Tag Archives: Israel

Glory

The Israelites were quick to complain about God when they didn’t have their eyes on food. Just after God brought them out of Egypt, they forgot what He rescued them from, because they were hungry. Where was the food? We would be better off back in Egypt.

Even though the Israelites were complaining, God showed His glory to them. He didn’t withhold His glory. How awesome is that?!? He graciously allowed them to “see the awesome glory of the LORD in the cloud.”

Have you ever seen God’s glory? If you haven’t, you haven’t been looking. Despite each of us being sinners, He allows us to see His glory. Despite us often being ungrateful, He allows us to see His glory. Today, thank Him for His gracious ways. Thank Him for allowing us to experience Him—allowing us to see His glory!

“And as Aaron spoke to the whole community of Israel, they looked out toward the wilderness. There they could see the awesome glory of the LORD in the cloud.” – Exodus 16:10 [NLT]

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A Mighty Hand

As God shares His plan with Moses, He lets Moses know that Pharaoh would not let the people go when he would make the request. Even though Moses was being sent to make this special request, the numerous requests would never work. It was the mighty hand of God that would cause Pharaoh to release the people of Israel.

The “mighty hand” that “forces,” can be described as being “under compulsion.” God is saying that Pharaoh would not allow the people to go unless forced to do this at some point. Imagine being Moses. Imagine the request from God—to go and speak to Pharaoh with a promise that he would not listen. Doesn’t it seem crazy? Go ask this person to say “yes,” but understand he will always say, “no.”

If you are told that what you do will not be successful on your part, would you still do it? Would you be satisfied knowing that the mighty hand of God was going to handle it? Why would Moses even be needed at all if God’s strength was going to be what changed Pharaoh’s mind? All this points back to the glory of God. Remember, this was God’s power on display. Moses showed up and was used as a vessel, but at the end of the day, it was the mighty hand of God that caused Pharaoh to release His special people.

“But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand forces him.” – Exodus 3:19 [NLT]

Wrestling God

When many people read Genesis 32, they may wonder why someone would wrestle with God. This is God, the God of the universe, the Creator of everything. He is the all-powerful, all-knowing, the great I AM. It seems crazy to even imagine thinking you could stand a chance wrestling with God. Yet, we all wrestle with God.

Each one of us is separated from God because of sin. He is holy and He will have no part of sin. The truth is sin is anything that goes against God. But as we wrestle with God just as Jacob did since birth, something happens. Jacob started out as a deceiver, a liar—some would even say a cheat. As Jacob was following his own way, God still was reaching out. The wrestling was always there as it is with us—God always reaching out to bring us back to Him, and us always pulling away following our own way.

In the passage we know as Jacob wrestling with God, the wrestling match has changed. This wrestling was very different from the past. Jacob was alone with God, just as we are alone with Him so often as we approach during quiet time in prayer. He fought with God in a different way. He clung to God. He desired God.

We read that God touches Jacob’s hip socket. With one touch, his hip is out of joint; this is something no man could do and it demonstrates the power of God. The fact is God could have done more to Jacob than cause a hip to pop out, but God does not wish to overpower us. This is a reminder that we cannot prevail by our own power. However, He wants simply for us to desire Him, not by force but freely. Jacob’s response shows his desire. He stated, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (v. 26). Basically, I am going to cling to You. I am not letting You go. You can do whatever You want with me. I am sticking with You.

God won’t try to overcome you with power. He could but then that wouldn’t be a relationship; it would be a dictatorship. All the gods of this world attempt to overcome with force. Our God spreads His arms open wide, humbles Himself and dies so that we can live. And when we wrestle with Him, when we declare that we will not let go of Him, He embraces us right back.

This does not just end with Jacob winning a match. God gives Jacob a new name. No longer will he be a deceiver; for he has wrestled with God and prevailed. This means he clung to God, he hung on with everything. Renamed Israel, this man asked God to tell him His name. Why? That’s what Jacob was asked. We don’t read of a response from Jacob because it wasn’t necessary. Jacob wanted not to know another name for God, but to have a deeper revelation, a greater understanding of Who God is. He was given that from that day and onward. As we continue to cling to Him, He continues to reveal Himself to us daily. He is too great and too glorious for us to understand. But we know that the glory of God, the beauty of Christ, is the Light of the gospel—the rest will have to wait (2 Corinthians 4).

I pray that you will evaluate where you are at with your wrestling match with God. Have you been running around the wrestling ring taking jabs? Have you been avoiding situations and blocking the right hooks? Or have you embraced Him, have you clung Him tightly and proclaimed, “I will not let You go” my Lord? I will not let You go. I will not let You go.

You Have Lacked Nothing

You Have Lacked Nothing

Today’s verse speaks of a time when God’s people were wandering around in the wilderness. Even when they were not always walking with their eyes fixed on God, even when their hearts were easily swayed, God provided for them. During a time when they grumbled and complained again and again, God still made sure they had everything they needed. He provided them manna. He provided them fresh water. This verse speaks truth – they “lacked nothing.”

For those reading this right now, it is quite possible that you can boldly claim these same words – that you have lacked nothing, that God has indeed provided for everything you need. Oftentimes as we fix our eyes elsewhere, we might become forgetful of this truth. But we have lacked nothing. We have been fed. We have been clothed. We so often show little gratitude for the many things God provides us for daily.

Today let us remind ourselves that we have lacked nothing over the years. God has provided for us and He has provided in abundance. Let us not overlook this great blessing. Instead, I pray we are able to live a life of gratitude, a life that appreciates all of the blessings that He pours out upon us. We are blessed so very much. Thank you Jesus! Let us be blessed to be a blessing!

“For the LORD your God has blessed you in everything you have done. He has watched your every step through this great wilderness. During these forty years, the LORD your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing.” – Deuteronomy 2:7 [NLT]

God’s Somebody

Have you ever been called a “nobody”? In this world we spend many hours trying to show people that we are somebody, that we are important, that we mean something. There are books written about how to turn your life around and go from a nobody to a somebody. There are lectures and programs built around this idea of turning your life around from being nothing to being something.

God sees things differently. Yes, we all are nobodies traveling the earth, but we each have a purpose. We each are valuable. No one is more valuable than another. We are all important. We can all be somebodies. We simply need to find our way back to God and follow our purpose, God’s awesome plan. Trust me, it is an awesome plan, a plan we cannot even fathom.

Now being a somebody does not mean you will be a millionaire or a celebrity or even find great earthly success. But it is so much better. You are a child of the King. You will have eternity to enjoy. You are forgiven. You are redeemed. You are restored. These things make you a Somebody. Without Christ, we are all forever and always nobodies, no matter how hard you work and how much time and effort is put into changing your status. In Christ alone we are Somebody.

 

“But down the road the population of Israel is going to explode past counting, like sand on the ocean beaches. In the very place where they were once named Nobody, they will be named God’s Somebody. Everybody in Judah and everybody in Israel will be assembled as one people. They’ll choose a single leader. There’ll be no stopping them—a great day in Jezreel!” – Hosea 1:10-11 [MSG]

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Get Going

There are moments in life when I need to be given a swift kick to get going. Remember Moses making excuses again and again when God called him to lead the people out of Egypt? Well Moses isn’t the only one who knows how to drag feet. I’m sure we all have been there; my toes have scars.

When Israel wanted a king and chose a human over God, Samuel was upset. Then Saul was anointed king and he did not follow in God’s ways. God then told Samuel that Saul would no longer be king, that He would select a man after his own heart to rule His people. We can sit back and see why God wanted a new king anointed and not feel the sadness, the fear, the frustration of Samuel. This was something Samuel never wanted to do the first time, and now he was going to have to do it again. What would Saul do? Why again? And he moped.

God told Samuel to get going. Get going. Get going. Is there something that is keeping you from moving forward? Perhaps God has something waiting for you to start or to finish, but you are dragging your feet. You are making excuses. You are moping. Repeat these words—get going. Get going. God has a great plan. Trust Him and get going.

“GOD addressed Samuel: ‘So, how long are you going to mope over Saul? You know I’ve rejected him as king over Israel. Fill your flask with anointing oil and get going. I’m sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I’ve spotted the very king I want among his sons.’”
-1 Samuel 16:1 [MSG]

 

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Paid Them No Mind

Many people will speak poorly about you. You cannot get through life with everyone liking you and with everyone treating you well. When someone is saying things about you, there are moments when it is best to pay them no mind. There are instances when the devil is trying to get to you through their hurtful words. There are moments when the words distract you from moving forward.
When people saw Saul after he was chosen to be the king they so desperately wanted, they began to speak poorly about him. They would not congratulate him for his success. They were laughing at him. They did not show support. The group practically laughed at him. But the Bible says that “Saul paid them no mind.”
God had work for Saul to do—Saul was soon to be crowned the king of Israel, God’s chosen people. If his attention would have been diverted, he would never have been able to lead the nation the way God directed. Unfortunately there was a time when his attention was diverted and God took the kingdom from him. Today, remember that not everyone will be in your corner. Not everyone has your best intentions in mind. Not everyone will be encouraging and supportive. I have found it is best to pay them no mind and focus on what God says about me.

 

“Saul also went home to Gibeah, and with him some true and brave men whom GOD moved to join him. But the riffraff went off muttering, ‘Deliverer? Don’t make me laugh!’ They held him in contempt and refused to congratulate him. But Saul paid them no mind.”
-1 Samuel 10:26-27 [MSG]

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Evidence Accepted

Since I was a little girl, I always wanted to know the facts. When someone would tell me something, I had to learn about it and seek out the truth. When I was in high school, I spent a lot of time in research. I also did puzzles which challenged me to take the facts and find the truth with what was presented to me as evidence. It was part of my legal training. Even today I spend much of my time reading non-fiction books.  I have a great love for facts. In my employment and in ministry, facts are very important.

Today’s verse is one snippet from a passage where God’s people messed up. It simply says that the Israelites looked at a group of men and took their word. They trusted the people. The bread looked old. The clothing looked dirty and worn. They accepted the evidence. Even worse, they did not go to God about it. They accepted lies and agreed to a treaty.

These people paid the price for not looking for the truth. We too can pay a hefty price when we accept what others call “truth” as truth without consulting God. It is important to seek the Truth at all times. God is the Truth. Therefore as things are presented to you and you do not know what is real, what is true, what is God’s will—turn to God. Call upon the Holy Spirit. Ask God about it.

“The men of Israel looked them over and accepted the evidence. But they didn’t ask God about it.”

– Joshua 9:14 [MSG]

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They Went Anyway

If God tells you that something is not going to work, that it is out of His will, there is no way it is going to work in your favor. You cannot force God to change His mind. He doesn’t change His mind. He has a perfect plan for a reason. We don’t have a better plan. We don’t have a plan even close to perfect. I thank God again and again for not taking my plans and making them true. I have realized long ago my plans are disastrous and His ways are perfect and beautiful and amazing.

The people were told that they were not going to enter the Promised Land. They did not believe and trust God so they would stay back. After word was given, they decided they were going to go anyway. The Bible says they were reckless and arrogant and they were. They figured that if they went, God would be with them. He would allow them to be victorious though He said otherwise. Foolishly they thought that by their actions they would force His hand. Reminds me of when the devil tried to get Jesus to jump off the high area so the angels would catch Him. Guess what—it’s not a good idea to test God. His Word stands.

The people got a thrashing. They did not get to enter the area. God’s Word stood. His Word still stands today. If God is telling you not to take a particular path, not to make a certain decision, understand that you won’t force His hand. His will shall be done. Today. Tomorrow. Always.

“But they went anyway; recklessly and arrogantly they climbed to the high hill country. But the Chest of the Covenant and Moses didn’t budge from the camp. The Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in the hill country came out of the hills and attacked and beat them, a rout all the way down to Hormah.”

– Numbers 14:44-45 [MSG]

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God With You

When considering a change in life, do you consider if you can do it? When you are facing a difficult situation, do you consider if you can do it? From what I have seen, many people consider their own strength. Whatever they are faced with, they consider if they alone can do it. If they cannot physically, financially, and emotionally do it, then that is it.

Moses was told to go lead the Israelites out of Egypt and he immediately considered if it was something he could do alone. He said “what makes you think” that I can do that? More or less it was an excuse because Moses considered his own strength and knew it was impossible. But it wasn’t impossible for God.

Too often we consider our own strength but we are not doing life alone. We have a God who is all-powerful. We have a God who is mighty. We have a God who created the Earth. We have a God who sustains us, who provides for us, who helps us, who blesses us with all that we see, feel, and know. Today, remember that God is with you, and consider what you can do through Him rather than without Him. So much more is possible when you see things through Him.

“Moses answered God, ‘But why me? What makes you think that I could ever go to Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt?’

‘I’ll be with you,’ God said. ‘And this will be the proof that I am the one who sent you: When you have brought my people out of Egypt, you will worship God right here at this very mountain.’”

– Exodus 3:11-12 [MSG]

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