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B'Midbar/Numbers 16:14 Moreover, you have not brought us to a land flowing with milk and honey
How many of us have struggled under that accusation? "You haven't done ..." whatever it is that is wrong at the time. What was it that Moshe had failed to do? "Go, assemble the leaders of Israel. Say to them, 'The L-rd G-d of your ancestors, the G-d of Avraham, Yitz'chak and Ya'akov, appeared to me. He said, "I have paid close attention to you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. I promise I will take you away from your misery in Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivvites and Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey."' The leaders of Israel will listen to you" (Shemot 3:16-18, GWT). You bet they did! Only they didn't, or they forgot. They lost sight of who had given the promise and who was going to deliver on it. When things didn't happen as the people expected, they turned on Moshe and blamed him for not taking them into the Land, although it was their own refusal to obey G-d that had brought about the problem.
Yeshua made a controversial promise when He was teaching in a synagogue in Kfar'Nachum: "Those who eat My flesh and drink My blood have eternal life, and I will bring them back to life on the last day ... The Father who has life sent Me, and I live because of the Father. So those who feed on Me will live because of Me" (John 6:54,57, GWT). The gospel records that this was such a strong claim that many of His disciples could not accept Him as their rabbi any longer and turned away back to their previous lives before meeting Him. This seems such an outrageous claim that many of the disciples bounced off it - they just couldn't believe that Yeshua really was the Messiah or that He could deliver on that promise.
The response of the twelve, the inner circle of hand-picked talmidim, was more instructive. Yeshua offered them a way out: "'Do Do you want to leave Me also?' Shimon Kefa answered Yeshua, 'L-rd, to what person could we go? Your words give eternal life. Besides, we believe and know that You are the Holy One of G-d'" (John 6:67-69, GWT). The twelve had grasped - by revelation, see Matthew 16:17 - who Yeshua was and although they might not understand at this point what Yeshua's words really meant, they knew that they had to trust Him and go along with what He said.
Many people today struggle in their relationship with G-d because they feel that He has let them down or because they cannot come to terms with who He is and the claims He has on their lives. Often this is a misunderstanding because people fail to listen properly and realise exactly who is making which commitments.
Further Study: John 6:22-69
Application: If there is a situation in your life where you don't understand what G-d is doing or think that He hasn't done what you expected, today would be a good time to go back and ask Him what He really said and make sure that you heard correctly and have interpreted His promise aright.
© Jonathan Allen, 2005
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