We Will Move...When the Cloud Moves: Part ThreeThursday, May 24, 2012
Part Three: A Reminder of How God Leads
It’s funny to me that James was writing to Jews. By far they are a race of people with the most rich, spiritual heritage in world history. The average Jew heard the Old Testament and its stories and teachings far more times than any Christian today would have ever heard the Bible preached and taught. No doubt there were “nominal” Jews who just lived their lives with no regard for God or His word. But overall, the average Jew would have a pretty good picture of where they came from. So it’s always been funny to me that the Jews James was writing to wouldn’t have remembered their heritage in the wilderness where God led them with the pillar of cloud by day and the cloud of fire at night. In short, they didn’t move and go anywhere until the cloud moved and led them to a new destination.
But then again, neither did the Jews of Jesus’ day remember that God led them in the wilderness with miraculous manna from heaven…each and every single day. In the longest recorded teaching from Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spent a great deal of time reminding the Jews that they never needed to worry about food or clothing. The Heavenly Father already knew they needed this stuff and He would always care for them and provide (6:9-34). Instead, they were to occupy their lives seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness above everything else.
So whether it was how God led them in the wilderness or how God fed them in the wilderness, the Jews needed reminding. Their rich heritage did not mean they couldn’t or didn’t forget about it. That’s obviously why God told the Israelites so often in the wilderness to “remember”. He wanted them to remember the story and to tell it over and over again, to each other, to their children, to their neighbors, to their friends, to their grandchildren, etc. Remembering God’s faithful leadership and provisions was the key to creating fresh faith in His promises to continue loving them in those ways.
And that’s why you and I need to be reminded of that rich heritage we have, since we follow the same God as the Jews did way back then. We need to spend time remembering, reflecting, reminding, and thereby renewing and even reinvigorating the power of our grasp on God’s promises to provide for us and lead us today. Peter recognized the same need for his people, who were another group of Jews, dispersed throughout the Roman Empire due to a different wave of persecution in his day.
Therefore, I will always remind you about these things – even though you already know them and are standing firm in the truth you have been taught. And it is only right that I should keep on reminding you as long as I live…[S]o I will work hard to make sure you always remember these things after I am gone. (2 Pet. 1:12-15)
Read the entire series here in one document.
About the Author: Rob is a entrepreneur in Statesboro, GA, where he envisions and pursues missional-shaped business for the kingdom. He and his wife Sherri have been married for 18 years and together have three sons and a daughter. Rob believes the mission of the gospel is summed up in four simple phrases: know God, obey Jesus, make disciples, and plant churches. This is the pursuit of his life, as well as the point of his blog.