2 The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, “I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land I swore to give to your ancestors. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you, 2 and you shall not make a covenant with the people of this land, but you shall break down their altars.’ Yet you have disobeyed me. Why have you done this? 3 And I have also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; they will become traps for you, and their gods will become snares to you.’” 4 When the angel of the Lord had spoken these things to all the Israelites, the people wept aloud, 5 and they called that place Bokim.[a] There they offered sacrifices to the Lord.
We often assume that as we grow older, wisdom would follow. Certainly there are examples of wisdom increasing with age. But there are also many instances that leave one questioning this rather flimsy logic. At the character level, are the desires of a five year old all that different from those of a 45 year old? While we avoid this kind of question due its potentially humiliating nature, it is worth asking.
A five year old always thinks that he or she is right and knows what’s best.
A five year old often criticizes her parent for not giving her what she wants.
A five year old often questions the motivations of his parent concerning discipline and order.
A five year old often desires things that can harm in often fatal ways.
As we examine the nature of the human heart in the presence of God, we might be surprised by the parallels. In many ways, the worst and most cruel thing that God could ever do is give us what we want. It pains him to see us pine after things that can offer us nothing but heartache and pain. However, God desires not that we follow him simply because he is God and we are man. God desires that we follow him because we know that with him we are safe and without him we are not.
We have the uncanny ability of dressing up a thorn so as to forget its sharp point. While we might juggle daggers and avoid getting slashed for a short period of time, eventually they will draw blood. Eventually, breaking Gods protective laws leads to suffering. God simply wants us to play with the things that will only bring us joy. He weeps at the fact that we continually choose to juggle knives and thorns.