Why He Brought Us Out

“The day will come,” Moses warned the people, “when your children will question your faith. Be ready to give them a good answer.” That’s not an exact quote from Deuteronomy 6:20, but it captures the gist of what Moses said. What should the Israelites tell their children when they asked, “What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which the Lord our God has commanded you?” (NKJV)
From a young person’s perspective, religion can appear to be restrictive. All those “Thou shalt nots” can cramp a person’s style. It looks to many as if God is a killjoy, seeking only to keep us from enjoying life. With that kind of attitude, a person is not likely to remain loyal to their fathers’ faith.
Moses’ counsel on how to answer such questions deserves our consideration: “Then you shall say to your son, ‘We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand; and the Lord showed signs and wonders before our eyes, great and severe, against Egypt, Pharaoh, and all his household. Then he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in, to give us the land of which he swore to our fathers'” (Deuteronomy 6:21-23).
The reply Moses prescribed is positive in nature. It doesn’t focus on negatives (though there are negative statements to be found throughout scripture). Notice especially how Moses said, “he brought us out … that he might bring us in.” “In” refers to the promised land, the land flowing with milk and honey. Compared to the harsh and oppressive conditions of Egypt, this was a wonderful gift. And that helps anyone to see the true nature of God.
It’s difficult when God calls us out of our comfortable and familiar lifestyles. We want to cling to old habits and pleasure-filled sins. When God commands us to come out of those, we resist and wonder why he would tell us to do something so hard. But let’s not forget that God is seeking to bring us in to something better. To get us in, he must first help us come out of that which is ultimately destructive.
Is God’s will calling for you to come out of an addiction? That’s a hard calling. But remind yourself why God has issued such a call: So that he might bring you into freedom from that harsh master. Is God’s will calling you to come out of materialism? We’re mighty fond of our things, and we don’t want to heed that call. But remember that into which God is seeking to bring you: Contentment and peace.
As you read through the Bible, notice how God’s call to people of the past almost always demanded that they leave something or someone they dearly loved. If you only think on that, God doesn’t look too appealing. When you read the rest of the story, though, God’s love and mercy come into clear focus.
“Then he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in, to give us the land of which he swore to our fathers. And the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is this day” (Deuteronomy 6:23,24).
“For our good always” — there’s a line you should highlight in your Bible. That’s the essential nature of the God we serve.

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Tim Hall

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