How did God build a nation?
Imagine that you live a third world country where there are no rules and anarchy reigns. There is no organization that can help you or care for your needs. There is no recourse if someone steals or kills. It would be a terrible place to live. Such were the people of Israel as this mob of former slaves assemble and pour out into the desert following Moses. They have no rules and no real leadership as they leave the land of Egypt. They are now free, but they seem to have no plan and they are not a nation. How will they become the nation of Israel that God promised Abraham years ago? God’s answer is to lead them in love to the sacred mountain where He will plant three seeds that are needed to build a community. By the time that they get to the Promised Land, they will have the tools that they need to build a lasting society that will become a powerful people. This is the transformation of exodus exiles to one nation under God.
I have been working on my third book, “32 days with God’s story” and came to the chapter on the God taking the people of Israel to Mt. Sinai. I was pondering why God took them to Mt. Sinai before they went to the Promised Land. Then the picture came back to me out of the movie “The Ten Commandments” where the people march out of Egypt. It was a ragtag group of people who had been slaves and never ruled themselves. They were not a nation as much as a mob rioting and leaving civilization.
Above is the first draft of the opening paragraph. It dawned on me that God had to give them three things if they were to be a nation. They needed organization, values, and a relationship with God. Without any of them, you just can’t be the holy nation that God had promised to Abraham. Click here if you want to see the whole first draft of this devotion.
I find that writing these devotions is a blessing to me for it makes me ask questions of the text and of the story of the Bible. Every author wants to get details like the history of the period or details about the city. As a devotional author, I want to get the stories right. If you find anything that doesn’t seem right in this devotion, please leave me a comment below or at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you and I promise to write you back.