The other day I was thinking about the message of Exodus and in particular the journey of the Israelites into the wilderness. If we can imagine the scene: Moses and the Israelites have watched the world’s biggest superpower (Egypt) crumble at the hands of God. He has destroyed the Egyptian army. He has split the Red Sea and freed the Israelites from 400 years of slavery. Now, having led the Israelites to the base of Mount Sinai, God has summoned Moses to climb to the top of the mountain where He will speak with him.
As Moses ascends the mountain the Israelites disappear out of sight hiding beneath the mist and clouds surrounding the peak. Then, as he approaches the summit a quiet stillness descends upon the peak and he realises he is entering into the presence of God. Just then, God begins to speak and he says, “I carried you on eagles wings; I have brought you out of slavery to myself; I desired to speak with you and now I want you to give the people a message.” Now lest we forget, this is no mere news announcement, telegraph, phone message or idle conversation taking place. No! This is Almighty God, creator of the heavens and the earth, sustainer of all things, the great I AM and He is speaking and saying to Moses, “give these people this message from Me.” Moses must have been thinking, “this can’t be good!” The Israelites had grumbled against God as they wandered through the desert. They were hard hearted people, ungrateful and difficult to work with. Yet, just then God says a few words, which would have made Moses’ jaw drop. He says, “tell them, they are my treasured possession!” (Exodus 19:5). Now, we all have treasured possessions, things we look at and keep. We may have many of these possessions in our houses; a photo, a letter, a wedding gift or possibly a piece of jewellery. These treasures are valuable to us because, as we look upon them, they cause our affections to stir as we recall whatever memory is attached to them. Well, in the same way, God says when he looks upon His people he sees them as His treasured possession. The things which stir His affections, which are valuable and priceless to Him are not photos, jewellery, or gifts. His treasured possessions are the people of God. This is a deeply personal and stirring moment for Moses and the Israelites. Now, lest this picture fall from our hearts, and we fail to appreciate how this applies to us today, let us remember that Peter uses these verses in 1 Peter 2:9 to speak to us. Those who cherish Christ and live in union with Him are His treasured possession. Just as those words stirred the soul of the Israelites so many thousands of years ago, let them now stir your soul because they apply to you. In the eyes of God, we are valuable, in the heart of God we are treasured, in the affections of God we are honoured and in the actions of God we are cared for and loved. We are the treasured possession of God.
The greatest joy we will ever know in this life is that God truly loves us. Whilst, this can be the hardest of truths to comprehend, because our sin often tries to tell us different, it is the most glorious of truths to hold onto. This is the heart of the Gospel, the motive of salvation and the joy of the Father to change us from enemies of God into children of God whom he treasures. (Romans 8:15) Our life is the pursuit of God because he first pursued us, it is the love of God because he first loved us, it is the cherishing of God because he first cherished us. This month let us take heart when we consider and understand that we are treasured, valued and loved infinitely more than we ever dared to dream.
1 Peter 2:9!
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
Yours In Christ
Rev Dan Paterson