Tarnish of the Soul: All That Glitters
Part Three in a series of four.
On Sunday, while visiting my brother and his family in Southern California, we heard the most profound insight during the morning message at church.
You know all those years that the Israelites fought and slaved and battled and starved to get to the Promised Land of Canaan? Enslavement in Egypt, 40 years of wandering and all that? Countless lives lost in battle?
They were already there.
God gave the land of Canaan to Abraham hundreds of years before. Abraham, the father of Issac, the father of Jacob, the father of the Israelites. They were already there. Jacob was living in Canaan when Joseph was born and sold by his brothers into slavery.
They were already in the promised land.
They left the promised land when times got tough. Despite God’s promises, they left.
Now there was a famine in the land—besides the previous famine in Abraham’s time—and Isaac went to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar. The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham.”
Genesis 26:1-3 NIV
They left for Egypt, all bright and shiny and prosperous. Or so it seemed…
Until their brother died, and their popularity with the Egyptians was forgotten and they became slaves in that bright and shiny and prosperous land. Chained to their shattered dreams of prosperity.
How like our very lives. We run after what seems to bright and shiny only to become slaves to it later on.
But times are tough.
Life is hard.
Perhaps you are in a time of drought and famine. Perhaps what is before you seems bleak and hopeless. Perhaps that on which you stand seems more like stormy seas than solid ground.
Grief and disappointment threaten to overtake us, but if, like Peter, we stop looking down and keep our eyes on Him, we’ll make it across those turbulent seas and find that the promised lad we’ve longed for is really all around us.
Don’t look down. Keep looking up. When you keep your face towards the Light, the shadows will always fall behind you.
May grace and peace be yours in abundance,
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