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12. GOD WILL BE GLORIFIED–EVEN IF WE ARE BENT ON REBELLION.
Exodus 11:9 – “But the LORD said to Moses, ‘Pharaoh will not heed you, so that My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.'”
God is so amazing that He can make human wickedness yield something good (cf. Gen. 50:19,20; Calvary)!
11. PRIDE CAUSES SOME TO STUBBORNLY REFUSE TO DO THE RIGHT THING, REGARDLESS OF THE COST TO THEMSELVES.
Exodus 10:3,7 – “So Moses and Aaron came in to Pharaoh and said to him, ‘Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews: ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, that they may serve Me.’ Then Pharaoh’s servants said to him, ‘How long shall this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God. Do you not yet know that Egypt is destroyed?'”
Pharaoh’s real problem was simple: a lack of humility! The power of his position had gone to his head. He would not tolerate defeat, though he would learn in time that fighting against Jehovah always leads to failure. Even his advisors can see the proper course to pursue, but Pharaoh is blinded by his arrogance. Some today will foolishly “dig in their heels” regarding a certain sin and consequently suffer greatly, when the wise thing to do would be to swallow one’s pride, admit wrong, and change!
10. THE WICKED WILL MAKE ALL SORTS OF PROMISES TO GOD WHEN THEY ARE DESPERATE.
Exodus 8:28 – “So Pharaoh said, ‘I will let you go, that you may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only you shall not go very far away. Intercede for me.'”
Pharaoh made many empty promises while begging for mercy, but then his heart hardened time after time and he refused to honor his word (cf. 8:32). We must be careful to always be people of our word before both God and men (cf. Matt. 5:37). Human nature is such that we are tempted to make great pledges of devotion and service when in a bind but then following through when the crisis has diminished is harder.
9. AGE IS NO INDICATOR OF USEFULNESS TO THE LORD.
Exodus 7:7 – “And Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three years old when they spoke to Pharaoh.”
This is true on both ends of the spectrum, whether young or old. Moses did his greatest work in the last third of his life. If blood still courses through a Christian’s veins, there is work for him or her to do in God’s kingdom, regardless of age (cf. I Tim. 4:12; Titus 2:1-5).
8. WHEN EFFORT IS MADE TO DO GOD’S WILL, OPPOSITION WILL OFTEN BE ENCOUNTERED.
Exodus 5:17,18 – “But he said, ‘You are idle! Idle! Therefore you say, “Let us go and sacrifice to the LORD.” Therefore go now and work; for no straw shall be given you, yet you shall deliver the quota of bricks.'”
Pharaoh opposed Israel strongly regarding the idea of leaving Egypt (even temporarily). Today, a Christian may have to deal with opposition from his boss, his friends, or even his family, but such opposition must be overcome. Others will sometimes make it difficult for us to obey the Lord, but we must endeavor to do what is right regardless of the opposition we face.
7. TO MAKE WORK MORE IMPORTANT THAN GOD’S WILL IS A MISTAKE.
Exodus 5:4,5 – “Then the king of Egypt said to them, ‘Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people from their work? Get back to your labor.’ And Pharaoh said, ‘Look, the people of the land are many now, and you make them rest from their labor!'”
Pharaoh didn’t care about God’s will, but Christians today must. It is regrettably the case that sometimes duties conflict with each other. We need to provide for our family (cf. I Tim. 5:8) and we need to assemble with the saints (cf. Heb. 10:24,25). In our culture, sometimes people are required to work on Sunday mornings (a police officer, for example). If such is the case, that person will be present Sunday evening to worship if at all possible (which is a fundamental reason for having a Sunday evening assembly). However, if one’s job prevents him from regularly gathering with the saints any time on the Lord’s day, it would be wise to seek different employment. One who is unwilling to do this has misaligned priorities.
6. THERE ARE MANY WHO DENY GOD & HIS SOVEREIGNTY, BUT THEY WILL NOT REMAIN IN THAT STATE FOREVER.
Exodus 5:2 – “And Pharaoh said, ‘Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, nor will I let Israel go.'”
Pharaoh had no interest in Jehovah or in submitting to His will. But, Pharaoh would learn and suffer greatly for his continued rebellion against the only true and living God! The same is true today with those who have no desire to know God or serve Him. Their rebellion will lead to great suffering both at the Judgment and even before.
5. IF YOU WANT TO LEAD OTHERS TO DO GOD’S WILL, YOU MUST FIRST BEGIN WITH YOURSELF & YOUR OWN FAMILY.
Exodus 4:24-26 – “And it came to pass on the way, at the encampment, that the LORD met him and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it at Moses’ feet, and said, ‘Surely you are a husband of blood to me!’ So He let him go. Then she said, ‘You are a husband of blood!’–because of the circumcision.”
Apparently Moses had failed to circumcise one his sons as was commanded of him. How could Moses lead Israel if he wasn’t leading faithfully in his own family? God would not allow Moses to be a hypocrite, so He forced the issue and the matter was resolved. Hypocrites tell others what to do and then they do something different themselves. Good leaders are consistent in their words and deeds at every level.
4. GOD WILL ONLY PUT UP WITH OUR EXCUSES FOR SO LONG.
Exodus 4:14 – “So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and He said: ‘Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well…'”
Moses had questioned and balked at God’s command five times during their conversation at the burning bush. God was tired of it and became angry. Moses got the point and stopped making excuses and started obeying. What about us? Are we making excuses in our lives for things God has instructed us to do? It’s easy to talk ourselves out of doing the Lord’s will when it is difficult or makes us uncomfortable, but friends, God’s patience has a limit!
3. IF GOD HAS A WORK FOR US TO DO, HE WILL HELP EQUIP US FOR IT.
“Then Moses answered and said, ‘But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, “The LORD has not appeared to you.”‘ So the LORD said to him, ‘What is that in your hand?’ He said, ‘A rod.’ And He said, ‘Cast it on the ground.’ So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Reach out your hand and take it by the tail’ (and he reached out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand), ‘that they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.'”
God had big plans for Moses as a mediator and deliverer, yet Moses initially resisted quite strongly. Moses had concerns about his ability to convince the people but God removed every obstacle. He answered Moses’ questions and gave him the necessary power. God won’t expect you to do something that you cannot do. He will give you the tools to succeed!
2. GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISES.
Exodus 3:8 – “So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.”
Although over 400 years had passed since the giving of the promise to Abraham, God’s word had not changed. He had promised to give them the great land of Canaan and He was actively working to fulfill that promise at precisely the right time by first freeing the Israelites from bondage. God keeps His word, but we must be patient and trust in the Lord and His timing, especially when it feels as if He is “late” (cf. II Pet. 3:8,9).
1. GOD BLESSES THOSE WHO FEAR HIM.
Exodus 1:21 – “And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them.”
Because of the exploding Israelite population, the midwives were instructed to do something evil (i.e., murder), but they feared God more than Pharaoh and did what was right. What a good example for us today! It is still the case that those who obey God will be blessed and those who disobey Him will be cursed (cf. Deut. 28). Concentrate on pleasing the LORD (cf. Acts 5:29), and things will work out for the best.
NKJV reads [with emphasis added]: “This punishment which was inflicted by the MAJORITY is sufficient for such a man.” ESV & NET also use “majority”. KJV & ASV use “many”.
QUESTION #1: Is is safe to conclude that NOT ALL of the Corinthian brethren obeyed Paul’s command in 1 Cor 5 (regarding withdrawing fellowship from the brother involved in sexual sin)? As I look at the Greek word pleion, this seems to be correct (but I’ll defer to the “experts” among us). Paul would have used a different term if ALL of the Christians in Corinth had heeded his command, right?
QUESTION #2: What about the FEW who did NOT obey (i.e., ones who did not withdraw from the erring brother after being commanded to do so)? We would understand this to be a sin, yet there is no instruction from the apostle to discipline them (not even a rebuke). What are we to conclude from this?
Any input is appreciated. This inquiry is more than hypothetical for me.
As a side note, our family trip out West was wonderful (Grand Canyon, Sedona, & Monument Valley were my favorite stops). All that being said, it’s great to be home!
38. GOD ALMIGHTY IS THE JUDGE, NOT MORTAL MEN.
Genesis 50:19 – “Joseph said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?'”
In one sense, Joseph, as Prime Minister over all of Egypt, was about as close as a human could come to being in the place of deity. He had tremendous authority and vast resources at his disposal. Had he desired to harm his brothers, he certainly could have done so. The power Joseph wielded did not corrupt him, however, for he understood this important lesson: God is the judge, not man. He knew God would administer appropriate judgment upon their heads (cf. Rom. 12:17-21).