Faith is the Substance of Things Hoped For...The Evidence of Things Not Seen...
I've climbed Mt. Sinai. I'll probably write about that experience in a later post, but I will say this: after spending a couple of days hanging out in the Sinai Desert, I think I understand why the Israelites whined the whole time they were there. There they were, freshly rescued by God from slavery in Egypt and they reacted by constant complaining. This used to puzzle me. I felt so superior. I thought, "If I were ever in that situation, I wouldn't complain like they did."
They were there 40 years...I was there two days. I didn't like the heat, dryness, dust, etc. I was thirsty and light headed the whole time. I couldn't have done 40 years. Seriously, there are still people in our tour group who think I'm an idiot because the desert heat had such a horrible effect on me ... you could have pushed me in one direction and I wouldn't have been able to make myself stop moving...my brain had temporarily shut off.
Please don't get me completely wrong...believe it or not I loved visiting the place...it was an honor and a privilege that not many people get; however, I also learned that I have limitations and that when I am uncomfortable, I am MORE than capable of doing my own share of whining.
Why did God become angry at the Israelites when they complained? I believe the answer is very simple...God wants us to have so much faith in Him, that even when nothing around seems to be living or good or comfortable, we are able to keep our eyes on Him and know that He will take care of us.
I have an unusual picture hanging in my home: its a swamp with bare branches growing out of it. On it is printed the words of Hebrews 11:1: Faith is the Substance of things Hoped for, the Evidence of things not seen." It reminds me that no matter how bleak my life seems, I'm supposed to look to God and know that He will help me.