Friday, October 10, 2008

Bondage or Freedom

Exodus 17
1Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Sin, according to the command of the LORD, and camped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink. 2Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, "Give us water that we may drink " And Moses said to them, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?" 3But the people thirsted there for water; and they grumbled against Moses and said, "Why, now, have you brought us up from Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?" 4So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, "What shall I do to this people? A little more and they will stone me." 5Then the LORD said to Moses, "Pass before the people and take with you some of the elders of Israel; and take in your hand your staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6"Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink." And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

Wow! They had a need. That need was water. They had been freed from the bondage that the Egyptians had placed on them. But now it gets tough. Now they must trust their god with their entire lives. If they had no water, they died. As simple as that. But God provided, even though, as you just read, they grumbled and were even angry at Moses for daring to take them away from the "comforts" of Egypt.I say "comforts" because they were not TRUE comforts. Egypt was what they were used to. They had grown accustom to that lifestyle. Some had never known anything different. They pretty much new what to expect when they got up in the morning. But what they were used to was beatings, hard unmerciful labor, and just enough food to keep them alive to work. Comfort? I don't think so.But how often does our God invite us to freedom with a promise that He will come through for us, but we run back to our "comforts". God promises me that he will come through for me. That he will take care of that problem. But I run back to my anger because I can't control the situation. HE tells me that HE created my inmost being and knit me together in my mother's womb, but I cling to my jealousy, self-hatred and fear that something better will come and take my spot. I wallow in the filth of my selfishness. It's what I've known. To walk away from it leaves me venerable. I have to abandon everything that I have always believed to trust in someone else. In One that does not always tell me what He's doing. That's hard. But even with all their disbelief, God still provided what they needed.(Mercy) They lived. He gave them water to refresh them and invited them to trust Him again.His mercy calls to us. His grace invites us to try again. To understand that losing our life for Him is actually gaining life. And life more abundant.