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Moses In The Wilderness

What If You Were Called?

What If You Were Called?
By Nathele Graham

Abram was a man who lived far apart from God. He lived in a pagan culture, and his family embraced that culture. Abram was married to Sarai, who was unable to have children. God saw something special in Abram (later known as Abraham), and He called Abram to leave the pagan influence of his home and family behind. Let’s take a look at the summary of this as told by Stephen when he was martyred.

“And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, and said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee. Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell.” – Acts 7:2-4.

God called Abram to greatness, but in order to achieve what God promised, he had to leave all paganism behind. Abram, like most of us, had a hard time separating from the people he loved. Instead of immediately leaving for the land that God promised him, he stayed with his father. It was only after his father had died that Abram left the home and family he had grown up in to be obedient to God. Abram was also promised that he would have children to inherit the land. Sarai was barren, so that was, to Abram, an odd promise.

“And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.” – Acts 7:5.

God is able to use us even though we drag our feet in doing His will. We may even laugh when we receive a promise from God. Even though Abraham couldn’t understand how God could give him children and inheritance in a land he had not entered, God works in ways that we can’t always understand. Sarah was well past childbearing age when she did indeed give birth to Isaac. The world is blessed through him because he was the one whose descendants would bring forth the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Sometimes we fall into situations that seem very bad, but end up being used for God’s glory. Such was the situation with Joseph. Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob. Esau was a rebellious one who didn’t honor the God of his father Isaac. Jacob had other problems, but God chose him to be the father of 12 sons who would be the 12 tribes of Israel. They weren’t always the most obedient sons. Joseph was Jacob’s favorite. He was the son of his favorite wife, Rachel. Jacob had taken 2 wives and had children by both of them, as well as by 2 of their servants. God uses sinners, and such was the case with Jacob. Joseph’s brothers hated him because Jacob favored him. They plotted to get rid of Joseph. When Jacob sent Joseph to see how the older brothers were getting along with the sheep they were tending, they decided to stage his death and threw him into a pit. Things looked bad to Joseph, but he couldn’t see the great plans God had for him. The brothers decided to sell Joseph.

“Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen: and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ismeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.” – Genesis 37:28.

In Egypt, they found a buyer for Joseph.

“And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, and captain of the guard.” – Genesis 37:36.

God was putting in place the necessary pieces to save Jacob and his sons from an upcoming famine. Even though Joseph was a slave in Egypt, he still honored the God of his fathers, and all that he did was successful. Joseph did his best service for Potiphar, who promoted him to overseer. Potiphar’s wife was attracted to him, but Joseph was a man of integrity and refused her advances. This angered her, and she falsely accused Joseph of taking advantage of her. Once again, what seemed to be a bad situation was used for God’s glory. Joseph was put in prison, but one day Pharaoh had a dream that troubled him. Joseph was asked to interpret the dream. He said the dream showed there would be 7 years of great plenty, followed by 7 years of famine. Joseph told Pharoah to appoint a man to collect food and store it during the years of plenty and then use it to feed the people during the years of famine. Pharoah liked the plan and appointed Joseph to the high position.

“Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.” – Genesis 41:40.

When God is honored, great things happen. Joseph was faithful to his job, and when the famine came, the Egyptians were prepared and even able to share their food with others, including Jacob, his 11 remaining sons, and all their households. Joseph’s obedience and faithfulness saved the children of Israel because they came to Egypt to buy food. Joseph was reunited with his father. They lived and prospered in Egypt for many years, but as the Pharaohs came and went, the Hebrews were made slaves and suffered much hardship. They eventually remembered God and cried out to Him for help.

The years passed, and the Israelites prospered in Egypt. Stephen tells us,

“Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph. The same dealt subtly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children to the end they might not live.” – Acts 7:18-19.

The pharaoh, who didn’t know history, was ignorant of the blessing that the Israelites had been to Egypt and the world. It seems as if evil people always try to ignore the blessing of Israel to the world. Pharoah became afraid that the Israelites would usurp his power, so he set about to destroy them. Hebrew babies were to be left to die, and by Pharoah’s orders, midwives were to kill Hebrew babies at birth. Satan was trying to destroy Israel then, and he’s trying to destroy them today. The midwives refused to be part of this murderous plan. When Moses was born, his mother hid him so that he would not be murdered.

“And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein: and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink.” – Exodus 2:3.

By God’s design, Pharoah’s daughter found him and saved him. Moses was raised in Pharoah’s household and learned the Egyptian ways. Moses knew he was Hebrew, and one day, he saw an Egyptian abusing a Hebrew slave:

“And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.” – Exodus 2:12.

Moses was forced to flee from Egypt and ended up in Midian, married the priest’s daughter, and tended his sheep. Meanwhile, in Egypt, Pharoah died, but the Israelites were still slaves. God heard their cries for help.

“And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.” – Exodus 2:25.

This is what God had prepared Moses for to free the children of Israel from Egyptian slavery and lead them to the land He had promised to Abraham. Moses was to approach Pharoah to free the Israelites. Moses had many excuses, but God knew Moses was able to accomplish what he was chosen to do.

One day Moses was tending the sheep and saw a bush that was on fire, but it wasn’t being destroyed. Curiosity caused him to go see about this wonder. Then God called to him from the bush. God Identified Himself as the God of Abraham. The God of Isaac. And the God of Jacob. God will never turn His back on the nation of Israel. He works through people, and this time it was Moses he chose.

“Now, therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.” – Exodus 3:9.

Make no mistake, God sees the oppression by the Muslim nations surrounding Israel today, and the UN; He won’t put up with it for much longer. God told Moses that it was his calling to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses had many excuses for why he couldn’t do it.

“And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” – Exodus 3:11.

God told Moses exactly what to do and how it would all play out, but still Moses made excuses. First, he was to go to the Elders of Israel.

“And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice, for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.” – Exodus 4:1.

God answered the excuse with miracles.

“And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue.” – Exodus 4:10.

God assured Moses that He would be with him, but allowed Aaron, Moses’ brother, to speak for him. Finally, Moses agreed. He must have felt as if he failed because He approached Pharoah numerous times, but Pharoah refused to set Israel free. Plagues followed each refusal. The last plague killed the firstborn of each family unless they had the blood of the lamb on their doorposts. It was only the blood of the lamb that could save anybody, Hebrew or Egyptian, from death. Only the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, can save us from death today. Pharoah did let the Israelites go, but there were many challenges that Moses faced in leading them to the Promised Land. God had prepared Moses just as He prepares everybody He calls.

There are many more people we could look at, such as any one of the judges, or the prophet Jeremiah who made excuses as to why he couldn’t do what God asked, or Queen Esther, who understood that she had been placed in the position of being the only one who could approach the king and save the Jewish people from Haman’s evil plot to destroy them. Study Daniel’s life, and you will see that no matter what the people around him worshipped, Daniel would only bow down and worship God. In the New Testament, we read about Mary and her unquestioning obedience in agreeing to bear the Son of God. We also read of the twelve disciples and see the strengths and failings of each of them. Judas had the same opportunities as the others but was the disciple who betrayed Jesus. He only had head-knowledge of Jesus, not heart-knowledge. Judas could have been forgiven, but he wasn’t repentant. He was sorry for what he did and took his own life, but he wasn’t repentant. Paul wasn’t one of the twelve disciples but was one who persecuted Christians. He held the coats of the men who stoned Stephen as Stephen spoke about the great men of Jewish history. When Paul truly met Jesus, his life was radically changed, and we benefit from his many letters, which are included in Scripture.

Even in today’s mixed-up, crazy world, men and women are still called by God. What if you were called? How would you respond? Would you take your time like Abraham? He was told to leave his pagan home and family, but only left after his father died. God didn’t take away the calling or promise, but the things Abraham was to accomplish were delayed. If you were called, would you be like Joseph and honor God in all your ways, whether you understood the reasons or not? Are you too sinful to repent and change your life and serve God? Paul did, and so can you. Has God asked you to witness to a friend? Are you “slow of tongue”? God will help you just like He has helped so many others. The point is that we all have shortcomings, but God can use us anyway.

We don’t all have the same abilities or calling, but God has something for you to do. You probably never think about the experiences you have in life that have trained you for something necessary for God’s work. God has always given people opportunities to be in His service. He has given “training” in the task set before us, but we just call it “life-experience”. Maybe you aren’t called to lead a nation to the promised land, but maybe you are called to lead a friend or neighbor to Christ. Just like the heroes of the Bible, God will never ask you to do anything that you can’t accomplish…especially if you are sure to let God lead God has something for you to do. Don’t argue or drag your feet. Let Him lead you on the great adventure of serving Him. You won’t regret it.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham
[email protected]

All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.

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“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.” – Psalm 122:6.

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