Photo from the area of Dan of the worship complex. The metal stand in the center represents the believed location and size of the altar (significantly taller than a man). Photo by Galen Dalrymple, Golan Heights in Israel, January, 2016.
DayBreaks for 1/21/16: Holy Land Lessons: The Dangerous Desire for Ease
When the children of Israel entered the Promised Land, each tribe was assigned a certain “inheritance” in the land where they were to live. The tribe of Dan was assigned a territory along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, land held by the Phoenicians.
As it turns out, the Danites had a very difficult time with the Phoenicians. They proved to be a very touch adversary, and over time, the people of Dan grew tired of the difficulties they encountered in battling the Phoenicians and moved to a different part of the country where life would be easier.
But, there were problems with this. Dan was supposed to take the land they’d been assigned…but they failed. That wasn’t the biggest problem, though. The place that they moved may have been easier in terms of not having to fight to possess the land, but they moved right into the valley that was the heart of Baal worship. The physical struggle was less, but the spiritual battle was more difficult!
We often may complain about how difficult things are in our lives and we may seek relief from the struggles and difficulties. We actively seek out ease thinking that it is better for us and we envision how great life will be when things get easier.
There are many problems that come from a life of ease:
FIRST: when things are easy, we take things for granted and stop giving thanks or praying.
SECOND: ease causes muscles (physical and spiritual) to grow weak and flabby.
THIRD: when things are going our way, we tend to get prideful and give ourselves the credit for how we worked hard to get to that point of success and forget that it is God that gives success.
FOURTH: throughout Scripture, it was the poor who struggle who are more attuned to spiritual things because they realize that their hope lies not in a life of ease in this world, but of blessedness in the world to come.
I like ease. I’d rather sit in my La-Z-Boy than go to the gym. I’d rather not struggle. But I also realize it isn’t necessarily good for my heart – either physically or spiritually. There is growth in the struggle and it drives us to our knees in recognition of our need for God’s intervention. The people of Dan didn’t grasp that apparently. They became reviled among Israel because of their actions.
Don’t seek a life of ease. Be content with the life God has given you and the circumstances in which you find yourself. The struggle will make you stronger if you let it.
Luke 12:19-21 (KJV) – And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
TODAY’S PRAYER: Help us not to seek a life of ease, but of service and faithfulness! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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