“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Most people attribute those words to Albert Einstein, which may or may not be true. But, what is certainly true, are the words themselves, no matter who gets the credit for coining them. Now, if we take those words and use them to analyze the actions of God’s people at times, I believe we just might discover they suffer from a type of spiritual insanity.
We don’t have time to recall every occasion for which this diagnosis is appropriate, but we should identify the inaugural decision that started us down this path. And as we come to an end of our journey through Exodus, we should make honorable mention, from it, of a significant example. Then, we can have some fun connecting the dots between that first occasion and what we see here at the very end of Exodus: the Tabernacle is complete; and Moses, by way of the people’s obedience, had delivered exactly what Yahweh ordered. Next, put the whole thing into operation to test its function. Then what? Move to the next assignment—“Then God said…”
It really is uncanny. It’s the exact pattern every time: assignment—obedience—next assignment. Or, assignment— disobedience—consequences. You’d think God’s people would recognize the pattern. If you don’t follow directions, it goes very badly. In other words, to think it would go well for you, despite your decision to disobey God is insane, at least according to Einstein, or whoever!
It’s like a merry-go-round, but they are not in an amusement park, and they are not sitting on wooden horses, and the ride won’t end in three minutes. Instead, they are in the wilderness and the ride will be like going around the mountain over and over again, and not for three minutes, but for forty years. Yes, insanity has a price.
And if I might indulge you with one more perspective, let’s call our ride, the glory-go-round. We have the glory of God available to us, and then in some act of, let’s call it insanity, we go our own way. And, in the midst of our disobedience, we still expect to maintain God’s glory. Are you tracking with me? As a consequence for our actions we get knocked onto our inglorious butts, just like we see in the Bible every time! Assignment—disobedience—consequences.
The real question remains; if you see that this is what happens without fail, why would you think you can disobey God and get away with it? It seems so obvious now. “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” For our purposes, let’s just call this “Insane Christianity.”