Tuesday’s Reflection on the Daily Watchword
God Does Not Hold a Grudge, Why Should We!
The preceding chapters to Exodus 34 describe Israel’s sin in the wilderness as they fashion the golden calf and falls down before it in sinful worship. God’s anger is kindled against the people and many died. God however does not abandon them but remains in their presence continuing to make plans for them to enter the promised land. God again covenants with his people and promises that through them, the whole earth would know Him. The Lord said to Moses, “All the people among whom you live shall see the work of the Lord”. Exodus 34: 10
Today I invite us to take a closer look at Israel’s journey. God had blessed them and delivered them from slavery in Egypt. They had crossed the Red Sea miraculously, they had experienced the miracle of bitter water made sweet, they had received the miraculous food of mana and quails from God, they had seen water come from a rock, they had defeated the attack of the Amalekites, they had received the laws of the covenant and the priesthood was established. Everything the nation needed was in place, everything except a homeland and they were journeying towards the promised land. Everything should have been just as they wanted it but alas things were about to change. While Moses was on the mountain receiving the laws, the people began to rebel against God. It was at this point that they asked Aaron to make an image for them to worship, and he complied. They quickly forgot all that God had done, all that God had brought them through, and turned their backs on God. God became angry but His anger did not last forever. Those who refused to repent were destroyed but those who repented were forgiven and restored. God does not hold a grudge forever and neither should we.
We learn from this situation: 1. No matter how much God does for some persons, they will always forget God’s presence and ability when they are ok. These are the people who will run to God in a crisis, but once the crisis is resolved they too will be gone. 2. Those who repent are restored. When we sin against God and are repentant, God will forgive us and put us back where we were. 3. God will never forget or abandon us. Israel was on a journey and God did not abandon them to die in the wilderness, send them back to Egypt or destroy them completely right where they were. No! Rather, God in His love and mercy forgave them and reestablished His covenant with them. 4. We are important to God. God values His creation and rather than destroy, God forgives and invites us to continue the journey with Him. He did not hold Israel’s sin against them. If God could forgive Israel, and if He can forgive us, why can’t we forgive those who offend or hurt us? It is through forgiveness that we show God’s love at its strongest and most supreme. When He could have hated us, God loves us instead. God does not hold a grudge, and neither should we. May we find the courage to forgive each other, and to restore broken relationships, even as we are forgiven daily by God. Amen.