Exodus - Friday Night Genesis - Friday, Feb. 3, 12Well here we are in the book of Exodus. We have fast forwarded some 400 ...
for the purpose of his life - to lead the nation of Israel from slavery of Egypt intoindependent existence. The first 40 y...
was planned and done on purpose. But here is the part that I found interesting. Not onlyhad God designed this Sanctuary in...
with you,” declares the LORD. So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son ofShealtiel, governor of Judah, and the ...
with the regional office based in Sarajevo. When the civil war broke out in Bosnia therest of the team and the local pasto...
and for those who are currently not equipped. God sees the potential in every single oneof us, and so He calls us to step ...
and for those who are currently not equipped. God sees the potential in every single oneof us, and so He calls us to step ...
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Exodus

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Transcript of "Exodus"

  1. 1. Exodus - Friday Night Genesis - Friday, Feb. 3, 12Well here we are in the book of Exodus. We have fast forwarded some 400 years sincewe have buried Jacob and Joseph at the end of the book of Genesis. We only get a veryrough summary of this time period, stating that the descendants of Israel prospered andbecame very numerous in Egypt. After a while a new king, a new Pharaoh, ascended tothe throne and evidently this guy had no appreciation of how God had saved the nationof Egypt through a Jewish kid called Joseph. Being nervous about the number andstrength of the Jews, this Pharaoh decides to turn them into slaves, so that he wouldhave control over them. And it is here that the story of the Exodus begins.As the name of the book suggests it is a story of exit, the Israelites coming out of Egypt.It is a story of freedom and deliverance. Although not as prominent, it is also a story ofpurpose. God called Abraham well over 600 years ago, and this nation was thefulfillment of the promise God gave to Abraham. It is in the book of Exodus that we startto see how the purpose of this nation is beginning to take shape. You may rememberthat God said both to Abraham and Jacob that through their descendants all peoples ofthe earth will be blessed. On the first blush, however, it seems that the Israelites werenothing but trouble for the Egyptians, with all the plagues and whatnot. Yet God says toPharaoh, king of Egypt: “I have raised you up for this very purpose” (Exodus 9:16) Andtomorrow morning we will be talking a good deal more about how the plagues were tobring a blessing to the people of the earth and what was Pharaohs role in all of this.But to me, the interesting part of the story is God’s plans for individuals, and sometimesrather unlikely individuals. Moses was born to a typical Jewish family. We have noindication that they were particularly prominent in their community. But it just sohappened that Moses was put in a basket on the river Nile, and it just so happened thatPharaoh’s daughter happen to spot the basket and take an interest in Moses, and it justso happened that she adopted him, so that Moses grew up in Pharaoh’s court, receivingthe best education then available and being trained how to lead a nation.Do any of you watch NCIS? Those of you who have seen it, tell me, if I had told Gibbswhat I have just told you, with all the “it just so happened” ’s, what would Gibbs say? “Idon’t believe in coincidences”. And neither do I. I believe that God was preparing Moses
  2. 2. for the purpose of his life - to lead the nation of Israel from slavery of Egypt intoindependent existence. The first 40 years of His life Moses spent at Pharaoh’s court.After a moment of madness when Moses actually murdered an Egyptian, he foundhimself on the run, eventually spending another 40 years tending sheep in the verywilderness that he would later traverse with the nation of Israel. 80 years of training forwhat would become the ultimate purpose of his life - to lead the nation of Israel out ofslavery into statehood. God had a purpose for Moses and everything was a preparationfor that purpose. When he was at the top of the then known world, learning at Pharaoh’scourt, it was for a purpose. When he wound up at the bottom of the pyramid - wanderingin the wilderness with no one but someone else’s sheep for company - it was for apurpose.Of course, very few, if any of us will get the burning bush experience where God appearsto us and tells us: “It is time, this is what I have prepared you for - go for it.” And so weoften find ourselves wondering: what is the purpose of my life? What am I supposed todo? Pastor Rick Warren tapped into this universal question and built an empire helpingpeople to live purpose driven lives.The purpose of our lives may not seem as grandiose as leading a nation. That doesn’tmean that God’s purposes are reserved only for those in leadership positions. Ifanything, the book of Exodus teaches us that God is a God who does everything onpurpose. If something is to be done, do it on purpose, and do it well. When God saysroast a lamb, don’t boil it, don’t eat it raw - there was a purpose to it - it became fingerfood. When God added “This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into yourbelt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is theLORD’s Passover.” (Exodus 12:11) - this also had a purpose, because they did end upleaving rather suddenly in the middle of the night.When the Israelites had gotten away from Egypt God gave them laws to govern the newnation and He also said: “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwellamong them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I willshow you.” (Exodus 25:8,9) God wanted a place for the specific purpose of being withHis people and if you have had a chance to read through the book of Exodus, you will nodoubt remember that the plans for this Sanctuary were all rather detailed. Everything
  3. 3. was planned and done on purpose. But here is the part that I found interesting. Not onlyhad God designed this Sanctuary in great detail, but then He told Moses: I have peoplethat I have been grooming for this one.“Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the LORD has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, theson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, withwisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills - to make artisticdesigns for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and toengage in all kinds of artistic crafts. And he has given both him and Oholiab son ofAhisamak, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. He has filled them with skill todo all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarletyarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers. So Bezalel,Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the LORD has given skill and ability to knowhow to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as theLORD has commanded.” (Exodus 35:30-35; 36:1)”How sweet is that?! Can you imagine being in Moses’ shoes? You have 603550 menover the age of 20, God has just given you the plans to build His house, how do you goabout finding the right people for the job, so that it’s done right?! Just to provide a bit ofperspective, the whole of Calhoun county including Battle Creek and Marshall has about135000 inhabitants, and we already have enough difficulty choosing the right plumber,mechanic or contractor. Wouldn‘t it be nice if God did what He did for Moses, comedown and tell you - these two guys, one from the tribe of Judah and one from the tribe ofDan is who you want. I have prepared them for this purpose - a perfect blend of skill,creativity, leadership and ability to teach others.God gives us different skills and He has a specific purpose for us based on the skill setthat He has given us. I am going to cheat a little bit here and jump forward in the Bible,but I do want to show you that the Bible is consistent in this.Many centuries after Bezalel and Oholiab, God once again called two individuals to leadthe building of the temple. The Israelites were exiled into Babylon and Solomon’stemple, that succeeded the Sanctuary Bezalel and Oholiab built, lay in ruins. As theIsraelites started to trickle back into Jerusalem, prophet Haggai had a message: “I am
  4. 4. with you,” declares the LORD. So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son ofShealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest,and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on thehouse of the LORD Almighty, their God, on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month.”(Haggai 1:13-15) Zerubbabel and Joshua were God’s people of the moment, leading thesmall remnant in the work to rebuild the temple.As they were rebuilding the temple, the majority of God’s people were still spread outacross the Medo-Persian empire. An official by the name of Haman persuaded the kingto sign a decree to wipe out the Israelites. And it just so happened that at that time thequeen was a Jewish girl by the name of Esther who successfully interceded with the kingto save her nation. As her uncle Mordecai would tell her: “…who knows whether youhave come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14) Ya think?!Many centuries later Apostle Paul would explain how God has a unique purpose for eachand every one of us in his famous “one body, but many members” chapter in 1.Corinthians 12. “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differencesof ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the sameGod who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for theprofit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the wordof knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another giftsof healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy,to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another theinterpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributingto each one individually as He wills.” (1. Corinthians 12:4-11)God is still working today, calling and equipping people whom we may not necessarilyeven consider, to rise up to their potential, and with God’s help accomplish what ishumanly impossible.I’d like to introduce you to a remarkable couple whom you probably have never heard of.This is Mira and Rade Nikolic. They had a heart for young people, but to their dismay,they were never able to have children of their own. In 1992 Rade Nikolic was thepresident of the Adventist church for the region that covered Bosnia and Montenegro
  5. 5. with the regional office based in Sarajevo. When the civil war broke out in Bosnia therest of the team and the local pastor moved out of Sarajevo along with their families.Because they had no children Mira and Rade decided to stay and take care of the smallchurch family that remained in the city. Now it just so happened that with the war alreadyraging in neighboring Croatia, ADRA, the Adventist aid agency, stockpiled foodstuffs inSarajevo as a neutral and central point between Serbia and Croatia. And so when thewar broke out and Sarajevo was surrounded and cut off from the rest of the world thesestockpiles of food were feeding the people. By November 1992 the food was starting torun out, and so Rade and Mira obtained permits from the Muslim government to go inand out of their territory and teamed up with a Serbian Orthodox priest who smoothedthe way through Serb-held areas, and so they got out of Sarajevo to Belgrade. The rest,as they say, is history. This pastor and his wife, who had no training in aid work, logisticsor anything remotely related, organized and personally brought in and out of Sarajevocountless convoys of much needed food over the next 3 years. When the UN and theRed Cross were no longer able to bring in supplies into the city because of politics, Godwas opening the way for Mira, Rade and their colleagues to continue bringing thesupplies into Sarajevo, at times going past the UN and Red Cross convoys stranded atcheck points. They operated the only mail service in and out of Sarajevo and organizeda distribution network in Sarajevo under most horrendous circumstances. Their van hadover 30 bullet holes in it, but the only injury they sustained was a small nick on the elbowand a missing sole from a shoe caused by shrapnel that ricochet off a wall. Theycontinued to look after the local church to the point where in this city, which was mainly amixture of Muslims and atheists, a Christian church was running 2 packed out servicesevery weekend, giving hope in a place that was full of darkness.I can only imagine how much they agonized the fact that they didn’t have children, yet itwas this that enabled them to stay in Sarajevo. God provided food for them in thosecritical early months of the war, and then gave them the courage, skills and connectionswith the right people to be able to accomplish an incredible work for God and the peopleof Sarajevo.You may have seen a quote that occasionally crops up on Facebook: “God doesn’t callthe equipped, he equips the called.” This sounds real nice, all warm and fuzzy, but it isonly partially correct. God calls everyone. He has a purpose for those who are equipped
  6. 6. and for those who are currently not equipped. God sees the potential in every single oneof us, and so He calls us to step up and make our contribution to His kingdom.God has a purpose for your life. Like Moses, your entire life, as mundane as it seems,may be a preparation for that purpose. Or you may be the unlikely person on the spot,willing to follow God’s calling. What you lack - God will provide. If you’re not eloquent likeMoses, God will provide, If you need courage God will supply it, if you need skills Godwill provide for that too, maybe guiding you to another willing person who has the rightskill set. God has a purpose for you, and should you accept the call, God will equip youto fulfill that purpose.
  7. 7. and for those who are currently not equipped. God sees the potential in every single oneof us, and so He calls us to step up and make our contribution to His kingdom.God has a purpose for your life. Like Moses, your entire life, as mundane as it seems,may be a preparation for that purpose. Or you may be the unlikely person on the spot,willing to follow God’s calling. What you lack - God will provide. If you’re not eloquent likeMoses, God will provide, If you need courage God will supply it, if you need skills Godwill provide for that too, maybe guiding you to another willing person who has the rightskill set. God has a purpose for you, and should you accept the call, God will equip youto fulfill that purpose.

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