Tag Archives: Moses

God’s Call is Irresistible 

Whatever begins as an unexpected call or starts in a small way tends to have potentials for becoming great especially when handled with seriousness of purpose. What has an end must surely have had a beginning, great or small. If at first there is a feeling of inadequacy, it is not unusual to first appear like that, but a Christian should know or is expected to have learnt the biblical history of characters like Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Jeremiah, Peter, and even Saul, who after conversion became Paul the Apostle. Moses and Jeremiah openly tried to adduce reason why they were not qualified to be a Prophet of God.
When the sin of the then world was too much for God to condone, He called on Noah to build an ark in which those qualified to be spared were to be kept when there was to be a deluge to wipe out the exceedingly sinful people. He obeyed by following the dictate of God concerning the measurement as well as the type of wood to use. No one has ever built an ark like that; so Noah was only daintily following instructions from God without any template to adopt.The people confronted him with discouraging attitude but he remained undaunted. At the end, he was saved along with the specified people, plants and animals as well as birds, while others perished in the deluge.
Abraham did start life as Abram before God asked him to leave his fatherland and go to a place he would show him. It was more or less a wild goose chase. God knew before hand what stuff Abram was made of. He obeyed and set out with his father Terar, Sarai his wife, and his nephew Lot. Based on his character and love of God along the line, his name was changed to Abraham – Father of many nations. Tripartite covenant began from him and God fulfilled it all. God prospered him immensely.
Moses was born in Egypt many centuries after the death of Joseph, a Jewish Prime Minister of Egypt. It was at a time when the patriarchal blessing per the covenant was at its lowest manifestation because the Jews seemed to have forgotten their God and had embraced the god of their host in Egypt. Although, they were suffering an exploitative slavery, they were just producing healthy children unlike the Egyptians. This fear-driven envy made Pharaoh to order the killing of all male children born by the Hebrews. God orchestrated saving the life of Moses and even got him to be very well preserved in the palace with Pharaoh watching him grow as Prince of Egypt. His first forty years was in the palace, the next forty years he was a fugitive in the land of Midian. At the end of the second segment he had God’s call to be a deliverer of the Hebrews. He found excuses to avoid being killed for homicide committed in Egypt and basically he was a stammerer. God provided Aaron and Miriam to assist him. He accepted the challenge with humility and was able to demonstrate the power of God over Pharaoh and the kingdom of Egypt through the ten plagues. This represented the third segment of his life. God granted him the enablement to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, through the wilderness and to the Red Sea. He led the stiff-necked People of God across the Red Sea with so much trouble from the people he was leading. He could not resign and the people could not fire him because it was a divine assignment from God. There were times when he was on the verge of being stoned, at another time, he prayed God to kill him for the sin of idolatry committed while on Mt Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments- The Decalogue or God’s Constitution – meant to enable the children of Israel to live right before God. God showed him the land that was flowing with milk and honey but did not allow him to get there and he was 120 years old when he was no more.Exodus 2: 23-25 and 3: 1-22.(KJV).
Looking at the circumstances surrounding the birth of Samuel, there was no doubt that his call to serve God was surely irresistible. 1Samuel 3: 1-21 (KJV). At the time of Samuel’s full ministry, one has to recall that Prophet Eli had died as well as his two sons Hophni and Phinehas for their uncontrolled bad behavior in the house of worship. Prophet Samuel was instructed to go and anoint David as King designate since God had rejected Saul and had already been serving in King Saul’s army of Israel. The first spectacular victory was the encounter with the Philistines’ war-lord Goliath. David had so many challenges to face with Saul who tried to get rid of him out of jealousy and the obvious reason of David’s being a preferable successor to King Saul in preference to Prince Jonathan, whose friendship with David was greater than that of twin brothers. David had a humble beginning but his penchant for loving and always depending on God as well as tending his father’s sheep even at the risk of his own life became the obvious human reason why God found him a better alternative to King Saul when he violated the divine rule on division of labor between the king and Prophet Samuel. The Omniscient God what destiny each individual carries and so HE did not have any problem choosing who to do His job whether easy, difficult, dangerous or peaceful.
David road to rulership was with much difficulties, trials and triumphs, but all said he was a perfect fit for the job. King David was declared very dear to God. He was a human being like me or you but was head and shoulder higher in the virtues of obedience, contrite heart ready to admit guilt without rationalizing over his sin even unto God. He, as a ruler in his era, was remarkable and really inimitable. He fought battles and won all just because he made God the winner of battles he fought as he was always making God the fighter of battle that he ever led. David was able to bring all the 12 tribes of Israel together with headquarters in Jerusalem, the city of David and God promised him that the throne of David shall never lack who to occupy it. He never defied or rejected God like Kings Jeroboam and Jehu of Northern kingdom based in Samaria and did not usurp the Saul’s kingship like Hazael did to King Ben Hadad of Syria. 2King 8: 1-15 (KJV) The reign of King David became a reference point in the history of rulership in Israel. So also Jeremiah received divine call, Jeremiah 1: 4-10 (KJV). He like Moses, tried to justify why God need not call him to do a task as onerous as being a Prophet over the Israelites. He claimed, “I cannot speak because I am a child”. God in a trance touched his lips signifying putting His words in Jeremiah’s mouth. He throughout his life did the work of God with passion, weeping as he has spiritually known the impending period in exile.
Paul was another example of those God called into his vineyard. He was efficient and very effective in taking orders from the Priests and Chief Priest to go and hound the emerging disciples of Jesus after Peter has assumed the leadership of the apostles. Lord Jesus had to virtually “arrest” Saul of Tarsus on his way to Damascus with the intension to bring any disciple bound to Jerusalem for punishment. Acts 9: 3-6 The passage reads thus;

“As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul why are you prosecuting Me?’ And he said, ‘who are you Lord?’ Then the Lord said, I am Jesus, whom you are prosecuting’. ‘It is hard for you to kick against the goads’. So he, trembling and astonished, said Lord, what do you want me to do?’ Then the Lord said to him, Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” Mandate received, Paul used his hitherto energy for destroying the Apostles to encourage and even charted a new course of evangelizing the heathens or the worshippers of idol. Paul the apostle, did so much to take the gospel to the Gentiles more than any of the apostles in spite of his personal ill-health and risk to his life including shipwreck. In it, the prisoner became the ship’s Captain. He gave them the massage of hope that no life would be lost.    

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SELF CLEANSING

This expression has priceless meaning when applied to ones personality and not just cleaning or bathing  the physical body using soap and sponge. In a particular community, there is a similar statement that goes deeper than exterior cleansing. It goes thus: “I am filthy hungry and someone is hawking bath-soap; without stopping or cleaning the filthy hunger, the hawker remains irrelevant at that point in time”. In other words, any thing that comes first in ones need should be given the priority attention it deserves. The window through which one needs to look at this topic involves mainly the spiritual aspect of a person, especially a Christian believer. It is easy to clean the individual body, even if one has taken some time off from regular bathing and applying all sorts of lotions and creams. Cleansing the “youness in you” or the spirit being or the inner man remains the point of reference of this post. No one can neglect the physical cleanliness, no matter what. Physical hygiene is only part of manner that makes man before God and mankind.

The above fact is stressed in 2 Corinthians 7: 1. It says: “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh  and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (KJV) Paul described this situation as self-purification for it is the desire of God Almighty that WE His people (through Christ Jesus) must be clean outwardly and inwardly. In Paul’s concluding letter in 1Thessalonians 5: 23 he states: “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (KJV). This has to be so because with all the evils in the world one needs to seek God’s help to be able to cleanse ones heart of ungodly thoughts, words and actions.

In the duality of man, clean body needs a clean heart to aspire towards meeting God’s standard. This is the reason why God told Moses to tell the Hebrews to clean or wash their body before meeting God in order to hear details of His holy will to be made known to the children of Israel while in the wilderness. “And Jehovah said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow and let them wash their garments, and be ready against the third day; for the third day Jehovah will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai” Exodus19: 10-11 (ASV). This was preparatory to bringing them close to God and hear God’s voice as a means of certifying all that Moses had always told them and more he would still say to them.

King David was the chief of all characters in the bible who knew how best to cleanse his body, soul and spirit. To fully understand what self-cleansing really means, one has to say it loud that it is a conscious effort that a believer puts in to get rid or purge self, of all unrighteousness. It involves destroying and doing away with all non-fruit of the spirit thoughts, words and deeds. The Words of God constitute light to lighten the darkness surrounding a child of God. In the words of Jeremiah in chapter 4: 14 , it says:  “Jerusalem wash thy heart from wickedness, that thou mayest to be saved. How long shall thine evil thoughts lodge within thee?” (ASV). In Romans 6: 12-15, it is written: “Let not sin reign in your mortal body, that he should obey the lust thereof: neither present your members unto sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves unto God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion  over you: for ye are not under law, but under grace? What then? shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace?  God forbid” (ASV).

Providence of God (Part Four)

Provision of God is both at macro and micro levels. Thus, we see how God provided the Israelites means of freedom from a four hundred and thirty years in bondage in Egypt. Then, at micro level, Jonah as an individual prophet of God adamantly refused to heed God’s call to go and warn the people of Nineveh to desist from their sinful ways or else they would incur the wrath of God. He went to Tarshish instead which is in an opposite direction to where he was expected to preach repentance to the people or else they would be faced with calamity. By God’s means of enforcing his will on Jonah, there was storm at sea that threatened the safety of the Mariners, passengers and the vessel itself. The ship’s Captain found out who he was and asked him to identify himself. He did and the Captain asked him to pray to his God to calm the raging sea. Finally, he asked them to throw him into the sea perhaps in his resolve not to go to Nineveh. But at this stage, God provided His desired means of transporting Jonah to Nineveh. In Jonah 1: 17 “a great fish” became God’s vessel for carrying Jonah to God’s desired destination. Biblical record states: “Now the Lord has prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. Chapter 2-10 covered how the big fish, by God’s provision, vomited Jonah on dry land at the waterfront of Nineveh.

In line with how God treated Jonah, an African proverb says: “When you flog or reprimand a child with the right hand use the left hand to draw him closer to soothe the pain he suffered”. All is in the attempt at fostering positive development in the child. Such is regarded as making provision for future useful life, which invariably is provision of God in the right parentage. Proverb 22: 6 (NKJ). Related to the foregoing are words in Lamentation 3: 31-33 ” for the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For He does not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men” (KJV)

Provision of God is tied to the result of Proverb 21: 1 “The king’s heart is in the hand of The Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever he will” (KJV) especially while seeking favor from higher authorities on earth. By the same instance one who is looking for job to be able to earn means of livelihood and continues to pray with Psalm 23. Such applicant has seen God as a good shepherd for the provision of his/her needs irrespective of level of faith, the steadfast love of the Lord will see such a person through because God knows man’s need more than man does. God possesses sovereign power to make good things happen or to avert disaster. With faith, granting prayer is made more certain than with doubts in one’s mind.

A military ruler in Nigeria some years back received the judgment of God as a result of so many prominent citizens he eliminated from a particular ethnic group for daring to oppose his draconian ruler ship from the hands of his henchmen. He tried some military top brass from the same ethnic group and found them guilty
of a phantom coup plot. They were to be executed on a Monday and he miraculously died on the Sunday before he could have signed their death warrant the following morning. God’s providence saved those that were to be executed, for no earthly power could have saved them. History tells us that President Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865) had exceeding political reverses but remained prayerful until he won election that made him to become the 16th President of the United States. In short, he fitted into the group of those that pleased God and at such his erstwhile political enemies joined with others to vote him into the highest political office in the US. (Proverb 16: 7) During his Presidency: Emancipation Proclamation during the battle of Gettysburg became a reality and many more commendable legislations. He became prominently one of those
unforgettable Presidents that The US has ever had.

We know that economists talk of Arithmetic or geometric progression; researchers look for what is logical but the “THEO-METRICS” in God’s providence is not fathomable by man because of His sovereignty Isaiah 46: 10-13 (KJV); for God moves in a mysterious way, during which no man can ever encumber Him from performing his wonders. Can you imagine what brought a mail man to the door step of a house in New York when a child was falling from some floors above and fell into the out stretched hands of the mail man! Were it not for divine providence, the child could have died falling from above on to concrete floor below. Interested readers are enjoined to give testimonies of such providence of God. The testimonies or witness account will be published with the names (optional) of such contributors. In conclusion, God’s providence is real yesterday, today and for ever.

Great But Dented Series # 6

Anyone God does not condemn no one should stand in judgement against the person. So it remains with Miriam, the senior sister of Moses, the Great. The grace of God came upon her at a very early age. She performed the role of vessel of honor unto to the Lord. She it was that carefully carried baby Moses to the riverside and hid him in the bush.  She waited and watched until Pharoah’s daughter came to swim for relaxation in the river with her female palace aids. As soon as ‘the baby’ in the basket was handed over to the princess, the young Miriam came out from hiding. She with great intellect talked the princess into accepting a Hebrew caregiver who was in reality the biological mother. To this end, Miriam was a divine broker that God used as saving grace for Moses’ life in preparation for the ultimate release of the children of Israel from over four hundred years of bondage in Egypt.

Miriam and Aaron were expected to realize that they owed their divine duties to God and their brother who they were anointed to assist for the successful achievement of Moses’s mission of liberating his kith and kin. At such even from human angle, they ought to respect and not envy Moses as their leader. Even though, their brother did what was, contrary to their Hebrew tradition but, as servants God they ought to seek the face of the Lord first before judging him on their own.They both had access to divine knowledge but out of jealousy they complained against the anointed of God of their Fathers. Num. 12:1-16 captured the run of events: “Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he has married an Ethiopian woman”. So they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” The Lord heard them without Moses complaining about their jealousy.

The consequence was that the Lord struck Miriam with leprosy. Aaron did apologize for their sin and begged for forgiveness. Moses had to cry to the Lord in her behalf. Number 12: 13. “Please heal her Oh! God I pray.” God honored Moses’s prayer and Miriam spent seven days outside the camp before God cleansed her and enabled further continuation of their journey. God’s compassion came to play consequent upon repentance and his saving grace. From age to age deadly sins continue to cause great men and women of God to act  against the decorum expected of them. There is an antedote in II Peter 5:18 “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour”

Great But Dented Series # 5

Our focus this time around is Aaron, senior brother to Moses. We see also that undying love of the Lord outweighs the dent in the personality of a great man of God. No one is completely sinless out of all notable men and women of God except our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, this post should not be viewed as judgemental, rather it mirrors mankind as clay in the hand of the potter. The potter can mould any shape depending on his discretion. One common thread among these great people is that they do not set out to despise God.

Let us look at the life of Aaron who God appointed as spokesman to Moses who presented his speech defect to God. He was reluctant to take up the job of freeing the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt. God honored his honest supplication and chose Aaron to be spokes person even though he was senior to Moses in age. Ex  7: 1-2 The Lord said to Moses: “See, I have made you as God to Pharoah, and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you. And Aaron your brother shall tell Pharoah to send the children of Israel out of his land.” Aaron was blessed along with his junior brother, Moses. Aaron’s rod was used in performing miracles. It turned into snake that swallowed Egyptian magician’s snakes. It was used to perform the plagues in Ex. 7:10 – 8:17. Aaron was so blessed that from him descended the class of priests in Israel Ex. 29: 9. He made an atonement that stopped a plague. His rod even though dry budded in showing the power of God vested in him.

Aaron’s most significant sin was the sheepish way he allowed the children of Israel to turn into idolatry without any words of restraint from him. When Moses went up to the mountain of God to receive the ten commandments, the children of Israel demanded to be given a god that they claimed led them out of Egypt. To them they did not know what had become of Moses and so they could not wait any longer. Aaron was clearly afraid of the faces of his hard-hearted co-travellers. Exodus 32: 1-5 They forgot the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob their fore-fathers. Having any other god other than the od of Israel was and still is the most abominable sin against Yahweh, their God. Aaron was also part of the conspiracy that eared Miriam leprosy as punishment. It was by virtue of his anointed priestly dress that he was not made a leper at least for a season. However, God forgave him from which we conclude that no mortal being is virtually free from committing sins, only unrepentant sinners like King Saul and Judas Iscariot will fail to benefit from God’s overwhelming grace and love. Aaron did neither rationalized his position nor justified why he did what he did with the children of Israel Exodus 32: 21-24

 

 

Great But Dented Series # 4

This time around, our search light is on Moses the lawgiver, prophet and servant of God. The bible described him as the most humble of all mankind that ever lived. Moses was born at a time when oppression was at its climax from the Egyptians to the Hebrews. Ex, 1: 22  – 2: 22. At the same time, Pharoah gave a decree that all male Hebrew children should be killed. By divine providence Moses was spared and was even brought up in Pharoah’s palace as a son of the Princess. He was recognized as a Prince of Egypt but he identified with his oppressed people. In practical terms he had a soft spot for the Hebrews, to the extent that when an Egyptian task master was manhandling a Hebrew man, he was filled with great anger. He attacked the task-master. Moses jumped on the oppressor and killed him in the process.

This led to his fleeing to Midian where he stayed for forty years. Exodus 2: 15-25. He also had a rare privilege of God’s call, through the burning bush experience, to liberate the Israelites. Ex 3: 2-5 God endowed him to cause plagues to ravage the Egyptians because of Pharoah’s intransigence. The Hebrew free slave labor was not to be lost because it provided cheap source of their prosperity. Since God had hearkened to the cries of HIS chosen people, Moses loomed larger than the size of “the young prince of Egypt from the slave stock”. In other words, Moses became greater than Pharoah. His “Let my people go” was an irresistible order that the king was forced to obey. Ex. 7: 14 – 12: 30

He led the Israelites for 40 years on their way to the promised land. He was liaison between God and his Hebrew people for the supply of all their needs for water and food (manna from heaven and supply of quail birds for meat). However, in spite of his spirit filled personality, his readiness to die instead of the hard-hearted Hebrews and his extreme humility, that which is human in him made him to incur the wrath of God. The incessant provocation of his people turned his anger on. He broke the first two tablets of the ten commandments because after 40 days on Mt Sinai his people changed allegiance from God their deliverer to molten image which they made Aaron to craft for them. Ex. 32: 19 (NKJV) He disobeyed God’s instruction to stretch forth his rod rather than striking the rock. It got him on the wrong side of God and was unable to reach the promised land. He was made to see it and was asked to hand over to his apprentice Joshua who was having the necessary anointing for the onerous task ahead.

Spiritual Power

Spiritual power is stronger than any other power. It is invincible.

Spiritual power is stronger than any other power. It is invincible.

Everything spiritual is intangible to the physical eyes except for those who are able to spiritually discern them. It is explicable then that David as a shepherd boy was able to single-handedly kill a lion and a bear that threatened his flock. Spiritual power is essentially for the good of mankind while evil power is out to kill and destroy. There is a clear distinction between spiritual and devilish powers. Another related form of power is the physical power which can be employed for either good or bad cause. Obviously, physical power involves strength to lift, push or pull any heavy object. It includes power to wrestle, box or play games. It also involves burning of calories. Spiritual power concerns transcendental energy that uses words of God by faith or belief to become manifest what physical power cannot get done by any means. The body-builder builds body and power to do or perform greater feats than ordinary men. Every boxing, wrestling and other champions tend to possess such power or energy that must be more than their defeated challengers.

The prerequisites for nourishment, growth and development involve food, training and more of self-denial or endurance and application of self to the purpose one resolved to effect. An apprentice must seek to build capacity to become a professional in the trade he is learning. By the same token, the christian seeking to grow spiritually is required to be dedicated and watch the company he keeps. Such company must be saintly in nature in the sense that the deep must be able to call to the deep, so says the bible. While physical food ensures nourishment for body growth, spiritual food makes ones spiritual nourishment and growth very possible. Spiritual food is made up of reading and studying the words of God as well as memorizing bible passages and emulating exemplary characters in the bible. Spiritual food is meant to sustain the life of a christian and grant him immunity against temptations and evil attacks from all adversaries. The workers of iniquity are comparable to physiological “Free Radicals” that are poised to destroy believer’s spiritual cells. Let it be seen as evil communication that destroys good manners. Bad manners in the spiritual realm is sinful and is capable of incurring God’s wrath.

In the days of Moses  while on Mount Sinai, the people could not wait for God they could not see. They got Aaron to create visible god for them. Their worship of man-made god was abominable to God of Israel who had dealt so wondrously well with them. The rejection angered God. Moses had to plead with God to spare their lives or blot him out of existence. Zacchariah 3: 6 “This is the word of God to Zerubbabel: Not by might nor by power, but by my spirit says the Lord of hosts . Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain” In Acts 1: 8 we see how the power and might of God emboldened the disciples to continue the work Jesus started with them in spite of their low estate where the learned rabbis were. “But you shall receive power when the holy spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me”. Manifestation of God’s power was seen in Stephen for whom it was written in Acts 6: 8 “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.” For Pharaoh to “Let my people go”, no physical power or prowess could have been able to let the Israelites depart from Egypt.