“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4, ESV).
The Book of Romans provides several theological discussions about Christian living. In the previous post in this series from Romans (see Punctilious Christianity), we learned that Christians shouldn’t let their personal convictions cause someone else to question the legitimacy of their faith.
In Romans 15 Paul continues this lesson on not allowing your personal convictions to cause a Christian brother or sister to stumble.
Paul makes a distinction between the weak and strong Christian and then declares that the primary characteristic of a strong Christian is not to please yourself but to conduct yourself in a way that strengthens your brother or sister.
After all, that’s what Jesus did: “For Christ did not please himself” (vs. 3).
“But Moses told the people, Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” (Exodus 14:13-14, NLT)
After Pharaoh let the Israelites go, he changed his mind yet again and ordered the Egyptian army to pursue Israel. The Egyptian army caught up to the Israelites while they were camped along the shore of the Red Sea.
As the Egyptians approached, the Israelites began to grumble and complain that they regretted leaving the slavery of Egypt. This complaint was to be a common one among the Israelites over the next forty years.
But in one of the great affirmations of faith in the Bible, Moses declared in these verses his confidence that God would rescue the people of Israel from the Egyptians.
In order for God to rescue them, the Israelites needed not let the approaching Egyptian army distract them from focusing on God and His deliverance.
The psalmist also assured us that when we turn our attention to thanking and obeying God and not to worrying about impending trouble, then God will come to our rescue: “Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory” (Psalm 50:14-15, NLT).
Make this your prayer in difficult times:
Don’t let my problems distract me from calling on you for help and deliverance.
I will listen for your voice and in calmness I will see your approaching deliverance and my fears will be assuaged.
Rescue me from my trouble and I will give you glory.