When a woman or man of Our Lord God dies, nothing of Our Lord God dies. We get so involved in the lives of certain people that we start to think we can’t do without them.
When even a mighty servant is gone, God has 7000 who haven’t bowed the knee to Baal. Thru the ages He has had His males and females in each age to continue His work.
Never once has God been pissed off, wondering, What will My folks do now that he is gone? Now that she is no longer with them? Our Creator-God is omnipotent. Recalling Elijah’s words, he reached down and picked up the soothsayer’s cloak. Saying the power that now was his, he crossed back over the Jordan and commenced his very own auspicious ministry. We won’t help but wonder whether, in the years ahead, Elisha did not stop and study that old mantle, calling to mind those great days of the past when his coach and friend stood alone, representing God’s presence and announcing God’s message. The memory of the older Elijah—a man of heroism and humility—served to reinforce the younger Elisha, whom God fated to serve in even bigger ways. His life of quiet, deep personality often appears so close to me I am able to virtually feel his warm breath on the back of my neck. Yes, to this day I miss him, but the mantle of his memory spurs me on to bigger heights and deeper attention. The good stories is this : I’ll one day see him. And we, together, will worship the same Lord head to head, “. And so we shall always be with the Lord.”. Whose mantle have you received? And what will you do with its inherited influence?
It’s a learned virtue, inspired by few and modeled by even less, particularly among people who are what we’ve come to grasp as Type A personalities.
Soothsayers are scandalous for exhibiting this personality, which makes Elijah more extraordinary. Without hedging in heroism, he was as soft clay in his Master’s hands. The place of beginning, the place of the prayer, the place of battle, the place of death. That is home base—the very start of our Christian experience when we are born anew. For many of us, that place of beginning, that home base, is far during the past. Do you remember when you took your first few baby steps? You skidded a little bit and people who loved and coached you helped steady you on your feet. And you learned the fundamentals of life : how it is possible to get into the Word ; the easiest way to pray ; the easy way to have some time with Our Lord God ; the best way to share your religion. Remember? You first started to learn what it was to sacrifice, to surrender things dear and dear to you.
For some it was a miscarriage or the loss of a child. For some it was actually the loss of a man or other half. Maybe for you it was actually the loss of a job, your own business, or a lifetime dream never to be realized. Coming all alone to your own Bethel, you learned to offer prayers. God did a genuine work in your life as He carried you from that place of communion to the subsequent stage He planned for you. And because you’d learned the value of prayer, you built your altar, and you learned even more at His feet.
Self-denial is tough to learn, but it is worth the effort.
Today, numerous folk try to know the future. To several, this hype may appear like sheer stupidity ; it may seem to be nothing less than safe fun. In fact, what’s so bad about reading your daily horoscope? But listen up—this is enemy territory.
It is anything apart from stupidity or safe fun. Like the wood and stone idols of Ekron, these present-day seers are substitutes for putting our trust in the living God. God is displeased with any occult inclusion.
regardless of what the motive, irrespective of how great the requirement, experimenting with the occult is sin. God’s Word is wonderfully clear on this subject. Far back in the book of Leviticus, God gives His folk this direct command : “Do not turn to mediums or spiritists ; don’t seek them out to be defiled by them. I’m the LORD your God” ( Leviticus 19:31 ).
Beyond that, God is dishonored by any particular pursuit of the future that doesn’t find its source in His Word. I understand that the general public who begin experimenting in astrology, fortune-telling, or Ouija boards don’t take it all that seriously. Astrology, for instance, has an attracting appeal.
But these simple, harmless-looking games begin a method that many can’t handle ; and they open doors that should stay closed. Then it’s only a matter of time before the dark powers of demonic forces suck them in, and they finish up ensnared. But let me assure you, God is happy when we trust Him only. The Lord buttress those that put their trust in Him. As you stand powerful for the truth, keep an eye out for the enemy. He not only plays unclean ; he plays for keeps.
If you examined the prior passage in chapter fifteen with a careful eye, you observe that it took them only a few days to find the water they now enjoyed. But now it has been a month and a half—more than 40 days. There they’re in the middle of the wasteland with their impractical expectancies. “We thought we were thru with those desiccated days in the outback. And guess what? Out rushed the grouses : “The full congregation of the boys of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness” ( 16:2 ). Why were they grumbling? Again, they were casting back.
Hear their words in verse three : “Would we had died by the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of beef, when we ate bread to the full ; for you have brought us out into this badlands to kill this complete assembly with hunger” ( v. Sound like your response? If so, it is time to learn an everlasting lesson. If you target the past, it will not be long before beefs start oozing from your lips.
You’ll remember a long-ago time, washed in the misty, rosy glow of memory, when something was simpler and more content than it is today. And as you compare then to now, I guarantee it, you’ll complain. It stings to endure life’s trials, and it stings worse to copy such episodes.
Yet, without those deep hurts we have awfully tiny capacity to get godly endorse or make
forward progress toward maturity. The test of time is maybe the most rough of all. Over the long haul, God is polishing us through such tests. Reducing us to a comprehensive, open-armed trust, where we are saying, “Lord, I have come to the end of my very own flesh.
If you like me to die in this badlands, here is my life. I refuse to look back and whinge about where I find myself at this moment.” Moses had learned to attend.
When we come to passages like the 1st chapter of Exodus, we are reminded that God’s law always comes before man’s law. the truth is, there’s a time to submit, and there’s also a time to withstand. Before we run with that principle too far a note of caution might be in order. But the passage does make one thing clear : submission to civil authority has boundaries. As Peter once informed the Jewish ruling council, “We must obey God instead of men” ( Acts 5:29 ).
To explain, when the king’s announcement at once violates God’s obviously stated will, we ought to be afraid of God, even as 2 brave women named Shiphrah and Puah feared God. Scripture tells us that God honored the religion of these midwives. It is saying, “The folks multiplied, and became very mighty. As the midwives feared God, he created homes for them” ( 1:20–21 ). The midwives valued God’s favor more than this of Pharaoh. Inspired by a deep and abiding appreciation for the living God, they declined to obey the king’s evil declaration. When that king ordered them to violate God’s basic principle, the protection of life, they declined to do so. Pharaoh’s directive, barbarous as it was, has its modern equivalent.
In Red China today, couples are authorized only 1 kid. When many ladies learn the sexes of their babies, they either carry them to term or instantly cancel. If it is a baby girl, she’s often ended. The date on the calendar might have modified since the times of the Exodus, but man’s instinct hasn’t. Aside from the saving work of Christ, our hearts are despairingly evil.
Tyrants ruled in the traditional world, and tyrants rule in our day. Injustice hurt the trusting in Pharaoh’s time, in Herod’s time, and still in our classy twenty-first-century world. But in the times of Exodus there also lived women and men ready to stand alone for goodness, even in the face of death, just as there are today.