Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 9 October 2017

You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.”  The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”  Hebrews 12, verses 18-21.

Are you seeing as I am that it takes effort and study to understand the Bible?   A few nights ago, a pastor I know said that he thought simply turning to the Bible and picking a random verse for advice was dangerous.   If you randomly pick a verse and expect it to give you life-altering advice, you’re subjecting God to a game of Russian Roulette where you hold the gun against the other guy’s head.  I understand his point, because context matters, background matters.   You may not have a degree in hermaneutics or have a bookshelf full of commentaries, but knowing a little bit about the verses you read might just help you to understand them (and what they’re saying) better.  A good website for this is http://thetorah.com/what-happened-at-mount-sinai/.

The background of these verses is, as you’ve guessed, from the time of the Ten Commandments.  God led the people of Israel to Sinai, His holy place.   There He would minister to them and give them His commandments for how to live in the world.   To protect them, He ordered Moses to set up boundaries so that no one would set foot onto God’s holy mountain in some disrespectful way.  It was for them, not Him.  Why wouldn’t God want His people to flock to Him?   The answer is in the millennial joke:  “it’s you, not me.”   Putting it simply, it was the people’s sins.

God can’t be unholy.   Un-holiness is against His nature.   He can’t tolerate it.  Specifically, it seems like the sin of disrespect would be one He would not tolerate.   For the people to accept His holy law, God wanted to ready them.   So He gave them instructions to follow.   “Stay off the mountain.”  Listen to God and He teaches.  God would speak to them through Moses, and in doing so He would affirm Moses’ leadership over them.   That’s a practical as well as spiritual matter, you know.   2 million souls wandering hungrily in unfamiliar territory needed a leader.  They didn’t need another pharaoh or some strongman:   they needed an authority.   God speaks to them directly from the mountain, but at a distance to gather their attention and to set up some ground rules.  By acting through Moses and by requiring the Israelites to follow directions, God installs Moses as leader and affirms that authority.   What’s more, when God speaks directly from Sinai, He has Moses stand above the people, in-between them and Himself.   He couldn’t have told them any clearer:   “This guy Moses is my spokesman here.   Listen to him.”

Then why would He allow un-holy Moses to stand in His presence?  There wasn’t anything special about Moses regarding his sinful nature.   Moses was a sinner just like the rest of the Israelites.   Perhaps it was that God knew how Israel would rebel in Moses’ absence.   Don’t forget that Moses was on Mount Sinai for forty days and nights, fasting and being made ready to receive God’s direct commandments.   During that time, Israel defied God and made itself an idol for worship, then they partied like a one-hit wonder on Grammy night.   Moses wasn’t a part of that (reaffirming again his status as above this sin).  Can you imagine the terror of seeing Moses descending from the mountain that first time, carrying two stone tablets, his anger burning stronger with each step down?   Can you imagine the thunder and shaking earth and the fire spewing from the mountain in front of you when God’s wrath was poured out on the rebellious deserters?

It must have been a fearful thing to have been one of the thousands freed from Egypt and then wandering to this strange place in Midian.   It must have been frightening to journey to a mountain where fire, smoke, thunder, and earthquakes were common indicators of the uncommon God occupying it.   It must have been terrifying to see God’s representative coming down to find that you’ve been unfaithful.   And it is always humbling to have to submit to someone’s authority when you know they have every right to rebuke you.

There is a better way.   The better way is to follow as soon as you hear you should.   God never leads people in unjust ways.   His path is always good and for good.   If you want to avoid the stern teaching of a harsh rebuke, or if you fear the fire and brimstone, then live your life in such a way as to make them un-threatening to you.   It really is that simple.  As Billy Currington might have said, thank God for good directions.

For further reading:  Exodus 19:12-22, Deuteronomy 4:11-12, Exodus 20:18, Deuteronomy 5:5 & 25, Deuteronomy 9:19.

Lord, thank You for Your fire, Your high standards, Your good directions, and the hard lessons You taught our ancestors..  

 

 

Advertisements

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 25 August 2017

By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.  Hebrews 11, verse 31.

God likes hookers.   God loves whores.

Yes, I said that.   God loves prostitutes, murderers, thieves, liars, adulterers, cheaters, haters, and Democrats.   Excepting that last category, God loves all those kinds of people who flagrantly violate the Ten Commandments He gave to Moses on Mount Sinai.   And, yes, God loves Democrats, too, (and Republicans, Libertarians, Antifa thugs, and KKK neo-Nazi punks who really need to get a clue).

You know one place you could lump all those people together?   Answer:  a church.  Churches are spiritual hospitals, places for sick twisted freaks to go to get better, to receive medicine, to give of themselves to someone who doesn’t deserve all their disease but wants to take it anyway.   More than that, worship is the time to commune with the God who loves us despite everything we do to piss Him off.   He loves everyone, even the neo-Nazis, Democrats, and those other bad actors.

Know how we can know that?   Rahab.   Rahab was a hooker living in Jericho.   She had heard about this God; Jehovah, Yahweh, IAM; she had heard about Him through the grapevine and she believed He was real.  She had heard the stories about this massive nation that God had brought out of slavery in Egypt.   When Joshua sent spies into Jericho to scope it out, Rahab hid them because she respected God and wanted to know more of Him.   She who had earned her living in sin on her back wanted to turn from how that made her feel and live.   She didn’t want to die; she didn’t want to be killed when Israel took the town.   So she hid the Israelite spies in her home and made them promise they would spare her and hers when they overran Jericho.

And that’s what happened.   Rahab the prostitute, Rahab the damn dirty sinner whore believed in a God she had only heard about as a rumor.   When presented with facts of His existence (the Israelites), she immediately believed.  She believed out of fear but then she believed out of hope.   She understood that this God unknown to her had proven Himself to be all He said He was through keeping His word.   Rahab wanted to live and she believed God was the only way she could.   She was right.   And she was a hooker.  She was considered the worst of sinners.

How about you?   Are you a prostitute?   Do you whore yourself out for nothing?  How many whores will you see in church on Sunday morning?   Look around.   There’ll be quite a few even if they make their livings wearing a suit and tie.  Or if they have the perfect family and the perfect blonde hair.  I wonder how many of us have the faith that Rahab had.  Not to be Dave the Downer but I’m betting there are few.   Just this week, an astounding thing happened to me.  I found a woman lying in the middle of the road.   This was a four-lane road very early in the morning, and she was passed out, lying up against a concrete barrier.  She was uninjured despite lying down in the middle of a highway.   The policeman and I surmised she was high on some kind of drug.  To make the story short, I called the police, an ambulance came to take her for a check-out, and it appears the woman would be just fine.

Yet do you know what amazed me?   While I was waiting beside her on the road, protecting this stranger from harm, probably a dozen cars whizzed by.   Any one of them could have run over both of us; we could easily have been killed.   Yet any one of them could have stopped to help, even just to investigate, and none of them did.  Remember Jesus’ story of the good Samaritan?   Well, I’m no good Samaritan and I’m not worth the dust on Jesus’ feet.   I’m just a guy who found someone who needed help.

But those other people who kept driving after seeing this woman flat on the road?   It looks like they aren’t even hookers with a heart like Rahab.   Maybe they were frightened themselves.  Maybe they couldn’t stop for some other reason.   Or maybe they just didn’t give a damn.  Whores.   At least Rahab believed and then put her nascent belief into action.   She didn’t have to help, but she wanted to because she wanted to live.   She wanted the hope of this God.

And she received it.   Remember:  God loves hookers, too.

For further reading:  Joshua 2:1, Joshua 9:14, Joshua 6:22-25, Luke 10: 25-37, James 2:25.

Lord, help me to have the faith of Rahab the prostitute.   And bless & forgive those who can’t or won’t help others in time of need.

 

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 24 August 2017

By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.  Hebrews 11, verse 30.

After yesterday’s entry, let’s fast forward a few generations.   In the space of a few months, Moses went from a shepherd, to renegade troublemaker, to general and judge, to leader of a nation.   In the space of a few months, Moses followed God through the Red Sea, then led the Israelites into the desert of Sinai (likely in today’s Saudi Arabia).   Not long after, Moses disappears onto Mount Sinai (to receive the Ten Commandments), the Israelites rebel, Moses loses his temper, and God punishes Israel for its disobedience by making them wander in the deserts of Midian for forty years until all the rebels died out.  When that generation is gone, Moses dies and Joshua, Moses’ lieutenant, takes over as leader.   God then commands the Israelites to march around the Canaanite city of Jericho for six days, praising God each time and blowing their trumpets behind the Ark of the Covenant (minus Indiana Jones).  On the seventh day, they marched around Jericho seven times, and on the seventh time, they screamed out in praise of God that God had delivered Jericho to them.

Which He had.  On that seventh march, the walls of Jericho that had protected it for decades, maybe even centuries, tumbled down and the Israelites took the city.   Jericho had been a military, economic and political threat to Israel.   More than that, they were a city full of pagan’s who gave the collective Canaanite finger to the great I AM.   I AM brought justice and the threat was removed.

Great story, eh?

It is great, and it’s history, not just a story.   It really happened.   Excavations at Jericho confirm a cataclysmic destruction of an ancient city there:   an account that lines up with the book of Joshua.  All if it happened because the Israelites believed that God would deliver the city to them.   If it doesn’t make much sense to you, then you’re probably in good company.   The story seems illogical to us today because we focus on the improbability of it.   Marching around the city, blowing trumpets, no conventional military attack to achieve a military objective:   it all seems preposterous.

Thee focus of the story isn’t on the unconventional (though effective) military tactics.  The focus of the story is on the faith the people had that God would do what He said He would do.  God had told Joshua to lead his people to do these things and then the city walls would collapse so Israel could take the city.  That’s exactly what happened.  Imagine the curiosity, then anxiety, then terror felt by the pagan ‘haters’ who lived in Jericho as they watched this foreign army surround their city.   Imagine watching thousands of these marchers, coming back day after day.   How would you have felt?   Would you have laughed at first but, by the end of that sixth day, been thankful for the stone walls that kept the invaders out?   And how would you have felt when the walls came down?

What is Jesus saying with the account of what the Israelites did after Jericho fell?   If you don’t know, they killed every living thing there.  How can God be merciful in that?   Before you get all judgy, remember that God asks for faith, invites us to faith, proves the worth of faith.   Jericho had heard about these Israelites.   They knew what had happened since the time of Abraham.  They knew and ignored it.   More than ignoring it, they flaunted God.   How could God spare them?  Friend, it isn’t our place to judge God but to heed Him and obey His Word.

Tell me, my friend:   what walls have you built that need to come down?   Have you walled off parts of your heart?   Have you walled off your emotions, your feelings, your past, your dreams?   More than this, have you walled out God from your life, thinking there’s no way He could love you, forgive you, want you?   Do you hate yourself and your life this much?

Perhaps its time to march around your heart a few times and then blow the horns.   The purpose of the account of Jericho is, for you, to do what God asks of you and open your heart to change.  Watch what happens when God keeps His word.

For further reading:  Joshua 6: 12-20.

Lord, thank You for what happened at Jericho.   Thank You for the faith of the Israelites, and for the promises You make.

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 23 August 2017

By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.  Hebrews 11, verse 29.

If pop culture wrote the Bible, this verse might say, “by faith they all survived the eclipse of 2017.”  Did you see the eclipse in America this week?  From all the media hype, one might have thought the world was ending.   From what really happened, it was a cool astrophysical yawn.  As are all such things, in fact.  They’re predicted by mathematics (itself a wondrously baffling knowledge gift from God).  Any astronomer who didn’t want to be on TV could have told you that, barring a miracle, the moon would pass between the Sun and the Earth without incident.   Animals (like reporters) would get a little freaked out by the mid-day darkness, but most everything would hum along just fine, which is what happened.  Eclipses happen about every 18 months or so someplace across the Earth.   This one was unique because it would be visible by the easily sensitive US media.  Unusual but, in reality, no big deal.

Unlike crossing the Red Sea, which wasn’t witnessed by the network news.   Four thousand or more years after it happened, we’re still talking about it (but the media isn’t).   We’re still talking about it because Moses, who wrote the book of Exodus, recorded for us what happened.

You know the account.   Pharaoh finally obeyed God’s command to free Israel from slavery.   Yet Pharaoh also soon developed a royal case of buyer’s remorse.   He summoned his army and they set out to chase the departing Israelites.   When the Israelites found themselves bounded on one side by the approaching Egyptian host and on the other by the unmovable Red Sea, God delivered a miracle.   He moved the Sea, cleared a path, and dried up the ground.   Israel quickly hurried through, followed in close pursuit by the Egyptians.   When the last Israelite was clear of the ocean, God closed up the Sea over the Egyptian Army and drowned them.

All because of faith.

Faith?   I thought it was because of God!   Of course it was because of God, but the reason the Israelites made it through and the Egyptians died was that Israel had faith in God.  They believed God would deliver them and He did.   The Egyptians, despite four hundred years of exposure to the faith of the Israelites, had no faith in God.   So God turned them over to the consequences of their unbelief and they drowned.   Would they have lived if they had faith?   Who knows; ask the Lord.   I like to think that, if God saved Israel because of its faith, He would have saved anyone else who believed.

Can you imagine hurrying through the walled up Red Sea?   Walls of sheer, rushing water held back by, it would have seemed, nothing.   The noise, the spray, the terror of walking through such power on display:  if you didn’t believe in God when you stepped down onto that path, you would have definitely believed on the other side.   Perhaps there never was before or never has been since such a muscular display of God’s raw power.  Perhaps, that is, until that first Easter Sunday.  But that wouldn’t come for most of another two millennia.  We know about Jesus’ resurrection and the power of God displayed in it, the power of God over death.   All Israel got to see His power on display over war, specifically that army which designed to bring war and death upon them had death brought on itself instead.  The best made plans of the unbelieving Pharaoh were, once again, made to not be so.

Just like it wasn’t to be this week that the world would end because the moon traveled between us and the Sun.   Out here in East Texas, it got dark during the peak time.   I made a pinhole viewer and saw the obscured sun through that pinhole.   I also saw the crescent shapes outlined in tree leaf shadows on the ground.   Stupid me, I forgot to look through a welding helmet.   But I and so many others had faith that this was just a natural phenomena, a display of God’s power of astronomy, gravity, and interplanetary motion.  Come to Texas in 2024 for the next one.   I hope we don’t have to view it while on the run from armed charioteers.

For further reading:  Exodus 14:21-31.

Lord God, thank You for the miracle You did in saving the Israelites at the Red Sea.   Thank You for preserving this story of faith for us here today.

 

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 21 August 2017

By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.  Hebrews 11, verses 27-28.

Just yesterday I was talking with a friend who is on the front lines of spiritual warfare.   If you aren’t familiar with that term, it’s trendy…but it’s real.   If you say “I believe in Jesus” then you’re a foot-soldier in the line of the army of the Living God.   You’re acknowledging Him as God, all good, pure perfect love.   Whether you realize it or not, you’re also subtly accepting the existence of non-God, all bad, pure incarnate evil.   That’s Satan.   It isn’t cool these days to talk about Satan as real, but he is.   He’s real, he’s still here, and his methods have changed with the times even as his mission hasn’t.   Since that long-ago day in Eden, he has wanted to be God, not realizing he isn’t and can’t be.   Jesus called him “the father of lies” and that was two thousand years ago.  If you believe in Jesus, you’re setting your beliefs against those of the prince of this world.  You’re on the front lines of spiritual war.

My friend and his wife work in Uganda, helping to mentor villagers in farming and self-management.  However, they  may be moving into a new mission field soon.  They’re currently on the front lines of spiritual warfare in Africa, and may be moving into spiritual trench warfare someplace else.   Please pray for Floyd, Tamra and the Stanley family as they discern where God is leading them.   Yet no matter where they go, they’re going to be on the line against Satan, helping other people to ‘gear up’ in their own fight of standing for good against consummate evil.

Just like Moses.   Just like Moses, my friend, and me, and you, and anyone who has faith in God, are standing against evil.   Moses went back ‘home’ to Egypt, to the palace where he was raised, to the enslaved people from whom he descended.  God had given him the mission to go to Pharaoh and be God’s mouthpiece.  In doing so, Moses would confront the ungodly practices of slavery, and pagan divination, and even murder.   “Have faith in Me” God told him, and then God thrust him back into the scene of Moses’ crime and the source of his flight into Midian.

Yet Moses went and he stood.   He stood because he believed in God and God was all he needed to stand against the evil of Egypt.  Through nine plagues, rising tension, and escalating hostility, Moses went to Pharaoh and passed on God’s command to let his people go.   Nine times Pharaoh declined and hardened his heart…while sharpening his army’s swords.   The tenth time, Moses foretold that death would visit Pharoah’s only son and the first-born child of everyone in Egypt.   What would save them?   Faith:  faith in God.  Faith proven in deed with the blood of innocent lambs painted on their door-frames.   When the angel of death ‘passed over’ Egypt, all Israel would quiver in awesome respect as it stood in humble worship on the Goshen front line of spiritual warfare.

That very night, as every house in Egypt wept, Pharaoh summoned Moses.   Three miracles happened there, and all in short succession.   First, all Israel believed that the sacrifice of lamb’s blood, which would fore-tell the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, would save them from sure death.   Second, God’s promise came true as Israel was saved and Pharaoh then relented and freed them from their bondage.  And third, the pagan Pharaoh was humbled to acknowledge that there is only one God, and that Israel should “go and worship the Lord as you have requested.”   Not ‘your God’ or ‘who you say is God’ but “the Lord.”   How the high were brought low, and the humble brought up.

And all because of faith, all because a few stood watch on the front lines that night.

Just like the kid’s song says, I’m in the Lord’s Army.   Cheesy?   Maybe a little on the surface, but it doesn’t take much to see that the war is real, the fight is intense, and the enemy’s objective is to destroy anyone who gets in his way.   My friend and his family fight overseas.  Moses fought in Egypt, then in the desert against temptations.   I fight here in these words, and in my hometown and wherever I’m given the opportunity to shine kindness against the dark.   I fight Satan with faith in my Lord, knowing my Savior will prevail no matter what the enemy throws against us.  There are many who think the battle of the ages is coming, with signs all over the world happening more and more.   Even today’s eclipse.  It’s time to join the army, my friend.   Pick up your sword and stand.

For further reading:  Exodus 12:21-51, 1 Corinthians 10:10.

Oh Lord, I pray help me to stand against evil where I am today.   I pray You guide me as you did Moses, and strengthen me to stand in awe of You.

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 17 August 2017

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mis-treated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.  Hebrews 11, verses 24-26.

Moses isn’t Charlton Heston.   Remember “The Ten Commandments?”   Cecil B. DeMille’s last picture, which is one of the most famous movies of all time?   It’s a tradition in America to show it every year around Easter, and it’s one of the movies I don’t (yet) have on DVD (or should I do Blu-Ray?   Get all 2010…).   Here’s a true confession:   most of what I know about Moses, I learned from watching Charlton Heston.   He was manly, gutsy, stoic; if you wanted a statue of Moses, you’d want it to look like Chuck Heston.  But Moses isn’t (as my father called him) “the blue eyed Jew.”  Or Christian Bale (in the not-as-good re-telling from a few years ago).  The movie took a great many liberties with Biblical history, so much so that, when I actually read through Exodus through Deuteronomy, I felt let down.   Only after doing further study did I feel impressed, again, by the story of this great man.   The mis-understanding was mine, not Moses’.

However, make no mistake about it:   no movie star I know of – not even Charlton Heston – would choose to give up Hollywood to be treated like a slave.  Moses was brought up in the palace of Pharaoh.   He was treated like a grandson, even a son, even though he was the known child of Hebrew slaves.   His mother, Pharaoh’s daughter, lavished him in luxury.  She raised him to educate him, to teach him how to rule a nation, master a court, prepare for royalty.  Born a pauper, Moses grew up into a prince, a prince of Egypt:   the heir apparent to rule wealthiest, most splendid and powerful nation on Earth.  It wouldn’t have been unprecedented for a Hebrew, a foreigner, to rule as the power behind a throne.   After all, Joseph had done so.

Yet when Moses came to a crossroads in his life, he unwittingly chose God.   One day, he saw an Egyptian mistreat a Hebrew and he killed the Egyptian.   Long before God forbade it, Pharaoh forbade killing as a way to preserve order in society.   Moses hid the body, until the next day.  He saw two Hebrew men fighting and, when questioning one of them, learned that his crime had become known.   The brave prince of Egypt turned quickly into a coward on the run.   He fled Egypt and didn’t return for forty years.

During that time, Moses went from prince back to pauper.   He became a shepherd in what is possibly now western Saudi Arabia.  He actively shunned his past, perhaps out of fear, but perhaps out of humility.  Moses fled Egypt at about age forty and he lived in the desert another forty years.   He raised a family, worked from his in-laws, and disappeared from public life.   What did he do during that time?  What did he think?   What visions filled his dreams?  Surely Moses must have used much of that time to wonder why his life had gone off track.   I wonder if he had a crisis of faith, perhaps wrestling with faith for the first time in his life.  Eventually, he accepted that his life wasn’t off track but had, instead, traveled on to a different one.  He who had been born no ordinary child now lived the most ordinary, unrecognized of lives and what had it all been for?

But God recognized him, and Moses chose to accept the invitation.  He saw the burning bush on the mountain and hiked up to see it.   From then on, all history changed.   Moses definitely did.   God shook Moses out of his navel-gazing rural complacence and called him to the task God had prepared for him (and prepared him for).  He knew that the generation which had wanted him called to Egyptian justice was dead, but that the mission God had called him to perform might also get him killed.   Yet He went.   After some grumbling and stalling (in front of God Himself; can you imagine?), Moses went.   And then everything changed.

All because Moses looked heavenward.  All because Moses believed.   Charlton Heston couldn’t have done any better.

For further reading:  Acts 7:22, Exodus 2:10-Luke 14:33, Hebrews 10:35, 1 Kings 4:30, Isaiah 19:11.

Lord, thank You for the example of Moses.   Thank You for guiding Him, and for delivering Him from the slavery to his past while You delivered Your people from the injustice of real slavery.

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 16 August 2017

By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.  Hebrews 11, verse 23.

“No ordinary child:” we like to think those words can describe any child, and indeed they do.   Yet another translation lists this phrase as “because they saw he was a fine child.”   Moses was a fine child.   From the start, he was unique, set aside for unique work, a unique life.  He was no ordinary child.

Something told Moses’ parents (Amram and Yochebed) that their boy was special.  It was something called faith in God.   They knew what was happening around them.   They knew the king’s decree, to kill every newborn boy because the Israelites had grown too numerous and were a threat to the security of the throne.   The family, descended from Jacob’s son, Levi, believed in El Shaddai, the great God Almighty.  They had come to believe He would deliver them from the slavery their Egyptian “hosts” had put them into.  Hadn’t Levi’s brother, Joseph, prophesied, many years before, that God would deliver the Israelites in their time of need?

Something told Amram and Yochebed that their son might just be the man to do that.   They had to save him because God had put it on their hearts that he was a fine child, no ordinary child, a unique child with a unique future ahead of him.   So they hid him.   Can you imagine doing that, let alone doing that for three months?  Here you are, a slave toiling in the most powerful nation on earth (ruled by a tyrannical, royal despot) and you consciously, secretly violate the edict of that king.   You know the penalty for disobedience is immediate death for you and everyone in your family, but you disobey anyway.  People had seen Yochebed pregnant; how would they explain her sudden weight loss without a baby (or even a body to bury)?   How did she feed young Moses?   How did she care for him when he cried and she was working, making bricks in the mud pits of Goshen?

How did all this happen?   Amram and Yochebed believed in God Almighty, and El Shaddai provided for them.  God provided calm for their hearts and food for their table.   God gave them peace deep inside to overcome the threat of violence against them.   And God provided cover for young Moses, keeping him safe until the time came for his mother to place him in a basket so he could be found by Pharaoh’s daughter.

I wonder what Amram called the young boy.   He wasn’t named “Moses” until the Princess of Egypt plucked him from the Nile.   His original name was is lost to history:  we know of him as Moses today, nearly four thousand years after he lived.   If you think about it, it’s a miracle we even know about him, or about his siblings, his parents, or even their parents before them.  Because of the Bible, we know the name of Moses’ ancestors going all the way back to Adam.  You can’t say that about most of the people who have ever lived; you can’t even say that about that Pharaoh.  We know what he ordered, but can’t tell you for sure which Pharaoh he actually was.   But we can give you hundreds of details about Moses.

Moses was born for a unique life.

My granddaughter spent a few days with us this week.   I got to hold her, and play with her, and have some Pops & Emma time together.   I love that little girl, just like I do all my kids and grandkids.  I think they’re extraordinary, and even fine.   Yet God has never put it on my heart that they will deliver their people from slavery.   God has never identified to me that one of them will do something that will be recorded for the rest of human history.   My grandkids are no ordinary kids, at least to me.   God provides for them, too, in ways they’re far too young to understand.  History has yet to be written about what lives they lead.   I simply pray they choose to know God because He already knows them in full.   And they are no ordinary people.  But they aren’t Moses.

For further reading:  Exodus 1:16-2:2

Lord, than You for your servant, Moses.   Thank You for recording things for us to know about him.