Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The 7 "I Wills"

Last night, I spent some time with a dear friend listening to Beth Moore teach from Deuteronomy 8.  It was amazing, I love the way she teaches.  I know she polarizes people and critics like to pick apart her style, her training, her credibility.  (Which by the way, is going to happen to ANYONE who decides to follow God's call and step out to teach His Truth.)  I am one of those in her camp.  I won't call myself a devotee, but I will call myself someone who really appreciates her teaching and learns a lot from it every single time I do one of her studies.

She pointed out in the ESV translation of Deuteronomy 8:7-10 that the Promised Land The Lord was bringing the Israelites in to from the wilderness was called good SEVEN times.  That, to traditional Jews, would be no accident.  The existence of the mention by the number associated with perfection (7 or any combination thereof like 14 or 49 or 70) would mean that the land was divinely appointed to be completely good and completely productive.  There was nothing wrong with it, and the Hebrews just had to do the work alongside God to benefit; instead of having everything handed to them like in the wilderness.

So, in reading through Exodus this morning in preparation for my daily devotionals on fear (found here), I was shocked that I had previously underlined in my Bible 5 of another combo of 7.  Only five were underlined because (a) perhaps I couldn't count correctly before or (b) I hadn't tied them all together just right or (c) my brain was not yet ready for what God had to reveal to me.  I'm guessing a combo of all 3 is reasonable to assume!

In any case, let me share with you what I found out about God:
Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.
So, this is Exodus 6:6-8, from the NIV.  Count 'em up and you will find - 7 times God promises to do something for His people.  7 times He is on the move.  7 times He demonstrates His Will for this band of misfits.  7 times He promises to take them out of the bad into the good.

God perfectly demonstrates His perfect will for His not yet perfect people.

Sound familiar?

I love these little gems, they encourage me to keep trusting.  They make me remember the truth of Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28, although God spoke those words in Exodus thousands upon thousands of years before Jeremiah or the Apostle Paul was ever a glimmer in His eye.  When God promises something, when He speaks something into the formless void, the cosmos appears.  That is the kind of power we are talking about.  That same power that raised Christ from the dead, promised here for US!!!  FOR OUR BENEFIT!!  FOR OUR SANITY!!  FOR US!!!

(Sorry about the yelling, I just can't get over how special this all makes me feel!)

Let's recap what God is promising here in these verses, so we can remember and ponder how He has already done those things in our lives:

1. He will bring us out of bondage (to sin, to our flesh, to this world);
2. He will free us from the slavery of our desires and that which keeps us from Him;
3. He will redeem us, make us whole and turn our ashes into beauty;
4. He will take us as His own children, never out of his sight and care;
5. He will be ours, always;
6. He will bring us into the land of Promise, here on Earth and in Heaven (full of all the riches His Spirit provides);
7. He will give to us in such a way that we should never doubt we have laid claim to every and all His promises.

We are more than conquerors, friends.  Me, you and the whole Body of Christ are victors and God is just waiting to show us all the ways we come out ahead in any and every situation.  Doesn't that make you want to put your face to the carpet for awhile?

What a gracious and holy God, so focused on His plan that is so beneficial to us.



Gindi said...

What a wonderful additional insight after Beth's 7 - such encouragement for today!

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