June 19, 2018
23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.
23 During that long period,
We find ourselves in the story of Moses. Israel lives in the land of Egypt and after many years find themselves enslaved and oppressed under the power of the Pharaohs.
The law of sin and death, while utterly uncreative, operates with enormous sophistication and complexity. We have gone from a sky scraping tower reaching to the Heavens to a nation who enshrines its leaders as god incarnate. We have gone from a garden where God walks with his image bearers in the cool of the day to a desert land where the god of the age, a.k.a. Pharaoh, asserts ownership over them, forcing them to build his kingdom.
That’s what slavery is—when the image bearers of the true God enter the service (voluntarily or involuntarily) of another kingdom under the control and influence of another (invariably false) god. These gods are all ultimately the same, ranging from Pharaoh to money to opioids. They all promise some form of Eden like reality none of them can ultimately deliver.
What they ultimately deliver is groaning.
Slavery always leads to groaning. “The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God.”
Why groaning? Groaning should not be confused with groveling. God doesn’t look for groveling. Neither do I think it takes groaning to get God’s attention. Groaning is the sign of the crystallized consolidation of our attention. And let’s be honest. Our attention needs to be crystallized and consolidated.
We like options and alternatives and multiple possible solutions for our desperate situations. So many so-called solutions are designed to avert our desperation. All the while, desperation is our solution. Desperation will either divide our attention among a multitude of possible solutions or it will consolidate our attention to a singular hope in God. The former looks like gritting our teeth and leads to anxiety; the latter looks like groaning and leads to peace.
Let me be clear. God’s solutions can take all sorts of forms and shapes from medication to miraculous intervention. It’s all in how we get there. We live in the self deceived illusion of so many possible alternatives to God when God is the only alternative.
Lord Jesus, you are right here, right now. Right here, Jesus. Right now, Jesus. Amen.
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J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. firstname.lastname@example.org.