In Deut. 8, as Moses is speaking about the wilderness journey, He speaks about testing their hearts. Yet we want to remember the context of this testing.
It was the people of God who chose not to go into the Promised Land when given the opportunity. They were the ones who initially rebelled against God.
Their hearts weren’t in the right place.
So God took them on a journey – a 40-year journey. Verse 2 shares that this was to humble them and test their hearts. If they weren’t going to trust Him, and they weren’t going to follow Him, then He would humble them. He wanted His people to rely on Him.
He also used this time to test their hearts. What is in our heart often comes out in times of trial, and often it is the ugliness that is in the heart that comes out during those times.
Sometimes, in order to purify us, He needs to reveal the ugliness that is in us.
I think of where our country is now, and that is some of what has happened over the last 4 years. Racism has always been there, but there are many who didn’t realize just how bad things are until things started to explode. But if we don’t see it, how can we address it?
Although I will question some of the motives that are out there today, I recognize that there is a serious, deep-rooted problem that we are facing. The question is, how do we deal with it? How do we stand against those things that we know to be inherently wrong, when we know that there are some who will take things to a place we can’t scripturally go? This can be particularly difficult when people try to tell us that our stance has to be all or nothing…
As Christians, we want to deal with everyone in love. We need to stand for justice. We need to stand for righteousness.
The challenge comes when these stances are held by opposing groups or political parties.
When the woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus in John chapter 8, He sought justice for her, but also called on her to go and sin no more. This is just one example of Jesus standing in the middle.
For us, we need to be careful not to align ourselves with things that are either unjust and unrighteous. We need to stand in the gap proclaiming Christ. We need to be about His kingdom first. We are His ambassadors, calling people to reconciliation, with one another and with God.