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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

People’s Responses

God-sized visions are not just accomplished by God fulfilling God’s promises.  The way the vision is carried out is directly impacted by people’s responses.  When God said, “I will set my people free,” we know that God was going to set His people free.

Let’s assume, for a moment, a scenario where Moses said yes to God’s call right away, the story may have looked different.  Perhaps Aaron would never have been pulled into the team.  Maybe the tribe of Levi, the priests, and the High Priest in the line of Aaron wouldn’t have been a part of the picture later.  God didn’t promise them that they would have a tabernacle, a temple, priests, etc.  He simply promised, “I will set my people free.” 

When Pharaoh sent his army into the middle of the Red Sea after Israel, they may have lived had they disobeyed orders that day.  God, after all, was showing that Pharaoh was not a god at all.  Embarrassment at his whole army revolting may have done the job just as well as destroying the army in the Sea.  We will never know.

The point is simply this:  God’s plan is brought to fruition through the combination of God’s promises and people’s responses.  The question, then, is never whether God will accomplish His purposes or not.  The question is simply what part you and I will play in that plan.  Will we live lives trusting in and relying on God’s promises or will we be among the ones who keep fighting God and lose.  The choice is ours.

Now the LORD had said to Moses, "I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely. Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold." (The LORD made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh's officials and by the people.) (Exodus 11:1-3 NIV)

Am I the only one who found this command strange?  The people of Israel were getting ready to escape the oppressors in Egypt.  They were packing their bags, having the first Passover meal, and waiting for the orders to get out of town. Before they leave, though, God commands them to talk to their neighbors and ask for articles of silver and gold.  Why in the world do they need silver and gold in the desert?  Not only that, do I really want to be asking the guy who just beat me today for not making bricks of straw fast enough, to give me his silverware and any gold he has?  It’s my choice, though.  God gave a command.  God gave a promise.  What is my response?

The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. The LORD had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians. (Ex. 12:35-36 NIV)

Israel responded well.  How about you?  How do you respond to God’s promises?  How do you respond to God’s commands?  How does that change the story?  How does it change the way God’s plan comes to fruition?