It is good for us to be involved in the work of God. It teaches us to be Christ-like. It’s important to remember as well that we learn, whether we sin and rebel or whether we get actively involved. Either way we learn and sometimes we have to learn before we can achieve what God actually intends for us to achieve.
God knows the beginning from the end, but He gives us free choice to make our own decisions. So He has the perfect plan for each and every person on earth. We have the ability to make choices every second of every day though. God has a plan A, B, C, D, E, F through to infinity to cover every choice we make. After all, He knows which one we will ultimately choose. If He forced us to pick the right one though than we would not have that free choice. As such the perfect plan is the plan that reaches every person that can be saved, and that may mean we have to wander in the desert for 40 years for getting distracted by false idols. It may mean we have a constant thorn in our side from not getting rid of the temptations like the Israelites after they finally entered Canaan and failed to remove the foreign nations as instructed, or we just might just be in too much of a hurry to see His will done thinking our will is His, like Saul.
Sometimes we just need to make the mistakes to learn the lessons in order to achieve the promise. Think about it. God promised redemption from the moment Adam sinned. Through the Spirit of Prophecy we know that the plan was in place before the earth was even created. He knew what was going to happen. He knew Jesus would bear the sins of the world on our behalf. But work back from that:
- Jesus had to come from the line of David, the royal line. The line of a man after God’s own heart, a man who was arguably also one of the worst sinners to ever live, a self-confessed adulterer and murderer that could not keep his own children in line.
- In order for David’s line to be royalty, he had to replace Saul. Saul was the first option. Saul failed to carry out his duties. Would his line have been suitable to bear Jesus? We don’t know.
- Saul was only made king in the first place because of the rebellion of the Israelites who wanted to be like their neighbours and have a king. That only happened because they didn’t completely destroy the canaanites.
- Even Jerusalem, the holy city that was to ultimately house the temple of God was a Jebusite city until the time of David, despite Canaan being conquered and Jerusalem, or Salem as it was originally called being right at the heart of Canaan. A city that was once ruled by Melchizedek, a priest of God in an order that is only recorded in the Bible as being matched by Jesus. He wasn’t even an Israelite. This was a city that had since left God and gone off after the things of the world. Was it necessary to conquer Jerusalem in order to build the temple? Probably not. The site clearly held some importance to the plan and has connections dating back to before the Israelite nation existed. The Israelites failed to conquer it because they were sick of fighting and moving around and were happy with what they had already conquered even though God had something BETTER intended for them.
- Go back further, and this is a characteristic that the Israelites learned from their fathers. The desert detour, they didn’t even want to leave Egypt.
- Jacob was not happy with the wife he was married to and married another against God’s will despite being blessed by God through the first.
- This caused infighting between brothers and tribes.
- Go back further, Isaac failed to discipline his children.
- Rebecca showed favouritism to one son and taught him a sense of entitlement, the same thing he ultimately taught to the Israelites. They were God’s chosen people, a promise made to Abraham, they were entitled. They made mistakes as a result, just like every one before and after them.
Every one of these people learned though. They all had different outcomes. David united the kingdom and lead it to it’s glory days under Solomon, but he lost a son and ultimately his kingdom was divided, yet he was chosen to be the patriarch of the line of Jesus.
Hezekiah was granted long life, but ultimately cost Judah it’s independence. But without that loss, would the Israelites have ever really come back to God through the likes of Esther, Ezra and Nehemiah.
There are powerful lessons we learn that enable us to do powerful things for God despite our unbelievably weak humanity. Yet those lessons may mean delays. Or they may mean we can reach the people we otherwise couldn’t. Sometimes we can’t relate to people in certain situations without the lessons that we’ve learned as a result of the mistakes we’ve made. If it wasn’t because of that mistake or failure it might be someone elses role to reach them. Or we might already be taking up the role because someone else failed to step up. We might be the plan B. So we had to make the mistake first in order to be able to be plan B. If we didn’t, perhaps someone else would be fulfilling the role as plan C.