Posts Tagged ‘pharaoh’

By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them. By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned. Hebrews 11:24-29

God’s Grace Through Faith

There’s a lot of hope found in Hebrews 11. As we read through the entire chapter we quickly catch hold of the theme: God through faith equips His children to do His work. By faith (we read) the church understands God’s word. By faith Abel made his offerings to the Lord. By faith Enoch spoke testimonies of the Lord. By faith Noah built. By faith Abraham obeyed. By faith Sarah was strengthened. By faith Issac blessed. By faith Joseph prophesied.

moThe Biblical Hall of Faith continues with the likes of such other notables as: Rahab, Gideon, Sampson, David, and Samuel, but in the middle of these hallowed halls the writer pauses over Moses in order to reflect upon 7 consequences of his faith. I find them conspicuous in that they were all allotted to one man and that they seem to be the same things that the Lord desires to works through us, His children.

Are these things in operation in your walk of faith?

The Magnificent 7

1) By faith we reject what the world has to offer.

By faith Moses…refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter

By faith Moses turned down the world’s offer; refusing the title and the position, and rejecting that which his flesh had previously craved. By faith, Moses was able to (as per Romans 12:2), ‘not be conformed to this world, but was transformed by the renewing of his mind, that it could be proven what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.’

2) By faith we let go of sin.

By faith Moses…(chose) rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin 

By faith Moses repented and let go of sin, choosing to suffer the consequences associated with leaving one’s past behind. By faith Moses understood that, ‘Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.’ (James 1:12)

3) By faith we invest eternally.

By faith Moses…(esteemed) the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt

By faith Moses invested in things eternal. By faith Moses had the assurance of, ‘hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began (Titus 1:2). Missionary Jim Elliot must have understood the concept as well, otherwise how could he have written, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

4) By faith we stand.

By faith (Moses) forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king

By faith Moses was fearless. By faith Moses knew to, “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

5) By faith we see Jesus

By faith…(Moses) endured as seeing Him who is invisible

By faith Moses had spiritual vision. A Christian’s faith isn’t truly blind, for the reality is believers see more.  By faith Moses knew, ‘Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’ (John 20:29)

6) By Faith we are religious

By faith Moses kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood

By faith Moses kept the precepts of our religion, knowing it was not the faith or the religion that saved. By faith Moses knew these components were given by God in order to brig him closer to God. Moses understood ‘If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.’ (John 15:7)

7) By faith we move.

By faith (Moses) passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned

By faith Moses moved forward, obeying the word that he heard; knowing that to reject the truth of God’s word was to die. I can almost imagine Moses saying, “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13b-14)

So what is this thing called faith?

Again, I found an answer during my research that is better than anything I could have come up with on my own. I found this definition from ‘The Complete Bible Answer Book,’ by Hank Hanegraaff (AKA: The Bible Answer Man). Hank writes:

“The Bible defines faith as “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). Thus, in biblical vernacular, faith is a channel of living trust—an assurance—that stretches from man to God. In other words, it is the object of faith that renders faith faithful. Furthermore, faith is the assurance that God’s promises will never fail, even if sometimes we do not experience their fulfillment in our mortal existence. Hebrews 11 underscores the fact that we trust God to fulfill his promises for the future (the unseen) based on what he has already fulfilled in the past. Thus, our faith is not blind, but based squarely on God’s proven faithfulness.

Finally, the faith that serves to protect us in spiritual warfare is not to be confused with mere knowledge. Millions worldwide believe in the trustworthiness of Billy Graham. They have heard him proclaim the good news on television and yet do not believe that his message corresponds to reality. Thus, they have the knowledge that it takes to be saved but do not have saving faith. Others hear the message, agree that it corresponds to reality, but due to the hardness of their hearts do not bow. Rather, like the demons, they continue to live in fearful anticipation of the judgment to come (James 2:19). Some, however, have what Scripture describes as genuine justifying faith—a faith that not only knows about the gospel and agrees that its content corresponds to reality, but a faith by which they are transformed.”

What kind of faith do you have?

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And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever…” Genesis 6:3

A Message to the Non-Believer

What does it mean that God will not strive with man forever? Well aside from the obvious negative connotation, it means that God contends with and pursues after every single one of us, for the purpose of saving our souls and He does so for a distinguishable period of time.

English poet and ascetic, Francis Thompson (1859-1907), put it this way:

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the year
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vista’d hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasm’d fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbed pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat — and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet
“All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.”
(*From the ‘Hound of Heaven’)


“Strong Feet that followed after, with unhurrying chase and unperturbed pace, deliberate speed, majestic instancy, they beat and a Voice beat more instant than the Feet.”

Can you imagine?

He Stops.

God’s quest for our lost souls does not last perpetually. God ends His pursuit when we end our search; when we permanently close and seal the door to Jesus and the Spiritual knowledge that saves a man leads us to salvation. At this point the engagement will cease and hearts will be hardened. That’s what happened to Pharaoh.

Remember when the Lord said to Moses (regarding Pharaoh), “I have hardened his heart…” (Exodus 10:1)?

We know from the Genesis account that God pursued Pharaoh’s heart for a long while. Pharaoh was given numerous opportunities to repent and turn to God and each time he refused. There came a point when the Father knew this man was not going to change, and thus hardened his heart. It was Pharaoh’s choice, but God sealed the deal.

Today, Pharaoh’s error is our paradigm — what God did to Pharaoh, He will do to you if you continue to refuse His grace and gift. It’s what He calls the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

“Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.” Matthew 12:31

Blasphemy of this kind is not a onetime event; it’s the continual refusal and denial of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Those guilty of the offence are subject to eternal damnation. And just so we’re all on the same page, God does not condemn these folks, they effectively condemn themselves.

God is Not Cruel

“Is it too late; has God already hardened my hard heart?”

The answer is easy to discern.

Read this Bible verse:

Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2b

Now ask yourself, “Do I still possess the ability to make a choice? Am I still able to change my mind?

If you accept the notion that now is the time for you to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, it is not too late. If you are willing to change your mind, God will change your heart. In other words, your willingness is a sign that your heart has not been hardened.

But what if now is not my time — what if I still have tomorrow?

All I can say to that is that thousands and thousands of people, young and old, died yesterday believing that they’d still have today, having bought into satan’s subtle lie, “There’s no rush.”

Is This Your Last Chance?

I don’t know, but I’m curious, “Why are you here?”

Oh, I don’t mean why are you here in a cosmic, philosophical kind of way, but why are you here, in a Christian forum, reading a Christian blog, when you don’t yet believe in Jesus Christ? Might I suggest to you that you were led here by the Holy Spirit because your time has come and that the day of your salvation has arrived.

I don’t know.

What I do know is that the choice is still yours and that God will not strive with you forever.

Thus says the Lord: “In an acceptable time I have heard You, And in the day of salvation I have helped You; I will preserve You and give You As a covenant to the people, To restore the earth, To cause them to inherit the desolate heritages… Isaiah 49:8

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And Joseph came in to them in the morning and looked at them, and saw that they were sad. So he asked Pharaoh‘s officers who were with him in the custody of his lord’s house, saying, “Why do you look so sad today?” And they said to him, “We each have had a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.” So Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, please.” Genesis 40:6-8

In the Pits

Is this you: you desire to enthusiastically serve and bless the Lord, following through on the vision He has given you, but you find yourself in the pits, unable to do much of anything towards fulfilling that dream. I know I’ve been there. God had great plans for Joseph, but he was falsely accused and imprisoned—is that the way you feel sometimes? Do you ask of God, “Father, you have given me this work to do, and I want to do it, but everywhere I turn there is another obstacle?”

Help Someone Else

To say that Joseph’s dreams were hindered somewhat would be an understatement, but notice how he was led by the Lord to handle the situation…

Then the chief butler told his dream to Joseph…And Joseph said to him, “This is the interpretation of it: Genesis 40:9a + 12a

It is as if God said to Joseph, “Before your dreams are fulfilled, I want you to help others with their dreams.”

I find that very significant and I suspect it is the testimony of every faithful Christian I know; when you are down or thwarted from your mission, help someone else. I can honestly say that every time I’ve practiced this principle, the Lord has been faithful to keep me moving in the direction He wants me to go. In contrast, when I choose to mope, I effectively quench the Holy Spirit and as a result, my spiritual progress stalls.

But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Genesis 50:20

When we stumble it helps to always remember that God has allowed it; He has allowed these obstacles (whatever they are), to be placed in our path. That should cause every Christian to wonder why; “For what divine purpose have I been ensnared?”

So the next time you’re knocked down, before you jump to your feet, take a moment or two to look around to see who else is down there with you. Perhaps it is one or more of these folks the Lord wants you to assist. Your fall could very well be the help someone else was hoping for today.


These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at my home church, Calvary Chapel Coastlands

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…After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. Job 42:7

What did Job’s friend Eliphaz say that got God so riled up?

Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can a man be more pure than his Maker? If He puts no trust in His servants, If He charges His angels with error, How much more those who dwell in houses of clay, Whose foundation is in the dust, Who are crushed before a moth? They are broken in pieces from morning till evening; They perish forever, with no one regarding. Does not their own excellence go away? They die, even without wisdom. Job 4:17-21

The above passage is only a snippet of a larger discourse, but in it we see how Eliphaz took a fundamental truth of God, added his own words, and then used the mixture to verbally assault Job. There is some legitimacy in his remarks; it had an appearance of godliness, but because he contaminated it with his own worldly doctrine, it was powerless. Being half right made him totally wrong and watering down God’s word was hurtful rather then helpful.

I do however find it intriguing that Eliphaz reminded us that we ‘dwell in houses of clay’ although I doubt if he recognized the relevance of his phraseology. The fact that the Lord formed man out of the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7) and that the Apostle Paul likens us to earthen vessels (2 Corinthians 4:7) puts forward the notion that we are clay houses and not merely casual inhabitants of them. But that’s not the end of it—we are clay houses with a purpose!

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 2 Corinthians 4:7

If we listen to the false teacher Eliphaz, we might believe that our brokenness is without function; that we live, we die, and we suffer in-between, and rarely, if ever does anyone care to take notice. While that is a gross exaggeration, there is a tiny morsel of truth within it. However, the world would be well served to remember that God does not exist for us, but rather we exist for Him and even in our suffering God can be glorified.

For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. Colossian 1:16

Therefore, our wholeness and (as it pertains to this story) our brokenness serves a Greater purpose. Let’s go back to the earthen-vessel analogy for a moment. Do you remember the story in Judges of Gideon and his triumph over the Midianites? How he, by God’s direction, took an army of three hundred, armed with trumpets and earthen vessels, and went against a Midianite force of over one hundred and thirty thousand. Do you recall what happened next?

Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers–they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing–and they cried, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” And every man stood in his place all around the camp; and the whole army ran and cried out and fled. Judges 7:20-21

The light shone when the vessels were broken!

Therein lays our doctrine. In our brokenness the light of Jesus can shine! If we don’t understand the devise of brokenness or refuse to yield to the work God wants to do in it, we become troubled and miserable. But when by faith we chose to see the bigger picture, we are blessed—we recognize God’s divine plan and His purpose for it. We are refined, God is glorified, and non-believers are drawn to His light. For further examination let’s consider the Exodus story.

Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to the children of Israel, that they turn and camp before Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, opposite Baal Zephon; you shall camp before it by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, ‘They are bewildered by the land; the wilderness has closed them in.’ Then I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord.” Exodus 14:1-4

God purposely put His people between a rock and a hard place, or more precisely, between two mountains and the Red Sea. Why? Because in so doing His Divinity and supremacy became known to the Egyptians. Did it work? Yup. Were any of the Egyptians saved as a result? It wouldn’t seem so, but that’s not the issue—God revealed Himself to non-believers and gave them a choice to make—the fact that they chose unwisely isn’t germane to my point.

What if Israel protested; what if they said to Moses, “How dare God bring us to this place of brokenness. This is not fair!” Would that have changed their predicament one iota? No, they still would have had to endure it. Wasn’t it better to understand that in their brokenness God was doing a good work of some sort? Isn’t it a better testimony for us to bear our trials joyfully rather than mournfully?

Can we see God’s hand in our troubles? Is there a bigger picture that we’re not seeing in the loss of a job, the diagnosis, or the death of a loved one? We might never know why bad things happen, but we can find our hope, peace, and assurance in knowing that God’s ways are always righteous and true.

These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at Calvary Chapel Coastlands.

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And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. Exodus 14:13-15God, Aren’t You Paying Attention?

To some this is an unusual passage of scripture. It begins unmistakably with Moses speaking directly to the people; encouraging them not in themselves, but in the Lord. That is a good thing, right? So why (some might ask) does God then say to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me?”  if it is evident that he was speaking to the people?

The Big Cover-up

Moses is guilty of something all Christians do at one time or another—he is talking boldly to cover-up the fact that he does not believe what he is saying. For all intents and purposes Moses said to Israel, “Be strong in the Lord, ” but to himself he muttered, “God, where are you?” What makes the scenario even more peculiar is that Moses probably did not realize his own doubt and faithlessness. Whether it was consciously or unconsciously, his authoritative proclamation to Israel merely served to cloak the reservation harbored in his own heart.

Only God

…For You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men. 1 Kings 8:39b

The Exodus account serves to remind us that we (like Moses) are incapable of identifying our own heart defects and that in order to see them God’s eyes are required. Those who think they know their own heart are only deceiving themselves and are placing barriers in the path of their own spiritual development. It should be our habit to persistently and continually ask the Lord to search our hearts.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. Psalms 139:23-24

Moses could have fussed and debated with God at this point, “Father, you know I trust you and have no doubt. Didn’t you just hear what I said to Your people?” But rather Moses chose to accept God’s rebuke without quarrel and simply chose to obey the Father’s directive. His obedience served as his confession.

But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. Exodus 14:16

We know what occurred next (the Red Sea is parted and Israel safely crosses over), but in this verse we see a specific application for today’s church as it pertains to our heart issues. The rod in the passage speaks to the measure of authority each believer has received from God, a ‘stretched-out hand’ to our obedience, and ‘the water’ (throughout the Bible) speaks to the Word of God. We can discern our hearts and God’s plan when in His authority and in our obedience, we accurately divide His Word. In so doing the Father will faithfully and powerfully reveal Him self.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

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Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried out to Pharaoh, saying, “Why are you dealing thus with your servants? There is no straw given to your servants, and they say to us, ’Make brick!’ And indeed your servants are beaten, but the fault is in your own people.” Exodus 5:15-16Woe is Me

Have you ever had a problem or issue so grievous, you felt compelled to plead your case to the most significant person you knew or could find? I have had a few of those in my life and I have handled them in a variety of ways. I have penned letters to editors, spoken to attorneys, and have even sought the assistance of local politician; anyone who might rally behind my cause.

I can now say without any prevarication that all those endeavors were humongous wastes of time and effort—especially those involving politicians. It would appear by today’s text that these early Jewish leaders would agree. They had a problem and soon discovered that presenting the case to Pharaoh achieved two negative results: the problem got worse and their recovery was delayed. What should they have done and to whom should they have brought their troubles?

“Woe to the rebellious children, ” says the Lord, “Who take counsel, but not of Me, And who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, That they may add sin to sin… Isaiah 30:1

Reading the words of the Lord through His prophet Isaiah should give us pause. God has made it extraordinarily clear that we are to bring our issues to Him and He will give us guidance. Perhaps God might counsel us to go to another, but to do so without first seeking His blessing is sinful and with that comes consequence. Don’t be mistaken, it’s not a curse God imposes upon us, but rather one we bring upon ourselves. When we know what is right and act contrarily, there is always a cost—rebellion is an expensive luxury the Christian cannot afford. Let all our cries be brought before our Mighty Counselor.

“Present your case, ” says the Lord. “Bring forth your strong reasons, ” says the King of Jacob…For I looked, and there was no man; I looked among them, but there was no counselor, Who, when I asked of them, could answer a word. Indeed they are all worthless; Their works are nothing; Their molded images are wind and confusion. Isaiah 41:21, 28-29

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Then (Moses) you shall say to Pharaoh, ’Thus says the Lord: “Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.” And it came to pass on the way, at the encampment, that the Lord met (Moses) and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it at Moses’ feet, and said, “Surely you are a husband of blood to me!” So He let him go. Then she said, “You are a husband of blood!”–because of the circumcision. Exodus 4:22-26
What in the World is Going On?

Moses has just been ordained by God to pronounce a very serious judgment against Pharaoh, essentially declaring that if he (Pharaoh) would not release His (God’s) children, God would kill his child. Quite the admonishment and quite the task considering the source! What seems puzzling is God’s subsequent action, “…The Lord met (Moses) and sought to kill him” (emphasis mine). What just happened? As the text divulges it’s what didn’t happen that is at issue here.

This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised…Genesis 17:10

There you have it! Moses had neglected his responsibilities at home. How could he possibly go to Pharaoh with such a momentous proclamation while his own home was in disorder. This is clearly not how our Lord operates. Fortunately, Zipporah his wife, fearing for her husbands salvation, steps-up and delivers. Her anger towards him likely served as a catalyst for Moses setting him on a proper course, although most certainly there were repercussions for his allowing this problem to persist for so long.

For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 1 Peter 4:17-19

A Couple Applications…

We already touched on one—God will not open one door until we walk through the last one. Or maybe the second door has been opened (as in Moses’ case), but we are prevented from progressing towards it because there is unfinished business to take care of. In either scenario the solution is always the same–reparation; i.e. returning to where we last heard God’s voice clearly and yielding to His authority. It could be as simple as lifting a prayer or as complex as witnessing to your unsaved mother-in-law.

The second application is specifically for the wife. If your husband (saved or unsaved) has dropped the ball and will not (or perhaps cannot) pick it up, it is your duty to do so. So was the case in my family. Back in the mid-nineties my wife became the spiritual leader of our family when I was negligent in my duties as head of the clan. She saw to the children going to church, youth group, and similar activities. I can barely begin to tell how grateful I am the she carried the burden in those days—I do not deserve such grace and mercy.

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Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives…”When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women…if it is a son, then you shall kill him…” But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. So the king of Egypt…said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and saved the male children alive?” And the midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them.” Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them. So Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born you shall cast into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive.” Exodus 1:15-22Does God Honor Lying?

No. God does not honor, sanction, or turn a deaf-ear or blind-eye to any sin we commit. To suggest otherwise perverts the truth and these perversities set in motion the practice of manufacturing counterfeit gods; the world is filled with these man-made, Christian-like deities who wink at our sin. Sadder still is that the producers of these idols point to today’s scripture (and others like it) and erroneously surmise that sin; under certain circumstances, is acceptable. They could not be more mistaken.

What God Approves

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Matthew 10:28; Hebrews 13:6

The Exodus text is extremely clear, these women were blessed because they feared God–period. God is never mocked and we will always reap what we sow, but God, having weighed the impulse of their hearts, chose to focus on that which they did correctly rather than that which they did in error. We should never assume that because the consequences of their lies were not recorded [in the Bible] that there weren’t any. The truth be told, their lies had little impact–Pharaoh was merely determined to kill the babies in another way.

The preparations of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the spirits. Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established….Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts. Proverbs 16:1-3; 21:2

An Application For Us

Is there ever a situation where a lie would be justified? What about those who hid Jews in their attics during Hitler’s reign and then lied to soldiers who came looking to carry them off to concentration camps—did they sin? The answer is still the same—sinning is never justified and (not but) God weighs the heart. To our disgrace, there will always be consequences for sin and to God’s glory, there will always be blessings for our obedience. Consider this truth in 1 Corinthians 10:13…

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Understand the implication of the verse. It does not declare that ‘God will not give us anything we cannot handle, ’ but rather that He will not give us anything that He cannot handle.

Submission to Authorities

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. Romans 13:1-2

I am kind of back-tracking, but this verse often comes up in defense of the women who lied. It is common church doctrine that we are to obey all authority unless that authority is in contrast to God’s authority. The argument is often that these women, in defiance of an illegal order, were authorized to lie. No, they were not so authorized. A more accurate policy is that we are to deny the illegal directive and willingly suffer the consequences. Am I suggesting that under similar circumstances I would not lie? I knew you were going to ask me that. I hope I would proceed as Peter, but if I fail I know I have already been forgiven…that’s my answer and I am sticking to it.

And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this (Jesus) name?… But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men….And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. Acts 5:27-29, 47

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For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that …the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 1 Corinthians 11:23b-25We Are Going Through Genesis

When we started this portion of Genesis that spotlights the life of Joseph, I was quick to point out that he is a prophetic picture or ‘type’ of Jesus the Christ. The reality of that truth can be plainly seen in chapter forty of Genesis as we discover a correlation between those events of Joseph’s day and our contemporary observance of Holy Communion.

Joseph Gets Some Cellmates

It came to pass after these things that the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their lord, the king of Egypt…So he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison, the place where Joseph was confined. Genesis 40:1+3

We recall that Joseph (a picture of Jesus) is falsely imprisoned—we know that Joseph was not a sinless man, but the fact that the Bible records none of his sins make the parallels between him and Christ very compelling. Joseph is joined by two men—ultimately one will be saved and the other will be damned.

And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:12b

I believe it is safe to assume that prison life is no picnic; those who would describe it as a living hell have likely have nailed the imagery. I am fascinated by the correlation between Joseph witnessing to his cellmates in this hellhole (one saved and one doomed) and how Jesus during His three days of entombment would also come to visit hell.

Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.” (Now this, “He ascended”–what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. Ephesians 4:8-10

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the (*demonic) spirits in prison…1 Peter 3:18-19

In these two reports Jesus first visits the faithful; i.e. those who died prior to Christ’s earthly appearance, to enlighten them that His work was finished and that they were now free. Jesus then hops over to the other side of hell to inform the demonical that because His work was finished, they no long held dominion over the body; His faithful on earth. Praise be to God!

The Wine

Then the chief butler told his dream to Joseph…”Behold, in my dream a vine was before me, and in the vine were three branches; it was as though it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and its clusters brought forth ripe grapes. Then Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.” And Joseph said to him, “This is the interpretation of it…within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your place… But remember me… Genesis 40:9-14

Christ’s cup of suffering is our cup of salvation and as I read this account I cannot help but remember these words from 1 Corinthians 11:25.

In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

The Bread

When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said to Joseph, “I also was in my dream, and there were three white baskets on my head. In the uppermost basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, and the birds ate them out of the basket on my head.” So Joseph answered and said, “This is the interpretation of it: The three baskets are three days. Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head from you and hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat your flesh from you.” Genesis 40:16-19

What a bleak contrast; the bakers dream reveals that which must be broken. As we see Joseph sandwiched between these two offenders, we can also envision Jesus suspended upon the cross between two thieves. In both these accounts one will be rescued and one shall be doomed.

And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Luke 22:19

The reason behind why the butler and baker are treated so differently is not known, although there is at least one application we can make for our individual spiritual walks. Grapes are essentially created by God—a work of the Spirit (so to speak), while bread is a work of the flesh. Wine is poured out when it is consumed and bread is broken before it is eaten. In Christ’s crucifixion we see a breaking of the flesh; i.e. His body that bore all of mankind’s sin and a pouring-out of His blood—for life is in the blood.

But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 1 Cor 11:28-29

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