A rest stop along the Emmaus Road

We started this journey nine posts ago. Yes, the 31 Days project officially began on Oct. 1, but I thought it would be cheating to just repost items from last spring when I abruptly stopped the series just a few posts in.

It’s time for a rest stop.

It’s time to think back on the journey.

It’s time to be awestruck by what we’ve seen so far and take a deep breath before anticipating the next leg of the journey.

We started in the garden, the perfect paradise created by God for his created. Our ancestors barely had time to start covering the tracks of their sin (and their naked bodies) before God came calling. He handed down punishment tempered with the promise that the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent.

Then we moved ahead to the call of Abram. Before he became the father of Isaac, grandfather of Jacob and ancestor to a nation, he was the holder of a promise – a promise that through him the entire world would be blessed.

But the promise came with a trial. Abram, now rechristened Abraham, was told to sacrifice the son of the promise on an altar of stone. A few days later with a knife mercifully cast aside, Abraham knew for certain that God would provide and that it would be one of his descendants who would deliver the world.

Fast forward many years and even more miles to the deathbed of Jacob in the land of Egypt where his people found refuge from a famine ravaging the land. As he blessed his sons, the blessing carrying the promise that the scepter, a symbol of a ruler, would never depart from the house of the least likely one.

But the Egyptian refuge became a prison for four long centuries. Release came, but only after a long struggle to break the hardness of a ruler’s heart. With release came rebellion and a rescue that hinted at salvation yet to come.

As the nation of Israel neared the end of their 40-year journey through the wilderness, a fearful king called on a sorcerer to bring down curses on them. He simply couldn’t. He was compelled to speak the blessings of God over the encamped Israelites – blessings that foresaw the coming of a triumphant king.

Then they stood on the edge of the promised land where the man who led them and interceded with God for them over the past forty years reminded them of all that God had taught them. That man, Moses, promised them that one day God would give them a prophet like himself.

After the turbulence of the time of the judges, we reach the unlikely rule of David. The youngest son of a Bethlehem shepherd, he rose to become king of the nation. He wanted to build a home for the God he worshiped, but in the denial of that dream he received the promise that his throne would be established forever.

So where do we go next?

Don’t worry about it just now. Just rest. We’ll resume our journey tomorrow.

For now, enjoy this beautiful song of anticipation from the late Rich Mullins.

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