Saturday, November 28, 2009

DAY 5: Exodus 3-4


The Bible is all about rescue. We have wrecked the world and our lives. Like an addict who wants to stop but can't, we see the damage we bring on ourselves and those around us. We want to break free but find ourselves captive. We are slaves, bound not by external bonds but by our own nature and desires. Our greatest need is to be rescued from ourselves. The Bible is about God's work to do just that. It's remarkable that God chooses to rescue us. What's even more amazing is that He chooses to use us in the process of rescuing others.

Moses was an unlikely candidate to be a rescuer, much less a rescuer employed by God. He's a murderer on the run. As a young man, God had placed him in Pharaoh's household. While there, he had seen a Hebrew (one of his people, an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham) being mistreated. He chose to rescue the Israelite on his own - by killing the Egyptian. As a result, he fled into the desert and found himself tending sheep, the perils of Egypt behind him and hopefully forgotten.

But God intervenes and interrupts the comfortable, predictable life Moses had planned. Speaking through a burning bush, God sends Moses back to Egypt to be His representative to deliver the Israelites from slavery and oppression. In spite of this miraculous communication, Moses demonstrates the same ability to ignore God that we exercise. He argues. He questions. He clarifies. He makes excuses. Finally, he simply whines and pleads.

The arguments remain the same today. Who am I to do that? What if they don't listen? What if I don't know what to say? Can you send someone else?

God's answers remain the same. It doesn't matter who you are; it's about who God is. You are not responsible for convincing them; God is at work to demonstrate Himself to them. The words are not your responsibility, the abilities are not yours to choose. You have been crafted by God for the mission He gives you. You are not alone, He is with you. He instructs where you are to go, He helps you speak, He teaches you what to say. You only have one responsibility - Go. Obey. Respond.

God says today, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people . . . I have heard them crying out . . . and I am concerned about their suffering. I have come down to rescue them. . . "

He sees our struggle as we are bound in our sin. He came down to resuce us. God stepped down and became a man, Jesus. Jesus said "He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Through His death on our behalf, as our substitute, we are set free from our sin. Our faith in Him breaks the power of sin and frees us from Satan's grip.

Now that we have been set free, we are sent to bring others out of captivity. We are not alone - Jesus is with us. It is not our responsibility to convince them - God is already working through the Holy Spirit to draw them. We do not have to figure it all out ahead of time - Go, He will help you and teach you.

It can be terrifying, this stepping out in to the unknown, going and trusting God. But the results? "When they heard that the LORD was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped."

That's the point of it all - that God's children will turn once again to Him and worship. He has come to rescue them. He has come in response to their cries. One question remains. Will you tell them that He has come?

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