Ungrateful Children

Moreover thou gavest them kingdoms and nations, and didst divide them into corners: so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan. Their children also multipliedst thou as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it. So the children went in and possessed the land, and thou subduedst before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest them into their hands, with their kings, and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would. And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness. Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations. Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies. – Nehemiah 9:22-27

sitincornerGod truly blessed His chosen people, Israel.

He providentially guided them to defeat armies, tear down walls of cities, and occupy the promised land of Zion. They took possession of houses they had not built, and at from crops that did not plants. Not only that, God took that tiny number that went into Egypt over 400 years before and blessed them to be multiplied beyond number, just as He promised to Abraham. The mercy of God poured out in great measure.

But…

The Israelites rebelled against God. Not only did they ignore the law of God, they threw it away like trash and killed the prophets God had sent ti guide and instruct them.

As any good father would, God chastised the children of Israel.  He did not obliterate them, nor did He passively ignore their sin.  The Israelites, without the blessing of God, were unable to continue to defeat their enemies round about them.

In their pain, the children of Israel cried out, and God answered. Once again the manifold mercy of God was shown, and He sent leaders to guide them against their enemies and back to paths of righteousness.

It cannot be denied that the children of Israel are a picture of the children of God. It also cannot be denied that we so often act just like they did.  We are blessed by God with abundance and peace. Then, we get complacent and forget the God Who blessed us.  Thankfully, God is a God of mercy toward His people. He knows just the right amount of chastisement needed. And He is ready to show mercy when we cry out for help in repentance.

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