What Have I Done To You?
On the verge of a New Year, it can be easy to look back at the previous year and point out everything that went wrong or only think of things that didn’t go as planned. We can even become cynical in looking ahead, wondering, “Could things get any worse?” I know it feels like “it’s always something” but when we take this whiny perspective or ready-to-complain approach to life we make ourselves out to be judges over God. Our complaints attempt to raise us in a position where we look down on Him and wag a finger for how He directs our steps and cares for us. The reason we whine is because we don’t want what He wants and the reason we complain is because we think we could do things better. However, God is always sure to show that His ways are best, and His works are worthy of our thankfulness, joy, and praise.
God’s people had this attitude in the Old Testament. When it came to things they didn’t want, wished were different, or didn’t agree with they had lists upon lists against God. They often questioned what He was doing and why He was doing it. They showed very little trust or joy in the ways that He faithfully led them. In Micah 6, God finally calls for the people to plead their case before the mountains (vs. 1) which is a lesson in it-self. God tells the people to complain against a creation that has no complaints. The mountains aren’t bothered by their height. They’re not perturbed by their position. They rose when God told them to and continue to stand firm in what they were given to do. In fact, in vs. 2, the Lord points out that they simply “endure.” After the Lord tells His people to plead their case before the mountains, He then presents His side. He begins in vs. 3 with a convicting line of questioning, “My people, what have I done to you? And how have I wearied you?” He then invites them, “Answer Me.” God wants to know what His crimes and how He has been so wrong against His people. The Lord then answers for them by listing His works in verses 4-5. He delivered them from Egypt, ransomed them from slavery, given them leaders, turned wickedness away from them, and did all of these works (and more) in such a way as for them to see His righteousness. Which of these acts deserves complaint? Which of them was a burden?
As you step into the New Year, when you look back (or look ahead) and feel the urge to complain or become weary by what’s wrong hear these questions from the Lord, “What have I done to you? And how have I wearied you?” List the ways that you have witnessed God work over the past year. See His goodness and His enduring faithfulness and find reason to change your outlook into one of joy and thankfulness. Instead of complaining or pessimism commit to praise and look forward to the many ways God will act righteously in the days ahead!
Looking Forward To What He Will Do, Pastor Rudy