In part one of this blog, I discussed how the parting of the Red Sea teaches us the ever-important lesson that salvation is of the Lord. If we truly believe this, the second lesson naturally follows: that God will bring our salvation to completion. If salvation is of the Lord, he will complete it. There is nothing we can do to thwart his plan. Let the explanation of this truth through the consideration of the miracle at the Jordan River be of encouragement to our hearts!
Two sets of water. Two miracles. Two fundamental lessons on salvation.
The parting of the Red Sea and the Jordan River are much more than neat miracle stories. They are central events in the unfolding drama of redemption that proclaim who God is and the nature of His salvation. In this post, I will discuss one fundamental lesson of salvation revealed in the first of these events.
The Red Sea
Imagine the scene at the Red Sea: God had promised to lead His people out of slavery in Egypt and into land he promised to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Through many miraculous signs and wonders, God moved the stubborn heart of Pharaoh to momentarily allow Israel to leave. In dramatic fashion, the people evacuate Egypt, Pharaoh changes his mind and pursues Israel, and Israel seems to be trapped by the impassibility of the Red Sea. Their first thought isn’t to turn to God for help (easy to judge, but unfortunately we often do the same), but to complain and grumble against Moses and declare that they were better off in Egypt (see Exodus 14:10-12). Moses responds, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today” (Exod. 14:13).
“Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God who richly provides us with all things to enjoy.” – 1 Timothy 6:17
Have you ever read verses about money and felt that they were unreasonable? Perhaps you’ve thought that to serve God and not money really isn’t even doable. How can we do that when we need money to live, eat, and provide for ourselves and our families? You’ve probably heard the famous verse, “You cannot be slaves of both God and money” (Luke 16:13). If you’re like me, you’ve probably been frustrated with understanding how we apply verses like these.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy one is understanding.” –Proverbs 9:10
In the ninth chapter of Proverbs, Solomon compares wisdom with foolishness. In his description of wisdom, he writes that the “beginning” of wisdom is the “fear of the Lord”. In other words, fearing the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Today I want to ask the question: what does it mean to fear Him?
“For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.” 23 So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.” – Ezra 8:22-23
“Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be my disciple…For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?” -Luke 15:27-28
In the past, every time I came across one of Jesus’ statements like this, I trembled. Was I really bearing my own cross? Was I truly following Him? At the same time, I was afraid of the immensity of the call of giving up everything to follow Him. Is it really worth it?
“I have written so that you will know how people ought to act in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” –1 Timothy 3:15
August 4, 2018
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” – Proverbs 3:6
“Straight paths” are a result of acknowledging Him in all our ways. In the context of Solomon teaching his son wisdom, perhaps he had in mind going to war without consulting God as future kings would do. Maybe he had in mind the tough decisions of being a king, matters of judgment, taxes, or managing the finances of the kingdom. Whatever he had in mind, he included the possibility of everything: “in all your ways, acknowledge Him.” The wise person acknowledges the Lord in all their ways- because when they do, He makes their paths straight.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.” –Proverbs 3:5-6
These often-quoted verses are very encouraging. However, there is a risk of them becoming too familiar that we fail to see the point and power in them. Continue reading “Trust God, Not Yourself”
“When the builders had laid the foundation of the Lord’s temple, the priests, dressed in their robes and holding trumpets, and the Levites descended from Asaph, holding cymbals, took their positions to praise the Lord…they sang with praise and thanksgiving to the Lord: “For He is good; His faithful love to Israel endures forever.” -Ezra 3:8-11