Who is this God? He speaks Light into existence, he plants gardens in fields, he guides a nation through a desert, and he plans a divine intervention. Who is this God? He makes himself apparent in floating clouds, he crushes empires with single angels, he gives prophets power and foresight, and he marries himself to a people. Who is this God??
I started reading Genesis shortly after I got back from DTS in July, 2017. I was hungry for fresh revelations and God planted an idea in my head: why not read the Bible through, cover to cover, before the end of the year? Sixty-six books in six months? Why not? I was game for the challenge so I looked up a plan and plowed ahead. While I made some progress, I didn’t make it to Revelation. I did make it to the end of the Old Testament, however, and the journey was incredibly stirring. I want to share with you what I witnessed over the last season. Side note: This is not a teaching. This is simply my observations. If you would like to understand more about where I’m coming from feel free to comment below or just message me through my Facebook page! Cheers. Let’s get going.
Genesis. Exodus. Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Numbers…etc and etc. Book after book, author after author, unique stories and revelations after unique stories and revelations. There’s so much I could write about. However, I believe God gave me a desire to read through these books not to gold mine but to star gaze. What I have seen is an intricate panorama, a beautiful tapestry, truly, a masterpiece. It’s the heart of God.
The books of the Old Testament are raw. There is darkness and there is light. Sometimes its hard to distinguish between the both of them. These are books of history, not books of teaching and it’s helpful to read them as such. There is a magnificent path that can be found focused around one word: redemption. Look at the sometimes-grotesque stories of Genesis and say ah redemption!
Let’s talk about the beginning: there is light. There is a week of art that has never been seen since. Every creation was birthed out of God’s imagination. As it says in the first chapter seven times, God saw that it was good. When God says good, it must have been perfectly exquisite. It’s important to remember how we were made because only two chapters later the Liar takes a throne and enslaves the Earth. Darkness covers the land. Man is corrupted and the Earth begins to groan. This is the introduction to the book titled Redemption. You see, many people argue about the sovereignty of God and the free choice of Man, like some how they are opposed to each other. Wrong. If God is sovereign, why can’t he give man a choice? But I’m not here to present a perfect conclusion, I’m here to say this: look beyond your eyes and see the reaction of God to the Fall of Man.
Immediately, he sets up a master plan. He calls a man. This man fathers a nation. God calls the nation. This nation “fathers” the second Adam, Jesus Christ. This God-man lives perfectly and then offers a lifeswap to any who believe. The new garden is a worldwide kingdom that anyone can join. This is redemption, this is the heart of God!
In between, there is a specific moment that characterizes this entire prequel. I wrote this as I read through Exodus and now I feel that it’s an important picture of how you can read and apply the principles of this history to your own story. Rewind with me back to the great Exodus of the children of Israel….
Deliverance. The act of delivering. This story of the great Exodus, it could be the story of you and me. Let’s find the link.
We’ve all been oppressed. We’ve all been slaves to a foreign controller. Let me tell you what the famine and Egypt might look like and who Pharaoh might be today. Maybe the famine is a circumstance that tries to tell you your identity and forces you to relocate. Maybe it’s through the smug looks from a “friend”, a rumor that is being spread about you, no response to a message you sent, or an unliked post on Facebook. Maybe it’s something louder: maybe it’s the words from your parent, pastor, or teacher that tell you you aren’t doing enough with your life, that you’re a failure. Maybe it’s a glance at your bank account. It could be anything; it could be everything. Through outside circumstances just like the famine, you move to Egypt. You move to and live in an unhealthy place. Egypt. Maybe it’s self-pity. Bitterness. Blaming others. Anger. Fear of rejection. Solitude. Guilt. It could look like the land of Goshen: maybe it’s over working. Competitiveness. Living for popularity. Pride. You get the picture? It’s anytime you allow your self to remain in a state of mind that is not the promised land, that is not your inheritance in Christ. You live there and for a bit it feels good. You feel something. But then a day comes when you are forced into a job. You are overtaken by Pharaoh and you became a slave. A voice starts speaking to you all on it’s own. Pharaoh. Maybe the work he compels you to do is that terrible urge to hurt yourself, the demand for sexual stimulation, the endless hours of pornography, the journal pages of declaring your self-hatred, the chemical highs from substances that could kill you, or eighty hour work weeks. All of a sudden, you aren’t free. Your minds starts playing lies on repeat. Over and over you hear that you are a failure. That you are never going to be free. Welcome to spiritual oppression, welcome to Egypt. Maybe it hasn’t escalated to slavery yet but perhaps you still feel like you’re going that way. Enter Jesus.
When we cry out to God, he hears us. He heard the people of Israel. He heard me. He hears you. God is not deaf. The immediate question many of us have is: then why am I still in Egypt? Here’s where the story of the Exodus is so powerful. See, when God heard his children’s cry, he immediately answered. Get this though: he answered by setting a complete and total deliverance in motion. God didn’t want to just rescue his children, he also wanted to destroy their enemies. Check this out: God says in chapter 12 verse 12b “and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments.” Boom. Here’s why many of us feel like we’re in Egypt: it’s because God is using us to defeat the pharaohs in our life for good. The beautiful thing is that we do not have to defeat them by grabbing a sword and running it through Pharaoh, we can defeat them by saying just like Moses said “this is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me.” Then strap your sandals on, take communion with Jesus–the Passover Lamb, grab your possessions, and walk out. Choose to believe. Choose to take a step of faith. Pharaoh has lied to you; by the power of God you are free. After you make that choice and God destroys the control of your pharaoh, you will come to the Red Sea.
The Red Sea is the place where God destroys your enemy once and for all. This is the place of deliverance. Let me describe the Red Sea for you. You mustered every ounce of strength. You cried out to God. You took a step of faith. You feel free! For an hour, a day, a week, maybe even a month. But then that day comes where you are up against a wall and all of hell’s armies are coming to take you back to Egypt. They are coming and they are angry. Fear hits you. Unbelief comes crashing around you. Every lie is a spear and there are thousands of spears rushing upon you. Enter Jesus and his supernatural power.
Exodus 14: 13, 14. “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.”
On that day he will give you a way of escape. Run for it. Run over dry land. Then turn and watch every chariot, every spear, every pharaoh, every single obstruction to your freedom get crushed beneath the power of God. The only response is praise. This is the God we serve. His love is overwhelming, his power is unlimited, and his freedom is what we were created for. Read Exodus. It has been and will continue to be my story. It can be your story, too….
Redemption. This thousands-of-years prequel is a testimony. No matter how far you fall, there is Redeemer who will lift you up. No matter how poorly you’ve been treated, there is a Redeemer who will lavish you with love. If you read through the Old Testament, I’m sure you will see as I have: this God we serve is trustworthy and relentless. Redemption is here.
Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit
my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing
all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say fantastic blog!