Monthly Archives: February 2016

So much rebellion, so much tragedy…

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Reading the Old Testament is not easy for me. Some of it is nice and helps me understand the prophets of old better, but a lot is really hard to read.

One thing that really bothers me, and stands out to me, is how the Israelites don’t seem to learn from their sins and mistakes. God is dealing harshly with them because He seems to know that with them being so close together, and traveling through the wilderness, it is easy for anyone to influence someone else and so He punishes them right away so others won’t get tempted to do the same, but they just don’t seem to get it. Does Satan seriously have so much hold on their hearts that they simply can’t hear the spirit anymore? And if that’s not the case, do they purposely ignore the Holy Ghost and just don’t care?

As I was reading the chapters in Numbers this week, I just couldn’t understand how they didn’t learn anything. People were killed in different ways because of their sins, and yet the rest of them kept complaining and arguing against God and His commandments. They only seemed to see the negative, like being stuck in the wilderness, and not that Heavenly Father delivered them from Egypt. It makes me so sad that they didn’t see the blessings. If they would have been faithful the whole time, God would have been merciful with them and they would have reached their new destination already, but because they disobeyed and murmured, God was angry with them and had to react.

I totally understand that being in the wilderness and suffering a lot, is not fun and very hard to deal with, but they had Heavenly Father on their side. He provided for them and showed them miracles despite their complains. Chapter 20, verses 3-5 made that clear. It says:

“And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the Lord!”

“And why have ye brought up the congregation of the Lord into the wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there?”

“And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.”

Moses provided water with his rod as a result and yet it didn’t seem to impress the Israelites for long. They seemed to stay unhappy for whatever reason.

One thing that I am learning from this though is that we need to pay attention how we react to difficulties in life, and whether or not we show gratefulness or the opposite. We need to focus on seeing our blessings and trust that Heavenly Father knows what He is doing, even though we are going through some really hard times. We need to keep things in perspective and need to remember that we will have to suffer the consequences when we murmur, complain, and disobey the Lord. As sad as it is to see them not learning from their mistakes at all, it helps me understand that I need to work on learning from their mistakes and not be so stubborn and unteachable. God loves us and He blesses us because He loves us, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have any trials. We can show Him best, how strong our faith is, by holding on to the iron rod, try to stay positive and let Him guide us.

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How important is the Old Testament to us?

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As I am reading more and more in the Old Testament I am beginning to wonder how relevant and important it is to us today. Some of the things I am reading are a bit scary and frightening when you think about how God dealed with those who sinned. It is certainly very different to how it is today.

Reading about Moses and the Israelites, and what happened to them, makes my point above. Heavenly Father dealed with the children of Israel harshly, after Moses went to the mount to get the 10 commandments, they quickly forgot about the Lord and started to worship idols. I am saddened by their actions and wonder how anyone could forget that fast what Heavenly Father had done for them. After all, He had saved their lives. The punishment they received afterwards though, threw me off. I knew the story for a long time, but I didn’t remember that Israelites were killed because of their actions.

After Moses rebuked the children of Israel, the Lord told him to ask everyone whether or not they wanted to follow the Lord and those who didn’t were killed. I wasn’t exactly angry about it, but I did feel that was unfair and a bit too drastic for my taste. What if those unbelievers would have decided at one point in the future to repent and change? I talked to my husband about it and he agreed with me that things seemed harsh around that time. I asked him why the Lord didn’t just send them away and banned them from the group. He reminded me that the Israelites were out in the middle of nowhere with nothing around. There was no other place for them to go. He said something had to happen because Heavenly Father didn’t want those unbelievers dragging more and more people with them. He said maybe it is best to have them killed quickly with no further suffering rather them sending them off in the wilderness perishing slowly.

I have to admit I am still a bit taken back by it, but I also know that everything happens for a reason. I trust that Heavenly Father knows what He is doing and what my husband said to me certainly makes sense if you think about it logically. If there was a way to have them send away He would have I am sure, after all that’s what the Lord did to Satan and his followers. They were banned. I think this is just one of those things that I won’t understand until the next life, but I know I will understand it at one point.

I am very grateful that we have the scriptures and that we can learn about the prophets and people of old, even though we might not understand why things were that way at their time. I might struggle with some of the things I read, but I get so much out of it and learn so many great things that are definitely valuable in our days. Heavenly Father loves us and He wants what is best for us.