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!

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