God frees us from sin’s control. Even though we have a world full of sin and suffering, those who come to the Author of Life can find freedom. Jesus said true freedom comes to those He sets free (John 8:36).

God sustained His people through the wilderness. He gave them food from the sky. This miraculous meal they called, “What is it?” or manna in Hebrew. God also provided them water to drink in the middle of a desert.

Is the Bible just stories or history?

Archeologists have found so many things to reinforce the history of Scripture. One man claims to have found chariot wheels at the bottom of the Red Sea. These came from Pharaoh’s army and now lie covered by sand and coral formations. He also shows pictures of the rock at Horeb which Moses struck so the people could drink. You can see where the water flowed from it for a long time, carving a path through the rocky wilderness. Mt. Sinai seems to have been discovered as well with a charred black top marking it as different from the other mountains nearby. While we do not need archeology to prove the Bible, we can be fascinated with the legitimacy of God’s Word.

When I get free, will I ever struggle again?

Once the people had lived on manna for a while, they got tired of it. They wanted more variety in life. They began to think of the “good old days” back in Egypt. They missed the foods they used to eat back in the land of captivity. They started talking about going back.

A person today can get free from the bondage of alcohol and be so happy for his freedom. Then one day he might get lonely and begin to think of all the friends he used to have back when he was bar hopping. Forgetting the misery of hangovers, fights, and depression, he starts longing for another beer. Human nature forgets bad things faster than good things. Unfortunately, we may find ourselves romanticizing the horrors of our past and longing for them again. Don’t let the devil lure you back into your bondage.

What did God want from His people?

God wanted to be close to His people. When He called Moses, He told him He wanted Moses to bring the people back to serve God on that same mountain (Exodus 3:12). When they arrived at the mountain, Moses told the Hebrews to take three days to prepare themselves to meet God. When those days of cleansing ended, God gave the trumpet signal for the people to come to Him (Exodus 19:13-20). Instead they shrank back in fear (Deuteronomy 5:5) and would not come to Him. God responded by commanding them not to come up the mountain but stay away (Exodus 19:21-24).

Instead of becoming a nation of priests (Exodus 19:6), God made them a nation with priests. Instead of being a holy nation (Exodus 19:6), He let them be a clean nation. Instead of His people meeting Him in person (Exodus 3:12), they got a list of rules. The law given by Moses was not God’s best gift to humanity. It was a temporary fix until the Redeemer came.

Do I have to live by the rules?

No one becomes successful at anything by following the rules. While we should obey the law of the land and do the things that please God, we must realize our fulfillment in life will come by following God’s calling, not just obeying His rules.

For example, the 10 commandments are like guardrails. They kept the Israelites from going out of bounds. Just avoiding guardrails, however, will not get you to Dallas. You have to pursue a goal and achieve it by avoiding the pitfalls of sin.

The law did not bless the people. It yoked them with a grinding responsibility to keep them thinking about God. Today, the Lord does not want us to live by a list but by love.

Where is God when we need Him?

Since the people would not come into the center of His presence, God moved into the middle of theirs. When they camped at night, the door of their tents had to all face the tabernacle where God’s pillar of fire glowed brightly. Every morning when they walked out of the tent, they would see God, so to speak. He led them through the desert to the Promised Land.

Everyday we need to open our hearts to the Lord. If we do not follow His direction, we will be lost and wandering for years without purpose.

How do I know I have God’s favor?

When the people turned to sin during Moses’ absence, God said He was leaving and just an angel would lead them. This prompted quite a talk between the prophet and Yahweh. Moses asked how one knew if he had God’s favor. God told him, “Because my presence is with you.” Moses then won the discussion, saying that God had to go with them because He had promised them His favor (Exodus 33:12-16; 34:4).

The presence of God in your life is the manifestation of His grace. You know you have His favor by His Spirit (Romans 8:14-15). Everyday we should freshen with God’s favor by spending time In His presence.

How does this help me get free?

Getting away from bondage was only half the battle. The next part of Israel’s development came with them getting to where God wanted them. Following the presence of Yahweh, they came to the Promised Land. God does not just save us from sin to get us out of trouble. He calls us and leads us to a better place in life where we can positively affect our world for Him.

How do I get into His presence?

We worship God. Tell Him how great He is. Tell Him how much you love Him. Speak from your heart and take focused time to just lift up the Lord and praise Him. Your worship will lift you into His presence and carry you through the day.

Next time…

The battle plan to victory.