October 16 I Wednesday
1 Thessalonians 4
“So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey…” —Exodus 3:8
Over 3,500 years ago, about 2 million people accomplished a humanly impossible feat. From one of the most fortified cities in the world, they walked away from slavery in Egypt, and embarked on the greatest pilgrimage ever recorded. Most of us are familiar with the story of the Exodus, but are we familiar with how it parallels our lives today?
The Exodus is a two-fold story: one historical, which documents a particular people in a place and time, and the other spiritual, which tells of God’s intervention in liberating them from bondage. The Israelites’ release from bondage depicts our release from sin, and their journey into the Promised Land reflects our journey into the fullness of Christ. The story also records the failure of the first generation of Israelites to enter the Promised Land, which is representative of many Christians today that are living in spiritual barrenness and failing to enter into the fullness of Christ.
God’s purpose for Israel held a much greater mandate than liberation from slavery. It was to bring His people into a land flowing with milk and honey, where they could enjoy the riches of Canaan under His sovereignty. God provided not only a road out, but also a road in—a deliverance from something to something. Canaan is spoken of as a land of rest in the strength of God. But what should have been an 11-day journey took 40 years; even though the Israelites trusted God to deliver them from, they did not equally trust Him to deliver them to.
The same is true of many people today. The picture of slavery is one Scripture gives us of the natural state of human beings. Our real problem is not what we do, but what we are, which is embodied in the old sin principle called “the flesh.” We are sinners, but through Jesus Christ, we are given the road out and also the road in. Many people are content with the road out, knowing their sin is forgiven. Yet, God’s intention for us is that we experience the fullness of life that Canaan represents through a wholesome, vibrant relationship with Jesus.
God brought His people out of Egypt and into Canaan as a free nation so they would be the means through which He would bless the world by the coming of His Son. His focus was not inward on Israel alone, but outward on how they would bless the world. This is true of the Christian life. In that good, spacious land, living in the fullness of Christ, God blesses us so that we may become the means whereby He blesses the world.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for taking me on the road out of my sin and into the rest I have in You. I ask for Your Spirit to fill me, so I may become a blessing to others.