When God gives us a dose of reality it includes not only a clear look at our own hearts but also at His. There we see mercy and grace for every need.
For I know how rebellious and stubborn you are. Behold, even today while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the Lord. How much more after my death! Deuteronomy 31:27
And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time. Luke 1:20
The Bible never sugar coats the reality of fallen human nature. People, even God’s people, are not viewed through rose colored glasses but rather are shown to be sinners who never seem to learn from their mistakes and have a hard time believing God’s plain and clear word.
Moses had reassured the Israelites that God would be with them as they entered the Promised Land, but he also told them that he knew their hearts. They would forsake the Lord and go after other gods. Moses knew that they already showed this tendency during his lifetime and they would not improve after his death.
Of course all that Moses predicted came true. The people abandoned their Lord to worship other gods. Nevertheless, God showed enormous mercy and grace to them in the midst of all their failures and rebellion.
We come to the incident with Zechariah, the elderly childless priest who was assigned the duty of entering the Holy of Holies in the temple. He was greeted by the angel Gabriel. It must have been a terrifying moment. The announcement that he and Elizabeth would have a son had to be beyond startling. Yet Zechariah dared to question the truthfulness of the angel’s words. He showed shameless disbelief and was struck dumb for his obtuseness. The Lord disciplined him but still blessed him in his old age with an outstanding son, John the Baptist.
Think about it
Throughout the Scriptures, God gives His people a dose of reality, but He also shows His mercy, grace, and patience toward us. He will not abandon those He has chosen for Himself. He is faithful, although we show stubbornness and unbelief far too often.
Praise God for never leaving or forsaking us redeemed sinners. How desperately we need a huge serving of grace with a dose of reality!