ON EAGLE'S WINGS
(Articles From A Pastoral Perspective)
Exodus 19:4 (NASB)
'You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you to Myself.
Exodus 5:6-13 (MSG)
6 Pharaoh took immediate action. He sent down orders to the slave-drivers and their underlings:
7 "Don't provide straw for the people for making bricks as you have been doing. Make them get their own straw.
8 And make them produce the same number of bricks—no reduction in their daily quotas! They're getting lazy. They're going around saying, 'Give us time off so we can worship our God.'
9 Crack down on them. That'll cure them of their whining, their god-fantasies."
10 The slave-drivers and their underlings went out to the people with their new instructions. "Pharaoh's orders: No more straw provided.
11 Get your own straw wherever you can find it. And not one brick less in your daily work quota!"
12 The people scattered all over Egypt scrabbling for straw.
13 The slave-drivers were merciless, saying, "Complete your daily quota of bricks—the same number as when you were given straw."
So Moses spoke thus to the sons of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses on account of their despondency and cruel bondage.
1 Corinthians 10:6
Now these things happened as examples for us...
Thanksgiving 2020 is upon us soon to be followed by Christmas. Hard to believe, isn’t it? Designed to be a season of joy, anticipation, hope and celebration, both holidays are under assault this year and not just from draconian politicians. A very dark spiritual pollution exists in an attempt to erode joy and crowd out hope. When such a condition exists, Christians must make certain recognitions and move assertively against that which would steal joy.
This dark power exists for frustrating the fulfillment of purpose and fulfillment in our lives. Jesus unmasked this power with this identification: “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy” (Jn. 10:10). The book of Exodus unveils to us how Pharaoh can be a picture of how this thief attempts to fracture and bind God’s people. He took action to make the lives of Israelites much harder (5:6-7). Not only were they to grind out the same daily quota of bricks, but now they had to gather their own straw. Their prospect for a joyful tomorrow is being wiped out.
The rigorous commands of Pharaoh are pivotal violence against their desire worship the Lord. These demands caused the Israelites to an existence of mere survival and futility. They are forced to serve a King’s system full of strictness and no contentment or joy. Such a realism, as exists today, produces a dark gloomy cloud of pessimism, melancholy and dejection devouring joy and aborting the hope of a future. When such a condition endures a defeated state of mind can overtake God’s people. This is the great temptation for us at this holiday season; to give way to hopelessness (remember, hope is the grace for the future), pointlessness,
crippledness, even bitterness, with a spirit of fear, making way for despair and Thanksgiving or Christmas despondency (6:9). The Israelites could not even hear Moses incredibly promising message. Yes, here is the alarming eventuality – not only do Christians experience these things, but they become accustomed to it.
I am asking our congregation to consider what is attempting to crush and pulverize our spirits this season – we must break defeat mentality. Governor Newsome (Cal.) and Dewine (Ohio) are requiring relational isolation as essential to “run this virus into the ground”. We are being compelled to service a system that requires we be scattered “to gather straw” to cure us of our trust in God’s sovereignty. It is a spiritually grinding system with the intent of wearing God’s people down. Time for us to declare, “That is the last straw!!!”
What am I asking? I am asking that for both Thanksgiving (a day of worship) and Christmas (without which we have no Ascension), we fight for joy, hope and celebration. Where do we start? By confronting and resisting the territory of a defeated mindset by rejecting its passivity, self–pity and despair. The adversary expects you to stay attached to his tether with continual lies. When this dark cloud leans into you – stand and declare the promises of God and His commitment to lead you.
“...I am indeed concerned about you and has happened to you...” (Ex. 3:16)
“And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them” (Ex. 2:25)
“So the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD was concerned about the sons of Israel and that He had seen their affliction, then they bowed low and worshiped.” (Ex. 4:31)
This Thanksgiving, He will not only bring us out from our burdens, He will empower us to be a transmitter of hope to others!!!