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Posts tagged ‘Pharaoh’

THE EXODUS STORY GOD CALLS MOSES TO GO DOWN TO EGYPT

THE EXODUS STORY

HOW MANY “BUT GOD” EXCUSES DO YOU OFFER UP WHEN GOD CALLS ON YOU TO GO?

Today’s lesson offers you an opportunity to look deep into yourself and examine yourself with a critical eye upon your qualifications to serve out your purpose on this earth.  What is it that is holding you back from moving forward when God has called you to “GO?”  Are you examining yourself using your predetermined list of negatives which you feel will disqualify you in the eyes of God?  By so doing, you can always say, “BUT GOD”I am not qualified to stand before your people and preached the gospel, “BUT GOD,” I am not qualified to be a missionary leader. “BUT GOD,” I am not qualified to be a Sunday School Teacher, “BUT GOD,” I am not qualified to sing in the choir.  “BUT GOD,” I am not qualified for such a position in that great company, “BUT GOD,” I am not qualified to start my own business.  “BUT GOD,” I am not qualified to do this or do that.  “BUT GOD,” “BUT GOD,” “BUT GOD,” please don’t send me, send somebody else, [you cry out loud,] and your list of “BUT GOD,” gets longer and longer, do you not understand that before God called you, He had already determined your qualifications for services in His Ministry.  So why do you continue to make excuses before God?

You are a created being, created in the image of God, with the character of God to fulfill your purpose and the purpose for what God created you for while you are alive and living in this earth at this moment and time.  You are never too young and you are never too old.   It is your time to do what’s right and pleasing in God’s sight.  By continuing to offer up your “BUT GOD,” excuses, you are wasting valuable time which you can never gain back.  When God calls you, He will never give up on you, He will never leave or forsake you, nor will he put on you more than you can bear.  God never makes a mistake, and He knows just what he is doing.

In this EASTER STORY, MOSES was a reluctant servant when God called upon him to go down to EGYPT and bring HIS people up out of SLAVERY.  At the very moment God called on MOSES, he begin to offer up to God his list of “BUT GOD” excuses.  By Moses initial reactions and his uses of “BUT GOD” excuses, you would not be alone in your reluctant to except God’s calling you out to GO.

Now let us take a look at Moses inventory of disqualifications of “BUT GOD,” excuses.  We begin with his very first one which was his LACK OF CAPABILITY, “And Moses said to God, Who I am, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”  (Exodus 3:11 AMB).

HIS LACK OF MESSAGE; “And Moses said to God, Behold, when I come to the Israelites and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they say to me, What is His name? What shall I say to them?” (Exodus 3:13 AMB).

LACK OF AUTHORITY; AND MOSES answered, But behold, they will not believe me or listen to and obey my voice; for they will say, The Lord has not appeared to you. (Exodus 14:1 AMB).

LACK OF ELOQUENCE; And Moses said to the Lord, O Lord, I am not eloquent or a man of words, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and have a heavy and awkward tongue. (Exodus 4:10 AMB).

LACK OF SPECIAL ADAPTATION;  And he said, Oh, my Lord, I pray You, send by the hand of [some other] whom You will [send]. (Exodus 4:13 AMB).

LACK OF PREVIOUS SUCCESS; For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people, neither have You delivered Your people at all.  (Exodus 5:23 AMB).

LACK OF PREVIOUS ACCEPTANCE;  But Moses said to the Lord, Behold, [my own people] the Israelites have not listened to me; how then shall Pharaoh give heed to me, who am of deficient and impeded speech?  (Exodus 6:12 AMB)

As you read Moses list of “BUT GOD,” excuses, you get a picture perfect understanding that the two list of “BUT GOD” excuses are pretty much the same.  Now instead of pleasing God, Moses seeming humility and reluctance stirred His anger.  “The anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses (Exodus 4:14).  In point of fact, the “BUT GOD” excuses Moses advanced to show his incapacity were the very reasons for God’s selection of him for the task.”

Now what do you think of your “BUT GOD” excuses?  In concluding this message this observation was offered up by (F. B. Meyer, Moses, the Servant of God)F. B. Meyer found that in Exodus 3:11 “There was something more than humility here; there was a tone of self-depreciation which was inconsistent with a true faith in God’s selection and appointment. Surely it is God’s business to choose His special instruments; and when we are persuaded that we are in the line of His purpose, we have no right to question the wisdom of His appointment. To do so is to depreciate His wisdom or to doubt His power and willingness to become all that is necessary to complete our need”

Now we leave you with our peace that God will bless you and help you to overcome your “BUT GOD” excuses.  I remain your brother in JESUS CHRIST, PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER!

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GOD CALLED MOSES THE EXODUS STORY CONTINUES (PART 5 OF 5)

The Death of the Pharaoh’s Firstborn (1872 pai...

The Death of the Pharaoh’s Firstborn (1872 painting by Lawrence Alma-Tadema) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

GOD CALLED MOSES TO GO AND RESCUSE HIS PEOPLE FROM SLAVERY (PART 5 OF 5)

Strike Ten: Death and the Passover (Exodus 11:1-10)

God said to Moses: “I’m going to hit Pharaoh and Egypt one final time, and then he’ll let you go. When he releases you that will be the end of Egypt for you; he won’t be able to get rid of you fast enough.

“So here’s what you do. Tell the people to ask, each man from his neighbor and each woman from her neighbor, for things made of silver and gold.” God saw to it that the Egyptians liked the people. Also, Moses was greatly admired by the Egyptians, a respected public figure among both Pharaoh’s servants and the people at large.

Then Moses confronted Pharaoh: “God’s Message: ‘At midnight I will go through Egypt and every firstborn child in Egypt will die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sits on his throne, to the firstborn of the slave girl working at her hand mill. Also the firstborn of animals, widespread wailing will erupt all over the country, lament such as has never been and never will be again. But against the Israelites—man, woman, or animal—there won’t be so much as a dog’s bark, so that you’ll know that God makes a clear distinction between Egypt and Israel.’

“Then all these servants of yours will go to their knees, begging me to leave, ‘Leave! You and all the people who follow you!’ And I will most certainly leave.”

Moses, seething with anger, left Pharaoh.

God said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s not going to listen to a thing you say so that the signs of my presence and work are going to multiply in the land of Egypt.”

Moses and Aaron had performed all these signs in Pharaoh’s presence, but God turned Pharaoh more stubborn than ever—yet again he refused to release the Israelites from his land.

God said to Moses and Aaron while still in Egypt, “This month is to be the first month of the year for you. Address the whole community of Israel; tell them that on the tenth of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one lamb to a house. If the family is too small for a lamb, then share it with a close neighbor, depending on the number of persons involved. Be mindful of how much each person will eat. Your lamb must be a healthy male, one year old; you can select it from either the sheep or the goats. Keep it penned until the fourteenth day of this month and then slaughter it—the entire community of Israel will do this—at dusk. Then take some of the blood and smear it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which you will eat it. You are to eat the meat, roasted in the fire, that night, along with bread, made without yeast, and bitter herbs. Don’t eat any of it raw or boiled in water; make sure it’s roasted—the whole animal, head, legs, and innards. Don’t leave any of it until morning; if there are leftovers, burn them in the fire.

“And here is how you are to eat it: Be fully dressed with your sandals on and your stick in your hand. Eat in a hurry; it’s the Passover to God.

“I will go through the land of Egypt on this night and strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, whether human or animal, and bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am God. The blood will serve as a sign on the houses where you live. When I see the blood I will pass over you—no disaster will touch you when I strike the land of Egypt.

“This will be a memorial day for you; you will celebrate it as a festival to God down through the generations, a fixed festival celebration to be observed always. You will eat un-raised bread (matzoth) for seven days: On the first day get rid of all yeast from your houses—anyone who eats anything with yeast from the first day to the seventh day will be cut off from Israel. The first and the seventh days are set aside as holy; do no work on those days. Only what you have to do for meals; each person can do that.

“Keep the Festival of Un-raised Bread! This marks the exact day I brought you out in force from the land of Egypt. Honor the day down through your generations, a fixed festival to be observed always. In the first month, beginning on the fourteenth day at evening until the twenty-first day at evening, you are to eat un-raised bread. For those seven days not a trace of yeast is to be found in your houses. Anyone, whether a visitor or a native of the land, who eats anything raised shall be cut off from the community of Israel. Don’t eat anything raised. Only matzoth.”

Moses assembled all the elders of Israel. He said, “Select a lamb for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the bowl of blood and smear it on the lintel and on the two doorposts. No one is to leave the house until morning. God will pass through to strike Egypt down. When he sees the blood on the lintel and the two doorposts, God will pass over the doorway; he won’t let the destroyer enter your house to strike you down with ruin.

“Keep this word. It’s the law for you and your children, forever. When you enter the land which God will give you as he promised, keep doing this. And when your children say to you, ‘Why are we doing this?’ tell them: ‘It’s the Passover-sacrifice to God who passed over the homes of the Israelites in Egypt when he hit Egypt with death but rescued us.'”

The people bowed and worshiped.

The Israelites then went and did what God had commanded Moses and Aaron. They did it all.

THE PASSOVER

At midnight God struck every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sits on his throne, right down to the firstborn of the prisoner locked up in jail, also the firstborn of the animals.

Pharaoh got up that night, he and all his servants and everyone else in Egypt—what wild wailing and lament in Egypt! There wasn’t a house in which someone wasn’t dead.

Pharaoh called in Moses and Aaron that very night and said, “Get out of here and be done with you—you and your Israelites! Go worship God on your own terms. And yes, take your sheep and cattle as you’ve insisted, but go. And bless me.”

The Egyptians couldn’t wait to get rid of them; they pushed them to hurry up, saying, “We’re all as good as dead.”

The people grabbed their bread dough before it had risen, bundled their bread bowls in their cloaks and threw them over their shoulders. The Israelites had already done what Moses had told them; they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold things and clothing. God saw to it that the Egyptians liked the people and so readily gave them what they asked for. Oh yes! They picked those Egyptians clean.

The Israelites moved on from Rameses to Succoth, about 600,000 on foot, besides their dependents. There was also a crowd of riffraff tagging along, not to mention the large flocks and herds of livestock. They baked un-raised cakes with the bread dough they had brought out of Egypt; it hadn’t raised—they’d been rushed out of Egypt and hadn’t time to fix food for the journey.

This is the final lesson in this series.  Our next lesson will focus our attention on the final days of Jesus life, death and resurrection.  May God bless you as you continue to study His Word and moved into action as you apply your knowledge to help others see the light?  I remain your brother in CHRIST JESUS, PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER!

THE EXODUS STORY CONTINUES GOD CALLED MOSES (PART 4)

The Rods of Moses and the Magicians Turned int...

The Rods of Moses and the Magicians Turned into Serpents (illustration from the 1728 Figures de la Bible) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

GOD CALLED MOSES TO GO AND RESCUSE HIS PEOPLE FROM SLAVERY (PART 4)

Strike Eight: Locusts Exodus 10:1-20

God said to Moses: “Go to Pharaoh. I’ve made him stubborn, him and his servants, so that I can force him to look at these signs and so you’ll be able to tell your children and grandchildren how I toyed with the Egyptians, like a cat with a mouse; you’ll tell them the stories of the signs that I brought down on them, so that you’ll all know that I am God.”

Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, “God, the God of the Hebrews, says, ‘How long are you going to refuse to knuckle under? Release my people so that they can worship me. If you refuse to release my people, watch out; tomorrow I’m bringing locusts into your country. They’ll cover every square inch of ground; no one will be able to see the ground. They’ll devour everything left over from the hailstorm, even the saplings out in the fields—they’ll clear-cut the trees. And they’ll invade your houses, filling the houses of your servants, filling every house in Egypt. Nobody will have ever seen anything like this, from the time your ancestors first set foot on this soil until today.'”

Then he turned on his heel and left Pharaoh.

Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long are you going to let this man harass us? Let these people go and worship their God. Can’t you see that Egypt is on its last legs?”

So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. He said to them, “Go ahead then. Go worship your God. But just who exactly is going with you?”

Moses said, “We’re taking young and old, sons and daughters, flocks and herds—this is our worship-celebration of God.”

He said, “I’d sooner send you off with God’s blessings than let you go with your children. Look, you’re up to no good—it’s written all over your faces. Nothing doing, just the men are going—go ahead and worship God. That’s what you want so badly.” And they were thrown out of Pharaoh’s presence.

God said to Moses: “Stretch your hand over Egypt and signal the locusts to cover the land of Egypt, devouring every blade of grass in the country, everything that the hail didn’t get.”

Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt. God let loose an east wind. It blew that day and night. By morning the east wind had brought in the locusts.

The locusts covered the country of Egypt, settling over every square inch of Egypt; the place was thick with locusts. There never was an invasion of locusts like it in the past, and never will be again. The ground was completely covered, black with locusts. They ate everything, every blade of grass, every piece of fruit, anything that the hail didn’t get. Nothing left but bare trees and bare fields—not a sign of green in the whole land of Egypt.

Pharaoh had Moses and Aaron back in no time. He said, “I’ve sinned against your God and against you. Overlook my sin one more time. Pray to your God to get me out of this—get death out of here!”

Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to God. God reversed the wind—a powerful west wind took the locusts and dumped them into the Red Sea. There wasn’t a single locust left in the whole country of Egypt.

But God made Pharaoh stubborn as ever. He still didn’t release the Israelites.

Strike Nine: Darkness Exodus 10:21-29

God said to Moses: “Stretch your hand to the skies. Let darkness descend on the land of Egypta

Living in the Darkness of the Night (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Living in the Darkness of the Night (Photo by Pastor Davis)

darkness so dark you can touch it.”

Moses stretched out his hand to the skies. Thick darkness descended on the land of Egypt for three days. Nobody could see anybody. For three days no one could so much as move. Except for the Israelites; they had light where they were living.

Pharaoh called in Moses: “Go and worship God. Leave your flocks and herds behind. But go ahead and take your children.”

But Moses said, “You have to let us take our sacrificial animals and offerings with us so we can sacrifice them in worship to our God. Our livestock has to go with us with not a hoof left behind; they are part of the worship of our God. And we don’t know just what will be needed until we get there.”

But God kept Pharaoh stubborn as ever. He wouldn’t agree to release them.

Pharaoh said to Moses: “Get out of my sight! And watch your step. I don’t want to ever see you again. If I lay eyes on you again, you’re dead.”

Moses said, “Have it your way. You won’t see my face again.”

On Wednesday of this week, we will release the final part of this very intriguing story.  We encourage God’s blessings over your life, and that His peace will descend down upon you like a dove, and you will find much love, joy and happiness in all that you do. BE ENCOURAGE my friends, for trouble don’t last always!

GOD CALLED MOSES THE EXODUS STORY CONTINUES (PART 3)

Egypt: Gizeh

Egypt: Gizeh (Photo credit: Brooklyn Museum)

GOD CALLED MOSES TO GO AND RESCUSE HIS PEOPLE FROM SLAVERY (PART 3)

Strike Six: Boils Exodus 9:8-12

After being halfway through God’s master plan, for removing Pharaoh Chains from God’s people, God decides to throw a changeup pitch.  God causes Ashes to turn into boils on the men and animals of Egypt.  Even the magicians were affected.  The more Pharaoh hardened his heart, the more it became judicially hardened by God.

God said to Moses and Aaron, “Take fistfuls of soot from a furnace and have Moses throw it into the air right before Pharaoh’s eyes; it will become a film of fine dust all over Egypt and cause sores, an eruption of boils on people and animals throughout Egypt.” So they took soot from a furnace, stood in front of Pharaoh, and threw it up into the air. It caused boils to erupt on people and animals. The magicians weren’t able to compete with Moses this time because of the boils—they were covered with boils just like everyone else in Egypt.

God hardened Pharaoh in his stubbornness. He wouldn’t listen, just as God had said to Moses.

Now here is where things really begin to get more interesting and exciting.  The Lord tightens his grip on Pharaoh and reminds Pharaoh that He could have destroyed him and the Egyptians with the preceding pestilence, but instead He had spared Pharaoh in order to demonstrate His power and spread His fame.  Here we see that the Lord used Pharaoh as an example of what happens to a person who is determined to resist the power of God.

Strike Seven: Hail Exodus 9:13-35

God said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh. Tell him, ‘God, the God of the Hebrews, says: Release my people so they can worship me. This time I am going to strike you and your servants and your people with the full force of my power so you’ll get it into your head that there’s no one like me anywhere in all the Earth. You know that by now I could have struck you and your people with deadly disease and there would be nothing left of you, not a trace. But for one reason only I’ve kept you on your feet: To make you recognize my power so that my reputation spreads in all the Earth. You are still building yourself up at my people’s expense. You are not letting them go. So here’s what’s going to happen: At this time tomorrow I’m sending a terrific hailstorm—there’s never been a storm like this in Egypt from the day of its founding until now. So get your livestock under roof—everything exposed in the open fields, people and animals, will die when the hail comes down.'”

All of Pharaoh’s servants who had respect for God’s word got their workers and animals under cover as fast as they could, but those who didn’t take God’s word seriously left their workers and animals out in the field.

God said to Moses: “Stretch your hands to the skies. Signal the hail to fall all over Egypt on people and animals and crops exposed in the fields of Egypt.”

Moses lifted his staff to the skies and God sent peals of thunder and hail shot through with lightning strikes. God rained hail down on the land of Egypt. The hail came, hail and lightning—a fierce hailstorm. There had been nothing like it in Egypt in its entire history. The hail hit hard all over Egypt. Everything exposed out in the fields, people and animals and crops, was smashed. Even the trees in the fields were shattered. Except for Goshen where the Israelites lived; there was no hail in Goshen.

Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron. He said, “I’ve sinned for sure this time—God is in the right and I and my people are in the wrong. Pray to God. We’ve had enough of God’s thunder and hail. I’ll let you go. The sooner you’re out of here the better.”

Moses said, “As soon as I’m out of the city, I’ll stretch out my arms to God. The thunder will stop and the hail end so you’ll know that the land is God’s land. Still, I know that you and your servants have no respect for God.”

(The flax and the barley were ruined, for they were just ripening, but the wheat and spelt weren’t hurt—they ripen later.)

Moses left Pharaoh and the city and stretched out his arms to God. The thunder and hail stopped; the storm cleared.

But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and hail and thunder had stopped, he kept right on sinning, stubborn as ever, both he and his servants. Pharaoh’s heart turned rock-hard. He refused to release the Israelites, as God had ordered through Moses.

Stay tune, we will be back with the rest of the story before the end of this day.  It gets more exciting and Pharaoh has not felt the full force of God’s power yet.

GOD CALLED MOSES THE EXODUS STORY CONTINUES PT.2

Moses and Aaron before Pharaoh (painting by Be...

Moses and Aaron before Pharaoh (painting by Benjamin West) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

GOD CALLED MOSES TO GO AND RESCUSE HIS PEOPLE FROM SLAVERY (PART 2)

Strike Three: Gnats Exodus 8-16-19

God said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and strike the dust. The dust will turn into gnats all over Egypt.'”

He did it. Aaron grabbed his staff and struck the dust of the Earth; it turned into gnats, gnats all over people and animals. All the dust of the Earth turned into gnats, gnats everywhere in Egypt.

The magicians tried to produce gnats with their incantations but this time they couldn’t do it. There were gnats everywhere, all over people and animals.

The magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is God’s doing.” But Pharaoh was stubborn and wouldn’t listen. Just as God had said.

Strike Four: Flies Exodus 8:20-32

God said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh as he goes down to the water. Tell him, ‘God’s Message: Release my people so they can worship me. If you don’t release my people, I’ll release swarms of flies on you, your servants, your people, and your homes. The houses of the Egyptians and even the ground under their feet will be thick with flies. But when it happens, I’ll set Goshen where my people live aside as a sanctuary—no flies in Goshen. That will show you that I am God in this land. I’ll make a sharp distinction between your people and mine. This sign will occur tomorrow.'”

And God did just that. Thick swarms of flies in Pharaoh’s palace and the houses of his servants. All over Egypt, the country ruined by flies.

Pharaoh called in Moses and Aaron and said, “Go ahead. Sacrifice to your God—but do it here in this country.”

Moses said, “That would not be wise. What we sacrifice to our God would give great offense to Egyptians. If we openly sacrifice what is so deeply offensive to Egyptians, they’ll kill us. Let us go three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to our God, just as he instructed us.”

Pharaoh said, “All right. I’ll release you to go and sacrifice to your God in the wilderness. Only don’t go too far. Now pray for me.”

Moses said, “As soon as I leave here, I will pray to God that tomorrow the flies will leave Pharaoh, his servants, and his people. But don’t play games with us and change your mind about releasing us to sacrifice to God.”

Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to God. God did what Moses asked. He got rid of the flies from Pharaoh and his servants and his people. There wasn’t a fly left. But Pharaoh became stubborn once again and wouldn’t release the people.

Strike Five: Animals Exodus 9:1-7

God said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘God, the God of the Hebrews, says: Release my people so they can worship me. If you refuse to release them and continue to hold on to them, I’m giving you fair warning: God will come down hard on your livestock out in the fields—horses, donkeys, camels, cattle, sheep—striking them with a severe disease. God will draw a sharp line between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt. Not one animal that belongs to the Israelites will die.'”

Then God set the time: “Tomorrow God will do this thing.”

And the next day God did it. All the livestock of Egypt died, but not one animal of the Israelites died. Pharaoh sent men to find out what had happened and there it was: none of the livestock of the Israelites had died—not one death. But Pharaoh stayed stubborn. He wouldn’t release the people.

GOD CALLED MOSES THE EXODUS STORY CONTINUES PT.1

Cover of "Moses (Young Readers Christian ...

Cover of Moses (Young Readers Christian Library)

GOD CALLED MOSES TO GO AND RESCUSE HIS PEOPLE FROM SLAVERY (PART 1)

Baseball Terminology is used to strikeout Pharaoh

Today, we continue with the EXODUS STORY.  In the next several lessons we will present you with the entire story.  We encourage you to come and study this very important story with us and invite your friends to do the same.

God’s call went out to Moses while Moses was on the back side of the mountain tending to Jethro flock.  We know that from Acts 7:23 that Moses was forty years old when he visited his own people.  His killing the Egyptian was ill-advised; his zeal outran his discretion.  God would one day use Moses to deliver his people from the Egyptians, but the time had not yet come.  First he must spend forty years on the back side of the desert, learning in the school of GodGod had predicted that His people would be in the land of Egypt as slaves for 400 years (Gen. 15:13), so Moses actions were forty years premature.  He needed more training in the solitude of the desert.  And the people needed more training in the brickkiln.  The Lord orders all things according to His infinite wisdom.  He is not in a hurry, but neither will He leave His people in affliction one moment longer than necessary.

In tending the flock of Jethro, Moses learned some valuable lessons about leading God’s people.  The Lord promised Moses that He would deliver His people from Egypt and bring them into a land of abundanceGod reassures Moses that He is the God of his forefathers—Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.

Now God calls on Moses telling him that it is time for him to “GO” and bring the people out of SLAVERY, but Moses protested God’s call to him, sighting his own inadequacy.  But the Lord assured Moses of His presence and promised that he would yet serve God on this mountain (Mount Sinai) with a liberated people.

In these next few lessons, we will use the baseball terminology as it is presented in the Scriptures to show you exactly how God used Moses to confront Pharaoh to release His people and bring them out of Slavery.   God’s fore-knowledge of how we think and encouraged by His love, patience and understanding of mankind gave Pharaoh ten strikes to strike him out instead of the customary three strikes man gives in the game of Baseball.

Strike One: Blood  Exodus 7:14-18

God said to Moses: “Pharaoh is a stubborn man. He refuses to release the people. First thing in the morning, go and meet Pharaoh as he goes down to the river. At the shore of the Nile take the staff that turned into a snake and say to him, ‘God, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you with this message, “Release my people so that they can worship me in the wilderness.” So far you haven’t listened. This is how you’ll know that I am God. I am going to take this staff that I’m holding and strike this Nile River water: The water will turn to blood; the fish in the Nile will die; the Nile will stink; and the Egyptians won’t be able to drink the Nile water.'”

Strike Two: Frogs Exodus 8:1-15

God said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘God’s Message: Release my people so they can worship me. If you refuse to release them, I’m warning you, I’ll hit the whole country with frogs. The Nile will swarm with frogs—they’ll come up into your houses, into your bedrooms and into your beds, into your servants’ quarters, among the people, into your ovens and pots and pans. They’ll be all over you, all over everyone—frogs everywhere, on and in everything!'”

God said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Wave your staff over the rivers and canals and ponds. Bring up frogs on the land of Egypt.'”

Aaron stretched his staff over the waters of Egypt and a mob of frogs came up and covered the country.

But again the magicians did the same thing using their incantations— they also produced frogs in Egypt.

Pharaoh called in Moses and Aaron and said, “Pray to God to rid us of these frogs. I’ll release the people so that they can make their sacrifices and worship God.”

Moses said to Pharaoh, “Certainly. Set the time. When do you want the frogs out of here, away from your servants and people and out of your houses? You’ll be rid of frogs except for those in the Nile.”

“Make it tomorrow.”

Moses said, “Tomorrow it is—so you’ll realize that there is no God like our God. The frogs will be gone. You and your houses and your servants and your people, free of frogs. The only frogs left will be the ones in the Nile.”

Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh, and Moses prayed to God about the frogs he had brought on PharaohGod responded to Moses’ prayer: The frogs died off—houses, courtyards, fields, all free of frogs. They piled the frogs in heaps. The country reeked of dead frogs.

But when Pharaoh saw that he had some breathing room, he got stubborn again and wouldn’t listen to Moses and Aaron. Just as God had said.

Just how stubborn can we be when we think God has given us some breathing room?  In the next lesson, you will see if God throws Pharaoh a curve ball, a fast ball are a strike.  Look for the next lesson, coming right behind this one.

SEIZE THE MOMENT EACH DAY IS A GIFT FROM GOD

SEIZE THE MOMENT EACH DAY IS A GIFT FROM GOD

Today, I took a walk around the neighborhood and realized that on this earth as it is, we only have this moment to live out the purpose for which God has provided for each one of His Children.  Tomorrow is not promised, this is the moment which God has chosen for us to be true to ourselves and obey His will.  We must learn to, SEIZE THE MOMENT, BECAUSE EACH DAY IS A GIFT FROM GOD. 

SNOW FALLS IN THE MOMENT OF TIME (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

SNOW FALLS IN THE MOMENT OF TIME (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

 

As I stood and looked all around the snow covered grounds, I could sense the present of God’s hand moving me to higher grounds, I heard His voice saying, “now is the time!” You are one of my chosen servants, stop standing around. Then I said, “But God,” God’s voice spoke to me again as I was looking all around and said, “My Son, “now is the time!” I was trying to understand what God was prompting me to do, and at that very moment, these words of scripture flashed into my mind.

Now listen up and try to understand what these beautiful words of scripture were saying, “The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor satisfaction to the wise, or riches to the smart, nor grace to the learned. Sooner or later bad luck hits us all. No one can predict misfortune. Like fish caught in a cruel net or birds in a trap, so men and women are caught By accidents evil and sudden.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 MSG)

 

THE BEAUTY OF THE SNOWFLAKES (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE BEAUTY OF THE SNOWFLAKES (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

As the snow continued to fall, and darkness was coming upon me, I soon realized that all though I was standing in the shadow of space and time, I was truly blessed to be able to see and experience God’s grace all around me.  The beauty of the snowflakes falling and covering all the blight and wounds the neighborhood had sustained over a period of time.  God was injecting new life, not only into the neighborhood but into my mind, when He kept saying to me, “Now is the time.”  As I stood there looking all around, I thought of Moses when he had led God’s people out of slavery and had arrived at the Red Sea, and it seem there was no place to go. Moses was standing there looking up starring at God and God spoke to Moses and said, “Moses, what is that in your hand?”  Moses said, “It’s a rod,” God said, “stretch it out!”  Sometimes, as we stand, looking around in our weariness trying to understand what God is saying, we just have to be obedient to the word of God and just stretch out what God has already placed in our hands.

When we take the time to listen to the words of God, He will speak plainly and tell us just what He wants us to do.  These are the words I heard the voice of God say to me on that snowy day, “SEIZE THE MOMENT EACH DAY IS A GIFT FROM GOD!”  It was the power of those words that got me to thinking, and as I stood there, this scripture came into my thoughts, “Seize life! Eat bread with gusto, Drink wine with a robust heart. Oh yes—God takes pleasure in your pleasure!

Dress festively every morning. Don’t skimp on colors and scarves. Relish life with the spouse you love Each and every day of your precarious life. Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange for the hard work of staying alive. Make the most of each one! Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily! This is your last and only chance at it, for there’s neither work to do nor thoughts to think In the company of the dead, where you’re most certainly headed. (Ecclesiastes 9:7-10 MSG)

Now let me encourage each one of you to, “SEIZE THE MOMENT, BECAUSE EACH DAY IS A GIFT FROM GOD!”

 

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