“I am the LORD your God,
who has brought you out of the land of Egypt,
out of the house of bondage”
At Mount Sinai God reminded the Israelites that He and He alone is the Lord their God – the One who liberated them from their bondage and slavery in Egypt and brought them through the waters of the sea to Himself. From there He took them into the Promised Land.
This foreshadows the mission of the Messiah about whom the prophet Isaiah was inspired to proclaim about the One to come,
“The LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” (Isaiah 61:1)
Here was the message of a freedom from the enslavement and suffering in a fallen world that would be brought about by the Christ to come. He would come as the Light of the world, as the Way, the Truth and the Life and as the Good Shepherd. He would call and gather God’s chosen ones to Himself and lead them out of the world’s darkness, through the dark waters of death and on the other side into the Light and Life and Love of the Lord God Almighty in the place which He Himself has prepared for them.
This same God is the One who has said to us that
- “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” ( Romans 8:28)
- nothing “in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.“ (Romans 8:39)
- “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29)
As we recognise that God has had this plan for us from the beginning, and that He has revealed His love and commitment to us in so many ways, He urges us to hang on to Him and trust Him for the best – the glorious, eternal and full-hearted living love – is still to come. And it will come.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
And so like the one man next to the Lord on the cross we can hold on just a little longer for we know that in a tomorrow we will be with Him in paradise.
Keep your eyes on the Lord in the good times and the hard times.
Lord Jesus, help me to keep my eyes and heart on You – and not to lose hope or faith, and not to become despondent about myself, but to hold on to Your hand as it holds on to me, even me. Amen.