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|Just dropping by... Trust in the Lord with all thine heart|
|Columns - Yevet Tenney|
|Friday, 30 October 2009 05:26|
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thine own understanding. In all ways acknowledge him and he will direct thy path.” (Proverbs 3:5) I have always loved this scripture from Proverbs. It is a comfort and a compass all at the same time.
There is so much information running rampant in our society. Everyone has the ability to post their thoughts on the Internet and get a response from people who passionately agree with them or passionately oppose them. Every path has little paths leading in myriads of different directions.
Some paths are in direct contradiction to others. It is difficult to decide who to believe and who to disbelieve. The Lord makes it clear that he will lead us along, if we acknowledge him.
The Bible is filled with stories of those whom the Lord has led along, because they trusted him. The story of Moses and the children of Israel is one of my favorites, and it is applicable to our day. After Joseph and his brothers died, people began to forget the things that the Lord, through Joseph, did for Egypt. They began to worry that the children of Israel were becoming too plentiful, so they brought them into bondage and slavery.
Now the Bible doesn’t say that the children of Israel became complacent and were led around like sheep in their prosperity, but I know the Lord protects those who serve him diligently. There must have been a falling away from righteousness. Bondage is the consequences of sin and apostasy.
Of course the righteous are not immune to problems. They seek the Lord and he teaches them to become better through their trials and tribulations. Often he even allows them to know why the trials have come. But in this case, I tend to think that there was some abandoning the truth, infringing upon the commandments and forgetting the Lord, because the bondage was so widespread.
The situation is not unlike the circumstances in our country today. We are gradually losing our freedoms because we have been lulled to sleep with prosperity. Moses was born in the midst of a government mandate to exterminate all the male children. Through the miracle of a mother and sister’s prayer, Moses was placed in a basket upon the water and was found by Pharaoh’s daughter. Moses’ sister offered to bring a woman to nurse him.
Of course, the Lord is a great arranger of irony. Moses was nurtured by his very own mother until he was weaned. Many truths are taught at the knees of a mother, and Moses learned well. Moses had a run-in with an Egyptian and killed him. Moses left the court of Pharaoh and escaped into the wilderness. He met and married his wife, and became a shepherd, but the Lord knew that Moses had a greater mission in life. He wanted Moses to be a different kind of a shepherd.
Moses was led to the burning bush and from there back to Egypt. Now, Moses was not the self-confident Charleston Hesston of the movie, Ten Commandments. He was shy and worried that he was not eloquent and people would not believe him, but the Lord gave him Aaron, his brother, to speak for him. Then Moses trusted the Lord enough to go back to Egypt to free his people.
Back in Egypt, Moses’ worst fears are realized. He gives Pharaoh his message and Pharaoh responds with giving the children of Israel harder tasks to perform. He commands them to make as many bricks as they were currently making, but he added the task of finding and gathering straw.
I am sure that the children of Israel had a few choice words for Moses. Moses didn’t run; he knew what the Lord had commanded and he was willing to obey even in the face of his worst fears. As Moses trusted the Lord, the plagues came one by one. First it was Aaron’s rod being turned into a serpent and the river being turned to blood. The magicians were able to duplicate the miracle, but Moses’ serpent ate up the serpents of the magicians. Pharaoh was still not convinced, and Moses was committed to the Lord more fully.
The Lord sent flies and frogs. He killed all the cattle of the Egyptians and not of the Israelites. He sent boils along with hail and fire. Then the firstborn of every Egyptian died. Finally Pharaoh agreed to let the people go. It would have been easy for Moses after each failure of a plague, to say to the Lord, “See! I told you so. I am not good at this!” There is no record of Moses turning back and failing to trust the Lord.
Every prayer was answered with another answer; little by little the Lord led Moses and the children of Israel along from one bit of faith to another. I have often wondered why the Lord would go through so many plagues when he could have cut right to the chase and destroyed the firstborn of Egypt in 10 minutes.
I finally came to the conclusion, that each miracle Moses performed built faith in the children of Israel and developed their trust in Moses as the Lord’s prophet. Each plague also strengthened Moses’ confidence in the Lord. The Lord is concerned about building faith “line upon line and precept upon precept.”
Finally when the children of Israel were free, and stood on the banks of the Red Sea and watched Pharaoh’s army approach, they were filled with fear. Their minds told them that there was no place to escape. They were going to be destroyed by the soldiers. There could be no other answer, but Moses knew and trusted God. He knew that God was mightier than all the earth. He had created the earth and could cause miracles to happen.
“And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord. And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to adie in the wilderness? Wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
“Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.” (Exodus 14:10-12)
Moses knew and trusted God. He knew that God was mightier than all the earth. He had created the earth and could cause miracles to happen.
“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
“And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.” (Exodus 14:13-16)
Moses lifted up his rod, and the children of Israel walked across on dry ground, even as the Lord had promised. The Lord fed them with manna in the wilderness, and provided ways for them to be healed and finally took their children into the promised land.
Today, many of us have forgotten to trust the Lord. We worry over the changes that are coming both in the economy and the White House. We see our freedoms being penned away with debate and confusion. We read the blogs and listen to the news, and we look to the men of the world to save us. We cannot see how we will ever get out of this mess, but God can see, and he has power to save us, if we have faith in his infinite potential.
Of course, like Moses, we must face our worst fears with unflinching courage. We must trust him with all our hearts and lean not on our own wisdom. Someone wise once said, “We must pray as if everything depended on the Lord and work as if everything depended on us.” PD