They heard of God’s concern, and…

open-bible 2This passage spoke to me today as I was reading in my morning devotional time.

“So the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord was concerned about the sons of Israel and that He had seen their affliction, then they bowed low and worshiped.”
Exodus 4:31.

The people of Israel were in Egypt for 400 years. The latter years were dramatically more difficult that the former because the leadership of the nation changed following Joseph’s death. (Never mind a sermon on how God has to, at times, increase our discomfort to get us to move on with the mission). Pharoah really hammered the people and the more he tried to break them physically, emotionally, and even spiritually, they grew increasingly desperate in their cries to God.

Then Moses arrives on the scene. He approaches the people, demonstrates, his credentials (which were nothing but the working of God through him…which is another sermon in itself), and the people saw a glimmer of hope.

They HEARD that God cared about them. This is an important step that we miss. Many of God’s people are busy explaining how God is angry with their conduct. The focus at times is on how God is concerned with everyone else BUT the people we speak to. What moved these people though was their understanding that God was concerned for them.

God had SEEN their affliction. What an encouraging thought that God sees every transgression, failure, victim, and perpetrator. He sees. He sees! There is nothing that you and I experience that God doesn’t see! Furthermore, He voiced His concern and demonstrated that He was seeking to rectify the matter. (It is why He raised up Moses).

And the people BOWED LOW and WORSHIPED. The response of the people upon realizing that God sees and is concerned is humility and worship. It was not God’s awareness fo their sinfulness and lack of faith that provoked worship. God met them exactly where they were. There would be many days ahead to address faithlessness, but today, what provoked worship, was realizing God’s concern.

For the preacher today…”Message received.” Perhaps you hear the same thing. Today, remind people that God is concerned. He sees. He is able. He is active. He deserves worship.

Blessings, CA

A Love That Sacrifices Twice

moses-in-the-river-story-pictureIn most children’s bibles, the story of Moses appears in its expectedly “sanitized rendition” of a clean riverside and a waterproof bassinet. On a leisurely stroll to the river to bathe, Pharoah’s daughter finds the baby, pays for his welfare and frolics away with her giggling entourage back to the palace.

As I grew a bit in my faith and also as a parent, I came to recognize and better appreciate the sacrifice of Moses’ mother in placing Moses in the basket…and the providence of God (particularly) in providing for Moses to be nursed by his own mother while on the payroll of Pharoah’s daughter. (Go God!!) Today, however, as I read this passage again, I came to recognize an additional expression of Moses’ mother’s love that I had previous failed to fully appreciate.

This precious woman not only released her son once to save his life (Ex 2:1-4), but she did so a second time as well…to give him a great opportunity.

Then Pharoah’s daughter said to [Moses’ mother], ‘Take this child away and nurse him for me and I will give you your wages.’ So the woman took the child and nursed him. The child grew, and she brought him to Pharoah’s daughter and he became her son.(Exodus 2:9-10a, emphasis added).

Think about this for a moment. What pain this must have been for Moses’ mother! She not only dealt with the heart-wrenching experience of having to hide her son by the river to save his life…now she has to release him to another woman to be HER son to give him the best life possible. Could she have done differently? Perhaps today she would have hired an attorney and called a press conference. Perhaps today she would have slipped away under the cover of darkness and become a refugee in a foreign land. Still…reverberating in the back of her mind is this thought…”what kind of life would that be for him?”

So she takes him as a young boy and delivers him to Pharoah’s daughter to raise as her own. Now, I am not a mother…but I am married to one and, on top of that, was raised by one. I can say from experiencing them up close and personally, this was perhaps the most excruciating decision a mother could make. Still…it is precisely the decision required of every parent and even of every child of God. We do immensely difficult things for the benefit of others and against our own self-interest. We do so because we recognize that it is far more noble to love others sacrificially than to guard our own self-interest.

Now the applications are endless. Seriously, there are endless ways to apply this. I have a couple of personal applications in my mind now…for me…but what about you?

  • Is it time to risk a friendship to share the gospel and maybe see a friend made so for eternity?
  • Is it time to give up the “mom (or dad) as best friend” status in order to be the best parent?
  • Is it time to risk rejection or failure to do what is ultimately of greater value?

The story of Moses’ mother was not placed here just to give a historical record. It serves as an example of noble living and it calls to us to live and do likewise.

How will you live this out today and the days ahead?