Posts Tagged ‘Hard Hearted’


Deuteronomy 1 These are the words that Moses spoke to all the people of Israel while they were in the wilderness east of the Jordan River… Normally it takes only eleven days to travel from Mount Sinai to Kadesh-barnea, going by way of Mount Seir. But forty years after the Israelites left Egypt, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses addressed the people of Israel, telling them everything the LORD had commanded him to say… “When we were at Mount Sinai, the LORD our God said to us, ‘You have stayed at this mountain long enough. It is time to break camp and move on. Go to the hill country of the Amorites and to all the neighbouring regions—the Jordan Valley, the hill country, the western foothills, the Negev, and the coastal plain. Go to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, and all the way to the great Euphrates River. Look, I am giving all this land to you! Go in and occupy it, for it is the land the LORD swore to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to all their descendants.’”… “Then, just as the LORD our God commanded us, we left Mount Sinai and traveled through the great and terrifying wilderness, as you yourselves remember, and headed toward the hill country of the Amorites… Go and occupy it as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has promised you. Don’t be afraid! Don’t be discouraged!’ “But you all came to me and said, ‘First, let’s send out scouts to explore the land for us. They will advise us on the best route to take and which towns we should enter.’…

Forty years spent in the desert and now to lecture the tired populace was not going to reinvigorate the Israelites, was it? How is God speaking to us through this reflection of the painful Israelite journey? (more…)


Exodus 3:1-2,18-22 Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed… And they will listen to your voice, and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, please let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.’ But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand. So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go. And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and when you go, you shall not go empty, but each woman shall ask of her neighbor, and any woman who lives in her house, for silver and gold jewelry, and for clothing. You shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.”

We come to the point in Moses’ life where he is being called into God’s service, and like I was once reminded, this was the third third of his life. The first forty years were spent as royalty in Egypt, the next forty as a shepherd in the land of Midian and the last forty as leader of a nation as he led the captive Israelites away from Egyptian bondage.

We note God’s amazing way of getting a shepherd’s attention, the forward covenant God makes with Moses to show He will see him through, the great promise of delivery, the leadership role Moses would be given, the acceptance of the elders of Israel, the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart and finally the plunder of the Egyptians after their women give their riches.

God heard the mourning of the Israelites who had to toil day and night for the oppressive Egyptians. This was foretold to Abraham, came to pass and now we wonder why God would permit such suffering.

Four hundred and thirty years of oppression is what the Israelites had to undergo before they were led out of Egypt and does that not seem a bit much of suffering? (more…)


Mark 8:34-38
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

As the pressure from the Pharisees mounted on Jesus to make the world doubt him, he traveled from place to place sharing the gospel because he knew his time was short and there were many who need saving. He dint fight back with the Pharisees because he knew how futile it was to try and change the mind of the hard hearted who had no space for a messiah in their lives. Today’s passage is one that most of us have heard but don’t enjoy much because these are not words of encouragement to the world. Instead, they are words of caution and only a genuine follower of Christ would see the sweetness of what the Lord was saying.

I am the sort of person most people might think of as nice whereas in reality I had some serious issues with sin. I still have areas of difficulty and not to turn back to my old ways is very hard. If there has been change, it was only because the Lord has enabled it in me. However, the big issue is that sometimes, we feel like God would understand if in our humanness we faltered a tiny bit. Unfortunately, that is Satan tripping us into our old selves and we need to always stand guard. To be able to witness real change, we need to hand over the reins of our life to God. When we do so, we will look foolish and ‘uncool’ to the world and might face persecution for it but we will be giving God glory. Are you willing to be shameless to the world for God to transform you and gain victory over sin or do you want to gain the world and loose eternity with God?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

Nut Cracker in the Woods