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From the pulpit, Sept. 13

From the pulpit, Sept. 13

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The promise ahead of us

The Bible is a story. It is a true story, but it is a narrative of God’s interaction with and relationship to humanity and creation. It spans several generations, and the story continues through several millennia. In the scriptural narrative, there are stories or themes that repeat themselves like a chorus to your favorite song on the radio, or a song that repeats over and over again through your favorite musical.

One of the themes that I have noticed, and want to go deeper in study with is the story of the Exodus deliverance. In the second book of the Bible, appropriately titled Exodus, the Bible tells the story of God raising up a leader named Moses to lead his people out of slavery in Egypt, and back to the land that had been promised to them through their ancestor Abraham. The journey from Egypt to the promised land (modern-day Israel) takes longer than expected. As they experience deliverance and move toward the hope and promise of a land of their own, they experience God’s presence in unique and powerful ways. God calls and forms Israel as his own people, and they are equipped to be a light to the world that manifests his presence for the whole world to see and know who God is and what God is like.

The theme of Exodus continues throughout Scripture. The people turn away from God, and they get themselves in all sorts of trouble. God raises up a leader and delivers them from bondage, and renews his promise to be with them, care for them and guide them. This happens with judges and kings in the Old Testament. It happens as the Israelites are delivered from exile. Deliverance, or salvation, is found ultimately in Jesus Christ, who leads us out of the bondage of sin and to the promise of eternal life in the loving presence of our creator. Even as one reads the final book of Scripture, there is an Exodus theme, replete with plagues to be endured and a journey toward a promised New Heaven and New Earth.

As we live the truth of Scripture, we are called to live an experience of deliverance in our own lives as well. Listen to some of the metaphors of transition from a state of bondage to salvation in the Gospels: moving from blindness to seeing (John 9), from darkness to light (John 1), being born again (John 3), lost to found (Luke 15). We are called to be on a journey from bondage to deliverance, and from deliverance toward the promise of new land, new hope, and a new life ahead.

This leads me to ask: What do you need God to deliver you from? Where are you on the journey from bondage to deliverance? Are you living and walking in trust in God’s promises, or are you considering going back to the bondage you are being delivered from? As you are set free, are you continuing to draw close to the One who has the power to set you free and fulfill the promises of hope you are clinging to? Think about these things …

The Rev. Clint Walker

First Baptist Church

North Platte

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