In the different stories I’ve encountered of Israelites in the Bible, generally speaking, prior to every success or victory is a failure. Now I ask myself, “Why the need for that? Isn’t God all-powerful and can deliver them from all the hindrances that go along the way?”
Or again, is it God’s capacity that should be in the question here? But of course, nothing is impossible for Him. The Israelites believe that God could deliver them, too; but then, is their attitude toward God’s move correct?
I remembered my sister’s book, The Cat & Dog Theology, and the old joke regarding how differently dogs and cats treat their masters. It goes like this:
“A dog says, ‘You pet me, you feed me, you shelter me, you love me, you must be God.’ A cat says, ‘You pet me, you feed me, you shelter me, you love me, I must be God.'”
Then I thought, Israel, at times, had this cat-like relationship with God. They “order” God to do something for them and then, turn their backs as if nothing happened, as what cats most likely do (Oh, I’m not dissing the furry pets, sorry.)
Then it came to me, God allowed Israel to go through tough times for them to realize that He’s in charge – apart from Him, Israel will just go round in circles, repeating the same old mistakes of the past. He just wants them to learn from their mistakes, not to repeat them; to make them realize that humility is a virtue which should not be trashed; to make them trust God for their victories. True enough, in every intervention God has done, they’ve come out successful! That is, when they listen to His instructions, take those by heart, and live by it. Quoting Micah 5: 9, “ The people of Israel will stand up to their foes, and all their enemies will be wiped out.”
On a more personal note, God knows me very well. He knows when to somehow tug me when I need to re-focus. Little embarrassing but I am grateful that He does. ^^