This segment of My Thoughts is the fourth of our six-part Grace series. This week’s segment is on Pure Grace. Open up your Bibles to Psalm 118:1, “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” Some Bibles use the phrase “steadfast love” instead of mercy.
In my Freshman year of Bible College, I was sitting in my home office doing my homework wondering about what Grace really is. Reading the Book of Exodus, Jesus spoke to me. I started to read about the journey of the children of Israel from Egypt to Mount Sinai. Jesus showed me a picture of pure grace through Israel’s complaining, murmuring, and crying.
Complaints, God Showed Grace
As I turned to Exodus chapter 14, I attempted to find someone who had died, so I could prove God wrong. Well, you will never succeed, and indeed, I could not prove God wrong. No Israelite died when they complained. I never heard anyone preach on this subject before or read it in any book.
God rescued the children of Israel from their Egyptian slave masters performing great signs and wonders. Yet, failed to honor Him and continued to complain over and over again. Let me ask this question: When you complained to God about something in your life, did He show you grace? If you not only read but study the Bible, you would know He showed grace beyond all understanding.
Murmuring, God Showed Grace
In Exodus 14:11, when the Egyptian army came thundering toward them from behind and the Red Sea was before them, the Israelites cried out to Moses saying, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt?”
Murmuring against God is a sin. What was God’s response? He opened the Red Sea and the Israelites crossed over to dry land on the other side, safe from their enemies. After God brought them to safety, they murmured about the bitter waters at Marah. What was God’s response? He made the bitter waters sweet with a tree (Exodus 15:23–25).
Let me ask another question: When you murmured against God for not doing what you wanted, what did God do for you? He showed you grace. Then you found out, God, being our awesome Father, guided you in another direction, and you were obedient to listen. God looks out for His children.
Crying, God Showed Grace
In the wilderness, they cried out against Moses when they hungered. What was God’s response? He rained bread from heaven (Exodus 16:2–4). Still, the children of Israel cried. In Exodus 17:3 when there was no water again, they cried out against Moses saying, “Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” What was God’s response? He brought water out of the rock.
Every time they cried, it brought forth fresh demonstrations of God’s favor, supply, and goodness. Why? Because during that period, the blessings and provisions received were not dependent on their obedience or goodness. They were dependent on God’s goodness and His faithfulness to the Abrahamic covenant (Exodus 2:24), which was a covenant of grace. God had done the same for us over and over again.
It is Not You; It is God!
Can you see what the Lord was showing me? Their journey from Egypt to Sinai was a picture of pure grace. Their blessings were not dependent on their goodness but God’s goodness, not on their faithfulness but God’s faithfulness. Before the Ten Commandments were given, they were under grace and nobody was punished even when they failed. Immediately after the law was given, failure resulted in punishment.
The good news is we are no longer under the old covenant of law. We have been delivered from the law through Jesus’ atoning death on the cross and are now under the new covenant of grace. It means today and every day, God does not assess and bless us based on our performance, but on His goodness and faithfulness.
If you have been struggling with a challenge for some time now, look away from yourself, your mistakes, lack, and imperfections. Look instead at and give thanks for the pure grace God extends to you today because of the finished work of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let your confidence and trust not be rooted in your imperfect performance, but in His constant and unwavering goodness, love, and undeserved, unmerited, and unearned favor toward you, and see Him supply all that you need, Amen!
I am Dale Van De Bogart and I approve of this message!
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