You think it would have been easy for them to get it. After all, they had walked out Egypt, walked through the Red Sea, and made it through the desert. They had seen the plagues, been overshadowed by the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, and had received water from a rock and bread from heaven. They had known the goodness of God’s blessing and had experienced the severity of His wrath. And for the forty years they wandered between where they were and where they were going, their clothes had not worn out, nor had their sandals worn off their feet (Deut. 29:5).
Come on people! After all that, how could turning to other gods even be a possibility? How could you not have known your God to such an extent that turning your back to Him wouldn’t even have entered your mind?
But it did enter their minds. They would choose idols of wood and stone, of silver and gold, over the One who made the wood and stone, the silver and the gold. How is that possible?
Chewing on a verse in Deuteronomy which reminds me of the connect between us getting it and God giving it.
And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: “You have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, and those great wonders. But to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear.”
(Deuteronomy 29:2-4 ESV)
How messed up did man’s heart become through the fall? How impaired his faculties? To the point where even seeing was not believing. That apart from God’s intervening grace in providing a heart to understand, eyes to see, and ears to hear, no matter what they saw, no matter what they experienced, even if someone should rise from the dead, they would not believe (Lk. 16:31).
Not that it removes man’s responsibility and accountability. For it’s the self-will of man which refuses the heart, the eyes, and the ears God is ready to freely give. But apart from God’s divine intervention with our five common senses, His glory remains grey. His power is not perceived. His love is left unrequited.
Sure, I opened my bible this morning. But as I hover over it, again beholding “wondrous things out of His law” (Ps. 119:18), I’m thankful that, through the active agency of the Spirit of God in me, He has given me a heart to understand, eyes to see, and ears to hear.
Just like clothes and sandals which never wear out, despite the daily sojourn in the desert, just having something to chew on from His word every morning is a daily reminder of His abiding presence, His faithful provision, and His ever prevailing power.
All because of grace. Only for His glory.