As promised, it's time for some reading updates. And I'll start with my methodical and chronological trudge through the Old Testament. It's going to take me about 2 to 3 years to get through the whole Bible but I'm plodding onwards, and have taken the opportunity of spare time recently to catch up a bit. I've now reached 'Judges' which is apparently about a quarter of a way through the whole thing!!
The background is that the Israelites are now living in their luxurious promised land, having witnessed God do some pretty specatacular stuff to get them there. But now as generations keep passing, the nation grows complacent, goes off the rails and forgets about God. So God keeps building up 'judges' to get them back on track, which usually results in a time of peace, before time passes and God's forgotten about again. And this pattern continues cyclically.
There's a line which strikes me when a guy called Gideon says, 'Where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about?' (Judges 6:13) And I know I often find myself feeling like that - often thinking 'yeah, so God did that amazing thing a year ago but what about now?'
I think it's a very British mentality - we seem to only remember what happened yesterday. In footy a striker is only ever as good as his last few games. He can be a hero one minute as he bangs in the hat-tricks but if he stops scoring for a few games he's accused of being rubbish and passed it. He's still a good player, and may still be playing good football for the team, but if he's not making the headlines then the fans start to grumble.
I don't spose I need to draw out the analogy I'm getting at. I probably only need to add, that like with the Israelites it doesn't make God happy to be ignored and accused of losing his touch, but he understands and loves to let us start again ... every day. Which is a good thing for us football loving 'only as good as your last game' Brits.