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Genesis 50:1 - Exodus 2:10

All day I couldn’t get out of my mind what would it have felt like to grow up in a country that you are a stranger in? Even though you were born there and possibly died there, you were still a stranger in the land... Clustered in a designated part of the country, you keep your customs, your language and your belief system. Yes, a few might venture off into the other part of the land and may even assimilate into the predominant culture, but most are grouped together within the same community unchanged for hundreds of years. Imagine being a stranger in the land of your birth. Imagine having to be removed from your promise in order to maintain your identity to receive that promise.

Israel/Jacob is called the church in the wilderness (Acts 7:38), the called out ones, the ek-klay-see'-ah. The church was called out to be in the world but not of or apart of the world.

What happened to Israel back in the day, is what we are experiencing in this day. We are the called ones, the ones given the promise yet separated from that promise while we mature in becoming Christ like. We are strangers in a strange land given a mandate to separate, not isolated, from the world. While strangers in a strange land we are to be to those we live amongst, a peculiar people, a royal priesthood, a chosen people (1 Peter 2:9).

The pressure and resentment those who are born in a country where they are estranged, “aliens,” to assimilate is undeniably strong. Just think of how nuts people who live in the United States get when they think that a group of people are not becoming “American” enough for their taste. We cry out for closed borders, we demand that these immigrants/aliens get on board, learn the language, and stop consuming “our government programs,” without contributing anything to society and the tax roles. Think about it, that more than likely was spewed out on Israel while she grew to be a mighty number in Egypt. Do you think they might have had a “Egyptian” only cry when creating directional signs and such like?

The same pressures exerted on Israel to confirm, the same pressure we in the United States exert on the foreign born, even when they are born here to confirm is the same pressure Believers are met with while trying to keep on the path God has predestined all those that call on His name to walk.

Israel, the church in the wilderness: what things can we learn from her, what “type” and “shadow” can we find in her that we can relate to the messed up churches we find ourselves attending?

Grace and peace,

I'm from Indonesia
I really blessed by your daily bible reading and audio daily bible
for 1 year i tried to read and read everyday...
(sorry for my 'bad' english)
And today's reading is really powerful!
Thanks again for your ministry...

Helpful comments re church. Thx

I know from my experience church is what you make it. Just like playing a team sport. If you think you are the best player and everyone messes up and you deserve the ball all the time, then your team will likely not work well together and not be as successful. But when you give all yourself to the team, you are virtually unbeatable. Church is what I make it.

I have had times when I did not attend church regularly and it hurt my walk not having that encouragement and example and load that others who walk by faith give. I also know that I tried to go to church without being apart of the community and that was not a very fulfulling relationship either. But when you go to church to die and walk with christ, and you support and encourage your fellow church goers and your eyes on the victory for christ, you cannot fail.

We need the bible like we need food and water, we need the church like we need a mother and father.

Romana I love your comments, you always give me something to think about.

I have to ask myself sometimes, do I find my life in Christ. He says whoever keeps his life will loose it, however looses his life for my sake will find their lives. (paraphrasing) Sometimes I try to drive and that gets me lost.

At the present & for the last 15 or so years I do attend church regularly. There have been times in my life when I didn’t, such as when I was a teenager/young adult & was questioning the concept of “church”. I started to go again after I had kids & I wanted them to have an upbringing with Sunday School, VBS & learning about Jesus from someone other than myself., as I did not feel very qualified. I then felt the desire to learn more myself. My kids are young adults now & gone from home & I keep attending church, not because I feel you “have to” to be a “good” Christian, but because I “want to”. I find I need the time to say every week, here’s where I screwed up God & thank you for forgiving me & I will try & do better in the days to come. I find I can learn something with every sermon or Bible study I am a part of. And then because I am so grateful for the blessings I have in my life, I want to help others & there is so much I can’t do by myself, but by being a part of a church community, I can be a part of helping local charities, i.e. food pantry, etc. & then by my church giving to the national church organization, I feel I am part of helping on a larger national & international scale. I love the caring people of a church. I may not always agree with what the national church says or even the views of people in my church, but I know that they love God & are just trying to do what they feel is right. I would encourage someone to keep looking & trying different churches as there are so many out there, they should be able to find one that makes them feel the love of God & makes them want to be a part of that community.

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