PART 3 THE CHRISTIAN’S DESIRE

Wed, 04/28/2021 - 6:45pm

PART 3 THE CHRISTIAN’S DESIRE

CHAPTER 3

AS HE IS SO ARE WE IN THIS WORLD

You might be thinking, what if I allow God to change my thoughts, speech, and actions, then what? Then you will be used by Him to be a witness to others of His inner working in your life, just like those people who we are about to look at.

 

Moses

Moses, a Jew, was a family member in the house of Pharaoh, being the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter.

Exodus 2:12 And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.

Seeing the affliction of his people, the Jews, who were in captivity at this time, he subsequently killed an Egyptian oppressor.

Exodus 3:2, 10, 15 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

When Moses became aware that Pharaoh had been informed of his transgression, he left the country of Egypt and eventually settled down in a place called Midian, where he married a woman named Zipporah. While there, he tended to her father-in-law’s sheep. Moses resided in Midian for 40 years. It’s believed that during this time, God was preparing him for his calling. On a particular day, the angel of the Lord spoke to him out from the midst of a burning bush, unveiling a plan that involved using him to lead his people out from their slavery in Egypt.

Exodus 4:10-12 And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

Moses being informed by God that he would have to go before Pharaoh and convey His Words to him, immediately, he looked at his weakness of not being a good speaker because of having a speech impediment, known as stuttering, and conveniently used this as the excuse as to why he shouldn’t be the one to carry out this directive. The angel replied to him and said something like, don’t focus on your weaknesses but focus on me. I will be with your mouth and teach you what you should say. This assurance didn’t provide Moses with the courage he needed. After some contemplation, Moses recommended Aaron assist him in this endeavor, to which the angel of the Lord concurred.

Not only did God use Moses and Aaron to bring His people out from their slavery, He also decided to use just Moses to bring forth signs or miracles before Pharaoh that were divinely initiated with the hope of convincing him to allow the Jews to leave.

After Moses fled Egypt for killing an Egyptian who was assaulting a fellow Jew, God communicated to him his calling after 40 years had gone by. Do you think that 40 years was too long for God to prepare him to receive his calling? What is your area of weakness that you believe will inhibit God from using you? When we rely upon God’s initiation, He will provide us with what is needed in our life in order to be used by Him according to His plan and timetable. When God calls you, whether it be to carry out certain instructions to someone else or whether you will apply his Word in respect to an area of weakness, will you respond or allow something or someone to deter your decision from going forward?

The next person who we will look at is a man named Jacob.

 

Jacob

Isaac, the eldest son of Abraham, married a woman named Rebekah, who had twin sons. The oldest son was called Esau, and the youngest was called Jacob. Jacob was a shepherd boy while Esau was a hunter. Over the course of time, Jacob swindled the first born, his brother Esau, out of both the family birthright and blessing. What is the family birthright and blessing?

Genesis 27:36 …for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright;…

The family birthright that was allotted to the first-born son consisted of three advantages:

  • These words denoted the special privileges and advantages belonging to the first-born son among the Jews who would eventually become the priest of the family.
  • Along with this, the first-born son had allotted him a double portion of the paternal inheritance.
  • He also inherited the judicial authority (the rule over the entire family) of his father.

What is the family blessing? The family blessing referred to a "blessing" that the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s 12 sons, who are the progenitors of families) customarily extended upon the first-born son before they died.

Esau, because of these injustices by his younger brother, determined in his mind to kill him sometime after his father Isaac died. Rebekah, upon hearing about this plot, sent Jacob away to stay with her brother Laban for protection. Laban had two daughters, Leah the elder and Rachel the younger. Jacob fell in love with Rachel. Laban will allow him to marry her, but he must first work for him for seven years. 

Genesis 29:16-18, 22-23 And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured. And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her.

After 7 years have gone by, Jacob and Rachel are about to get married. After many festivities, including drunkenness, Laban substitutes Leah for Rachel in the marriage tent. Unbeknownst to Jacob, he goes consummates his marriage by having sex with his new wife, who he thought was Rachel. In the morning, when he wakes up, he finds Leah with him and realizes that something went terribly wrong.

Genesis 29:27-28 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years. And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.

He had been misled by his father-in-law. When Jacob approached him about this, he said that was custom that the elder daughter marry before the younger. He was told that if he was still interested in marrying Rachel, then he would have to work for him for an additional 7 years.

Jacob had two choices. He could leave the premises with bitterness, or he could work an additional 7 years with patient gladness by abiding in the assurance he had received from God that He would bring him back to his homeland of Beersheba at His appointed time. Jacob decided to stay and fulfill his obligation to Laban to that he could marry his daughter Rachel.

At a certain time, Laban confessed to Jacob that he believed that he had been blessed materialistically because of Jacob’s allegiance to his God. Realizing that Jacob had fulfilled his work-related obligations for the right to marry each of his daughters, he offered him another financial proposal to tend his goats and sheep with the hope that he would stay with him a little longer. Jacob responded by making a financial proposal to him that would allow him to keep some of Laban’s flocks for himself after fulfilling his work obligation. Apparently, these goats and sheep were not favored as those remaining.

Genesis 31:1 And he heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's; and of that which was our father's hath he gotten all this glory.

Little did Laban know that God had given Jacob favor in this agreement. In a providential manner, most of the new-born goats and sheep were of the description that was to be kept by Jacob. It appears that throughout all that was happening, Jacob was aware that God was in control, providing him with insight into His plan for his life. 

As we have been made aware, earlier in his life, Jacob, by trickery, swindled his brother Esau twice. Later in his own life, he was swindled by Laban. However, he didn’t respond to Laban in the same way that Esau responded to him because at this time in his life, he was in fellowship with his God.

Jacob would eventually have 12 sons, each of whose names would signify a tribe of Israel, there being twelve in all. The very sin of swingling others that characterized Jacob’s life was allowed to be perpetrated upon him by someone else. When we rely upon God to work in that area of weakness, we will eventually be used by Him to assist a fellow believer who might have the same area of weakness by providing them with the same prescriptions that God had unveiled to us.

What we have learned is that no matter our area or areas of weakness, we can choose to let it continue to characterize our life or we can replace the thoughts that reflect it with God’s Word. The choice is ours.   

The next person, an unbeliever at this time, who we will look at next, thought that he was doing God’s will by killing Christians. Little did he know that while he was on his way to continue in this endeavor, he would fall from a horse he was riding and become one of the followers of Jesus.

 

Paul

Acts 9:1-5 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Before he became an apostle, he was a member of the Pharisees, which was considered to be the strictest sect in Judaism. He was consumed with violent anger and subsequent violent threats, and murderous desire toward Christians. He persecuted them and gave approval of their condemnation to be put to death. He witnessed the stoning of one of the seven deacons of the early church who, on his deathbed, professed forgiveness to the persecutors. While on his way to Damascus, desiring to apprehend Christians and bring them bound back to Jerusalem, he had a conversion encounter with the Lord Jesus.

Now his life was on a different course from being a religious persecutor of the Christian faith to preaching the gospel of this faith to both unbelieving Jews and Gentiles. It was said of him by his enemies that his bodily presence was weak (small in stature, body crooked, hooked nose, and a bald head). They also considered his speech to be good for nothing. However, no matter the appearance, God used him to preach the message of salvation throughout the known world, to start many churches, to instruct many according to the mystery doctrine of the church age, to perform extraordinary miracles, and to write most of the New Testament.

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in it.

What do you think about God using someone, who was a religious zealot that was directly or indirectly responsible for murdering Christians because of their faith? Do you think there are certain sins that people commit which would prevent God from approaching them for salvation? Scriptures declare that many are called, but few are chosen. In other words, many unbelievers are called to salvation, but few respond to it, especially those who are wise after the flesh, mighty, or noble. We are told that God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the things that are wise; that He uses the things that are weak to confound those things that are strong; and along with base things, things which are despised, and things which are not, he uses to bring to nothing things that are.

Out of the mouth of babes and suckling (those who are dependent on someone else) has God ordained His strength. He wants to use us in spite of the reasons why we think he is unable to do so. He knows all of our weaknesses and strengths. He wants us to give all of them over to Him. Don’t let whatever you have thought, said, or done cause you to think you are not good enough for God to work in your life. Being good isn’t the pre-requisite for God to use us. It’s repenting of sin to God the Father and believing in his Sons Jesus Christ for salvation (for receiving the Holy Spirit along with additional benefits. And then it’s allowing Him to produce his spiritual qualities in us as the basis for Him using us to evidence his character to others whether in adversity or prosperity.

Are you willing to learn how to walk with God and no longer continue on in your own ways? If you are, then you will be known by others even as He is known. You will be established on a rock, dependent on God the Father, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. I hope you have enjoyed this study. I have left you with some parting words.

 

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