11 September 2012

No way out

The Samaritans provide support to those experiencing such feelings of despair that they can see no way out but suicide. In 2011, 18,500 trained volunteers spent 4.5 million hours talking to people in distress. In May, the headline for The Economist said 'No Way Out' of the euro crisis, and economists said precisely the same about the USA in June. Things are not looking good. We were pepped up by the Queen's Jubilee and the Olympics – but we're facing terrible days ahead with no way out.

A very long time ago, the people of Israel were in despair. They had been slaves in Egypt for 400 years [Genesis 15v13]; and there was no way out. For a long time they had cried out to the LORD their God, but for generations no help had come. But God was not slow in keeping his promise. At the appointed time he came to their rescue and provided them with a way out. That is the meaning of the word Exodus – the name of the book in the Bible that records in detail how God provided a way out for his people who could see no way out of their predicament.

Moses, their leader, heard some really reassuring words from God: God had seen the misery of his people; he had heard them crying out; he was concerned about their suffering; and he had come down to rescue them [Exodus 3v7].

This is the one God of heaven and earth, who is the same God now as then. He has not changed. This means that he sees our plight, hears our groans, is deeply concerned for us, and has come to our rescue.It's not just Israel the LORD rescues, but whoever would call on his name and put their faith in Jesus Christ, the one he sent to save us. So John's Gospel says: 'For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.' [John 3v16-17]. Jesus is our 'exodus' – our way out.

As long as humans live, there will be no end to the world's troubles. That's because the heart of our problem is the problem of the human heart: full of pride, ambition, greed, lust, disloyalty, violence, lies, self-centredness. But we have one who can save us from them all, Jesus Christ our Saviour. There is no way out but one because 'there is no other name given to mankind by which we must be saved.' [Acts 4 v 12]. He is it.

You could call the Samaritans, and they will give you some help. But if you want a sure and lasting way out - call on the LORD who sees, hears, cares and saves.

Simon Smallwood
Pastor – St George's