We came across the following sign on our way home from the mountains this week.
Since I love scripture and I love junk food, I can relate. This sign gives me a hankerin’ for a chili dog and a cold root beer. Digging into the Word, I found something much meatier (and better for my cholesterol):
“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2-3)
The song Isaiah writes of in these verses is likened to the one sung by the Israelites upon their deliverance from Egypt in Exodus 15. The Israelites were slaves to the nation of Egypt. They were oppressed in every possible way. By oppressed I mean the severe and unjust use of force and authority(thefreedictionary.com) The Egyptian king had ordered the Hebrew midwives to murder all male babies after they were born. Serious oppression. Out of the distress of God’s people, one baby boy was born and hidden away in a basket in the reeds, then discovered and chosen to be raised up in the Pharaoh’s household. His name was Moses. God chose him to lead the nation of Israel to freedom out of Egypt, which he did after numerous and horrible plagues on the people of Egypt. Moses walked God’s people to freedom on dry ground in the center of the Red Sea. Once they had passed through, the Isralites turned and saw their oppressors of the last 400 years brought to death in the waters of the sea. They sang this song,
“The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” (Exodus 15:2)
While the triumphant praise of the Israelites in Exodus is similar to that of Isaiah, the prophet is being, well, prophetic. He is writing a hymn of praise that will rise from the people who experience the joy of Christ’s salvation. The one true God has delivered believers from eternity in hell to eternal life with Him. The vessel was Jesus Christ, the son of God. He is salvation, “the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2) And here is something that just blesses my socks off and will hopefully start to pull all of these ideas together. Not only are we saved by grace, but we have been given the Holy Spirit. “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.” (Romans 8:15) Wow. I don’t think I realized how heavy the chains were that held me in bondage to sin and this world until I began breaking free of them through the power of the Holy Spirit. WE are no longer slaves, we are children of God, set free to live a victorious life in Christ. That is cause for some serious songs of praise. Sing them out loud!
The Avalon song “Orphans of God” has been stuck in my head lately, partially because of my precious friend Darlene, but ultimately because I belong to a Heavenly Father.
Who here among us has not been broken?
Who here among us is without guilt or pain?
So oft abandoned by our transgressions,
if such a thing as grace exists then grace was made for lives like this.
Come ye unwanted and find affection.
Come all ye weary, come and lay down your head.
Come ye unworthy, you are my brother.
If such a thing as grace exists,
then grace was made for lives like this.
There are no strangers, there are no outcasts,
there are no orphans of God.
So many fallen, but HALLELUJAH, there are no orphans of God.