guilty. I come upon a trial and I start to worry thinking I am sure to die.
In the present, when difficulties arise, it is easy to be caged in by our immediate circumstances. As human beings we are emotional creatures and in our weakness we give in to our fears and doubts. It is amazing when I look back at God´s victories in my life and reflect upon His Power and Majesty. Is the work of God any less incredible today than what He did with Moses and the Israelites? Certainly not! Let us remember that God became man, lived a perfect life, and at the culmination of that life died taking on all the sins of the world. Our sins. We have inherited this promise of eternal life. We, depraved, vile creatures, can approach the throne of God with confidence. Not only that but God has been my refuge through many a storm. He has given me strength in weakness. He brought me safely through the jungles and the mountains; through sickness and danger; through fears and doubts. I am still standing today because He has fought battle after battle bringing me closer and closer to His throne. Will the next battle be any different?
The story in the Bible I most vividly remember concerning this is Asa the King of Judah. At the beginning of his reign he sought the LORD with all his heart. Soon after he took the throne an army of one million from Ethiopia came to destroy Israel but Asa humbled himself and prayed for God to save the day. ¨So, the LORD defeated the Ehtiopians before Asa and before Judah.¨
Asa was king for forty-two years. A long time. In the thirty-sixth year of his reign, Baasha, king of Israel came against him. A much less formidable force than the army of a million from Ethiopia. Instead of humbling himself before the Lord and pleading for His salvation, Asa goes to the king of Syria and basically bought his help with the gold and silver from the treasures of the house of the LORD. Israel ends up being saved but by a foreign ruler.
What happened? Here was a man who saw the LORD route an army of a million. He forgot the power of the LORD and He forgot His need of the LORD. Hannani came to Asa after the battle and said, ¨Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you. Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the LORD, he gave them into your hand.¨
The more we forget our need of God Almighty and how many times He has saved us time and again we grow more and more independent of God thinking that we can do this. Asa did not learn in a sad ending to a story that began so well. ¨In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but sought help from physicians.¨
It will do us well to remember.
Many times God has declared, ¨I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt.¨ Basically He is saying, ¨Remember me, I am He who saved you!¨ Yet like Asa we look to other means to bring us out of our troubles.
We need to remember who God is, and what He has done. It helps us face the day knowing God has brought us thus far already. I know when I reflect on the works of God I remember He has never forsaken me. When trials and troubles, hardships and difficulties arrive I can trust the LORD my God, who has been faithful every time before. I just have to remember Egypt.
2 Chronicles 14:12
2 Chronicles 16:7,8