And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.Exodus 12:41
Many years prior, God had told Abraham exactly how long his descendants would be in captivity (Genesis 15:13-14.) It was God’s plan for them all along to go through incredible hardship as slaves—His perfect will in their lives! God does not promise a life free of difficulties, even very heavy ones. But He always keeps His promises! This rang true for me in the early days of having a newborn—there are some serious challenges and trials! But God doesn’t promise me no trials, rather that His presence will be with me throughout the trials. (side note: even if I don’t feel like He’s there, He is!)
And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.Exodus 13:17-18
God had every right to send the people through the land of the Philistines. It was their own fault they were so weak as to run in fear back to Egypt. But our God is merciful! He made provision for even their sin and prepared ahead of time to send them a different way. This reminds me my perspective of God is often colored by my own lack of mercy. He doesn’t operate like I would, and I can trust and rest in His great mercy toward my sin too!
And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.Exodus 13-21-22
I said it earlier and I’ll say it again: God’s presence is there whether I feel it or not! As a born-again child of God, I have the promise of His presence with me always. As I’ve grown over the years, I’ve more and more come to sense when I am not submitted to Him because it causes a lack of the fruit of the Spirit in my life. No joy? no peace? Check yourself. Are you wholly submitted to God? What about your day right now is not involving you walking in the Spirit?
And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.Exodus 15:24, 16:2
This thought did not have time to come to fruition but it did stick in my mind: wow, how often do I murmur?? My day is one long session of figuring out what is not as it should be and correcting that. How often my words are negative because the meditations of my heart are negative and unthankful. What if I chose instead to think thankful thoughts ahead of time? It surely would change my spirit and my words! And one more thing about our God—He responded to their need in spite of their attitude! What a God of lovingkindness and mercy! Not like me for sure. Perhaps if I meditated more on His character I would do less complaining and more thanking anyway.
Laura started attending Lehigh Valley Baptist Church as a child when her family moved to the area. For years, her primary passion was in nursing and furthering her education. In the midst of pursuing a medical degree, God changed her plans and she married Jonathan Snow (read their story here). Now, she has discovered a special fulfillment from being a wife and a mother! Truly, God’s ways are always for our good and for His glory.