Examining the Disobedience of the Israelites to God
Last night I was going through the period of time between the Israelites’ redemption out of Egypt by YHVH’s strong hand, and their eventual entry into the land promised to the patriarchs as an everlasting inheritance (if the people obeyed God and stayed away from foreign gods).
Beginning at the edge of the Red Sea, AFTER witnessing the ten plagues on the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh, AFTER being led out of bitter bondage with their little ones, and their flocks, and every Hebrew, they began their common lament over having been taken out of Egypt by “this Moses fellow,” to die in the desert. Then they crossed over the floor of the Red Sea on dry land (wagons get mired in deep mud) with the water as a “wall” on their left and right.
After that, I counted NINE more major grumblings against Moses for bringing them out of slavery, where they had water, meat, assortments of fruit, security (cough), and certainty about what the days would be like.
Even after all of the mighty works of the Most High God, who had made them to be a special people to himself. This was just between Egypt and the Promised Land! Moses had to beg YHVH on numerous occasions not to destroy all of them and begin again, for his honor, his promise, and his Name’s sake.
They continued in regular disobedience after entering their inheritance by following after other gods to the outrageous extreme of burning their own children alive on the flaming idol of molech. They persecuted the NUMEROUS prophets sent to warn them by Yehovah, even killing some of them. Ever wonder why half of the first-Covenant writings are named after prophets, major and minor? Because of disobedience.
The Northern Kingdom of ten tribes (called Israel) was taken captive by Assyrians in the 8th century before Christ appeared, and dispersed throughout the Assyrian lands, never to be seen again. In the 6th century before Jesus the Christ was brought into the world, the majority of the Southern Kingdom (Judea) was carried off to Babylon, where they were captive for 70 years, and Solomon’s Temple was destroyed. Because of disobedience.
Babylonian Infiltration and Continued Oppression
They returned in piecemeal fashion, and were given permission to rebuild the Walls of Jerusalem and the Temple, but the experts in the Law brought the times and traditions of Babylon back with them. Even today, the Jews use the Babylonian month names and changed the start of their year from the month Yehovah commanded, as a testimony for all time, being the month they were freed from Egypt and of the first Passover. They straight up abandoned their heritage for a “superior” Babylonian system.
They were a conquered people after this, first by Greeks, then by the Romans, and during the Roman period Yeshua was born. 40 years after God’s sinless son was crucified, Jerusalem and the Second Temple, indeed the very nation of Israel (Judea, tribe of King David), was wiped from the face of the earth.
God’s Faithfulness in the Face of Constant Disobedience
My whole point here is this: The everlasting patience and loving kindness God showed to a stiff-necked people, obstinate, disobedient on countless occasions to the Creator of Heaven and Earth, who made them–created them out of the barren womb of a very old woman, Sarah–to be a unique and holy people, miraculous in its inception, miraculous in its incubation period in Egypt by Joseph’s ascendancy to the lofty position of being second only to Pharaoh throughout the land, miraculous in their delivery from subsequent enslavement in Egypt, over a million strong to take possession (miraculously) of the land God promised to Abraham and his descendants, and rescued time and again within their lands from vastly-superior armies by YHVH’s outstretched arm, IRRESPECTIVE of their constant disobedience and whoring with other gods.
SO, here’s the paydirt. The Hebrew scriptures, “Tanakh,” what we call the Old Testament, stands as the official record of Israel, revered as the ultimate Word of Yehovah to these self-same descendants of an unbelieving, disobedient, prophet-of-God murdering people.
And THIS is the reason I believe the first-Covenant writings to be a true and reliable record of the mighty works of the Most High Living God among man, because who would revere a book that makes them look SO BAD throughout history, upon even the most cursory inspection??
Answer: Nobody. Only if it were true, would they hold it before the nations as their banner under Yehovah. A set-aside, special people might be tempted to make a story which promotes themselves as “the Good Guy.” But they are most definitely not the hero of their own sacred scriptures: Only long-suffering, loving YHVH, fulfilling his promise to his Chosen, regardless of their innumerable, scripturally-embedded sin, after sin, after sin, is the undisputed “hero” of their own book.
This is why I believe it to be true.
As a bonus, we can be sure that, in the same way the the Father of Israel led a disobedient people to fruition of his purpose, likewise will he lead the believers on Yeshua through their numerous disobediences, though not without chastisement, if we but return to Him and plead for mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ our Lord: the only mediator between us and God, who sits at his right hand as our Advocate.