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Just like Jacob in Genesis 32 I am a man who often finds myself struggling with God. Struggling With God is an invitation for you to join me in my journey as I rediscover the one true God. To begin reading, and living God's story like you never thought possible. To approach God's word with an open mind and be willing to see and hear things differently. This is an invitation to begin Struggling with God.
Website Added: August 31, 2013 02:53:38 PM
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N.T. Wright and The Strange Challenge of Truth

I am happy to post this guest post written by friend and fellow Youth Minister Chris Woodrow. Chris is the Youth Minister at Western Heights Church of Christ in Sherman TX. Chris and I attended the recent N.T. Wright lecture at Oklahoma Christian University. As would be the case, Chris took better notes than I...

PaulI am happy to post this guest post written by friend and fellow Youth Minister Chris Woodrow. Chris is the Youth Minister at Western Heights Church of Christ in Sherman TX. Chris and I attended the recent N.T. Wright lecture at Oklahoma Christian University. As would be the case, Chris took better notes than I did and has put them together in this short write up. I think you will enjoy some of what Wright and Chris have to say. 

Last week I went to hear NT Wright speak at Oklahoma Christian University. His talk on Monday night was challenging, at times confusing, and very heady.

So, a few days of pondering and discussing later, I think I have a pretty good handle on what he was saying…and more importantly, I think I have a “so what?” to take away from it.

Wright’s lecture was titled “The Strange Challenge of Truth”, and he began with a discussion of three “truth traps” that Christians have fallen into the past few centuries. I’ll discuss them below, with additional material that Wright alluded to but didn’t include in his lecture.

Trap #1 – Rationalist Truth

As the Enlightenment began, the “smart” people of the world focused more and more on Reason as the means by which we test everything. Does this make sense? Is it logical? And if it’s not logical, if it can’t be proved, does it have any value? And so as “rationalists”, we began to test our world, and we achieved great advances in science, mathematics, and medicine.

But then the great contest came, as we Rationalists fixed our gaze upon the religious world. Does God make sense? Can God be proved? And if not, should we value God at all? This debate ranged far and wide, eventually producing the Rational Christianity that many of us know and love. Rational Christians used verses like Romans 1:19-22 as a bastion to rally around. Rational Christians produced effective arguments, including the Watchmaker theory: “look at the complexity of our world! Surely that points to an Intelligent Designer!” At the same time, other beliefs about God and creation, particularly the idea that the Sun revolved around the Earth, were proven to be wrong.

Rationalism, Wright argued, can be useful. There is a “danger in grabbing something that makes no sense.” And we can make some rational arguments for God.

But Rationalism can become a trap in two ways. First, what happens to our theology when science effectively proves a Christian theory, like geocentrism, wrong? Second, and more importantly, by measuring God with the standard of Rationality and Reason, aren’t we treating Reason as a higher authority than God?

Most usefully, for me at least, is this idea: is there more to God than what Reason can prove? If so, Rationalist Christianity cannot be the final word on God.

Trap #2 – Romantic Truth

For some, Rationalism wasn’t useful, and so they went to the complete opposite of the spectrum: feelings. In my heart, I know that God is real. Feeling emphasizes the heart over the head, and worship becomes primarily an emotional experience.

The obvious challenge to this version of truth is that it’s individualized and potentially inconsistent. What feels right to me may not be what feels right to you, and so we have to agree to disagree.

The danger of this trap can be summed up as follows: is there more to God than what our Heart can tell us? If so, Emotional Christianity cannot be the final word on God.

Before moving to Trap #3

A disclaimer that Wright didn’t include, but I feel is necessary in this discussion: we shouldn’t merely value head over heart because feelings are inferior. Often, our hearts guide us to challenge what our head believes, to reexamine something until it makes sense and feels right.Emotion is, I believe, a valid form of criticism, and at the same time we have to evaluate our emotions to make sure we know where they’re coming from.

Also, Wright did point out that in our postmodern world, a rational explanation is no longer effective for most people. Persuasive arguments no longer “convert” people the way they once might have done. (As an example, consider smoking: we all know smoking causes cancer, but how many people continue to smoke today?)

Trap #3 – Escapist Salvation

(This trap is not as connected to the other two, but it does have a subtle effect on us, as we’ll see in a moment. )

Many Christians today envision the afterlife as simply “going to Heaven” and becoming pure, non-physcial beings. Our bodies will die and decay, and our spirits will rise up in the clouds or into some other dimension far away. Eventually, the earth itself will die (when Jesus returns), and only our “pure” spirits will survive.

The danger with this idea is two-fold. First, the Bible describes a different sort of ending:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.”

And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.”

All things are being made new. (See also Isaiah 65:1766:2 and 2 Peter 3:13.) Particularly, the earth is being made new, and heaven is coming down to join the earth! So we do go to heaven, but it’s all the same location, because now God’s home (heaven) is merged with our home (earth). And somehow, our bodies will be resurrected. We’ll be beyond flesh and blood, but whatever that looks like, it’s a resurrected form of our current self, a body that can eat and drink.

Second, and more importantly, this matters because it affects how we think about the world today. If we believe that everything physical is ultimately inconsequential, we’re ignoring how God feels about God’s creation: that it was created as something good, and that life on this earth matters. It’s not just about getting to heaven; it’s about caring for God’s created things here and now, because somehow all things will be made new. The earth isn’t something to escape–it’s something to renew.

So, for the third question: is there more to the Christian life than getting to heaven? If so, we may need to focus more on the here and now.

The Word as Truth

Wright then turned to the Gospel of John, and how John presents God, the Word becoming Flesh, as the truth that can speak into our world today:

“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.”

In John’s worldview, we don’t rise up (with logic or emotion) to truth. Rather, Truth came down to us. God’s own words bring reality, both in thebeginning and the new beginning, which begins with Jesus.

And somehow, we are participants in sharing God’s truth. Adam named the animals. Prophets speak, and new (future) reality is born. This is the idea–that words bring reality–that challenges our standards of objective/subjective truth. And so, even in a challenging world, the goal is to not stop speaking, but to learn how to speak God’s truth.

Speaking God’s Truth (and the So What?)

Our challenge is to see Truth as more than spoken words. Jesus spoke a lot, but he had to do more than speak to bring God’s truth in a way that reached people. He healed. He fed. He showed love and acceptance to “sinners” (i.e. “scum”) in a way that attracted and transformed them. (Think about the story of Zachhaeus–what on earth did Jesus say and do to bring about Zachhaeus’s transformation?)

If you believe in God’s truth–that God wants us to live in a world free from sin, pain, cruelty, and death–then you can share that truth. And the way you share God’s truth is by sharing God’s love. Go read, for example, John 14-15, and see if you can’t see how inseparably God’s truth and love are intertwined.

In our postmodern world, then, our challenge is not to convince people with well-reasoned arguments we developed a long time ago. For most people, it’s going to take seeing God’s love in action, to know that we truly care about them as a person, and not just a demographic. For us to speak of a new world where sin and death are gone, we have to begin sharing that world with others, with forgiveness, hope, and love. Our words and actions can bring healing. They can bring life. They can bring truth.

Do you want people in today’s world to believe? Share God’s love.

Do you want to be a part of God’s new renewed reality? Share God’s love.

Do you want the Spirit of truth to transform your life and the lives of those around you?

Share God’s love.



Life, Hope, and Baby Goats

I want a baby goat. Preferably, I would like a goat that is only one week or so old. I’ll take the mother too, but only on the condition that the baby doesn’t grow any older. I want a perpetually one-week-old baby goat. I came to this realization after seeing a two baby goats on...

baby-goatI want a baby goat. Preferably, I would like a goat that is only one week or so old. I’ll take the mother too, but only on the condition that the baby doesn’t grow any older. I want a perpetually one-week-old baby goat. I came to this realization after seeing a two baby goats on TV the other night. These goats were not even 5 minutes old, and they were the cutest things I’ve ever seen.

Well maybe not the cutest I’ve ever seen. I saw some baby pictures of my two daughters the other day. Needless to say I think my two daughters are beautiful, but there is something magical about babies. It doesn’t matter if they are baby goats or baby humans…if it is a baby it’s cute.

Maybe I’m becoming soft, but there is a life that babies bring with them that is infectious. No other human can poop and vomit all over you while they simultaneously win your heart. I dare you to try. Just kidding, please don’t try that. This has to be by God’s design. It makes me wonder if God put extra effort into the design of everything baby? And if he did, was it to draw our attention to something important, something special? Was God trying to tell us something when he made babies?

I can’t help but notice that nearly all of God’s interactions with man begin with the birth of a child. Abraham and Sarah were promised Isaac, Isaac in turn was given Jacob, Jacob had Joseph, and so on and so on until you get to Exodus Chapter 1 and there is a threat to this whole process. The Bible says, “a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.” This new king must have known something we don’t. Maybe he saw something in the way God was working among his people that threatened his whole way of living. Whatever it was, something made him deliberately target babies, killing them in the Nile River.

It’s ironic that God chose to save his People by the very means Pharaoh meant to oppress them. God didn’t look among the grown Hebrew men and choose a leader to bring them out of slavery. Instead, He chose a baby. Weak and defenselessness counterbalanced with an embodiment of life and hope. God chose a baby, one who’s life was in danger of being thrown into the Nile. And instead God chose to place him in the Nile himself. God chose to bring life and deliverance to his people through Pharaoh’s chosen vehicle of death. Resurrecting, the words of Jacob (whom Pharaoh had forgotten) “What you intended for harm, God intended for good; to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Some time later God would do it all over again. What some intended for harm would become the focus of all of God’s attention and purpose. But instead of working to get rid of this evil, God would willingly submit himself to it. The Death of God on a cross would become his means to our salvation.

And just like the story of Moses it all began the same way, with a bogus king threatening a weak and defenseless baby.

But not just any baby, the very source of life itself.blackline2This post is part of a series of posts on the Story of God:

Part One: The Power of Story
Part Two: That’s My Story
Part Three: Enslaved By Sin
Part Four: A Fate Worse Than Death

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A Fate Worse Than Death

“But, when you‟ve sat with a wife who has just found out that her husband has been cheating on her for years, and you realize what it is going to do to their marriage … and you see the concentric rings of pain that are going to emanate from this one man‟s choices – in...

Gunpoint

“But, when you‟ve sat with a wife who has just found out that her husband has been cheating on her for years, and you realize what it is going to do to their marriage … and you see the concentric rings of pain that are going to emanate from this one man‟s choices – in that moment, Jesus’ warnings don‟t seem over-the-top or drastic; they seem perfectly spot-on.
Gouging out his eyes might have been less painful.”

–Rob Bell

When my wife was pregnant she worked as a car hop at sonic. Late one night as she and her co-workers were closing for the evening one of the cooks went out the backdoor to empty the trash. As soon as he opened the backdoor an armed robber forced his way inside. One of the other car hops was more than just a little spooked and tried to run out the front door and escape. In her frantic state she had a little trouble unlocking the door which gave the gunman time to leverage a little motivation to keep her there. He forced my pregnant wife onto the floor and began to issues threats. He told the car hop that unless she stopped, my wife would die right then and there.

Needless to say, my wife is alive and well to this day. The gunman made off with the night’s proceeds and no one was seriously hurt. But the thought of that night has lingered in the back of my wife’s mind as one of the scariest nights of her life. At that moment she was powerless and had no control over her own actions. If she valued her life she had to do everything the gunman ordered her to do. She was completely under his control.

But it was just one night. A living nightmare, but one that lasted only a short time. I pray that you have never, and will never have to undergo such a horrific experience. But Imagine what it would be like. Not just for one night; imagine what it would be like if that was your life everyday?

I’m not sure we can imagine it. A single night would be horrific, but everyday? That would be a fate worse than death. To have everything you do controlled with threat of death or harm to you or your family. To never be able to do the things you want to do; being forced to do things you don’t want to do. The mere thought of it is devastating.

It is what I think it must be like to be a slave.

Slavery

In Exodus chapter 1 there is a relatively mild description of what slavery must have been like, at least for the early Israelites. The Bible says:

They put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor [...] the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites and worked them ruthlessly. They made their lives bitter with harsh labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labor the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly. (Exodus 1:11-14)

Words like “bitter,” “ruthless,” and “harsh,” simply can’t convey the realities of what God’s people endured at the hands of the egyptians. The Israelites suffered beatings, starvation, torture, even rape at the hands of the egyptians. And that’s only on a personal level, imagine what a desensitized slave master might do to one’s family who, no doubt, is also owned and subjected to the same terrible treatment. The life long nightmare of a slave makes my wife’s story seem mundane.

Thinking about all this, I find it curious the bible uses slavery as a metaphor for sin. Is sin really as bad as slavery? No one would ever willingly subject themselves to the cruel realities of slavery, but we willingly subject ourselves to sin on almost a daily basis. Sin is bad, yes! But how can these two things be even remotely similar?

Rock Bottom

Rock bottom is a term we use to describe someone who has finally seen the worst of their behavior. I’ve had many friends who have headed down their own path to rock bottom. It is a curious metaphor; what exactly is rock bottom? I think most people would say rock bottom is the point where you can’t dig yourself any deeper, you have hit rock bottom and the only place to go from there is up.

You have probably known people, may have even tried to warn them to turn back from their harmful decisions before they hit rock bottom. Rarely does anyone listen. It seems we need the realities and consequences of our actions to catch up to us before we are willing to admit they are harmful.

But the beauty of rock bottom is that it provides clarity. Anyone who has been to the bottom and thrust their shovel into the hard rock of their own sinfulness can tell you just how enlightening it can be. They can tell you the moment they started to dig themselves into this hole, how at that moment it didn’t feel anything like slavery at all. How at that moment it felt fun, exciting, exhilarating, like life itself. It’s that feeling, the blind, deceptive feeling of excitement we get when we first engage in a particular sin– it is that feeling that confuses us and makes us question how sin could be anything like slavery…but it is.

A Fate Worse Than Death

Sin is slavery, and slavery is a fate worse than death. Just ask the person who’s wife found out about an affair he was having. Ask a child who just found out his parents are getting a divorce. Ask the the family of a daughter who was killed by a drunk driver. That is the path sin takes. It effects not only us, but those around us. Sin isn’t just death, left to our own consequences, sin is a fate worse than death that leaves it’s victims crying out for relief from themselves.

In Exodus chapter 3 God tells moses:

“I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 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 3:7-8)

Take comfort, for God has heard your cry. He is concerned about your suffering. He has come down to rescue you from your own hand.

May God be praised!

blackline2This post is part of a series of posts on the Story of God:

Part One: The Power of Story
Part Two: That’s My Story
Part Three: Enslaved By Sin

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Photo Credit: Geoffery Fairchild; Flickr



O Be Careful Little Mouth

My daughter sings a simple sunday school song titled O Be Careful Little Eyes. The song warns children to be carful what their eyes see, what their ears hear, what their hands do, and where their feet go. It’s beyond adorable to hear my youngest daughter sing, complete with uncoordinated yet adorable hand motions. But...

Phill-RobertsonMy daughter sings a simple sunday school song titled O Be Careful Little Eyes. The song warns children to be carful what their eyes see, what their ears hear, what their hands do, and where their feet go. It’s beyond adorable to hear my youngest daughter sing, complete with uncoordinated yet adorable hand motions. But don’t let the cuteness fool you, this song brings a stark warning.

Do be careful little eyes. You never know what you might be reading. You click on a webpage, you expand a status, you open a book and you begin reading small sets of letters strung together to form words. It’s a very dangerous thing.

But don’t worry, you are probably safe. The best I can tell it isn’t the reading, or even the hearing of the words that is all that dangerous. It’s the saying, and writing of words that will get you into trouble. Which may be why the final verse of the song utters the strongest warning of them all. It says:

O be careful little mouth what you say.

Don’t take it lightly. If you aren’t careful, when you least expect it, those words– carelessly uttered or typed– can take on a life of their own.

At least that seems to be what happened to Justine Sacco, PR exec for the parent company of Vimeo, who carelessly tweeted before boarding a plane to Africa. When she landed, she was unemployed. Not long before Sacco tweeted herself out of a job; Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty answered a simple question about what he thought. When those words were published in a widely read interview, Phil lost his role in the number one reality TV show of all time.

What I really want to know, however, is why we aren’t reading about how Drew Magary is out of a job? He wrote the GQ article. Or why the thousands of people who retweeted and hash tagged Sacco’s comments, or the 100’s of news articles reporting what she has said, why aren’t those people out of a job? After all, what Phil Robertson said was only heard by maybe one or two other people. It was Drew Magary and the publishers at GQ magazine that made them public. They used the very same set of words in the very same order, but because the words didn’t originate with him, Drew was safe to say them.

So it can’t be words that are dangerous. Because if they were, then everyone would be afraid to repeat them. It can’t be the words that are offensive, if they were people would be upset that the words are repeatedly being published and thus allowed to continue offending untold numbers of people.

No, what the song should really warn us of is our thoughts. O be careful little minds what you think. Because when you really boil it down, no one was offended that those words were said, they were offended that they were thought.

So where does the danger lie? Is it in the saying of the words? Is it in the thinking of the words? Or did the real danger manifest itself in the minds of the people hearing them? After all, that’s what ultimately got two people fired. It wasn’t that they thought those things, or even that they said them. Its that what they said caught fire and took on a flesh and life of its own.

This all leads me to believe It’s not just the words or the thoughts we should be concerned about. It’s the mob. It’s the crazy, unpredictable mob of people (that you and I are often a part of) that makes anything thought or said potentially dangerous. It is the mob that gives thoughts, words, and ideas a life, and it is the same mob that ultimately demands death.

With Christmas right around the corner my mind is drawn toward another Word that took on life and ultimately killed because of the mob. That word is Jesus, who John tells us is the Word who took on flesh. I spend a fair share of my time thinking, writing, and teaching the offensive words of Jesus Christ. Only we (Christians) don’t think of them as very offensive anymore. But they were offensive. In fact they were so offensive that a mob demanded the death of Jesus of Nazareth. All because of something he said.

So do be careful, not just about what you think, say, or hear. But be careful about what you demand in response to what you hear. The power of life and death is in your hands. With your words and thoughts you have the power to extend love and offer life. Whether that love is extended to a homosexual teen contemplating suicide or a scraggly bearded man who likes to shoot stuff. We have the potential to offer love even when we disagree but chose not to hand out consequence, and this act is life giving. It is the very act that Word made Flesh did all those years ago. We might deserve death but instead, we receive abundant life. When we are loved to that magnitude, how can we be so quick to hand out punishment?

So be careful little mob what you demand. You may be setting a precedent for your own thoughts and words.

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Photo Credit: Karolina Wojtasik/A&E



Enslaved by Sin

When I was younger, the church I grew up in hosted a Vacation Bible School where we reenacted Old Testament Bible Stories. Around my Junior year in high school we performed the story of Joseph. Over the course of several weeks I studied and learned the story in a way I never had before. It...

chainWhen I was younger, the church I grew up in hosted a Vacation Bible School where we reenacted Old Testament Bible Stories. Around my Junior year in high school we performed the story of Joseph. Over the course of several weeks I studied and learned the story in a way I never had before. It had an impact on my life that I couldn’t even begin to realize at the time. I remember telling my mother, “I want God to use me the way he used Joseph.”

While I enjoyed it thoroughly, it wasn’t enough to simply “play” the part of Joseph. I wanted to be IN the story; I wanted to play a real role in the story of God. I wanted Gods story to include me in a way that went beyond typical Christianity.

What I didn’t realize at the time is God had already given me that opportunity. He has given it to you too. Very similar to a play, we have the ability to reenact the most important stories of God through acts of worship like baptism and communion. These acts go beyond mere reenactment and actually allow us to enter into the Story of God. This is not just a generic story of God. No, we hold lead roles in the most important stories God has ever told.

Last week I talked about how the Exodus is considered the most important story in the Old Testament. This story that held such an important place in the minds of the Israelites because it was the story of their salvation. But whenever I think about the Story of the exodus, I can’t help but wonder to myself, why did God choose to write that story?

I guess what I am really asking is, why did God choose to save the Israelites in the way that he did? It seems obvious to me that God could have chosen to save the Israelites in any way he saw fit. If he wanted, he could snap his fingers and teleport them out to the desert leaving the Egyptians dumb struck. But instead, he specifically choose to raise Moses up from his youth, preform 9 plagues that didn’t work (only one that did) and lead his people into what seemed to be a trap before eventually saving them through the waters of the Red Sea. Why would God choose to save like this rather than any other way? Why go to the trouble when there was an easier way?

He must have had his purposes.

One of those purposes, I believe, was to give a physical representation of what happens to us in our story of salvation. When God saves us today, supernatural things are happening on a spiritual level we can just barely begin to understand. So to aid us in our understanding, God provided a physical model in the story of the Exodus.

Think about this. We know all too well that Jesus came to save us from our sin. But Paul tells us in Romans chapter six that sin is really just a form of slavery. In Romans seven he goes on to give a practical definition of slavery explaining that slaves don’t do what they want to do, no, they have to do the things that they do not want to do. Only he isn’t talking about physical slaves, he is talking about sin’s effect on us. (Romans 7:14-20). Even Jesus points out our slavery when he tells us “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (John 8:34).

Slavery is a powerful metaphor that unites our story of salvation with that of the Israelite’s salvation story. It is not coincidental that these two stories share so many similarities. God is speaking to us through the joining of these stories giving life and depth to scripture in a way we have missed before.

More than that, we are now a part of God’s story. His Greatest story. You and I, everyone in this world, have fallen victim to sin’s slavery. Jesus has been raised up for this one purpose. He now stands in opposition to the Pharaoh of your life with a message from God. “Let my people go.”

The story of God beckons will you live it?

This post is part of a series of posts on the Story of God:
Part One: The Power of Story
Part Two: That’s My Story



That’s My Story

The other day I was with some friends and began to tell the story of how I proposed to my wife. About a year before I “popped” the question my wife and I took a trip to New Braunfels, TX to “toob” the River with some friends. Late one afternoon, as the sun began to...

exitThe other day I was with some friends and began to tell the story of how I proposed to my wife. About a year before I “popped” the question my wife and I took a trip to New Braunfels, TX to “toob” the River with some friends. Late one afternoon, as the sun began to set, my wife and I ditched our friends to wade and play in the shallow rapids of the Guadalupe river. It was an amazing evening. We chased each other around the rocks, playfully splashed each other, skipped rocks across the water, laughing and enjoying each other’s company the whole time. As night fell we began heading back toward the car wadding across some swift current. I held her hand to keep from falling in the cold water. I will never forget the moment, as I held her hand in mine and looked over at her smiling face….I felt something I’d never felt before. I was in love.

One year later, with a ring in my pocket and my heart in my throat…I took my wife back to the very same spot. We waded out to the middle of the shallow current where I got down on one knee, in the frigid water and asked my wife to be my bride. Two months later we were married.

It is an important story, one that shapes not only my life and who I am, but the lives and identities of my family as well. It is the moment in time that my wife and I entered into the story of our lives together. You could say it is our single most important story, especially for our family. Without it, we wouldn’t be who we are today.

The ancient Israelites had a similar life and identity shaping story. A story that is generally considered to be the single most important story in all the Old Testament. It is the story of the Exodus. Where God intervened into the lives of the Israelites to save them from the hands of their slave masters. It was the moment in time the Israelites entered into the story of who they were as a people. But what makes this story more important than say; the promise to Abraham, the birth of Isaac, or countless other Old Testament stories?

The Exodus is so important because it is the story of the Israelites Salvation. Just as Christian’s look to the Cross as the most important event in human history, the moment God freed us from our sin, the Israelites would have seen the Exodus in the same way. It was their salvation Story. The story of how God wouldn’t allow pain, suffering, and death to dominate the lives of his people forever. How He intervened to give them a new life. A life free from the control of their oppressors.

So what, why should we care about, much less read the story of the Exodus, or any of the Old Testament for that matter? Didn’t God give us the New Testament to supersede the old? Shouldn’t we focus on OUR salvation?

There are many people who feel this way. I used to say very similar things. “The Old Testament is good for VBS and Children stories, but the New Testament is where the real substance is.” For me, this type of logic begs the question, why did God bother with any of the stories and events in the Old Testament if they don’t have deep theological meaning for us today? If the New Testament is all that matters, why not start there and not waste his time with Abraham, Moses, and the others?

Unless, The Old Testament is more than godly children stories. Unless, the story of how the Israelites were saved gives insight into our own salvation story. I believe this to be the case. I believe, and hope to show, how the Story of the Israelites salvation is a physical representation of what happens to christian believers on a spiritual level. That God has not left us wondering what our predicament is all about, but in essence, has given us a three demential model of our spiritual condition.

I believe the story of the Exodus is OUR story. That God has lead us on an Exodus from sin, with Moses (A Christ figure) as our guide. A better understanding of what was happening then will allow us to understand what is happening now on a spiritual level.

This story is life and identity shaping. It is the story that tells the story of how we are being saved.

It is the story of our salvation. We would do well to pay closer attention to it.

This is part two of a series titled The Story of God
Read Part One: The Power of Story
Read Part Three: Enslaved by Sin

 

Photo Credit: Almond Dhukka, Flickr



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