‘I AM’ Bible Study Lesson Nine ‘A Set Up for a Show Up’
“But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in Egypt.” Exodus 7:3
Welcome back, girls! I am so excited to have you back for this very special week in our study. We are making the transition from God as our Sufficiency to God as our Fame. We are also phasing out of our time in Egypt and looking forward to an abundant land of peace and plenty. Spiritually speaking, we are moving from a place of dwelling on our past trials and afflictions to one where we are more than conquerors through Christ who strengthens us!
I have always been intrigued by the concept of the fame of the Lord. It is mind-boggling to discover God is our identity and likewise we are His. How utterly terrifying to think that how others respond to our God is directly tied to what and how much they have heard about Him from us! In the same manner, our fame as a woman of God is directly tied to the mighty acts He has done on our behalf. I can not wait to explore this idea for the next four weeks.
We will be taking a couple of side roads during this Chapter into the lives of Rahab and the Apostle Paul. Today, however, I want us to see a Divine Set Up for a Divine Show Up. God orchestrated the harsh servitude of the Israelites and used the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart ‘in order to multiply His wonders in Egypt.’ The Egyptians may not have heard of the God of Israel before the Exodus, but He would not remain anonymous for long!
I should preface this next paragraph with a *NERD ALERT*. I love archaeology and ancient history so the following information may not ring your bell, but I hope you will see how important it is in considering the plight of the Israelites in Egypt.
In my studies I learned something I find incredibly interesting. Prior to the slavery of the Israelites in Egypt, there is no archaeological evidence of any people group being enslaved or oppressed in the harsh manner in which the Hebrews were. This site has a lot of information about the Egyptian labor relations. Keep in mind when you look at this webpage as well as many others like it that most secular archaelogists do not believe the Israelites ever inhabited Egypt because of the lack of archaeological evidence. A great place for an explanation of this is Christian Answers. However, I want to emphasize that based on the papyrii that have been found, the Egyptian society was one that prided itself on treating slaves well. It is important to keep in mind slaves were not what we consider slaves today. Most of these individuals in effect sold themselves into slavery to pay off debt and were often in a much better situation providing this service, called ‘corvee’, than their previous station afforded them. What you will also find is that workers were granted time off to worship their gods. Why did it all change with the Israelites? Why were they treated so harshly and denied the basic rights of workers the Egyptian government had previously allowed? Sounds like a Set Up for a Show Up to me.
What??? You mean God would orchestrate misery? He would create a situation whereby we could be oppressed? Yes and Yes. Now before you get all freaked out on me, understand that this is not the case every time and that, as the prince of this world, Satan has also the power to create chaos and pain. The difference is that where Satan has our failure and destruction in mind, God is instead creating a situation whereby we can be sanctified and He can be glorified. Chastisement by the Lord is a concept clearly taught in Scripture (Hebrews 12) and though we often pout up like children when we receive it, we can also be confident it is a God who loves us as a Father who administered it. With a Job-like response to Satan’s schemes, we can also take what he means for evil and react to that thing in a way which will give make God famous. Can you even imagine God in His throne room saying to Satan, “Have you considered my servant, (your name here)” and Him knowing you will not fail Him? Let it be, Dear Lord, let it be!
I believe where Jesus used parables for spiritual application in the New Testament, God used role-play in the Old. To make the Israelites understand the bondage of sin, He forced them to suffer physical bondage to such a degree they would never want to go back. Unfortunately, they often did fall in to rebellion, but God was always able to say, “Do you remember what it was like when you were in Egypt?” and immediately they had an experience to draw back on to understand exactly what God was trying to free them from. Because God had so much to teach Israel and ‘those who are far off’, I believe He created a ‘new thing’ never before seen, this harsh institution of slavery, to serve as a visual to teach generations about sin and the effects of disobedience. I know I have been crushed under the consequence of sin many times when I prayed to God, “If you will just help me out of this, I’ll never do it again”. Sometimes I do, but most times I don’t because I remember what it was like to be in that Egypt. There are some lessons we want to only have to learn once!
I have often wondered when Moses went to Pharaoh with his Tool of Wonders in hand if he thought Pharaoh would just say, “Sure, okay. You want to leave? Take off!” Remember God had warned Moses that only a mighty hand would compel Pharaoh to let the people go, but Moses nor the Israelites were ready for circumstances to become immediately worse before they got better. The Israelites found themselves being forced to not only make bricks as before, but to collect their own materials to do so. “Why Lord?”, Moses asked. “You haven’t done a thing for these people but make life harder. Why did you even send me?”
Oh, girls, here is where it gets good.
Are there any of you out there who will raise your hands to the fact that rock bottom is the place where God is most visible? Gideon would. He started with an army of 32,000 men to fight against the Midianites yet God whittled the number down to 300 so there could be no other possible explanation for the victory save for realization there is a God who works on behalf of His covenant people. (Judges 7) God shines most brilliantly in dark places and the Israelite’s plight was no different. The show with Pharaoh was on. Little did he know he was about to be the recipient of ‘multiplied wonders’. I pray I am never the dark side of the Light Show!
“Now, Moses, you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh.” Now, you shall see. When all hope is gone, when things can not get any worse. When the debt is crushing, when the husband is unfaithful. When the child is wayward, when the friend betrays, when the health is gone. Now is when you are in a place to credit God for a deliverance only He can bring. And what happens as a result? When you proclaim what He has done on your behalf, You will make your God famous. Those who hear will either respond in worship, fear, or denial. We will discuss in future lessons the implications of each of these.
Know this as we end today – When an oppression is set up, whether it originated in heart of God or the hate of Satan, expect God to show up. He will. Every.single.time. Our responsibility is to make sure people know what He did for you when He got there.
“I AM your fame, and thou art mine.”
Blessed be Yahweh!
1. On a scale of 1 to 10, rate yourself on how often your conversation is seasoned with the works of the Lord on your behalf? If you speak very little of Him, is there a reason you know of? If you speak often, how do people respond?
2. Have you experienced a Set Up for a Show Up when you were uncertain whether the situation was the chastisement of the Lord or a temptation of Satan?
3. Have you ever or are you now experiencing any Job trials where you can still not identify any wrong-doing on your part?
4. Apply this principle: How can my response make my God famous? Will obedience result in my sanctification and God’s Glory?
5. Does the origin of our affliction matter in view of the fame God can gain from it?
I really enjoyed todays study
God is so good
This was really good today, Lisa. Thank you so much for all the effort and work you ;ut into this. It really is a blessing in my quiet time this morning…
This might be my favorite lesson thus far. Though I don’t have the time to post on it, know that I will be pondering how this applies to my life!
I can FEEL God’s passion and fire in you, Lisa. I can’t wait to complete this today. (((hugs)))
Let me say that this was a GREAT lesson. Thank you so much. I am thrilled to be on this journey with you and the rest of my sistas in Christ! I am hugging you back.
Your blog is set to “invite only” and your email is ‘no reply’..didn’t know if you knew it? we are trying to visit you! :))
Good stuff, Lisa!
Lisa…I have to say, I’m with some of the other girls..I think this lesson is my favorite so far! I tend to read blogs in bits and pieces (due to you know, Life getting in the way of my blogging) Anyway, I read most of this earlier today and pondered on it while out doing my business…then came home and finished the rest…checked my voicemail to find a great blessing from above…after that same voicemail delivered me quite the let down just yesterday!….Thank you so much for all the time and effort you put into this study. I don’t know that you’ll ever truly know how much or how many you have blessed through it!
This was an awesome lesson Lisa!! Thanks so much for challenging me to look for opportunites, or rather, accept those that God has placed in my life, that MAKE HIM FAMOUS!! Have a great week!!
Wonderful lesson Lisa. Sorry I’m so late posting.
Lisa I am amazed at this entire series. This lesson has spoke into my life so much. Thank you!
Lisa I immediately recalled my Mom’s testimony of God’s fame through this I Am study. Thanks for your willingness to share!!!
Oh, how well do I know that through trials, God is there! My sister and I spread the fame of God right in the hall of the hospital, after hearing our prayers answered for our Mom, who was on a jet to another hospital for a heart transplant. Hands raised, crying, praising God….you don’t think others heard….did I mention that they escorted us to a “private room”…it didn’t hold us either.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!!!!!!!!!!!
Note: for those of you who don’t know the rest of the story….Mom was healed….no transplant needed!!!!! We are still spreading his fame!!!!!!!!
I have been out of town, but logged on here to work on the study. Thanks for putting in the work on this. I finally have my answers up.
Thanks again. I’m finally caught up! Very timely, as always.
This week’s study gave me such encouragment and hope!! Thanks so much Lisa! And wow oh wow to Carries comment about her mom. Praise the Lord! He is the famous one!
Sorry, I’m late getting on board…
what a wonderful study as always..
and thank you for taking the time.
blessings this week…
This is beautiful and encouraging. I just found you through some links, I think from e-mom? Thank you for blessing me.
Okay, I have been putting my wrong address in here and thank you Nise’ for bringing that to my attention. I think I have corrected it. I am looking forward to our next lesson!! Have a great Monday!
Once again I am running behind. And God has led me to open myself and share from my heart. Thank you for this lesson. I had a look back at how far I have come thanks be to God!
I kept feeling like I was behind, but now I’m ahead of the new study…I’m thinking that I am probably exactly where I need to be today.
This was a great lesson, Lisa. Thanks again for putting your heart into it.
This reminds me of when I worked with a lady who did not know Jesus yet, and she was being let go from her job. (“restructuring the department”) I felt God telling me to ask her if I could pray about that for her. I had this argument with Him–couldn’t I just pray without telling her? She hated Christians. I didn’t want her to know I was one of “them” because then I thought she wouldn’t like me and she would talk about me the way she did other people! God had other plans.
God insisted. So I did finally. Instead of being ugly to me, she thanked me. I guess there were two people who needed to hear from God, hmmm?
She did get another job very shortly after. If I had not been obedient, God would not have gotten a chance to show up and “show off” for her.
Lisa, it’s amazing how timely this study is. I couldn’t answer one of the questions because it didn’t quite fit, but I believe my family is headed for some spiritual building time! Please pray that we will hear God correctly in the decisions we make in the coming months. Please pray that we will remain in Him always!
Still with ya! And it’s always amazing how the Lord can use the scripture to give us just what we need where we are at the time. Been to the TN Valley Women Retreat this past weekend and He has intertwined my study here with the one there and the one with my regular Bible study gals. Gotta love that!Thanks again for sharing from your heart!
I’m starting back!! And I SO enjoyed this lesson! :)
I posted the one comment,then I tried again and it wouldn’t let me. It says you have enabled moderator on your comments and you have to approve them before it posts. Do you need to add me or something. Anyway if you check my blog I can respond when you comment.
Thank you again for this study! I have enjoyed it, and it’s really opened my eyes to a lot of things!
Thank you for reminding me of the “Fame of God” and “Set Up to Show Up”. Praise God my toes have gotten a day of rest, and God has been whispering do you remember Sallye?
Thank you. I don’t really have much more to say than that. God is really using you to poke at some tender areas of my life and I know He has a plan for it… so thanks.
Yup I’m done. Wow it makes you dig in a little doesn’t it.
But it’s good.
This lesson got me looking back, both at my journal & blog posts. It was amazing to see how I was struggling with “waiting” on God’s will to begin to come into the next phase of my journey & then realizing just how it has & it’s been just over six months since I’ve entered that next phase! How cool! Makes me even more thankful & strengthens my faith in God even more!
I have been doing this study on the side and on my own as I don’t have a blog. I know I am a late participant, but I am really getting a lot out of your posts. This one gave me the most to think about. Here is what I wrote at the end of my journal after I answered your 5 questions;
I really liked this study. I followed all the links to the history of Egypt and the archeological finds that are now supporting the time of Isreal in Egypt. I find the topic very interesting and I am tired of “scholars” trying to debunk the Bible. My father has worked in this field for many years and he started as an Old Testament scholar. I was pleased to see names of some his colleagues and friends on the site of “Christian answers”.
I should model my behavior after my father too. He spent all of his adult career at institutions where being a Christian was not okay. Many of his colleagues are on the teams that are trying to disprove the Bible. He remained a strong witness and true to his faith through it all. I would give his score on the first question a 9. I also should not allow the skeptics to make a skeptic of me. I read books that describe (like the first link did) the Bible as a set of stories and allegories, not historical fact. Some like to say that the Exodus did not actually go to the land we know as Israel, but went south to the area now known as Saudi Arabia. There’s so much of this out there today! Satan’s tool is misinformation, lies, deceit, and he preys on our weakness and in people like me, he likes to present his lies as logic. My recent prayer is one of repentance to God for having such a weak faith and for not witnessing more effectively, and for buying in to these lies.
Thanks again for this study. I hope you don’t mind keeping it posted for a LONG time…. :)
Thanks again Lisa for a great study. I’m going to sound like a broken record.
Where is Mr. Linky? Here are my answers: