Tag Archives: Red Sea

Exodus 15, Luke 18, Job 23, 2Cor 3

Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you.

2 Corinthinans 3: 3 The Message

Paul’s statement to the Corinthians got me thinking about what kind of letter my life represents. As a believer in Christ, my desire is that my life would be a loving invitation to the world to join in on the journey, a testimony that this beautiful mess is the place to be. Sadly, I think my life is probably more often like a letter of complaint, or a rejection letter that says, “I got this, I don’t need Christ today.”

We see the Israelites in Exodus 15, on the other side of the Red Sea, proclaiming victory. They had just been spared their life through a miraculous event!

I’m singing my heart out to God—what a victory!
    He pitched horse and rider into the sea.
God is my strength, God is my song,
    and, yes! God is my salvation.
This is the kind of God I have
    and I’m telling the world!

Exodus 15:1-3 The Message

I can’t even imagine the relief and joy they must have been feeling. To have seen the enemy so close, chasing them down, only to be swallowed up by the sea. I can picture them face down on the ground, praising God for his deliverance. Yet….only 3 days later, when they struggle to find water, they grumble. How could they have forgotten so quickly? Yet, I often do the same. What kind of letter am I sending??  Am I declaring with my life that God is in the glaring victories, as well as, in the struggles?

Jesus uses the parable of the rich official to demonstrate how hard it is for the wealthy to let go of material things. The rich official is feeling pretty good about all he has sacrificed but when Jesus tells him to sell all his belongings, he is crest-fallen.

23 This was the last thing the official expected to hear. He was very rich and became terribly sad. He was holding on tight to a lot of things and not about to let them go.

Luke 18:23 The Message

I have been fortunate enough to travel to quite a few places in the world. I have seen poverty up close. Like nothing we see on a daily basis in the United States. I understand how rich we truly are. Yet, even in that understanding, my hands are clinging too tightly to “things.” Recently, I have heard a worship leader ask, “how can we recieve from God when our hands are closed?” How true! How humbling! What kind of letter am I sending? One of that invites freedom or one declares fear?

We find Job in Chapter 23 wondering where God is. He seems nowhere to be found. Yet, even still, Job has a proper view of who God is.

But he is singular and sovereign. Who can argue with him?
    He does what he wants, when he wants to.
He’ll complete in detail what he’s decided about me,
    and whatever else he determines to do.

Job 23:13-14

Accepting God’s sovereignty and trusting in his decisions is something I want in my life. Rather than questioning and struggling with my circumstances. Who am I to question the Maker of the Universe?

Lord, help me be a letter that invites people to draw closer to you, that declares your goodness. Help me to trust in who you are and not grumble in my circumstances. Help me cling to Jesus as I walk through the life you have given me so that you will be glorified. 

Ann (naturelady)

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under 2 Corinthians, 66 Books, Exodus, Job, Luke, Uncategorized

Exodus 13-15; Psalm 114; Ephesians 3

Sometimes an enemy is right in front of you. Sometimes an enemy is in the heavenly places. But either way, God’s got this.

I heard a prayer over the weekend, how things might not look or go how we want them to, but that God’s got this and we can trust in him. He works things out in ways we don’t understand–for his glory.

“I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharaoh and his whole army. After this the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord!” Exodus 14:4b, NLT.

I’m sure the Israelites never expected freedom to look like an army behind them and the Red Sea in front of them. I feel their panic. I hear their questions–a flooded brook of doubt, worry and regret emptying into an impossible sea.

13 But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. 14 The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:13-14, NLT.

Just yesterday, I cracked the spine of Red Sea Rules by Robert J. Morgan. And today, God meets me at the shore; he makes a way of safe passage; he tells me he will fight for me.

“With your unfailing love you lead
    the people you have redeemed.
In your might, you guide them
    to your sacred home.” Exodus 15:13, NLT

He takes bitter waters and makes them clean.

It was there at Marah that the Lord set before them the following decree as a standard to test their faithfulness to him. 26 He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.” Exodus 15:25b-26, NLT.

He leans in and tells me to listen carefully to his voice. He finishes and says he will heal me.

Ephesians 3, I read.

10 God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.

12 Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. Ephesians 3:10-12, NLT.

My week began with a prayer that God’s got this. And today, Paul’s prayer covers me too.

14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21, NLT

Father, I’m grateful that I can approach you, come confidently into your presence. You are the God who catches my tears. You are the God who quiets my fears. You heal me. You love me. You fill me with fullness of life. Your mighty power is at work within me to accomplish infinitely more than I can ask or think. I praise you for who you are. You’ve got this. You’ve got me. My life and my heart are safe in your hands. There is no place I’d rather be.

Courtney (66books365)

(No compensation for mentioning Robert Morgan’s book Red Sea Rules.)

1 Comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Ephesians, Exodus, Old Testament

Exodus 14; Luke 17; Job 32; 2 Corinthians 2

Arrogance v. Stubbornness

When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials change their minds about them and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services! Exodus 14: 5

Amazing isn’t it.  The Pharaoh had lost his son, Egypt had witnessed plagues.  Enough! “Let them go” said Pharaoh. But regardless of all the suffering brought upon him and his people the Pharaoh was angry that no one would be there to serve him.  Is this not narcissism at its finest.  Can you imagine his anger…I envision and toddler throwing a temper tantrum because he didn’t get his way.  Pharaoh had issues with  natural consequences would you not agree. What was his answer to soothing his wounds?  Get angry and get even.

The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly.  The Egyptians – all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen and troops – pursued the Israelites and overtook them as the camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon. Exdodus 14:8-9

I suppose when we read about God hardening someones heart that also means all reasoning has left them.  Now why Pharaoh and his men could not figure out by this time that they were fighting a losing battle; I’m not quite sure.  To say Pharaoh was blinded by pride is a slight understatement.  I mean seriously…plagues of giant locusts, raining frogs, the death of the first born sons.

On the other hand…

God had instructed Moses to tell the Israelites to tun back and where to set up camp.  He was very specific and even gave a detailed account as to what he was about to do in order to reveal his glory.  So there they were, following Moses, receiving instructions from God through Moses…let’s not forget that the Israelites had witnessed all of God’s wrath on Pharaoh, I would imagine they were very aware of his reach.

As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them.  They were terrified and cried out to the Lord.  They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?  Didn’t we say to you in Egypt. ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” Exodus 14: 10-12

Really?  They said that?  They would rather be under the hand of Pharaoh as a slave than to be free and follow God? Was it so comfortable in slavery that the cost of freedom was too great? Whine, whine, whine!    I really don’t know anyone like that, do you?

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.  The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”  Exodus 14:12-14

Do you imagine by now that Moses is thinking why did I bother?  Do you ever feel that way…why do I bother trying to be a witness when no one cares?   They would rather wallow in their misery than to hear about a way to freedom.

So on one side you have the prideful Pharaoh whose heart is so hardened that all he sees is anger and revenge. Then on the other side you see the Israelites who are so comfortable as slaves they think freedom is too uncomfortable and not worth risking their lives for.  Neither side seeing what was right before them.  Even though the signs were all around them.  I’m thinking a pillar of smoke and fire would clue me in there was a greater power at work here.

But that’s just it isn’t it? We are so enslaved by our sin and it blinds us to the fact the freedom is worth the cost of our false comfort.  And how many times have you thought you were cheated out of something, someone had wronged you and all you could think of was getting even?  Taking back what was rightfully yours?  Well that plan didn’t work out so well for Pharaoh and I’m pretty sure it won’t work for us either.

And when the Israelites saw the great power the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant. Exodus 14:31

Wow…it only took the parting of a massive body of water by a man and his stick to convince them to put their trust in the Lord.

Please know that my sarcasm is directed towards myself as I laugh at how many times God has shown himself in magnificent ways and I still question or doubt or I’m too comfortable to change my habits.   How many times have I taken it upon myself to show someone I’m right or that they won’t have the last laugh at my expense? Do I really wish to stay enslaved to sin?

No…I really wish to run toward my Abba with my hands lifted high, surrender all unto Him and bask in His glory.

Will I be uncomfortable at times?  Yes, but God will comfort me.

Will I feel the urge to get even?  Yes, but God will fight for me.

Will I ever be blinded by pride? Yes, but God will soften my heart and set me straight.

And He will be glorified!

Cindi

 

1 Comment

Filed under Exodus