Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fragile People, Powerful God--Ex 17-19

In these chapters, I see the fragile nature of our lives and how God continually provides all that we need. 

We have physical needs.  At Rephidim, the Israelites needed water.  Again, God does not scold them for their complaints or their needs.  He directs Moses to show them He can provide.

We are under attack.  The Amekalites attack the edges of the camp, at its weakest locations.  Moses sends Joshua out to fight them, but God is the one who wins the battle.  As long as Moses cries out to God with outstreched arms of need and worship, Joshua prevails.  The minute they depend on their own strength, they lose.  Do they need to help Joshua in the fight?  No--they need to hold up Moses' arms in worship because that's the real fight.  When we run out of energy to seek God, are we going to depend on our own strength?  Aaron and Hur come to support Moses as he worships God.  There are always people in our lives that remind us that our strength is only in the Lord.  They are a gift from God and the key to real power. 

We want to lead with power and independence.  Moses' father-in-law, Jethro (Reuel) comes to visit, bringing Moses' wife and now two sons back to him.  Can you imagine having to fight Pharoah while your wife is pregnant?  Eliazer is obviously born in the middle of the conflict since his name is a direct reference to it.  Jethro watches Moses as a leader and points out where his next frailty could come.  If he doesn't delegate, life will get increasingly difficult.  Moses needs his family and a supporting team to lead these people.  Wise counsel is equally a gift from God.  Look how Jethro encourages Moses to consult with God about the matter.  He provides his advice humbly, in a way it can be received.  What a blessing!

We need a real God.  God has been carefully wooing this people.  He tells them that He will take care of them and they will be His own treasured posession if they will follow His commandments.  However, he does not clothe himself as a lover, but shows them clearly who He is in all His power and glory.  The fear (respect) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  They need God to be God.  There will be time for Him to continue to prove His care and love for them.  His power will become their security.  This too is a gift--the gift of knowing your place in the universe as treasured children of an omnipotent God. 

What do you need today?  How has God already provided for that need?  How can you depend on Him more so that you can receive from Him all He has provided?

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