Monday, June 13, 2011

A Reason for Going to Egypt

I came across this post today while cleaning up my blog. I practically finished the post, but never posted it. God's timing is perfect, because I can see more today than even yesterday what He has been doing all along.

Written August 9, 2009

This Sunday, after many months of preaching through Genesis and studying the Relentless Grace of God through the lives of the Israelites, we are almost to the end. We witnessed a funeral today in our service, the funeral of Jacob in chapter 49 and 50 of Genesis. As I was listening to this passage I realized that Jacob was dying in Egypt, but he wanted to be returned to Canaan, the land of promise, the land God promised to him and his forefathers. And I immediately wondered whether on not Jacob should have gone to Egypt. Did he disobey God and move to a land where he did not belong? I mean, we all know what happened to his children years after he died. They were enslaved. They were placed in bondage and treated cruelly. So I quickly flipped back to chapter 46 and started scanning to find the part where Jacob finds out that his beloved son Joseph is alive. After this he moves his whole family to Egypt. It was here that my eyes rested on this verse, "'Jacob, Jacob.' And he said, 'Here I am.' Then He said, 'I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will bring you up again...'"

It was at this point that I began to weep. You see, I've always related my journey over the last 10 years to the story of the Isrealites. Ya know, everything is hunky dory in move to a new place (marry a man), start a life and then things go bad. You are forced into slavery (your husband is being unfaithful but you can't figure that out, you just know it's not how it should be...feels like being in bondage). Then God, with very little warning comes in and delivers you from the bondage and asks you to forge out into the wilderness (the scary world of single mom providing for her two babies). All of this to take you back to where you came from, only better. And why? Why the long road and not the straight path? Why the slavery and the hurt and the pain?

God told Jacob to go to Egypt. And I feel the same way about my first marriage. I felt at peace, completely in obedience with God and heeding the wisdom of all people surrounding me. God told me it was okay to go. But yet He knew what the path held...for the Isrealites and for me. So the question changed in my mind from, "Was it okay to go to Egypt?" to "Why did He want me to go to Egypt? For what purpose?"

I believe He took them (me) to Egypt to deliver them and to bring Himself glory. He was able to show them who He was and how powerful He is. He did the same thing with the blind beggar. Why was he born blind? Was it his parents' sin or his? Neither, was Jesus' reply. It was so that He could heal Him. That's it. It was so that He could show that He was God in the flesh, able to command illness and even death. David says in the the Psalms that the Israelites had to be enslaved so that God's glory could be on display as He parted the sea, delivering them so dramatically and gloriously.

I believe this to be true in my own life. I've struggles over the past few years with the peace that comes with any decision you make. Was it the right one? Well, I know that I am an imperfect woman, stumbling through this life trying to follow the will of God. But more than that, I know that the God I serve is the boss of the wind and waves, illness and death, animals, and all living things. He has led my path as I've sought Him through the years, not promising that the path would be trouble free, just straight and that He would be my companion. There's nothing else in this world TO want, expert for that.

I'm convinced that this life we have to live has NOTHING to do with the ease of it. It also has not much to do with the trials that naturally come along with it. It has EVERYTHING to do with knowing and being near to Jesus, loving Him more with every step and letting it soak in how very much He loves me. The reality of the gospel, meditating on it every single day of my life will help me as I seek to walk with Him, because it will keep the truth in the forefront of thought. Jesus loved me, gave His life to save me, so that I could be near Him and us enjoy one another. It's what I want to be about.

So, was I supposed to go to Egypt? Yes, I was. I was supposed to walk with my Savior there and walk out of Egypt with Him parting the sea in front of me and then walking alongside me through the desert every. single. step of the journey. The sweetness of the journey and the walk with God so near is missed by SO many. Yes, it's hard and uncomfortable and scary, but He is right there with you. Enjoy the sweetness of those moments if you can, cause it's what this whole life is about!

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