Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
In the Wilderness
by Erik Momsen
This is a message about Israel, our country and yourself. It is a message about liberation from slavery in Israel, our country and yourself. Some of the same lessons that Israel had to learn are also true for this country and for each individual. Israel transitioned from slavery through the wilderness to the Promised Land. The process took forty year where it might have only taken three weeks. The problem is human nature, sin and the slow process of unlearning bad patterns and learning new Godly ways.
Exodus 2:23 "The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. ... So God looked upon the Israelites and was concerned about them."
- Shows the concern of a Loving God, who cares for individuals and nations.
3:12 "When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain 5:1 Let my people go so that they may hold a festival to me in the desert."
- The primary purpose of taking the people out of slavery was to create a worshipping nation, a people of God. It is very difficult to worship while in slavery. Not impossible and worship will strengthen a people in trouble, but God’s Kingdom is about mercy, peace and justice.
3:21 "And I will make the Egyptians favourable towards this people so that when they leave you will not go empty handed."
- God decided that he wanted the Egyptians to pay the Israelites for their hard labour and suffering. The same restitution is needed between individuals when one is wronged by another.
4:31 "And when they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshipped."
- The mercy of God towards us elicits worship in us.
- The Egyptians pursued and tried to enslave them again.
13:11 "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!"
- Despite the demonstration of God’s power, they still fear the slavemaster. They are still slaves at heart. This happens with a nation and also with individuals. Individuals fear the life or the "demon" they have left behind.
13:13 "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 stand still"... 15 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on."
- Fear is one of our greatest enemies. It destroys all ability. It kills faith and possibility. Moses encourages them with the fact that the Lord will completely remove their physical enemy forever. Their mental enemies they would have to fight again. If they could overcome their fear long enough to stand still, the Lord would fight for them.
- Strangely enough, even after Moses has encouraged the people, the Lord has to give him a "hurry up".
15:22 "Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they travelled in the desert without finding water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. So the people grumbled against Moses ... 25 Then Moses cried out to the Lord and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water and it became sweet. 26 The Lord said; "If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His eyes ... I will not bring against you any of the diseases I brought against the Egyptians."
- In desperate circumstances, prayer results in God’s answer. God was teaching reliance on Him. It was not the piece of wood, but the act of obedience.
16:2 "In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. ... If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death." 4 Then the Lord said to Moses, "I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them ... 8 Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord."
- The three week journey lasted 40 years primarily through grumbling, which is a product of unbelief. The Exodus story is possibly the greatest collection of miracles and still they do not believe.
- Despite the freedom, they still thought like slaves. They could not yet stand on their own feet and looked to the Egyptians to provide for them.
God has to take the Egypt or slave out of us even after He has saved us. This process might take a short period or it might take a life time. Some however had to die in the wilderness. They were not ready for the promised land and despite being free in body they were not free in heart and mind. They had to learn faith not fault-finding, obedience not obstinance, worship not grumbling.
Faith, obedience, provision and rest.
Date Added: 2009-10-02
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