Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Effects of a Broken Spirit

A spiritual goal I have for 2010 is to read through the entire Bible. This is something that I've never attempted, and am I excited by the challenge. I'm using this reading plan. Yesterday I was getting caught up after missing a couple of days, and came across a verse that I had never read before. It's from Exodus 6, which begins the back and forth dialog between God and Pharoah, with Moses as middle man.

In verse 2 God begins speaking his Father's heart for his people. He reminds Moses of the covenant that he established with them. He says that he has heard his people's groans as a result of their slavery, and he is going to redeem them. They will be his people and he will be their God. So Moses relays this message to the people, but verse 9 says that they did not listen.

You would think that if any message would cause you to listen, it would be this one. The Father's heart is on display. We see his passion and pursuit for his people, yet they don't listen. But the passage isn't over, and it's the remainder of verse 9 that spoke to me so powerfully. We learn here that there is a reason that they didn't listen. It's not because of their rebellious ways. It's not because they don't think God knows what he's talking about.

Verse 9 says that they didn't listen "because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery."

Here's what I felt God saying to me. I don't know what it's like to have a broken spirit, especially one that comes as a result of harsh slavery, or, really, any other kind of injustice. Because of this, I need to have a special compassion for those who have, and I need to seek understanding on what they are going through. It's difficult for me to understand how someone could not be captured by this message, but perhaps that's because I don't know the powerful effects that a broken spirit can have on a person.

We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness (Ephesians 6:12). These forces that Paul is talking about impact lives more than we realize. It's a scary thing. But here's the good news. We have someone fighting for us. In this passage God moves from Loving Father to Just Redeemer. He fights for his people. And the rest of the good news: He wins!

I am thankful that God fights for my soul, and I want to join that fight for the souls of others.

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