Tag Archives: trust

THE POTTER

Today I am posting another article I received this morning from The Berean. I love their emails and they are always so good to explain the scriptures. That is one of the characteristics of the Bereans. They delve into the scriptures and pull out the meaning of them. I think you will enjoy this post. It covers a lot of ground but I think you will like it. Again, it comes from this website The Berean. Click the link to see more great info about them.

Ephesians 1:11-12

11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

Do we get the significance of the truth that He works all things in our lives too, according to the counsel of His will? This truth does not apply to just the “big” things of His overall purpose but even to us! Do we really perceive our relationship to Him as being one of the Potter to the clay?b181

As He formed and shaped Adam and Eve, He is forming and shaping us, and it is our responsibility to accept and submit. Do we live our lives as though He truly is omnipotent, omniscient, and individually aware of us? Do we conduct our lives in such a manner that we fully understand that this awesome Being is actively and personally involved in what we do?

By viewing Him as Potter, do we grasp that He has every right to mold the clay into whatever form or state and make whatever use of it as He chooses? He can fashion from the same lump one person to honor and another to dishonor. He can determine our sex, race, ethnicity, level of wealth, or location. He is under no law or rule outside of His own nature and purpose. He is a law unto Himself, under no obligation to give an account of His actions to anybody else. He exercises His power as, where, and when He wills.pottery-51

He is not merely overseeing our lives but actively participating in them, and He is ultimately responsible for what happens in them just as much as those national and worldwide occurrences that we hear in the news. The sovereignty of the Bible’s God is absolute, irresistible, and infinite. Our trust is to be in Him.

God’s purpose and plan has been and is being carried out as He purposed, and nobody can turn Him aside. Now His purpose and plan has reached out to include us just as He predestined when He declared the end from the beginning. Have we caught the vision?

Are we willing to completely turn our lives over to this Being who does not always act in a way that is pleasant to us? God immediately struck Aaron’s sons and Uzzah dead, but He has allowed countless others who perhaps did far worse things to live long and seemingly full lives.

God permitted Methuselah to live almost a thousand years. He chose to endow Samson with strength as no other person ever had. Jesus went to the pool of Siloam and chose one man to heal, paying no attention to the others. Why did He allow the Morgans, Carnegies, Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, and many others to amass incredible wealth, while allowing perhaps billions of people around the world barely to scrape by in miserable poverty?potters-hands

When the Israelites entered the Promised Land, the city of Jericho and its citizens stood barring their progress. God brought the walls down, and the city’s defenses collapsed—the one and only time God did such a thing. Every other city had to be conquered by warfare, risking Israelite lives to take them.

Clearly, He treats and responds to individuals according to the counsel of His own mind, and He answers to no one. He does this even in the lives of His children. The apostle John lived to be around one hundred years old, yet Stephen was stoned to death, Peter crucified, and Paul beheaded.

Considering the witnesses of those great servants, what right do we have to complain about the discomforts He creates for us to endure and grow within? He could rescue everybody in every uncomfortable circumstance, but He does not. Have we fully accepted that He may choose difficult things for us?

— John W. Ritenbaugh

The Video – Potter’s Hand – Darlene Zschech

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WELL WATERED LIFE

As I do from time to time, I receive a daily devotional that I feel led to share. I got this one a few days ago and that still small voice told me to hang on to it. You know, I am always amazed at God and His infinite wisdom. I am not sure why, I really know He is all omnipotent and omniscient and all of those “all” things…lol. I guess I just am so amazed that He knows me by name and He knows my every thought. I love that! Anyway, this post…. I read it the other day and it really spoke to my heart. God whispered to me to save it for a future post, so here it is. I know someone out there will need to hear or read this today. I try to follow the whispers from God and hope it blesses the receiver. I hope you enjoy this post. It is from “Our Daily Bread” and it is a short one but a powerful one.Wonderful River Lscape In Montana Hdr HD Desktop Background  It talks about a well watered life in God and how beneficial that is for the believer.  Enjoy.

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“I have a friend who lives on a ranch in the wide-open spaces of Montana. The road to his home is a long trail that winds through the parched and barren landscape of the wilderness. As you drive toward his homguide-montana4e, you can’t help but notice the contrasting strip of green trees and vibrant vegetation meandering through the ranch. One of the finest trout rivers in North America cuts through the property, and anything that grows near its banks gets the benefit of an unending source of vital water.

This is the picture Jeremiah paints when he says that those who trust in the Lord are “like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river” (Jer. 17:8). Many may choose the wilting heat and choking tree-planted-by-streamdrought of life apart from God, but those who trust in God will be vibrant and fruitful. Depending on Him is like putting our roots into the refreshing water of His goodness. We are strengthened with the confidence that His steadfast love for us will never fail.

God will ultimately make all things right. Trusting that He will turn our pain to gain and use suffering to mature us empowers us to become fruit-bearers in a dry and thirsty land.—Joe Stowell

Lord, thank You for not leaving me alone in the withallthingsnew1ering heat of life. I will put the roots of my trust into the river of Your unfailing promises and steadfast love!

Put your roots down by the river of God’s goodness.

INSIGHT: The words of Jeremiah 17:7-8 echo those of Psalm 1:2-3: Blessed are those who “delight in the law of the Lord . . . . They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do” (nlt).

The Video – Psalm 1 (with lyrics) – Kim Hill

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MOST AMAZING

You know our God is the most amazing God! As I sit in my training class this week, this being only the 3rd day on my new job, I think of the things in my past that God has brought into my life and I just sit there amazed. You see, there are so many things in my past that have culminated into needed experience for this particular job that I have just gotten. I am probably the oldest one of the team but the folks are all so wonderful. I know … you say… “Leah, you have only been there 2 days… it will change.” Maybe you are right, however, I do know this… My God is a good God and whatever doors He opens for me will be a wonderful experience for me. Why? Because my God loves me and cares for me. He has loved me since before I was born and will continue to care for me for eternity … because I am a child of the King!13-1

You may not remember, but this is the job that after the interview – the next day – I told God this was one door I didn’t want Him to open for me, because of the rigors of travel and standing a lot during the training that was required for this particular job. In the past 5 years I venture to say that I have applied for at the very least 2000 jobs. I was laid off in 2009 and have never been able to get back to what I have done in my past, which is Training and Project Management. This is a job that I will be training and traveling! This is a job almost exactly like what I did 10 years ago for another similar company. I have experience dealing with almost the same situations that I did 10 years ago. How have I grown in 10 years? WoW! That is a loaded question. Let me try to explain a little on that.

10 years ago, I was married to an abusive person and was most miserable in my marriage. I was determined to “make” it work though. You see, this wasn’t my first marriage, or my second. I desperately wanted this one to work. My husband had just come out of rehab – after an extended bout with a medication he should not have been left on for so long. He began to feel more suicidal than usual… so he actually admitted himself, thankfully! He was somewhat stable and the job I got traveling and making better money than I had since my layoff January 2002 – after 9-11, really, really helped. I was gone every week but home on the weekends – which helped a bunch!bc871b7b8508f2f772d1372f6ad19dbf

All I am trying to say is that God prepares you for things. If you allow Him to direct your paths and trust that He has the best plan for you, He will always lead you down the MOST beneficial path for your life. Jeremiah 29:11 states that He has the perfect plan for us.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

We just have to allow Him to have control of our lives for the benefit. Sometimes, even when we are not aware and don’t take the initiative to turn over our lives to Him, He will still “Make all things work together for good, for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose.”

Romans 8:28

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Back to what I was saying at the beginning… it is Most Amazing how God has taken the last several years… especially the last 10 … and given me the experiences and situations in my life that I can visually see come to fruition now. They are all coming together in a way that makes a beautiful picture.HPIM0621.JPG

Now I will say that I am a little worried about the rigors of this job, once I get up and going… but you know what… My God would not have brought me to it if He could not bring me through it. Now that may sound like a cute little cliché but it is so true! Why would God bring something into your life if He didn’t intend for you to be successful!? He wouldn’t! He loves you and always wants you to be successful.

Another thing He wants is for us to trust Him. I sat there yesterday and listened to this beautiful young woman tell about some of her training experiences. She talked about standing for hours and how taxing that could be. I began to worry. You see I have a bad back.. and neck.. but I was reminded by that wonderfully, peaceful, still, small voice… “Leah, I am your sustainer, your deliverer and your help in times of need.” Yes, I heard God speak those words to my heart. If He can hold the stars in place and tells the oceans to only go this far… He can help me!  So, I am going full steam ahead and trusting His Word to uphold me and sustain me because He opened this door for me and I will survive and not only survive but THRIVE!godsplan

You can too! If God has you in a spot that you are not sure of, talk to Him and tell Him about your concerns and worries. He wants to hear from you. He loves you so much! He is there waiting because He calls you His beloved! The promises I mentioned above are for you too! Call out to Him today!

The Song – Thrive – Casting Crowns

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A NEW BEGINNING

This post is quite long and very important.  It will tell you a little… well, a lot of what has happened to me in the last 5 years and more.  I have a new opportunity and I wanted to share it all with you, so you will understand why I have not been able to stay on task and write every day, as I had been doing.  I believe I will get back to that eventually.  Please read on.SunRise7777777

One week from today I will be starting a new chapter in my life – A New Beginning.  At this age it is a tiny bit unnerving. However, I keep hearing that so wonderfully familiar, still, small voice in my spirit… “You are a child of the King”

Galatians 3:26

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

and “There is NO WEAPON formed against you can stand.”

Isaiah 54:17

No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord.

and “Keep close to Me and I will see you through anything.”

Psalm 65:4

Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest and causest to approach unto Thee, that he may dwell in Thy courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house, even of Thy holy temple.

and “Trust Me for everything.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct[
a] your paths.

And I am reminded that …

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.

And other things that God whispers to my heart. You see this new chapter in my life is not really a “new” beginning in a w53310-As-I-Look-Back-On-My-Lifeay. I am finally getting back to a type of job that I have done most of my working life. To go forward, let me go back a bit and then I will explain.

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I loved what I was doing. I was a Project Manager/Trainer for a bank software company and learning lots of great stuff. I was writing training manuals and developing classes and learning more about the proprietary bank software almost daily. January would mark two years that I had been with this particular company and I was thrilled to be working doing what I loved to do – almost back to what I had done previously.

You see … I had been working in the telecom industry as a Communications Specialist – which basically was a Project Manager/Trainer. I loved what I was doing and was so fulfilled every day with my work. It was not work to me, it was enjoyment and I felt fulfilled – which is a great combination. Not to mention it was pretty good money. Then the unspeakable happened.

One morning, I was headed to the conference room for our weekly staff meeting and I walked by the break room. There was a small TV on top of the refrigerator and it pointed out towards the hall. As I walked by, I saw a very unusual sight. It was an airplane flying into a very tall building. I thought, “Oh my… how odd that is” and didn’t think much more about it and continued on to the conference room.   When I got there others were talking about the same thing and so the manager said “Let’s take care of some quick business and then turn the big TV on and see what it’s all about.” So that we did. We turned the big TV on just in time to see the 2nd plane go into the World Trade Center and we all just sat there in total silence. remembering-9-11-attacksI just got chills just thinking of that morning and typing these words. It was so surreal. We sat there for what seemed like 10 minutes not saying a thing and all eyes glued to the huge TV screen. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing. Did that really happen? Did two planes actually just fly into the World Trade Center? What on earth could have happened to have caused that and why on earth would two large planes do that? As we sat there in silence and watched, it became all too clear what had really happened and who and why. A strange fear began to cover the room and each one of us there felt the uneasiness that blanketed the entire country. My manager broke the silence and said, “Those that need to go, GO. Go to your families. Go get your children and go home.” We all scurried around and got our belongings from our desks, turned our computers off and left. There were about 6 of us in the elevator and we all were totally silent all the way down to the parking lot level of the building.   We said our goodbyes and looked at each other and didn’t know what else to say. It was such an odd feeling.

I called my husband and he said “Yes, I am watching the TV. Please take the back roads home. We don’t know what else can happen.” I agreed, said I love you and hung up the phone. It was about an hour’s drive home on the back roads. We lived in a small community South West of the Metroplex. It was a very scary drive home. At this point, most of us knew that America had been attacked! They came onto our own soil and used our own planes to do it! America seemed to be in shock! Everything … life as we knew it … changed that day in America.

OK, fast forward four months. January 2002, I am sitting in my Fort Worth office, carrying on business as usual. I used to split my time between the Fort Worth office and the Dallas office and this was Monday so I was in my office in Fort Worth.   In walks my manager from Dallas. It was very unusual to have her come to the Fort Worth office but a nice surprise. She walked in and sat down in the chair on the other side of my desk. She had a box in her hand that she sat down on the floor. She very gently told me that things had changed so drastically and the company was having to lay folks off and I was one of the ones that had to be laid off. changeThe 13 months with this company had been a wonderful time and I so loved my job. However, it was now coming to a screeching halt! I sat there in total shock … sort of like the feeling I had the day I watched two planes crash into the tall buildings in New York just a few short four months earlier. I felt my world come crashing down. I was speechless, which doesn’t happen very often.   She simply laid it out and said “You can use this box to gather your things.” All I could say was “Ok then. OK…” And she stood there while I loaded up the box. It wasn’t too long after that that I realized that this was played out all across America after that fateful day on 9-11-2001. Hundreds, if not thousands, felt the sting of the change all across America.

The next several months proved to be a trying time for me. I could NOT find another job doing what I always had done – Project Management/Training. All the changes in such a short time in America caused companies to be so very cautious and so conservative. The job market that I was in was totally flat and there was no budging it. It was 16 months before I could land another job. The job was only part time and nothing like what I was doing but it was close to home and a reputable company. I was a teller at a branch bank for a large bank in the area. It was work with insurance. I was a little relieved and then 4 months later I landed another part time job. Now the pay for these jobs together didn’t equal the pay I had been making as a Project Manager/Trainer, but I was happy to be working again. A few months later something good happened. I was asked to come on board with another company that afforded me to use the training skills that I had acquired along the way and a bonus… I got to travel the United States! Wow! I loved that. 040blowupUnfortunately, that only lasted seven months. Then it was back to the unemployment line. Luckily I was only in the unemployment line a few short months before I landed another training type job. Then about two years later another company wanted me to come on board with them. I finally was going to be with a company that I could use both Project Management and Training skills. Finally!

I was learning their software and writing training curriculum and training. I had arrived. Well… I thought so anyway. About 16 months into the job I approached my boss and told him I was going to be moving my folks up here and buying a house and wanted some assurance that my job was secure. He assured me that it was so we went through with all of our plans. Now this was in April and fast forward eight months – December 31, 2009. I am working at my desk as usual. I was planning the annual conference for the company and I was in my element! My desk phone rings at 10:20 a.m. and it was my boss. He asked me to come to his office. This usually meant he wanted an update on the progress of planning the convention. So I took all my notes and was ready to lay it out for him. When I walked up to his office, I saw the HR lady in there. Instantly, I thought “This is not going to be good.” Well, it wasn’t. I was given my walking papers, along with two other employees, that day. Once again, I was rendered speechless. So at 10:30 a.m. on New Year’s Eve, 2009, I have once again, for the third time, been laid off since 9-11. I was totally devastated. What was I going to do? My mom and dad were at home in our “new” home, how was I going to take care of them, this surely is a bad dream but I wasn’t waking up! Everyone in the office was shocked and speechless. Everyone seemed a bit confused and disheveled that day after the news. No one was expecting this. I regained my composure and gathered my things and made a couple of trips to my car and off I went.dont-look-back

When I arrived at home, I was so sad and mom and dad were confused as to why I was home so early. I told them the news and the first thing my dad did was say this. “Come here, all of us. We are going to pray.” We huddled there in the dining room, with arms around each other. He prayed a simple, yet powerful prayer. “Lord God, thank you for this day. We are here together not knowing what is going to happen with this latest news, but we do know one thing. I believe, Lord, that You would not have brought us this far to let us go. So … like King Jehoshaphat prayed, we may not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” As he prayed I felt a sweet peace settle amongst us. The Holy Spirit’s presence was powerful that day and I will say He got us through the next few days in a powerful way.

2 Chronicles 20:12

12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”

The next 2 ½ years, again, proved to be quite trying. One night at choir rehearsal, at church, a new member joined. We made friends quickly and she told me about a job that she just acquired and she encouraged me to go and apply. I did, I got hired and it was the lowest paying job I had ever had since I was just starting my work life. However, the insurance was fabulous and I was covered from the first day I started. I was so grateful and felt revived once again.

Now, this job may have been different than anything I had ever done, after all, I was usually on the other side of the situation, training the folks to do what I was doing. You see, it was a call center. I had never dreamed I would ever work in a callJohn 14 v 27 Marilyn Piche foggy trees center before, but here I was. After about 6 months of wrestling with many things, internally, I prayed to God about my attitude about what I was doing. He assured me that He was with me. I gave into my pride and felt that wonderful peace flood my soul.

Philippians 4:7

and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

I knew He was trying to teach me something and that is exactly what began to occur. I was humbled in a major way and began to learn so much about myself. I began to also learn more about God. I began to walk closer to Him, because that is the only way I could feel peace and comfort. I searched the scriptures for peace and found exactly what I was looking for. He reassured me, all the time, of His presence.

This past 27 months have been one of the most rewarding times I can remember. Yes, it was low pay. Yes, it was a call center. Yes, it was nothing like I had ever done before. BUT! It was God’s plan. I began to see God’s hand move in my life and others, and basked in His wonderful presence. I had always heard of the daily walk with God but never had I ever experienced what I experienced while I was working in that job. I learned to walk with Him, not only every day, but every minute. I talked to Him all day, in between calls and sometimes while I was taking calls. He has brought me through this time with a gentle hand and His reassuring love. It has been an amazing growth time in my life.

All this time I had been sending out resumes, applying for jobs – for two years. My managers knew that I was overqualified for what I was doing and they kept encouraging me to keep looking. I did apply for 29 different jobs within the company but only received 3 face to face interviews. So I resolved to the fact that I was not to work for that company except for what I was doing.

I received a call, finally, from a company that wanted a personal interview. I went and the interview went great. I was told they would make a decision by the end of January. The next day, I was going to work and I told God that I didn’t think that I could do that job for various reasons and I didn’t want Him to open that door for me. Knowing all along that I probably wouldn’t get the job anyway. Well, it was about 3-4 days later and I went on my last break at work, and there was a voice mail message from the recruiter from that company and it said… “Hello Leah, this is Joe with ABC Company and James wants to extend an offer to you for the job” (actual names are changed). 53310-As-I-Look-Back-On-My-Life  I was astounded! Really? Is this true? I listened again and again. Yep, that is what he said. So when I got off work, I got home and told mom and dad and told them of my concerns, but didn’t think I could really turn this job offer down. They agreed and I called the man back and well… that is what I will be doing in one week… starting that new job.

I voiced my concern to God and He keeps reassuring me that He will go with me no matter where I go and what I will be doing.

Isaiah 41:10

10 Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

He also told me this… “Leah, you will have to lean on Me and trust Me for your strength.”

Psalm 18:2

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

And “This will bring you even closer to Me.”

James 4:8

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Oh my goodness… once again, that familiar, wonderful peace flooded my soul.

So to say the least, I am so excited. This job is exactly what I have done before. It is a training job with so much new to learn. I am up for the task and I will lean on my Heavenly Father for strength for my New Beginning.

Now I know that is a lot of information and a very long post… but I will tell you this, that if you have doubts in your life and wonder how in the world you are going to make it… call out to Him! He is waiting to hear from you and HE will reassure you, comfort and sustain you in any situation you could be in.  After all, He calls you His beloved.

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PRAYER – WILDERNESS AND BITTER WATER

Yesterday’s post “PRAYER – PASSING THROUGH THE RED SEA” ended with Israel successfully crossing the Red Sea on dry land and watching in amazement as Bridgman_Pharaoh's_Army_Engulfed_by_the_Red_Seathe choicest of Pharaoh’s army come after them with 600 chariots and horsemen only to be swallowed up with the waters of the deep as they return to their original place.  God saves Israel from Pharaoh once again and Israel rejoices with what is called in scripture as The Song of Moses and The Song of Miriam. Israel declares their allegiance to God and recognize Him as their “strength and song” and more. It is a little long, but please read the scripture. It is a beautiful tribute to the Lord God.

Exodus 15:1-21

“I will sing to the Lord,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The horse and its rider
He has thrown into the sea!
The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
He is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
The Lord is a man of war;
The Lord is His name.
Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea;
His chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea.
The depths have covered them;
They sank to the bottom like a stone.

“Your right hand, O Lord, has become glorious in power;
Your right hand, O Lord, has dashed the enemy in pieces.
And in the greatness of Your excellence
You have overthrown those who rose against You;
You sent forth Your wrath;
It consumed them like stubble.
And with the blast of Your nostrils
The waters were gathered together;
The floods stood upright like a heap;
The depths congealed in the heart of the sea.

Picture1 The enemy said, ‘I will pursue,
I will overtake,
I will divide the spoil;
My desire shall be satisfied on them.
I will draw my sword,
My hand shall destroy them.’

 10 You blew with Your wind,
The sea covered them;
They sank like lead in the mighty waters.

11 “Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods?
Who is like You, glorious in holiness,
Fearful in praises, doing wonders?
12 You stretched out Your right hand;
The earth swallowed them.
13 You in Your mercy have led forth
The people whom You have redeemed;
You have guided them in Your strength
To Your holy habitation.

14 “The people will hear and be afraid;
Sorrow will take hold of the inhabitants of Philistia.
15 Then the chiefs of Edom will be dismayed;
The mighty men of Moab,
Trembling will take hold of them;
All the inhabitants of Canaan will melt away.
16 Fear and dread will fall on them;
By the greatness of Your arm
They will be as still as a stone,
Till Your people pass over, O Lord,
Till the people pass over
Whom You have purchased.
17 You will bring them in and plant them
In the mountain of Your inheritance,
In the place, O Lord, which You have made
For Your own dwelling,
The sanctuary, O Lord, which Your hands have established.

18 “The Lord shall reign forever and ever.”

19 For the horses of Pharaoh went with his chariots and his horsemen into the sea, and the Lord brought back the waters of the sea upon them. But the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea.

The Song of Miriam miriam-1856

20 Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. 21 And Miriam answered them:

“Sing to the Lord,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The horse and its rider
He has thrown into the sea!”

The people were definitely enjoying that “mountain top” experience with God at this time. Then after a great celebration, they head out into the wilderness. God leads them in a three day journey to Marah. It is at this point the water supply they had is about to be gone and they begin to get nervous again. They still have not learned that all they need to do is look to the Lord for their provision. They praised Him and claim that He is their “salvation” just 3 days ago. Now they are complaining again to Moses, that they have no water to drink because the water at Marah is bitter and unfit to drink. This is when Moses lifts up his voice to the Lord and the Lord heard his cry, as He always does. God didn’t scold Moses for calling out to Him in their time of need. The Lord instead showed Moses a tree (log) and told him to throw it into the water. Then the waters became sweet and able to be consumed. Here is the scripture.

Exodus 15:22-25a

22 So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah.[a] 24 And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 So he cried tree-of-hopeout to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.

God showed Moses what to do to help the situation of bitter water. God will sometimes do it Himself, and then there are times that He shows us what to do to correct the situation. It was at this time that the Lord saw it to be necessary to make a statute and ordinance with Israel.

To explain the next part of scripture, I want to use a quote from this website: www.biblestudycourses.org. They have a good explanation of the scripture and I believe it is well explained and very easy to understand. First, here is the scripture.

Exodus 15:25b-27

There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them, 26 and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”

27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees; so they camped there by the waters.

And now the quote…

“At Marah the Lord faithfully provided for His people by miraculously sweetening the water by means of a piece of dead wood (15:25). After the Lord miraculously sweetened the waters, the reason and meaning of this bitter experience is defined: “There at Marah Jehovah made a statute and a decree for them, and there he tested them” (15:25b). There at the waters of Marah the Lord presented to His people a divine principle, (“a statute”), teaching them how He would deal with them, and a divine right, (“a decree”), teaching them what they could expect and claim from the Lord their God. The Lord was saying to them, “Throughout your life I will lead you, I will direct your path. At times I will bring you into difficult situations that are beyond your control and ability, but I will always prove Myself to be your all-sufficient God: trust Me.” And there at the waters of Marah the Lord tested them: by means of this test the Lord was posing the question, “Will you still trust Me and love Me and serve Me, no matter where I put you and no matter what I see fit to bring into your life?” The experience at Marah was intended to test the genuineness of Israel’s words recorded in Exodus 15:2 and at the same time to demonstrate to Israel that they could sing those words with complete confidence. After Marah the Lord led His people to the refreshing oasis of Elim: there they found twelve springs of good water (one for each tribe) and 70 palm trees.”no matter what we face in life god will be there with us

How many times can I look back on my life and see where God had given me an opportunity to recognize Him and what He was doing for me and I failed to take that opportunity. Or times when I had been on the mountain top with God at one time and then just a few short days later, I was lost all over again and had already forgotten to call out to Him in my despair. There is nothing wrong with being on those mountain top experiences and then coming back down to earth to life as we know it, but we should not leave God on the mountain top. He wants to go with us through every step of our day. He wants us to PL-TLC186-WB-12x18celebrate with Him and to cry to Him, but NEVER leave Him on the mountain top. He tells us He will go with us. He is there to help us through our journey through our “wilderness” we call life. When life seems to be all wilderness and bitter water, God is there. He alone can make our wilderness and bitter water into an oasis. He alone can comfort in a way that is a lasting peace, not what the world gives – which is so temporary… but a complete fullness of joy and fulfillment. Turn to God in your wilderness and bitter water experiences. Ask Him if there is something that He is trying to teach you. Ask Him to show you what He wants you to see and know. He will comfort you and guide you to the oasis. He loves you so much. He calls you His beloved.6123265_orig

The Song – If You Want Me To – Ginny Owens

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PRAYER – MOSES AND THE BURNING BUSH

As I mentioned in my post two days ago (PRAYER – MOSES THE SHEPHERD AND GOD), I do believe Moses knew God quite intimately from the aloneness of tending sheep. From the book I did a series on “A Shepherd Looks At The 23 Psalm”, I learned a lot about shepherds and how they lived. They lived a life of solitude with their flock. They became intimately acquainted with, not only the sheep, but nature and all that is in it. greenpastures 2And if you are out in nature long, you have to realize there is a God that created all of this wonderfulness. So I believe that Moses spent a lot of time talking with God out in nature and he also had a father-in-law that was the Midian Priest. Moses was very well educated in the stories of the Israelites and knew his history and where he came from. He had to have known the God of his father – and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Just because Egypt forgot all that Joseph did for them doesn’t mean that all of the Israelites did, and besides, Moses was born into a family from the House of Levi – who were Priests as well – to the Israelites. No, he had not forgotten all that he came from and his ancestry. He knew his God.3-4_moses-shepherd.

So when God spoke to him from this bush, I believe it wasn’t the voice he was unfamiliar with, it was the media in which the voice was coming from. A burning bush that is not consumed! That must be a strange site. So let me begin with the scripture.

Exodus 3:1-10

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”

So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!”

And he said, “Here I am.”

Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.mosesbush.gif

I found another article on GotQuestions.org that is a very good article. The question posed was Why did God speak to Moses out of the burning bush?” There are so many points here that are answered and I would like to use a couple of their quotes in a moment. I will say that this was quite an encounter that Moses had which was a manifestation of God in a burning bush. I learned tonight that is called a theophany. That is a very cool word and here is the definition:

“A theophany is a manifestation of God in the Bible that is tangible to the human senses. In its most restrictive sense, it is a visible appearance of God in the Old Testament period, often, but not always, in human form.”

So here is this bush that is burning and the fire is not consuming the bush. God is speaking to Moses from the bush and telling him not to come close and to take off his sandals because he is standing on holy ground. I also learned tonight that this is the first time that the particular word holy is used to describe God. Here is what GotQuestions.org has to say about it.

“This is the first time the Bible uses the word “holy” with reference to God (verse 5). At the burning bush God revealed His holiness in a way it had never been revealed before. Moses was so awed by this experience that later when he wrote his famous victory hymn, he made sure to mention this divine attribute of God’s holiness: “Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” (Exodus 15:11).

The fire is a representation of the purifying and refining quality of God’s holiness. All throughout scripture we find references to God revealing Himself as fire that is the image of His holiness. That is why Moses was instructed to take his sandals off. God’s holiness was present and it was a respectful act towards God.holy-holy-holy

I like what GotQuestions.org has to say about holiness…here is the quote.

“Holiness involves separation. God’s holiness means that He is set apart from everything He has made. Holiness is not simply His righteousness (although that is part of it), but also His otherness. It is the distinction between the Creator and the creature, the infinite distance between God’s deity and our humanity. God says, “I am God, and not man—the Holy One among you” (Hosea 11:9). His people respond by saying, “There is no one holy like the LORD” (1 Samuel 2:2).

Fire will also be a way that God will lead them in the wilderness after they leave Egypt.

Exodus 13:19-21

20 And they moved on from Succoth and encamped at Etham, on the edge of the wilderness. 21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.

That is getting way ahead… but the Pillar of Fire will be a representation of God leading them as well. We will come to that eventually… but for now let’s stick to the burning bush and the message to Moses.

When God speaks to Moses about going back to Egypt, Moses is quite disturbed and unwilling to do this. He tries, many times, to give excuses to God to wiggle out of this mission that God has for Moses. He tries to make the excuse that he is slow to speak. I love God’s response. It reminds me of how God responded to Job when Job questioned God (Job 38). There is a lot more to the conversation with God telling Moses about the miracles that He will perform in Egypt and I will not go into all of that but I do recommend that you read it yourself. It is quite interesting and God laid it all out for Moses, Yet, Moses was reluctant. Here is God’s response to Moses.

Exodus 4:10-12It's_All_About_Him

10 Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”

11 So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? 12 Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”

How many excuses do we give God when He asks us to do something for him? It may never be to save a nation, but it might be to share Jesus with a neighbor. Or, share a gospel tract with someone at that fast food restaurant. Or even visit a shut-in or make a very timely phone call to someone that is lonely and hurting. We don’t have to save a nation. We just have to be willing to go or do when God calls us to go or do. We have to be sensitive to His voice though. You have to have a relationship with Him before you can recognize His voice. Here is a good scripture to encourage you in your acceptance of God’s plan or mission for you.

Romans 8:31

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

I believe this was yet another “beginning” for Moses and his relationship with God. God just took it to a new level. God was calling him to come up another step.  “Moses, you have walked with me for many years, now you are ready to go another level into a deeper relationship with Me.” I believe that is what God was trying to convince Moses of.article_images-12_1_home_whom_shall_i_fear__557426976

This last statement of Moses kindles a little bit of anger with God. But in God’s great compassion for His servant, He agrees to have Aaron, Moses’ brother, help him in this endeavor. Here is that scripture.

Exodus 4:13-17

13 But he said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.”

14 So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and He said: “Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And look, he is also coming out to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 Now you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth. And I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and I will teach you what you shall do. 16 So he shall be your spokesman to the people. And he himself shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as God. 17 And you shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs.”

Moses is finally at rest with that arrangement. God is also and so the next post will be about Moses and Aaron going to Egypt. There is always a lot to talk about in this book about Moses. I am thankful that God is allowing me to do this blog and this series to share with you. God has many lessons for us to learn from Moses and the Israelites. This first one is very important though. One must be willing when you are called, for when you are called, God has made a way for you, no matter what it is. You must trust his plan for your life – Jeremiah 29:11. He wants the best for you. He loves you so very much and calls you His beloved.

The Song – I Stand In Awe Of You – Hillsong

The Video- I Stand In Awe Of You – Hillsong (with lyrics)

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PRAYER – JOCHEBED, PHARAOH’S DAUGHTER AND MOSES

Yesterday’s post ended with the Pharaoh of Egypt committing genocide with all the baby boys in Egypt because the Israelites became so abundant that he feared they would turn against Egypt and overthrow the country. So he came up with the diabolic plan to throw all the baby boys in the Nile river.  Here is a link to yesterday’s post – Prayer – Pharaoh, Midwives and Bulrushes – if you missed it.

Jochebed, a Hebrew mother, from the House of Levi – the Priests of the Israelites, had a baby that she believed to be a very special baby. Scripture says he was beautiful. She hid him for three months and when she could hide him no longer, she made an ark of bulrushes to place him in and leaving him in God’s hands, sent him afloat in the reeds of the Nile, up close to the bank. jochebedThis had to be a very difficult thing to do, even though I believed she knew the history that had been told from generation to generation about God’s plan for the Israelites. I believe she knew her new baby was very special and of God – although all babies are of God, she recognized something special and acted accordingly.

God’s timing is ALWAYS perfect! The daughter of Pharaoh just happened to be bathing in the Nile at the same time Jochebed released her baby into the river. I honestly do not believe in coincidence and I don’t believe in happenst6_princess-spoke-kindly-to-the-babyance. God’s timing is at work here, folks. Jochebed may have gotten a Word from God in her prayer time. She may have observed that Pharaoh’s daughter went to bathe at a particular part of the river at a particular time of day. Nonetheless, the plan came together because who can resist a precious, crying baby that seems to be abandoned. Here is the scripture.

Exodus 2:1-10

But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank. And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him.

Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river. And her maidens walked along the riverside; and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she se200px-Miriam-nursent her maid to get it. And when she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion on him, and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.”

Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?”

And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the maiden went and called the child’s mother. Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” mother-baby-paintingsSo the woman took the child and nursed him. 10 And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name Moses,[a] saying, “Because I drew him out of the water.”

Now what a wonderful thing… Jochebed trusted God to provide safety for the baby and lo and behold, he couldn’t have landed in a better place. First to be able to  be nursed and care for by his mother (and her being paid to take care of her own baby) until he was weaned and then being a resident of the palace, the best schooling and so many other things were available to Moses. He became very knowledgeable and was quite the young man. Well respected, as a member of Pharaoh’s household. I will never really understand how Pharaoh agreed to have him – a Hebrew – live and be raised in their household, but God can do wonders and miracles that we cannot even imagine. We just have to have faith and sit back and watch. God is a good God and wants the best for His children. For sure He wanted the best for Moses because He had B-I-G plans for him. God sees the BIG picture and we see but a small portion. Faith and trust must be a huge part of our walk with our Lord. He is in control … we need to let go of things and let Him make the perfect plan work instead of resisting along the way.

I know I kicked and bucked for many years thinking I had the best plan for my life. Now I know… I DID NOT! It is so much easier to let God do the work that He promises He will do and I can enjoy the benefits of God’s wonderful works. Now I am not saying that we should just sit back and do nothing. We have to do our part… whatever that “part” is. Like Jochebed, she did all she could do and then left the rest to God.

This next quote is from another website used for this study of Exodus. The website name is Jesusplusnothing.com and it has a lot of good information as well. I liked the way they wrapped up their discussion on Chapter One of Exodus.

“In conclusion, all we can do is stand back and be amazed at the wisdom and justice of the Almighty God. His ways are perfect! While we live on this earth we will never understand all that happens or why things occur in our lives. We only ‘see through a glass dimly’ as the Bible puts it. But we can still rest, assured that the invisible God is not only at work, but that He has a purpose in everything that He does!”

And they included this scripture.

Romans 11:33-36

 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
“Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay him?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.

The Song – The Love of God – Mercy Me

The Video – The Love of God – Mercy Me

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PRAYER – JOSEPH SAVES EGYPT

Yesterday’s post ended with Joseph being given supreme authority over all the land ojoseph_egyptf Egypt by Pharaoh because Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream. Here is the link to yesterday’s post if you wish to read it and get caught up to date – PRAYER – JOSEPH AND THE KING’S DREAM. The dream Pharaoh had was from God and it warned of a famine to come. There were to be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine … over all the land.Copy_of_Meretites_Kahai_Saqqara

Before the famine hit, Joseph had two sons by the wife that Pharaoh had given him. Here is that scripture.

Genesis 41:50-52

50 Before the year of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph. Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore them to him. 51 Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh. “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.”[f] 52 The name of the second he called Ephraim, “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”[g]

Now, I am not sure I understand the part where it says “God has made me forgetand all my father’s house.” I truly do not believe that Joseph “forgot his father’s house” by any means. I believe he trusted in God’s providence and knew he would be reunited with them someday… some way. Just Joseph mentioning this makes me think he was still hurting inside and longing for the sweet love and fellowship of his father, Jacob. Joseph being an adult, one might think he could just go to Pharaoh and tell him about his family back in Canaan, and he would be able to bring them to Egypt. However, there was a plan, God’s plan and I believe Joseph believed he had to “take care of business” first and he kept it in his heart that “Someday, I will see them again.” God’s timing is ALWAYS perfect, and I believe Joseph knew this.fnf_game_box_front

I can relate to Joseph in that he was removed from his family for many years and still longed to see them – at least his father and mother. I remember a time, myself, that I was removed from my family for many years. I was in a relationship/marriage that simply didn’t allow my family in. I knew it wasn’t right. I knew it was hurtful and painful to all of my family and myself included. However, I knew I had to do what I had to do and “someday I would see them again.” Even if it was in Heaven and then all would be understood. There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t think of my mother and father. Not one day that I didn’t long to just hear their voice. However, it just couldn’t happen and no onlove-of-gode understands that better than me. I did what I had to do at the time and I did the best I could at the time. I believe Joseph did also.  Joseph had known the love of an earthly father and the love of his Heavenly father, God.  Joseph trusted his Heavenly Father to bring his earthly father back into his life eventually.  I truly believe this.

I can’t believe that Joseph forgot his father’s house and naming his child Manasseh evenISRAEL AND JOSEPH would make him remember every time he called his son’s name. So, no… I do not believe he ever forgot his father’s house and the love and relationship that they had at one time. He was his father’s favorite, albeit a somewhat “unhealthy” type of relationship. It was still a sweet, tender one that gave him many years of memories, that could not be erased. He thought about his father every day! I just know it.

I felt led to share that with you. I have pretty strong feelings about all of that, I guess you can tell, huh? I can see a book in the making about my time away from my family in those years, but that is a while down the road. God’s timing…

OK, back to the story. Joseph was a very wise business man and he used every ounce of wisdom and knowledge that God gave him to save Egypt. He was second only to Pharaoh in power and he used this to manage the entire project of saving Egypt. Joseph organized Egypt and the surrounding lands to begin to store up grain in abundance so they could have enough to make it through the seven years of famine. Here is the scripture.

Genesis 41:53-57AncientEgyptDailyLifeSocialPic_large

53 The seven years of plenty that occurred in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54 and the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said. There was famine in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55 When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph. What he says to you, do.”

56 So when the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses[h] and sold to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57 Moreover, all the earth came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all the earth.imhotep-5

Because of Joseph’s God given ability to interpret the dream of Pharaoh, Joseph was able to put a plan into action to save Egypt and the surrounding lands from sure destruction. God gives us a plan to save us from sure destruction too. He gave us Jesus. We don’t have to do anything like Joseph had to do to save those people. All you have to do is believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

Acts 16:29-31

“…30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.””

I believe there is someone reading this that needs Jesus. I feel led to share this link at this point. I will continue the story of Joseph tomorrow.  He not only saves Egypt and the surrounding lands, he is reunited with his family…This link will take you to a page that tells you about what it means to become a Christ follower. A simple plan of salvation and what that means. Click here for that Simple Plan of Salvation. Just trust in Him and your life will be changed forever. He calls you beloved.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

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PRAYER – JOSEPH A TYPE OF CHRIST

I ended yesterday’s post with Joseph arriving in Egypt into Potiphar’s house. God was with Joseph and Joseph was a very successful man in all that he did. Here is the scripture.

Genesis 39:1-6

Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. scan0007Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field. Thus he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate.

Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.

Before I continue with the story of Joseph, I want to back up a bit and mention a few very interesting and important comparisons between Joseph and Jesus. Joseph is known as a “type of Christ” and here is a table that I found on a website that has the story of Joseph. The website is Agape Bible Study. It has so much great information in it. Please look at this table and see the comparisons that are drawn here.

JOSEPH SON OF JACOB AS A “TYPE” OF CHRIST
JOSPEH JESUS
Joseph’s father gave him authority over his brothers. Jesus was given all authority from God the Father.
Joseph escaped death by going into Egypt. Jesus escaped death by going into Egypt.
He was betrayed by his brothers, the sons of Jacob/Israel. Jesus was betrayed by his brothers, the sons of Israel – the Jews.
Joseph’s brothers believed he was dead, but he was found to be alive and became the savior of his family. Jesus was believed to be dead, but He was found to be alive. He was Resurrected from the dead.
Joseph was the beloved son of Jacob/Israel. Jesus is a “son” of Israel (descendant of Jacob/Israel), and He is also the beloved Son of God.
  1. Hunt © copyright 2000

 

Now there may be more comparisons but these are the only ones I will mention at this time. The rest of the story of Joseph is quite interesting, so let’s pick it back up as Joseph is becoming very successful in Potiphar’s house. Here is the next part of the scripture.

Genesis 39:7-20

And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.”

But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”

10 So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her.

11 But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside, 12 that she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. 13 And so it was, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and fled outside, 14 that she called to the men of her house and spoke to them, saying, “See, he has brought in to us a Hebrew to mock us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. 15 And it happened, when he heard that I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me, and fled and went outside.”

16 So she kept his garment with her until his master came home. 17 Then she spoke to him with words like these, saying, “The Hebrew servant whom you brought to us came in to me to mock me; 18 so it happened, as I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me and fled outside.”

19 So it was, when his master heard the words which his wife spoke to him, saying, “Your servant did to me after this manner,” that his anger was aroused. 20 Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison.

Now, how many times have you just been doing the “right” thing and all of a sudden your world comes crashing down!? You can’t for the life of you figure out what has really happened! You were simply doing the right thing! Well, the ones that lie, cheat and steal never think twice about how it affects you or the next person… they just do it because they are just betrayers! Here is one definition of betray:SONY DSC

be·tray

verb \bi-ˈtrā, bē-\
to hurt (someone who trusts you, such as a friend or relative) by not giving help or by doing something morally wrong

I would say that what Joseph’s master’s wife did was this. “To hurt by doing something morally wrong”. This old saying comes to mind … “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”?

Meaning: A woman rejected in love can be very angry and dangerous.

Origin: This saying is based on lines from The Mourning Bride by William Congreve (1670-1729):

Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned,
Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.

Jos_and_Potiphars_wife_1454

So Joseph was not going to give in to the temptation of his master’s wife. He relied on God and was not interested in the least. His allegiance was to God and to his master. It’s interesting that the record in scripture never once says anything about Joseph being questioned. He must not have tried to turn the table on this wicked woman. So he gets thrown into prison. However, God was with him there as well and he prospered, even in prison.  (If you remember Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. Also, how many times was Jesus misunderstood and accused of wrong doing by the “religious leaders” of the day? I find these two comparisons important, as well.)  Here is the scripture about Joseph in prison.

Genesis 39:21-232014807_univ_cnt_3_xl

21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. 23 The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority,[a] because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.

I would say that God went before Joseph and prepared the way for him. Whatever he seemed to do, he prospered because the Lord was with him. Joseph knew this and apparently trusted God to see him through whatever circumstance he found himself in.

The following paragraph is from the website I mentioned earlier (Agape Bible Study). The author of this part of the Bible study, on that website, has some interesting information and I want to share it with you. Here it is:

“Joseph was hit with two life altering tragedies: first he was sold into slavery by his brothers and now he has been falsely accused and thrown into prison. Despite his tragedies, he had not lost his faith in God and God rewarded Joseph’s faith and trust by blessing him, even in the darkness of Pharaoh’s dungeon: since Yahweh was with him, and Yahweh made everything he understood successful. Potiphar, the commander of the guard and Joseph’s master, did not send Joseph to the mines or to the prison of the common criminals, instead he put him in the prison over which he had authority where the political prisoners and the more affluent men who offended the Pharaoh were kept. Joseph’s abilities were again recognized and appreciated. The chief jailor put him in charge of all the prisoners and Potiphar, Joseph’s master and commander of the guard which included the administration of the prison, personally selected Joseph to attend to Pharaoh’s cup-bearer and baker.”

The scriptures do not really show any “prayer” time – conversation with God (at least not yet) that Joseph had with God. I wonder… did Joseph ever just sit down and wonder… “how in the world did I get here?” He surely must have … from time to time. All we know is that Joseph just kept doing the next right thing and he was always successful.joseph_egypt

In the next post we will find out about the dreams of the butler and the baker. Joseph not only has dreams given from the Lord, but the Lord has also given him the ability to interpret other’s dreams. The plot thickens and gets interesting, and of course, Joseph has more lessons to learn. Trust in God and God alone!

04-relaxRemember, God loves you and wants to have a relationship with you too, like He had with Joseph. One of provision and faith and trust. God asks His children (us, you and me) to trust Him in all that we do and He will be with us, provide for us and protect us. God loves you so much. He calls you His beloved!

The Bible says you are:

…the elect of God, holy and beloved… Colossians 3:12 (KJV)

12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;

beloved of the Lord. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 (KJV)

13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth,

Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.
Deuteronomy 33:12

The Song – When I Don’t Know What To Do – Charles Billingsley

The Video   -When I Don’t Know What To Do – Charles Billingsley

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PRAYER – ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND ISHMAEL

My last post ended with God’s conversation with Abraham ending and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah set in motion. Our next stop along the journey of Prayer will be the blessed even of the arrival of the long promised son, Isaac. This son of promise was promised by God 30 years earlier. However, before God could fulfill His promise, Sarai and Abram took matters into their own hands and tried to “help” God along. a1cadba9-d70a-4431-9a67-d211445f8746_273This resulted in the birth of the son Ishmael (before God changed their names to Sarah and Abraham – see Prayer – Abraham and Sarah post). This son was born of an Egyptian maidservant of Sarai’s and was not the promised son. This is a quote from that post, but I encourage you to read the entire post, if you have not been following the story.

“They did not wait for God’s plan to unfold because of their unbelief that with God all things are possible! They spent 13 long years in bitterness and misery because of their unwillingness to trust God’s plan. Because of their actions, a child named Ishmael, was born of Hagar, the maidservant, and Abram. As I said yesterday, this child grew to be the Father of the Arab nation, who has been a thorn in the side of Israel, to this day! These 13 years were spent out of the presence of God and His grace and mercy. The baby Ishmael grows to be a teenager and when he was 13 years old things began to change. However, I believe that things were changing over the course of these 13 years but things really changed when he was 13.”

So let’s begin this post with the scripture that introduces us to the “Promised Son”.

Genesis 21:1-7

And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him—whom Sarah bore to him—Isaac. Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and alABRAHAM AND ISAACl who hear will laugh with me.” She also said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age.”

This was definitely a blessed event. What a miracle has SARAH AND ISAACoccurred! God made it physically possible for this 90 year old woman and this 100 year old man to have a baby. Something that is beyond man, God can do! Always!

How many times do we doubt God’s power in our lives? God can make anything happen if it is His will. God loved Abraham and Sarah and gave them this wonderful promised son and through Isaac many will be born and inhabit the land that had been promised to Abraham many, many years earlier.

As young Isaac grew and was weaned they had a feast to celebrate. This is a day of gladness and excitement throughout the camp. As the scripture goes, as the festive occasion is going on, Sarah glances over and happens to see Ishmael, who is 14 years old now, and Isaac. The young lad of 14 is playing with his new half-brother. Sarah realizes that the two cannot possibly co-exist. Isaac is the promised son and the Covenant is to be fulfilled through him and not Ishmael.  As Sarah sees this unfolsarah-and-isaac-by-scott-snow-oil-on-canvas-2000ding, she can see that there could be real trouble. She knows what God has promised and now she believes the two shall not dwell together any longer. The maidservant, Hagar, the mother of Ishmael, and Ishmael must leave the camp. Sarah tells Abraham that they must leave and this is very disturbing to Abraham – rightfully so… however, God speaks to Abraham. Here is the scripture.

Genesis 21:12-14

12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called. 13 Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed.”Hagar-And-Ishmael

14 So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water; and putting it on her shoulder, he gave it and the boy to Hagar, and sent her away. Then she departed and wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba.

Now, let’s stop here and think about this situation. Here is Abraham at 100 years old and Sarah at 90. Abraham has a 14 year old son that he had with his wife’s maidservant and now he has a brand new baby – Isaac. Abraham loves them both. However, Ishmael is a product of his flesh, when he allowed himself to be pulled into the “helping God” story. This is of the flesh no matter how you slice it. Isaac, on the other hand, is of the Spirit. He is the product of years of waiting and praying and much changing in both Sarah and Abraham’s life. They softened over time and became more pliable by God. God waited until it was weSarah and Isaac (?)ll past the time of child bearing years for both of them to make sure they understood it was of God and not man.

The same goes in our lives, we try to “help” God sometimes and it becomes an effort born of the flesh and not of the Spirit. When we walk and talk with God daily and are in close communion with Him regularly, we know how we must walk, what we must say and which direction to put our feet in. That is walking “in the Spirit”. When we go off on our own and do what we want, say what we want to say, and go where we want to go without talking to God about any of it, then that becomes walking “in the flesh”. I have walked in the flesh before, for years, and I tell you one thing, walking in the Spirit is a much sweeter place.

Another scripture that references Ishmael being of the flesh and Isaac being of the Spirit is this:

Galatians 4:21-23

22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. 2

The next thing to look at is the need for Ishmael to go! You say, oh how terrible that is to cast out this woman and her child into the wilderness. It had to be a very, very hard thing for Abraham to do. He loved Ishmael greatly, I feel certain. However, he was born of the flesh and had no place in the lives of those walking in the Spirit.

When we are new Christians, there are many things in our lives that change. Some things seem to change overnight (i.e., quit smoking, quit drinking, quit carousing, etc.) and other things seem to linger for years. God allows things to remain and others he takes the desire for them away totally. I for one, when I re-dedicated my life totally to God, was smoking 1-1 ½ packs of cigarettes a day. God spoke to me one night while I was praying and said “Leah, you are not being the example I need you to be with your smoking.” I stopped that very moment and never wanted another one. That has been 24 years ago November 1, 2014. Praise God! Other things didn’t leave so fast. Things born of the flesh are hard to let go of sometimes – most of the time. However, we reach a point in our walk with God when we must let go of things that were of the flesh so we can grow in the Spirit. God doesn’t promise an easy time always, but He does promise that it will be well worth every bit of the effort!

God was serious about Ishmael. For the journey that Abraham, Sarah and now Isaac was on with God to progress, Ishmael must go. Now.8033817_f520  God is serious about you too!  If you want to grow in the Spirit, you must cast out the Ishmaels that linger in your life.

All of us have Ishmaels in our lives. Things (or people) we don’t want to let go of.  Things that we have, or things that we have  done, and continue to do or ideas that we have had for many years. Or places we have gone for many years.  I know this first hand. I also know that God’s love and plan is perfect and if you let them go and trust God, He will replace them with Isaacs – laughter, goodness, happiness, fulfillment, a deeper relationship with Him. God is a good God that loves you so much. Talk to God today. He is waiting to hear from you. He calls you His beloved.

The Song – Voice of Truth – Casting Crowns