Bible Reading Blog — January 14, 2016

14 Jan

Today’s Readings — Exodus 1-2 & Mark 2:23-27

The closing words of Exodus chapter 2 are a great reminder of God’s faithfulness. The last paragraph of chapter 2 reads like this . . . “During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel — and God knew.”

Israel had been enslaved in Egypt for 400 years. They were aching for deliverance and asked God for deliverance. And we see here that the basis for God’s action of their behalf was His remembrance of His covenant. God had not forgotten but in His plan He called to mind His covenant at the time mentioned here. We don’t know all the inside information about why God did it the way He did but we do know two things from this passage: God responded to the prayers of His people and God remained true to His covenant.

So this passage is an encouragement to us both to persist in prayer and to rest in the character of God. This kind of confident urgency seems to be the biblical pattern for the life of faith. We do not lean toward self-effort nor do we lean toward passivity. Ours is an active faith but ultimately is a faith which rests, because our confidence is in God. Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-30 about coming to Him for rest are very interesting. Jesus says He gives us rest, but we find that rest by taking His yoke and learning from Him. The yoke was an instrument placed on animals to get them to labor in a constructive way. So the whole context of rest is not one of passivity or inactivity. Faith is active, but it is under the empowerment and guidance of Jesus and it is in Him that our confidence ultimately lies. God is true to His promises. This is the one thing we must remember when we cry out to Him.

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