Sunday, January 31, 2021

When People Won't Listen to You

This week, I have been focusing on Exodus Chapters 5-9 in my daily bible readings.

Moses did as he was told, and went back to Egypt to retrieve God's people. The first thing he had to do was convince the Israelites that God had sent him and what God had sent him to do.

The people were ready to have hope for something, ANYTHING, that would take them out of the bondage that they were in.

After Moses had spoken to the people, the heads of all the houses of Israel went with him to show support as he faced the Pharoah with their petition.

The Pharoah just laughed at them and was angry because the work, which the Israelites did, were stalled to make time for this. He told them to stop wasting their time, and since they had so much time on their hands, he made their work harder for them. He expected them to gather their own tools to do the job they were required to do, and he expected them to meet their quota the same as before.

After a while, the Israelites hated Moses. They blamed him for the fact they were now working twice as hard, and nothing seemed to be done about their plight.

This sounds so similiar to the political atmosphere here in the U.S. today. Anyone who speaks up against the powers that be are demonized and blamed, and their tools are taken from them so that they have to find new methods of survival, communication and ways to get ahead and be heard. And, they either stand beside or blame the one person that was in a place to help them, rather than the cause of the problem, which they had become used to and were familiar with.

So, Moses cried out to God. He asked Him why He had sent him, seeing that the people of Israel, whom he had come for, now hated him for doing what God had told him to do! God assured him that everything was going according to plan, and that he should keep moving forward.

God was about to show out in a mighty way!

He sent all of the plagues to Egypt, one by one. Each plague was worse than the one before it. It came in waves. And, yet, the Pharoah still hardened his heart and refused to let the people go. If he did that, who would do the work? If he did that, who would pay the taxes? Who would feed his people, who knew not how to do anything for themselves, and were too proud to get their hands dirty!

When God sent all the plagues, not one of Israel's property was destroyed. The people of Israel thrived, while the people of Egypt suffered, and yet the Pharoah still hardened his heart.

Sometimes, you can prove that things will work for the better for those who serve the Lord, but even as the proof is there in front of someone, they still will refuse to believe in what can better their lives.

The old addage, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink" was so true for Moses. What was he to do?

There was only one thing left to do. It was the last resort. It was so terrible and horrible that God saved it for last, because He wanted to give every opportunity for someone to turn their hearts right before He took this action.

A revolution was about to take place.

So, when people don't listen to you, when people spit in your face and persecute you for doing what God would find pleasing, and when it seems that even your own people have turned against you because of your faith, understand this: God is working in their lives to bring plagues upon them. Their lives are being made difficult so that they will be forced to repent.

Their reaction to this is to hate God all the more, and in so doing, they will take it out on you.

Do not lose heart. Do not give up. Love them in spite of the pain. Keep moving forward, so they may see what God has in store for those who obey. Keep inviting them to join you on your journey of obedience.

2 Peter 3:9
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

There will come a day when that one last horrible plague will come, and after that, it will be too late.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

When Opportunity Knocks

This week I have focused, in my daily Bible reading, on Exodus 1-4.

Moses was born in a time when genocide was taking place in Egypt. The only good Israelite was a slave, in the eyes of the Egyptians. The Egyptian Pharoah sought to keep the population down by killing all the males as soon as they left their mother's body -- because God had commanded in the beginning to be fruitful and multiply, and the Israilites had become too great a people to control.

Sounds familiar to today, doesn't it? As Christians, we fight for the unborn. Abortion is more rampant in minority populations than in any other area of American society. And, even now, states are enacting laws to kill children at birth who are victims of unwanted pregnancy. In some areas of this nation, abortion was reason enough for sterilization, forcing the mother to never have another pregnancy. This is a sign of the power of a God-less nation.

But, Moses's mother did not want to see her child die; so, she hid him for three months. When she couldn't hide him any longer, and feared for her own life and that of her family, she made the hardest decision any mother could ever make: She had to let him go. She gave him to God to care for. She put him in a small boat made of reeds, a floating basket, and sent him down the river. I assume she was praying that God would save her child by so doing, somehow.

Laws like these not only affect the mother and the child, but the whole family. Miriam, Moses's older sister, followed the basket in earnest, watching to see what the fate of the child would be. She saw the basket get stuck in the reeds, near a popular bathing site, where the Pharoah's daughter just happened to be bathing. And, as small babies do when they are hungry, uncomfortable and frightened, Moses began to cry loud enough for the women to hear him, and it got the attention of the Princess.

She immediately fell in love with the child, and chose to take him in, into her home and adopt him as her own. Miriam saw this as an opportunity, and offered to get him a wet nurse, and the Princess agreed. I'm sure the Princess had no idea that the woman who was nursing the child was actually his mother! Now, folks, THAT is GOD!

So, in a sense, Moses was subjected to the teachings of his own people, while at the same time, he got the best education and positions of leadership among the Egyptians. It was the perfect opportunity for God to do His work. It was the situation God used to train Moses to one day free His people!

When Moses grew, he had compassion for the people he was over as an Egyptian slave driver. When he saw one of the Egyptians officers beating a slave, he killed the officer. He thought he had not been caught, but some the Israelite slaves saw him do it, and Moses feared that his secret would be made known, so he ran into the wilderness.

No one had told anyone of his crime, mind you. It was out of pure fear that he ran. We do that often in our lives when we do something we know is wrong and fear repercussions. How many times have you avoided people or situations because of something you have done that you feared repercussion for? In a sense, you are doing as Moses did, running to the wilderness!

In the wilderness, Moses learned to survive with little or nothing of the life he left behind. He learned that all of the riches in Egypt weren't needed to live a full and glorified life. And, God had miraculously placed him under the teaching of one of Abraham's children's progeny, a Midianite, who's family Moses married into and had children. Moses learned more about God and faith in that wilderness setting than anything he could have learned in Egypt. Folks, THAT is GOD!

Finally, one day, God got Moses's attention as he was out tending the sheep of his father-in-law's herd, in the form of a burning bush. Moses knew it was God, because the bush was not buring up, yet it was on fire. God spoke to him and told him what he wanted him to do; but, Moses did not feel courageous enough or qualified, so he argued his case.

Everyone always has an excuse NOT to take action. There is always something that makes us feel we are not right for the job. Doing what God wanted Moses to do would require Moses to step out of his comfort zone and have faith that God would make a way when there didn't seem to be one. All it takes is that first step.

When Moses told God he was not leadership material, God told him this was what he had been trained to do. When he voiced his concern that the people would only laugh at him, God gave him abilities to make them believe and take him seriously. When Moses said, "but I am not a good public speaker, I can't." God sent Aaron, who was, reminding Moses that it was HE, God, who had created Moses AND his mouth and demanded he get to work doing what He had called Moses to do!

The next time God gives you an opportunity to do something, why not try doing it - instead of making excuses as to why it isn't for you? You might find that it is exactly what God wants for you to fulfill your every need and desire! And, when God calls you to take action, He will put the right people in your life to make it happen, just as God gave Aaron to Moses!

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

God Heard Their Cry!

Read Exodus Chapter 3

When you are stuck, when you are anxious, alone, imprisoned, persecuted for being who you are, when you are enslaved, in a place of struggle where you see no way out, and when you cry to God because of it, God HEARS you!

Everything in life happens for a reason. We may not know the reason, but we have to trust God's plan. And, we have to pray.

Jesus said that if we pray constantly, and keep petitioning God for our relief, God will hear us, and He WILL act, if only just to shut us up. (Luke Chapter 18)

God heard the cry of His people, and God already had a plan. He had placed Moses in Pharoah's home as a baby to be educated and trained in leadership. Now Moses had fled and went to the wilderness to learn to survive. He had all the qualities God was looking for to lead His people out of Egypt now, and God called Moses to do so.

Moses thought he was unqualified. He was MORE than qualified. God had made sure of it! Sometimes the qualities God sees in us, the qualities He had trained us to have, unbeknownst to us, are the very qualities that God needs in order for us to bring glory to Him!

His people were stuck. And, God called a man who stuttered to do the job. And, because Moses was not a good speaker, God even equipped Moses with someone who could talk for him.

When God sends you to do a job, He gives you the ability to get it done!

So, if you are stuck somewhere in your life, feeling like you are spinning your wheels, feeling as if you have no choice but to give up, look around: God has heard you! Sometimes your "burning bush" is that problem that is right in front of you!

Fear not: God is with you! God would not give you opportunities to better your life if He did not intend for you to use them, no matter how small the opportunity seems.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

He Knows

Get it out of your mind that you have to get right to go to God. THAT is not how it works. You go to God, and HE makes you right!


He doesn't want RELIGION. He wants RELATIONSHIP. He already KNOWS your deepest darkest dirtiest secrets. He just wants YOU to TALK to Him about it! He wants to TALK TO YOU. He wants you to get to KNOW Him on an intimate bases.

He wants to be your best friend...the one who says, "No, Child, that's not right" or "I am SO proud of you, my child!" And, no matter WHAT He says, He ALWAYS LOVES YOU and FORGIVES YOU IF YOU ASK HIM TO!