Deuteronomy 29: 5 says, “And I have led you forty years in the wilderness; your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandal has not worn out on your foot” (NASB).
I find myself frequently moaning about the need to replace. Appliances wear out (or cannot be repaired due to lack of available parts), shoes and clothing shrink and wear out, operating systems become obsolete and require new hardware and software, cars break down; this list grows the more I think about it.
As much as I like new things, my desire fueling marketers and advertisers, some items are just too costly and inconvenient to replace at frequent intervals. What ever happened to cast iron pots that last centuries?
As a kid growing up in the 50s, I do not remember folks being in replacement-frenzy. Our culture may have been in a frugal post-war mentality. Perhaps, it was the morals of a more parsimonious nation. Could it have been more people believed as Paul stated in Philippians 4:11, “…I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (NASB)?
I know one thing for sure. Stuff manufactured today does not hold the inherent longevity as it did fifty years ago. So, the idea of a pair of sandals lasting forty years is fascinating.
The fleeing Israelites took their belongings on a long circuitous trip, dragging and pulling the deadening weight of their package. Many things became lost or forgotten along their way, in addition to being used up or worn out. Yet, the Lord allowed those things closest to them, their intimates, to stay fresh, useful, and relevant.
As you look around your surroundings, how much of what you own today has been kept for forty years? How much do you expect to retain in forty years from now? I can’t even begin to imagine how many Windows upgrades we will endure; Windows 98 was an early version of the IOS, but at the rate Microsoft is going, they may well reach ninety upgrades within the next forty years.
Be confident that the Lord will be the same tomorrow as He is today. The things He requires of us will be the same: repentance, love, obedience, ministry, prayer, and fellowship with His church. His word in unchanging, regardless of how many new translations or paraphrased versions are printed. He is still on His Throne.
The sacrifice Jesus made for you will still be relevant. His blood is eternal with cleansing power, and the message of the cross will reach as far in to the future of this world for as long as the Lord allows it to exist.
When you find yourself caught up out of necessity (or vanity) in the replacement frenzy of this life, think about the steadfast unchanging nature and love of the Lord. Give thanks to a God who never sleeps or slumbers and provides for you as His child. Fashion and style may change, but Jesus never does. Forty years from now, He will love you with an everlasting love that will be as fresh and vibrant as the first day you turned to Him.
The same Lord that gave the Israelites soles that lasted forty years is the same God who gives us the opportunity for our souls to survive an eternity with Him.
Now, that’s surviving souls!