The theme of today’s Pastor Joseph Prince daily devotional December 18 2023 is ”“A Picture of Pure Grace”
SCRIPTURE: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.-Psalm 118:1 NLT
Years ago, I was sitting in my living room, just spending time in the Word, when the Lord spoke to me and said, “Son, study the journey of the children of Israel from Egypt to Mount Sinai, for this is a picture of pure grace. Not a single Israelite died during this period although they murmured and complained.”
I had never heard anyone preach that before or read it in any book. So, feverishly, I turned to that portion of the Scriptures, trying to find someone who had died, so that I could prove God wrong! Have you been there before, trying to prove God wrong? Well, you can never succeed, and indeed, I could not find any Israelite who died even though they murmured and complained.
God had rescued the children of Israel from their Egyptian slave masters by performing great signs and wonders, yet, the children of Israel failed to honor Him, and murmured and complained over and over again.
When the Egyptian army came thundering toward them from behind and the Red Sea was before them, the Israelites cried out to Moses saying, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt?” (Exod. 14:11).
That was a complaint against God, and murmuring and complaining are sins. But what was God’s response? He opened up the Red Sea and they crossed over to dry land on the other side, safe from their enemies.
Then, even after God had brought them safely to the other side of the sea, they complained about the bitter waters at Marah. What was God’s response? He made the bitter waters sweet (Exod. 15:23–25). In the wilderness, they cried out against Moses when they were hungry.
What was God’s response? He rained bread from heaven (Exod. 16:2–4). But still, the children of Israel complained. When there was no water again, they cried out against Moses, saying, “Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” (Exod. 17:3). What was God’s response? He brought water out of the flinty rock.
Every time the children of Israel murmured and complained, it only brought forth fresh demonstrations of God’s favor, supply, and goodness. Why? Because during that period, the blessings and provisions they received were not dependent on their obedience or goodness. They were dependent on God’s goodness and His faithfulness to the Abrahamic covenant (Exod. 2:24), which was a covenant of grace.
Can you see what the Lord was showing me? The Israelites’ journey from Egypt to Sinai was a picture of pure grace. Their blessings were not dependent on their goodness but His goodness, not on their faithfulness but His faithfulness. Before the Ten Commandments were given, they were under grace and nobody was punished even when they failed. But immediately after the law was given (Exod. 20), their failure resulted in punishment.
Beloved, the good news is that we are no longer under the old covenant of law. We have been delivered from the law through Jesus’ death on the cross. Because of Jesus Christ, we are now under the new covenant of grace. This means that today, God does not assess and bless us based on our performance, but on His goodness and faithfulness.
If you have been struggling with a challenge for some time now, look away from yourself, your mistakes, your lack, and your imperfections. Look instead at and give thanks for the pure grace God extends to you today because of the finished work of His Son. Let your confidence and trust not be rooted in your imperfect performance, but in His constant and unwavering goodness, love, and undeserved, unmerited, and unearned favor toward you, and see Him supply all that you need.
This devotional is taken from the book Reign in Life—90 Powerful Inspirations for Extraordinary Breakthroughs.