In Micah 6:3, God says to the Israelites, “My people, what have I done to you,
And how have I wearied you? Answer Me” (NASB).
In The Message, Eugene Petersen rephrases it as, “Dear people, how have I done you wrong? Have I burdened you, worn you out? Answer!”
Today, God used that verse to bring me to the woodshed. I am like the Israelites in my complaint that God has done me wrong. In caring for Audrey, I’m deprived! I’m wearied. I’m worn out. I’m burdened by the burden God has placed upon me.
Then God answers them and me:
“I delivered you from a bad life in Egypt;
I paid a good price to get you out of slavery.
I sent Moses to lead you—
and Aaron and Miriam to boot!
Remember what Balak king of Moab tried to pull,
and how Balaam son of Beor turned the tables on him.
Remember all those stories about Shittim and Gilgal.
Keep all God’s salvation stories fresh and present.” (Micah 6:3-4 The Message).
In my study, I found out what each of those references meant for them and for me:
1. paid a good price: The lambs were slaughtered at Passover to save the first born males. Jesus died for me to pay for my sins, saving me from sin and eternal damnation.
2. Moses: Moses represents the Law. I am not obligated to keep the jot and tittle of the Law; instead, I have my position in Christ as a Daughter of the King–as a gift, not earned.
3. Aaron: represents the priesthood. I am a priest in my own right–able to come before the very throne of God.
4. Miriam: could represent worship, because of the songs she sang. My worship is acceptable to God and lifts me into the holy of holies.
5. Balak and Balaam: Balak wanted Balaam to curse the Israelites but God protected the Israelites by causing Balaam to pronounce a blessing instead. I am protected from Satan’s accusations and curses and have power to resist his attacks.
6. journey from Shittim to Gilgal: is the route the Israelites took as they went into the Promised Land. I also am on a journey of progress, not perfection, in my sanctification.
God points all these things out as His testimony that He hasn’t wearied, burdened or worn out the people. Those are all false accusations. Instead, He has time after time provided for and protected them. And He has done the same for me. I never would have thought I could stand having a demented woman living in my house for 2 years, accusing me of trying to kill her and indicating I don’t care for her well. I’m not doing it perfectly, but boy, is God using it to sanctify me!
Today as I had a woodshed time with God (where He waps me on the side of the heart), it was as if God said, “How have I wearied you? Don’t I have the right to do anything I want with my servant–you!!!? I do nothing apart from love, care, faithfulness, and tenderness. I won’t break a broken reed.”
I was humbled because I saw my complaints as what they really are: rebellion against the hand of God. Those are strong words, I know. But it’s true. And I concluded:
I have no rights, only preferences.
I have no demands, only requests.
I am the servant, He is the master.
I am His.
The joy and freedom and surrender I’m feeling cannot be matched. I know I’ll be tested and tried; but I hope I can remember this and reflect on all that God has faithfully done for me–like He called upon the Israelites to remember.