Moses, ISIS and Christmas

GM: CHRISTMAS IS ALSO ABOUT FAITH AND HOPE

The Lord does amazing things all the time, if you watch and listen carefully.

Today I began ‘my devotions’  knowing that I have limited time. But then this happened:

Recalling that I woke up with Zechariah’s  – John the Baptist father – song on my heart, I begin with the Benedictus:

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel…..
and when I arrive at ,
‘ That we should be saved from  our enemies: and from the hands of all that hate us,’;
this sobering thought came into my mind.

That, if we focus on ISIS,  what happened in San Bernardino,  the threat of Zik V – the headlines of the Daily Gleaner today, or our current personal health financial our domestic issues, we would have missed the point the reason why  Christ came into the world.
Listen again to the words of the Benedictus:

‘To perform the mercy promised to our forefathers: and to remember his holy covenant.’

For the reality of life, like it or not, believe it or not, is that God called Israel unto Himself, not because He loved them anymore than we the Gentiles – all who are not Jews. But that His people might bring Him glory across the whole earth. And so Israel, so the Church in these times.

For who in the world has not heard about Moses and his staff that ” parted the Red Sea “. Very few, I would suggest. They may not have heard of Christianity and salvation in Christ Jesus, but they have heard of the God of Moses.

Yesterday I listened to Emily Shields, one of our popular talk show hosts on #rjr94fm, and Moses called to speak to her. And without missing a beat, she asked him he had a staff. Now I don’t know if she is a committed Baptized child of God, but she certainly has heard about Moses.

So here is the thing, as the young people love to say:
Regardless of what is happening around us, once we are in Christ, once we believe that Christ came, whenever, Christmas we know so we celebrate it, and that He died and was raised from the dead, we have a blessed Hope, in the midst of every storm. That ‘ we shall be saved from our enemies: and from the hands of all that hate us’. Regardless of how such enemies manifest themselves!

In this context then, the Lord reminded me of these promises in the Book of Isaiah:

” But now, this is what the Lord says –
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
‘ Fear not, for I have redeemed you:
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When ( not if) you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel your Savior.
Isaiah 43:1-2 NIV

Have mercy! Have mercy. As I read these glorious promises, tears of gratitude moistened my eyes. O Blessed by the Lord God if Israel indeed.

But the Lord was not finished. For on the opposing page highlighted in green,  were these famous and profound words.

‘ Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
Isaiah 43:18 &19 NIV

Followed by this:

Yet you have not called upon me, O Jacob,
you have not wearied yourself for me, O Israel. Isaiah 43:22

Now you don’t have to be any great theologian to recognize the promise of  salvation in Christ Jesus, the ‘ new thing’, in all of this.
So what’s the take home message.

Less of Moses, less of ISIS, less of our daily troubles, and more of crying out, wearing ourselves in prayer to God, in and through the Name of Jesus. Especially when we are passing through the ‘fires’ of life.
For He who promised to ‘ Save us from all our enemies: and from the hands of all who hate us’ is faithful. And will lift us up on eagles on the Cross of Calvary, whenever we turn to Christ Jesus.
This then is the song the Lord placed in my heart to close ‘ my devotions’ this ‘ busy’ morning.
Peace.

THE SONG – inspired by Psalm 91.

You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord
Who abide in His shadow for life
Say to the Lord
“My refuge, my rock in whom I trust!”

And He will raise you up on eagles’ wings
Bear you on the breath of dawn
Make you to shine like the sun
And hold you in the palm of His hand.

The snare of the fowler will never capture you
And famine will bring you no fear
Under His wings your refuge
His faithfulness your shield.

And He will raise you up on eagles’ wings
Bear you on the breath of dawn
Make you to shine like the sun
And hold you in the palm of His hand.

You need not fear the terror of the night
Nor the arrow that flies by day
Though thousands fall about you
Near you it shall not come.

And He will raise you up on eagles’ wings
Bear you on the breath of dawn
Make you to shine like the sun
And hold you in the palm of His hand.

For to His angels He’s given a command
To guard you in all of your ways
Upon their hands they will bear you up
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.

And He will raise you up on eagles’ wings
Bear you on the breath of dawn
Make you to shine like the sun
And hold you in the palm of His hand…

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