Today was np3 Sunday at the Rock. Pastor Miles reviewed the status of the pledges made and what has been donated. He noted that we are a bit behind in fulfilling the pledges we have made, but that there are three things we can do. We can continue praying, continue tithing, and continue in our giving towards np3. An np3 event will be the first event held at the new church site, and it will take place on November 13th; every one should try and come out.
Last week we looked at five excuses Moses gave God as to why he couldn't be the one to deliver the children of Israel from Egypt. However, God gave Moses five answers to those excuses, and provided Moses' brother Aaron to accompany him on his journey.
A New Theology
When a person goes to seminary, no matter what sort of degree they pursue they are required to take a class in theology. Theology means the study of God. When studying theology one looks at things such as the baptism, the resurrection, angels, and so on.
Pastor Miles also mentioned a different sort of theology that African slaves brought about called black theology. When African slaves came on ships to America with their Christian masters they were beaten and whipped. So in an effort to understand the theology of their Christian masters, they redefined it as the study of God as it pertains to the deliverance of oppressed people.
The deliverance of oppressed people is a theme throughout the Word of God. Throughout scripture we see God deliver people who are oppressed spiritually. For at one time we were oppressed spiritually because we were slaves to sin. John 8:34 states, Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin." We cannot break out of the bondage of spiritual oppression on our own. God must deliver us from it. When God wants to deliver us, we have responsibilities involving our own deliverance. Pastor Miles led us through those five responsibilities.
I Will Because I Am God
There are many factors regarding deliverance. In Exodus 6 we see that deliverance is based on God's faithful promises. God promised that He would do many things to deliver the children of Israel. His promises were:
- I will bring you out from under the burden of the Egyptians.
- I will rescue you from their bondage.
- I will redeem you with an outstretched arm.
- I will take you as My people.
- I will be your God.
- I will bring you into the land, which I swore.
- I will give you the land as a heritage.
God promised all these things because He is the Lord God who delivered the children of Israel out from the oppression of the Egyptians. Exodus 6:6-8
You have to trust the promises of God by faith. Scripture is covered with His promises, such as in Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future, and in 1 John 1:9, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. Therefore we can know that He is faithful to His promises and He will deliver His children based upon them.
An Opportunity to Celebrate Something Worth Fighting For
Deliverance provides us with the opportunity to celebrate or worship God. In Exodus 5:1-3 we find Moses and Aaron approaching Pharaoh to ask for the deliverance of the children of Israel. This passage demonstrates two important facts. First of all Pharaoh's reply to Moses' and Aaron's plea was simply, Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go.
We need to know God beyond the intellect. We must know Him by experience. For example, you can look at an onion and know it is a vegetable, but you won't really know what on onion is, or what it is like until you bite into it. Pharaoh didn't know the Lord; therefore he saw no need to do what Moses and Aaron had said the Lord decreed.
What would be the result of deliverance? Moses and Aaron wanted to go to the desert and sacrifice to the Lord. God's deliverance gives us the opportunity to celebrate Him. This deliverance must also be viewed as something worth fighting for. When we become Christians and make the decision to follow Christ, it doesn't mean that our lives will be smooth sailing. There will be hard times.
As we saw in Exodus 5 the Israelites faced hard times, as Pharaoh required of them an impossible task, to make the daily quota of bricks without any straw. Moses and Aaron faced discouragement as they were left to wonder what God's plan was when they were rejected by Pharaoh and saw the upset of the Israelites because of it.
However, as we will see as we continue to go through Exodus, deliverance was something worth fighting for to them. Is it to you? When God asks you to do something big, is it worth fighting for? Whether it is fighting against embarrassment, your fears, your inabilities, or whatever excuses you may have as to why you can't do something. Deliverance from these things must be worth fighting for.
Get in Step
Exodus 5:22-23 states, So Moses returned to the LORD and said, "Lord, why have You brought trouble on this people? Why is it You have sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all." Sometimes we feel the need to say to God, "I just don't get it." We may not always understand God's plans, but as we saw earlier, deliverance is based on God's faithful promises and we need to trust His plan solely because of that.
However, God never leaves us hanging. In Exodus 6:1 God replies to Moses' cry. Then the Lord said to Moses, "Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land." We need to get in step with God's plan, and deliverance forces us to. It is vital that we trust what God wants for us is better than what we want for ourselves.
Deliverance Depends on Reliance
We need to rely on God's supernatural intervention. Exodus 7:2-5 states, You shall speak all that I command you. And Aaron your brother shall tell Pharaoh to send the children of Israel out of his land. And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh will not heed you, so that I may lay My hand on Egypt and bring My armies and My people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them.
God did some supernatural acts to deliver the children of Israel, but it required Moses' dependence on Him. When we rely completely God there is no telling what He will do.
Next week we will look at the plagues that God causes to fall upon the land of Egypt, and see that God had a very specific plan for deliverance that was intentional. We will see how we have to be participants in that plan, and how God does amazing works when we trust in Him, and rely fully upon Him.