This year I decided to do a chronological Bible reading plan that, at the moment, has me reading the beginning of Exodus. Have you ever wondered why God gave the newly freed Israelites a load of rules and regulations to follow? I definitely have.
Then I started thinking in their shoes. They’ve been slaves for 400 years and God has been quiet. They’ve been surrounded by the influence of other religions and cultures. God has always been the “God of their ancestors.”
Imagine having only known slavery. You know that your ancestors believed in a One True God but you haven’t seen any evidence. You’re surrounded by people who believe in many gods and see the sorcery that to you looks real. And you’re treated harshly and probably deceptively. You do what you have to in order to survive.
Then, a man who used to be one of “them” but is now one of “you” shows up saying the Great I AM sent him. And he does amazing signs and God blasts you out of slavery, pain, poverty, humiliation and you walk out rich as kings and free. What do you do now? How do you follow this God who you don’t know?
So God gives them guidelines, very detailed rules that breaks any old habits or culture and gives them a new culture and way to follow. He’s there every step of the way, both through speaking to their leader and through a visible cloud. Some seem harsh, but without these rules it would be like setting a kid on a candy store and saying “Here, you’re free and no longer have your previous rules.” Can you imagine that catastrophe?
God shows His infinite wisdom in guiding them. Giving them a path to follow so they’re not clueless, but still being with them every step of the way. Yeah, He gets fed up with them and their stubbornness but Moses becomes their advocate.
I’m sure God could/does get fed up with me as well in all my mistakes and running away from Him. But I have an advocate as well – Jesus Christ. What’s more, God doesn’t look at me and see me alone, he looks through the covering of Christ and sees the me who I am to be. He sees my potential, has grace and picks me up once again, puts me on my feet, and encourages me to walk true.
I’m not much different than those stubborn Israelites. Praise God that He is unchanging and continues to see the potential and gives His grace for each day. Amen?