I love human pride. Not really, but there’s something poetic about it. “Abraham was only one man, yet he got possession of the lad; but we are many; the land is surely given us to possess.’ Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord God: You eat flesh with the blood and lift up your eyes to idols and shed blood; shall you then possess the land?”
God always made it very clear how it was that Israel got the land. God always made it very clear that it was not through their own power. From denying them the land when they violated the covenant to granting them victory through frankly absurd means. Abraham did not take possession of the land, he was given possession by God.
And, really, he was actually denied possession, wasn’t he? His people were given possession, but because of his own disobedience, he only got to look across the border.
Now the people think they can keep the land simply because they are many? Because they have strength? Are they challenging God? You know, along the lines of “I’d like to see you take it”? Because that is a very bad idea.
Granted, they are already facing destruction. It isn’t like they were skating by and this hubris tips them over the ledge. The land was already lost. But still.
This is the sort of thing that seems so glaringly obvious from the outside, as a someone looking back and history and able to see a much broader picture including how it all plays out. This is the sort of thing I’ve always wondered: Do they hear it? Is it bravado? Or did they just not believe the accounts of miracles and judgments from the past?
I think it’s probably that one. I think it’s probably the result of “Yeah, sure, that’s how it happened.” How else do you get to this point?
Anytime you see a person or a group or a people in an extreme situation, it’s important to remember that they didn’t get there overnight. There wasn’t a moment where they just decided to go from decent people to monsters. That doesn’t excuse their behavior in any way. Quite the contrary, it means they had time and opportunity to correct their paths.
So remember that. Be careful in your walk, in your life. Listen to the Spirit, and let her guide you. When you feel those pricks of your conscience, pause and reflect. Prize discipline more than entertainment. There is a place for ease and comfort and fun, but at the expense of your integrity.