ACCEPTANCE BY THE AFFLICTED

 

Our expectations of family and our realities do not always match up.

 

And the LORD said to Aaron, Go into the wilderness to meet Moses. And he went, and met him in the mount of God, and kissed him.  And Moses told Aaron all the words of the LORD who had sent him, and all the signs which he had commanded him.  And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel:  And Aaron spake all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people.  And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.  Exodus 4:27-31

 

Moses found his family and nation ready to accept deliverance from God.  Everyone was ready to come together in agreement in the Lord.  Pharaoh was not quite as ready to be agreeable though.  The name of the God of the Hebrews did not impress this king of Egypt.  He just made their labor more difficult.

 

REJECTED BY THE SAME PEOPLE

 

The people later demanded that God judge Moses for the evil they now endured.  Moses even began to question his direction himself.  He challenged God to explain his failure to deliver the people.  But God had already told him that the Pharaoh would resist him.  God reminded him who was boss:

 

CONFIRMATION BY ONE

 

And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD:  And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.  And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.  And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant.  Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments:  And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.  And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD.  Exodus 6:2-8

 

What is there about “I AM THE LORD” that you don’t understand?  The people could not remember who was boss either, and they refused to believe Moses.  Finally God tells him that he has been made as a God to Pharaoh. 

 

And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.  Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land.  And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.  But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments.  And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them.  Exodus 7:1-5 

 

The stakes have been raised, and Pharaoh is to see the power this time.  But he will NOT be free to make a common sense decision.  His heart will be hardened so Egypt can see who the boss is too.  HE is LORD.

 

This may seem unfair, but God is building a case for much greater things in the future.  One king is prevented from hearing the truth so we can hear it now.  Jesus also spoke in parables so evil men would not understand and be saved.

 

And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.  Luke 8:10

 

Some are already known by God, and their evil will be barred from gaining eternal life.  They have committed to a religion that does not follow the rules of faith. 

 

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.  For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,  Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.  Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.  But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was.  2 Timothy 3: 1-9

 

Israel needed to see a reminder of truth and faith.  They had been living in comfort under Joseph, and needed to be weaned from wealth and complacency.  A season of bondage had prepared them to consider leaving their hosts again.  They still needed to see the advantage of walking by faith, instead of trusting the world.  We too can learn to trust the comfort of prosperity, and forget the God who is our source.  We can begin to take shortcuts in our walk.

 

DEMONSTRATIONS

 

And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,  When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent.  And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. 

Exodus 7:8-10

 

COUNTERFITS

 

This was a powerful spiritual demonstration.  But Satan has always had power in this world too.  The magic of Egypt will demonstrate power as well:

 

Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.  For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.  Exodus 7:11-12

 

This was a Satanic power greater than we see even in this evil age.  The world is impressed by the power of Satan, and we should know that this is real.  The saints should not recoil in horror at the evidence of evil spirits in this world.  Fear not:  THE LORD is greater. 

 

In our society we have been shocked by the power of mind altering drugs over our youth.  Now we see drugs giving power to athletes as well.  They gain real strength, even while using banned substances.  There is a form of witchcraft in our modern world.  Are we to be impressed by the power of Satan?  Perhaps the church should take care not to entertain the enemy.

 

Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,  To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.  Titus 3:1-2

 

This says that we should obey the laws of our nation and states.  It is NOT a suggestion.  Christians must obey our laws, including traffic and drug laws.  These are not laws that resist our Christian beliefs.  They are made for our safety.  Today we see law officers being arrested for violating the laws they are paid to enforce. 

 

Do we have the right to kill an abortion doctor?  Is an athlete free to use steroids because a Christian is not under law?  But then is a Christian free to gossip or tell his pastor about another person’s weaknesses?  The bible has given us instructions to avoid these things, and yet churches are destroyed this way regularly today. 

 

If we are shocked to see athletes caught in adultery or drug use, why should we accept violations of God’s commands by the church?  Perhaps we only need to verify that basic Christian behavior is being taught to new believers.  If we recognize the work of the tempter we can seek help to avoid it.  The powers of darkness are real, but so are the spiritual weapons that have been offered to us.  We have a way to take action.

 

ASK

 

Any soldier that carries a radio in his pack is a target for enemy snipers because he has the power to call for artillery and air support.  Similarly the prayer warrior has the power to call God for support.  We can oppose the spirits that draw us off the path.  We can help those who are under attack around us.  We don’t have to war against flesh, or surrender to the growing flood of sin in the world.

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