One of my favourite Hillsong tune is ‘Seasons‘, if you have never listened to it before, I really encourage you to make time and check it out. You can tell that the author of Seasons had been open to a reality that more believers need to come into. The reality that in every season of life, God is present and is never caught unaware and until God is done working in every season of our lives, we should not be rushing out of the season.
My favourite line in the song says ‘You could have saved us in a second, instead you sent a child‘. That line will always have me in awe, for 2 reasons;
1. God actually had the ability to snap a finger and save Adam and Eve right there in the garden after they had sinned
2. Even if God decided not to save them in that instance, He could have sent Jesus as a 33 year old man, to come, die, resurrect and redeem man
But instead of either of the options, God sent a child, like you and me, birth through a woman, experienced growth like you and I and finally experienced all that He did at 33 for the redemption of man.
I see a very similar occurrence in Numbers 21:4-9. The Israelites had grumbled against God and Moses because of food and water and so God had sent venomous snakes to their camp. The bible says that when they realised what they had done, they gathered to Moses and asked Him to pray that God should “take the snakes away from us“. The bible tells us that indeed Moses their leader did as they requested, he went and he prayed to God.
In God’s infinite wisdom, here is the solution; “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live“. From this solution, we see same 2 things that could leave us in awe as the line from Seasons above;
1. God could have spoken a word to withdraw all the venomous snakes and heal those already bitten
2. God could have told Moses to just pray for them and they will all be healed and cleansed
Rather than either of the options, God involves man in his own redemption. God makes Moses make a snake and place it on a pole, but that was not enough, anyone who wanted to be healed, also had to look up to it to live.
So, God actually answered their prayer, not in the magician or Genie way that they hoped, but in a way that also had them responsible and accountable. In the 2 scenarios, we see that God provided a way out. For sin, He sent Jesus to come and live as a man and die to bridge the gap that came as a result of sin, and with the Israelites, He put the healing of every bitten person in their obedience to look up at the snake on the pole.
I have spoken briefly on the justice system of God before in an episode on my podcast which can be found here. God created a justice system and also bound Himself by it, He does not meddle with the justice system per time or situation, it is what has been used to run the world since the laying of its foundations. The justice system said that the only penalty for sin was death, and so even if God could have just spoken a word to restore man, the justice system would have been violated, so one man, had to come and be that death to pay the penalty for all our sins.
Same with the snakes, God was not going to go back on His word and justice even after they repented, rather, He made a way out by the snake on the pole.
Does this tell us something? God is not a magician that responds to our wishes, we can actually learn His ways and systems to aid us live a better life. In both stories, we also see that in Gods plan for saving man from anything, we have an active part to play. We must believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths to be saved and the Israelites had to look up to the pole to be healed.
So we cannot sit down and wish away things without engaging God to find out what our active part in the process is. Remember Naaman? His healing had already been released, but He had to go and wash himself in the river Jordan 7 times to see the manifestation.
Answers almost always come, especially when they are in God’s will, but to see their manifestation, we must identify and play our parts in the process.