It’s not fair!

I can imagine Moses saying…

“What do you mean, Yahweh? I can’t enter the promised land??? I’ve led this ungrateful, foolish, recalcitrant people all over creation for forty years! I’ve listened to their constant grumbling and grousing, settled their petty arguments, and interceded on their behalf when they’ve flagrantly defied you. You do remember that whole golden calf incident, right? And now you are telling me that, because of one moment of completely understandable frustration on my part, you are not going to allow me to enter the promised land? Not even set one foot on the land I’ve been marching towards all these years? It’s not fair!!!”

And David…

“Why can’t I build you a house, Lord? You’ve been drug around all these years with nothing but a tent. It just looks bad that the GOD of Israel lives in a tent, for heaven’s sake! I want to build you a house. After all, you made me King David! I want to do this for you. And you won’t let me because of all the blood I’ve shed? I did it for you! What about the incident with the Philistine and the slingshot? I was just a kid, yet I fought for you, Lord! All this blood on my hands–it was all shed for your people at your command! I want to build a house for you. It’s not fair that you are denying me this privilege!”

Bottom line: God is sovereign!

That may not seem fair to us today. It’s hard in our independent culture to submit to a sovereign God we cannot see or fully understand. But God’s plan is good. It is perfect and it is fair. And some day it will all come together and make perfect sense for those who believe. It most likely didn’t seem fair to Moses or David at the time, either! Yet both men came to accept this truth. Indeed, from an eternal perspective, Moses is enjoying the Promised Land and David lives in God’s Mansion!

What’s your rant? We all have at least one. Most of us have a whole collection.

We can and–dare I say?–should pray for the faith to believe that God’s got this, and for the strength to trust the bottom line:

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My part to play

David and Paul. Two very famous men in the Bible, each in his own right. Both were warriors, David employed slingshots and swords while Paul used words. One man remembered for his adultery, the other remembered for his zealous persecution. Both transformed by God’s love for them, and their love for God. Two men separated by hundreds of years, each instrumental in God’s plan for his Kingdom.

Did either of these men know the impact their lives would make? I doubt it. Scripture tells us that each knew that God was with them, guiding and empowering their ministry. They surely dreamed of the legacy they wanted to leave, but I can’t imagine that they could begin to comprehend how their actions–their very lives–would impact the Kingdom of God for all eternity.

I, too, have a role to play in God’s Kingdom. From where I sit today, I can hardly imagine that it is anything near the magnitude of David’s or Paul’s contribution! Nonetheless, by God’s grace, I still have something to give. To allow false humility, fear, or low self-esteem to dissuade me from doing my part is to throw a monkey wrench into God’s plan.

Surely Nathan knew that confronting the king was taking his life in his hands, yet Nathan responded obediently to the Lord’s direction. He went to David and pointed out that he had despised the Lord and done what was evil in God’s sight. Rather than killing Nathan, David confessed his sin, repented, accepted forgiveness (and the consequences of his adulterous behavior), and was restored to his role in God’s plan. While Nathan was a prominent figure in David’s life, in comparison to David, his role in God’s big picture plan is minor.

Or what if Ananais had submitted to his fear of Saul, rather than to God’s instruction that he go lay hands on blind Saul so that he would regain his sight? What a critical moment in God’s plan! Yet we never hear another word about Ananais.

Not all of God’s faithful are renowned.

I cannot clearly see the whole picture of God’s plan. Yes, I understand some of it and, the more I study scripture and pray, the more revelation I have. But I can’t fully realize the impact of my contribution to the whole of the story. I can only do what I can in this time and this place, obedient to God’s instruction. Today I can pray for someone to be healed. Today I can point the way back to God’s grace and forgiveness. Today I can trust that, whatever my role–whether it is known throughout history like David or Paul or Nathan or Ananais, or whether it is only known by those in my little corner of the world–it is an important part of God’s plan.

So is yours. You have a part to play, too. And when we all play our parts well, we join Jesus in bringing God’s Kingdom near.

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