Red Sea | Devotion 6: #NOTMYJESUS
“Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.” Exodus 14:30-31
With this study of Exodus, we get to see a lot of aspects of the Lord that we may not have wanted to see. We see His divine election of the people of Israel as His Holy Nation, we see the casting down of the gods of Egypt and the Lord’s divine authority through the plagues, and we see the Lord’s Power over His creation as He parts the Red Sea. All of this, however, some would argue, is not in character of the God in the New Testament who is rich in love and slow to anger, or even His Son the second person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus Christ, who did not come to condemn the world but to save it.
Now this Devotion is going to be very pointed, some might not like what I have to say or possibly agree with it, but I feel like it needs to be said. God does not care what you think of Him. As Hebrews 13:8 would say, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” We do not get to change that. We do not get to decide who our God is. If we do that, we are worshiping a false idol and an untrue god. Now I will not negate His love, grace, mercy, and amazing irresistibility but at the same time we can never forget that God is just, He is wrath, and He is to be feared.
At this point, the children of Israel feared the Lord. They have seen His just and awesome power displayed to all the world that He is the Lord, the divine authority, the King of kings, the Lord of lords. Even though they see this power of the Lord displayed, in a manner of days, they decide to build a golden idol of a calf and worship that. Is that not what we do as Christians today? Do we not go through a moment of fear and uncertainty only to be reminded of the realness of God and His undeniable sovereignty and then completely forget Him?
When I returned back to civilian life after my four years of service in the United States Navy, I asked Pastor Ryan Story to mentor me. In our meeting, I asked the question, “How could the Israelites forget how awesome and how powerful our God is and worship false gods or idols?” Ryan turned in his chair and with a pen drew a line on his office wall, “In a few weeks you won’t remember that mark was even there. It has become a permanent part of this room.” To my surprise, he was right. The mark became commonplace, it became ever-present and permanent, and I paid it no mind. Now, I am not saying that I should fear the pen mark on a wall in some office at our Holly location, but I am saying that we should fear our complacency with the Lord. God is not some genie that gives us three wishes, nor is He the conveyor belt of Blessings. God, YHWH, Jehovah, Adonai, is the Architect of the Universe, the undeniable sovereign of all creation. With this title and His authority, fear should be given, a total submission should be observed, and praise will be His.
I love you, and I know that the Lord loves you as well, but it is time that we take a realistic approach to the God that we serve. Yes, He is love, and His divine love also has divine justice and wrath. Yes, He will bless you, but He will also punish you. In Francis Chan’s book “Crazy Love,” he states, “I sometimes struggle with how to properly respond to God’s magnitude in a world bent on ignoring or merely tolerating Him. But know this: God will not be tolerated. He instructs us to worship and fear Him.” That is the God whom we serve, and it is about time that we realize that.