Moses said to God, “Look, you tell me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you don’t let me know whom you’re going to send with me. You tell me, ‘I know you well and you are special to me.’ Exodus 33:12
How often we have heard someone remark about ‘the good old days’ It is just as important to remember ‘the bad old days’ It is an indictment on our society that kids today can no longer breathe free air and be left outside to play in streets, parks, and gardens. The elderly can no longer feel confident to walk alone in the evening. Teenagers have swollen the ranks of homelessness by the thousands. Criminals rub shoulders with us and we don’t know it. We pay the bill for shoplifting. Pollution is a problem. Violence has increased dramatically in our day and generation.
We could continue: where do we fit in? Our abuses have not done anything to alleviate community or improve society. Our drinking and drugging was an escape from the corruption around us; from a world heading for disaster. We can shrug our shoulders and ask “Am I my neighbour’s keeper?”
Whenever people in the Bible tried to run away from their responsibility God called them by name. He knew where they were, what they were doing and what they were planning. He knew their reluctance to face up and fess up. And He has us named; we are each called sinner because we chose godlessness falling short of what He requires of us. We despise the word ‘sinner’ We have a habit of making excuses for bad behaviours and choices. We don’t want to accept ‘the truth hurts’
As God points the finger at us it is not just for us to face up to the fact we are sinners. It is also to encourage us to understand He understands. He says “Come to Me!” Better days await those of us who will obey His call and allow His Lordship and Leadership to shape how we move forward from here.
“The seed cast in the weeds represents the ones who hear the kingdom news but are overwhelmed with worries about all the things they have to do and all the things they want to get. The stress strangles what they heard, and nothing comes of it.” Mark 4:18-19
Psalms 51:3 I know the lawless acts I’ve committed. I can’t forget my sin.
The chorus of a song in The Salvation Army Songbook says:
No more! No more! He remembers sins no more, they are pardoned forever, and he will never Bring them up against me anymore. I’ll hear no more of the evil days of yore; I’m a pardoned offender, And God will remember them no more.
So why do we keep beating ourselves up? Forgiveness from God is final. That doesn’t mean we have a license to keep making bad choices and doing the wrong things. What it does mean is if I seriously and honestly confess my sin to God and trust Him to help me change He will.
Recovery is about life change. Life change is about living right from here on.
“Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments” Deuteronomy 8:11