Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Test of Blessings

I ran across a scripture in Exodus that really made me think.
Then said the LORD unto Moses,
Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you;
and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day,
that I may prove them,
whether they will walk in my law, or no.
(Exodus 16:4)
At the same time that the Lord provided Israel with a blessing (food), He also gave some rules concerning it, and the whole reason this was done was so that He could test Israel to see if they would obey or not.

I was struck by this, that the Lord was going to test the Israelites with the blessings that He gave them. It had never occurred to me that the Lord could test with blessings as well as with tribulations.

I could immediately apply this to myself, because I had just gotten a new computer, a Macbook, which was turning out to be an amazing blessing. It made it a lot faster and easier to do homework. But it also made it a lot faster and easier to waste time too, like with too much Facebooking, and too much reading the news and too much watching videos on Youtube.

I have to make sure use all these blessings the way the Lord would want me to, in moderation.

Facebook is a blessing, because I have found some of my siblings and a lot of my cousins are on it, so I can use it to keep in closer contact with my family. It is a curse if I get involved in the frivolous applications, or if I check it too often.

Reading the news on the internet is a blessing, because I can do it as quickly as I like, but it is a curse if I just do it to avoid doing other things I know need to be done more and if I read it endlessly.

Youtube is a blessing, because it allows me to find videos that can educate me and show me good and virtuous things that would not ordinarily find enough of an audience on TV. When I was sick of my chemistry homework and needed motivation, I looked up videos on chemical explosions and after about an hour of that, I was stoked to study chemistry again. When I wanted to learn about folk dance, I found a list of dances on wikipedia and then looked for them on Youtube and was enthralled. When I wanted something to show my cub scouts that could explain how helicopters work, I found it on Youtube. But Youtube can also be a curse, if watching it is all I want to do all the time.

Now I see that when the Lord commanded the children of Israel to only gather a certain rate every day, He was trying to show how rationing promotes moderation, which can help us find balance.

What blessing do you need to ration in your life?