Dr. Marc Drake, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Sun Lakes
A well-known pastor of an earlier generation, Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse would regularly hold an open forum at his church in Philadelphia. The building would be filled with people as he stood before a microphone with his Bible in his hands to answer questions from the congregation. On one occasion, a young student spoke from the balcony and asked, “Dr. Barnhouse, how could it be that the children of Israel could walk through the desert 40 years and never wear out their shoes and never wear out their garments?”
Dr. Barnhouse responded with one word, “God.” The student in the balcony immediately smiled and said, “Oh, now I understand.” With great wisdom, Dr. Barnhouse responded, “No, you don’t, son. Nobody understands.”
He’s right. We can never fully understand Almighty God. Because He works in ways beyond our comprehension, we could never even begin to fathom His greatness and power. You simply cannot put Him in a box and say, “I now have Him figured out.” No, of course not. God is all-powerful; when He speaks, everyone remains quiet. When He acts, everyone gets out of the way! On the other hand, we can rejoice that God is who He is and that, whatever our needs, He is enough. That is clearly seen with God’s people in the Old Testament as they traveled those many years in the wilderness. They may have grown tired of manna-nut bread, but they did not go hungry! God met every need. As Moses reminded them, “Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these 40 years.” (Deuteronomy 8:4).
Therefore, here are some statements that were never heard in the wilderness: “I need to soak my feet in Epsom salts.” “Hey, where did you get those new sandals?” “Oh no, my robe has another tear in it.” No, these statements were not heard because of God’s miraculous care for His people! No blisters or bunions. And clothing that did not wear out.
The good news for us is that God has promised more – much more. He has promised a Savior – one who delivers us from sin and brings us into His Kingdom! The Bible says in Romans 5:8, “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” You see, the hope of the world is not religion, politics, philosophy or wealth. The hope of the world is Christ. He said, “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). Is it any wonder that the apostle Paul, a former religionist and persecutor of Christians, spoke of “the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord”? (Philippians 3:8). To know Christ is to have sins forgiven and life eternal!