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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Leaving Egypt Behind

Scripture: Exodus 1:8, Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.

The past gives us our sense of rootedness in history. We belong. But we cannot live in the past. Daily life pulls us forward. When we try to stay in the past, we become out of touch, immobile.

Nor can we expect others to live in our pasts. Our present relationships are for now. We are responsible for both our actions and attitudes today. The Lord’s compassions are ‘new every morning’. Each day becomes an opportunity for spiritual growth, for renewal, for knowing God.

Why were the Egyptians, who were once so hospitable, now so hostile, despite the fact that Joseph had been forgotten? What kind of day to day relationships existed between Israel and Egypt? At one time inter-action had been good, or at least peaceful. When did the outlook change?

The Egyptians chose harshness. In their minds they acted with wisdom. By systematic coercion they would wear the Israelites down and restore a sense of security for themselves. Their actions resulted from fear. Instead of achieving security, they grew increasingly anxious and intimidated. Israel suffered.

How am I dealing with relationships? Am I holding to past hurts? Do I systematically build walls of silence to protect myself? Or am I lashing out, making sure no one can come close enough to connect?

You, Lord, do not hold our pasts against us. You ask us to live in a new affinity to You each daybreak. May I ,too, extend a clean slate to others in my life this morning.

Psalm of Worship: Psalm 103:12

As far as the east is from the west,

So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

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