Posts Tagged ‘Sovereign’


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…)


Genesis 29:22-23,25-28,30-35 Laban gathered all the men of the place and made a feast. Now in the evening he took his daughter Leah, and brought her to him; and Jacob went in to her… So it came about in the morning that, behold, it was Leah! And he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served with you? Why then have you deceived me?” But Laban said, “It is not the practice in our place to marry off the younger before the firstborn. “Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also for the service which you shall serve with me for another seven years.” Jacob did so and completed her week, and he gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife… So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and indeed he loved Rachel more than Leah, and he served with Laban for another seven years. Now the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. Leah conceived and bore a son and named him Reuben, for she said, “Because the LORD has seen my affliction; surely now my husband will love me.” Then she conceived again and bore a son and said, “Because the LORD has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” So she named him Simeon. She conceived again and bore a son and said, “Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore he was named Levi. And she conceived again and bore a son and said, “This time I will praise the LORD.” Therefore she named him Judah. Then she stopped bearing.

Jacob finally reaches the land of Laban and has a chance meeting with Rachel, the beautiful younger daughter of Laban. In order to marry Rachel, he offers seven years of service to Laban and gets married.

Deception does not seem to go far from Jacob either in his own doing or as done to him. He is deceived by his uncle who gives Leah, Rachel’s older sister, in marriage to Jacob and he realizes only after he consummates the wedding.

However his uncle makes Jacob an offer to keep Leah as his wife, marry Rachel and serve another seven years. Jacob, so in love with Rachel, agrees and has two wives, one who is beautiful and one who has poor sight, both sisters and both his responsibility.

Unfortunately, Jacob’s love for Rachel makes him less considerate of Leah and she is left wanting. God intervenes and opens Leah’s womb so that she can have four sons while Rachel has none.

Why does God permit these strange situations and did He not promise to be with Jacob and bless him? (more…)


Genesis 10:2-4,6-7,21-22,32 The sons of Japheth were Gomer and Magog and Madai and Javan and Tubal and Meshech and Tiras. The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz and Riphath and Togarmah. The sons of Javan were Elishah and Tarshish, Kittim and Dodanim… The sons of Ham were Cush and Mizraim and Put and Canaan. The sons of Cush were Seba and Havilah and Sabtah and Raamah and Sabteca; and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan… Also to Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, and the older brother of Japheth, children were born. The sons of Shem were Elam and Asshur and Arpachshad and Lud and Aram… These are the families of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies, by their nations; and out of these the nations were separated on the earth after the flood.

Genealogies are generally boring and we often wish we could skip them and probably do. However, knowing that this is God’s word compels us to consider what God has had penned and why. To help me understand, I referred to Barnes’ notes on the Bible and here are a couple comments I found interesting.

In this chapter there are 70 names, exclusive of Nimrod, of heads of families, tribes, or nations descended from the 3 sons of Noah – 14 from Japheth, 30 from Ham, and 26 from Shem. Among the heads of tribes descended from Japheth are 7 grandsons. Among those from Ham are 23 grandsons and 3-great-grandsons. Among those of Shem are 5 grandsons, one great-grandson, 2 of the fourth generation, and 13 of the fifth. Whence, it appears that the subdivisions are traced further in Ham and much further in Shem than in Japheth, and that they are pursued only in those lines which are of importance for the coming events in the history of Shem.

During this period the race was rapidly increasing under the covenant made with Noah. From Shem to Abraham were ten generations inclusive; and, therefore, if we suppose the same rate of increase after as we have supposed before, there would be about fifteen million inhabitants when Abraham was thirty years of age. If, however, we take eight as the average of a family, and suppose eleven generations after Shem at the one hundredth year of Abraham’s life, we have about thirty million people on the earth. The average of the three sons of Noah is higher than this; for they had sixteen sons, and we may suppose as many daughters, making in all thirty-two, and, therefore, giving ten children to each household.

Considering the above, I do believe this genealogy now becomes significant to us because we are witnessing how God brought His covenant with Adam and Noah to pass. Suddenly the one family that we previously thought improbable has grown at an explosive rate and we are now considering 30 million people on earth located in different regions, of different races and new cultures.

One question that has been on my mind is why there is only a mention of men, does this mean women have no significance to God and what are we to understand from it?

First we must remember that God created both men and women in His own image and therefore God loves us all (Gen. 1:31). When the fall of man occurred, God certainly punished women to be subjected to their husbands and this has caused women to at times suffer greatly under their husbands. Here’s a few comments I took from GhanaWeb:

However, God hates exploitation and abuse of all kinds (Exodus 22:22; Deuteronomy 27:19; Isaiah 10:1, 2). The Mosaic Law condemned rape and prostitution. (Leviticus 19:29; Deuteronomy 22:23-29) Adultery was prohibited, and the penalty was death for both parties. (Leviticus 20:10) Rather than discriminate against women, the Law elevated and protected them from the rampant exploitation common in the surrounding nations. A capable Jewish wife was a highly respected and esteemed individual. (Proverbs 31:10, 28-30) The Israelites’ failure to follow God’s laws on showing respect for women was their fault, not God’s will. (Deuteronomy 32:5) Ultimately, God judged and punished the nation as a whole for their flagrant disobedience.

The fact that men Scripturally have been assigned to take the lead in the congregation and the family does not mean that women are being discriminated against. To prosper, both the family and the congregation need women and men to play their respective roles with love and respect.—Ephesians 5:21-25, 28, 29, 33.

Jesus consistently treated women with respect. He refused to follow the discriminatory traditions and regulations taught by the Pharisees. He talked to non-Jewish women. (Matthew 15:22-28; John 4:7-9) He taught women. (Luke 10:38-42) He protected women from being abandoned. (Mark 10:11, 12) Perhaps the most revolutionary step for his time was that Jesus accepted women into his inner circle of friends. (Luke 8:1-3) As the perfect embodiment of all of God’s qualities, Jesus showed that individuals of both sexes have equal value in God’s eyes. In fact, among the early Christians, both men and women received the gift of the holy spirit. (Acts 2:1-4, 17, 18) For those anointed, who have the prospect of serving as kings and priests with Christ, there will be no distinction of gender at all once resurrected to heavenly life. (Galatians 3:28) The Author of the Bible, Jehovah, does not discriminate against women.

I pray today that you and I have learnt that all of God’s word is good and when read with God’s leading, we can begin to appreciate and understand God in a right and fitting manner and therefore continue to submit ourselves to His yoke rather than the impossible yoke of Satan.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


2 Peter 2:1-4,9-10

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment… if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority.

As a christian, I find it hard to accept and reject teachings that are supposedly word-based but seem rather disconnected from what Jesus taught. Several scholars of the word have taken learnings from the word and created ideologies or given christian walk a new direction and I always worry that I will be directed off the path God would have me walk if I am not careful. Contorting wisdom to benefit our own desires is not an uncommon reality of humanity. How do we as christians know what’s right and what’s not? How is our faith safeguarded and is there something the Lord is saying to us today through His word? (more…)


Acts 4:24-28
“Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One.’ Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.”

I penned the reaction of the leaders a day too early and I suppose it is what we would expect from hard hearted people, not unlike ourselves before we were saved by God’s grace. As I read through today’s chapter, the grateful prayer of the new church caught my attention. They prayed not thanking God for Peter and John’s release but glorifying God. They praised God for how he brought about his perfect will through the meaningless sacrifice (In the eyes of the Jewish elect) of his son and servant, Jesus Christ, and that the Lord would enable them to perform miraculous signs in Jesus’ name for his glory. What could God achieve by sacrificing his own son and what glory is there to work among the common folk?

As we continue to journey through life, the reality of how short life can be keeps looming close to our hearts and minds. There are no safe havens anymore here on earth as crime and corruption have reached the very core of our souls. In these times, what hope can we have in trying to live for ourselves when nothing is for certain? However, with Jesus, we have hope of eternity in God’s presence and that’s a hope no one can ever take away. We are encouraged again this morning that our lives are for the service and glory of Jesus and that’s all that matters. His life was not one of power and authority the way the world sees it but of meekness and majesty. He is our Servant King and we are his grateful servant followers.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

PS: Sign up for daily devotionals by clicking the email subscription icon at the top right of this page or by visiting this group. Also, share this with your friends and family who need some encouragement and direction in their lives.