God’s favour for his people in the fire – Part 1
One of the most remarkable events in the Bible occurred when Moses came face to face with the incident of the burning bush. It was particularly very significant to the children of Israel at that time, now and till the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The sight was so significant for Moses that he recorded it. If that great sight was powerful enough to attract the attention of Moses, it ought to engage ours too. It was a mystery to Moses, but to Israel, it was a miracle; to Egypt, a marvel; and to the church, a message.
The burning bush in the desert was a figure or symbol of the children of Israel in Egypt and also a figure and symbol of the church in the world today. The fiery flames of the Egyptian oppression and the centuries of affliction have not been able to consume or destroy Israel. Similarly, today, the fiery flames of persecution or trials against the church have not consumed it either. If anything, suffering and pain have acted to purge away all the inadequacies and weaknesses of the people of God. And the real strength, substance and gold in the believer are brought out in the fire. Believers shine when they tested by fire.
The miraculous preservation of Israel in the fire of oppression is a continuous message to every Christian and to the church at large, that no matter how fiery the furnace of affliction, we shall overcome at the end. The devil does tell some lies in troublous times: that God is not with you and that you are finished. But God says He is with you even in the fire. And no fire of the devil’s making can consume or destroy a child of God. You will overcome and testify of the victory.
The children of Israel enjoyed divine favour and promises because they were the chosen people of God. Even before the birth of Moses, Pharaoh had initiated a programme of genocide, a policy of destruction against the nation of Israel. He promulgated an edict that every male child born to the Israelites be drowned in river Nile. But it failed.
True believers are now the chosen generation. To be part of the chosen people of God, the sinner must turn away from all sins and make Jesus his Lord and Saviour. Thereafter, he enjoys God’s favour, mercy, love, grace and promise. His promises are for those who have turned away from sin, Satan, the pollution and corruption of the society and have surrendered their hearts to the Lord. As a consequence, “the Lord hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments”.
The choice of the Lord on a life is not a one-way traffic. The sinner’s part is to repent and God’s part is to receive him. Those who are thus saved are the burning bush that the fire of the enemy or his affliction will not be able to consume. The Lord has a covenant with the chosen. His plan and purpose for them must always be fulfilled.
Though the Egyptians hated the children of Israel, the mighty and unconquerable power of God kept the nation of Israel from being wiped out by them. His mercy and favour was upon them. He saved them from the hand of their enemies. The Lord also delivers the believer from sin and Satan to serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness all the days of his life. Freed from sin, we are victorious because we belong to God. As we remember God’s holiness, faithfulness, goodness, mercy and promises, we should rejoice in the Lord.
Further Reading (King James Version): Exodus 3:2; Acts 7:30-32; Deuteronomy 4:20; Exodus 3:3,4; Psalm 33:10-12; 1 Peter 2:9; Deuteronomy 26:17-19; Isaiah 43:2; Luke 1:70-75; 2 Peter 1:3,4; Psalm 97:10-12.
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