REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by the then (2013) staff of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego, is an updated version of their blog first posted on July 25, 2013.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Not Just Any Tent!”
How often they rebelled against him in the desert and grieved him in the wasteland! 41Again and again they put God to the test; they vexed the Holy One of Israel. 42 They did not remember his power— the day he redeemed them from the oppressor, 43 the day he displayed his miraculous signs in Egypt, his wonders in the region of Zoan. 44 He turned their rivers to blood; they could not drink from their streams. 45 He sent swarms of flies that devoured them, and frogs that devastated them. 46 He gave their crops to the grasshopper, their produce to the locust. 47 He destroyed their vines with hail and their sycamore-figs with sleet. 48 He gave over their cattle to the hail, their livestock to bolts of lightning. 49 He unleashed against them his hot anger, his wrath, indignation and hostility— a band of destroying angels. 50 He prepared a path for his anger; he did not spare them from death but gave them over to the plague. 51 He struck down all the firstborn of Egypt, the firstfruits of manhood in the tents of Ham. 52 But he brought his people out like a flock; he led them like sheep through the desert. 53 He guided them safely, so they were unafraid; but the sea engulfed their enemies. 54 Thus he brought them to the border of his holy land, to the hill country his right hand had taken. 55 He drove out nations before them and allotted their lands to them as an inheritance; he settled the tribes of Israel in their homes.
In this passage the psalmist recounts the story of Exodus. The story begins with Israel in Egypt and ends in a tent. It’s not just any tent; it’s the tent of God. The tent implies that the one and only God has come to reside with His people. Whereas Egypt represents bondage, the tent represents a relationship with the gracious God who liberates his people.
The exodus event illustrates what God has already done to save his people. It’s also a picture of what He continues to do in our lives. God continues to free us from sin that enslaves and entangles us. The psalmist recounts this story so that we would remember to trust God every moment we live. God repeats the exodus event every day in our lives; every day God saves us from sin and evil; every day He sustains us.
We can be confident that “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6). When we battle the enemy, let us trust that God will rescue us. When we are lost in our own sins, have hope, for God will save us. Today, let’s meditate on the exodus so that we will realize that God is indeed our savior.
Prayer: Father, thank you for what you did for your people when they were in Egypt and what you are doing for your people today. May I remember, so that I may trust in You today and forever. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Acts 4
Lunch Break Study
Read James 4:13-17 (NIV): Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
Questions to Consider
- Why does James point to the folly of making our own plans apart from God?
- Instead, what is the proper way in which we can respond to God’s sovereign purposes?
- Ask God for heavenly wisdom when facing trials and difficulties; then, firmly expect that your best wisdom will come only from Him.
- James points out that the believers do not even know what will actually happen tomorrow in God’s plans. In fact, a person’s life is only a mist that appears for a little while before vanishing. Mist was a prevalent OT metaphor for the transitory.
- Instead, the believers are to live a life reflective of the Lord’s Prayer with its central role for petitioning God that His will be done on earth as it is already being done in heaven. This requires believers to leave enough time to listen to God on a regular basis so that His plans can overrule ours when necessary. This way, we can distinguish divine interruptions that helps us to make “the most of every opportunity because the days are evil” (Eph 5:16).
- Personal response
In what tangible way did you sense a divine interruption today or this week?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me not to simply make my own future plans as though I am fully in control over my own life. Instead, help me to make consistent allowances in my own life to Your sovereignty, Your interruptions, and Your purposes. Amen.