Time To Act–Exodus 2 Final

The title of the book is Exodus. It is important to remember the theme of the book is God’s fulfillment of his plan.  It is not the book of Moses–though he is certainly a central character, it is not the book of slaves–though they are the ones that make the exodus.  It is the book of God’s demonstration of his love for the chosen children, Israel, and His omnipotent power over the world and other gods.

In the first two chapters, Moses takes us through his first 80 years–because his early life is not a critical part of God’s story of love and power.  But, at the end of chapter 2–the critical comment comes to life.  “They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God. 24 God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.” Like a deafening explosion, these verses scream out the Israelites are now to be free!!

In our lives, we march on, and life’s twists and turns muddy and bloody us up.  There are days that we feel as though our cries are falling on deaf ears. We moan, “Where is this all powerful God?” Take heart, the day will come when our cries will rise to him and like the Israeliteshe will know it is time to act! When that day comes the entire world and the army of the enemy will be unable to stop God’s intervention. He will demonstrate his love and power in our lives–and while it may not rise to the ostentatious level of Egypt, There will be no doubt about whom and whose we are!

God Bless You

 Moses accepted the invitation, and he settled there with him. In time, Reuel gave Moses his daughter Zipporah to be his wife. 22 Later she gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom,[b] for he explained, “I have been a foreigner in a foreign land.”

23 Years passed, and the king of Egypt died. But the Israelites continued to groan under their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God. 24 God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act

A New Direction–Exodus 2 Continued

Moses’ life took a big turn. From prince to fugitive, he had to recreate himself. He escaped to Midian, where  he immediately saved some ladies in distress. Humble, heroic and unique, he was quickly adopted by the local priest and married his daughter. 

This would never have been how he would have scripted his own journey, but, now the prince and chosen one of Israel was safe, provided for, and free from the threats of Egypt. 

It is easy to allow course corrections in our lives to embitter, discourage and nullify our walk with God. When we become entrapped by the circumstances, we miss the many underlying blessings that accompany the change. 

God asks us to simply trust his plan and follow him. When we do, especially with a humble and grateful heart, he can mold us into his image and use us to accomplish great things. Otherwise, we find our lives spin horribly downward and we miss the joy set before us. Thank you, Lord for setting out the journey and blessing me along the way. 

God Bless You 

Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.

When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?”

They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.”

“And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.”

Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage.

First Impressions–Exodus 2 Part 2

It seems to have been a shock for Moses to see how his people were treated. As a young man, Moses was raised in the House of Pharaoh, given the finest education and training. He matured, living in a royal home with plenty to eat and any and everything his heart desired. Then to see how his people were living—poor, exploited and beaten–often to death, with little regard for the loss of life. Moses was going to strike a blow for his countrymen…it did not seem to have the effect he had hoped.

Within the day, Moses became a joke among the Israelites and a threat to the Pharaoh. He transformed from prince to fugitive. Moses quickly escaped and hid among the shepherds in the desert of Midian. Ironically, Moses went to Midian—the home of the very traders that sold his forefather Joseph into slavery in Egypt. Little did Moses know, he would learn more about leading a nation as a shepherd, than he did as a prince.

Often, we start out thinking we will make an impact, only to really muddle up the plan. But, God in his wisdom, is not a God of 1st impressions. He is a God of second chance, He restores that which has been destroyed by the world and the enemy. He takes us as broken and makes us into valuable treasure in the kingdom. That’s why we can never give up, lose hope or walk away. We must simply seek him, trust him and follow him along the journey he has set before us.

Get ready though, the trip will be filled with irony and speed bumps. You will be driven to the edge more times than you can count. Remember—“He who has begun a work in you will carry it to completion until they day of Christ Jesus!” (Phil 1:6)

God Bless You

Many years later, when Moses had grown up, he went out to visit his own people, the Hebrews, and he saw how hard they were forced to work. During his visit, he saw an Egyptian beating one of his fellow Hebrews. 12 After looking in all directions to make sure no one was watching, Moses killed the Egyptian and hid the body in the sand.

13 The next day, when Moses went out to visit his people again, he saw two Hebrew men fighting. “Why are you beating up your friend?” Moses said to the one who had started the fight.

14 The man replied, “Who appointed you to be our prince and judge? Are you going to kill me as you killed that Egyptian yesterday?”

Then Moses was afraid, thinking, “Everyone knows what I did.” 15 And sure enough, Pharaoh heard what had happened, and he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in the land of Midian.

The Right Basket–Exodus 2 Part 1

God would use the baby in the basket to bless millions of lives. In the midst of the sorrow, Pharaoh killing the male children of the Israelites, God used Pharaoh’s daughter to complete his plan. This child, slated to die, would now be raised in the finest home in Egypt. He would receive the best education, the finest of everything and be prepared to lead the nation–but, which nation. 

We are each uniquely prepared to serve God. Our lives, our training, our location and our passion each help to dictate God’s mission for our lives. When we are let loose in the world, only God can see the plan he has. That is why he calls us to simply follow and allow him to place us in the right basket. There he can prepare us for the amazing journey he has laid out. If we will follow, there is no limit on how he can and will use us. 

God Bless You

Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman,

and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months.

But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile.

Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it.

She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.

When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”

 

Devaluation of Life–Exodus 1 Part 2

So, as time passed, the Egyptians changed from appreciating the children of Israel to fearing and loathing them. Once that transition happened, the Egyptians ceased to see the Israelites as people and began to see them as enemies, nuisances and threats. They value of the Israelites lives became worthless, especially to Pharaoh. So, since he no longer saw them as people, he began to exploit them as slaves and kill them as a threat.

So, when the exploitation failed, the Pharaoh ordered the deaths of all the newborn Hebrew boys—but, the girls he let live. The pure devaluation of Hebrew lives was cruel, ruthless and abhorrent.

Sadly, we see the same thing today. Between the killing and harvesting of fetuses through abortion and the senseless murders of non Muslims by ISIS, we see a world that is devaluing life every day. Once that occurs, it is a terrible spiral to mass murder and genocide. We as the church must be on our knees crying out to God for the preservation of life. We need his intervention to prevent the next stages of persecution and exploitation. History teaches us that without God’s lead, men never become better or kinder, they simply continue to value themselves above all others. Please intervene, Lord God—we pray.

God Bless You

So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves. They appointed brutal slave drivers over them, hoping to wear them down with crushing labor. They forced them to build the cities of Pithom and Rameses as supply centers for the king. 12 But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the Egyptians became. 13 So the Egyptians worked the people of Israel without mercy. 14 They made their lives bitter, forcing them to mix mortar and make bricks and do all the work in the fields. They were ruthless in all their demands.

15 Then Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, gave this order to the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah: 16 “When you help the Hebrew women as they give birth, watch as they deliver.[c] If the baby is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live.” 17 But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king’s orders. They allowed the boys to live, too.

How Soon They Forget–Exodus 1 Part 1

The nation of Egypt was on the verge of a famine unlike any seen before. Joseph was sent and prepared by God to save Egypt and his family. It worked beautifully and for the years to come all prospered, both those in Egypt and those that were of Joseph’s family. But, as life moved on, people began to forget the story. The value that Joseph and the children of Israel provided was forgotten and ultimately the children of Israel became a threat—not a gift.

In the world today, we see the same progression for both Israel and the Church. Israel has been the most treasured ally for the US in the middle east since Truman pressed for its nationalization. The United States has been a Christian nation, founded upon Christian principles and the leading producer of missionaries for the world. But, we are becoming a nation and a world that has forgotten the value of God’s hand upon our freedom and upon our safety.

Like the Egyptians, the peoples of the world are seeing the Israelites and the church as a threat, not a buffer. And like Egypt, they are separating and planning for the demise of both. They see us as intolerant and narrow minded. They associate us with the ignorant and the violent—Just as they did in Egypt. We must trust God, now more than ever. We need to be on our knees and seeking his forgiveness and restoration. Otherwise, like Israel of old, we are doomed to slavery and persecution. Look around the world, it is so much closer than you think.

God Bless You

These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family:

Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah;

Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin;

Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher.

The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy in all; Joseph was already in Egypt.

Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died,

but the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers and became so numerous that the land was filled with them.

Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.

“Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous for us.

Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.”

Restoration–John 21 Final

For the third time Jesus appeared to his guys. y were not all present, but 7 of them decided to go fishing. After the obvious surprise and initial pleasantries, Jesus and Peter had a very important matter to attend to—Peter’s restoration. Peter’s denials were weighing heavily upon him. He had failed and no one else would understand. No one, that is, but Jesus. Jesus carefully took Peter aside, he then had Peter reaffirm his faith three times just as Peter had denied him.

The reaffirmation was not for Jesus’ sake, it was for Peter. Peter needed to know that the Lord still loved him and still believed in him. So Jesus took the time to restore him and re challenge him to lead the ministry Jesus started. Now Peter could be bold again and walk freely into the world to face the challenges that were ahead.

Jesus wants to restore us as well. We each face failures in our lives. Each specific to us and each restorable by the hand of our Lord. He forgives completely and restores us to the place we were when we first believed. If we allow him to we can be free from the entanglements of our past and our areas we never seem to be able to overcome on our own. We simply need to diligently seek him and allow him to restore us as he did Peter.

God Bless You

After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?[e]

“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”

“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.

16 Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”

“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.

17 A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.

18 “I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others[f] will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.”