The theme of the Church for the second half of 2006 revolves around how the Church should testify for God. From the Old Testament to the New, we discover that the commonality of those chosen by God is to testify for Him, especially after people had experienced His salvation, by the group that was redeemed through their thanksgiving and praises for God¡¦s saving grace.
In the bygone days God did not forget His covenant with Abraham. When He saw the misery of the Israelites in Egypt, heard their cries and knew their suffering, He unleashed ten terrible plaques on Egypt so as to rescue His chosen people from the place where they were enslaved and lead them into the Promised Land. In order that the Israelites will further recognize His complete victory over the enemy and not be fearful of the threat of Egyptian pursuit, He opened up an exit for His people where there was a dead end. He performed another great miracle by dividing the Red Sea and leading the chosen people safely through, finally hurling the pursuing Egyptian army into the deep waters. God provided the Israelites with the encounter of the Red Sea so that they will have complete relief and freedom, and no longer be fearful of the intimidation of the enemy. Furthermore, because God thoroughly destroyed the armed forces of their antagonist, their foes within the various tribes of Canaan were greatly frightened by the God of Israel (Joshua 2:9-10).
After passing through the Red Sea, Moses composed a song to lead the people collectively to praise God. That hymn is recorded in Exodus chapter 15. It reads, "I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted. The horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea. The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt Him. The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is His name.¡¨ (Exodus 15:1-3) This hymn of the saving grace of the Israelites is especially important, because it is the first time the multitude had raised their unified praises and thanksgiving to God after their salvation by the Lord at the banks of the Red Sea. It is their testimony of their experience of God¡¦s salvation. For the first time, they jointly acknowledged that the God of their fathers was also their God; that God is a warrior (v. 3); and that He will reign for ever and ever (v. 18). Through the song of Moses, the chosen people testified together that the Lord is the one true God, and that only He is the Saviour who is majestic in Holiness, awesome in glory and works wonders (Exodus 15:11). Also, they testified that God had triumphed greatly over the enemy and punished the evil people who sinned. We can imagine on that day at the banks of the Red Sea when the chosen people of Israel exalted God, how joyful and thankful their emotions and mood must be!
Dear brothers and sisters, when we attend the Breaking of Bread meeting on Sunday, do we also consider how the grace bestowed on us is even greater than the salvation experienced by the Israelites? God sent His only begotten Son to earth, just as He sent Moses to Egypt, in order to save us from the dominion of the King of the World - Satan. Before knowing the one true God, we had lived and died in sin and iniquity, controlled by our enemy the Devil through the customs and material things of this age. We were often directed and tempted by our sinful nature, following the desires of the flesh. God sent Jesus Christ as the Moses of the later times to bring us grace and truth. Christ also paid the price of redemption for us just like a lamb of the Passover Feast. He rose from the dead to triumph over the Devil who holds the power of death, and free us who were held in slavery by our fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-15).
Therefore during every Breaking of Bread meeting, we should hold an attitude of thanksgiving and exaltation. Use the sharing of Bible passages, hymns and prayers to express our gratitude to God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, and testify to our grace of salvation. We can also envision that when we and other victors stand above the sea of glass in the future and see God using the seven last plaques to complete His wrath on the evil people of the world, how joyful and thankful it must be as we sing the song of God¡¦s servant Moses and of the lamb!
By: Daniel To