While mistakes are inevitable, they are not predictable.
16 years of age, marked my first accident. I had just dropped off a friend following an all day high school track meet, when I pulled out to cross an intersection. I got a few feet out when my front bumper collided a BMW 4-door sedan. The noise and the impact sent my senses into overload. What had just happened? My mind went numb. How could this happen? I tried to create scenarios in my mind that left me innocent and not at fault. They must have been speeding... Why did that guy motion for me to go... There had to be another explanation that would exhonorate me.
As creative as my mind could get, I couldn't escape the fact that I had caused the accident. Inadvertently of course, but it was my fault. I was guilty
No matter what type of spin we want to attribute to Israel's wandering through the desert for 40 years, the reason they found themselves in this position was they had made the mistake and rebelled against the Lord, when He told them to take possession of the Promised Land. Was it lack of Faith... Yes. Was it fear of what they saw... Yes. Was it their poor upbringing in Egyptian slavery or poor leadership from 10 of the tribal leaders (A bad apple mentality)... YES, YES, YES!!!. We can put a lot of reasons, labels and descriptions on their behavior, but God called it as it was... rebellion.
I find myself doing that as well sometimes. In an attempt to mask my sin and rebellion, I try to label it... hoping that a new name might cover up the true identity. BUT, when its all said and done, sin is sin. We have to own our choices, behaviors and mistakes. We can't cover them up from God, He see all. However, he does provide a new pathway, called GRACE.
Grace can be described in the way my father handled that accident back in 1989. The cop that came to the scene contacted my father who came to the accident (dropped off by mom). I was a nervous wreck and was concerned about his response. As he approached me, he must have seen my dis-shevled face. His first question was, "Are you okay?" He didn't focus on the damage to our car, or the totaled BMW (yes it was totaled). He wanted to know how I was. After making sure I wasn't hurt, he asked me to tell him what happen.
I really don't remember much after that. The details have become a fog through the years. However, I do remember how that night ended. When everything had taken its course, it was time to go home. My father turned to me, "Ready to drive home?" What kind of punishment was that? "No way!" I responded. Dad replied calmly, "The longer you wait, the harder it will get. You can do it. I'll be in the car with you
." It was that statement, "I'll be in the car with you," that caught my attention. Grace not only tells you it will be okay
, it also gets in the car
with you. My dad didn't take control, or make me feel like an incompetent drive... HE SAT IN THE CAR WITH ME all the way home.
This is grace, and God responded to Israel. Although they had to deal with the consequences of their rebellion, God never left them in the desert. He went with them. In essence, God got in the car with them! Israel found grace in the desert.