Profound and Confounding

John D. Barry

God’s provision in our lives is often hard to see. There are times when we follow His commandments and we’re able to visibly see His work. Such times are profound to the believer but can be confounding to the unbeliever.

The ancients practiced remembering these events. They built memorials (usually a stack of stones) in places where God had shown Himself to them, such as when He offered them a covenant or gave them a revelation of some kind. They also had recurring holidays for remembering God’s providence in their lives. These types of traditions are nearly lost on us. Easter and Christmas are intended for this purpose, but they have become about something entirely different instead: bunnies and eggs, or a man with a red suit. Syncretism quietly sneaks into our lives, even though we would love to believe we would never let it happen.

In Numbers 9:1–14, we see God’s command that His people celebrate the day He saved all the firstborn of Israel while issuing a punishment on Egypt. The Passover event was profound to the Israelites, but it was confounding to those who suffered the punishment: the Egyptians. Yahweh wanted them to remember what it was like to believe and to remember that He will rise up against those who oppress His people. All the commandments about the Passover occur just prior to Yahweh visiting them again (Num 9:15–23). Yahweh intends to dwell among them.

We as believers are called to know the wisdom of Yahweh: He sent Christ to be crucified for us and we can have new lives in the Spirit as a result (1 Cor 2:6–16). This event must be remembered among Christians, continually and daily, and we must live a life that honors God’s work through Christ. Rather than synchronizing our lives to the calendars and objectives of those around us, we must show the profundity of Christ’s message. We must let it be known that His work is confounding—until you believe.

How is Christ profoundly affecting your life, and how should you react as a result?

This article was originally published in Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan.