Week 3 - Essential 100

May 12, 2016

Week 3 - Essential 100

The weight of GOD'S GLORY. God is God, we are not.

Some things to notice this week:

God knows the future.  God is in control.  God is about glorifying Himself among all people and nations.  Though God is extremely patient, God judges the people and nations who fail to glorify Him as God and walk in light of Him.  He does this for their good, that they might turn to Him and be saved.  God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. . .and humility is living in light of God's weighty presence in your life.    

On May 1st, we read God saying this to Abraham in Genesis 15:13-16 - “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”

Then, in today's (May 12th's) reading in Exodus 6-11, we saw this prophesy fulfilled exactly as God said it would be.  That's over 600 years later (conservative estimate)

We often look at a story in the Bible, and judge God for how he does any given thing forgetting that God is God and we are not.  God knows things you don't know (such as the future), and God has purposes beyond what you or I can see. . .God is working out his purposes in history with or without us, but he WANTS us to be a part of what He is doing.  For the humble, God comes up underneath them and showers them with love, grace and favor (look at Joseph's life).  For the proud who fail to grasp God's 'otherness', power and glory and live in light of the reality of His presence... ....not so good.  God opposes the proud (James 3:34)

We look at Joseph as we did this week, and we notice that he is unjustly sold into slavery by his brothers, unjustly accused by Potiphar's wife, jailed again, etc. etc.  BUT Joseph had something we often do not have as modern people.  He had a view of God's glory and purposes and he knew God was working out a plan in the midst of His trial - and he knew the plan wasn't only about him.  Joseph lived with a fear, awe and respect for God's glory and "otherness".  And even as unjust thing after unjust thing happened to Joseph, God responded to his humility by giving him favor everywhere he went until he ended up being ruler of Egypt!  You need to understand, as far as I can tell, Joseph lived for 17 years in extreme injustice...but he did not lose faith in God's goodness, or whine, or demand his rights.  He simply believed, had faith, walked with God...and as he lived in light of God's presence (humility), God rewarded Him.  God vindicated Him.  And out of his grateful and humble heart towards God, Joseph immediately forgave his brothers for their betrayal with love and in tears.  That's humility before God.   

Genesis 45:4-7      

"And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance."

The opposite was true of Pharaoh.  Consider Pharaoh's stiff-neck in today's reading.  See what the outcome ends up being.  Even in this, even as God hardens Pharaoh's heart and brings Pharaoh to his logical conclusion, God is at work doing something we do not fully see or understand.  We always get upset at the thought of God hardening Pharaoh, but God had a strategic purpose in judging Pharaoh/Egypt in this way.  Exodus 9:16; 10:2; 11:9  

" 16 But I have raised you [Pharaoh] up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. . .

...That you [The Israelites] may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the Lord"

9The Lord had said to Moses, “Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you—so that my wonders may be multiplied in Egypt.”

It is out of mercy that God judges people and nations; that they might be humbled, turn to Him and be saved.  God is God.  We are not.  God is love.  God is working out His purposes.  God wants us to be a part of what He is doing, but He will not use a proud person who ultimately believes it is 'all about them'

That all may know that God is God, and that Jesus is His Son whom he has sent to bring about a great and final deliverance for all who are held captive to sin.  This is our Exodus.