How to Deal with Consequences

Israel was complaining.
They were thirsty.
They were sick of the food God had provided for them.
They grumbled that God had brought them out of Egypt to kill them in the wilderness.
Nothing was going right.
Everything was wrong. With them, with Moses, with where they were and what they were doing.
And they let it be known that they were unhappy.
(Is this sounding familiar to anyone besides me?)

God sent them a message.
Vipers in the camp.
Where they lived.
The snakes bit the people and people died. Lots of people died.

Israel got the message and they asked Moses to intercede with God for them. They admitted and confessed their sin and asked God to remove the vipers.

But God didn’t take them away.
Instead He told Moses to make a bronze serpent, mount it on a pole and hang it high where it could be seen. God told Moses, “it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live.” (Numbers 21:8b NAS)

God heard the people and He answered their prayers.
Just not how they wanted.
They wanted the consequences...
the problem
the pain
the danger
Wiped out. Eliminated.
After all, they confessed their sin and repented. An immediate resolution would have been nice.

But God didn’t do that. There were consequences to their sin. Lingering, painful and potentially deadly consequences. The vipers were not removed from their camp. In fact, the vipers still bit the people.

If it were me I’d be begging… But God, I told You I was sorry! I repented. I quit complaining and got my attitude taken care of. Why are these vipers still here? Why are we…why am I still being bitten by snakes?

There are consequences to our actions.
God doesn’t just sweep them all away when we come running back to Him. Sure, He may sometimes, but more often than not, He doesn’t and we have to live with those consequences.

The Israelites wanted a quick fix—the removal of the problems brought on by their sin. Instead God gave them an antidote for their problems. FAITH. When the people were bitten they were to look at the bronze serpent on the pole and have FAITH that God would take care of them and heal them. They had to take their focus off their problem and off their pain and look to God in faith.

That antidote is still valid today.
But we need to let go of our stubbornness and pride and turn our attention to Jesus.
We need to take our focus off our problems and pain and focus on the antidote: Jesus.
It takes faith.

God didn’t leave Israel to die in the wilderness. He provided for them and brought them into the Promised Land.

As His children, God won’t leave us. He’s given us that promise.
“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” Then Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall give it to them as an inheritance. The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:6-8 NASB

When it comes to dealing with consequences, we need to take our eyes off our problems and look to Jesus. Focus on Him and Him alone. He goes with us and He will not fail us nor forsake us.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009. Design expanded and personalized by 2011.

Back to TOP