Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’


THIS was as it should be. There was no attempt to keep an accurate account of what was given to the service of God. Even Solomon‘s left hand did not know what his right hand did. There is a tendency in all of us to keep a strict account of what we give to God. We note it down in our ledgers; we rigorously observe the compact into which we have entered with Him; but the loftiest form of devotion overleaps such calculation.

This liberality of the people reminds us of Mary‘s. She never thought of the great cost of the precious spikenard which she broke over the Master‘s person. It was her joy to give her all; and it was only when Judas came on the scene, that we learn how many hundred pence it was worth. Thus the churches of Macedonia abounded from their deep poverty unto the riches of their liberality, so that, beyond their power, they gave to the cause of God.

This lavish generosity is the reflection of God’s. There is no measure in his bounty. It is heaped up, pressed down, and running over. He never says, I will give up to a certain amount, and hold my hand; but He continues to give like the overflowings of the river of Egypt, or the abundance of the spring flowers, which cover the earth as with a carpet. Ah, what a God is ours, who loves with a love that passeth knowledge; and when He gives, exceeds abundance, however much we may have asked or thought. How truly may we say with the psalmist, “Many, 0 Lord my God, are the wonderful works that Thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us ward. They cannot be reckoned up in order unto Thee; if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.”

http://devotionals.ochristian.com/f-b-meyer-devotional.shtml

 


“Listen…and I will give you some advice.”                               Ex 18:19 NIV

As a leader, it’s your job to see that things get done. But as the workload grows you will have to find people with talents equal to the task; otherwise you will stop growing. So what keeps us from seeking out the right people and delegating the right tasks to them? (1) Past hurts: Somebody let us down so we’re reluctant to trust anybody. (2) Pride: We don’t want to share the credit with others. (3) Perfectionism: We are not willing to be put at risk while people with potential learn on the job, so our vision bottlenecks and everything bogs down. Moses had this problem with Israel. Here’s how he solved it: “Moses’ father-in-law replied, ‘What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice…You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him…But select capable men from all the people…and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. If you do this…you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.’ Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said” (vv.17-24 NIV). If you want to be a good leader, follow his example!

http://theencouragingword.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/growing-into-leadership-5/


Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe.” — Genesis 12:10

The Torah portion for this week, Lech Lecha, is from Genesis 12:1—17:27 and Isaiah 40:27–41:16.

The Torah portion begins with all sorts of promises to Abraham if he takes up the challenge to journey to the Holy Land. God will bless him and make him into a great nation. He will be the recipient of every imaginable blessing.

Abraham listened to God’s word and made the difficult move to an unknown land. And then what happened? He wasn’t there very long and “there was a famine in the land . . .” Abraham had no choice but to move to Egypt.

Huh? What happened to the blessings that God promised? Abraham kept his part of the bargain. Why didn’t God keep His?

This story comes to mind:  There once was a farmer who owned a horse. One day the horse ran away. All the people in the town came to console the farmer. “Oh, I don’t know,” he said, “maybe it’s a bad thing and maybe it’s not.”

A few days later, the horse returned to the farm accompanied by 20 other horses. (Apparently the horse had made some friends!) All the townspeople came to congratulate the farmer:  “Now you have a stable full of horses!” “Oh, I don’t know,” said the farmer, “maybe it’s a good thing and maybe it’s not.”

A few days later, the farmer’s son was out riding one of the new horses. The horse got wild and threw him off, breaking the son’s leg. All of the people in town came to console the farmer because of the accident. Again he said, “Oh, I don’t know, maybe it’s a bad thing and maybe it’s not.”

A few days later, the government declared war and instituted a draft of all able-bodied young men. They came to the town and carted off hundreds of young men, except for the farmer’s son who had a broken leg. “Now I know,” said the farmer, “It was a good thing my horse ran away!”

Abraham knew that he didn’t know. He didn’t know God’s plan. He didn’t know what was really good for him or what was really bad. All he knew was that God had made a promise and that somehow it would be fulfilled. Ultimately, Abraham and Sarah come out of Egypt, completely unharmed, and now, very wealthy.

Friends, when life takes us on all sorts of strange twists and turns, let us remember that it’s not we who are driving the car. The Lord Almighty is guiding us, and He knows exactly where we need to be. Sometimes it seems that things aren’t going the way that they should be, but we must have faith that it’s all part of God’s plan. Our job is to keep on trucking, and God will take care of the blessings.

http://www.holylandmoments.org/devotionals/keep-on-trucking


“The…years of abundance…came to an end.”                          Ge 41:53 NIV

The Bible says: “Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain…The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food” (vv.49-54 NIV). In his book Surviving Financial Meltdown, Ron Blue teaches us some valuable principles for achieving financial security: (1) Think long-term. The longer term your perspective, the better financial decisions you’ll make. Set goals in writing for the future. Invest for the long term and worry less about short-term ups and downs in your investment portfolio. (2) Spend less than you earn. To accomplish this you need to know what you’re earning and what you’re spending. Make a spending plan (or, if we dare use that loathed term, a budget). Monitor how you’re doing. Develop the self-control to avoid overspending. If you consistently spend less than you earn over a long period of time, you will do well financially. (3) Maintain emergency savings. A reserve set aside will help you ride out the surprises life throws at you. You must spend less than you earn to build savings. Savings will then help you avoid debt. These principles work together. (4) Minimize the use of debt. Debt increases risk. It may allow you to do more and have more now, but it will reduce your ability to have more in the future. These four financial principles are so simple that they may easily be overlooked, yet they’ve stood the test of time.

http://theencouragingword.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/how-to-achieve-financial-security/


In course of time the Midianites conquered the Israelites. To escape them the Israelites made for themselves dens in the mountains and caves and strongholds. When the Israelites had sown their crops, the Midianites would come up and leave nothing for the Israelites to live on, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass; for they came up with their cattle and their tents. The Israelites were so robbed by the Midianites, that they cried to Jehovah for help.

Then the angel of Jehovah came and sat down under the oak which was in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezerite; and his son, Gideon, was beating out wheat in the wine-press to hide it from the Midianites. The angel of Jehovah appeared to him and said, “Jehovah is with you, able warrior!” Gideon said to him, “O my lord, if Jehovah is with us, why then has all this overtaken us? Where are all his wonderful acts of which our fathers told us, saying, ‘Did not Jehovah bring us from Egypt?’ But now Jehovah has cast us off and given us into the power of the Midianites.”

Then Jehovah turned to him and said, “With this strength which you have go and save Israel from the rule of the Midianites: do I not send you?” But Gideon said to him, “O Jehovah, how can I save Israel? See, my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” Jehovah said to him, “I will surely be with you, and you shall overthrow the Midianites as if they were only one man.”

Then the spirit of Jehovah took possession of Gideon, and he sounded the war trumpet, and the Abiezerites assembled under his leadership. He also sent messengers throughout all the land of the Manassites, and they assembled under his leadership; and he sent messengers to the Asherites, the Zebulunites, and the Naphtalites, and they went up to join him. But Jehovah said to Gideon, “You have too many people with you; if I give the Midianites up to the Israelites they will boast, ‘We have saved ourselves!’ Therefore, proclaim to your people, ‘Whoever is afraid may go home.'”

Then Gideon separated them, so that twenty-two thousand of the people went back home, but ten thousand stayed. But Jehovah said to him, “The people are still too many; take them down to the water, and I will try them out for you there. Every one of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ shall go with you; and every one of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ shall not go.”

So Gideon brought the people down to the water. And Jehovah said to him, “You shall put by themselves all who lap the water with their tongues, as a dog laps, and all who kneel down on their knees to drink by themselves.” The number of those who lapped with their tongue, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men; but all the rest of the people knelt down on their knees to drink. Then Jehovah said to Gideon, “By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you and deliver the Midianites into your hands. Let all the rest of the people go home.” So they took the food that the people had in their hands, and their trumpets; and Gideon sent home all the other Israelites, keeping only the three hundred men.

Then Gideon came to the Jordan and crossed it, and the three hundred men were with him, faint yet pursuing. And he said to the men of Succoth, “Give, I beg of you, loaves of bread to the people who follow me, for they are faint and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.” But the rulers of Succoth said, “Are Zebah and Zalmunna already in your power that we should give bread to your band?” Gideon replied, “When Jehovah has delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into my power, for this insult I will thrash your bare flesh with desert thorns and briers.” He went on from there to Penuel and made the same request of the men of Penuel, but they made the same answer as the men of Succoth. To the men of Penuel he also said, “When I come back victorious, I will break down this tower.”

Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and their forces were with them, in all about fifteen thousand men. Gideon went up by the caravan road and surprised the horde as it was encamped with no fear of being attacked. He divided the three hundred men into three companies. Into the hands of all of them he put horns and empty earthen jars. In each jar was a torch. He also said to them, “Watch me and do as I do. When I reach the outside of the camp and those who are with me blow a blast on the horn, then you also shall blow your horns on every side of the camp and cry, ‘For Jehovah and Gideon!'”

So Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the outside of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when guards had just been posted; and they blew the horns and broke in pieces the jars that were in their hands. The two other companies also broke their jars, took the torches in their left hands and their swords in their right, and cried, “The Sword of Jehovah and of Gideon.” And as they stood where they were, about the camp, the entire horde awoke, sounded the alarm, and fled. Zebah and Zalmunna also fled; but Gideon followed and captured the two kings of Midian and threw all the horde into a panic.

When Gideon returned from the battle, he captured a young man who lived at Succoth. At Gideon’s request he wrote down for him the names of the rulers of Succoth and its leading men. There were seventy-seven in all. When Gideon came to the men of Succoth, he said, “See, here are Zebah and Zalmunna about whom you mocked me, saying, ‘Are Zebah and Zalmunna already in your power that we should give bread to your men who are weary?'” Then he took desert thorns and briers, and with these he thrashed the leading men of Succoth. He also broke down the tower of Penuel and put to death the men of the town.

Then Gideon said to Zebah and Zalmunna, “What kind of men were those whom you killed at Tabor?” They replied, “They were just like you; each of them looked like a prince.” Gideon said, “They were my own brothers, the sons of my mother. As surely as Jehovah lives, if you had saved them alive, I would not kill you now.”

Then he said to Jether, his oldest son, “Up and kill them.” But the boy did not draw his sword, because he was afraid, for he was only a boy. Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, “Get up yourself and fall upon us; for a man has a man’s strength!” So Gideon rose and killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and took the crescents that were on their camels’ necks.

Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, and not only you but your son and your son’s son after you, for you have saved us from the power of the Midianites.” Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you; Jehovah shall rule over you; but let me make one request of you: let every man give me the ear-rings from his spoil” (for they had golden ear-rings, because they were desert dwellers). They answered, “Certainly, we will give them.” So they spread out a blanket and each man threw into it the ear-rings from his spoil. The weight of the golden ear-rings for which he had asked was nearly seventy pounds of gold. Then Gideon made of the gold a priestly robe to wear when asking questions of Jehovah, and placed it in his own city, Ophrah.

Gideon died at a good old age and was buried in the tomb of Joash, his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezerites.

http://kids.ochristian.com/Childrens-Bible/Gideons-Brave-Band.shtml

 


“The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16 NASB

Quite frankly, I’m “out” on posh restaurants that have things on the menu you can’t even pronounce and nothing to show for it but two bites of fish and an empty wallet! All I want is a full plate of food, thank you!

Which reminds me of how the Israelites must have felt when, soon after their miraculous escape from Egypt, their stomachs started rumbling. They started grumbling, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death” (Exodus 16:3). A lot could be said about their lack of faith in that moment, but notice God’s immediate, generous response: “I will rain down bread from heaven for you” (Exodus 16:4). The people then gathered as much as they could eat. How great is that?! You’d think, after that, they would have never again doubted God’s generosity and His power to supply all their needs.

Wrong.

Unfortunately, we are often a lot like them. In times of distress, it’s easy to forget God’s past generosity and to doubt what God can do—or even what He is willing to do—about our problem. We find ourselves grumbling, “Why doesn’t He do ‘more’ for me?” But we need to be “out” on that kind of thinking, because, actually, God is a God of abundant generosity. In fact, I like to think of Him as a God of “muchness”—with both the desire and capacity to fill our lives with His goodness and grace.

In James 5:1-20 we see the contrast between the leanness of our lives and the muchness of God. James mentions suffering, sickness, and sin—three constant realities that underscore the fact that we are impoverished, needy people. And the antidote is found in prayer. Not ritualistic, passionless prayer, but prayer that is rooted in the reality of our leanness and our desperation for God’s muchness. As James reminds us, “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16).

God, I praise You for Your generosity and desperately need You to replace my leanness with Your “muchness.” Please keep me from grumbling, and turn my attention toward the incredible and abundant spiritual blessings that You provide to Your children. In Jesus’ name, amen. (NASB)

YOUR JOURNEY…

  • In what ways are you “lean”? In what ways is God “much”?
  • Do you think your prayer life is “effective”? Why or why not? If not, how can you increase its effectiveness?
  • What is the key to unlocking the “muchness” of God in your life?

http://getmorestrength.org/daily/the-muchness-of-god/


. . . when Moses was grown . . . he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens —Exodus 2:11

Moses saw the oppression of his people and felt certain that he was the one to deliver them, and in the righteous indignation of his own spirit he started to right their wrongs. After he launched his first strike for God and for what was right, God allowed Moses to be driven into empty discouragement, sending him into the desert to feed sheep for forty years. At the end of that time, God appeared to Moses and said to him, ” ’. . . bring My people . . . out of Egypt.’ But Moses said to God, ’Who am I that I should go . . . ?’ ” (Exodus 3:10-11). In the beginning Moses had realized that he was the one to deliver the people, but he had to be trained and disciplined by God first. He was right in his individual perspective, but he was not the person for the work until he had learned true fellowship and oneness with God.

We may have the vision of God and a very clear understanding of what God wants, and yet when we start to do it, there comes to us something equivalent to Moses’ forty years in the wilderness. It’s as if God had ignored the entire thing, and when we are thoroughly discouraged, God comes back and revives His call to us. And then we begin to tremble and say, “Who am I that I should go . . . ?” We must learn that God’s great stride is summed up in these words— “I AM WHO I AM . . . has sent me to you” (Exodus 3:14). We must also learn that our individual effort for God shows nothing but disrespect for Him— our individuality is to be rendered radiant through a personal relationship with God, so that He may be “well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). We are focused on the right individual perspective of things; we have the vision and can say, “I know this is what God wants me to do.” But we have not yet learned to get into God’s stride. If you are going through a time of discouragement, there is a time of great personal growth ahead.

http://utmost.org/individual-discouragement-and-personal-growth/