Psalm 114 ~ We Ran So Far Away



Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,

at the presence of the God of Jacob,

who turned the rock into a pool,

the hard rock into springs of water. Ps 114:7-8

The psalmist pours out his worship as he remembers the great work of God in bringing His people out of Egypt. Psalm 114 is brief but wonderfully expressive. He writes of the moment marking the birth of Israel, of the becoming God’s people.

When Israel came out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of foreign tongue,

Judah became God’s sanctuary, Israel his dominion. (vv 1-2)

Do we have an equally exquisite psalm stored up in our hearts for the day we were called out from our previous bondage? In true worship of the Holy Almighty God, you and I as His people should be putting pen to paper and leaving a legacy of thanks for those who come after us. That they may read of our transition from imprisonment to freedom is the greatest motivation we can give to others, imbuing them with hope for their own situation.

Grace and Peace to you..

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Psalm 95–They Have Not Known My Ways


Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me, though they had seen what I did. (Psalm 95:8-9)

So many moments in our lives are marked by decisions made in haste without due consideration given to our foundation of knowledge. Whether we choose in desperation, anger or confusion, we fail to take the extra second necessary to recall other similar circumstances and their outcomes. Was God present and involved, given the distance of time in your recollection?

This was the repeated failure of Israel that the Psalmist recalls. He reminds us of the incident in the desert recorded in Exodus 17 and Numbers 20. Though the Lord had shepherded His people through the wastelands by the physical presence of fire and cloud and His servant Moses, when the struggle began to wear on the Israelites, their short term memory took over and they could only remember the past hour without water. They failed to recall the unending flow of water that they had benefited from previous. In their rebellion, all of the great works of God were forgotten, replaced by distrust and self-interest.

Has your Savior forgotten you? Consider His promises and track record before allowing this kind of doubt to influence your decisions and behaviors.

Grace and peace to you.

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Bricks Without Straw

Ministry that is accompanied by struggle, persecution, and difficulty often leads the pastor to what where God’s plan lies. The Lord calls us to specific ministry objectives big and small and we faithfully follow that call only to discover that the ministry that results is fraught with heartache, disappointment, and struggle, sometimes even failure. I was reminded of this in reading Exodus this morning. Moses and Aaron are called to a ministry of confrontation with Pharaoh and leadership to their people. They carry the Lord’s message to him to release His people and, as a result, Pharaoh increases the pressure on the Hebrews.

The result is predictable, given what we know about human nature:

The Israelite foremen realized they were in trouble when they were told, “You are not to reduce the number of bricks required of you for each day.” When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them, and they said, “May the Lord look upon you and judge you! You have made us a stench to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”  Ex 5:19-21

Leaders in Christ’s church must be willing to remind God’s people that following His plan is a dangerous pursuit and there is always a chance that not all of us are going to come through unscathed. If God calls your church to a specific ministry, no matter how unglamorous, our calling is to lead our people into the fire regardless of the pain, scorn, and fallout that might come our way. To do anything less is to proclaim our lack of trust in the providence of our Father.

You see, we must continue to read on despite the fear of reprisal that a ministry call may generate. When Moses presses Yahweh for understanding, he gets this response:

“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.’ ” Ex 6:6-8

We, as followers of the Risen Christ, have the same great promise to undergird everything that the Father calls us to do. Every step of every day may be an incredible struggle as compared to others around us but, in the end, we have the promise of eternal life in the peace of the Lord. We can be faithful to our calling or we can avoid it, God gives us this choice but there is never a promise that either path will be easy.