October 17 I Thursday
1 Thessalonians 5
“By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw Him who is invisible.”
The opening verse of this devotion speaks of Moses, who was born into treacherous times. Threatened by the prosperity and rapidly increasing number of Hebrew people, the new Pharaoh enforced slavery upon them and eventually ordered every male child born to a Hebrew woman to be killed. Jochebed, the mother of Moses, placed her infant son in a papyrus basket and hid him among the reeds along the banks of the Nile River.
When Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, she saw the basket and sent her slave girl to retrieve it. Knowing this was a Hebrew baby, she kept him as her own and named him “Moses,” meaning, “I drew him out of the water.” Moses was brought up in Pharaoh’s palace, the safest place on earth for a Hebrew child. Eventually, his true heritage was disclosed to him and he grew up knowing he did not belong among the Egyptians, much less in the palace of Pharaoh.
At the age of 40, motivated by his desire to identify with the people of God, Moses killed an Egyptian who was beating a slave. When Pharaoh heard of this, Moses was forced to flee Egypt and spend the next 40 years herding sheep in the backside of the Midian desert. Though he had mountains of privileges growing up in the palace, he also had mountains of problems. Born into an oppressed people and separated from his birth family, he was lost to his true identity and shunned by both worlds.
We may wish we were born under different circumstances, with better opportunities, but we do not see the entire picture. When God uses us, the process by which He prepares and equips us may be difficult. We may even plead with God to take every pain, fear and hardship away but these are often the tools He uses to build and prosper us. Moses was chosen to lead an entire nation for 40 years through a desert. The same God who prepared him, prepares us too, often by taking us through the dark tunnels of life.
The Prophet Jeremiah tells us, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11). Once we see Him, who is invisible, the things that are visible cease to be of consequence. Only those who lived in darkness can enter darkness without fear. We live by faith and we enter our future completely dependent upon the invisible God.
Prayer: Invisible God, even though I cannot see You, I know You are working in my life. All the hardships You put me through serve to build and strengthen me. Thank You, Lord.