Posted by: mikenicholsblog | March 10, 2016

I don’t get it, but I do

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 land heavy on certain people (and not because of sin or bad choices).  I really just don’t get it.  “Mike theology” causes me to question why certain things happen to certain people. I could even apply my theology to God’s response to a significant event in the lives of one Old Testament and one New Testament hero. 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?” It was to God!  You may have dealt with a group of people who, at best, were frustrating and, at worst, infuriating. You may have even found yourself at wit’s end and you finally just blew up. I have 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 Peter’s failure as well, 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 guess I do get it!

Today, will you trust God’s perspective on those tough issues that cause you to ask “why”?



  1. I get it, I guess, but I get so confused sometimes. Faith is so much easier after the fact.

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