I found myself stumbling through Leviticus last night and after just a few minutes of reading, I said to myself, “wait, didn’t I just read that?” So I kept reading, and there is it was again, I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God. Leviticus 25:38
Another couple of lines down the page and there again, The people of Israel are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt… Leviticus 25:42
Huh. That’s interesting. So I continued to read, For the people of Israel belong to me. They are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 25:55
After reading the same basic statement 3 times over, finally God has my attention. (It’s terrible that it takes so much!) I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so you would no longer be their slaves. I broke the yoke of slavery from your neck so you can walk with your heads held high. Leviticus 26:13
Not more than a few sentences further down the page and again this, For their sakes I will remember my ancient covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of all the nations, that I might be their God. I am the Lord.” Leviticus 26:45
It dawned on me, How many times does God have to say something, or reveal himself to me, before I will believe that he IS Holy and perfect and more than capable of handling whatever messes I get myself into?
How many times do I flat out forget about his promises and his constant presence?
My initial reaction to the blatant repetition here in the text was one of confusion. At first I just thought, “why does he keep repeating this?” But then like a sucker punch, I lost my breath. I began to see. And I was convicted.
I used to look at the Israelites wandering in the desert and think to myself, “what a messed up bunch. What a whiney group of complainers, constantly griping about their situation, disobeying and forgetting about how they are God’s chosen people, and how they are called to worship him, breaking the rules and carrying on…” How often have I judged them?
But it hit me last night, that God made a point of repeating himself, because it was necessary. They were whiney and disobedient and ungrateful, and forgetful- and so am I. And God made a point to remind them, frequently, that he is the LORD God and he had delivered them out of Egypt. Apparently, I need this reminder as well.
Perhaps in many ways I am exactly like those people, wandering around, in circles, wishing for something else, being impatient to wait on the Lord, grumbling about his provisions, instead of thanking him and trying to be obedient. It hit me last night that when God says something once, we should listen. But when God says something repeatedly, four, five, six times, we REALLY had better listen.
Where is God speaking to you repeatedly? Are you listening? I am thinking about this today, and praying he gives me a heart that hears and receives his message. In this case, a message that reminds me that he will deliver me, from whatever snares I find myself tangled in, from whatever situation has me bogged down, and wandering in circles grumbling, if only I would keep listening!
Praying you hear his voice, recognize his promises and praying that he delivers you as well. In the meantime, Instead of judging the Israelites, I am learning to identify with them.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. ?We have left God’s paths to follow our own. ?Yet the Lord laid on him ?the sins of us all. Isaiah 53:6
© Kris Camealy 2011 All Rights Reserved.