Monday 18 May 2009

more thoughts on slavery vs freedom

May 11, 2009

Reading in Exodus 6... I've noticed or been taught lots of Old Testament shadow-pictures of New Testament truths... but just saw another one here today(although what ___ wrote in his last blog certainly prepared me for it - and __'s book did too!)

Exodus 6 says: 2. God also said to Moses, I am the LORD (I AM - YWHW). 3. I appeared to Abraham, to Issac and to Jacob as God Almighty (El Shaddai), but by my name, the LORD, I did not make myself known to them. 4. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they lived as aliens. 5. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant. 6. 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 will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. 7. 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. 8. 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. 9. Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and cruel bondage.... 7:5 and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.

So, this is what I'm thinking about this passage...

Later, God spoke to His people: I am Your Father. I appeared to you before as God Almighty and as the LORD. But now I am making Myself known to you as your Father, by coming to you in My Son Jesus, and by giving you My Spirit to live in and with you, individually and together as My family.... I am establishing a new covenant with you, to give you the kingdom of God (aka the kingdom of heaven) - a greater land than Canaan, a land where you and I will dwell together for all time, in the kind of relationship I had with Adam and Eve, as was my original intention for you, My special creation.... I am now bringing you out from under the yoke of the "law," freeing you from slavery to rules and regulations - freeing you from the penalty of death for sin - redeeming you by My greatest act of judgment, by the sacrifice of My Son's blood, the final, totally, permanently effective sacrifice....

And yes, God did it! But how easily His people come under slavery again.... I wonder... are people who are enslaved under the yoke of religiosity not listening to the gospel, the good news of freedom, for the same reasons as the Israelites? - too tired, too discouraged, working too hard to just survive, lost hope that there really is freedom available? Father, are You "stretching out Your hand" to bring out of slavery Your people who have been drawn into bondage... bringing them back into the freedom You provided for them through Jesus' blood?

It seems to me that when Israel went down to Egypt, it was, as Jospeh said to his brothers (Gen 50:19): You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

- And yet, God Himself told Israel (Jacob) that the people, even in the amazing initial "saving of many lives," would go through a 400 year slavery period - and then God would rescue them, bring them into the promised land, by a mighty hand...

I wonder, have we needed/required (or worse, chosen) a period of "slavery" (to religiosity, to churchianity, whatever) in order to really understand the greatness of the freedom and deliverance Jesus brought? The original believers surely understood it - at first, anyway (it wasn't long before the Judaizers and others were doing their best to bring back the bondage of the law...)


Prov 28:19 He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty. (Sometimes I wonder if my current lifestyle, even my "writing," is actually "chasing fantasies"??? Papa, I "feel" You don't want me to take a "job" right now (and You are surely providing for our needs, and even teaching me to have less of them!) .... but in what way might I be "working my land"?? I always had "plenty to do" with my 5 kids at home... but now... well, not so much...) (I'm still maybe having a hard time discerning between "doing for You" and "being in You"...)

It seems to me that a problem with "organized programs" is that the day-to-day needs and even emergencies "slip through the cracks" because they don't happen to fit the "schedule" ... and yet people in the "programs" feel comfortable because they see the program as being there to take care of things. The thing is, relationships - and indeed, real life/ living - are not predictable, schedule-able things, are they?!?! (Kind of like how hard it is to "catch" those "teachable moments" when one has to fit the "curriculum" into the "time schedule" and "deadlines"...).

Prov 28: 22 A stingy man is eager to get rich, and is unaware that poverty awaits him. (It just occurs to me that You are taking amazing financial care of us these days in so many ways. Thank You!) (Isa 28:29 ... the LORD Almighty, wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom!)

Prov 28:27 He who gives to the poor lacks nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.

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