Paul says we Christians are running a race. Here's what I'm looking at on my run toward Christ.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Desert People

Some passages are just too good not to share in their entirety in a blog post.

"For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.  And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.  For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." Colossians 1:9-14

The church at Colosse was full of Jewish believers, it wasn't exclusively Jewish, but it did have a lot of people well versed in Jewish law and history.  This Jewish population had been there for about 200 years, since the reign of terror of Antiochus III and IV had driven them out of Palestine.  We can expect Paul's letter to the church at Colosse to have many Old Testament references and it does.

"For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves," Colossians 1:13

"So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey."  Exodus 3:8

"Therefore, say to the Israelites: 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.  I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgement.  I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God."  Exodus 6:6-7

"You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness."  Romans 6:18

Paul clearly pointed to the Exodus and announced a New Exodus.  The Exodus of the nation of Israel is an amazing feat in and of itself, but it isn't in and of itself... it is a picture pointing to Christ.  Moses the king's son came down to Egypt to rescue Israel with mighty acts of faith.  Jesus the King's Son came down from heaven to rescue His people with mighty acts of faith.  The ten plagues and the parting of the Red Sea have nothing on the Cross and resurrection of Jesus!

You and I have been redeemed from slavery.  We have been rescued from the dominion of darkness.  Amen!  God has done it.

But like the Israelites we are a desert people.  They were rescued from Egypt but didn't get the Promised Land immediately.  We have been rescued from the dominion of darkness but I am still waiting to fully see the kingdom of light, the kingdom of the Son.  This new kingdom is here, but not yet.  We wait in the desert, we are desert people.

We are desert people.  That's why Paul prayed for us to be strengthened with all power for great endurance, patience with joyful thankfulness.  When the Israelites were in the desert they grumbled and lost faith over and over.  I don't want to do that, but I do grumble.  I need to grumble less in the desert.  I have already been brought into the kingdom of the Son even though I wait to see it completely.  Therefore, I need to endure with patience and rejoice in thanksgiving to my Father who has qualified me to live in His Kingdom through His Son's death and resurrection.

Desert people, we have been rescued from evil tyranny and have been and are being brought into the New Kingdom.  Because of this I pray that you endure with patience and rejoice with thankfulness for what God has already done and will do for us, today.

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