Posts Tagged 'Exodus'

Fear is a Thief

My Bible Class lessons of late have been on the subject of fear. How it punishes and torments us — even though we do it to ourselves. It is also a thief, stealing the peace that passes all understanding which is ours through our Lord Jesus Christ. A peace that is not as the world gives — through things we can see — but through the things that are invisible. That is, the promises of God and the essence and character of God.

Moreover, not only does fear steal our peace, it steals opportunities for us to glorify God through trusting Him.

These are all familiar concepts, which I learned years ago, and had reinforced countless times since. And still fear gets the best of me far too often. Fear is the province of the sin nature, the weapon of the kingdom of darkness in its quest to pull us out of God’s plan for our lives, and in so doing, to discredit Him and insult Him. Because fear basically says God’s a liar, and impotent.

Fear paralyzes us, cripples us and stifles creativity.  Yes, he said creativity. And yes, I am very much aware of the fact that it chokes off creativity. But… sigh…I tend to forget… (Which is why I need Bible class every day.)

I love the story of the Israelites as they left Egypt in the Exodus, led by the pillar of cloud right up to the waters of the Red Sea, mountains to the right, mountains to the left, nowhere to go and Pharaoh’s army churning up a huge dust cloud as it rumbled toward them. None of the Israelites knew how to fight, none of them had any weapons, there was nowhere for them to go except back the way they’d come and that’s where the soldiers were.

But of course, this is the group of people who had just seen 10 amazing miracles performed by their God in His plan to persuade Pharoah to let them go. They’d just seen the deaths of all the first-born in Egypt, people and cattle, except in the land of Goshen where the Jews lived, where those who believed had marked the sign of the cross in blood on the lintels and door posts of their homes so that when the Lord came to smite the Egyptians he passed over them.

They’d gone out with a high hand after that, and now only a few days later … here was Pharoah’s army. So what did they do?  Forgetting all about the things they’d just learned, they focused on the Egyptians who were marching after them, stared hard at them, maybe trying to figure out how many they were, maybe seeing the glint of armor or spear or chariot wheel through the dust. They thought about them, and all their prowess on the battlefield. Thought about how fast the chariots could go, and imagined how they would plow into the company of Israelites, men, women and children, most of them afoot. They struggled to think of a way of escape and as they looped through all these thoughts, became completely terrified. Soon the sons of Israel were screaming in panic and terror to the Lord.  Then they blamed Moses for having brought them out there just to die, and bitterly longed to have been left alone as slaves in Egypt.

Did I mention that fear also makes us completely stupid?

Moses commanded the people to get a grip.  He told them to stop freaking out and,

“…stand still and see the deliverance of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The Lord will fight for you, while you keep silent.”

And I think keep silent not only means stop screaming and whining and blaming and moaning, but stop all the frantic thinking as well. Instead of focusing on the problem and trying fifty ways from seven to come up with a solution, STOP. Quiet your brain and relax. Step back and watch Him solve it. Think about who He is, what He’s done, what He’s promised.

“And God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

“If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with him freely give us all things.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? … For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created things shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  ~ Romans 8:28 – 31

“For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you,” so that we may confidently say, “The Lord is my Helper, I will not be afraid. What shall mere man do to me?”  ~ Heb 13:5-6

“For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for good and not for evil to give you a future and a hope.” ~ Jer 29:11

“Call upon me and I will show you great and mighty things which you do not know.”  ~ Jer 33:3

“The Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory. No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” ~ Ps 84:11

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” ~ Ps 27:1

“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.” ~Ps 62:5

“So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.” ~Ro 9:16

I realized, in the midst of Friday’s lesson that I was letting fear stop me on Sky, letting it paralyze me three pages in because I didn’t know where I was going. What if I chose the wrong sequence? What if it led me off on a goose chase? I could spend months writing useless words. I don’t have months to waste like that!

Fear.

Recognizing it was immensely freeing. It’s a first draft, after all. It’s supposed to be provisional, and I was assuming that God was unable to guide me. Further, one of my guiding verses has long been this passage from Hebrews 11:8:

“By faith, Abraham, when he was called obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance;  and he went out not knowing where he was going.”

To “go out” he had to take steps — had to get up and leave his tent and walk in a direction. And he did so, not knowing where he was going. If he didn’t know where he was going, how did he know which way to go? He didn’t. And yet he went.

The parallel to my situation is almost exact. To go out, I have to write a certain line of action and conflict. How do I know which one to choose? I don’t. I just have to choose one and go forward. Write it out, don’t look back and just keep on keeping on, trusting that God can lead me. Even if it doesn’t look like He is.

After that I returned to Sky and worked through to page 12, but since I cut 2 pages in the process, I’m actually on page 10. That’s 9 pages from where I started out, the biggest jump in pages I’m made in a long, long time. I’m quite pleased. 🙂

 

Global Warming and the Ten Plagues

Oh. My. Goodness….

The latest from the Global warming front…

Scientists have ascertained that the ten plagues of the Exodus which occurred, oh, about 3500 years ago, had nothing to do with God but were the product of a volcano and… you guessed it… Global Warming.

ROTFL

Surely they are kidding. They’ve got to be kidding. The Nile turned to blood? Caused by climate change? Why, yes, of course… The warm dry weather, they say, caused the river to become a slow-moving muddy watercourse, which in turn encouraged the growth of toxic freshwater algae called Burgundy blood algae. The toxic algae overstressed the frogs causing them to grow suddenly to adulthood, and leave the waters of the Nile all at once. Then as they died, they drew flies and mosquitoes and lice, which, as known disease vectors led to sick cattle and boils in people (why not boils in the cattle and sick people?) Meanwhile, 400 miles away, a volcano erupted accounting for the plagues of hail, locusts and darkness.

Unfortunately, all this conjecturing is based on a dry spell and volcano that occurred/erupted around 3000 years ago, during the reign of Pharaoh Rameses the Second, who ruled between 1279 BC and 1213 BC. Which is the dating for the Exodus accepted by those who don’t think the Bible is inerrant. I opt for the 1446 BC dating accepted by those who do think the Bible is inerrant. I Kings 6:1 says the Temple was begun 480 years after the Exodus. Since we know the Temple was started in 966 BC, that puts the Exodus at 1446 BC . There’s also the perhaps too subtle clue in the fact that the Pharoah’s name at that time was not Ramses, but…ahem… Thutmose. Or Thutmosis, as it is alternatively spelled. Mose, Mosis, Moses…

Thutmose I was the father of Hatshepsut and also, by a “minor wife,” the father of Thutmose II, who became the “fully royal” Hatshepsut’s consort. This half-brother/half-sister pair had a daughter Neferure.Thutmose II also fathered a son, Thutmose III, by his own lesser wife, though DNA analysis indicates Thut 3 was not actually the son of Thut 2, so the lesser wife must have been fooling around… And most likely “the fully royal” wife Hatshepsut knew it.

Thus it seems to me that Hatshepsut was most likely the Pharoah’s daughter mentioned in Exodus. She doesn’t seem to have been terribly happy about being married to Thutmose II, and seems to have been the real power behind his reign. Wikipedia says that Thutmose III “would have succeeded as the only male heir under typical circumstances. [He] was born to a secondary wife or concubine of [his]father and was a youth at the time of his father’s death.[2] After the death of their father, a marriage between Neferure and her half-brother would have assured his place in the royal succession, but events led to his becoming only a co-regent for a long time before he became pharaoh.” Thutmose III was probably the Pharoah that Moses ran away from after killing the Egyptian who’d been beating a Hebrew.

Wikipedia doesn’t say what the events that led to Thut 3 being co-regent, but I think the story in Exodus where Pharoah’s daughter finds baby Moses and takes him in as her own makes sense when considered in light of the events outlined above. In Hebrews, we’re told that Moses, “by faith, when he had grown up refused to be called the son of Pharoah’s daughter…” that is, he was being groomed to be her successor, most likely to marry Neferure so that the false son of Thut 2 would never ascend to the throne…

None of which has anything to do with the Global warming theory, but IS interesting. And, as I said earlier, supports the 1446 BC dating of the Exodus. Which is NOT when the scientists’ volcano erupted.

Oh, and the deaths of the first-born? Fungus in the grain. The first-born males would have had first pickings, say the scientists, and thus died first — instantly, I would guess, if they were to save those who ate after them. I’m not sure if the first-born of the cattle would fall under this first pickings rule, either, so this supposed evidence is even more lame than the rest. Especially since none of the Jews who put the blood on their doorposts sustained any losses. How was it the slaves got the unfungus-infected grain and the royals did not?

Why do people have to tie themselves into knots in order to not believe that the Bible is true and that God can do miracles? They put on this facade of objectivity and intelligence and open-mindedness, and come up with the most convoluted, laborious and ultimately absurd explanations full of coincidences and challenging their own laws of statistics and then expect other people to be impressed. Well, of course, I know why: “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God…”

If you want to read the article itself, it’s here.


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