This one is…how shall we say….challenging, in our modern culture. We are living smack dab in the middle of a “me” generation. And the the proprietors of the “me” generation (baby boomers…of which I am a part) are now watching as their children become “helicopter parents”…thereby taking the next generation to an even greater level of “ME”.
And all of this has led us to have a God that isn’t really God at all…but more of a spiritual guru that is ultimately there for our benefit. Here’s a term you may or may not be familiar with, but you will certainly recognize the concept:
Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. (That’s not a real catchy name for a religion, but it does summarize what is being taught in our culture and in many churches today.) Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. Here is how these two sociologists explain it: “God is something like a combination Divine Butler and Cosmic Therapist: He is always on call, takes care of any problems that arise, professionally helps his people to feel better about themselves, and does not become too personally involved in the process.” That is Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, and it is a pretty good description of the way that most Americans think about God.
In these verses in Exodus we see God deliberately orchestrated these events to demonstrate the power He wields over both His enemies and the elements. He parted the seas and it was written about in the Bible so generations later we know that our God can do anything!
Remember the story in John 7 when Jesus’ disciples met a man blind from birth and they asked, “How did this man get into this situation? Why did it happen? Who sinned, the man or his parents, that he was born this way?” And Jesus told them they were asking the wrong question. That “this man was born blind so that the power of God could be displayed in his life.” Jesus healed him so we would know who Jesus is!
God doesn’t waste suffering. If He leads us into impossible spots, He will deliver us in His own time, in His own way and for His name’s sake. Our job is to say, as Jesus did during the week before he was crucified:
John 12:27-28 – “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!”
That is, after all, what our lives are all about. To Him be the glory! Perhaps you’ve heard about this little document that was written a few centuries ago called the Westminster Catechism…according to them, the #1 purpose of mankind (that would be you and me and all the rest of us) is to glorify God. Imagine that. All along we thought his purpose was to glorify us…hmmm.
So, if it is our purpose to glorify this great God of our, it’s important to think through what brings him glory. God Gains Glory When…
- His enemies are defeated
- His children are delivered
- His name is exalted
- His exploits are remembered
- His praises are sounded
- His children make a simple choice to avoid the temptation of sin
- His principles are lived by rather than ignored
There are innumerable ways that we can bring glory to God…but sometimes, God intervenes to make sure that we remember…just like this story from Exodus. When we are in those hard moments, we need to always keep his glory in mind.
God will deliver His people from every trial and trouble. It may not be my way or your way, but in His own way, He will deliver for His name’s sake. In this Exodus story the Lord intended from the beginning to gain glory for Himself by saving His people at the last minute. If you think about it God often saves us in the nick of time. Just when we think we can’t hang on anymore, He’ll provide an escape route. And His way is the best way. And it leads to worship.
Psalm 50:15 – “and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”
I think when He gets us through something we need to give Him the credit. To thank Him and tell others what He did.