Monday, April 8, 2013

Don't Look Back 4/8/2013

"The whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.  The sons of Israel said to them, 'Would that we had died by the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.'” Exo 16:2-3

In the movie "Shawshank Redemption" one of the prison inmates whose story the movie told received his freedom.  Tragically, he could not cope with the outside world and all of its many differences from the world he had known for most of his life.  By his own admission, he had become institutionalized, having been told when to wake, sleep, bathe, eat and go to the restroom.  The difference was so stark, he was unable to cope and took his own life.

Similarly, the people of Israel were enslaved for 430 years.  Despite being liberated by God and being the witness and beneficiaries of miracle after miracle (imagine what it must have been like to pass through the massive walls of a parted Red Sea on dry ground while God in a pillar of fire held off the enemy), the people complained about food and longed to die back in slavery where it was plentiful.

Beloved, when God liberates us from slavery to the enemy and his unrighteousness, it is easy to look over our shoulder at some of the things that were left behind.  Though there may have been things that looked, tasted and felt good in our pre-Christian lives, slavery is still slavery, unrighteousness is still unrighteousness and death is still death.  We have been liberated from these things through Christ Jesus our savior.  Let us look ahead to freedom, light, the gifts of the Holy Spirit and an eternity with the One who made us.  And if we happen to get a little hungry, know that God allows this only to demonstrate that we can completely rely on Him.  He has said, "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" Matt 6:33. 

It was God who delivered water from a rock when the Hebrews were thirsty.  It was God who caused manna to fall from heaven and quail to land on the ground when they were hungry.  Nevertheless, time after time they grumbled against Him and longed for the darkness from which they had been brought.  Let us never be guilty of such things, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us" Rom 8:18.



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