Now Playing: What type of response are we producing?
In science, they teach that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. We find in our families, our Christian fellowship, and with our friends and co-workers some of the same factors at work. Whatever we say or do or how we live our lives affects one another. The Lord would seek to produce in us the proper response, although sometimes all that happens is that the depths of our sinfulness is manifested. Here are some verses on which we can meditate for our profit.
"(v.20) Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. (v.21) Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. (v.22) But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries." (Exodus 23:20-22)
"(v.1) And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. (v.2) And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, 'Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! (v.3) And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?' (v.4) And they said one to another, 'Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.' (v.5) Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.(v.6) And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: (v.7) And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, 'The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. (v.8) If the LORD delight in us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. (v.9) Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.' (v.10) But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel. (v.11) And the LORD said unto Moses, 'How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have showed among them? (v.12) I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.' (v.13) And Moses said unto the LORD, "Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them;) (v.14) And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou LORD art among this people, that thou LORD art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night. (v.15) Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying, (v.16) 'Because the LORD was not able to bring this people into the land which He sware unto them, therefore He hath slain them in the wilderness.' (v.17) And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying, (v.18) 'The LORD is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. (v.19) Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now'." (v.20) And the LORD said, 'I have pardoned according to thy word: (v.21) But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. (v.22) Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; (v.23) Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: (v.24) But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it'." (Numbers 14:1-24)
"(v.19) Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel. (v.20) For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant. (v.21) And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware. (v.22) Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel." (Deuteronomy 31:19-22)
"(v.1) But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. (v.2) And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, 'What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?' (v.3) Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, 'Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.' (v.4) Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity: (v.5) And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders. (v.6) So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work. (v.7) But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth, (v.8) And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it. (v.9) Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them." (Nehemiah 4:1-9)
May we earnestly desire that our actions do not provoke the sad consequences of the governmental hand of God upon our lives. May we provoke to "love and good works" (Hebrews 10:24)
More on this topic on another day