Posts Tagged ‘miracles of God’

Joshua 10:1-15 (Part 1 of 2)

Israel Defeats the Southern Armies

Tomorrow, at my church, I begin teaching a thirteen (13) week series that is a walk through the New Testament in general and through each of the 27 books. Tomorrow will be an overview of what we are going to try to accomplish in the class. The overriding theme that I want to come out of tomorrow is that the New Testament and the whole entirety of the Bible is not just some fantasy made up for our benefit. It is the real deal. It is real people. It is real events. It is historical. It can be checked and verified. It is not fiction made up to support a religious movement. It is the theological history of God’s people from Abraham to the cradle, to the cross, to the church, to the world, to the end of time. What I want people to realize and, that realization giving our faith so much more power, is that we have a reasonable faith. We have faith that is based on real people, real events, that played out in the history of mankind. That’s the beauty of our Christian faith is that it is historically based on facts that can be verified. No one in Christianity is asking you to believe is some fantasy of mystical creatures and such. It is the real deal. Jesus, it is commonly accepted the world over and can be verified by extrabiblical sources that He actually existed – not just some made up dude for the Bible. He really existed. All of the facts and circumstances of the New Testament (and the Old as well) are grounded in the history of mankind, and specifically, the Middle East.

 

Like I had said to many people, the Christian faith is a reasonable one that is based on historical facts that can be verified extrabiblically. I can get you to see that our faith is so much more based on reason than any of the world’s other religions. We are not asked to believe in any fanstastical figures like in Hinduism. We are also not forced to swallow contradictions within the holy book of our religion as Muslims are with the Koran. We are not forced to remove ourselves from life to attain oneness with some blank fabric of the universe as with Buddhism. And so on and so on. I can show you how our faith is superior and most internally consistent faith on the planet. I can take you 95% of the way to faith in Jesus Christ with the historiocity of the Christian faith. But, that last 5% is where the miracles come in. The miracles in the Old Testament and the miracles of the New Testament require you to make that last 5% walk alone without any assistance from anyone. You must decide if you believe, really believe in God.

 

That is the crux of the controversies over the miracles of the Bible. It comes down to whether you believe in God and that He exists. The thing that I always have to come back to is the beginning of the universe. Atheists who believe that God does not exist and those who believe in God must start their debate there. Those who do not believe in the existence of God believe that the universe has its own laws that function consistently eternally. That, too, I accept, however, I see it as God having set those laws in motion to be eternally true from that point on. Beleiver and non-believer alike can agree on the cause and effect nature of the universe. However, atheists will suspend their own belief in that rule when it comes to the moment of the creation of the universe. They say that it spontaneously erupted from itself. What caused that? Therein lies the difference. I can still believe in God’s eternally played out cause and effect rules of the universe as it was him that caused the effect. It was Him that was the cause and the universe beginning was the effect.

 

Thus, that is what we have here in this passage. Do you believe that there is a God? If not, you can spend all day debunking this as literary device and not a reality. If you believe that there is a God, then, the one who created the laws of the universe can equally suspend those laws without there being collateral damage elsewhere in the universe that He created. So, here we find a test of faith. How much do you believe in God? Is it nice and tidy until you get to the miracles? Do you discount the miracles as a believer? Or do you plain out have faith that they happened? Here’s one of the tests of your faith here in Joshua 10:1-15, this morning. Do you believe it happened or do you try to explain it away or call it a literary device? Do you blindly accept this without thinking? Do you believe it because you believe in a God that created the universe by His hand and His mind that can suspend the laws of nature that He created at the points that He wants to so as to demonstrate His favor to His people?

 

Let’s read the passage again this morning together with an eye toward that crux of a question about whether we believe in God’s miracles or not:

 

10 Now Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had taken Ai and totally destroyed[a] it, doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king, and that the people of Gibeon had made a treaty of peace with Israel and had become their allies. 2 He and his people were very much alarmed at this, because Gibeon was an important city, like one of the royal cities; it was larger than Ai, and all its men were good fighters. 3 So Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem appealed to Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish and Debir king of Eglon. 4 “Come up and help me attack Gibeon,” he said, “because it has made peace with Joshua and the Israelites.”

 

5 Then the five kings of the Amorites—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon—joined forces. They moved up with all their troops and took up positions against Gibeon and attacked it.

 

6 The Gibeonites then sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: “Do not abandon your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us! Help us, because all the Amorite kings from the hill country have joined forces against us.”

 

7 So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including all the best fighting men. 8 The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.”

 

9 After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise. 10 The Lord threw them into confusion before Israel, so Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah. 11 As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the Lord hurled large hailstones down on them, and more of them died from the hail than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.

 

12 On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel:

 

“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,

    and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”

13

So the sun stood still,

    and the moon stopped,

    till the nation avenged itself on[b] its enemies,

 

as it is written in the Book of Jashar.

 

The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. 14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!

 

15 Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal.

 

In this passage, we see that there is a moment where the earth stopped turning giving the appearance to us earthbound inhabitants that the sun stood still in the sky. There are extra-biblical references to this event, as well, from traditions in all parts of the world. According to the research that I was able to find is that legends of a longest day are found in Egypt, Greece, and other ancient lands. And among the American Indians, South Sea islanders, and others in the Western Hemisphere are legends of a longest night—which would indeed make sense, seeing how these peoples lived in the opposite hemisphere. God performed a stupendous miracle, causing the sun to delay its “setting.” God stopped the motion of the earth. There are objections to this explanation, based on the physics of motion, but the God who created the world and established natural laws is perfectly capable of compensating for any collateral complications. We may not have a scientific explanation of how God performed this miracle, but He did. While we may not fully understand how this “long day” occurred, a miracle does not have to be scientifically proven—just accepted. Joshua prayed, and God supernaturally provided the light necessary for Joshua’s army to win its battle. The lengthened day was indeed unlike anything ever seen, but in Joshua’s mind the greater miracle may just have been that God listened to him and answered such an amazing prayer.

 

Do you believe in God responding to prayer with miracles? I think that answer comes to whether you believe in the miracles of the Old and New Testament or not. It is that simple. If we believe the miracles to be explainable, then God does not interact with His people here on earth. If we believe that the miracles are literary devices, then, the God we believe in really does not care about us at all. It comes down to faith. Do you believe in a big ol’ God that wants to have interaction with His creation? Do you believe in a God that answers prayers and responds with miracles? Do you believe that God can heal a person with cancer when all indications are that they are going to die within months? Do you believe in a God that can bring people together from far off places such as Florida and California and Georgia and North Carolina and numerous other states to a small little suburban town in the Greenville-Spartanburg, SC area called Lyman, SC at a church called LifeSong Church and bring them together at just the right place and at just the right time with just the right people to impact the Lyman-Duncan-Wellford suburban tri-cities for the Lord in ways that have never been seen before in this area. The way that He has orchestrated that is an amazing miracle. Every step of my journey with Jesus is not a bunch of coincidences. It is the hand of God guiding me to this place at this time with these people.

 

It comes down to how big your God is? If you don’t believe that there is God, then, this blog is meaningless to you. If you believe there is a God but don’t believe in the miracles then you don’t believe that God is mighty and that He is creator. But if you believe in a God that is Creator. If you believe in a God that created all that we see, touch, feel and smell, then you can believe that He can control the universe that He created. If you believe that then you can believe that He can make miracles in your life. He can change you through Jesus Christ. He can perform miracles in your life. Why?

 

BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN A BIG, BIG, BIG, MIGHTY, MIGHTY, MIGHTY GOD WHO CAN DO ANYTHING!

 

Amen and Amen.

Joshua 3:1-17 (Part 4 of 4)

The Israelites Cross the Jordan

 

Why is it that people who do not believe in God either miss His miracles or try to explain them away as random events. They do not believe that there is a God who is interactive with the world in which we live. Everything is unrelated to them. Everything is random. How sad of an existence must it be for those who do not believe in God! To them, everything is just capricious randomness with no direction, no point, and no connection between events that are leading us somewhere under the guidance of a higher power. There are events in my life that are not parting the Red Sea or parting the Jordan River miracles but miracles nonetheless. For me, these events are part of God’s orchestration of events and people and timing. These are not random events. These are God’s little miracles that are huge in my life.

 

The first miracle is what I call the California miracle. In the beginning of the Great Recession that began in 2007 and lasted to 2010, the company that I was working for at the time in Charlotte, NC was bought out by a European communications investment company. Since they managed their investments from a corporate office in London and all of our company’s communications holdings were in Europe, it just made no sense for this company to keep a corporate office in Charlotte. They closed us down. They gave us all varying degrees of severance packages. So, there I was, at the beginning of our economy’s deep slide into the biggest economic downturn since the 1930s, without a job. By God’s providence, I had a nice severance package and then I was only without a job for 26 days. I was able to land a consulting gig in Duncan, SC working as a JSOX contractor. JSOX was the Japanese government reaction to the financial scandals that the nation had suffered through just a few years prior. It was similar to the financial revelations here in the US that led our country to pass the Sarbanes-Oxley bill into law. It was known affectionately (not so much) as the SOX law. Both SOX and JSOX require companies to prove that they have internal controls to prevent financial reporting fraud and prove that they have tested them and that they are working.

 

Because of this Japanese law being implemented at the Japanese-owned companies around the world, I was hired to help America Fujikura, Ltd. (AFL) and its legal subsidiaries here in the US to implement its JSOX program. It involved identifying every business process of the company and documenting process walkthroughs so that we could identify all the company’s internal controls. It involved seven months of consulting work here in Duncan, SC. It was during that time that I was assigned to work on the internal controls of one of AFL’s legal subsidiaries, Fujikura America, Inc. (FAI) This company’s financial reporting controls were in shambles. AFL could not trust the financial information coming out of FAI. Long story short. I was sent out to California to fix the problems. That I moved out to California was a miracle to begin with. Nonbelievers would call this pure economic hardship. I would call it a miracle. I had never lived outside of South Carolina – ever. Sure, I had traveled the world in my various jobs but never had I lived anywhere other than South Carolina.

 

If I had not moved out to California, I would have had to find other employment. Something told me to make the move. It was God’s guiding hand. I moved out to California in May 2008. It was that move that caused my then-girlfriend (who is now my wife) and I to have a bi-coastal relationship – seeing each other about every three to four weeks. Eventually the strain of a bi-coastal relationship caused her to seek a transfer to her company’s California location so that she could move out there to be with me. Her job was in Stockton. Mine was in Santa Clara. We decided to (think God’s miracles) locate in a town halfway in between our two jobs – Livermore, CA.

 

Then one night there was this couple Steven and Sophia from this little start up church in town that was having a concert from a local Christian band to celebrate the church’s new home – the gymnasium of a former elementary school turned community center. Steven and Sophia were at our apartment complex putting out door hangers advertising the event as much as they could throughout our complex. However, toward the end of this project they had realized they had not gotten enough door hangers to hang a hanger on every door. They had miscalculated by one building. All other buildings had been saturated. A door hanger for every door in each three story building. However, they only had one hanger left for one door for our entire building. Steven had the one door hanger they had left. He could have done the easy thing. Put the door hanger on the first door he came to on the first floor. But being the quirky dude Steven is, he decided not to do the easy thing. He went up three flights of stairs and placed the door hanger on our apartment on the third floor of the building. We had just moved there a few weeks before. The Holy Spirit moved me to talk Elena not so much going to the concert but going to church at this little church the day after the concert on Sunday.

 

The rest is history. We fell in love with the church. We became best friends with the pastor and his wife. Elena accepted Christ as her Savior two months later. I started maturing from the spiritual baby that I had been for 8 years. We starting growing deeper and deeper in our relationship with Christ. Although we ended up moving back to South Carolina a year later because of my job, the time in Livermore seemed so much more than a random move for a short period of time. It was a watershed moment in both of my wife’s life and my own. Had we not been involved in Livermore Alive Community Church, we would not have been hungry for a similar kind of church back here in South Carolina when we came back. Without Livermore Alive we would not have been searching for LifeSong Church – the church we came to know and are still apart of today right here in Lyman, SC.

 

Since we have been at LifeSong, we have grown in ways that we could have never grown in Livermore. It is a bigger church and it has forced us to grow up in our faith and not depend on being patted on the back or hand picked by the pastor. We have learned so much here. It is because of the idea that we are responsible for our own relationship with Jesus Christ and not to be coddled at the breast of our pastor that we have grown into leaders in the church and I have grown to hear the call to ministry. We both would not have been here for these things to happen in our walks with Jesus Christ if it were not for Livermore Alive. If it were not for the decision of Steve to run up three flights of stairs. Were it not for one last door hanger hung on one door in the last apartment building. Were it not for what seemed like a random event but rather a miracle of God. That miracle would not have happened if it were not for losing my job in Charlotte, accepting a consulting job that brought me to Duncan, SC. Without that miracle in the middle of a recession, there would not have been what seemed a random event of me focusing my work while in Duncan on the company’s California subsidiary. I call that a miracle. Without that miracle. I would not have moved to California. Without moving to California, my girlfriend (now my wife) would not have asked for a transfer to her company’s location in California. Without that miracle, we would not have located in Livermore. Without locating in Livermore, we would not having been living in Mill Springs Commons apartments. Without living at Mills Springs Common, we would not have been the only recipient in our building of a door hanger. Without receiving that door hanger on our door, we would not have come to Livermore Alive Community Church. Without coming to Livermore Alive Community Church, we would not have been disciple by Pastor Luke Brower and his wife, Felicia. Without Livermore Alive, we would not have been ready for our church now, LifeSong Church. Without LifeSong Church, we would not be anywhere near as grown up in our faith as we are now. These are the unseen miracles of God. This is the California miracle.

 

Add to that, everyone one of the people that turned out to be the key members of Livermore Alive Community Church are now gone and the church has since folded. However, there was that one great year that meant so much to all of us that were there. It was that bright shining moment that we were brought together by God so that He could do great things in our lives and the lives of others. Robert & Carol Baer, Dan & Leslie Hoffmeister, Steve & Sophia Adams, Luke & Felisha Brower (pastor and his wife), Mark & Elena Bowling, all were some of the key members of that church. All moved away within 2 years of the first couple moving. The Baers moved to Oregon. The Hoffmeisters moved to Pennsylvania. The Adams to Tracy, CA (and then to Littleton, CO). The Browers moved to Greeley, CO. The Bowling moved to Duncan, SC. All moved. The church didn’t necessarily fold because we all left but it did not help. We were all brought together for an intense year together that readied us to be dispersed around the country. You might call that one year a random bringing together of people simply by chance or by reason of jobs and or whatever. I call it a miracle. That year was so crucial in all our lives. When the first of us started moving away. It was not the same anymore. But when we were all together it was amazing. It was a miracle of God’s plan. Without that one intense year, we would not have been ready for LifeSong. I know this. That’s the amazing miracle of it all. All because of a door hanger.

 

The idea of God’s timeliness of His miracles is what struck me this morning as I read through this 3rd chapter of Joshua for one last time before we move on to the next passage. Let us read it together once more this morning:

 

3 Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. 2 After three days the officers went throughout the camp, 3 giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. 4 Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubits[a] between you and the ark; do not go near it.”

 

5 Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”

 

6 Joshua said to the priests, “Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on ahead of the people.” So they took it up and went ahead of them.

 

7 And the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses. 8 Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’”

 

9 Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God. 10 This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. 11 See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. 12 Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13 And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.”

 

14 So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. 15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.

 

In this passage, we see that the Israelites crossed the Jordan River, according to biblical scholars, in the spring when it was overflowing its banks. God chose the time when the river was at its highest depth and its most dangerous current to demonstrate His power – parting the waters so that the entire nation could cross on dry ground. Those who do not believe in God or question His existence often say that there was just some natural occurrence that happened to allow them to cross on dry land such as a landslide. Believers feel that this was a direct act by God. In either case, God showed His great power by working a miracle of timing and location to allow the people to cross over the Jordan on dry ground. This testimony of God’s supernatural power served to build the Israelites’ hope in God and to give them a great reputation among their enemies, who happened to outnumber them greatly.

 

We may can give physical explanations of God’s miracles that discounts them or does away with them. But you have to do some explaining to do so. You have to discount so many things that come together at certain times. If you don’t want to see God’s miracles you can explain them away all you want to. However, for the believer, we see God’s miracles all around us. We see the succession of miracles in our lives, one right after another.

 

When I take time to reflect on how God has orchestrated the last decade of my life, I am in freaking awe! You may think that my trek from 28 years living in Greenville, SC from age 14 to age 42 to the Charlotte, NC area to the San Francisco Bay Area, CA as all unconnected, random employment decisions but each one is a miracle of God. If I had not moved to Rock Hill, SC to a specific apartment complex there, I would not have met Elena. If I had not lost my job in CharlotteIf I had not moved to California, she would not have moved. If she had not moved out there, we would not have settled on Livermore, CA as the place that we were going to live. If we had not chose Livermore, CA, we would not have received the door hanger. If it were not for the door hanger, we would not have reached Livermore Alive Community Church. If it were not for Livermore Alive Community Church, we would not have been ready for LifeSong. If it were not for my company relocating us back to South Carolina, we would not be at LifeSong. It’s all connected.

 

It’s all God’s miracles. The miracle of a door hanger and what led up to it and what came after. Miracles. God showing His power.

 

Amen and Amen.

Numbers 11:16-30 (Part 1 of 3)

Moses Choses Seventy Leaders

“They say it’s your birthday! It’s my birthday, too! We’re gonna have a good time!” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MYCPB7a8ks). It’s classic song by the Beatles from back in the day! And then there’s always, “Happy birthday, Mr. President”, a classic impromptu birthday wish from Marilyn Monroe to John F. Kennedy at his birthday celebration (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqolSvoWNck). I guess by this point you can deduce that today is my birthday. Thank you. Thank you. To all the little people that made this all happen. Thank you! Thank you! Yes, today, as of 7:10am EDT, it will be the 54th anniversary of my birth. These fifty-four years have flown by in a flash particularly that last 31 and 4 months since the birth of my first child. I just thought life was fast before that, but since that time, I just don’t know what happened to all those years. The speed of the last 31 years is the speed of the first 23 years on mega-steroids. It’s like the difference between the speed of the Shuttle Enterprise vs. the speed of Starship Enterprise at Warp 9. I was telling someone this past weekend that some want to grow old gracefully but I am not going down without a fight. I am going down kicking and screaming. I will not go quietly into the night. I am still such a kid inside and I am screaming on the inside that I am not this 54 year old exterior that you see. I feel like I still belong in the youth ministry and not in the over-50 ministry. I don’t want to take bus rides to quilting conventions. I don’t want to play bingo on Friday nights. I don’t want to ever think, “I can’t do that because I getting too old” (well, only if it’s convenient). Going down scratching, clawing, and screaming!

 

But it is on our birthdays that I think that we can have an opportunity to sit down and reflect on our lives. In my 54 years, I have seen much. I have been through much. I have survived being a Methodist preacher’s kid and the insecurities that it brought into my life, moving every couple of years and starting over. I have survived two failed marriages. I have survived losing a job twice during recessions. I have survived moving to Charlotte after 20 plus years living in Greenville. I have survived living in California by myself for a time, across the country from my girlfriend (who is now my wife). I have survived creating order out of chaos at my current job on two different occasions (when I first took the job it was a mess there, and then when we went through the Oracle conversion) and I have survived the intercompany politics of Corporate vs. Subsidiary that could of cost me my job a couple of years ago. All of that bad stuff over the years includes times of great joy as well. The births of my two daughters, Meghan and Taylor, and watching them grow into young women. The mighty struggles and the too infrequent joys of parenting stepsons (Trey, Josh, and Dillon) during my second marriage. And to now for the last six years being a stepdad to an adult child who is just as goofy as I am, Michelle. I have seen much heartache in my life, more than I ever want to revisit. However, at the same time, when I look back on my life, I can reflect that it has been equally blessed and even the hard times were preludes to good ones. Even the hard times were used by God to mold me and move me into the place that I am now. God has performed miracles in many instances in my life to keep me from destroying myself so that I can be in this place that I am right now.

 

He is not finished with me yet. I just feel that. I am not done. He has much more in store for me and I think that I will ultimately die doing what I love – serving the Lord through the talents that He gave me. He has blessed me indeed. I have sailed through the troubled waters of my earlier life and am now in a season of blessing and a season of effectiveness. I have a wonderful wife who would follow me anywhere to serve the Lord. I have three wonderful daughters, Meghan, Michelle, and Taylor, who make my life complete. I have a great job at Fujikura America, Inc. that has enabled Elena and me to pay off all the debts of my past and allowed us to begin to be more generous than we ever have been. I have been lucky enough to start following my true calling of going into ministry through my part-time work at my church. Hopefully, one day soon, the Lord will take all this life of heartaches, joys, triumphs, sorrows, mistakes, getting-it-right, wrong turns, correct turns, ups, downs, failed marriages, successful final marriages, good jobs, bad jobs, all of it to serve Him in a full-time way that uses it all. He will have prepared me for it through the roads that he has led me down and through roads that He has saved me from. When I look back, it has been amazing ride so far. When you look back, you can really see the hand of God in your life. When you look back, you can see what he has saved you from. You can see the handiwork of God in not only what He saved you from but what He steered you toward. These are miracles. When I look back at my life, I could whine and complain for what I have been through (about half of which was self-imposed and the other half imposed on me by others), or I can focus on the miraculous way that God has provided for me and guided me to the point where I am today – where I actually see God’s hand daily in my life and live a life of eternal thanksgiving for it when I have time to reflect upon it.

 

In the mundane, routine of living life as it appears in front of you, it is sometimes difficult to see the miracles of God in our lives. We get so tied up in the routine and the mundane that we do not see the hand of God in anything in our lives. It is that need to step back and see what God has done that came to mind when I read through today’s passage, Numbers 11:16-30, today for the first time of the three times we will visit this passage over the next few days:

 

16 The Lord said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you. 17 I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone.

 

18 “Tell the people: ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The Lord heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will eat it. 19 You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, 20 but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected the Lord, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’”

 

21 But Moses said, “Here I am among six hundred thousand men on foot, and you say, ‘I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!’ 22 Would they have enough if flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them?”

 

23 The Lord answered Moses, “Is the Lord’s arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”

 

24 So Moses went out and told the people what the Lord had said. He brought together seventy of their elders and had them stand around the tent. 25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took some of the power of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied—but did not do so again.

 

26 However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but did not go out to the tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp. 27 A young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.”

 

28 Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ aide since youth, spoke up and said, “Moses, my lord, stop them!”

 

29 But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” 30 Then Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

 

Moses had witnessed God’s power in spectacular miracles, yet, at this time, he questioned God’s ability to feed these people meat every day for a month. After all he had seen God do? Wow! If even Moses could doubt the power of God, how much easier is it for us to do so. When we begin to rely on our own understanding, we are in danger of ignoring the power of God in our lives. By remember how He has delivered us from many dangers, toils and snares, we can be sure that we are not short changing the power of God. How strong is God? It is easy to trust God when his miracles are right before us, but after a while, in the mundaneness of life, His strength may appear to diminish in our lives. God doesn’t change but our view of Him often does. The monotony of day to day life lulls us into forgetting how powerful God can be. As Moses would come to learn, God’s strength is always there and always available to us.

 

Let us take time to reflect on what God has done in our lives. Look back and see what He has delivered you from and delivered you too. Think about how He has saved you from so many things and how He has guided you into the life you lead now. Thanksgiving should pour out of us daily for what He has done in our lives and how He should have written us off a long time ago. Yet, He loved each one of us, individually, so much that He provided each one of us, individually, a way to be brought back home to Him through Jesus Christ. Look back at your life. God was there even when you did not see Him. That He cares so much for us even when we do not recognize that He is there. That is the greatest miracle, the greatest love, of all. Take time today to see what miracles God has done in your life. Sing praises of thanksgiving. Love God for what He has done. Act like it’s your birthday! Reflect!

 

Duh dun na duh dun na uh uh….it’s my birthday too!

 

 

Amen and Amen.