13 “You came down on Mount Sinai; you spoke to them from heaven. You gave them regulations and laws that are just and right, and decrees and commands that are good. 14 You made known to them your holy Sabbath and gave them commands, decrees and laws through your servant Moses. 15 In their hunger you gave them bread from heaven and in their thirst you brought them water from the rock; you told them to go in and take possession of the land you had sworn with uplifted hand to give them. Neh. 9:13-15 NIV
As I read the “Heaven” verses today I am reminded that we are just 63 short days away from Christmas! The retailers are about to go mad as men and women, boys and girls begin searching for those perfect gifts for those special someones. Some will find the perfect gifts others will not. They will settle on items sure to be regifted at 2014’s white elephant swap.
While our gifts might not be perfect, God’s gifts never fall short of the mark. He always gives us exactly what we need even if sometimes it is not exactly what we want.
God gave his children laws and decrees that would set them up with the perfect society, a society that would have the moral integrity to rightly rule the nations. Israel proved not only that they couldn’t live up to the law but that most of the time they didn’t even want to try.
God gave them manna and water from the rock and yet while the manna gave them strength and the water slaked their thirst the Israelites could never stop complaining about the fact that it was not meat and milk.
I postulate that the gifts were what the Israelites needed and they were given for a purpose. The laws and commands were given to build morality into a culture that had been bathed in the worldliness of Egypt and therefore the weakness of Egypt. They were given so that Israel would have the fortitude to go in and take possession of their rightful homeland. Even the severely monochromatic diet God gave the Israelites was given to drive them into the Promised Land; It was given so that they would not choose 40 years in the desert over conquest of a land flowing with milk and honey. Instead of recognizing these gifts as provisions and incentives though the Israelites chose to look at them as God leaving them with the short stick.
Today God HAS given you WHAT YOU NEED. Most likely it is not all that you want. How does this perceived lack actually drive you toward God’s ultimate plan for your life? How does the gift you never wanted strengthen you for the battle that cannot be avoided?
The Heaven Posts are a word study through the Bible using every mention of the word “Heaven”. If you would like to read other Heaven posts go to https://josephelonlillie.com/pastor-wrinkles/the-heaven-posts/