Tuesday, June 30


The central thematic moment on Israel’s 40-year journey from Egypt to the Promised Land, was Mount Sinai. It was at Mount Sinai that God established a covenant with His people. That covenant began with these words: “I am the Lord [Yahweh] your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”  (Exodus 20:1.) Those words are not only the theme for the Sinai Covenant, in one sense they are thematic for the entire Old Testament.  

The LORD (Yahweh) is a God who acts from the position of grace.  Sometimes a cursory reading of the Old Testament causes people to think that Yahweh was an angry “god.”  In contrast they conclude that the New Testament presents a different “god,” one of grace. But this perspective fails to consider that the Old Testament narrative reveals that Yahweh was acting to preserve his covenant people. Thus, enemies of Israel needed to be contained and, in some cases, eliminated.  When the whole Old Testament is considered, Yahweh is seen as the God who acts with mercy and loving kindness. 

Thus, the covenantal words of grace at Sinai: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” The important thing for the children of Israel was to remember what Yahweh had done for them. Yahweh chose to rescue them. Yahweh acted on their behalf. Unfortunately, too often Israel forgot what Yahweh had done. Too often when they were confronted with a problem, they would forget Yahweh’s gracious work on their behalf.  When they forgot, they became anxious. When they forgot, they grumbled and complained.

In these “wilderness” days with the many and varied difficulties associated with the pandemic, believers can, at times, forget what God has done. By grace God has saved you. By grace God claims you as His child. By grace God forgives you daily, By grace God offers you a life filled with hope, peace and joy. If you find yourself grumbling and complaining, be aware. It probably means you’ve forgotten all that God has done for you. 

Prayer:  Lord, in the same way that you acted in grace to rescue Israel, you have acted in grace to save me through the death and resurrection of your son. Forgive me for the times that I forget. Forgive me for grumbling and complaining. Help me remember all you have done for me. Amen.