For hundreds of years the children of Israel lived in bondage to the Egyptians and prayed to God that they might be delivered from captivity. In the third chapter of the book of Exodus we see that God heard their cries and chose Moses to guide his people out of the land. The Lord said, “I have come down to deliver them from the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey…” The Israelites witnessed the great power of God as He brought the plagues upon the land of Egypt concluding in the death of all the first born of the Egyptians which led to their release.
As the journey to the promised land began trials soon followed with the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart and his command to pursue the children of Israel. Upon seeing the approaching army, they began to cry out to the Lord and complaining to Moses that they would have been better off remaining in Egypt than to be led into the wilderness to die. Multiple times throughout their journey they faced hardships and in each situation they quickly forgot about God’s promise. Even as the time came to enter the land of Canaan, they doubted God’s ability to deliver on his promise causing the Lord to return them to wandering in the wilderness. The children of Israel lost sight of the reward that awaited them at the end of their journey.
This World Is Not Our Home
God has prepared for us an eternal home. “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” ( John 14: 2-3). We are constantly reminded of the evils that exist on this earth. The sinful actions that result from mankind turning away from God are evident. Everything in this life is subject to death and decay yet we seem to focus our efforts on obtaining more wealth and riches, more leisure and entertainment time, bigger and greater possessions. We are bombarded with images and messaging that contradict God’s word. One of life’s big challenges for the Christian is to stay focused. Every moment of every day something is competing for our attention and if we’re not careful we can easily drift away, losing sight of our desired destination. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). Later in the book of Matthew the question is asked, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Set Your Mind
Understanding that this is temporary, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to get caught up in the cares and worries of this life. Our efforts should be spent securing that home that God has promised for the faithful. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:2). Just like the children of Israel, God has prepared and is guiding us to our eternal home. Let us be reminded of what awaits us! “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev.21:4). Later in the same chapter heaven is described as city made with gold and walls of jasper with foundations of precious stones. A place that is illuminated with the glory of God and where there will be no darkness.
We have numerous songs that we use in our worship service that describe the glories of heaven.
No Tears In Heaven
“Glory is waiting, waiting up yonder, where we shall spend an endless day;
There with our Savior we’ll be forever, where no more sorrow can dismay”
O That Will Be Glory
“Friends will be there I have loved long ago, joy like a river around me will flow”
How Beautiful Heaven Must Be
“In heaven, no drooping nor pining, no wishing for else-where to be: God’s light is forever there shining”
Where The Roses Never Fade
“I am going to a city where the streets with gold are laid,
where the tree of life is blooming, and the roses never fade”
“When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun; we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we first begun”
May we all keep our eyes on the finish! <Rob Henson>