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Tempting God

There is only one direction for Christians to travel--forward. We must not think back or look back or turn back. We must move ahead, out of the old life and into the new.

That's the picture of the Israelites. God delivered them from Egypt. He brought them into the Promised Land, yet when they got there, they failed Him. "Yet they tested and provoked the Most High God, and did not keep His testimonies, but turned back and acted unfaithfully like their fathers; they were turned aside like a deceitful bow. For they provoked Him to anger with their high places, and moved Him to jealousy with their carved images" (vv. 56-58). They ignored all of God's greatness. He defeated the other nations. He gave the Jews houses they did not build. They drank from wells they did not dig. They ate from trees they never cultivated. They ignored God's goodness, and then they deliberately tempted Him.

How do you tempt God? When you deliberately disobey Him and dare Him to do something. You are not walking in ignorance--you know what you are doing. To tempt God means to sin with your eyes wide open. This provokes Him.

The people of Israel even adopted the idolatrous worship of the people they had defeated! We do this today, too. How easy it is for us to accept the idols of this world, to trust in money and position, to trust in the words of men instead of the words of God. And the result? "He forsook the tabernacle" (v. 60). God moved out. He said, "If you don't want me, I'm leaving." As a consequence, the people of Israel went into captivity.

What a tragedy to enter into the blessing God has for us and get so confident and selfish we forget the One who gave us the blessing.

* * *

Be careful never to place your trust in God's blessings rather than in God. Enjoy the Blesser--the God who gives and guides you--rather than the blessing.

Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group ( Used by permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from Baker Publishing Group.


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