He divided the sea and led them through;
he made the water stand up like a wall.
He guided them with the cloud by day
and with light from the fire all night.
He split the rocks in the wilderness
and gave them water as abundant as the seas;
he brought streams out of a rocky crag
and made water flow down like rivers.
It’s amazing how God’s grace was present over all of the people of Israel before Moses received the law from God’s hands. The foolish and ungrateful people did not quite understand the wonderful liberation they had obtained through God’s miraculous intervention in Egyptian affairs. They had not done anything particularly meaningful to earn the privilege of being guided by day with a pillar of cloud and by night with a pillar of fire. When they had to face the formidable obstacle of the Red Sea and saw that the Egyptians were close behind them, they let themselves be overwhelmed by fear and ended up complaining and protesting against Moses for having freed them from slavery. They did not deserve to have the sea divided to allow them free passage to freedom. Still, God showed his grace to this rebellious people.
Later, when they came to Rephidim, the Jews began to complain that the territory had no water for them and their beasts to quench their thirst. On the instructions of God, Moses along with some elders of Israel advanced to an even drier and more desolate place: Mount Horeb. Here the Lord again showed His grace to a discontented and murmuring people by producing water from a barren rock. The people who left Egypt and their descendants could never understand the grace of God and because of it they rejected grace and God had to assign a guide to lead them to Christ. It was not until Christ revealed to the world that they were able to leave the imprisonment that the law meant.
Today there are many people who do not understand the concept of grace and take refuge in the law or in a personal kind of legalism which keeps them tied up and paralyzed in their progress towards spiritual maturity in Christ. Like the foolish Galatians, after beginning by means of the Spirit, they are now trying to finish by means of the flesh. Let us fix our eyes on our Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s seek support on his grace and mercy. Let us be embraced by his love so we can be set free from the slavery we find ourselves into when we believe that justice can be achieved through the works of the law. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged Christianity, cloud, day, fire, God, grace, Jesus, justice, life, love, night, Psalms, river, rock, salvation, sea, streams, water
In the night, LORD, I remember your name,
that I may keep your law.
This has been my practice:
I obey your precepts.
In the never ending debate of those who think that salvation is achieved by works they quote many verses that mention obedience trying to show that it is what allows us to become children of God. This perspective of obedience as a requirement can only lead to legalism. Obedience is just the result of a life transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Obedience is the proof or evidence of the faith of a child of God and his dependence on his heavenly Father. Not surprisingly, James, the brother of the Lord said: “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” Obedience is the logical consequence of a total dependence on God. Faithbedience I think I have called it before. If we are not convinced that we depend on God in all activities and aspects of our lives, we will never see how important it is to obey God in everything. God has done everything necessary for us to be saved and, as the Psalmist says, our practice is to obey his precepts. Our sinful nature will always want to drive us out of subjection to God’s commands and to lead us into the territory of rebellion. If instead we let ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit of God it won’t be necessary for us to deal with that problem. By the measure of our obedience we can calibrate our faith.
How big is your faith? Check whether or not you are obedient and you will find out. Is there an opportunity to be more obedient? Of course, since we are not perfect and since our sinful nature makes us validate what popular wisdom says: “A leopard never changes its spots.” Without faith and without the intervention of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit of God in our life can not show a true and effective obedience. Let us give the control of our lives to the Spirit of God and let us immerse ourselves in his word so we know what the rules that we must follow are and so we can meet our part. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged Christianity, faith, God, hope, Jesus, law, life, LORD, love, name of God, night, obedience, precepts, Psalms, remember, righteousness, salvation, spirituality, wisdom
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.
One of the hardest things to accomplish in the lives of the children of God is to adapt to God’s time. Our modern life is structured and controlled by the clock. We have a certain time to sleep, a specific time to get up, a quiet time, a time for personal care, a time for breakfast, a time to leave home, a time to conmute, a time to work, a time for lunch, a time to work some more, a deadline to meet , a time to return home, a time for dinner, a time for some relaxation, a time to go to bed and a time by which we must be asleep or we will have problems the next morning to get out of bed to repeat the routine described above. The clock is there at all times to let us know what time it is and what activity we need to be doing. This time structure leaves us very little room to vary the routine so that it does not become too tedious. When dealing with God we apply a similar scheme. We pray, we cry and we ask God what we think we need and then we expect him to respond according to our time schedule. It is as if we were setting conditions to God. Something like “Father, if you not answer me now, I will lose my joy and it will be more difficult to keep my trust in you.”
Remember that God is the author of time. For him, time is just another tool in his wonderful plan for the world. Let us accept that we have no control whatsoever over what must happen and when. To try to control these things will only bring us a life full of frustrations and failures. The best time is God’s time. Remember that God works all things for the good of those who love him. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Psalms, Uncategorized
Tagged cry, day, God, Holy, Israel, night, praise, Psalms, rest, throne