I decided a little while ago to read straight through my Bible from Genesis to Revelation. I did not put myself on a schedule like I have in the past, but instead chose to read leisurely through. Some days I read only a verse or two, and some days I read several chapters. It just depends on the day.

I am currently at the end of Deuteronomy, and last night I read the part where God told Moses he would not be allowed to enter the Promised Land.
"This is because...you broke faith with me in the presence of the
Israelites...and because you did not uphold my holiness among the
Israelites. Therefore, you will see the land only from a distance; you will
not enter the land I am giving to the people of Israel."

Moses is probably my most favorite person in the Bible. I'm not sure why exactly, but I identify with him quite a bit in his struggles and in his victories. I feel like he and I would be good friends if we lived in the same time and place with each other. Anyway, I felt very disappointed for him last night. More than disappointed, I guess. I was very, very sad for him.

I remember when he "broke faith" with God. At the time, it seemed like a very simple variation. God had told him to SPEAK to a rock and water would come out of it for the thirsty people in the desert. Instead, Moses was angry at the people for their lack of faith in such a wonderful God, and he HIT the rock. Water came out of it, and the problem was solved. Life moved on.

Years went by, more than forty years to be precise, and here he is finally at the threshold of the Promised Land. He is going strong for God; he is communicating and leading the people very well. And God pulls him aside, and says, "I'm sorry, but because of your disobedience to me 40 years ago, I cannot let you go into the land. Everyone else here will be allowed to go, but you cannot. Here's another leader for the people. The end."

That reminded me of an incident that Kimmie and I had about a month ago. Kimmie enjoys writing letters to people, and she is great at mailing them. (Unlike myself, who writes letters quite a lot, but NEVER mails them.) I knew that she was coming to the end of her book of stamps, and I had decided just as a nice surprise, to buy a new book of stamps for her when that one ran out instead of requiring her to use her own money for the stamps. She did not know of my intentions. The day that she ran out of stamps, I drove to the store and bought a new booklet. I hid it in my purse and excitedly waited for the afternoon when I would give them to her. That afternoon, she was disobedient and rude, and as a result, I decided not to reward that type of behavior with a gift. I quietly kept the stamps in my purse, and Kimmie never knew what good things she could have had.

A few days later, she asked me if she could borrow a stamp from me, since she had not had a chance to go to the post office. Then I told her the story of the surprise stamps that she had missed out on. I explained to her that God also works this way. He has so many good things that He wants to give us, but we have the power to prevent His good gifts. At the time, I applied that principal only to Kimmie.

But last night, I thought about what Moses had done in his anger. He had "broken faith" with God. Somehow, that phrase really stings. It feels like a hurt relationship. God had relied on Moses to show the people God's character; He had trusted Moses to be an example of God to the people, and Moses had broken God's faith in him.

God is trusting me to be an example of God to my family. I wonder how many times I have "broken faith" with God. Maybe even in something that seems very small. How sad that is. I don't want to miss out on good things that God has in store for me, and I don't want to "break faith" with God.

So I'm thankful that God showed me that truth now, while I'm still 28. I may have broken faith quite a lot in my first 28 years, but with this new awareness, and with God's help, I hope that I will break faith a lot less for the rest of my years or days or minutes that I have left.
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