My family and I were returning home from our daughter’s volleyball game one evening. During our commute home, we found ourselves in the midst of a major traffic jam as an eighteen-wheeler had overturned on the freeway. The rescue of passengers, cleanup, and restoration of the highway became an incredible challenge for city employees. We were stuck in the midst of this metal congestion with nowhere to turn. Our expe- rience was daunting, as we were getting hungry, irritable and tired as night fell upon us. After a long, three-hour experience, we finally inched up to our freedom and the ability to drive the normal speed limit.
We all began rejoicing in our freedom, thanking God we had made it though such a dreadful experience, which permitted us to appreciate what lay ahead. Because we had been trapped for such a long time, our future looked bright. We realized the value of the little things we usually take for granted.
God revels in God’s people. With God as redeemer, the Israelites leave Egypt. They consciously decide not to turn back. They depart from a difficult land and experience. With God’s help, they face their future with certainty. Israel is their new home and new land, and they become more appreciative of their future based on the challenges they have faced in the past.
When have you felt trapped during a difficult situation? How did you cope during your challenging experience? What emotions did you feel before, during, and after this trying time?
Thank you, Lord, for our freedom. Thank you for delivering us out of darkness into light. Thank you for delivering us from bondage into safety. Thank you for never leaving our side. Amen.
Exodus 14 narrates the Exodus event in stylized liturgical statements. It tells of God’s utter commit- ment to Israel and of Israel’s fearful doubt. This is a narrative “toward faith.” Psalm 114 is a buoyant, almost de ant cele- bration of the Exodus, in which all the enemies of Yahweh are put to embarrassing ight. It is recalled that Yahweh’s sovereign power to liberate is decisive for the world, as it is for Israel. In Romans 14 Paul struggles with the issue of free- dom within obedience and moves us beyond the letter of the law to its spirit. For Paul, the attitude of faith shapes human conduct. The parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew reminds all would-be disciples that law must be tempered with mercy in their dealings with one another if they expect to receive mercy from God.
• Read Exodus 14:19-31. How can you tell when God is guiding you? When in your life have you wondered if God was still there? Reflect on those times.
• Read Psalm 114. “Judah became God’s sanctuary, Israel his dominion.” Substitute your name for Judah and Israel in this verse and pray the words several times. How does it feel to be called God’s sanctuary and dominion?
• Read Romans 14:1-12. How do you observe a weekly sabbath? Are there businesses in your community that close for a sabbath? How does that practice affect you?
• Read Matthew 18:21-35. Whom do you want or need to for- give? Why and how might you avoid this issue? How will you pray about this?
Responda publicando una oración.