It isn't fair that the people of the Old Testament got to witness God's Almighty Power firsthand. It was all so simple and straightforward for them. Why couldn't I have been born with the Israelites in Egypt? My faith would've been so literal. It would have been so easy to believe in God when He is speaking to you audibly from a massive pillar of cloud right before your eyes, right? Wrong.
Those people in the time of Christ should've had it easy enough. I mean, He was what they had been waiting for, and He was fulfilling the prophesies that those folks had spent time memorizing for when the time came. Why couldn't I have been born when Jesus walked the earth? Seeing Him with my very own eyes, God in the flesh, how could I ever have any doubts at all? Those people's faith must have been so clear cut. Black and white. Obvious, right? Wrong.
Look anywhere in history. Faith has never been crystal clear. People have always, and will always continue to doubt. It doesn't matter how much or how little evidence is put before our eyes, we are human and we are fickle. We believe for a moment, and turn away the second something different catches our eye.
We imagine that the Israelites had the easy job. Other than remembring all those sacrifices and procedures, I guess. But, I tend to think, wouldn't all those rituals and celebrations keep fresh in your mind the truth that God is real? Wouldn't the constant ceremonies and traditions remind you of the times where you say God with your own eyes? It seems insane that anyone would forget seeing the Sea split open right in front of you, creating a dry path on the Seafloor, doesn't it? Miraculous signs. Amazing wonders. No way would those people ever have a doubt that God was there, and that God was strong.
It's sad to say that that wasn't the case. Remember the gold calf? That's just one well-known example of the many times that the Israelites forgot God. For some reason, they thought that wimpy golden statues would serve them better than Elohim. They would turn away, but then be brought back. They would repent and promise to never do it again... but that never lasted very long. No matter how much proof God gave them of His Sovereignty, it always seemed to slip their minds. They didn't get it.
I envy those who lived in the time of Jesus. They actually got to meet the man who would save them from their sins! Since the very beginning of the world, people had been awaiting the Messiah. Those people got to touch Him. Listen to Him. Be healed by Him. Follow Him. He taught them the way of God, simply and literally. He loved them to bits, and He was the perfect example. He performed so many miracles for them, you would think that the memory of 5 loaves and 2 fish turning into thousands of each would stick with you, eh?
I guess not. Even they, who walked alongside their Saviour, were the very ones with their fists raised to cry, "Crucify Him!" It shocks me. It angers me. How could they honestly want to kill Him, after He had shown them the light, and the Truth? The answer seems so obvious to us, now. But to them, they did what they thought was right. Their all-too-human minds failed them, yet again. Their sinful ways kicked them for believing Christ. Their weak armour left them vulnerable to Satan's attacks. They forgot, again.
Now, here we are. Two thousand years later, all that hullabaloo seems like ancient history. Oh yeah, that's because it is. It's bordering on myth. Legend. Fable. Fantasy. Sometimes, it feels that way even to us. In some ways, we have more proof than ever that these events have happened, are true, and that what is said in the Bible is right!
We have researchers and archaeologists discovering more and more hard-core evidence for Intelligent Design. We still see God's hand at work in so many lives, in the way people's hearts change. Our common sense cannot deny: How can we honestly say that an explosion created a standard, universal set of morals? It makes no sense! Simply survival of the fittest, even if it applies to the animal kingdom, doesn't work on humans. We have feelings, emotions, moral standards, thoughts, and desires. That doesn't come from random chance and atoms. That comes from being made in the likeness of a wise and loving Creator. We also have something that the people of history did not. A complete set of books. A volume of truth. It's a series written by many different authors, all living at different times, but everything they write lines up with each other. We know it's not false.
If just one author had testified to Christ's works, we would think it slightly 'iffy.' If, however, we had four or five different witnesses write separate accounts on Christ's works, it is becoming believable, and solid evidence. Add the many, many prophesies in the Old Testament, written 400 years earlier, that line up perfectly with what the more modern witnesses claimed, and you have one infallible history textbook!
Not only does it relay to you the firsthand accounts of what really happened, but it concerns you, too... and on a personal level. No other book works that way. Nothing else has ever been so solidly grounded in hard facts and evidence, and truth.
I wonder if those people from ancient times thought ahead to the future; our generation? Maybe they thought, "When all these prophesies come true, after all this trouble is over, those people will be so blessed, for they will get to know all that has transpassed. They will read recordings of our troubles, of God's wonders, of the prophet's predictions, and of the fulfilments, and there will be no more doubt! Why couldn't I have been born in the future?"
Faith never gets 'easier.' If it was easy, it wouldn't be called faith.
Hebrews 11:1 ~ Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see.
Sometimes I feel certain of Him who I cannot see.
Other times... it's a real struggle.
But this struggle is just the same as what all those Old and New Testament believers went through. It doesn't matter whether they were following God's visible form, waiting for the prophet's predictions to come true, or listening to the Son of God. Faith never got easy. If anything, it got harder.
Because where it seems the most obvious, that's where Satan claps his hands over our ears, trying to direct our attention away from the Living Proof that the Bible is true.
Ground yourself in Truth.