Category Archives: Exodus

The Lord will Fight for You…

sword

In several instances the Bible presents Yahweh as Warrior; a mighty Warrior who’s strong in battle. He wages his own wars and wins.

In life we are faced with many battles. As a matter of fact, spiritual warfare is one of the inevitable battles we must face and win because our union with Christ gives us power, strength, and victory.

Few weeks into the wilderness, during the exodus from Egypt, the nation of Israel found themselves trapped between an enemy behind them and a mass of water (Red Sea) before them.

Related, read One more night with the frogs

They had heeded the call of God through Moses to journey to the Promised Land. In a great way, God had demonstrated his power against the powers of Pharaoh and his gods.

But now God’s chosen people were in for a new colossal challenge. With their enemies advancing quickly in pursuit of them, their options to escape and life were dwindling by seconds! It was a real defining moment!

The only available option was to either to surrender to Pharaoh’s might and be slaves forever or fight a losing fight and die.

But Moses provided the third option. He brought in the God-perspective; a perspective that the people were blind to.

Moses knew something about God’s power and presence. He knew God is a miracle worker, a way-maker and performs the impossible. He knew that God presence means victory. He knew that God is a sure and near help to everyone who calls on Him.

These thoughts (though written years later) must have been going through the mind of Moses:

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea– (Ps. 46:1-2).

And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me–               (Ps. 50:15).

A horse is prepared for battle but victory belongs to the Lord (Prov. 21:31).

He therefore courageously told the complaining and terrified crowd, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on” (Ex. 14:13-15).

This situation also speaks to our situations today…

Four Principles to help/assure us in times of need:

  1. Fear Not (vv. 13)

For sure, fear had crippled the Israelites when the saw the Egyptian army pursuing them. Behind them was an enemy, in front of them was a great sea. The only option, which Moses refocused them to see, was to look up.

Fear is something dangerous in your life. It paralyzes your potential and kills your faith. Fear leads to doubt, complaining, self-pity, and faithlessness. In your situation replace fear with faith and confidence in God. Make a deliberate decision to look up to God in faith. Rise above your fears and believe that you will make it by faith. Remember, God did not give you the spirit of fear but of courage, sound mind and love. Fear not.

Why should we not fear? It should be because God is on our side. We have seen God’s hand and faithfulness the far we have come. Choosing to response in fear does not solve the situation at hand; it only makes you more and more vulnerable to the enemy.

  1. Stand firm and be still (vv.14)

God wants us in our very time of need to be unmoved and to be still. To be unmoved by the number of the enemies, to be unmoved by the weapons they have, and to be unmoved by the powers ‘they’ claim to possess. On our side is a mighty Warrior.

Stand firm because you have a strong Deliverer. On your side is the One who is mighty in battle; the One who shields you in the day of battle.

  1. Be still (vv.14)

Be still because God is in control. Be calm and have a serenity of heart because the battle belongs to the Lord. He will fight for you (be sure to be engaged in battles that God is involved in). He will ensure your bones are not broken. Be still. Be still because by your own efforts you cannot win.

Be still and trust in the Lord, “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Prov. 3:5,6).

  1. The Lord will fight for you (vv. 14)-

This is a wonderful promise. The Lord shall fight for you.

You have the One who is an enemy to your enemies on your side. Worry not; for victory is your portion. Engage Him in your battles and he will fight for you.

  1. Therefore move/go forward (vv. 15)-

The next order from God to Moses was “God forward!” God wanted his people to take steps of faith; not by walking round the challenge but by going through it. Lack of faith can make us stagnate in one level and be comfortable with the status quo. As they edged to the coastlines of the sea Moses raised his rod and lo and behold the waters parted!

The people walked right in the middle of the sea with the mass of water against them. Move forward, don’t get stuck in the past with its entanglements like unforgiveness, but move forward with hope, optimism, and confidence in God.  In whichever circumstance, sober up and move on…

-The Lord will fight for you; because the battle belongs to the Lord!-

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Singular Focus in Life

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Life presents us an opportunity to pursue many things; but what is that one overarching thing that defines all that we pursue?

This attitude, of pursuing one thing over others, is explicit in the lives of prominent figures in the Bible. They had one chief and principal thing that they pursued wholeheartedly. This helped focus their attention, and energies to a productive end. Briefly, let’s look at biblical examples in which we see prominent figures who had singular focus/desire in life and ministry.

  1. Joshua: 15 “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15).

In a generation that was experiencing a growing apostasy, Joshua desired to serve the Lord despite the strong opposition around him.

2. David: “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple” (Ps. 27:4).

David, desired, above all, to seek the Lord…and to experience the beauty and the tender care under God’s wings. His desire was a life-long desire; he will follow it through till the end of his life. Also, he commmitedly seeks what he has asked of the Lord. Did he fulfill this desire at the end of his life? A resounding yes, Acts 13:36 records that after David had served God’s purpose in his generation he rested with his forefathers.

3. Solomon: (when given the opportunity by God to ask whatever thing he needed): “So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (1 Kings 3:9).

This man asked God to give him wisdom (a wise and discerning heart to be able to administer justice). In response, God gave him wisdom but also in addition gave him all the other things he did not  ask for like wealth, and long life. Solomon’s priorities at least at this early stage of his life were focused. He asked God for ONE thing.

4. Agur son of Jakeh: 7 “Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die: 8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.  9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God (Prov. 30:7-9).

This little known man of the Bible asked of God two things. His focused desires reveal that he longed for contentment, truthfulness, and  honoring of God.

5. Jesus: 34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work (John 4:34).

Our Lord, talked of accomplishing the will of God as his “food” (a daily necessity)

Also, Jesus instructed, 33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt. 6:33-34).

We know Jesus accomplished his singular focus, when at the cross he said, “it is finished”.

6. The merchant in the parable of Jesus: 45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it” (Matt. 13:45-46).

Why this the merchant in the parable sell EVERYTHING just to buy ONE thing? It is because the ONE thing he had found was of GREATER value than EVERYTHING he had.

7. Martha (the one thing that is needed): 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42).

One thing is needed, and that is what Martha chose; something that cannot be taken away from her! For Martha, it was to be with Jesus, to seat under the counsel of Jesus.

8. Paul: “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead (Phil. 3:10-11).

Paul’s desired to “know Christ”; to know how wide, and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. Paul achieved his purpose because at the end of his life he was able to confidently declare, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith…” (2 Tim 4:7).

These desires consumed the lives of these key characters in the Bible. Notably, they desired what ultimately brings true joy and contentment. These men desired what counts eternally. Why is it important to have a singular desire/focus: we end up seeking what we desire, “one thing I have desired; that I will seek after”;  singular focus in life leads to simplification of life; it focuses our energies and pursuits; when we have our desires defined it is easy to turn them into prayers. Life is a process of simplification…

Read Satan’s thesis statement and Jesus’ Offer

Read- One more night with the frogs

ONE MORE NIGHT WITH THE FROGS

night

God’s command to Pharaoh during the Exodus was crystal-clear, “Let my people go, so that they may worship me”. But this was met with stiff opposition and resistance from the Egyptian ruler. As a result, God through a series of plagues ensured that His agenda prevails and his people are liberated from oppression to a life of worship and freedom in God.

Plague after plague, Pharaoh was still unyielding and would not let the people go.

The second plague that Moses unleashed was that of frogs. The whole country was plagued with frogs. Disgusting ah! Frogs filled everywhere and all over the place- in bedrooms, kitchen etc and everywhere in the land. And remember they would not kill them because Egyptians regarded frogs as having divine power/gods.

Pharaoh’s magicians did their best to get rid of the frogs but instead of averting the disaster they made it even worse. As a final resort, Pharaoh summoned Moses and his brother Aaron to pray to their God to take away the frogs. Definitely, Pharaoh wasn’t interested in the God of the Hebrews but only in His power and help to clear up the mess!

Moses and Aaron appeared before Pharaoh. But Moses said, “I leave to you the honor of setting the time for me to pray and your officials and your people that you and your houses may be rid of the frogs, except for those that remain in the Nile”-Exodus 8:10.

The question that Moses raised was, “when?”

Tomorrow,” pharaoh said. (Exodus 8:10a)

This was a crazy and unexpected answer, right? Why did he prefer to spend one more night with frogs? Anyway, Moses replied, “It will be as you say, so that you may know there is no one like the Lord our God” Exodus 8:10b.

Why did Pharaoh opt for a future date/time? This is a question I want us to look at briefly. You will note that Pharaoh’s problem was deeper than procrastination. It was a heart-problem; something that we all as Christians should beware of by diligently guarding our hearts.

Why was Pharaoh comfortable to spend one more night with the frogs?

He had a heart that did not delight in yielding to God’s voice Pharaoh had no bent or inclination toward God’s word or voice. He treated God’s messengers with contempt. He was only interested in building his kingdom through slavery. As a result the word of the Lord, through Moses and Aaron, fell in deaf hears. You can call this expression stubbornness or other names but in essence it is pride and disobedience. Pharaoh would simply not obey God or humble himself. But God knew when and where to strike.

He had a hard heart– Severally, it is recorded that Pharaoh hardened his heart (Ex. 8:15,32;9:7,34-35;13:15). In response, God also hardened Pharaoh’s heart (Ex. 4:21; 7:3; 9:12; 10:1,20,27; 11:10; 14:4,8,17). His heart was a hard nut to crack; but not with God. For God says, “Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29)

What hardens one’s heart? For sure, sin does. The habit of sinning and suppressing truth makes ones heart to be hard and insensitive to God and his word. It deadens one’s conscience. A sinful and hard heart is blind to God’s doing and promptings. Pharaoh’s hard heart readily embraced suffering through the plagues than to obey God.

He had an unbelieving heart- Pharaoh simply trusted his own power and the power of magic. He only wanted to hear about God when there was a problem. Perhaps “tomorrow” was still convenient for him because he would have more time to explore other alternative solutions through magic and sorcery.

More importantly for us today, how can we guard our hearts, the wellspring of life (Prov. 4:23), with due diligence?

Hebrew 3: 12-13 warns, “See, to it brothers, that none of you has a sinful heart that turns from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”

Be constantly connected to the true Vine (Jn. 15), and with fellow brethren/church for encouragement and counsel. Guard your heart every “Today“.  See to it that sin does not set in and find a permanent lodging in your heart. Do it daily. For, God desires a broken/repentant heart, a teachable spirit, and a heart that obeys his voice.

Read here for hindrances to hearing/yielding to God’s guidance.