By: Barbara Edwards
On Wednesday evenings we are exploring the Bible, we started with what is the Bible, when and how was it written and now we have various books within the Bible. I had the privilege of first studying and then sharing about the book of Exodus. Exodus really is a great story of God’s redemptive powers and God’s willingness to be obviously present to his people. Throughout the book of Exodus God reveals himself to the people in many ways; a burning bush, plagues, smoke & fire, manna and water, lightning, trumpet blasts, and shaking mountains! One would think that listening to and following Him would be an obvious conclusion.
Over and over in the first half of Exodus God states that, “I am the Lord, God of your fathers – the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” God has promised to bring them to the land, a land flowing with milk and honey! Again, God is evidently and obviously present! Did they remember this for even a little while? You know the story – NO they did not.
The story line in the second half of Exodus goes the same way, over and over, the people quickly forgot that God was evidently, obviously present – even as they ate bread and quail that came from the sky each day! How obvious can you get? God’s desire to be present was so compelling that God gave plans for a tabernacle to be built in order to live among the people.
Through this reading I kept being reminded of how hard it is to remember that God is evidently, obviously present! We talk about experiencing God moments. When was the last time you verbalized a “God Moment” out loud to someone else? Try it!!!!!
A little over a year ago, one of my very best friend’s son died unexpectedly. He was just 33 and a healthy outdoorsman, always hunting, fishing and enjoying life. He was an only child and had just found out he would be a father in 7 months. It was an unknown, unexpected heart condition. How does someone experience God in moments like these? I have spent many conversations with my friend – not knowing the answer, but knowing that God was and is evidently, obviously present. God keeps popping up – in the joy of a new baby- in the comfort of friends. Are there sorrows, hardships and unexpected events? Do we forget that God dwells with us? For sure!
Psalm 46 has been one of my opening prayers leading into my quiet contemplative prayer time. I invite you to read it and remember, “The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” v 7,11
I end with a short song that we sing in the Children’s Worship Hour at 11:00am in the basement – sing it and remember God is always by your side!