God’s threat to destroy the people and make a great nation from Moses in their stead brought about his first intercession on behalf of this obstinate people. Moses appealed to God’s relationship to Israel, His promise to the Patriarchs, and, most importantly for our lesson today, His reputation in the eyes of the Egyptians.
I can think of many times when I have withheld punishment from my own children in public because of what I thought others would think of me or them. It is natural to want people to think we have it all together, that our children are well-behaved, and that we have a measure of self-control. That does not mean I do not exert punishment. It just means I choose not to air my dirty laundry. There are just some things that need to be dealt with in private. It’s also like fighting with your mama. We girls can say anything about her we want, but our hubbies had better not dare! (Love you, mom…I don’t talk about you by the way:)
Moses’ appeal to God was based on keeping it in the family. God had redeemed Israel with an outstretched arm from a horribly oppressive government, and though His people deserved punishment, it was not in God’s best interests for Egypt to know all the details. There would be times in Israel’s future when God allowed them to be a people of scorn as an example to other nations of the consequences of disobedience. However, this was not one of those times. In these days, when His Name was being written across the sky in a pillar of smoke and fire, God chose to deal with his rowdy children closer to home.
God’s longsuffering will never undermine His divine judgement. I know I have walked in seasons of disobedience that I do not know why God didn’t knock me flat on my back immediately. I truly believe He wanted me to experience a full range of consequences before He finally put an end to my obstinance. Because of the ministry to women I believe He has given me, it has been necessary to understand in great detail different issues you may be facing. I have found myself in messes and thought, “Why in the world am I in this awful place?”
His response? And I do mean one of the most clear responses I have ever received from the Lord? “For her.”
I didn’t understand this whisper then. Now I know that ‘her’ is ‘you’. And because I am finally able to know you, I am so much more grateful for what afflictions He has allowed if it will benefit you in any way. If those trials can not be redeemed by causing you to know there is hope and a resurrection for any situation, then they were simply wasted tears and we both know there is no such thing! Psalm 56:8 says,
“You have taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book? Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call; This I know, that God is for me.”
“All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful, yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”
Praise Him for a Divine Time Out! ‘See to it that no root of bitterness springs up, defiling many.'(Hebrews 12:15)
His Name and yours is at stake. Let’s talk about it a bit in our discussion.
1. Have you ever experienced trials that were best dealt with “in the family” for either your reputation’s sake or God’s? You may still choose to leave them there, but you are welcome to share if you are comfortable.
2. Have you ever found yourself in a bizarre circumstance and later were able to walk someone through the same/similar situation? Did you recognize the hand of God in it?
3. I was in my late twenties before I ever let myself believe God was for me instead of waiting to smack me upside the head everytime I made a mistake. Do you truly believe God is on your side?
4. If God has ever had you in the Holy Spirit Chokehold (and who hasn’t He?), how have you reacted to God’s chastisement? Were you bitter? Brokenhearted? Grateful?
5. Write a brief prayer of Thanksgiving for God’s longsuffering.
Sign the Linky below if you are posting your responses on your blog. Remember, link to your post, not your homepage, for ease in surfing…Also, please link back to the Bible Study in your post so others can locate it….Thank you!!
Blessings on your brain and heart as you meditate on His word! :)
I have learned and you should know that when He has you by the neck, it is only because He loves you. Remember, He is for you! He wants to make your name great, for His own Glory. If this is a current struggle, read Hebrews 12. There is no great encouragement in all of Scripture! Hebrews 12:11 reads,
“Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, ‘With evil intent He brought them out to kill them in the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth? Turn from your burning anger and change Your mind about doing harm to Your people.” Exodus 32:12