1 King 19: 14-21 

Psalm 16 

Galatians 5: 1, 13-25 

Luke 9: 51-62 

“Wander Forward” 

Grace and Peace to you my brothers and sisters in Christ, Amen. 

This last week I went down home to spend time with my  family, and while I was down there I had a conversation with my  sister about the events in Exodus. It started with the questioning  how God could have killed all those first born children. It was an  honest question filled with compassion, but too often have I heard  similar well-meaning questions about the goodness of God, which  is a dangerous road to walk on. If one was to walk on such a path  with the foresight that God is indeed good, in fact the very image  of the most perfect good, then such questioning will not cause any  concern because no amount of good intended questions will falter  your faith in the Triune God’s divine attributes. But if you don’t  have such a strong cornerstone then you will surely be lead down  the path of hating God, for only an evil god would dare violate the  edicts of the true god, Humanity! 

There is a thought project I was recently made aware of that  helped me explain to my sister the killing of the first born.  American Civil War; would you have compromised on slavery to  prevent the civil war from happening? If you have a spine, you  would answer no, for to compromise on slavery is to still allow  slavery. We fought a bloody war and America spilled the blood of  way too many sons and daughters, but it had to be done to  recognize the humanity of all Americans. Now go back in history, 

all the way back to the enslavement of the Jews. What the  Hebrews faces in Egypt was far worse than the Africans in  America. At one point the pharaoh of Egypt was so terrified of the  growing number of Hebrews in his country that he tricked them  into slavery, and after a couple of generations, the Hebrews  became fully pacified by the extreme conditions their slave  holders placed on them. Beating sun, barely any food, work hours  too long for the human body, a growing work load intended to  break the will of the people, constant wiping, and if you were  defective as a working slave then killed. And still the Hebrews  bless by God continued to grow in number, so a new pharaoh, out  of terror of a potential insurgency of the slaves, ordered the  genocide of every child born a son. If you know the child is to be  born a male, murder it. After the midwives disobeyed, he  commanded his people, the Egyptians, to kill themselves every  male child that is born to the Hebrews. Despite this, Moses still  survived. 

This was the atrocious conditions the Hebrews faced, and  out of agony they cried to God to release them from this  oppression. God answered, sending Moses with many at first  harmless plagues, but pharaoh did not release the slaves. Then  God send Moses with some not so harmless plagues, but  pharaoh still did not listen. So God send Moses with the warning  that if the slaves are not released then the first born of all families  who do not place lamb blood over their doors will die. Because  the Hebrews feared God they obeyed the instructions; so when  the angel of death was came, it passed over their households. But  the Egyptians who did not fear God, who did not obey the  instructions that they were well aware of, their first born died. 

Pharaoh lost his first born, and it was not God’s fault, but  Pharaoh’s fault. Out of despair, he relented and let the Hebrews  free. 

Compared to the Civil War, the cost to freeing the Hebrew  slaves was insignificant, for in comparison God saved so many  lives all together. This is what I told my sister, and she liked what  she heard. 

But there is more to the story of Exodus. With all that turmoil  that the Hebrews suffered, you would think that they would  appreciate their freedom. But they didn’t. Freedom is hard. The  Hebrews were on their own and had to find their own food and  shelter. They actually complained to God about their mean estate,  and even when God provided for them they still complained more.  They very quickly started looking back to the days of enslavement  with desire. At least back then we had food and shelter. At least  back then the cage they lived in was comfy. 

This unfortunately is a common reoccurring state of the  fallen human psyche. We know that through the death of Christ,  who shed His blood for the forgiveness of all sin, that we have  been set free from the chains of slavery forced upon us at  conception by Satan himself. But this cage that Satan places us in  is not a fiery pit of hell, but a comfy cage of darkness. Within his  cage you get your needs, you are in a safe place protected from  the nasty attacks from evil, and all the atrocities you yourself  commit doesn’t exist. The dark pit Satan places you in gives you  what you think you need, all while denying you what you truly  need. The supposedly cozy prison appears to protect you from 

evil attacks by making you the instrument of evil, all while painting  what is good and divine as evil and devilish. It is like protecting a  caged sheep from the open fields of luscious green grass. And  this cage you are in, well it’s so dark that it prevents you from  seeing the evils you yourself are committing. A “That which I don’t  see doesn’t exist” mentality is broken into you. The darkness  shields your fragile eyes from realizing that you are a slave to sin.  Satan does not want you to despise his cage, he wants you to  love it. 

Then comes freedom. Christ, who is our freedom, shines a  light on our path forward, but he also shines a light on all that is  sinful. It’s hard to recognize your own dreaded self, but Christ  shines a warm light and tells you if you follow him he will forgive  you of your sins and lead you to a promised land where there is  no sin, our own land of milk and honey. But be aware of this, we  who follow Christ are not like the Egyptians who have comfy  homes, we are like the homeless nomadic Jews who are  wandering through the wildness with the full knowledge that at the  end of the journey is the promised land. 

In this world we live in, Christians are homeless. Yes we live  in the world, but we are not of the world, thus the world will always  deny us and because the world denies us we are de facto  culturally homeless. The world is not your friend, nor should you  desire such. I have seen so many pastors who wanted to be loved  by the extremist culture today which constantly attacks the Bible  that they willingly abandon scripture in order to embrace the  culture of our days. Today’s Psalm reads, “The sorrows of those  who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of 

blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips.” Their god  is the world, and their worship is not towards God. The world is  not your friend. 

If you act like them and worship at their demonic temples,  then the world will consider you a friend, but if you act as one who  belongs to Christ and boldly worships Christ alone, then the world  will despise you. 

Christ Himself, in our Gospel says, “Foxes have holes, and  birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay  his head.” If we were to follow Christ, then in this world we too will  be like the Son of Man, no place to call home. 

But there is a tremendous benefit in being nomads for Christ.  The most important is that through faith in Him who is the source  of life, then we who are dead to sin are no longer dead but alive.  One great lie the Devil taught us is that we are alive, wrong. Ever  since Eve first ate of the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge  humanity has been dead. We are not conceived alive, but  conceived dead for in sin we are not subjects of the Kingdom of  Heaven. Yet, when the Kingdom was proclaimed to us and at our  baptism, the Holy Spirit entered into us, gave us faith, and  through such faith we are made alive. So to the dead, aka those  not saved, let them live out their death as sinners. You, who are  not dead, but alive, do not part take in their death culture, but  instead bring life to them by proclaiming the Good News. 

And while you bring life to the dead, wandering forward in  the life bringing light of Christ, giving up your unbiblical cultural 

norms, following the vagabond Son of God, will you be like the  Hebrews who after being saved looked back fondly at Egypt. Will  you be the one who puts your hand to plow but looks back at that  comfy dark cage of sin? Will you, so worn down by the onslaught  of evil slander, seek the safety of the cage? Will you curse God  and fling vile vitriol at your brothers and sisters in Christ so you  can be welcomed back into the open arms of the world’s satanic  cult? 

Or will you place your hand on the plow and push forward,  preparing the soil for the seed of faith, doing God’s hard work for  the sake of the Kingdom all while looking forward and having  complete faith in God? 

If so, then know this. If the world is against you, that is  because Christ, who surpasses all the powers of men, is with you. 

Let us pray, 


Dear Heaven Father, whereas we may be nomads in this  culture due to our Christian faith we know that so long as we keep  pushing and looking forward we will arrive at the most heavenly of  homes, your Kingdom, our promise land. Keep us strong in our  faith and let not the Devil tempt us into longing for his protection.  In your heavenly name we pray: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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