“I will bring you to the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.” Moses told this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their broken spirit and hard labor (Exodus 6:8-9).
Seeing God fulfill His promises is an unspeakable joy that often—even usually—happens to people who have first struggled with harsh and painful realities yet trusted Godly vision to eventually become God-ordained sight.
But, as Joyce Meyers often says, pain and difficulty can make you better…or bitter. Bitterness is a blindness that has no cure outside of repentance and forgiveness. Bitterness is a root (Hebrews 12:15) that strangles the life out of its victims causing them to never hear or see or partake in the promises of God.
The generation of Israel that Moses was tasked with delivering were people given over to bitterness and blindness. Not only could they not see the promise of God as Moses explained it to them, but they also did not see the promise fulfilled in their generation at all. They died in the wilderness, too blind to see the promise, too bitter to walk into the possession…
What was the root of their bitterness and rebellion? A “broken spirit” and “hard labor.” They had lived an oppressed life as slaves—but one with routines and requirements they could fulfill. They mistook a pattern of living for living the Promise. We often do the same thing. When life comes down hard on us, despair and discouragement can become so giant in our life that we fail to see what Father is clearly showing us and fail to hear the very Word He is speaking into our ear.
Our patterns of living are disrupted, and suddenly we are broken and overwhelmed, not knowing or seeing that Father is rescuing us and sending us forth into His very promise!
Life and labor become overwhelming, and we lose hope, focus, and sight of the only things that really matter. The problem is, if we allow brokenness and hardness to define us, we will NEVER see the promises of God fulfilled in our lives…!
I have known people who spent forty or more years of their lives bitter and blind and deaf and hard. Despite the Father’s attempts to display His glory before them and to soften their hearts, they remain stiff-necked and hard-headed… and lost.
First Corinthians 10 reminds us that all these things happened to Israel as a sign for us. God wants us to see and live into His promise! Reject a broken spirit—it is the opposite of being poor in spirit. Reject the bitterness of hard labor—it is the opposite of the good works you and I were saved to accomplish by the Holy Spirit.
Unlike Israel of old, may we hear and see and take hold of EVERYTHING the Lord longs for us to be!