Identity Found in God
The King and the Kingdom
The King’s People
The Kingdom on Earth
Living with the Attitude of Christ
The King’s People
“I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.” Leviticus 26:12
Without dirty dishes, there wouldn’t be a need for a dishwasher. Without dirty clothes, no washer and dryer would be needed. Without crumbs on the floor, there’s no need for a broom or vacuum cleaner. Without the sick, there would be no reason for doctors and hospitals. Without sin or oppression, a Messiah would not be needed.
God’s people were desperately in need of someone to come to their rescue. They were a group of people who desired to follow God, but fell short. They were led by numerous leaders, judges and kings – some good, some not so good, but all fell short. They were a group of people oppressed by the Egyptians all the way to the Romans. They stuck together, but went through rulers left and right. They made good choices, and would be on track…well for a little while…and then would fall again. They were often targeted, conquered and defeated. But they would try and pick up their boot straps and march on. Oh how they longed for someone to save them once and for all.
I have to wonder about this group of people. I wonder if they were really looking for what Jesus had to offer. God led Moses in delivering them from the hands of the Egyptians. They were literally freed from severe slave conditions, and were led straight out of a horrible situation. I’m sure there was fear and uncertainty during the plagues, and as Moses had them walk through the waters. I mean all they had known for years was life as slaves, and now they were supposed to walk in the middle of a sea escaping their owners! Their steps out of freedom were steps to…well, they didn’t really know where they were being led.
Once they were safely out of reach, though, it didn’t take long for the grumbling to start. They actually had the nerve to say these things noted in Exodus 16:3, “The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” Wow. How could it be that there was such little recognition and appreciation of their deliverance? They seemed to crave the contentment in certain things in their previous lifestyle over the freedom from oppression. Over and over you can read about God’s people falling into the traps of sin and falling into the hands of the idols and temptations in the world. Discontentment – always wanting more. Or maybe it was a trust issue? Did they trust in His strategic moves? Maybe they weren’t able to set aside their own plans to consider His.
Does this sound familiar at all? It’s easy to talk about “them”. But, let’s face it, the description of this group of people would just as easily fit us today. As people who are supposedly saved by the Messiah, the King of kings, do we recognize and appreciate the deliverance we receive in this grace? We have the advantage of looking back and being able to see how their story ends. We know they entered the Promised Land. We can see that Jesus came when He did and we can learn about who He is and what He accomplished while on earth. We can call them ungrateful grumblers.
But, what wilderness do we currently live in, and what are we grumbling about? What pool of temptation or idolatry or oppression are we swimming in? We are the King’s people. Do we live in such a way that reflects His reign in our lives? Are we able to clean the windshields on our eyes and clearly see the mighty hand of our Messiah in our lives? Can we recognize and appreciate what Jesus has done for us – what He has delivered us from?
We live in a world where there is much to be delivered from. We are a group of people who need a savior, a Messiah, a King who is FOR us. A genuine, pure and holy ruler in our lives. I don’t know about you, but there is relief in knowing it is not me who has to come up with the strength and plan for the way out. Once I can reach a point of giving up control, submitting, trusting and allowing Jesus to reign and do His thing is actually refreshing. As He leads us through the waters, or as we make pit stops in the desert, may we be continually reminded that we have been delivered. Jesus has made a way. May we do as the Lord asked of the Israelites found in Jeremiah 7:23, “but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you.” and in Leviticus 26:12, “I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.”
Describe what it looks like to be the King’s people. Are you allowing God to be your King and walk in obedience? Are you stuck grumbling in a wilderness? Are you able to recognize and appreciate what your King has, is and will do on your behalf? Your King is FOR you! Have a talk with Him.