Reviewing the people of Israel’s story, God takes them out of Egypt with His powerful Hand and leads them through the desert. However, a journey that should have taken just a few days, becomes one that lasts 40 years. It got to the point in that journey in where God tells Israel, “How long are you going to go around the same mountains and continue? How long? How long will you be in the same problems?”
This also applies to our lives. In our relationships, God tells us the same thing: “How long will you be in the same problems, in the same mountains, criticisms, situations, unhealthy behaviors, that destroy relationships, marriages, and families? How long? God is asking us to march, to reach His dream for us, to reach the ideal. And today, I want to deepen this line of thought.
The question is, if God had the dream of taking His people to the Promised Land after rescuing them from Egypt after more than 400 years, why did all the men, except for Joshua and Caleb, in the generation that left Egypt, all die in the desert? Why were Joshua and Caleb the only ones who were able to enter the Promised Land? Where was the problem? We will study this with detail, the reason of the problem, why did they not enter? Why did they die in the desert?
It is the same problem you and I have: Why do we manifest the problems we have today in our marriages and families? Why do we do the things we do not want to do?
Analyzing the reason of this problem, the first thing that comes to mind is that we act as we do because of the sinful nature we have. It is true, in Psalm 51:5, it says, “In sin my mother conceived me.” That is, since we were in our mothers’ wombs, we are sinners and act the way we act because of the sinful nature we have.
The People of Israel was free when leaving Egypt by God’s mighty Hand. Although they were freed from Egypt, in their minds, they were still slaves. They were in servitude. They did not experience the power of God, nor the transformation that occurs when we expose ourselves or allow the power of God to transform our lives. Their lives and sinful nature led them to act the way they did. And the same happens in our lives. Here we are, we have been freed by the hand of our Almighty God, we have been liberated from Egypt, which today is the world. God has brought us to His Kingdom, we have experienced baptism, we have participated in the Lord’s Supper (Communion). But, although we have done all these things and we have been released by the power of Jesus, we still continue to commit and repeat the same problems we have been having so far. And why do we do it? Due to our sinful nature.
Now, there are no excuses to mistreat others. There are no excuses to say for example: I mistreat my husband or wife, my children, or I act this way with my family because I am a sinner, since I was inside my mother’s womb. Because, no, sin cannot be justified. God freed the people of Israel from Egypt, liberated them from slavery so that they would be free and experience His presence; And He has also freed you, so you can experience it too and experience a transformation, a new life. That is, there is no excuse for mistreating or speaking angrily to your husband or your wife, to stop loving, to have the unhealthy, destructive behaviors that you might be having now. Because, if there were excuses, Jesus would not have come and die for us.
Sin has no excuses. Your bad behavior has no excuses to mistreat others, because Jesus came to die on the cross for our sins at Calvary, so that today we could reach a new life, a new mind, and so that we could be transformed. There is no excuse.
As a therapist, I often meet people who come to my office saying: Pastor, I act this way because of the past I have lived. It is true, our past can have a great influence. I act as I act because it is what I have done throughout my life. It all may be true, but there is no excuse to mistreat others. God wants to transform you. God wants to make a new creature out of you.
There is an anecdote that we all know about a scorpion talking to a frog: It was raining in the swamp and the frog wanted to cross to the other side. The scorpion also wants to cross to the other side too, he says, “Let me climb on your back so I can go with you to the other side, because here, where I am, things are not very good.” The little frog doubted, he said, “Do you think I’m stupid? If I let you climb on my back, you will sting me, and we will both drown and die. The scorpion replies, “I will not sting you, because if I do so, we will both die.” The frog agreed, he let the scorpion jump on his back. When they were in the middle of the lake, the scorpion stung the frog. The frog asked him why he had done it if he had promised that he would not. The scorpion answered, “I felt something inside me that I could not control and that is why I stung you.” They both drowned.
That anecdote shows us we have a sinful nature that, unconsciously, without even knowing it, leads us to do what we do.
Paul said, in Romans 7, “I don’t do the good thing I want to do, and the bad thing I don’t want to do, that, I do”. There are many marriages and families who have this experience and are struggling in their relationships; Husbands who do not want to mistreat or speak negatively to their wives, in a way that is destroying their children; Husbands and wives who are struggling with that nature and say that the good they want to do they don’t do, and the bad they don’t want to do, that, they do.
I have good news for you. The God who freed the people of Israel from the Pharaoh’s hands, is the same God who is in your family today, in your life, in your marriage and relationships. That God wants to give you peace, liberation and victory. You don’t have to mistreat others.
It is possible to succeed, no matter what sinful condition you have, nor the sin you have committed in the past, where you have been, God can set you free, give you the victory, you can have a new mind, you can learn to love your husband or wife, your family and children. You can be a new creature in Jesus, because you can do everything in Christ, who gives you the strength (Philippians 4:13).
Today I encourage you to trust the God who instituted marriage and family. That God wants to bless you, to free you and to make a new creature out of you. You don’t have to mistreat others. May the experience that happened in the past with the people of Israel not happen in your life. I wish that today you can learn to be victorious in Jesus.