Resident Aliens

Today's devotion from Psalm 105.

As Psalm 105 recounts God's marvelous work in preserving the Israelites before they inhabited the Promised Land, it pauses and lingers on their time in Egypt. They were initially welcomed there, but, as often happens, the warm embrace of the world became a stifling incarceration. God had a purpose in sending His people there, but Egypt was not the end. Instead, it was simply the means.

The next sections detail the lengths to which God went to free them from their imprisonment and slavery. It outlines His miraculous provision on their behalf. The psalmist credits God with giving them land in order to have a home. Then, powerfully, the psalm concludes, "All this happened so that they might keep his statutes and obey his instructions. Hallelujah!" (Psalm 105:45, CSB)

The purpose of all of this was not just for the sake of the Israelites. It was not for their sense of fulfillment or joy. No. God's work was much more meaningful than simple emotions or entitlement. It was done, all of this, for their ability to obey. In other words, God moved nations for His people to be able to worship. This was not about singing songs or keeping rules. It was about honoring Him to the fullest extent possible. It was about His keeping promises and their praising His name. It was about His drawing near and their faithful walk. It was about His invitation and their acceptance.

While the plan has progressed the plot has not changed. God is still working miraculously so that people who are in this world might be set free from it. We live as resident aliens who watch God move in utterly incomprehensible ways so that we might walk with Him. We could continue this story forward to include Christ and a cross. We could add verses speaking of an empty tomb and filled throne. We would write of the Church begun and the Gospel proclaimed. And after each new section, we could recount, "All this happened so that they might keep his statutes and obey his instructions. Hallelujah!"