Thursday, May 11, 2017

When the God of Second Chances Gives You the Chance to Change Your World

I re-read the story of Pharaoh and Moses this morning and marveled at the ways of men.

You know this story, but reviewing it might help us see the incredible plan of God in a fresh light...

The Hebrews had multiplied in Egypt to the point that they were a cheap source of labor. Eventually, Pharaoh began to worry that the laborers would revolt and take over because there were more Hebrews than Egyptians in the Egypt.

When oppression and coercion of the midwives didn't decrease the number of male children, Pharaoh issued an edict that astounds me every time I read it. 

Hebrew parents were to throw their male babies in the river.

My first response was incredulity over the law, but I quickly realized that the real shocker was that the Hebrews actually complied with the law. 

Parents drowned their own sons because the government told them to do it... 

I can't comprehend it. 

In the midst of that evil and insane situation, God's plan began to unfold. It took years to complete, but when it did, it was a beautiful deliverance.

When Moses was born, his parents took one look at him and loved him. They were desperate to protect him and had no intention of obeying the "boy drowning" law.

After three months, it was no longer possible to hide him, but his mother had a very unusual plan of faith. She put the baby in a floating basket and put it in the reeds at the edge of the Nile, then she set his sister nearby to see what happened. 

Technically, she obeyed the law. She "cast" her son into the Nile. The only difference was that she "cast" him in a floating basket.

Amazingly, Pharaoh's daughter found him and decided to adopt him. In an even more amazing twist to the story, she hired his own mother as Moses's wet nurse. When he was weaned he became the princess' son. He lived as a prince, and grew up in the palace, where he was trained in the leadership expected of Pharaoh's grandson.  

When Moses was grown, he saw an Egyptian beating one of the Hebrew workers, and was enraged. That rage progressed to the murder of the Egyptian. In an attempt to hide his crime, Moses buried the corpse in the sand, but his crime was discovered, and he ran for his life. 

In what seemed like no more time than the blink of an eye, Moses went from being a Hebrew baby in a miraculous basket to an exalted prince of Egypt to a fugitive murderer. 

Then, the story took another twist. He fled to the wilderness of Midian, where he became a shepherd. 

Forty years later, he saw a burning bush, God called to him, and he approached the bush. When Moses realized it was God calling, he was afraid and hid his face. 

In that instant, the pieces of God's plan finally began to come together in a recognizable way. 

The years of training in administration and leadership in Egypt, followed by the years as a shepherd in the wilderness weren't wasted. They were part of the essential preparation for the most important job Moses would ever undertake. He was to lead the Hebrew people from Egypt to the promised land. 

Over the course of the next forty years, Moses walked with God. In fact, he became a friend of God, so much that he met face to face with Him. Afterwards, his face shone so much that, instead of hiding his face from God, he had to cover his face with a veil and hide it from the people. (Exodus 34:34) 

Being in the presence of God left a change in Moses that everyone could see. His experiences caused another change, too. Instead of an angry, vengeful young man, Moses became the most humble man on earth (Numbers 12:3).  

That humble man led millions of Hebrews to freedom from slavery as he walked with God. 

Moses left his world a different place because of the humility and the faithfulness to God that came after the mistakes that shattered his comfortable life. 

Despite his immense sin, Moses was given a fresh start and the opportunity to change the world by our ever-loving and forgiving God.

God has a plan to use all the mistakes in our past to make a difference in our future.

Have we made mistakes and have had a rough start to our lives thus far?  In the shortest time imaginable, we can answer the call of God and He can begin to unfold our second chance.  Our third chance. Our many-eth chance. 

No matter how far we've run, how low we've have sunk, how long we have been mired in sin, our Lord can deliver, cleanse, and transform, and He will. We have only to repent of our mistakes, surrender our will to His, and follow Him. 

When the God of second chances gives you the opportunity to change your life and your world, what should you do? Take it and follow Him until He leads you home.  

"I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 
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photo above is of the empty tomb of Jesus. It's the power of the empty tomb that makes the redemption of our second chances possible.

In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Doing Life Together: The Beauty of Multigenerational Community
If you feel led to partner with this ministry (US, Jordan, the digital world), here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841 

Or you can mail your check or money order to: Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line.

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