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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ten Lessons from the Exodus

Yes, there are many more than ten lessons that we can learn from the Israelites trek to the promised land, but here are ten for starters.

1. Through not around. One of the first ways God showed His power after the 10 plagues, was to lead His people through the Red Sea, not around it. At times, we see a hopeless situation, but God sees a way to reveal His nature and power.

2. We can get so accustomed to the blessings and provisions of God we complain even about the miracles.
No one on earth had ever been provided for like the Israelites in the desert with the manna. Day after day, God literally gave them their daily bread, yet when they began to take it for granted, they complained, and their ungrateful spirit had deadly consequences.

3. Analyze and study your options.
The 12 “spies” were not rebuked for studying the landscape and getting to know what they were to be facing, but their lack of faith that God would do what He said He would do.

4. When God closes a door, don’t try to break it down. Once the Israelites had been told the results of their lack of faith and disobedience, that is, 40 years in the desert, then they decided that they would obey. Too late. They attempted to force their way into to promised land, which proved to be a colossal failure.

5. Review your mistakes. After the 40 years, all of those over the age 20 had died, except Caleb and Joshua, so Moses reviewed with them their history. He began with their disobedience and why they had to spend 40 years in the desert, and continued telling the story so their would be no doubts as to why things were the way they were. He even shared his own failure, revealing why he would not be allowed to enter with them.

6. Review what God has done in your life. Not only did Moses review their failures, but he recalled the great things that God had done on their behalf. Tracing the history of God’s goodness is a great way to renew confidence in God during difficult times and when facing unknown circumstances.

7. Step out on faith. The waters of the Jordan river did not part before the priests stepped into it, as did the Red Sea. God may not always do things exactly the same way twice; in fact, He probably won’t. Our response is to obey and step out and be confident that God will do what He said He would do.

8. There is a reward at the end. In the midst of so hardships and trials along the way, it is easy to forget that there is a glorious future promised to God’s children. A good reminder for us is that heaven will not be a place where we finally get what we always wanted, but the place where our wants will finally be as God desired. The central focus of heaven is the Lamb of God on His throne, not my wishes fulfilled.

9. Receiving the promises of God requires obedience on your part. Moses was a man of God, one who spoke to God “face to face,” yet because of his disobedience he never was permitted to enter the land promised.

10. Commitment to do right means that sometimes you will stand alone. Joshua and Caleb stood alone in the midst of the majority of public opinion, because they were committed to believing God regardless.

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