Show me Your glory, I pray.
Thus says the LORD, who makes a way in the sea,
a path in the mighty waters, who brings out chariot and horse,
army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick: Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Pastoral counselors frequently talk about the power of stories in shaping our lives. “It is through these stories that lived experience is interpreted. We enter into stories; we are entered into stories by others; and we live our lives through these stories.” (David Epstein, Michael White, Kevin Murray, A Proposal for Re-authoring Therapy) We make sense of our world through stories we are told and tell. In other words, “Change your stories and change your life.” The Exodus story is the greatest of stories, told by the greatest Storyteller. It is a story of love, redemption and hope, a story God wants told and retold.
So in today’s scripture the prophet Isaiah retells the Exodus story to people betrayed by a story about God abandoning them. Centuries after the historical Exodus from Egypt, Isaiah writes to people living through another bondage, the Babylonian Captivity. Isaiah reminds them of the story of God making a way for His people through the Red Sea, overwhelming the enemy: “Thus says the LORD, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters…”.
But then, after having brought to mind the great story, Isaiah tells them to forget it: “Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old.” Why? Because God is “about to do a new thing.” God is ready to accomplish a new Exodus for His people. As God once made a way through the Red Sea, now God is ready to make a way for His people through the wilderness and bring them safely to their homeland. So we do not think of the Exodus as something God once did long ago, but as something God always does on behalf of His people. It is something God is doing in you and me!
- What story (movie, novel, fairy tale, bedtime story) has been influential in your life?
- How might the story of the Exodus lead you to think differently about your life?
- What “new thing” do you sense God might be doing in your life?