Posted by: mikenicholsblog | March 17, 2013

just as He does for us

I really don’t get it!  Do you ever wonder why some people seem to just flow through life with everything seeming to work out well, while others can’t seem to catch a break? Obviously, everyone has struggles, but I think you know what I mean. Some of our struggles are caused by our own sin and bad choices, but sometimes it seems that the burdens of life often land heavy on certain people (and not only because of sin or bad choices).  I really just don’t get it. For the past week, I have been wrestling in my mind with God’s response to a significant event that happened in the lives of one Old Testament and one New Testament hero from Scripture. Both sinned and were guilty of a monumental failure.

In “Mike theology,” which is human to the core and not always looking at the life from God’s perspective, I find it a bit puzzling to consider the contrast of what happened with Moses and Peter in the aftermath of their monumental failures. I really don’t get it.  Moses was severely punished in being denied the opportunity to enter the Promised Land, while Peter is restored, preached at Pentecost and became an elder and leader in the early church.  Again, didn’t both men sin and fail miserably?  Still not getting it.

When I think of what Moses went through with the rebellious children of Israel, I want to defend him. It’s easy to look at the scene that led to Moses’ lack of self-control and wonder out loud, “was his reaction that significant?”  You may have dealt with a group of people who at best were frustrating, and at worst were infuriating. You may have even found yourself at wit’s end, and you finally just blew up. So I feel some empathy for Moses when he lost his temper with the complaining Israelites. That being said, in the midst of the conflict, Moses chose to clearly disobey God. God said speak to the rock, and he struck it twice instead. My hero lost his temper, disobeyed God and never entered the Promised Land as a consequence for his sin.  The story would not be complete without noting that, through God’s grace, Moses was allowed view the land before he died.

What would it have been like to walk with Jesus? Peter knew, and saw firsthand the greatness of the very Son of God. And then he denied Him…not once but three times!  As much as I want to empathize with Moses, I want to say to Peter, “Why didn’t you stand with courage?!”  However, I must confess that too often in my life, I have failed my Lord in critical moments.  So I am a bit understanding of his failure, and thankful for the grace of God that restored him.  Peter was then used incredibly by God.

Was God fair in the way He chose to deal with these two men? Is He fair in the way He chooses to deal with us today? Absolutely!  Although “Mike’s theology” wants to pull for Moses and yell at Peter, God knew exactly what He was doing. He dealt with them personally, just as He does with each of us. He was true to His righteous character with them (not ignoring sin, but showing grace) just as He does with us. He cared deeply for both Moses and Peter, just as He does for us. He knew the best plan of action after their failures, just as He does for us. You see, He is God, and He knew what He was doing with Moses and Peter, and He knows what He is doing with you and me. I get it!



  1. Thanks, Mike, for including us on the blog list. This was an excellent one.

    Bob and Marie

    • Bob,
      thanks for reading and being such a fine picture of what a believer should be…

  2. Mike,
    It just seems to me that at the time God was establishing all the rules and
    regulations and Moses did not follow Gods instructions , God wanted the
    people to know how serious he was about following all his instuctions so
    he could not let Moses get away with disobeying God.

    John Henry

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