I Just Don’t Get It

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings
Exodus 14-15, Matthew 17

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10 As Pharaoh drew closer, the Israelites looked back and saw the Egyptians marching toward them. The Israelites were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Weren’t there enough graves in Egypt that you took us away to die in the desert? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt like this? 12 Didn’t we tell you the same thing in Egypt? ‘Leave us alone! Let us work for the Egyptians!’ It would have been better for us to work for the Egyptians than to die in the desert.”

13 But Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. Stand your ground, and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never ever see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you. You just keep still.”

15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to get moving. 16 As for you, lift your shepherd’s rod, stretch out your hand over the sea, and split it in two so that the Israelites can go into the sea on dry ground. 17 But me, I’ll make the Egyptians stubborn so that they will go in after them, and I’ll gain honor at the expense of Pharaoh, all his army, his chariots, and his cavalry. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord, when I gain honor at the expense of Pharaoh, his chariots, and his cavalry” (Exodus 14:10-18, Common English Bible).

Some thirty plus years ago, when I was a sophomore (with enough hours to be a junior) and a student older than average at San Jacinto College, I knew I was approaching the time I would need to transfer to a four-year school. But, being the terrible math student that I was, I thought I would probably be better off to get my math requirement out of the way while I was at San Jac. Well, it sounded like a good idea at the time, little did I know that before I finished my Bachelor’s degree my degree plan would require yet another math class.

I truly don’t think I would have passed College Algebra without my wife serving as my private tutor. I seriously think she has forgotten more math than I have ever known. And, she very patiently worked with me (I don’t know how she did it). Later I saw her patiently tutor some of the kids in the churches I have served as well as our communities (I understood her patience better with them).

I still remember the routine well. Cindy would work through a problem with me. When she finished I would look at her and say, “I just don’t get it.” I have no idea how many times I said that to her. I think she could have told me at one time but perhaps by now, she has forgotten.

I used to save that line, “I just don’t get it” for things like Algebra and Geometry. But since seminary days, I have broken the line out once again. It is probably my favorite line to use when it comes to the Israelites. I just don’t get it.

Were not these people paying attention to what God was doing around them when God won them their freedom? Plagues and riches (obtained from the Egyptians) and freedom, etc. Didn’t they notice? I know this all happened centuries before Paul but perhaps they needed to hear his line, “So what are we going to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8:31, CEB)

And, when you finish reading the rest chapter 14 you will have no trouble seeing God proving God is for them once again. Perhaps this time they will actually pay attention. No, I’m just kidding. If we know anything about the Israelites it would be, they learned really, really slowly.

But, make no mistake, God was definitely for them. They could see it when they looked back at the Red Sea from the other side when they saw, as the old youth camp song says, “…all of Pharaoh’s army did the dead man’s float.”

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

 

Author:

"The Pastor Ponders" is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. Bishop and I live in Sweeny, Texas where I am the pastor of First United Methodist Church. I have served here for the past two years. For the past 27 years I have served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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