“Afterward, Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.’” And Pharaoh said, ‘Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go.’”
As we approach the Christmas celebration, we come face to face with the veracity and validity of the Bible:
Did Jesus really come?
Is the Bible just a cunning book of crafted stories and can we trust that God is real and that He loves us?
It is my intent to equip and prepare the Lord’s people for the mess that is coming our way over the next few weeks, months and years.
I was saved at the age of 14 in Barbados, a little spot on the global map. I had heard the Gospel many times before but, that Monday night 36 years ago, I asked Jesus to forgive my sins and to save me. According to the Bible, I am saved. I believe that Jesus is God, that He died for my sins, that he is the only way of salvation, and in my need for a Savior, I called on His name to save me. My salvation is not based on a feeling or a ‘hope so.’ It is based on the written Word of God, and the confidence, faith and trust that I put in the person of Jesus Christ. In Romans 10:8-13 we find these words, from the Bible, but what does it say?
“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For ‘whoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved.'”
If you too have obeyed the Word of God as written here, you are saved as well. I am not perfect; I am a sinful man and I fail my family and the Lord more often than I can count. God, however, is Gracious and Kind, His Mercy is new to me each day, and His love for me is inexhaustible. He made me a promise that I can confess my sins when I sin and that He will forgive me and cleanse me of all unrighteousness every time. There are a lot of burdens put on saved people about perfection: That is not in the Bible. Passages are taken out of context and not read in a balanced view with the whole Bible.
Over the past few years, the Lord has helped my wife and me, as well as our whole church, to embark on reading the Bible cover to cover. Just start, get to the end and start again, over and over. I am on my fifth reading, and what I find is that the men whom God called were sinful men like me. Men with flaws, men who were adulterous, some murderers, like Moses and some who were idol worshipers like Aaron, some who were simply not nice people at all. This does not condone sin in any way. God cannot do that. But sinners we all are, and we all will be until Jesus gives us our glorified bodies and raptures us up to heaven. We can get a glimpse into how Jesus deals with us by how He told the disciples, and we as His followers, to deal with our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Here are two examples:
Luke 17:4, “And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and comes back to you seven times, saying, I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
Matthew 18:21-22, “Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.'”
In the book of Proverbs, The Lord tells us, in Chapter 10:12, that “Love covers a multitude of sins.” Now some will say that I am advocating sinning and that I am taking advantage of the Grace of God. I will admit that I, as well as every other Christian on this planet, takes advantage of God’s Grace. We simply do. Our children take advantage of the love and grace that we have for them, and we are no different than they, with respect to the Lord. What the Lord requires is humility and repentance. Yes, we are to turn from our sins and work at bringing our body into submission, but we will sin, sometimes quite badly and often with dire consequences. But God is Gracious and Kind, slow to anger and patient with us His children. He remembers that we are just dust and frail at best.
Jacob, one of the Old Testament patriarchs, was a trickster who stole his brother’s birthright. He tricked his father and defrauded his brother. He married two women, had children with four, and yet God called him a Prince. God honored him and protected him, loved him and made a great nation out of him. Did he have some hard times? Yes, he did! He suffered a lot. He had strife in his house between his many wives, he had in-fighting with his children; so much so that they stole and sold off Joseph to slave traders and then told their dad he was dead. Jacob described his life on earth this way in a conversation with Pharaoh recorded in Genesis 47:9:
“And Jacob said to Pharaoh, ‘The days of the years of my pilgrimage are one hundred and thirty years; few and evil have been the days of the years of my life.'”
Jacob described the days of his life as evil. They were hard, but he knew who his God was, and he knew where he was going. There is never any doubt in his mind, no doubt in his conversation that he was going to meet his Father in Heaven. This man, like all of our ancestors in the faith, understood that salvation has never been and will never be about how good I am. If that were the case, we are all dead in our sins and going to hell. Jacob understood as did Abraham, Moses, Aaron and David that their security was based on the faithfulness of God to hold them securely in spite of their sinfulness, weaknesses, and at times “fleshliness.”
The same David who defied Goliath, numbered Israel without God’s permission. The same Samson who broke every rule of his Nazarite vow is called a servant in Hebrews 11:32. The same Elijah that called fire down from Heaven was found scared and asking God to kill him a chapter later. The same Peter who walked on water, denied Jesus in fear of a little girl. On and on I can go, but there is no need.
When we began this writing, I posed a question from Pharaoh found in Exodus 5:1-2, “Who is this Lord that I should obey Him?” Pharaoh was filled with pride. He was accustomed to being revered as a god by the people of Egypt, and to submit to the God of Israel would have meant that there was a God greater than him, and he could not have that. So, he defied God. He refused to submit; thus, over the course of the next 6 chapters, God destroys Egypt. He leaves them broken, without food, without gold and silver, and without an heir to the throne of Egypt. God completely establishes himself as the Supreme God, able to control the weather, the insects, the waters, and life itself.
What separates the Jews and the few Egyptians that obeyed God, is humility. Those that had God’s protection humbled themselves under the Mighty Hand of God and acknowledged his Sovereign Power. For those of us that are preserved in Jesus, we have come to the same crossroads, and we have chosen to humble ourselves under the Power of the Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
There is a growing number of people asking the same question, ‘Who is God that I should obey Him?’
There are only two categories of people on this planet: those who humble themselves under the Mighty Hand of God, and those who defy God and ask, ‘Who is God that I should obey Him?’
The Bible describes the people who question God’s place and authority as ‘fools.’ We are surrounded on this little planet by billions of fools. They defy God; they refuse to obey Him, not for the lack of knowledge, but because they deliberately refuse to humble themselves and obey God.
No book in the world has been investigated more than the Bible. It has never been proven to be false, and it is still the basis for the majority of our moral codes in law, in business and in society at large. You have to decide what to do with it. It either is the Word of God or it is nothing to us, but it is not just a good book.
We stand at the beginning of the end here on earth. The Lord Jesus will return to judge this earth very soon, and He will take His New Testament saints out just before all ‘Hell’ breaks loose. There will be hail, famine, earthquakes, fire from heaven, waters turning to blood, and billions will die. Yet many will defy God and ask, ‘Who is the Lord that I should obey Him?’ Many will choose the mark of the Anti-Christ over allegiance to God Almighty. If you read the book of Revelation, you will see that God is about to unleash His wrath on this earth; and the major failure will be that people, for the most part, will be un-repentant and filled with pride. And, their pride will be a willful pride; they will see the power and majesty of God much like Pharaoh did. And rather than humble themselves, they will shake their fist at the God of the Universe and defy Him. The pot will call into question the power of the Potter. We find this account from Revelation 16:17-21:
“Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, ‘It is done!’ And there were noises and thunderings and lightning; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail since that plague was exceedingly great.”
Notice that the people still ‘blasphemed God’ instead of humbling themselves and submitting. They know for sure that this is God doing this; there is no question, but they defy Him. In Revelation 9 after four angels are released to kill millions of people, the summary of how the people of the earth reacted is shown in verses 20-21:
“But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.”
There simply was and is no humility and no repentance: ‘Who is the Lord that we should obey Him?’ What a sad time we live in; what a difficult time to serve the Lord and to try to obey Him. We live in a time when good has been classed as evil, and vice-versa. God has been demonized and Satan elevated. Right is now wrong and evil normalized. We have excused sin for mistakes and defiance as individuality. The Bible tells us that God cannot be mocked; whatever a man sows he will also reap (Galatians 6:7). We are reaping a whirlwind of evil as we speak.
I have chosen to humble myself under the powerful and Almighty hand of God. When asked ‘Who is the Lord that you obey Him?’ I answer,
He is the ‘I AM’ who spoke to Moses from the burning bush, the Almighty God who destroyed the ‘god’ of Egypt and did not even break a sweat doing so. He is the God who delivered the Jews from bondage, fed and watered them for 40 years in the wilderness and gave them the land we call Israel today. He is the God who parted the Red Sea, the God who one day about 2,000 years ago, stepped out of Heaven and became the man Jesus Christ. He paid for my sins and then rose from the dead and established that neither death nor the grave could have any power over the saved: Ever. He is the God of the Living: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Samson, David, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are all alive and well. They are alive and well because they humbled themselves under the Mighty Hand of God; they submitted to the Living God and believed with all their hearts that Jesus is God.
Have you submitted to God?
Have you humbled yourself under the Almighty Hand of God?
Or are you a modern-day Pharaoh asking, ‘Who is God that I should obey Him?’
Just remember what God did to Pharaoh. It was not pretty, and Egypt has never recovered the prominence they had up until this day. For those of us that are saved, we need to discipline ourselves through the Power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to say no to sin. BUT we will sin, we will fail, and we will need to ask God for forgiveness. He will forgive, He will restore, and He will always respond to genuine humility.
Look Up! Jesus is coming soon!