“Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?”
Better Than We Deserve
It’s hard for us to see someone else have something that we want for ourselves, and we don’t always handle it very well. Maybe we try to convince ourselves and the people around us of how unworthy that person is to have what they’ve been given—like Aaron and Miriam undermining Moses’ position as leader because of his Cushite wife.
Have you ever heard things like, “She doesn’t deserve him.” “They don’t deserve that house.” “He doesn’t deserve that job.” Have you ever said them yourself? Of course, when we speak in those terms, what we’re trying to say is that “I do. I do deserve a spouse like that. A house like that. A job like that. God, just give me what I deserve!”
When we’re spending so much time dissecting and criticizing what others have received, we’re not giving our attention to what we’ve been given—to our vocations, responsibilities, callings. Young people, when we argue with our parents and dismiss their advice and complain about their rules, are we perhaps forgetting who made them the parent and who made us the children? Fellow employees, when we’re snarky and impudent about our bosses, are we perhaps forgetting how they got to be our bosses? When we stick it to our government leaders or our teachers or our pastors, are we forgetting that God has given them a job to do, and he’s given us a job to do as well?
The fact is none of us really deserves any of those callings in life. Our sinful self-centeredness means that all we really deserve is an angry God and a hellish future. Faced with that prospect, our prayer quickly changes to “God, please DON’T give me what I deserve.”
And in mercy, he doesn’t. Our gracious God gave to Jesus the punishment we deserve, and he gave us the love that Jesus deserves.
And he doesn’t stop there! In addition, he gives us all kinds of other things that we haven’t earned or deserved. Like the privilege of being called mommy or daddy, the opportunity to work so that our needs can be provided for, the honor of being a friend, citizen, church member, and volunteer.
Gracious Father, in love you do not give me what I deserve. Thank you. Continue to look in mercy upon me, give me contentment and joy in my calling as I seek to serve you and my neighbor. Amen.