In the book of the prophets it is written,
‘Was it to me you were bringing sacrifices and offerings
during those forty years in the wilderness, Israel?’
Acts 7:42b, NLT*
You’d think faith would have been easier for the Israelites during their wilderness wanderings. They ate the manna: daily evidence of God’s care. Their shoes and clothing didn’t wear out. They were led by God’s pillar of fire and cloud. They carried with them the Tabernacle where their Moses, talked to God directly.
Yet Acts 7:43 says they carried their pagan gods and idols with them. They were following God’s leading, but worshipping whatever they chose.
So although God brought them into the Promised Land, it was temporary. Exile was in their future, because they wouldn’t change and devote themselves completely to Him despite all the wonders they saw Him do for them.
What patience to still work with them – with us today – and what love to keep drawing those hearts among the crowd who would truly respond to Him.
These verses call us to search ourselves now, even as believers in Jesus Christ. What are we holding onto that’s dividing our loyalty and diluting our worship? I don’t know anyone who carries around a pocket idol statue and offers sacrifices to it, but what does God see in our hearts that’s crowding on His space?
God sees these things, and they offend Him. But Scripture tells us He longs to draw us nearer, not push us away. He will point out the trouble, if we’ll only ask.
God our Creator and our Saviour, You alone are worthy of our worship and devotion. Open our eyes to those things we’ve allowed to have too much importance in our lives. Forgive us, cleanse and restore us to full fellowship with You, and grow us in the life everlasting.
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.