Sunday, August 5, 2012

Aren't We All Israelites?

I have read through the book of Exodus at least twice.  (I know because I have started and failed twice at the Read the Bible in a Year schedule.)  Twice, I have read about the Israelites' rescue from Egypt and twice I have thought about how ridiculous it seemed that they could witness firsthand God's miracles in their lives but still reject him when they were faced with obstacles. 

I haven't been enslaved and freed like the Israelites, had my child spared from a plague while those around me died, or seen food appear where before there was none.  All these experiences seem like clear examples of God's power and love for his people.  Yet each time, the Israelites would eventually face hardship and begin to doubt again.  Don't fool yourself into believing that disbelief and inappreciation ended with the Israelites. 

While reading a devotional recently I came across Exodus 14:14, "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."  In the face of Pharaoh's army, with the Red Sea at their backs, Moses declared that they needed to trust God.  They needed to remember all the miracles they had experienced.  If God could give them the opportunity to escape their enslavement, surely he would not lead them to an immediate demise.  Consider that in their time of despair, the angel of God and the pillar of cloud moved from leading the Israelites to protecting them.  With only the power of an almighty God, the sea parted and the Israelites fled, leaving the Egyptians to die as the waters closed.

Lately, I find myself wondering "why" but I know that I need to be still.  I am no better than the whiny Israelites.  I have experienced God's grace in my life and have the benefit of knowing the word of the bible.  I know that Jesus died for my sins but I still find myself doubting during the trials.  Not so much doubting his goodness but doubting my own ability to endure.  I can't solve every problem or situation myself.  I cannot control everyone's actions, only my own actions and responses.

I need to follow God's will.  I need to trust in his ways.  His ways are not my ways and it is not my place to judge his methods. I am not omnipotent and I can't see how his glory may be revealed though my trials or successes.  He is the great designer to whom all glory belongs.  I will (try to) be still and trust in him.

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