Thursday, March 9, 2017

March 9

Numbers 11:24-13:33; Mark 14:22-52; Psalm 52:1-9; Proverbs 11:1-3

When I first read today’s Scripture reading, I thought I was going to post about the never-ending grumbling that God’s people are always doing. We see it in the complaining about the manna and the desire for meat (which God grants with the quail, but then turns it sour in their mouths), the talking against Moses by Aaron and Miriam, and the statement from the spies that “we can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are” (Num. 13:31). Grumble, grumble, grumble.

And then we turn to the New Testament and we see God’s people leaving Jesus in his greatest hour of need. Three times he pleads with them to pray with him for the “spirit is willing, but the body is weak” (Mk. 14:38). What happens next? “Then everyone deserted him and fled” (vs. 50).

What I actually see in today’s reading, besides the grumbling and deserting, is the great heart of our God for us. Time and time again, his people say or imply with their actions that His ways are not right for them. He is offering them goodness, and they only see what is lacking. But that does not deter Him. He still continues to offer goodness and blessing.

We, too, doubt God’s heart towards us. We doubt his goodness. We cannot see the God who, time and time again, approaches us with good things: food, good spiritual leaders, a safe and plentiful land, a chance to walk with Jesus. Instead we, too, abandon God and search for our own ways to make life “good.” Surely following Jesus doesn’t have to look like that, we say to ourselves. 

How come it’s so easy for us to see this absurdity in Scripture, but so hard in our own lives?

In my life, I’m rarely asked to enter lands filled with giants, or stay with Jesus when an army comes to arrest him. My grumbling and doubt take a much subtler form. So often my grumbling is a matter of my mindset. Do I see a God who is constantly offering me good in my life? Or do I see a God who never quite gives me what I want? If I just had a little more money, more recognition, more tenderness and love from others, more certainty about the future…

Lord God, forgive me for my complaining and my mindset of scarcity. In truth, “I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God….I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good” (Ps. 52: 8-9, emphasis mine).  May I spend today speaking words of praise and thanksgiving, seeing the abundance of your never-ending, undeterred love for me.

- Mary Matthias

How did God speak to you in Scripture today? Click here to share your reflections on God's word or read past posts. We'd love to hear from you. 


  1. Good thoughts and good perspective. Thanks, Mary!

  2. Thanks, Mary. I'm realizing that constant vigilance is necessary for me to stay out of this "mindset of scarcity." I'm too easily tempted to doubt God's abundance and goodness. Your words are a much-needed reminder!