Sunday, January 5, 2014

Purpose In The Dark Days

Ever wonder why it took ten plagues to rescue Israel from Egypt? There must have been a more efficient way of doing it. Why didn't God just start with the last plague? Why didn't he just strike them all blind and let Israel simply walk out? There had to have been a faster way of doing it. Except fast is not always best. God is not above getting a bit messy to bring about his purpose. We find the reasons in Scripture:

And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them. (Exodus 7:5)

What God was doing was leaving a lasting imprint on the world. Even though there were those who worshipped him they did so without knowing him because God had yet to make himself known. There were those who knew of him because they saw his imprint all around them but they did not actually know him. Even Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did not know him as he was about to make himself known to Israel, Egypt and the rest of the world. God was rescuing his people in a way that no one could claim to have rescued them but God.

But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth. (Exodus 9:16)

No one had ever witnessed what was being witnessed in Egypt. No one had experienced God in this way. He was showing both his might and his compassion. He was revealing that he is the God of the covenant, that he keeps his promises. He was announcing that it was time for his name to be declared in all the earth.

... that you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son’s son the mighty things I have done in Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them, that you may know that I am the Lord. (Exodus 10:2)

God chose this harder way of doing things to entrench into the memory of his people what he had done for them. He wanted them to remember it was he who rescued them by the might of his hand. He wanted them to remember for generations to come that he had selected them to be the nation he would glorify himself through. He wanted them to remember that he keeps his promises. He wanted them remember his covenant with Abraham. He wanted them to remember. And they did.

All through Scriptures God's people remembered this particular moment in time. They remembered this act of love. They remembered that he is the God of the impossible. They called upon this moment every time things looked impossible for them. They remembered and were encouraged in their trust. They trusted because of what God had done in the past.

Now let's consider our own lives and our questions of why God didn't chose a different way, an easier way for us? Sure, he could have rescued us any way that he wanted and he chose the way he wanted. In those difficult days he was giving to us a testimony that we would lean on during other dark days. He was reminding us that he alone is our rescuer. He wanted no one else to take the credit for what he was doing. He is jealous about his relationship with you and he was using that moment to glorify himself through you so that everyone who looked to you would see what he was doing.

As we walk with him through this life he has given us, we must always keep in mind, it is about more than just us. We need to have a bigger picture of things to understand that God uses every opportunity to glorify himself through us for the benefit of others. Sometimes this means taking a longer route to our destination. It's not about ease or efficiency; it is about the Father's will and purpose through us. Rejoice, for God is good all the time.

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