The LORD your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.’ Yet in spite of this word you did not believe the LORD your God, who went before you in the way to seek you out a place to pitch your tents, in fire by night and in the cloud by day, to show you by what way you should go (Deuteronomy 1:30-33).
Often when reading through this early period in the history of the Hebrew people, it is easy to think, “My these people were really dense!” Here we have Moses reminding them of the numerous miracles they had witnessed:
- During the Exodus from Egypt (i.e. the plagues, the Passover)
- In the wilderness (parting of the Red Sea, manna)
- The pillar of fire by night to guide them
- The cloud by day to guide them
Surely all of these things should have been sufficient to convince these people that God was both real and absolutely in control. I read this and think to myself (in my best Bugs Bunny voice), “What a maroon!” But then, I look back at the years I spent ignoring the evidence for God in both his creation and in his Word. Years growing up reading Discover magazine about the amazing wonders of nature and being convinced by these secular sources that these all came about by random chance. Not to mention the years of knowing the obviousness of my own sin, despite the best efforts of my conscience to suppress that knowledge. Looking back, I can only think, “What a maroon!”
Yet, it only serves to remind me that faith is a gift from God. Unless he replaced my heart of stone (and my brain of cold oatmeal), I would have continued in ignorance and rebellion to the day I died. Left to my own abilities and my own desires, I would have died in my sin. But God did not leave me to my own abilities and my own desires. Praise God for saving a maroon like me.