Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Deliverer

 This message was preached by Colin DCruz via zoom at Word Of Grace Church on November 22nd 2020. for the audio please click here. For the worship please click here.

 As Christians, when we look at the cross, we know that Jesus dies on the cross for us and that we are saved through His sacrifice. We look back at the cross and call Jesus as our Savior.

In Old Testament, the Jews also called God as Savior.

Psalm 18:46 - The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!

On what basis, were the people in the Old Testament calling God as their Savior? Today, we are going to look at the greatest event, a mega event. God delivered His people from Egypt. Even today, people look back at this event.

If we look at Exodus chapter 2, we see that the Israelites went to Egypt during the time of famine. The plan was that a family would go to Egypt and eventually they would multiply into a great nation.

Moses was born during the time of slavery.

In Old Testament, the time period is much longer. Can you imagine the number of years from verse 1 to 11?

Exo 2:1 - Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son.

Exo 2:11 - One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labour. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people.

 The duration between these 2 verses was 40 years. Do you know how? Let’s look at Acts chapter 7.

Acts 7:23 - “When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites

In the same chapter i.e., Exodus 2, let’s look at verses 24 and

Exo 2:24 -  He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. 

After killing the Egyptian, Moses fled to Midian.

Exo 2:29 -  When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons.

Moses who left Egypt returns to Egypt after another 40+ years.

Exo 7:7 -  Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.

From all these verses, we can say that the Israelites were under slavery for a very long time.

Exo 2:23-25 - 23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.

As the Israelites suffered under slavery for a very long time, they cried out to God and God heard them. He remembered the promise He made to Abraham. He has a deep concern for His people.

From Exo 3:1 to Exo 3:14, we see that while Moses was tending to his father in law’s sheep, he met with God. There God tells Moses that He heard the cries of His people and that He is going to deliver His people from slavery. Not just that but God also says that He is going to send Moses to deliver His people. After Moses wrestles with God for a while, finally, He agrees to go to Egypt to deliver the Israelites.

1.    God hears the groaning of His people

 

We must understand that God has His own time for everything. Our role is to continue to be faithful in seeking Him and trusting in Him

In verses 7 and 8, we see that God had a plan for His people.

 

Exo 3:7-8 - 7 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.

 

In verses 19 to 22, we see that God knew that the King of Egypt will not let His people go unless a mighty hand compels him to do so. But when the time comes for the Israelites to leave Egypt, God is not going to let them leave empty-handed. They are going to be wealthy.

 

Exo 3:19 – 22 - 19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go. 21 “And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. 22 Every woman is to ask her neighbour and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.”

 

In the verses Exo 4:1 to Exo 4:7, we see that God gives Moses signs so that the Israelites could believe him.

God tells Moses to throw the staff on the ground and then it turns into a snake. When Moses took hold of the snake it turned into a staff.

God tells Moses to put his hand inside his cloak. When he does, his hand gets leprosy. Again when he put his hand inside the cloak, the leprosy goes away.

 

God also tells Aaron to meet Moses in the wilderness.

 

Exo 4:27 -  27 The Lord said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So he met Moses at the mountain of God and kissed him.

 

In Exo 5:1 to Exo 5:8, we see that Moses and Aaron meet Pharaoh and tell him to let God’s people go. But Pharaoh says no to them and also passes an order that the Israelites will not be provided straw in order to make the bricks and expects them to meet the same target every day.

In present days, we see that most of the companies and offices make employees work more and more to meet unrealistic targets.

 

In Exo 7:10 to Exo 7:12, we see that Moses and Aaron approach Pharaoh in order to ask him to let God’s people go. When he doesn’t agree, Aaron throws the staff on the ground which turns into a snake. Pharaoh’s magicians do the same too and their staffs turn into snakes. But Aaron’s staff swallows all the other snakes.

Pharaoh still doesn’t agree to  let God’s people go.

 

2.    God sends 10 plagues

 Think about this – Did God really need 10 plagues to set His people free? Absolutely not. There’s a greater purpose.

·       God’s name to be glorified

·       God delivers His people

·       God judges the gods of Egypt

God sends 3 cycles of plagues –

-        The first cycle affects both Egyptians and Israelites

-        The second cycle affects only the Egyptians

-        The third is the Final plague

The first plague – The Plague of blood

All the water in entire Egypt turns into blood.

Exo 7:20-21 - 20 Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded. He raised his staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood. 21 The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink its water. Blood was everywhere in Egypt.

Through this plague, God destroyed the economy and source of livelihood of Egypt. 7 days passed away and when Moses asked Pharaoh once again to let God’s people go, he said no.

The Second Plague – The Plague of Frogs

Did you ever think “Why frogs?”

This is because the Egyptians worshipped frog goddess called Hekkath.

Exo 8:6 - 6 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land.

Pharaoh asks Moses to take this plague away and Moses pleads with God. God agrees and all the frogs get killed. But Pharaoh once again disagrees to let God’s people go.

The Third Plague – The Plague of Gnats

The Fourth Plague – The Plague of Flies

The Fifth Plague – The Plague on Livestock

The Sixth Plague – The Plague of Boils

The Seventh Plague – The Plague of Hail

The Eighth Plague – The Plague of Locusts

The Ninth Plague – The Plague of Darkness

In all the 9 plagues, Pharaoh agreed to free God’s people but immediately change his mind and decide not to let them go.

The Final Plague – The Plague on the Firstborn

Exo 11:4-8 - 4 So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. 5 Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. 6 There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again. 7 But among the Israelites, not a dog will bark at any person or animal.’ Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. 8 All these officials of yours will come to me, bowing down before me and saying, ‘Go, you and all the people who follow you!’ After that I will leave.” Then Moses, hot with anger, left Pharaoh.

The Lord said to Moses that He’d kill every firstborn in Egypt.

In Exo 12:3-32, we see that God commands His people, each family to sacrifice a lamb, and put the blood of that lamb on their doorposts. The blood on the posts will be a sign and God would pass over those houses without killing the firstborn.

3.    God keeps His promise

 

Exo 12:31-32 - 31 During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord as you have requested. 32 Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me.”

 

Finally, Pharaoh tells Moses and Aaron to leave the country along with everything they had.

 

Exo 12:35-36 -: 35 The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. 36 The Lord had made the Egyptians favourably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.

 Not only did the people of Israel get delivered but they left Egypt with wealth just as God promised to them.

 God has kept His promise given to Abraham, his son Isaac and his son Jacob.

Lessons we have learnt:-

-        Israelites were slaves.

All mankind was born as slaves to sin.

-        The lamb that was slain so that death could pass

Jesus sacrificed His life so that we could live

Does the blood of Jesus cover you?

If yes, you will not be judged. If no, you will be judged.

Have you received Jesus as your personal savior? If yes, you are saved.  If not, this is the time to put your faith in Jesus.

Besides being saved, it is also an important walk of faith and obedience so that we can inherit the promises of God.

    Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org. 

Monday, November 2, 2020

Joseph - From Prison To Palace

 


This message was preached by  Colin D via 
zoom  Word of Grace Church, on Oct 25th 2020. For the audio please click here. For the worship please click here

JOSEPH – FROM PRISON TO PALACE

Genesis 37-41

Today, we will look at the life of Joseph. He is one of the four patriarchs, i.e. Abraham, Issacs, Jacob and Joseph. He is an important figure in the history of Israel.

This story beats any Hollywood or Bollywood story. From being favoured, Joesph gets thrown into prison; from being a special son, he becomes a slave.

Let us have a bird's eye view. Look at the irony with Jacob. He stole his brother's birthright by disguising himself in Esau's coat and goats hair.

In Chapter 37:31, Jacob is now deceived similarly by his sons. They dip Joseph's coat in goats blood.

Joseph is sold off into slavery, but he holds onto to the Lord. We will look at four things in the life of Joseph today.

Faithfulness

Joseph was faithful through good and bad. He is one character in the Old Testament where you have no record of him doing any wrong, unlike Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He led a righteous life.

Gen37:2 He was faithful to his father in that he reported the wrongdoings of his brothers.

V13 He went out to see his brothers. How was his faithfulness rewarded? His brothers were jealous of him and sold him as a slave.

Gen39 Joseph is now a slave in Potiphar's house. The Lord was with Joseph and whatever he put his hands to prospered. Others recognised his faithfulness.

Gen39:2 Potiphar's wife tries to seduce him, but Joseph resists temptation. V20. He was thrown into prison. He could have become bitter, but he continued to be faithful in prison.

He meets the cupbearer and baker who has dreams. He was faithful in interpreting them and serving people. They are released from the prison, and Joseph is forgotten by both of them.

God did not forget.

40:14, 23 – He is forgotten not for one or two weeks but two whole years!! But we see in Chapter 41; God did not forget.

41:1 Pharaoh has a dream. Overnight Joseph moves from prison to the palace and becomes the Prime Minister of Egypt. Even here, he is faithful. 41:46 He was faithful in serving Pharaoh. 41:48

There was a famine in Egypt

Chapter 42. There was a famine in Egypt, and it affected the neighbouring countries as well. From chapter 42 to 50, we see how the story unfolds between Joseph and his brothers.

42:6, Joseph's brothers bow down (37:7). It took 20 years for that dream to be fulfilled. Although Joseph had power, he could have executed them or thrown them into prison.

Chpater45:4-8, I am Joseph. He reveals himself. Joseph had a godly perspective of what happened.

Chapter 50:19-20 But God intended everything for good. I will provide for you and your children.

Joseph had trusted in the sovereignty of God. He decided that he would be faithful and serve and honour God no matter what.

Rom12:12  we are called to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.

1Pet 4:19

God took Joseph from the prison and made him the P. M

What can we learn from this story?

·      We need to learn to trust God in all circumstances

·      Continue to do good in bad situations and to those who mistreat you. Col3:23 we will get rewarded by God for our faithfulness

·      Trust in the sovereignty of God. WE are a part of God's big story.

Gen15:13, God appeared to Abraham and had prophesied to him about this event. The fourth-generation will come back here.

Gen 46:26 Bring your families and my father. Seventy of them came to Canaan. In Exodus 12:37 we see that Israel journeyed by Ram to Succoth. They were 600,000 men, not counting women and children. It is estimated that they were 2 million in all.

Gen 50:20 the saving of many lives." This was the sovereign purpose of God. Not one hair will fall to the ground without the father's knowledge.

Don't you want to be a part of this? Joseph did not know that 70 people would become 2 million. You do not know how your faithfulness will expand the Kingdom of God in the days to come.


    Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.