Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Mid-Day Devotion 12/15/09
“Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.”
Exodus 3: 9 and 10
For generations… For generations the children if Israel, they suffered. They suffered and they struggled under the tight fist of the Pharaohs.
Once welcomed into Egypt it had been hundreds of years since the name of Joseph had been remembered in the royal halls of power. Now those proud sons of Abraham and Isaac, those proud daughters of Sarah, found themselves bought and sold as slaves. Whipped and bond in chains, defiled and degraded, they were lower than cattle, oppressed and tormented by their task masters who traded in human flesh and slave labor. They endured the deep and abiding pain of those dark days with no real rest or relief offered to them by their captors as they found that life was nothing more than agony and anguish.
Yet, their bodies cut and wounded, their bones broken and sore, their spirit and their souls could not be shattered by the mere force of the wicked iniquity of men. The hope that they had, it could not be beaten out of them, nor could it just be crushed as the found the enormous weight of the darkness of men bearing down on them. Whatever the burden, whatever the load, whatever the hurt and sorrow, they knew that there was more to life than the temporal authority and the corporeal power of the unrighteousness as it came to bear down upon them. In these moments they would cry out to the Lord, their God, trusting in Him, trusting in His promises, knowing that, throughout their struggles, throughout their challenges He would stand beside them. There would be no torture or torment, no darkness or pain that could separate them from His deep and abiding love for the,
Faithful and devoted to His people, unwilling to fail them or forsake them, unwilling to abandon them in their deepest hour of need or their darkest hour of pain, He would hear their cries…
He would hear their cries… He would see their plight…. He would feel their pain… He would know their sorrow… and for the life of them, He would not just give them up forever into the hands of their oppressors and the power of their might as they found themselves held in the darkness of that bitter estate. In the words of the Lord we hear Him say unto Moses, His chosen deliver, that He does remember the captive and the oppressed, that He does remember the slaves, and that He brings them forth from their bondage. In the words of the Lord we know that He remembers the plight of His people and the suffering that they are forced to endure, that they are made to undergo and that there is no power or might that is able to separate them from His abiding love and grace, His transcending mercy and hope for their lives.
So it was, so it is…
The love that God has for his oppressed children is not just a love for the children of Israel, but a deep and profound transcending love that surpasses all human knowledge, understanding and wisdom, bringing forth, shining forth His justice in this darkened world. It is a love that hears the calls and the cries of all the captives and all the oppressed from all nations. It is the grace that looks upon the lives of the people with compassion, caring for them even when it seems as if nothing in their lives will ever make sense again.
With Moses we see the hand of the Lord's deliverance, but it is not just a deliverance reserved for the Old Testament or for those ancient Children of the Heavenly Father. Though now revealed unto the world in different ways than a burning bush that is not consumed by the flames, the message remains the same: A God of righteousness, the God of the Captives, He shall lead them from the hands of oppression and tyranny through His righteousness.
Trust therefore in the Lord, looking to His divine justice, knowing that, no matter how long or how hard the struggle may be, just as He was with the children of Israel so to is He now with all the captives, all the hostages, and the slaves, working to deliver them the wicked and the unrighteous. Trust in Him, and know that, though the road may be long, though it may be wrought with challenges, the Lord is their with the oppressed through all the ages.
In the name of the Father and of the Son of the Holy Ghost, Amen.
Heavenly Father, hear the cries of the oppressed, see the plight of the captives, be not far from their struggles and their afflictions. Let not the wicked hand of the unrighteous bind the hearts and souls, bodies and minds, of Your children in their darkness, but shine forth Your light through Your justice that no iniquity, no tyranny may assert itself over others. Deliver, O Lord; show that you are God over all and that You will not let forsake Your children to the evils of unrighteous men.
In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who came from on high to lead captivity captive and who reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.