Today’s reading includes Exodus 10:1-12:13, Matthew 20:1-28, Psalm 25:1-15, Proverbs 6:6-11.
Today I saw something in the story of Moses that I never had reflected upon. I have always known that the story included the goal of freedom—both physically and spiritually. God’s people were slaves in Egypt and He wanted to set them free. It was time. He had heard their prayers and seen their tears. It was time for the release, time for the freedom. That is itself is a great story. I know there have been times in my life that I needed to be set free. There have been times that I have felt bound up with habits and thought patterns that were not healthy. And I needed God’s amazing grace. And I received God’s amazing grace. And He set me free! This is my story and this is what I know to be true. But today I saw the “why” behind the freedom. When I first saw it, I began to look throughout the chapters of this story and it was repeated over and over. The “why” was worship. It was first established at the burning bush:
11 But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?”
12 God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.”
From the beginning the purpose of ending the slavery was not only because of the misery of the people, it was because the people needed to be free to worship God. They weren’t set free to go and do whatever they wanted. They were set free to go and offer themselves to God—a different, beautiful, voluntary slavery to the only One who deserves to be served no matter the cost.
Exodus 10:3 says:
So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: How long will you refuse to submit to me? Let my people go, so they can worship me.
Worship is mentioned throughout the story as the purpose of the freedom. Look at Exodus 8:1, Exodus 9:1, Exodus 9:13, and Exodus 10:24. The “why” of God’s desire for the people to be free is so that they could worship. And what is worship? It is far more than church attendance. It is more than singing hymns or praise songs; more even than prayer. Romans 12:1-2 says this:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
If we truly want to worship God, we will trade our dark spiritual slavery, for spiritual servanthood filled with the Light of the World. We will make our whole lives, each day, each minute, an act of worship for our Lord. Keith Green wrote these lyrics in his song, Make My Life A Prayer To You:
Make my life a prayer to You
I want to do what You want me to
No empty words and no white lies
No token prayers, no compromise.
I want to shine the light You gave
Through Your Son You sent to save us
From ourselves and our despair
It comforts me to know You’re really there.
May that be our prayer today.