Posted By Nan

Exodus 1:1-14, 2:1-10, 23-25, 3:1-22, 12:1-13, 13:1-16, Numbers 14, Malachi
As God had promised Abraham, he was making him into a mighty nation. As God had told Abraham, his descendants were captive in Egypt and growing into a mighty nation. 400 years they suffered and waited for God to free them. I am sure they all heard the story of Abraham and God’s promise to him and I am sure they wondered if God had forgotten them. Meanwhile they grew into a mighty nation. Finally, God heard their call. He prompted a Levite woman to hide her son from Pharaoh’s soldiers because she could see that he was fair in the sight of God. For 40 years that child lived in Pharaoh’s palace before he apparently realised he was an Israelite. Then for 40 years he lived in the desert until God summoned him to the burning bush and sent him back to Egypt to lead the mighty nation of Abraham out of Egypt into the promised land. We all know the story. The people rebelled against God and God forbade any of that generation to enter the promised land. So Moses led the people in the wilderness for 40 years until they all died. Then he led the next generation to the borders of the promised land and he died as well.
The people waited 400 years for God to lead them out of Egypt. The people waited 40 years in the desert before God led them into the promised land. We wait for God’s promises and sometimes we wait impatiently. The Israelites waited 400 years but could not wait 40 years in the desert despite all that God had done for them, even supplying them with food and water. The first consequence of becoming impatient is sin. And that leads to separation from God.
If you look at the Jewish people at the time of Jesus, they had been waiting about 400 years from the words of Malachi to the Jewish people promising the arrival in time of the promised Messiah. As you can see also from Malachi, the Israelites had remained a rebellious people and had eventually lost the promised land and were stuck in a small corner of the Persian Empire. Yet Malachi promised the faithful remnant who had not turned away from God the joy of the promised Messiah and, preceding him, his servant Elijah.
Waiting is hard and we are no better than the Jewish people. We don’t wait well either. This week of Advent I am focusing on the difficulty of waiting for God’s promises. The difficulty of trusting when things look so hopeless. The difficulty of resisting impatience and the inevitable sin that flows from that. And the importance of waiting patiently.

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