申命記 4:35, 39 あなたにこのことが示されたのは、主だけが神であって、ほかには神はないことを、あなたが知るためであった。きょう、あなたは、上は天、下は地において、主だけが神であり、ほかに神はないことを知り、心に留めなさい。

Monotheism was a hard concept for the Israelites to grasp at this point, at least as much so as for the average Japanese today. Egypt was famously polytheistic, and as has been said, it was much harder to get Egypt out of the Israelites than it was to get the Israelites out of Egypt. God orchestrated things so that the supernatural nature of their deliverance was evident, and He put on the “sound and light show” at Sinai for this same reason: to demonstrate to the people that He wasn't some figment of Moses' imagination, but was God Almighty. Old habits die very hard, so Moses was pointing out to the Israelites what had been done for them. Often we experience things that God is trying to teach us, but we let them go right over our heads and never get the point. The whole book of Deuteronomy is Moses trying to be sure the Israelites got the point of what had been told and shown them, and they had experienced.


This is certainly double-ended for me. I have been at least as dense as the Israelites at times, failing to get the point even when God was teaching me very patiently. At the same time I am in Moses' position, trying to help others recognize and appropriate the lessons God is teaching them. I need to take comfort in knowing that if God could use Moses, who was certainly not an Administrator, then He can use me, too. I have been stressing the point that we need to take our eyes off of ourselves and our problems to fix them on God, if we are going to overcome the problems, but then I have turned around and fixated on the problems in the church and failed to hear and trust what God was saying that was positive and encouraging. I need to listen to my own sermons! It is only the Holy Spirit who can really change hearts, so I need to welcome His work in me and pray for His work in others, keeping myself available as an instrument but not thinking I'm doing, or ever could do, the job myself.


Father, thank You for all You are doing here, even though I'm so slow to recognize and appreciate it. Thank You for the example of diligent outreach that a pastor friend is, and for the newsletter we have been working on to take around in the neighborhood. Thank You for getting us moving in new-believer training, and for the improved attitudes I'm seeing in several people. Help me not focus on where people are right now so much as to see where You want to take them and trust You to get the job done, even if You have to use me in the process. Thank You again for Your wonderful plans for us. Help me, help us, recognize and follow Your guidance so that we may rejoice to participate in Your plans, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


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