Am trying out my new Blog page…wonder which is easier or better…ideas, thoughts?
Am trying out my new Blog page…wonder which is easier or better…ideas, thoughts?
How often do we fail to realize that it only takes one sin to affect others? We read about the anointing and consecrating of Aaron to the Priesthood. What an honor! What a position! Did Aaron realize what God had just given him? With great ceremony, Aaron had received the blessing of God. You, like Aaron, may have been anointed or called to a position of leadership. How do you handle this coveted position? With honor; with humility; or with pride? When God called Moses to the mountain for more instructions he left newly anointed Aaron and a compatriot Hur in charge and did so before the elders:
Yet just 8 chapters later we find Aaron, ALONE! as one of two “men in charge,” compromising and failing in his God anointed responsibility. This leaves us wondering: Where was Hur all this time? Why did Aaron yield to the people to make the golden calf? And lastly and more importantly, why did he lie to Moses when he returned from the mountain? When Moses asked him why he made the golden calf he answered “They, that is the children of Israel, said to me,” (sounds like Adam in the Garden) and then (note rolling eyes here as Aaron notes the miracle): “I threw it [the gold that is] into the fire, and this calf came out.” Ah yes, from the miraculous to the ridiculous! Reading this we say “really?” But, when caught in sin we often do much the same thing if we are honest.
Could it have been that Aaron’s pride in his position overshadowed his responsibility and relationship to Hur, the people, his sons—but more importantly to God? Or was it the fear of men that caused him to yield? Or could it have been a combination of both? It appears that Aaron had not only forgotten his mandate from Moses to consult with his co-leader and the elders; but more importantly, had not quite grasped what it meant to be the spiritual leader who must give an account of his leadership! Hebrews reminds us that our “leaders…[are to] keep watch over [our] souls and will give an account for their work.” [Heb 13:17]
Point to Remember: For Aaron, it was a combination of fear of men and pride of others following him that was greater than he following God.
Learn from Aaron: The fear of man is a snare [Prov 29:25] and one sin affects or ripples out to affect the whole community. In this event, three thousand are killed and later his own sons used strange fire and God takes them out.
Exodus 13 to 15 remind us of the old western movies. First, we have the villains who wake up to their loss and ask themselves: “What in the world have we done?” Mounting their horses (ok chariots) they take off after them. Were 10 plagues not enough? Guess again. So, God sends them another taste of His power and majesty. End of story; Israel is victorious walking on dry ground and the Egyptians are defeated as the dry ground becomes quicksand.
While this is happening, what do we hear? Murmuring and grumbling to Moses as they see the approaching Egyptians. “Isn’t this what we told you in Egypt, Leave us alone?” What is wrong with these Israelites we say and yet how like them we are. Victories are momentary to reveal where we really put our trust. Fast forward to just a short three days later and we hear murmuring—again! Finding only a well of bitter water they begin to grumble: “What can we drink?” They had seen ten plagues and vanquished enemies before their eyes and they murmur because they are thirsty! How like them we are. We fail to trust that if God could vanquish our enemy in the past he can provide sweet water in our present circumstance.
Matthew Henry writes “Miracles do not result in great faith. Great faith comes from a settled conviction that God is trustworthy.”
Beloved are you murmuring or trusting?
Thanks to addcovers.com for our photo today.
Exodus 3-6 “Curiosity and a Prophet”
There is an old saying “curiosity killed the cat” but, in these chapters, we have before us that it was “curiosity that called a prophet.” It was curiosity that caused a daughter of Pharaoh to draw Moses out of the water and it was curiosity that called to Moses from a burning bush. One saved a life and now the second will save a nation. But, first Moses must not only hear but also believe that his fears are ungrounded for he goes not alone but with Jehovah with him in word and deed. It takes an entire chapter for us to come to the conclusion what the real problem Moses held in his heart. He was fearful of those back in Egypt who might seek him and kill him. Remember the words of Solomon “fear of man becomes a snare but he who trusts in the Lord is safe.” [Prov 29] And also the words of our Lord “do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul…” [Matt 10]
Beloved, when God calls, remember that you do not go alone. God told Moses “surely I will be with you” and so he is with you. Do not delay for God is calling and you must obey.
It all boils down to this; will you take a step of faith and trust God?
Moving on from Genesis to Exodus 1 to 3, we meet three extraordinary women; Shiphrah and Puah and the mother of Moses. These heroines lived righteously in an evil and perverse nation ruled by a man “who did not know Joseph” and what he had done to save the nation of Egypt. Shiphrah and Puah were Hebrew midwives who were ordered by the new Pharaoh to kill all male babies. Courageously they found a way to circumvent that order and save the new infants. They feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them… “because the midwives feared God” He blessed them with households of their own. Jochebed, the mother of Moses, saw her beautiful son and made a plan to save him from the Pharaoh’s order. She demonstrated courage, determination, and cleverness to save her son from this evil law of infanticide. She trusted God to provide for this precious child and so it was that God moved Pharaoh’s daughter to bathe that very morning in the Nile. Hearing an infant’s cry she felt compassion for him; adopted him and named him Moses “because I drew him from the water.” Her compassion overruled her father’s infanticide law even though she could not foresee God’s plan already being set in motion to redeem the children of Israel from bondage through Moses. These three women were used by God to save an entire nation.
These heroines had no Bible but they had God and they feared God more than this Pharaoh. This teaches us a principle: no matter what century you live in or where you live, God speaks and reveals Himself to His people. [Rom 1:20] Secondly, like the disciples in Acts, these three women believed and live by this truth: we must obey God before man. [Acts 5:29]
You may be just one person but God has a plan and a purpose for you to be a real hero/heroine for God. Real people in real circumstances can live a godly life in the midst of an evil and perverse nation. God protects, provides and blesses those who fear Him: “The fear of man is a snare but he whoever trusts in the Lord will be safe.” [Prov 29:25]
QUESTION FOR US TODAY: What is God preparing us to do for Him and His people?
Genesis 48 “Consider the Legacy You Leave Behind”
Jacob has not always been faithful to God throughout his life. He has schemed and lived a life that was less than honorable but in the end, he realizes this truth: even “If we are unfaithful, he (God) remains faithful, since he cannot deny himself.” And so Jacob rehearses before Joseph, and perhaps his other sons, the faithfulness of God. In essence, he has taken the time to reveal his life to them and show them how the hand of God has been upon him. He now wants to share that with those he leaves behind. Jacob is a man who wants to finish well and that should be our goal as well.
What do you do when you realize you are about to die? You get right with God, you spend time with loved ones and you share your faith with others. The parable of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16 reveals this in spades. Lazarus apparently lived a righteous life and dying he was found to be in paradise with Abraham. In contrast, the rich man did not and found himself in torments. He called to Abraham to send him help and barring that to send someone back to tell his brothers what he wished he had told them when he was alive. May we learn from him to not waste the moments we have today.
Keith Krell notes “Begin to pass on your faith to those you love most.”
Genesis 33 “Children are a Gift”
This week marks the 40th anniversary of Roe vs Wade here in America. It has been a long journey fraught with ups and downs and often hostility. No one has won in this war and the losses have been extreme for all.
When Esau met Jacob to reunite with him his first question was: “Who are these people with you?” Note Jacob’s answer: ““The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” And that is how we are to see these precious ones that we bring into the world. Children are indeed a gracious gift from God. The psalmist knew that as well: “Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.” [Ps 127:3] May we honor each life in this way and pray for those who carry these lives to full term.
This week stop and pray for the Pregnancy Clinics/Centers in your city. Honor and pray for them to have wisdom as they seek to help young women see that the life they carry is precious.
Genesis 25 “Are You Satisfied with Your Life?”
“Abraham breathed his last and he died at a good old age, an old man who had lived a full life.” How is it that Moses could say this about the patriarch? He could because Abraham “believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.” He had obeyed God and “went out without understanding and by faith, he lived as he looked forward to the city with firm foundations whose architect and builder is God.” [Heb 11] By faith, when tested, he offered up Isaac as his one and only son. And so when the end came Abraham knew that he had done as God had said and God now would let him join his ancestors. And centuries later, Dietrich Bonhoeffer would say “This is the end—for me the beginning of life.” We who believe God know that our preference is to “be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” for this is just a step on our journey into life with our Lord forever.
When your end comes will you be satisfied that you have been faithful to God? Today you are one step closer to eternity. Are you ready?
“Do not be rash with your mouth or hasty in your heart… for God is in heaven and you are on earth! Therefore, let your words be few.”[Ecc 5:2] God often brings this verse to my mind as a gentle reminder of who I am and who God is. Who we are is often revealed by the voluminous words we speak versus the few words God speaks. Elihu, in Job 32-34 would have been wise to have taken this advice but he is really a pompous windbag in many ways.These chapters on Elihu are so like Meryl Streep’s rant at the Golden Globe awards to which I say “Forgive me but really??” And here’s why:
Elihu begins with his diatribe saying he is angry. When we are angry we often say things we later regret. He is not just angry with Job but the other three friends as well. He has, as we often say, “had enough.” He is controlled by his anger which is a danger signal. Secondly, he does not attribute wisdom to the fear of God but to age. Granted with age we do become wiser but the source of godly wisdom is from God, not from man. Thirdly, he admits he is full of words! Over and over through the book of Proverbs, it is the fool with the busy tongue. James reminds us that we cannot subdue the tongue and it is full of deadly poison. Fourthly, Elihu says Job is not listening to God for God reveals his plan and purpose and Job, you don’t a clue!
God exalts the humble, not the proud. Forgive me but I think Elihu is a proud “windbag.” Instead, we should heed this verse: “Like apples of gold in settings of silver, so is a word skillfully spoken.” [Pro 25:11]
“No Matter What, Who, When, Why, Where, How…”
Are you are a believer in Christ? Then you need to read and reread the book of Job because you need to know the God you serve and His and your adversary. This is not just a well I will but it is a book that YOU MUST devour until you understand each and every character’s profile but mostly your own and God’s!
Beloved, when you are faced with afflictions and situations that seem ‘out of character’ you will be like Job asking the proverbial question: WHY? As you wander the book of Job you will unearth this question more than once. Job’s friends have been saying he has sin in his life. Yet Job has been saying to his friends God Knows All. Job 31: 4 “Does he not see my ways and count all my steps?” God cannot, nor will He ever lie. That is why he can trust God. Although he has been through the fire and continues to feel the heat, one thing he knows is this: God knows all and therefore no matter how bad life has become and how despondent he is over this strange set of circumstances he will not walk away from his belief that God is God and He knows the reason; this is true EVEN IF WE OR JOB NEVER DOES!
Job knows this about God: He cannot, nor will He ever lie. That is why he can trust God. Although he has been through the fire and continues to feel the heat, one thing he knows is this: God knows all and therefore no matter how bad life has become and how despondent he is over this strange set of circumstances he will not walk away from his belief that God is God and He knows the reason; this is true EVEN IF WE OR JOB NEVER DOES!
If we fail here, Satan wins.
God has, as one author noted, “locked himself in” to consistently adhere to the laws He has established and that is why we can trust Him. He cannot lie, change, break a promise or allow his power to be stopped. His word cannot be broken, annulled, and he cannot sin. All of these are true about God and that is what Job is clinging to even as he wonders what all of this is about. We too face these same dilemmas.
James reminds us that when we are in a trial to ask for wisdom and that is what Job is doing. This is where the rubber meets the road and we must decide: will I trust God or not. Ask yourself: Has God been faithful in the past? Then you can trust that he be faithful now and as well in the future. If we can say yea and amen to this we can know for certain that at some point in time God will end our suffering, our pain or our dilemma. And if perhaps we need to know, He will also reveal its purpose. May you be encouraged to know that as Job wondered you may as well. But, even in his wondering, he still trusted God. You can as well.