Tag Archives: moses

03. You have enough faith: Choose to exercise it.

You’ve chosen to believe, trust, and surrender. Now, choose to keep the territory you’ve gained by exercising your faith. Keep your mind on God’s provision. He will take care of you.

Choose to keep your mind on God’s sufficiency rather than the perils of the desert.

Lessons in the Desert

The Israelites were in slavery in Egypt. They watched God provide safety for them and sent devastation on the Egyptians in a series of plagues. The plagues were designed to convince the Pharaoh of Egypt to “let my people go.” But they were also designed to teach God’s people that they could place their faith in God.

Finally Pharaoh sent the Israelites out of Egypt. As the Israelites left Egypt, they were surrounded by warring nations. They had been slaves, and had never gone to war. They did not know how to fight a battle. They must depend on God for safety in their journey.

“When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, ‘If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.’ (Exodus 13:17 NIV)

God could have easily and safely protected the people through the warring land of the Philistines. Many years later he would use a little boy named David with a sling shot to defeat the Philistine giant Goliath. What stopped God from leading the Israelites through the Philistine country during the Exodus from Egypt? Was it God’s inability to deliver them? No.

We can’t say it was the Israelites’ lack of faith either. They had learned faith through God’s faithfulness over a lifetime of slavery and through their deliverance in the plagues. They had faith, else they would not have marched into the desert under the leadership of Moses.

Yet their faith wavered greatly at times. For example: “They said to Moses, ‘Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, “Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians”? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!'” (Exodus 14:11-12 NIV)

So did they have enough faith? How much faith is enough?

The faith they had was enough to start the journey, else God would never have called them into this journey of faith. But they wavered back and forth between following God and following the ways that seemed right to them. They had problems with surrender. As their mind considered the danger they faced, they began to fear rather than trust God. They wondered if God really could or would deliver them. Deep in their hearts they knew that God had proved himself to them. But they often kept their minds on the problem and not on the God who is bigger than the problem.

You can exercise your faith

You have enough faith for today. Does it look like tomorrow you may die in this desert? Everyone of the Israelites who asked that question did just that. None of the original group that left Egypt, except for Joshua and Caleb who proved their faith, were allowed to go into the promised land.

We’ll plan to study the story of Joshua and Caleb in another session. The important thing today is that we put our faith into action by choosing to believe God, to trust him, and to surrender our minds to him. Our minds are where we live. Choose to keep your mind on his sufficiency rather than the perils of the desert. In one way or another, almost everything about the Christian walk is a choice. Faith is no exception.

“And now just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust him, too, for each day’s problems; live in vital union with him” (Colossians 2:6 TLB).

You’ve chosen to believe. You’ve chosen to trust. You’ve even chosen to surrender. Now, choose to keep the territory you’ve gained by keeping your mind on the assurance that God will take care of you. Read these Scriptures every time you start to doubt or waver, and thank God for the victory he has already given you.

How much faith is enough? God has given you all the faith you need for your present circumstance. You just have to choose to exercise it.

“The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’ He replied, ‘If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,” and it will obey you.'” (Luke 17:5-6 NIV)

You have mustard seed faith. But that mustard seed will not germinate unless it is planted in the proper environment. Plant your mind in the Word of God. Water it daily with his promises. Let the sunshine of his sufficiency dwell in your mind.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV)

Questions for thought and discussion

  1. What stopped God from leading the Israelites through the Philistine country during the exodus from Egypt? Why would God send the Israelites into a cruel desert amidst warring nations. Could not God have transported them to safety through the Philistine country quickly and easily, sparing them the 40 years they spent wandering in the desert?
  2. Did the Israelites have enough faith as they started off for the promised land? What was their problem?
  3. Review the story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. What was different about David’s faith and the faith of those who complained in the desert?
  4. Where exactly do we make the surrender? Is it a one time thing? How can we tell when we are not surrendered?
  5. Do you have enough faith? How much faith do you need? How can you get more?

We’ll talk about faith for our problems next.

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

19. From victory unto victory: It’s time to take the land!

God commissioned us to train our children. He will not call us to fruitless labor, for he will enable. We will defeat the giants, and we will train our children. God has given us the land!

“So Joshua took the entire land, just as the LORD had directed….” (Joshua 11:23).

It’s Time to Take the Land!

The battle had begun. It was time to take the land in the power of God. Read the following accounts of battle, and see God’s power displayed!

Then the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in.”

The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the people, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city!”

When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city. They devoted the city to the LORD and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it–men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.

Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land. You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city.”

So Joshua and the whole army moved out to attack Ai. He chose thirty thousand of his best fighting men and sent them out at night with these orders: “Listen carefully. You are to set an ambush behind the city. Don’t go very far from it. All of you be on the alert.

“I and all those with me will advance on the city, and when the men come out against us, as they did before, we will flee from them. They will pursue us until we have lured them away from the city, for they will say, `They are running away from us as they did before.’ So when we flee from them, you are to rise up from ambush and take the city. The LORD your God will give it into your hand.”

Joshua had taken about five thousand men and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, to the west of the city. They had the soldiers take up their positions–all those in the camp to the north of the city and the ambush to the west of it. That night Joshua went into the valley.

When the king of Ai saw this, he and all the men of the city hurried out early in the morning to meet Israel in battle at a certain place overlooking the Arabah. But he did not know that an ambush had been set against him behind the city.

Joshua and all Israel let themselves be driven back before them, and they fled toward the desert. All the men of Ai were called to pursue them, and they pursued Joshua and were lured away from the city. Not a man remained in Ai or Bethel who did not go after Israel. They left the city open and went in pursuit of Israel.

Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Hold out toward Ai the javelin that is in your hand, for into your hand I will deliver the city.” So Joshua held out his javelin toward Ai. As soon as he did this, the men in the ambush rose quickly from their position and rushed forward. They entered the city and captured it and quickly set it on fire.

The men of Ai looked back and saw the smoke of the city rising against the sky, but they had no chance to escape in any direction, for the Israelites who had been fleeing toward the desert had turned back against their pursuers.

So Joshua took the entire land, just as the LORD had directed Moses, and he gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal divisions. Then the land had rest from war.

These are the kings of the land whom the Israelites had defeated and whose territory they took over east of the Jordan, from the Arnon Gorge to Mount Hermon, including all the eastern side of the Arabah…. thirty-one kings in all.

–Joshua 6:2-5,16,20-21;8:1-7,12-20;11:23;12:1,30

Application

God, you have parted the Jordan before our eyes. We have stepped into the land of promise, and the battle begins.

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

–John 15:4-5,16

God gave us a commission. He said, “Train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6). He will not call us to that which he does not enable us. He will not call us to fruitless labor.

We will train our children. We battle with giants who strive to produce the fruits of evil in our children. But our God has given us the land.

Thought for Today

God has told us to take our children for him, and that we will do! We will bear fruit of righteousness in our children through the power of our God. For we are branches of God’s Son!

Questions for Discussion

  1. What are the giants God is calling you to take for the protection of your children?
  2. What Scripture promise will you carry with you to battle?

Next

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

17. Learning from Godly leaders: Mentored by Moses

History was in its infancy, yet Moses asked, “Has God ever before done anything so great?” We have far more than Moses today. We have the risen Savior living inside us.

“Has God ever before done anything so great in history as we have seen?” (Deuteronomy 4:32, paraphrased.)

Moses Was Meek, but God Was Mighty

The Bible says of Moses:

“(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth)” (Numbers 12:3).

Moses said to the LORD, ‘O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.

–Exodus 4:10.

God delivered through this meek man Moses, slow of tongue, some of the mightiest exhortations ever spoken. Joshua learned from this great leader, and applied these Godly principles in his own life. Here are some excerpts from some of the messages Joshua learned from Moses:

What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.

–Deuteronomy 4:7-9

We hear God saying to us today, “Do the giants of the world today have gods who hear them when they pray the way we do? Do they have so marvelous instructions as those written in the precious Book that God has written for us?”

Take time to pray to the God who always hears us and read the book he has written for us. Teach these things to your children and your grandchildren.

Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created man on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other.

Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived?

Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by miraculous signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?

You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other.

–Deuteronomy 4:32-35

God Interceded in History’s Infancy

History was in its infancy, yet Moses asked, “Has God ever before done anything so great in history as we have seen?” We have far more history than Moses had. We have the risen Savior living inside us! Has God ever before done anything so great in history as what he has done for us?

You must destroy all the peoples the LORD your God gives over to you. Do not look on them with pity and do not serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you.

You may say to yourselves, “These nations are stronger than we are. How can we drive them out?” But do not be afraid of them; remember well what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt.

You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the miraculous signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, with which the LORD your God brought you out. The LORD your God will do the same to all the peoples you now fear. Moreover, the LORD your God will send the hornet among them until even the survivors who hide from you have perished.

Do not be terrified by them, for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God.

–Deuteronomy 7:16-21

Application

Joshua learned giant warfare from the great teacher Moses. And God is saying to mothers today, “You shall not be afraid of the giants. Remember what God has done. God is a mighty God among you.”

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26).

We will learn from our mentors as Joshua did. We will learn from the Godly wives and mothers who have set the example for us. We will learn from our pastors and teachers and leaders who teach us the truth of God’s Word.

But we have a Teacher far greater than these. The Holy Spirit himself will be our teacher. God’s Holy Spirit will teach us all truth. He will guide us step by step. He will encourage us. He will teach us how to fight the giants, and he will empower us to do it!

Thought for Today

In the twenty-first century, we can still hear God’s voice through his Spirit saying, “Do the giants of the world today have gods who hear them when they pray the way we do? Do they have so marvellous instructions as those written in the precious Book that God has written for us?”

Question for Discussion

  • Who will be my teacher?

Next

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

01. Train a child: Just one will do

An unbelieving spouse, grandparents, sick parents, incarceration, jobs, divorce, foster parents, adoptive parents, visitation rights, guardianships, and custody situations influence training children at home.

“Train a child in the way he should go….” (Proverbs 22:6).

Circumstances

Circumstances sometimes prevent us from being able to train our children as we wish.

There are single parent homes whose children spend time with other parents out of God’s will. There are divided homes where one parent out of God’s will lives in the home. There are grandparents who have the grandchildren part-time. There are sick parents, parents in prison, parents whose jobs call them away from home. There are foster parents, adoptive parents, visitation rights, legal guardianships, and child custody battles.

Circumstances, unfaithfulness of others, and situations beyond our control do play a part in the development of our children. Negative influences may encourage them to take wrong paths sometimes. But if one Christian parent or guardian adheres closely to what God tells that individual parent to do, no matter what other influences in her child’s life, that child will not depart from what that parent taught him. Gods Word says so!

Promise

The Bible says: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6). The New International Version indicates “train” can even mean “start”. Moses’ mother only got to start Moses in the way he should go. Samuel’s mother the same. But look what great men of God these sons were!

If we as individual parents do all we can to train our children to follow Him, God says they will not depart from our training. The home should be a Spiritual incubator to nurture our children to Spiritual maturity. But even in our sin-sick world where homes are divided and our children sometimes take wrong paths, we have this promise: Our children can never get away from the Spiritual principles we instill in their minds!

Timothy

Consider the example of Timothy’s family:

“He came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek” (Acts 16:1).

Timothy’s mother was a Jewess. The Jewish nation believed in the one true God, although they did not always follow him and sometimes even worshiped pagan gods. Occasionally someone from the other nations would believe in the one true God also, but this was rare. The rest of the world for the most part served only pagan gods when Timothy was growing up.

Acts 16 says of Timothy, “whose father was a Greek.” The Apostle Paul wrote this to Timothy:

“I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (2 Timothy 1:5).

Paul excluded Timothy’s father from his reference to the faith of Timothy’s mother and grandmother. These Scriptures indicate that Timothy’s father did not believe in the one true God.

Timothy’s father probably led him according to pagan ways. He probably taught Timothy to follow the world. But Timothy’s mother and grandmother had the faith to believe that if they trained young Timothy in the way he should go he would not depart from the training they gave him. They did not sit around and pine because Timothy’s father was an unbeliever. They simply did what God said to do, and that was enough. The ideal is that both parents lead their children in the way they should go. But if one parent doesn’t, this does not cancel God’s promises to the parent who does. God will honor his promise if one parent will do what God says to the best of her ability!

What is involved in getting this to work? This is what we will discover from Scripture during the upcoming days. God’s part is to keep His promises to us, and he always does. We will talk more about this, and we will also talk about how to do our part. In the next session, we will start with the first step.

Application

God always has something very special to give you when you open His Word. Pray now and ask him to show you what he has for you in this Bible study.

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3.)

Questions for Discussion

  1. What does the Bible mean by the word “train?”
  2. Who does the Bible say must do the training of our children in order for them not to depart from the way they should go?
  3. If a child is exposed to the wrong training consecutively with the right training, does this negate the promise?
  4. What is the “right” training?
  5. Does the phrase, “when he is old” indicate he might “sow his wild oats” first?
  6. This sounds good, but I don’t have an ideal home. Will this work in my circumstances?

Thought to Remember

They simply did what God said to do, and that was enough. The ideal is that both parents lead their children in the way they should go. But if one parent doesn’t, this does not cancel God’s promises to the parent who does.

Next

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

The Lord will fight for you

These verses were given to me by an online friend near the end of 1999, as I experienced a time of great difficulty. I’ve included his commentary as well.

“Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today….”

God promises…

Exodus 14:13 – 14 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Exodus 23:27 I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run.

2 Chronicles 20:29 The fear of God came upon all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel.

2 Kings 6:16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

2 Kings 6:17 And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Matthew 12:20 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory.

2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.

Psalms 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.

Psalms 125:2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore.

Deuteronomy 28:7 The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.

Deuteronomy 11:25 No man will be able to stand against you. The LORD your God, as he promised you, will put the terror and fear of you on the whole land, wherever you go.

Commentary: For those who are godly….
God goes out in front and protects against THE WHOLE LAND
Example……

Genesis 35:5 Then they set out, and the terror of God fell upon the towns all around them so that no one pursued them.

Commentary: These are entire towns God shuts down to provide victory for those who follow him.

John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

Joshua 1:5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Joshua 21:44 The LORD gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their forefathers. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the LORD handed all their enemies over to them.

Joshua 23:9 The LORD has driven out before you great and powerful nations; to this day no one has been able to withstand you.

Deuteronomy 7:24 He will give their kings into your hand, and you will wipe out their names from under heaven. No one will be able to stand up against you; you will destroy them.

Psalms 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Commentary: Here lies the ENTIRE key to this:

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted