Exodus 19:4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.
What do we think of when we consider the historical record of the Israelites’ journey from Egypt to the Promised Land? There are so many things that catch our attention: Moses, the plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, miracles, manna, grumbling and complaining, the golden calf, repeated testings, God’s dealing with their rebellion, the spies, Korah & Dathan – the list goes on. But what is behind it all?
Today’s verse contains four words that speak volumes to us if we but have the ears to hear. These words are the explanation that God gives to Moses of what He was doing through the whole process. Specifically, He was speaking of all of the Israelites: “…(I) brought you to myself.” Do we understand how earth shaking that statement is?
God wasn’t primarily interested in having a people that would be an example to the world. He wanted a people that were in intimate relationship with Him. He wanted a people that would treasure the love He gave them and respond with love in return. At best, the Israelites that left Egypt, responded with words, not love (actions).
God provided the Israelites with repeated opportunities for them to respond in faith. Unfortunately, they repeatedly failed. One moment they could be acknowledging Him and the next they would say or do things that revealed He was totally forgotten or irrelevant. Do we understand that He deals with us the very same way? Our faith – or lack of faith – is reflected daily through our thoughts, attitudes, words and actions.
Think about God’s reaching out to us. Do we see that responding to God’s gift of Jesus is so much more than verbal or mental assent; or an outward veneer of behavior? How far reaching is our commitment to Christ in impacting our lives? Do we understand that this depends on our perception and understanding of what God wants from us – and becoming passionately committed to giving it to Him?
A powerful and sobering reality is revealed in Hebrews 11:16 where God is talking about His people of faith: “…Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God.” Look at the world around us. So many claim to be Christians but their lives are inconsistent with such a claim. Their actual lives are proclaiming that they are not followers of Jesus!
Each day, the life we live, is a living testimony of what our relationship with God is all about. What does our testimony say? Our new life in Christ Jesus enables us to demonstrate and reflect our genuine and growing love for Him. We must understand that this is the mechanism that God uses to bring us to Himself. This is why we were born-again!