The Example Of Israel
Now these things happened [to Israel] as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.
–1 Corinthians 10:6
God preserved the story of the ancient Israelites in the Old Testament for us as an object lesson. In fact, the Bible states that God gave us the example of Israel as a guide for us to follow (1 Corinthians 10:6-11).
I realize there is not an exact parallel between the Israelites’ experience and our experience as believers. I had the opportunity to emphasize this to our church a few years ago. The congregation I pastor–First Baptist Church of Dallas–transitioned to a new campus on Easter Sunday 2013. After five years of prayer and sacrifice and seeking God, we “journeyed” to our new sanctuary to launch an exciting new era of ministry.
During the weeks leading up to this transition, we studied the book of Exodus and found many connections between our church’s relocation to our new campus and Israel’s travels to the Promised Land. However, I was careful to remind our congregation that our former sanctuary was not Egypt. The road that connects our campuses was not the Red Sea. Our new campus was not the Promised Land. And I certainly was not Moses–even though my hair is a little whiter after this effort!
Just as there were similarities between the Israelites’ journey to the Promised Land and our own journey as a church, there are also similarities between Israel’s experiences with God and our experiences as believers in Jesus Christ.
The example of ancient Israel, recorded in the Old Testament, gives us timeless principles that guide us in knowing how to respond to our own challenging circumstances. As we apply these insights to our impossible situations, we will
- discover the God who is in control and also cares for us,
- experience God’s faithfulness as He delivers us through our circumstances, and
- learn how these moments can encourage and strengthen our faith.
These powerful and life-changing biblical truths will not only help us through the present but also equip us to trust God for the future. As we walk through these first few weeks of a brand-new year, we will take a journey of learning how to recognize and seize our own Red Sea moments.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Seizing Your Red Sea Moment” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2005.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.