Moses spent forty years thinking he was somebody; forty years learning he was nobody; and forty years discovering what God can do with a nobody.
Tag Archives: Moses
ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have
received the spirit of adoption whereby we cry Abba, Father.”
In this verse of scripture a contrast is being made between the spirit that dominated God’s people under the Law of Moses and the spirit that dominates His people in New Testament Churches. We do not have the spirit of fear which caused them to cry out “Lord, God,” but we have the spirit of adoption which causes us to cry “our Father.”
The key word for consideration here is “adoption.” In the modern day usage of the term it is used to convey the idea of receiving one outside the family bloodline and genetic pool, and making that person to become one of the family through legal action. This is not what is meant by the Bible term, although there are those who try desperately to make it so.
In the Bible there are degrees of son-ship designated by specific terms. “Teknon” is a Greek term translated in the Bible as a born child. “Pais” or “Padion” is the Greek work translated a small son, one under tutorship. “Huios” is the Greek term for a fully mature son who is able to act appropriately in the stead of, and in the name of, his father. It is this latter term, “Huios” that is consistently used of seasoned disciples in the New Testament Church. This is what every child of God in this age can and should become. This is what is meant in Romans 8:15 by the term “adoption.” In the original language this is a composite of two other terms. It is “huiothesia” a combination of “huios” mature son, and “thesia” to set or place; hence, the forceful meaning of the word is “to set in the position of mature sons.”
So, Paul encouraged the Romans and all of us with this enlightenment. We do not have the same position with God in the New Testament Church as the Israelites had under the Law. They had a continuous spirit of fear, but we have a continuous spirit and understanding of being mature sons who lovingly regard God as “our Father,” and do his bidding willingly and with gladness of heart.
Oh, what a joy it is to live in this position. God has given His Son for us. His Son has given His life for us. The Holy Spirit has empowered us and lives with us to continuously teach and guide us into the ways of all truth. We serve Him not out of a fear of being stoned if we do not, but because we love Him and are truly thankful for what He has done for us.
It is appropriate then that we should make the most of our prized position as mature sons. The more we know the more we can believe. The more we believe, the greater our faith. The greater our faith, the greater our hope. And in the end, the greater will be our blessed opportunity to rule and to reign with Him in the age that is about to happen. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be call the sons of God.
it or not, you can’t box with God! In the first place, your arm is
too short! Beyond that, the differences are infinite. His thoughts
transcend ours as much as the heavens are high above the earth. His
presence is everywhere. He is infinitely bigger that you or I.
The student of the Bible can but stand in awe of His might, and His works. Truly, He often uses men to accomplish astounding feats of faith, but it is always, and obviously, in His power. Few, very few, are privileged to be trail blazers as was Moses of old. Living vicariously in the Bible, it is somewhat easier to identify with Joshua as a successor to someone who has gone before. One can only imagine what burden was in the heart and mind of that great man as he contemplated the looming battle of Jericho. He had led the army of Israel in battles during the 40 years of wilderness wondering, but he always had Moses to look to, and lean on. Now, the ball (sword) was squarely in his court. Jericho lay before Israel as the first battle of conquest of the Promised Land. This was big, really big, and it would be no surprise to learn that he could have been feeling mighty small for task.
Admirably, he sought solitude for contemplation and prayer as the enormity of his responsibility pressed heavily upon him. It was in that environment that something quite unexpected happened. There appeared before him a person with a drawn sword. In what must have been a defensive stance, Joshua questioned the character before him as to whether he was for Israel or an enemy from Jericho. The answer he received did not cause him to ready a sword, rather it brought gladness and huge relief. The stranger said, “Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come.” Joshua 5:14-15.
As it was marvelous to Joshua, so it is to the people of God today. We are not alone! God gives us great and mighty things to accomplish, and we often wonder how we are going to get them done. The survey of strength, resources, and wit are too often turned inward on self. Perhaps it even causes one to wrestle (box) with God. Inability stands out like a sore thumb. In those moments, let it be remembered that only God can do the work of God. People are instruments in His hand, blessed to be used of Him, but it is God who clears the way, and Who empowers His Word. It is God Who works on human hearts, and it is God who gives the increase. If the increase is elusive or seems more insignificant that it should, it just may be that we have not yielded ourselves to the Captain of the Host of the LORD! His way is not our way, but it always accomplishes just what He wants done. He should be explicitly trusted in every endeavor, in confronting any obstacle. He is infinitely bigger than the subjects of His creation.
William Andrew Dillard
KILLING MOSES —WHY?
Moses was a man of many brushes with death. He was launched in a baby float to escape the death order of Pharaoh. Later, he had to flee Egypt to avoid retribution for a crime he had committed against an Egyptian taskmaster. When he returned under a heavenly commission to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt, they often threatened to stone him for the troubles he had supposedly brought upon them. Finally, and due to another sin, God gently took his life out of this world on the peaks of Mt. Pisgah. But there was another time of great significance. An angel of the Lord met Moses in the way with the purpose of killing him! What? Why? What is this?
Read about it in Exodus 4:24-26. Moses had married Zipporah in the wilderness of Sinai, and had neglected to perform the token of the Abrahamic covenant on his son. Now, he was in the process of becoming the leader of his people, a representative of the God of heaven and earth to Pharaoh, and that in the neglect of the basic tenants of obedience to the Lord. It appears that Zipporah was none too happy about the whole ordeal, but she accomplished it, and the Lord allowed Moses to go on with his commissioned work.
This incident constitutes a biblical “Slap in the face” to so many who brush off baptism as relatively unimportant, and/or an ordinance that may be performed by anyone in any way.
Let it be noted that if it is in the Word of God, it is not unimportant.
The Hebrews in their wilderness journey have been referenced as “The church in the wilderness.” That is correct. Those folks were a saved family that grew into a nation. They yielded to the Lord their firstborn by applying the blood of the paschal lamb on their doorposts. They were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea. Indeed, as most modern Baptists would say, they were a saved, baptized, called out assembly; hence, a church, although not a New Testament church.
So, the token of the covenant, the cutting away of flesh, was most important both to them and to the heavenly Father from Whom it originated. In like manner, the token of New Covenant relationship with God (burial of the fleshly man) is vitally important today.
To be sure, one may be spiritually saved, and never be baptized, but in baptism one is raised to walk in newness of life, i.e. New Covenant life, and one may never be a member of a bona fide New Testament church without it.
Finally, the Word teaches us that there were some who rejected the counsel of God against themselves, not being baptized of Him.” Luke 7:30. Moses mistake nearly cost him his life. Saved people who do not have scriptural baptism today forfeit the reward of New Covenant life both here and hereafter. Let’s learn from Moses!
JANUARY 15 – Idols from Familiar things.
Exodus 32:1-4 – Idols from familiar things.
Everyone knows this story. Moses up on the mountain and God dictating to him the law. 40 days, Moses was gone. That is a little more than a month for us. A short time to be without a physical leader but the weakness and shallowness of the spiritual man could not abide that period of time. We speak about Israel in a negative sense too often. We are so much like Israel and God has laid out His will for us in Written Word. They took familiar things, golden earrings and used those to make their God.
We do the same. How? Our job interferes with our one day a week worship with the Church. I have witnessed men that work five days a week and are off Saturday and Sunday and do not darken the door of the Lord’s House. Their excuse, Saturday I have to do my chores around the house and Sunday is the only day I have to sleep in. Let me tell you what an excuse is, it is a lie wrapped up in the skin of a reason. Job has become an idol.
Pastor, I will not be here this coming Sunday because my kids have an athletic event out of town. Here is a parent that has made athletics their God. They have put athletics as more important than being in the house of God. Their children miss the scriptures and lessons on salvation. What comes to mind is; how many children are not saved and are therefore condemned to a devil’s hell because of the parents decision to make athletics their God. Those same parents will wail and moan after the children are grown about the children not going to church, yet the parents set the pattern. Athletics has become an idol.
Preacher, I live too far away to come to Church. I feel sorry for every pastor that has heard this excuse. Who moved? Did God move? Did the Church move? These same people will drive 30 to 40 minutes to go into town to shop for groceries. They will drive into town to treat the family to a meal or go to the movies. I wonder if in the horse and buggy days, any farmer used this excuse. They couldn’t just hop in a car and go. During the winter, the hay was put in the wagon on Saturday. Sunday morning the usual chores had to be done. Then there was the time to hook the horses to the wagon. If the Church building was just five miles that would mean 25 minutes in freezing cold to get to church.
We really have it rough. Here in the north, there are those faithful members who drive an hour to an hour and a half every Sunday to worship. Yet others has made time an idol.
My father invested in his children by what he instructed us. He told me, his number two son; you can go out for any sport you want to. Just remember this, when there is a revival, an association meeting, any Church event, you will be there. There were times that we were pulled out of school early on a friday because we would be driving from 2 hours to 4 hours for a revival at one of our sister churches or a 2 day association meeting. Instilled within seven children was God is to be worshipped and no other thing was to be an idol to us.
As God told Israel, put your idols away and serve me.
JANUARY 8 – SENT
Exodus 3:10 – “Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh…” Moses was sent. It is an example for us. He was sent to lead Israel out from bondage. He was sent to face Pharoah and give him a message from God. It was a simple message. “Let my people go!
Moses had several excuses for not going. 1. I have no power or standing to approach the supreme leader of a nation. 2. I don’t know your name so that I can tell Israel who sent me. 3. They will not believe me nor listen to me. 4. I can not talk in an eloquent manner and my speech is slow.
Sounds like a bunch of Missionary Baptists. Always the excuses. I am too busy. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know how to start a conversation. I don’t see anyone to witness to. While my father was still with us and preaching and pastoring he would often make the statement, “I don’t know why God called a shy, bashful, backward country boy like me to preach the gospel. But he did.” At the age of about 80, my dad tossed his car keys to a son and said you can drive me to town. Upon their return quite some time later the son went to my mom and said, grandma, we would have been back sooner but granpa had to talk to everyone in the store. He always carried a bulletin or tracts and a shy, bashful, backward country boy from the hills of Batesville, Arkansas had been equipped by God to witness to anyone he met of his Savior.
Every excuse that Moses came up with was met by God. 1. I have no standing – I will be with thee. If God be for us who can be against us. We often quote that but do we believe it enough to practice it? 2 I don’t know how to tell the people who you are. – We have who God is. -I AM THAT I AM – “Thus shalt thous say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. 3. God, these people will not believe me. – “What is that in thine hand, a rod. We have God’s word. That is the reason it is important to memorize verses, carry a small New Testament with you and have a general knowledge of God’s Word. Every born again child of God should be able to show scripture of how to be saved, whether it is the Roman Road or John 3 or Paul on the road to Damascus. 4. I can’t talk. God gave Moses a mouth piece, his brother. I have observed people that have used that excuse. Some of them have never met a stranger. In our area, John Deere is a large employer and these people that can’t talk, know they can ask where a person is employed. Cubs is a baseball team that is religiously followed and that subject is often discussed among strangers. We have had several weeks of below zero weather and it has been discussed by strangers. Deer season is a great subject that know no stranger. They are strangers only when the subject of Jesus is raised or rather not raised.
It is time to learn how to turn a conversation to the Lord. There are times that I sit quietly and run through my mind various ways to turn a conversation from the subject some want to discuss into a conversation about the Lord. Preparation is the key to being sent. If a salesman tried to sell the best product on the market without knowledge of the product and a way to present it, he would starve and his family would starve with him.
We are sent. Let us prepare and then GO!
JANUARY 6 – RESPECT IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD
Exodus 3:1-6 – Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.
2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
Most of you are familiar with this passage. It is a great passage that ends with what God says He is. “I AM THAT I AM.” It also gives us a great principle that all of us should understand. God sets the standard for coming near to Him.
Today we are a self absorbed people. We are the center of our universe. Every thing, we think, should revolve around us. We set our music choices and say, God this is what I give and you must accept it. We set our worship style and God, you must accept it. We set our way of living and God, you must accept it. We set the way we talk and God, you must accept it. We do this with “attitude.”
God set some standards for Moses. God said to Moses, don’t come near to me. As I read this I understand that there are some things I need to do to approach God.
1. I need to approach God on His terms and not mine. God is Holy. Sin cannot come into the presence of Holiness. Attitude is not allowed in the presence of Holiness.
2. Notice, the term “take off your shoes.” I take that as get rid of the things that separate you from God. We know that common courtesy of the Old and New Testament was to take a guest in and wash their feet getting rid of the dust and dirt from traveling dusty roads. We see in the New Testament Jesus washing the feet of the disciples. This, to me is a statement, “you are saved, yet you have traveled in the world and have been spotted with the sin of the world.” This shows us that we are not to bring the world into our relationship and communion with God. Here is a simple statement – you cannot come into the presence of God until you; CLEAN YOURSELF UP FROM THE WORLD.
3.God will meet you where you are but He does not want to leave you there. I know this is a popular saying – God Will Meet You Where You Are. I see that all the time and I want to shout, Yes He will meet you in your sin and degradation and upon your repentance and confession He will save you. Now you are a new man in Christ. He does not leave you in that sin and degradation, His desire is to bring you out of sin and the old life. Some are so thankful that their whole life changes and others notice. Old friends leave because they love sin and you no longer love sin. There are others He has to pull kicking and screaming away from the love of the world. That causes some of us to wonder if they were truly saved. Some need to read Ephesians chapter 4, where Paul wrote about the new man.
Christians are not Frank Sinatra. We don’t do it our way. We must do it God’s way. He is our creator and sent His Son as our Savior and the Holy Spirit as our indwelling seal until the day of redemption.
I heard this statement some time ago. Well, God will have to understand. How presumptuous is that statement. Do we really think we can manipulate God? We must understand what God wants. That brings things from rebellion to humility. Are we really humble before God?
Elder J.N. Hall
THE MOSES OF LANDMARKISM. Elder J. N. Hall, editor of The Baptist Flag & veteran of 97 public debates, was eulogized with this title by an editor of another religious group shortly after his death, Dec. 4, 1905. And like the great leader of old, he was allowed to view the Promised Land from on high, but not to actually enter its boundaries.
A STEAM LOCOMOTIVE lurched to a stop at the old depot in Prescott, AR, early the last Sunday morning in Nov., 1905. The mud streets & board sidewalks were almost deserted when the conductor helped a shivering & gravely ill but determined preacher down the steps. He was there to meet a preaching appointment at the Baptist Church located just yards from the tracks in spite of the pleading of his associates to cancel the night before. ON SATURDAY Bro. Hall, already ill, worked all day as chairman of a committee to draw up the Statement of Principles of the new association. Thus, he was a leading author of the first constitution of a national association of Landmark Baptists. THAT EVENING, at the meeting house of the First Baptist Church in Texarkana, TX, Bro. Hall addressed the messengers of the historic convocation. Though burning with fever, he electrified the congregation with a powerful message on why he believed the Bible was inspired, a prophetically appropriate topic for this first association of fiercely independent churches that became the American Baptist Association in 1924. (From The Vine Line, HLW, September 1989)
Author: William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person
A new movie currently in theaters bears a title of a theme movement some decades ago: “GOD IS NOT DEAD!” These four words are indeed absolute truth. Still, questions plague nominal Christians about a perceived lack of His appearance in human affairs which gives rise to the question. Men look retrospectively, longing to see another Pentecost; another national revival; another sense of closeness to God as was evidenced a couple of centuries ago. Questions pound concerned minds: Is the Holy Spirit dead? Does God not care anymore? Is His power diminished?
This writer boldly affirms the negative to each one. God still reveals Himself to penitent hearts. Herein is the problem: God has not changed, but man has. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, Heb. 13:8. Man, on the other hand insists on remaking God to suit himself. In self-willed worship, many have removed themselves from the immediate presence and working of the Holy Spirit, and in some cases have been turned over to a reprobate mind to meet the just reward of their obstinate determinations, Rom. 1:28.
Re-visit the story of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16. The man in hell was concerned about his brothers, five of whom were walking the same road of life he walked. He knew they were coming to hell, and God knew it. The tormented man’s plea for one to return from the dead to warn them was rejected. Why? The answer: they had (the writings of) Moses and the prophets; they were to hear them! God is not an arbitrary God!
Men today have the completed Word of God. There will be no additions to it or deletions from it. The Holy Spirit of God is intricately tied to it, accompanies its presentation, saves, and blesses those who properly respond to it. Men cannot worship God their way. He will be worshipped in spirit and in truth or not at all. Religious activity does not impress Him! Revisit Jesus’ words to the woman at the well in Sychar. John 4.
But what is that truth in which He must be worshipped? Pontus Pilate asked this millenniums ago, John 18:38: “What is truth?” Let it be forever settled that God is true! As such, He is the author of all that is true. David said, “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” Psalm 119:160. No, the Holy Spirit’s power is neither dead nor diminished, but is ever ready and waiting to receive and bless those who come to God in a contrite heart, and worship Him in truth.
In addition to the fascinating study of God’s many names, which formed the bulk of our readings in the past, there is another OT subject that has many facets, namely God’sWord. There are, in fact, no less than eight different Hebrew words in Psalms 119 alone that describe the many aspects of God’s Word.
The first such word is law, which is the most frequent of all, appearing some 219 times. The Hebrew is tôrāh (H8451), a feminine noun meaning “direction, teaching, and instruction.” Generally speaking, law most often refers to a body of teaching, and that is precisely what allScripture is. While we will examine in subsequent studies the Mosaic Law and its bearing on NT believers, all Scripture provides direction and instruction. While not all Scripture was written to the church (NT believers), all Scripture was written for the church. In other words, all Scripture provides legitimate application for us in this age.
It’s interesting and instructive that the very first occurrence of tôrāh is in Gen_26:5, long before God gave the Mosaic Law: “Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” In other words, God has always had laws. This is further evident in the fact that before God gave the Mosaic Law, some of its basic principles already existed among the Babylonians, Hittites, and other civilizations. This clearly demonstrates that at the very least a basic verbal law had been handed down through the years. It eventually was ignored by the majority after Babel, but there were some, such as Abraham, who retained the knowledge of God’s law. We see the same implication in Job (which predates the Mosaic Law): “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job_23:12). Again, long before Moses, there were commandments, that is, law, which while eventually replaced by the Mosaic Law, was nonetheless a code of behavior and a body of teaching by which man was bound. As we will see, this is the law written in man’s hearts (Rom_2:15), a law he cannot escape.
Scriptures for Study: What do Psa_1:1-3; Psa_119:1 promise to those who keep God’s law, that is, the instruction of His Word in general?