Thursday, March 10, 2005

You know this story; It’s in the Bible:

Long Long ago in the land of Egypt the Children of God, the Israelites, were working in the construction trade. Life was good. Lots of leeks and onions. One day little baby Moses was lost in the reeds. The Pharaoh’s daughter found him and raised him as an Egyptian.

When Moses grew up he moved to a far away land called the backside of the Desert. Moses settled there, got married and went into the sheep business. One day God told him to go back to Egypt and ask Pharaoh to allow the Israelites to leave Egypt. So he did.

He went to Pharaoh and said, “Uh (Moses wasn’t good with words), God said for me to ask you to let my people go”.

Pharaoh said, “OK, and oh by the way Moses, you folks have served us well these many years, take as much gold and silver as you want as a parting thank you gift. Have a nice day”.

A few days later as the Israelites were moving toward the Promised Land they came upon the Red Sea. “No problem” said Moses. They found a nice 4-lane bridge that had just been built and crossed it.

A couple days later they came to Mount Sinai. Moses said, “I’m going up to get the Law of God. Wait here and I’ll be back”. The people said, “We will pray for you”. 40 days later he came back down the mountain with the 10 commandments. The people were praying and fasting faithfully. They welcomed Moses with open arms. He gave them the law and they praised God.

In a couple weeks they came to the Jordan River. Moses said, “Well, there’s the promised land”. The people said “Good Deal! Lets send in some guys to make sure we know what we’re doing”. 12 men went in, came back and said, “there’s lots of Grapes, Milk, Honey and really nice beaches”. “No Problem”

They prayed that God would send a message to all the various ….ites who lived in the land. The ...ites all heard from God, laid down their weapons, packed up and left town never to be heard from again.

So the children of Israel crossed the Jordan River via a newly constructed 4-lane air-conditioned tunnel. Not one person was tired, wet or dirty. No ....ites were injured in possessing the land. The happy Israelites all moved into houses they hadn’t built, drank from wells they didn’t dig, harvested grapes from vines they hadn’t planted and lived happily ever after.

Now if that’s not exactly as you remember it, I have a question, why do we believe that when we leave Egypt (embark on a mighty quest) that from that day forward everything will be hunky dory?

The real story of the Israelites and their struggles, falls, failures, defeats and victories is the life we all lead. Jesus warned us not to be shocked when tribulation comes in this life.

When we go into the ministry, start a business, take a job, get married, have children and all the other decisions we make in life, the promise held out in those decisions will be equaled by the magnitude of the problems we will face to reach our promised land in this life. Big Promise = Big Problems.

But it’s all worth it. Jesus also said that we could cheer up, even when big problems come that the world sends our way, he has overcome the world. The quality of a man or woman is best measured in how he or she reacts to life’s shock and awe. Victory is measured by the number of times we are knocked down versus the number of times we get up. If our getting ups is a larger number than our knock downs, we win.

Hang in there – The battle is the Lords and faith without works is dead!