Sometimes…well…many times, when I’m trying to kick an old habit or develop a new lifestyle, I get discouraged by the inherent challenge of change and begin to glamorize or exaggerate the good in my former ways. Turning back is simple, just a matter of embracing the familiar. But anyone can do that. Embracing the call I receive to move forward is what sets us apart from “anyone”.
Israel has reached their first destination in their Exodus from Egypt; they have reached Sinai, the mountain of the God who has liberated them. They have seen Him in action and have seen Him from afar in a pillar of smoke and fire, but now they will come face-to-face with this God who claims them. In this confrontation, promises are fulfilled and introductions are made and the relationship that God would have with His people takes the next step in intimacy and the foundation for what is to come is established. They will worship Him in His Presence and they will know Him for what He has done.
Out of Egypt – Week 4
January 25, 2015
Speaker: Bart Wilkins
Watch on video.
During the Sunday sermon, a statement was made that really hit me, “God intentionally lets us become uncomfortable.” But what is our attitude when we get uncomfortable? In Exodus 17:1-7 the Israelites are once again in a situation that is uncomfortable. Once again they begin to grumble, so much that Moses feels his life is threatened. They have an attitude that is consistent throughout their history, they never have it good enough, there is something always better. They have a lack of faith in God and the leaders He has put in their lives.
Israel is struggling. They have embraced the freedom won for them by God in Egypt and walked out of Egypt in great joy and happiness. But now they are in the Wilderness and things don’t look so good. They are thirsty and they are hungry with no supply of food or water in sight and they begin to do the only thing they know how to do; they grumble. They go as far as to say that God has brought them out of Egypt in order to kill them and they would have preferred to die by His Hand back in Egypt (16:3). What started out as a ‘woo-hoo!’ moment has gotten ugly and getting uglier by the second. Israel is faced with the consequences of freedom they have been given and they just don’t know how to handle it.
As Israel enters the Wilderness, we observe the Israelites as they begin a long and nasty habit of complaining. The grumbling and griping will continue for at least 40 years as they wander in the desert with Moses, Aaron and Joshua. I’d like to offer a few words in defense of the Israelites. Many times as Christians, we are very sure of ourselves. We are convinced that had we been alive during Bible times, we would have experienced it all, understood it perfectly, kept it all in perspective, and learned our lessons the first time around. We hear ourselves remark as we study the Bible together, “well if I had seen Jesus turn water into wine and raise the dead back to life, I would have KNOWN he was the Messiah.” We may sit in judgment and disbelief as we read the ancient stories of people who were slow learners and repeated the same mistakes over and over. But can we really be so sure of ourselves? If we were transported from 2015 AD to Egypt circa 1450 BC, would our perspective on the Exodus from Egypt into the wilderness be clear?
Out of Egypt – Week 3
January 18, 2015
Speaker: Chuck Davis
Watch on video.
Exodus 12 details for us an ancient story that has been told and retold over centuries. It is the story of the final plague that befell the Egyptians just before the Pharaoh finally surrendered and released the Israelite slaves from some 400 years of Egyptian captivity. Although it is a real historical event, the Passover also provides an uncanny foreshadowing of God’s plan to redeem humanity.