Monday, January 26, 2009


Followers of Jesus are set apart from others, just as the people of Israel were set apart from the general population of Egypt. Through Moses, God delivers a message to the Pharaoh of Egypt (see it here in context), letting him know that although the plague would strike all of Egypt, the property and persons of Israel would be spared:

Thus I will put a division between my people and your people. - Exodus 8:23

The phrase, "put a division," is footnoted to mean also, "set redemption." We can also look at it this way:

Thus I will set redemption between my people and your people.

What a dividing line: redemption!

It reminds me of what I heard on the radio today that helped me understand what it means to be set apart by God, chosen for redemption. The teacher described adopting his dog from a shelter. He went to the pound with a specific purpose in mind, to rescue one animal, to set him apart from his fate to be euthanized.

It's like that for me - God rescued me when I was in a cage and due to be put down. Do I feel special? You bet! Am I chosen? Yes! Do I feel better than anybody else? Well, no. We are ALL chosen for adoption, picked out for rescue by the Father. God wants to set a division between us and the destruction that awaits at the hands of a merciless enemy, if we are willing.

I'm my mother's natural child, but on my father's side, I'm adopted, so the adoption analogy means a lot to me. Still, I never really thought of how adoption was the dividing line for me, between my before and after. My dad didn't have to give me his name. I could have grown up as a step-child, but my father went out of his way to change my situation.

How wonderful to think of the way God sets us apart when we take Him up on his invitation to make us his own children? His intention is to put a stark dividing line between before and after, between destruction and restoration, between night and day, just as John describes Jesus' promise to any and all:

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name . . . - John 1:12

May we be more and more aware of what it means to be set apart, with redemption as the dividing line. May we be more and more aware of how crucial it is that we be willing to help others across that line. Who do you and I know, who needs to be clearly set apart on the receiving side of redemption?