Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’

full or emptyIt’s easy to complain. We’ve all been around people who easily find things to complain about, and from time to time, I’m right in there with them. It’s not that we really have it so rough, but rather that we don’t always have it our way.

I once heard a Pastor friend deliver a message on complaining that really served as a gut punch.

He gave the illustration of the people of Israel heading toward the Promised Land. God tells them they will persevere, but when they hear that people in the one city that remains between them and their land are the size of giants, the people easily forget God’s promise:

Numbers 14:2-4: Then all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. All the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt.”

Despite God’s plan, they allowed their complaining to lead them to appoint a new leader to go back against God.

My pastor friend pointed out that complaining will become your leader if you allow it to, and it’s not that difficult to have that happen.

How does God feel about it? His reaction was clear:

Numbers 14:26-29 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who are grumbling against Me? I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel, which they are making against Me. Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will surely do to you; your corpses will fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me.

God didn’t take it well. What’s interesting to me here is that the people weren’t so much complaining intentionally against God Himself but against their situation. That feels to most of us like a complaint that is in no way aimed at God. But all that complaining against everything is, in God’s eyes, a complaint against Him.

5 Negative Effects of Complaining

  1. It stops forward momentum.
  2. It fosters dissatisfaction in others.
  3. It out-volumes and squelches appreciation.
  4. It becomes a way of thinking.
  5. It becomes your vision and your leadership.

I just heard another pastor speak of the concept of “troubleshooting.” As Christians, we are called to be the problem solvers, not the problem proclaimers. If our God is our strength and our hope, what, exactly, should we have to complain about? We’re supposed to be the troubleshooters. We’re supposed to be the encouragers, the motivators, the accomplishers.

Sure, there may be situations that suck. But there comes a point at which we have to stop and ask ourselves this important question if we’re going to call ourselves Christian: is the situation bigger than God?

Told you it was a gut-punch.

I’ve seen first-hand in the world how much damage complaining can do. Unfortunately, we live in an age of complaining. It’s easier to whine than it is to solve problems. And I even see that when we try to take steps to solve problems, people would rather complain about that. It even happens when specific things complained about are fixed or improved.

Sometimes, I want to go up to these people and just shake them: What do you want?

And sometimes, I realize I’m one of the ones who needs to be shaken, too.

We often develop strategies, game-plans, life-plans – and then, at some obstacle or critical point, we say – “Just stick to the plan!” It’s usually good advice.

Life is always sending unexpected surprises, but praise God, nothing takes Him by surprise. He’s the master planner. Our family might turn against us, our friends let us down, illness, afflictions, problems and “situations” on every side…God still has a plan, for you, and for me.

Joseph is a prime example of life’s surprises. It took 13 years of endurance and character-building for him to fulfill this part of God’s plan. Sold as a slave into Egypt by his own brothers, betrayed and imprisoned, he must have wondered a lot where God was and what He was doing. But finally, as a prepared vessel, Joseph was placed in the highest position in the land, second only to Pharaoh, and commissioned to execute God’s plan for saving the world from famine. So the Lord had surprises of His own. Revealing himself to his brothers, Joseph summed it up beautifully: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good, in order to bring it about as [it is] this day, to save many people alive. .” (Genesis 50:20)

When our situations are difficult to handle and downright impossible to explain, we need to remind ourselves that God said, “I know the plans I have for you.” Through these situations we discover how faithful and sovereign He truly is. He knows what we can handle and He will never give us more. When the test is completed, we come out with character, stronger in faith, more in love, more useful to Him, and ready……….. for our next test. 🙂 (Oh yeah…)

The fact that we have problems is a sign that we also have a promise. It’s only a matter of time before God reveals His good intentions – so until then, let’s stick to the plan! His !!!

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

stop_complaining1_2858487Murmuring or complaining is one of those sins that are overlooked.  Sometimes we get so focused on the “big sins” such as murder and adultery that we overlook this sin — but the Lord doesn’t give this sin a free pass — quite the opposite.  It’s a hidden killer!  This sin unleashed a plague that killed thousands of Israelites! [Numbers 16]

Exodus 15:23-26 And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

In this passage, we read how the Israelites, who were desperately thirsty, looked only at the fact that the water they had come to was bitter and undrinkable. How quickly they forgot their God who had led them out of Egypt with signs and wonders. They had just witnessed His dividing of the Red Sea and destruction of those who had enslaved them. And yet, so quickly they returned to looking only with their natural eyes at the problem in front of them, completely forgetting the miracle working power of their God! And so they murmured against Moses. But honestly, weren’t they really murmuring against God? Once again, Moses interceded for them, revealing the faithfulness of His God to answer every impossible dilemma and provide for every need; and again, setting them the example: they simply needed to go the Lord!

So often, just like the Israelites, we focus on our desperate situation with our physical eyes, and not with eyes of faith, and then fall into the trap of complaining. And if you’re like me, once I start, it can be really hard to stop…until the Lord stops me, right in my tracks, and He reminds me –- aren’t you really complaining against me?  I have to remember to see that I actually hinder the Lord’s answers to my problems by unbelief…which leads to the sin of murmuring!

Let’s not allow this sin to gain a foothold — because it can easily become a stronghold! The same wonder working God that led the children of Israel out of Egypt, is still at work today — but are we hindering Him? If we are grumbling and complaining, the answer is, “YES”! And in so doing, until we stop, we are missing out on His answers and blessings which are waiting in the wings to meet our faith in Him!

CBN News story 8/24/13….Hundreds of Egyptian protestors, many of them Coptic Christians, rallied in front of the White House Thursday, outraged over President Barack Obama’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“Don’t support terrorists!” protestor Hale Salem said. “Don’t support terrorists! Please, Mr. Obama I voted for you — don’t support terrorists.”

“He’s asking us as Egyptians to leave the terrorists in Egypt alone? To kill us, to kill our people? It’s not gonna happen,” another protestor declared.

Muslims were also present, voicing their opposition against the Brotherhood.

“I’m a Muslim,” demonstrator Mina Khalifa said. “It’s not a Christian thing. It’s an Egyptian thing.”

Another Muslim protestor, Suzanne Elnahal, said, “They are terrorists; they have done so many problems in Egypt.”

Meanwhile, there are new concerns the old regime is making a comeback, as former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was released from prison and flown to a military hospital. He is now under house arrest.

But protestors say Mubarak wasn’t as bad as ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

“He’s not really a good guy, but he’s not at least a terrorist,” anti-Brotherhood demonstrator Layla Sedhom said. “But Mohammed Morsi is a terrorist. He belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The protestors say the Egyptian military is needed to keep order.

“They protect us from (the) Muslim Brotherhood,” Madline Mansour, a Coptic Christian, said. “Muslim Brotherhood kill us, kill all Christian people. Morsi is a terrorist. He belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Those at the rally say the Brotherhood has burned dozens of Christian churches, businesses, and more.

“For the Coptic Christians, they burn their houses. They’re targeting them,” one protestor said.

The protestors are also angered by Western media coverage of the situation in Egypt. They rallied against the Washington Post, accusing both the newspaper and Obama of being biased in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“So the Obama administration helps the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt; that’s not right,” anti-Brotherhood protestor Sawers Kamel said. “That has a lot of question marks. Why? Why?”

I’ve been watching the events in Egypt unfolding recently, and it makes me wonder why Christians are not as dedicated to their faith as the Muslims are. I am glued to the TV watching this group of unarmed people who are willing to take on an army because they feel that the leaders are threatening their faith. They are so intense about their God, that their are laying down their lives in his defense. Wow, if the Christians of this world would just show a sliver of that dedication, then we wouldn’t be losing the battle for Jesus.

How much do you love Jesus? Do you love Him just enough to expect Him to be your Genie in a bottle, or do you love Him enough to lay down your life for Him?To dedicate your time to Him and to the cause of Christianity.  I don’t think wes ask ourselves these questions often enough. We see people and governments all around us that are threatening our religious freedoms and beliefs, yet all we do is complain about about the situation rather than doing something about it.

What would happen is we were to become a political force to be reckoned with. To mobilize a Christian Army that showed we would not allow abortions.To organize enough to boycott companies that support gay rights. To show the world that we are willing to be the Christian David’s against the worldly Goliath’s. People like to rattle their sabers and say YES, but when it comes time for the march they sit back down. I know that what I am about to say will be controversial, but I don’t care. The heck with the separation of Church and state, it’s time we become a true Christian nation governed by the laws of the Bible not man.

There it is, I said it. Let the nations of the earth arise and become the modern day Israels. Let the Lord punish us when we stray from His Word. Even though the people of Egypt are following the wrong faith, I do respect them for being so dedicated to their beliefs. If we as Christians were to become that dedicated, then there would be no Muslim, Buddhist, LDS, Jehovah Witness, we would all be under the banner of the one true God, Jesus Christ. There would not have to be any more protests, only peace. But that time will never come until we get off of our seats and start fighting. To lay down our lives if needed.

Now ask yourselves, are you motivated by these words, or convicted. If you’re motivated, then go out and do something. Organize, overcome, and oppose what doesn’t align itself with the Bible. If you’re convicted, then pray on it and ask yourself to become a warrior for Jesus not a side-liner.


Colossians 3And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

imagesMoses was one of the Bible’s most famous leaders. He led the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and then served competently as a priestly leader. He taught them what was God’s will, prayed for them, and even plead their case before God. We need more men like him in the church. But, is it possible that they are already here but have never gotten a chance? Moses was not a gifted speaker and had difficulty trusting God when he told him he would lead the Israelites (Exodus 4). If Moses were alive today, who would he look like in the church? Would he be the person sitting next to you who doesn’t appear to have a “leadership bone” in his body? In fact, could it be you?

The key to Moses’ great leadership was its anointing and ordination, and not the “perfect packaging” of his personality. Notice how the Lord assured him, “I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”(Exodus 4:12). He wasn’t naturally someone who possessed the “leadership goods”, but the Lord worked through him mightily on numerous occasions. Chances are, Moses would be someone considered “weak” by the world’s standards. Fortunately  we serve a God who chooses “what is weak in the world to shame the strong” (1 Corinthians 1:27). Remember, it is not in ourselves we find our competency for God’s call, but through his word that we may be “equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17).

Today’s passage…But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” (Exodus 4:10-12 ESV)

trustGod is God and He is Able — Mo Matter What the Circumstances Are God Can Do It

Fear is the believer’s greatest enemy. When a believer has fear, he cannot have believing faith. Fear paralyzes, frustrates and cripples. Fear also involves torment as as 1 John 4:18 states. Someone said, “Fear is the prison of the heart.” Trusting God in hard times requires refusing to be frightened, refusing to be immobilized, refusing to panic.

In his first Inaugural Address in 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt said these famous words: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” Regardless of one’s partisanship, these words still ring true.

God’s Word is filled with powerful exhortations to not be afraid. In Deuteronomy 31:8, Moses said, “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Isaiah was told to “Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you. For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’” (Isaiah 35:4; 41:13)

In Genesis 26:1 and following, God’s Word records that there was a famine in the land. Abraham may have told his son, Isaac, about the famine he had experienced years before as recorded in Genesis 12:10, and how he had gone down to Egypt. Now Isaac was experiencing for himself a severe famine, and may have considered taking the same action. But God told Isaac, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I will tell you. I will be with you and will favor you with blessings.”

Isaac obeyed the Lord and stayed where he was, trusting God. Verses 12 through 14 state that “Then Isaac sowed seed in that land and received in the same year a hundred times as much as he had planted, and the Lord favored him with blessings. And the man became great and gained more and more until he became very wealthy and distinguished; He owned flocks, herds, and a great supply of servants, and the Philistines envied him.” Isaac could have panicked and reacted out of fear. Instead, he trusted and believed God, and defied the negative circumstances surrounding him.

God is God, and He is able. Period. No matter what the prevailing conditions are, God can still do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20 promises, “And [God] Who provides seed for the sower and bread for eating will also provide and multiply your [resources for] sowing.” (2 Corinthians 9:10 Amplified Bible)

The lesson in Genesis is to not thoughtlessly react, but to listen for God’s quiet whisper and to have a hearing ear to hear His specific guidance tailor-made for the given situation. What worked before may not work now. Isaac could have just packed up and gone to Egypt, but God told him to stay right where he was and plant, even in famine. The results were fantastic, but God is the God of the fantastic.

Author and speaker Dale Carnegie once said, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

Today’s hard times necessitate trusting God. It may be disastrous not to. Whatever happens, refuse to fear, don’t panic, but first seek God’s counsel. If it is unclear at the time, seek the counsel of proven Christian people. God can speak through them, too. No matter what is going on, remember what Jesus said. “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)