Todays readings … Exodus 13&14, Psalm 68, Mark 10.
“AND THEY FEARED GREATLY”
Chapters 13 & 14 of Exodus describe for us the dramatic deliverance of Israel from Egypt. Yet, as all the drama is unfolding so that “the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD” [14 v.4], the escaping people of God led by Moses were unable to see the hand of God in action, they were not escaping in faith! There is a lesson for us here! “The Egyptians pursued them … and overtook them encamped at the sea…” [v.9] “ the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly.” [v.10]
The people were in despair and said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness?” [v.11]
It will be a challenge of faith to us – not to be in despair when God’s prophecy through Haggai is fulfilled! “….thus says the LORD of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land.” [2 v.6] This is a total shaking!
Our thoughts go forward to Revelation and the prophecy of “flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth” [16 v.18] Just as the people of God “feared greatly” as they were delivered from Egypt, so will God’s people very soon have experiences as God acts, as Christ is returning, to show his hatred of the widespread godlessness that now exists.
Let us build up our faith to the uttermost, for our world has become a ‘latter day’ Babylon and God’s words through Isaiah must, we fear, have some application to today’s world! “The sound of an uproar of kingdoms … Wail, for the day of the LORD is near … the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger … I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant …” [13 v.4,6,911]
Egypt was punished for its arrogance; it had forgotten all the wonders in the days of Joseph, just as our world has forgotten all the wonders (and words) in the days of Jesus! It is certain to be said of the godless, after Jesus returns, “and they fear greatly” – but what of the godly who are looking for his return and the deliverance it will bring?
The answer to this question is in 1 John 4 v.18, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear … whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” Our daily meditative reading of God’s word is an essential foundation for perfecting our love for our Lord and in being ready for his return.