Summary: A Wednesday night devotional calling for us to remember the Children Of Israel’s exodus from Egypt and learn 4 principles.
God’s Gifts to Us
• In just a few weeks, we will hear a message from James 1:17 which say in part, “Every generous act and perfect gifts comes down from above, from our heavenly Father.” God does give us ‘good’ gifts. Yet we don’t always understand His gifts as ‘good.’ The Bible teaches us that even the trials are part of God’s good gifts! Ouch!
• Turn to Exodus 13 and let’s read about the gifts God gave to the Israelites and by extension, He gives to us. READ TEXT.
• As I began my Bible Study today, I was reading this text when 5 thoughts leaped out at me. Let God speak to you as I sensed Him speaking to me.
1. His Deliverance – The scripture says, “When Pharaoh let the people go.’ In my mind, this really wasn’t a decision that Pharaoh wanted to make. It seems to me that the better wording would be, “when God forced Pharaoh to let the people go.” The Egyptians had enjoyed the servitude of the Israelites for over 400 years and candidly, had become accustomed to having someone else do their work. So turning loose of their free labor was not an easy process. In fact, God basically decimated all of Egyptian mythology in the 10 plagues. Literally, God had to pry open the hand, mind, and heart of Pharaoh for Pharaoh to “let the people go.” It kind of like ‘classification in the military.’ In the military, Classification is where they let you pick out what THEY want you to be. Pharaoh had a great thing going with the Israelites and yet it was bondage for ‘The people.’ So God stepped in, and through the ministry of Moses, He delivered the people.
• Kim Duk-Soo was found by North Korean soldiers in the family cellar on November 20, 1950. He and his father, a Presbyterian pastor for 42 years, were taken to prison and told they would be executed in the morning. His father told him they could not tell a lie to save their lives. That evening, a captain approached Kim. "Are you a Christian?" For a fleeting moment, life for a lie seemed the only logical way to go. But the young boy remembered his father’s instruction. "I am a Christian," Kim said. The captain drew closer, and whispered, "I am a Christian too. I used to be a Sunday school teacher before the war. You must escape tonight. I will help you." Kim fled that night, having to leave his father under heavy guard awaiting his eventual death. Kim made it to an American base and played the organ for the chapel. "I should have been killed after the Communists found me, but God sent that Christian guard to help me escape.”
• Candidly, you and I should be judged and punished for our sins, yet, God sent Jesus to us, just like He sent Moses to the Children of Israel, to deliver us from the punishment that was ours. God is in the delivering business. The Psalmist says, “The Lord is my deliverer” – what I will call us to is not to forget what God has delivered us from!
God’s Gifts to Us – Pg 2
2. His Discernment – (V 17b). One of the most difficult lessons to learn is that “God knows best.” In the 1950’s there was a TV show entitled “Father Knows Best.” God uses His discernment and knows which way we should not and conversely, what way we should go. The northern route would have arguably been the quickly and as far as just the journey goes, it might have been the easiest. However, God knew 2 more things; He knew the strength of the enemy as well as the faith of His people. The outcome would have been greatly different if the people had made a decision independent of God’s leader, Moses, and even God Himself.
• Babbie Mason wrote these words, “God is too wise to be mistaken. God is too good to be unkind. When you don’t understand and can’t see His plan, when can’t trace His hand, TRUST HIS HEART.”
• God uses every bit of his sovereignty to care for His people. All that He does is done for YOUR good and HIS glory. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our strengths, our weaknesses, our faults, and our failure, and He has a plan for us. He didn’t take the COI through the northern way because they would easily become discouraged.
3. His Development – (V 18). Notice a couple of things about this verse; they didn’t leave like wild children, rather they left in formation. This means God’s leader gave them instructions as to the “how” of the exit. The impact of 1.2 million people leaving in a disorganized manner would have sent the wrong signals & would have made them immediately vulnerable. Then, instead of putting more on them than they could handle. God took them another way. Once again, God’s discernment comes through as He knew the shallowness of their faith & that a military conflict would send many of them packing back into Egypt. (This is what happens to new converts who are abandoned too quickly) Instead of God leading them Northeast through the land of the Philistines where military altercation would have been the order of the day, God took them another way and put them in a place where they would have to trust Him. He took them down to the Red Sea. It was at the Red Sea where their faith would be tried and tested. (Red Sea Poem) God’s Gift is to develop us & our faith.