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Friday, October 29, 2010

Punishment or Blessing?

If anyone knew what it was like to be the teacher in a kindergarten classroom, it was Moses. While the people of Israel weren't five years old, they sure did act like it. We're tired. We're hungry. We're thirsty. Our feet hurt. Poor Moses! As a kindergarten teacher myself, I found some days to be quite trying, and the most students I ever had was 23. Moses had thousands of people constantly whining and complaining about something. Is it any wonder when he was supposed to speak to the rock, he smote it with his staff instead? Frustration takes its toll.

I've often wondered about Moses' punishment for his disobedience. Yes, he messed up, but after all that he had done right, he was denied entrance into the place he had spent 40 years getting to. It's always seemed a bit harsh to me. That is, until Jason allowed me to see it in a different light. He presented the case that perhaps the punishment wasn't anywhere as great as I had always imagined.

The Bible says that just before reaching the Promised Land, Moses went up the mountain and died in the presence of the Lord and was buried by Him. What an amazing way to leave this life! So, while Moses didn't get to enter into Canaan, He did get to enter into Glory, and He was escorted there by the Lord Himself. Sure, Canaan was great, but could it compare to Paradise? And the company was certainly better. No more murmuring. No more journeying. No more people to appease. That doesn't sound like much of a punishment, does it?

God will judge sin, and He will chastise us as He sees fit. But I often wonder if the things we see as punishment are merely blessings in disguise? It's certainly worth looking into.

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