Offer Them Christ
The Weblog Of J.F. Howard

Lessons Learned On God’s Unfailing Love

      The other day I came across a passage of Scripture that caught my attention from the Old Testament Book of Exodus. You know the account of the Exodus, don’t you? The Israelites had been forced to live as slaves in Egypt for 400 years. They had suffered greatly as a people because of their captivity. In the course of time God raised up a leader in Moses, to guide the people out of slavery, across the Red Sea, and into the Promised Land of Israel. In the 15th chapter of Exodus, there are recorded for us the words of a song that Moses and the Israelites sang when reached freedom on the other side of the river.  It was a song of praise and thanks to God for His deliverance out of captivity, and His leading them into a new place of freedom.

Here is a portion of the words to that song:

1Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord: “I will sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted…2“The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. 11Who among the gods is like you, Lord? Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? 13In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.{Exodus 15:1a-2, 11, 13 NIV11}

When the Israelites got to the other side of the river, they began to praise God for His strength, His defense, and His salvation that had brought them out of their difficulties, and brought them into a new place and a new future.

They praised God for His majestic holiness, His awesome glory, and His wonder working presence.

But what struck me about the words to this song is how they describe their faith in what God will continue to do in their lives as they move forward.

They proclaim that God, in His “unfailing love” will lead the people He has redeemed, and in His “strength” He will guide them to His “holy dwelling.”

When the people of Israel reached the other side of the Red Sea and were finally free from captivity in Egypt, they looked back in praise to God for all that God had brought them through. Then, they looked forward in anticipation of all that God was yet to do.

They had seen God work to bring them through a difficult time, and they knew God would be with them in the days still to come.

As they praised God for their freedom from the past and the promise of a new beginning, they became aware of what had fueled God’s work in their lives.

The people of Israel in the Exodus learned something about how God works in the lives of His people.

They realized that God works in our lives through the love He has for His people.

In the Exodus, the people of Israel understood that it was God’s love that had brought them out of their bondage. It was God’s love that had brought them through the Red Sea. It was God’s love that had brought them out on the other side into freedom.

They described God’s love as “unfailing.” It is always present. It will never end. God’s love will never fail God’s people.

As I paused over the words to the song of Moses and Miriam recorded in Exodus, chapter 15, it sunk in that throughout all the moments of my life, God’s love has been unfailing, and as in the Exodus, God’s love has been there for me to lead me through all the daily challenges of life. And one day God’s unfailing love will lead me out of the limitations of this earthly life. God’s unfailing love will be there to lead me across to the other side. And then God’s unfailing love will be with me to lead me for all eternity.

The Israelites sang a song of praise to God, believing that the same unfailing love that led them out of slavery in Egypt, would continue to guide them until they reached God’s “holy dwelling.”

Just as it had been God’s unfailing love that led them out of Egypt, so it would be God’s unfailing love that would continue to guide them until it led them home.

As I read those words of celebration from Exodus, I was encouraged in this simple truth: God’s unfailing love has led and guided me all the days of my life on earth, and I have the promise, that God’s unfailing love will lead me home to be with God forever.

Just as God’s love did not fail the Israelites, but instead was the source of strength that led them across the river into the Promised Land. We can also know that God’s unfailing love will lead us through the days to come. God’s strength will guide us until we too, reach God’s holy dwelling.

Sometimes people ask, “Where is God in the tough times of life? Where is God when people are hurting and grieving?”

The answer is that God is right there with us in those times. When we are hurting; when we are grieving, God is right there, loving us through those times, and giving us strength to continue on.

In that final moment, before the Israelites took that first step to cross the Red Sea, I wonder if God didn’t say to them, “You can trust Me. I am going to love you through this. You can trust Me. My love will not fail you now. You can trust Me. I am going to love you, and lead you, all the way home.”

This afternoon, here in this very place, I think God is saying to us, “My love for you in unfailing. You can trust Me. You can lean on Me. I am going to love you through this. I am going to love you all the days of your life, until the time comes when I lead You to My holy dwelling, and then I am going to love you for all eternity.”

–In memory of John DuPree Colbert, March 30, 2014

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