Lord of the impossible, I step into this day, seeking Your presence and leading. Thank You for Your Spirit’s work in me.
Read Exodus 5:22-6:27
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1 ESV). Be strong in hope and conviction today.
“Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk; King walked so Obama could run; Obama ran so we can all fly.” I wonder if you heard this saying at the time of Barack Obama’s inauguration. Whatever one’s politics, it was deeply moving for many to see elderly African Americans weep as they remembered their struggle and celebrated a new dimension of hope and freedom. Fifty-four years separate Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her bus seat for a white passenger in Alabama from the start of Obama’s presidency.
At the heart of our text today is a sense of the suffering and deferred hopes that accompany every quest for authentic freedom. Moses confronts the distress and fury of the Israelite foremen and addresses his anguished protests to God (5:22,23), and God responds. He invites Moses to imagine a not far distant future, “Now you will see …” (6:1), and to reconsider his understanding of the past (2,3). Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had known God as “the Lord” (I AM, YHWH), as well as by the name “God Almighty” (El Shaddai). They had seen God’s promises fulfilled. Moses’ assertions to the contrary, God had, indeed, “rescued” (5:23) his people, but God seems to imply (3) that the past generations had not experienced the full content of the name YHWH. This name is not a philosophical concept, but rather a historical one. It testifies of one who is active in history, constantly intervening to realize a plan with the world in general and with a particular instrument, the people of Israel. Now, through a slowly unfolding process, Moses and his people will start to experience all the dimensions of God’s name beginning with liberation from slavery (6), moving on to a new identity—adoption into God’s covenant people (7), and culminating in homecoming (8).
What promises of God have you seen fulfilled in your life and lifetime? Are there defeats and deferred hopes you should share with God?
Mighty God, the world seems to be spinning out of control. I need the assurance that You are in control and will sustain me.
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