October 1, 2018 by Kgalalelo
It’s the first month of October, my birth month. I thank God that finally the winter has departed and we are now beginning to enjoy the spring, though it’s in its second month. The winter literally took five and half months, from April to mid-September. It started warming up only in the last week of the month and we could wear long sleeved t-shirts without the jersey and the weekend that has just passed, the afternoon temperature shot to 28 °C and I could wear sandals and a summer dress to church. The winter has been long, especially here in Bloemfontein. It usually takes longer than most parts of the country. Most of my friends who lives in Johannesburg and Pretoria, don’t prefer to visit this part of the country in winter and it’s understandable. I, myself am from the North West province, were the winters are not so severe but have settled well in Bloemfontein.
I’ve lived in this city for eighteen years now and have experienced blessings after the other because God loves me. He said in His Word “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God” (Isaiah 43:1). This scripture describes my life and all that God has done and is still doing for me. He never promised that it would be smooth sailing all the time but that He will be there in the midst of every experience, and because He chose me, He sees me through without fail.
The question of whether are we an ungrateful people came to mind as I was reading and meditating on a few scriptures in the Bible and first came across the account of the journey of the Israelites in the wilderness when they left Egypt, the land of bondage and slavery. I thought to myself ‘if the Bible is a holy book and everything in it is inspired by the Holy Spirit to have been documented, were all these stories a way of showing us how ungrateful we are as a people and perhaps learn from the experiences of the Israelites during those times and do better?’ I think that was the idea! When you read Exodus through to Numbers, the Israelites whined about everything. First it was about food then God gave them Manna, then desired to eat meat and God gave them quail, then came the complaint about a lack of drinking water, and God caused a rock to flow with water.
These are miracles that we ourselves can’t even contemplate nor bring forth. We might think that miracles ended in the Bible times but God is still in the business of performing even more. We might not know how Manna tasted like but God’s provision has never stopped. He has multiplied a few loaves of bread to feed the multitudes. I believe Manna tasted like pastry and it must have been delicious but the Israelites were not quite satisfied with it, they wanted more. From the look of things, we find ourselves also dissatisfied with even the things that God has given us for free, the very gifts that God has provided without any of us labouring for them. He said to the Israelites I am giving you—“a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery”
(Deuteronomy 6: 10-12). All that God wanted was obedience, remembrance of His goodness and the spirit of gratitude.
The Israelites gave Moses and Aaron a hard time throughout the journey but God remained faithful and provided their daily needs. The Lord even said to them "During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet” (Deuteronomy 29:5). God took care of His people, however, they kept forgetting His goodness throughout their trip to the Promised Land. The Bible further says “Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all His benefits” (Psalm 103:2).
This should be the meditation of our hearts and a daily prayer to remember what God has done for us. We are constantly being reminded but never pay much attention. Humans have been derailing from the path that God has set for us since the beginning of time starting right with Adam and Eve. They were instructed not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, however, they failed to follow the simple rule which led to them being chased out of paradise. Even though they bent the rules, God provided. He made clothing for them from animal skin to preserve their dignity.
Perhaps most of us are still babies in the spirit. We have to be reminded about the simple things all the time. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:2 “I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. Indeed you are still not ready. You are still worldly”.
Jesus encouraged His disciples to become like little children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven and turn away from their sins. “Anyone who becomes humble as the little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 18:1-4). Little kids are innocent, they listen and follow without question. They do not second guess the commands they are given or reason them out, they just do what they are told. Adam and Eve never knew any other thing outside of the Garden of Eden and outside of God until they were deceived by the serpent. They had childlike faith and knew God to be their provider. When we forget to look back at the trail and see God, how He rescued and delivered us, provided without question, protected and loved without fail, we lose the path home to God. The path that God has set for us leads us back to Him. The entire path we have to sing praises, worship Him, show appreciation and gratitude. This is how we are kept glued to Him and enjoying everything He has in store for us.
Footnote: Scriptures taken from the The Holy Bible, New King James Version, 1982: Nashville, TN, Thomas Nelson, Inc. & The ESV Global Study Bible®, ESV® Bible, Copyright © 2012 by Crossway. All rights reserved & The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™
Kgalalelo Saane Mphephuka
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