Exodus 6; Luke 9; Job 23; 1 Corinthians 10: Proverbs 23
There are times in this life when I long to be free from the trials I face. Imagine being a slave in Egypt for a moment. Moses has come with a message from God, who has heard the cries of His people and is going to set them free from Pharaoh -God is preparing to take them to the promised land. Oh, what a relief. Then you find yourself doubting because instead of being set free, the burden imposed by Pharaoh increases. The work is harder, the punishments more cruel. We of course know the end to this story. But I find myself being able to relate.
My reading in Exodus this morning brought me to Ex. 6: 6-9. “Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the Lord.’ So Moses spoke thus to the sons of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses on account of their despondency and cruel bondage.” “But they did not listen…on account of their despondency and cruel bondage.” Sometimes the way to the promised land is not the journey I expected. Sometimes I feel myself getting discouraged. So I have to ask, “In whom do I trust?” Is God faithful to all that He has promised? Yes! Has He adopted me as His very own child? Yes! Is He bringing me to the “promised land?” Yes! Oh, but it can be hard in the meantime. But no matter how hard it is I do not ever want to stop listening to God. I do not ever want to stop trusting Him. So these words from Job that I also read this morning resonate with me this morning. “But He [God] knows the way I take; when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot has held fast to His path; I have kept His way and not turned aside. I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than necessary food. But He is unique and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does. For He performs what is appointed for me.” -Job 23:10-14a, NASB
It all puts me in mind of a parable I read in Luke yesterday-the parable of the sower (Luke 8:5-15) I already know that I am the type of seed who will persevere with the Lord no matter what. My roots go down deep-though I always need them to go deeper still, when the thorns crop up-the cares of this world do not choke the life out of me-though honestly they can make it a little hard to breath sometimes. “But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.” That is what I want for the story of my life. Now I pray that I can go about my day with the peace of God that passes all understanding guarding my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7) “For I know the plans I have for you, plans for good and not evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 To God be the glory!
Grace, peace, and mercy,