Monday, March 13, 2017

Exodus 12 – God saves Israel from Slavery

Exodus 12:13 NIV

The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.

I have always wondered what “Passover” meant. In the dictionary it meant the major Jewish spring festival that commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, lasting seven or eight days from the 15th day of Nisan. In other words, it’s the Independence Day for Jews for which the world has adopted. But only now I understood it well.

For many countries in the world, citizens celebrate Independence Days because it meant they can live on their own race without a superior country over them. It is to recognize that they have established themselves separate from other nations with full power over themselves. It has the same concept with the Israelites then. They celebrate it because they are no longer slaves to the Egyptians which by the way last for more than 400 years. But the way it’s different is the way of celebrations. In the Philippines, we expect fireworks, grand celebrations, concerts, events and more. But for the chosen people, it was more of a celebration. These people didn’t fight for their freedom, it was given to them. By the time blood was being shed, they were eating, preparing to leave and worshiping. God has delivered them and all they needed to do was spray the blood of their dinner that night at their door fronts. They simply had to sacrifice a lamb. And during the whole Exodus, despite all the complaints and sins the people had, God still delivered them. They lacked food – God provided. They thirsted – God provided. They had foes on their way – still, God provided. God always provides after Passover. 

And so, Israelites celebrate the Passover not over grand feasts alone but with worship but they didn’t win their freedom by themselves, it was given to them.

Should Passover be exclusive for the Jews alone? At this day it sure isn’t. The New Testament has given Exodus 12:13 an all new meaning. The Lamb was sacrificed and through His blood, once again God has passed over through us. This is the very reason why in prayers, we always claim the Blood of Jesus because it is our redemption. Passover comes to every man who applies the blood of Jesus in their lives, in their homes, in their families. And thus, redemption came to us - an Independence where we are not left alone, but an Independence where we actually get dependence and that is from God. And from that point on in our lives, we face a whole new Exodus where we will be in need. With that, God will provide.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Genesis 12 – God begins the nation that will bring Jesus

Genesis 12:4-5 NIV

4 So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 

5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

Abram has already established his life. He has his wife, children, livestock, and home. All he had to do was provide for his family, pray to God for their protection, and live a daily life of peace. Abram was a normal guy, normal as a fresh graduate set for an office based job for a 8-5 daily to provide for the needs of her family. Everybody is just like Abram, so was I.

But God chose him.

God would have waited for Moses to arrive on Earth to start a new era of humanity or He could have chosen a prince or an officer of a higher court at that time. But He chose Abram.
Abram was not special because of what he was or what he has done in his life. He is special because God chose him.

And so when God ordered that he should leave his comfort zone, he simply obeyed. Regardless of the non-feasibility of any of God’s promises, he just abides.
I always have this view of God being complex and unpredictable. I know so well that so many things are beyond man’s understanding as well as leaving one’s comfort zone is not as easy as it may sound. But Abram did it, that’s why he is special - because he acted on the call of God.

But why did Abram leave the place where he could have started a whole new humanity the way he is raising his family? God is all powerful that He can simply declare Abram’s land as the land of promise. It’s not like God has geographical issues. One reason is the tests and obstacles God has prepared for Abram and his faith. But one reason that was also revealed to me is that, God’s ways are always unique that every calls that He makes for anyone is also different from each other. Because if they were, everyone should be pastors right? We can never question God’s plan for our lives.

Indeed, I believe that every life is headed to different paths in different amazing ways. But like Abram, labeled in God’s own brand, has became special because he acted on God’s call and remained faithful all throughout the journey.

So who cares if you can’t find the rightful career path, or if you feel lost, or if you’re not sure if you made the right decision? Remember God’s unique ways of revealing Himself. Because as for me, that is life. Living with the profound purpose of knowing Him and His plans.