Monday, August 13, 2012
Scratching the Surface, Exodus
Scratching the Surface of Exodus
Have you ever wanted to escape?
Forget the past tense, how about right now?
Do you want to escape from someone or something?
Do you feel chained to alcohol, tobacco, weed, nose candy, caffeine, pills, job, debt, taxes, porn, plastic, memories, fantasies, relationships, religion, government, or ___?
Everyone has someone/something to fill in that blank because it's human to want to escape 'em.
Though we're gonna get to him later, the Psalmist, who often captures how we feel about a lotta stuff, dreamed, "I wish I was a bird and could fly away from..."
Unless your doctor has prescribed a little helper to anesthetize your brain, everybody's trying to escape someone or something because someone or something has control over us.
We want to be free from...
It's the collision of two opposite instincts.
We want to be free.
Someone/something doesn't want us to be free.
This book is about that struggle.
It's about our desire to be free, the aforementioned stuff or Pharaoh(s) in our lives that don't want us to be free, and God who is divine enough to enable our escape.
Let's look at our instinct.
We want to choose who, what, where, when, and whatever for ourselves.
No matter the Pharaoh, as Martin Luther King, Jr. said among his last words on the night before being murdered for being one of God's voices of freedom (4/3/68), "The cry is always the same - 'We want to be free!'"
Let's look at Pharaoh's instinct.
Pharaoh wants to control our thoughts, words, and actions; enslaving our identities and aspirations to his agenda.
While Pharaoh will say he's looking out for our best interests, it's just a smokescreen to distract us while the cuffs and chains are being fastened to our bodies and souls.
Fortunately, God is the main player in His story.
That's what the whole book is about and Exodus builds upon Genesis as God's character expands from Source, Starter, and Sovereign to Savior.
Because He is Who He is as Source, Starter, and Sovereign, God's original design of making us for Himself cannot be changed by anyone/anything less than Himself; and that includes Pharaoh.
Unlikely voices like Moses arrive on the scene with God's command, "Let My people go!"
If Pharaoh refuses, God plagues 'em until Pharaoh lets up or gives up or is put down; and then the emancipated sing like King did on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. (8/28/63), "Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last."
Of course, our freedom from God is for God.
Simply, we are free to be as God designed us to be.
As we learned in Genesis, He made us for Himself.
He created us; and as we read in Genesis and as we read in every book of the Bible, we'll always be just fine as long as we pay attention to Him.
Just to be clear, let's take a quick look at what He means by freedom.
Freedom does not mean doing whatever the hell we want to do; for doing whatever the hell we want to do brings hell into the lives of others and disrespects God Who loves everyone equally.
That's why He gave those Ten Commandments to us; which, basically, show us how to get along with Him and how to get along with everybody else.
Indeed, we can't escape the fact that God's book reminds us over and over and over again that getting along with everybody else is, more than less, how we get along with Him.
We'll get back to that/Him/them as we scratch the surface of the other books.
Simply, Biblical freedom is being exactly who God intended us to be; and when we are exactly who God intended us to be and others are exactly who God intended them to be, everyone gets along just fine because God is not double-minded and does not give freedoms that conflict, collide, contradict, inhibit, or anything else destructive to relationships.
Problems start when we look in the mirror, like Pharaoh, and see God.
That's when the attacks on freedom begin - when humans start thinking they're a tad too divine and entitled to control other humans no matter how they've been designed by the one and only and real God.
The solution is staying focused on the Source, Starter, and Sovereign Who will always be our Savior to escape the controls, chains, and captivities of life's Pharaohs.
Every episode in Exodus explains the simple equation of freedom: obedience to God = freedom to experience His best for our lives and escape anyone/anything up to no good in our lives.
While we'll discover His story climaxes at the entrance of His incarnate Self in Jesus as ultimate Savior to help us escape death - the ultimate Pharaoh - and do for us what we cannot do for ourselves, Exodus refreshes us with the good news that every Pharaoh who shows up at our doors is no match for people who acknowledge, accept, and adore God our Source, Starter, Sovereign, and Savior.
This book is about God doing that for us right now as well as forever.
...to be continued...
Blessings and Love!