Our Lives are His

Exodus 11:5 and every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the cattle.

Read Exodus 11:1-10

How many of us have ever travelled to Hawaii? My guess is not many. How many of us know or have known a loved one who has suffered from cancer? My guess is nearly all of us. There is nothing the grants us more solidarity with our fellow humans than our mortality.

Benjamin Franklin once commented, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” (Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 1789)

We are now 9 plagues into the story of the exodus. Still Pharaoh will not relent. Somehow privilege, difference, and circumstances prevents the Pharaoh from identifying with the Hebrew slaves and his suffering Egyptians.

Since the beginning of Hebrew scripture we have seen the natural consequence of breaking God’s heart: the breaking of ourselves and our world.

God promises that this processes of mortality can be reversed. He is the Lord of Life. All life belongs to him. He will protect those who acknowledge his Lordship and turn to him. Let’s give up trying to be “lords of life.” It lead to the death of Jesus. “[We] put to death the Lord of life; whom God gave back from the dead; of which fact we are witnesses.”(Acts 3:15)

It is this humble repentance that undoes the bonds of death and creates an new solidarity and a new humanity. There is nothing more liberating than acknowleding that Life belongs to God. As such, he will care for His creation. Whatever pressures or cares face your life today: Remember your life is His. He will protect you.

Let this truth and humility lead to a new solidarity and peace in your life today.


Dashed Dreams and Resurrection Reality

Psalm 74:1     Why have you rejected us forever, O God?

Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?

2       Remember the people you purchased of old,

the tribe of your inheritance, whom you redeemed—

Mount Zion, where you dwelt.

22            Rise up, O God, and defend your cause;

remember how fools mock you all day long.

23     Do not ignore the clamor of your adversaries,

the uproar of your enemies, which rises continually.


Deafening Silence

“Why have you rejected us forever, O God?”(v1)

Have you ever felt like your dreams were dashed to pieces? The psalmist is recounting in vivid detail his dreams being shattered along with the gates and glory of Jerusalem.

Most commentators place this Psalm somewhere in the vicinity of 587 BC. The palpably real account of the destruction of Jerusalem and the “assembly place” (v.8) is only paralleled in this poetic and descriptive manner in one other place (Lamentations 2:5-9).

Amazing, Ancient Exploits

“But you, O God, are my king from of old.” (v. 12)

Somehow in the midst of this tremendous ordeal, the bard begins to sing of ancient exploits. He recounts the deeds of a  God who has subdued seas, provided for his people plenteously, and rescued his people. Suddenly, the deafening silence is not as terrifying as Asaph once thought it.

Continuous Struggle

Now, in the final verses, Asaph sings of his ordeals and laments the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah, but with less desperation. His “King from of Old” has punched a whole through death and made a way in the desert. The ordeals which once held sway over him and threatened violence are nothing but a shadow. The Psalmists’ enemies can no longer execute violence against him. The fears and threats are only “haunts of violence”(v20). Much as David said centuries before, this Psalmist need not fear death, for death is only a shadow. God, the Shepherd of Israel, has destroyed death by his death on the Cross and His resurrection life.

Not even the death of our dearest dreams can threaten the security we have in our King’s hand.

A Prayer

Almighty God, who in death has destroyed death, resurrect our dreams that we may with full confidence realize that the day and the battle are yours. May we live in the hope of your new creation for your praise and glory, through Jesus Christ. Amen