Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Wednesday Weekly Devotional

By Philip and Stephanie Voland
Covenant Missionaries in Keil, Germany


“Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the wilderness.’”
Exodus 5:1

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Starting November 2, Germany will go back into partial lockdown for 4 weeks. Schools will remain open, but gatherings will be limited to 2 households, with a maximum 10 people, and non-essential businesses and restaurants will be closed.

When Chancellor Merkel made the announcement on 10/28, she shared the news with a heavy heart. “Just when we were all getting a taste of “normalcy” again…” she said. Another leader commented, “We make the difficult choice to shut things down now, to avoid many infections and deaths in the coming weeks.”

And yet, in these pre-vaccine pandemic times, lockdown is starting to feel normal. We are 7 months into masks, disinfectant and distancing. (This time, we stocked up on TP before the lockdown was announced. That was a good idea. Germans panic-buy too! The word for this is “Hamsterkauf” Literally, “hamster-purchase!”)

When Moses first approached Pharaoh to ask for Israel’s freedom in Exodus 5:1, Israel had been enslaved in Egypt for 400 years. For generations, the people had only known slavery. Many were born into slavery and died there, too.

Yet when God called Israel out of Egypt, he didn’t take them directly to the promised land. He took them on a 40 year detour through the wilderness. I often wonder why. The answer, I think, lies in Exodus 5:1. God took them to the wilderness to worship him. After generations of enslavement, they needed to heal. They had forgotten who God was, and who they were in him. God led them into the wilderness to worship Him and remember.

So, whether we find ourselves today in the wilderness; be it political, emotional, physical, spiritual, relational, financial or vocational; or rather, a promised land of safety and security, we can center ourselves in the presence of Christ, who calls us to himself. He calls us out of bondage into freedom. 

Jesus spoke to them and said… “I am the gate. If anyone enters through Me, he will be saved. He will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it in all its fullness.” 
John 10:9-10


Philip, Stephanie, Maddie, Charlotte and Gabby Voland