Exodus 35 – Leviticus 8
We started with the creation of the world and left off with God’s chosen people wandering in the desert. We’ve traveled through the fall of man, to the flood of the earth, to the annihilation of Sodom and Gomorrah, and meeting the father of the Israelites. God promised Abraham his descendants would be many, and that they will live on the land He has promised. From Abraham to Isaac to Jacob and his sons, God made a covenant with His chosen people. What God didn’t promise was that it would be easy, nor that it would be soon.
After the death of Jacob’s sons, the Hebrew population grew so massive that the Egyptian pharaoh decided to enslave them. God’s chosen people were enslaved and forced into hard labor for over four hundred years before He had Moses help free them. Too often during the Sunday sermons, the preacher talks about the promise of God’s love for His people, the promise of one day being joined together with Him, and the promise that His way is the best way. Not enough, however, is talked about the pain, struggle, and tragedy of human life. The fact that every personal relationship we have with anyone will end, that our highest highs will be matched with the lowest of lows. Even Our Lord’s human life ended by being executed like a murderous criminal.
Now I know people don’t want to spend their Sunday mornings thinking about their impending death and perhaps Christianity sounds less appealing with an existential crisis looming afoot. This can be a disservice, however, to newly converted Christians by not preparing them for the downturns of life. Our Lord tells a parable about the seeds that land on rocky soil, and how the seeds grow but because they have no root wither away from the sun’s scorching heat. The Israelites themselves were gungho ready to be freed from Pharaoh’s reign and waltz into the land of milk and honey, but quickly did they learn that God’s promises require God’s journey.
This post is not meant to discourage you nor is it intended to encourage you, but rather to sober you. I’m also not implying that this experience is only unique to Christians, life is a joyous experience but not always a happy one and mostly a tragic one. However, it is in the deepest depths that Our God reaches His people, from Abraham wanting his barren wife to conceive their child to Joseph being sold and then imprisoned, to finally His chosen people being enslaved. It is in these moments He makes His presence known, only when His people are in chains can He free them. And yet, even after freeing His people from slavery the journey must continue through the desert.