It’s hard to trust the One who continually leads you along dangerous and unexpected paths through the wilderness on the journey to the Promised Land. It’s hard to submit to such discipline even if it is the way God intends to make you strong and ready.
People grow weary. They look longingly at the gods others follow; people for whom life seems easier and more exciting. Consider Asherah, a goddess whose image was a serpent on a tree pole. The serpent’s shedding of its skin was surely a sign of the renewal of life. She sounds exciting. Why couldn’t God be more like her?
So people wander from God’s path, complaining about how hard it seems, seeking something easier that promises quick and easy gratification. But idols are false gods no matter how attractive they may seem. Once bitten, people suffer pain, sorrow, disillusionment and death.
God holds this false god before them, up on a pole, brightly bronzed. As they gaze at it, they see it for all its false promise. They see who they have become. They see their sinfulness and repent. And God compassionately forgives and brings life.
Life-giving God, when I grumble, help me to turn again to you and see your way. Amen. — KW