Exodus Devotional | Provision and the People, Day 2: This Present Pain & Eternity
The Book of Exodus
The Greatness of God to His People in Need
Provision and the People, Day 2
“Then Moses made Israel set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, ‘What shall we drink?’ And he cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.” - (Exodus 15:22-25)
Some people (including me) like to study something called eschatology. That’s the study of what we Christians call the “end times.” These are times concerning the future second coming of Jesus. You can find a lot of it in the book of Revelation, at the end of your Bible. We learn a lot of things in this subject area, including the nature of our eternal life with Jesus after this one.
We’re promised that we’ll live forever in bodies that are made perfect. We’ll look glorious, feel glorious, and do glorious things. The same will be true for the universe--everything about nature will be made right. Everything will look, act, and work just as it was originally designed to be: perfect. This will be for eternity. Eternity, people. Stop and think about that for a moment…
The Bible says that, to the Lord, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day (2 Peter 3:8). Why? Because he’s eternal. That doesn’t mean time is meaningless to God, but it does mean he experiences it differently than we do. We’re not eternal (we have a beginning), but, in the future, we’ll live eternally forward, into the future. This means our experience of time will be more like the Lord’s.
So, consider not having something you really want right now. Maybe something you deserve. It’s owed to you. You worked hard for it. You’ve been good. Surrounded by lazy or wicked people, you’ve stood out and the very good thing--a thing that it’s good to want--you don’t get. Or, it’s taken away. Ten thousand years later, standing with the Lord in perfection and completion, how will you feel about not getting what you wanted...or even needed...today?
To be sure, it hurts today. It might be true that real injustice and harm is being done to you by some person or group. That is serious. But, when we cast our minds and hearts to believe in and practice living now the future lives of then...what happens to our bitterness? To our distress? To our rage? To our fear?
We are citizens of the Kingdom of God and that kingdom is now and not yet. We inch closer to it every day...every moment...as the seconds tick by and as we strive and reach to think and feel with that glory and not only with this present pain. We see God faithfully drawing us closer to that reality day by day. Let us cast our eyes back to what he’s done and then set our face forward toward that future.
As you pray today, I want you to try and meditate and ponder what life with Jesus in Eternity will be like. Give yourself the freedom to get hopeful and excited. Let that promised future living start to compare itself with the present and let it put your current bitterness and fear in their proper place.
Not everyone you know is headed toward this future. Their current bitterness and pain is only going to get worse. For us, this is as close to Hell as we’ll ever be. For the lost, this is as close to Heaven as they’ll ever get--unless the Lord saves them. Pray for those who are lost today, who don’t have the Lord to turn the bitter waters of their Marah sweet. Reach out to them with a word of the gospel and invite them to church.