LIVE BEYOND THE LYRICS WITH JASMIN PATTERSON
#14 - "So Long, Moses" by Andrew Peterson
"So Long, Moses," from Andrew's Peterson's Christmas album, 'Behold The Lamb of God,' tells the story of Israel waiting on Jesus to come and teaches us about waiting on God's promises and plans.
 


LIVE BEYOND THE LYRICS WITH JASMIN PATTERSON, #14 -
Posted: December 22, 2019 | By: JasminPatterson_NRT
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"So Long, Moses" chronicles the journey of the Israelites waiting for God to fulfill His promise to send them Jesus, their Savior and King, and the Savior and King of the whole world. Here are a few things we can learn from the story of Israel waiting for Jesus to come.
 

#1 Sometimes we have to wait on God's plan.

So speak, Isaiah / Prophet of Judah / Can you tell of the One / This king who's going to come / Will he be a king on a throne / Full of power with a sword in his fist? ' Prophet, tell us will there be another king like this? / Full of wisdom, full of strength / The hearts of the people are his / Prophet, tell us will there be
Another king like this?


From the moments right after the fall of humanity and all throughout the history of the people of Israel, God had been promising them through His prophets that a Savior was coming (Genesis 3:14-15, Hebrews 1:1-2). Can you imagine what that was like? For a people to collectively hold on to the promise of God, cling to Scripture and expect God to perform His work...for hundreds and hundreds of years. They knew what it was like to wait on God to fulfill his promise. They knew what it was like to wait on God to work in their lives.

We all know what it's like to wait on a promise from God or to wait for His intervention in some situation in our lives, don't we? We read in His Word declarations about how He wants to work in our lives. We cry out to Him in prayer to bring help and deliverance and bring whatever we are facing to a place of resolve and beauty. 

Here's the thing about God: God unfolds His plan for our lives and for this world with care, wisdom and intentionality. Often that means we have to wait on Him and things may not happen in the timeline we expect. In the waiting, we have to remember that God is faithful to His Word and He is faithful to work in our lives for His glory and our good. 

We can trust Him. We can trust His character. We can trust His intentions with us. We can trust Him to intervene in our circumstances when we cry out to Him. Even if we have to wait a while. Even if His work happens in small increments and breakthroughs over time and not big, miraculous ones in a single fell swoop, although He does that too.

The beautiful thing about waiting on God for His promises and plans is that we can trust God no matter what the unfolding looks like or how long it takes.

#2 Sometimes God's plan doesn't unfold the way we expect.

He'll bear no beauty or glory / Rejected, despised / A man of such sorrow / We'll cover our eyes / He'll take up our sickness / Carry our tears / For his people / He will be pierced

Sometimes God's work in our lives doesn't look the way we expected. The people of Israel had the promises from God of the coming Messiah but expected more of an earthly king than a spiritual Savior. Jesus will come to this earth again as King, but at His first coming, He appeared as a baby. He was humble. He died on a cross and conquered sin instead of openly conquering the enemies of a nation. He wanted people to know that God wanted to save them from their sins and repair their relationship with Him, not just to deal with the reality of political oppression they were facing at the moment.

They envisioned a savior who would deliver them from the oppression of their enemies right there and then, but God had a bigger plan in mind. A plan to save not only the people of Israel but the entire world from their sins. What an incredible plan born from the vast love of God, to make Jesus the offering for our sin and make eternal life available to anyone who would believe in Him! Aren't you glad we get to benefit from that plan today?

Don't get discouraged in the waiting. God has a bigger plan than we can see. He is always working in ways we know about and ways we don't. He is weaving pieces together and writing a beautiful story with our lives. The things that look like delays and curveballs to us don't catch God off guard. Sometimes the promptings in a new direction or the open or closed doors are God leading us into what He truly has for us. (Acts 16:6-10) Sometimes those twists and turns involve pain and trial. God doesn't cause those things, but He can and does work through them to bring good out of them. (Romans 8:28)

#3 God uses the weak people and things of this world to accomplish His plans.

From you, O Bethlehem / Small among Judah / A ruler will come / Ancient and strong

This lyric reminds me of 1 Corinthians 1:26-27: "Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world's eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful."

Who would expect the Messiah–the Savior of the world, God in the flesh–to come from a little town in Judah, but it's just the place God chose to use. Who would expect the Messiah to come from a humble family, the son of a carpenter and a carpenter Himself, but it's just the family God chose to use. 

God can accomplish His purposes through unexpected people and places. That's good news for all of us. You and I don't have to be wealthy or famous or skilled or whatever would make us appear qualified and capable in the eyes of the world in order for God to use in His plans. In His grace, God loves to make His kids a part of His work, especially the ones who the world sees as the weakest and unassuming. God can use you in His work in the world too. 

Maybe it's through your job. Maybe it's through your service in the Church or in the community. Maybe it's through your testimony or your gifts. Maybe it's through your place of influence in the relationships in your life. Whatever way you may walk out your part in God's story, know that God is still in the business of reconciling the world to Himself. He is still in the business of building His Kingdom, and He's still in the business of making people like you and me a part of it.

Final Thoughts

Be encouraged to trust God as you wait on His plan, to trust Him when His plan doesn't unfold the way you expected, and to remember that you have a role to play in His story in the world. 

Find "So Long, Moses" on Andrew Peterson's latest Christmas album, Behold the Lamb of God. Stream on Spotify or buy it on Apple Music. Read the full lyrics of "So Long, Moses" here.

NRT contributor Jasmin Patterson is a lifelong fan of Christian music who is passionate about helping others connect with Christ. She lives in Kansas City where she serves in college ministry and runs a blog to help seekers and believers discover and live biblical Christianity.

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