Friday, May 12, 2017

When the Savior You Want Isn't the Savior You Need

Moses is a great example of the second-chance grace of God. When the Pharaoh's daughter lifted him out of the floating basket, God moved Moses' sphere of influence from the Hebrew slave quarters to the grandest palace in Egypt. 

When Pharaoh's daughter hired his own mother to serve as wet-nurse for Moses, God preserved the influence of the Hebrew slave quarters.

It was an amazing orchestration of events. At a time when Pharaoh was effectively causing the genocide of Hebrew boys, God not only preserved the life of one boy, but also moved him into Pharaoh's own household. 

I realized something for the first time yesterday. All the Hebrews probably knew that Jochobed was nursing her own son for the Pharaoh's daughter. 

If the Hebrews knew about Moses, they must have seen his position in the court as highly significant, if not a sign of God's personal interest in their increasingly bleak situation. They would have expected great things from this Hebrew boy... favor, help in time of trouble... maybe even deliverance.

When Moses murdered the Egyptian and fled for his life, those hopes were dashed on the corpse in the sand. Moses wasn't their deliverer, after all. He wasn't going to help them or end the genocide. He couldn't even help himself.

Forty years later, the same people who counted on the boy Moses' help saw a very different man when he returned. He wasn't an Egyptian prince anymore. He didn't have position, power, or even influence. He was nothing but an humble shepherd, and who needed that?

Initially, they rejoiced at the idea that Moses would lead them to the Promised Land, but it didn't take long for the situation to worsen and the people to turn against him. 

Moses didn't look like the savior they needed, and it certainly wasn't turning out the way they'd hoped. 

We know now that Moses was the deliverer they'd prayed God would send. He did lead them through the wilderness to the Promised Land, but nothing about God's plan fit the idea of deliverance for which the people had prayed.

Centuries later, the people would wait again for a Savior. They'd pray and cry out to God. The Savior they expected was a lot like their beloved King David. Righteous. Good. Just. Kingly. Wearing a robe and crown. Rich.

Instead, Jesus came in an unexpected way and an undesirable form. His crown was made of thorns and His robe was torn away. Who wanted a crucified Savior? No one. 

Jesus didn't look like the Savior they needed, and it certainly didn't turn out the way they hoped. 

When the tomb burst open and the stone rolled off, the empty grave was all the proof needed that their expectations and desires had little to do with the Savior God had given. He'd sent more power than the people imagined possible. More love than anyone knew existed. Deliverance no one could envision. 

Jesus wasn't the Savior they wanted, but He was definitely the Savior they needed. 

Even today, we want a different kind of savior. We long for the one who will bring prosperity, peace, and power. We want an easy savior.

Instead, Jesus brings the prosperity that gives away the extra to those in need, the peace that holds firm in the midst of our storms, and the power of blood that washes away our sins. 

When God became flesh and dwelt among us, He wasn't what we wanted, but He was exactly what we needed, and He still is...

"He came into the very world He created, but the world didn't recognize Him. He came to His own people, and even they rejected Him. But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God..." John 1:10-12 NLT
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In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: When the God of Second Chances Gives You the Chance to Change Your World

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