Impact on Jesus Week 2
I cannot even begin to tell you how grateful I am to have taken on this challenge to share little snippets of what God is showing me in the Word each day. It truly has had a huge impact on me personally and pushes me to continue to look at how the stories of the OT impacted a young boy/man named Jesus. In return, it is causing me to consider the impact they should have on my own life and walk with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Thanks for allowing me to share with you, here is week 2 of my challenge.
Continuing in the story of Joseph and its impact on Jesus. This morning I was struck by after Joseph revealed himself and sent for his entire family to be brought to Egypt, no one was left behind. His ENTIRE family was rescued from certain death and brought not only to a new land, but they were given the richest land for their needs, livestock. They were brought from the barren and placed in the bountiful. As Jesus learned of this story and moved into his role as the redeemer sent by God to save his family, he knew that NONE would be left behind, but all his family would be saved. And their redemption would be from certain death into a life placed in the center of abundance, perfect for their every need. How I love how God wrote these story lines so that a young boy named Jesus could learn them and thus learn the fullness of why He had been sent here on earth. #EnjoyTheShepherd
As Genesis 47 opens up we see Joseph standing before Pharaoh on behalf of his brothers. He is there to present them and speak on their behalf. He prepared them for this meeting (Genesis 46:31-34) and then he asked that the best of the land be given to them to dwell in. Having earned the favor of Pharaoh, Joseph asked with bold confidence that his family be ushered into a place in which they could thrive with their families and their livestock. Then he presented his brothers and father to Pharaoh who then gave them what Joseph asked for. Surely Joseph had made sure they were properly dressed and in full understanding as how to act and speak in front of the king. He did not just throw them in there, but prepared them to stand before the ruler of the land. What a glorious picture for Jesus as he learned how to enter the throne room of God on behalf of his brothers and family. Not only going in to speak on their behalf but also fully preparing them to stand before the King of Kings and to be given the absolute best for them and their families! What a treasure this story of Joseph must have been to Jesus, the one who stand before God on our behalf and what a treasure it is to us as we go and make disciples, boldly enabled to enter his thrown room and present them to Him through prayer that He might lavish the best them! #EnjoyTheShepherd
This morning I finished the story of Joseph and two things stood out to me. When his father Jacob passed away, his brothers returned to a state of fear. They assumed there was a grudge being held. When they approach Joseph with this concern, it says he wept! How could they possibly still think he intended them harm after all he went through to save their lives and put them in the best of all the land. As his tears dried he demonstrated his love for them again by saying "what you meant for evil, God intended for good!" How deeply this must have impacted his heart for those he had been sent to save. When we continuously show signs of unbelief in the fullness of his forgiveness and love, how much it must have pained his heart. We assume judgement even after our redemption and being brought into the paradise of God's kingdom. But even through this He reminded his disciples and continues to remind us, "What you did, your sins, mistakes, blemishes, and unbelief, our rejection and despising of him that we meant for evil, God had a plan from the beginning to restore us to full fellowship with Him, this even our evil plans God intended for our good! #EnjoyTheShepherd
This morning for me was a little on the overload side as I started looking at the life of Moses. There are SO MANY correlations to Jesus and his life. Being born and having your life threatened by death as an infant. Being rescued by the land of Egypt, Moses by Pharaohs daughter, Jesus by his parents fleeing to that land. So much to take in. But I had to resort to the question that is burning on my heart, "How did this story of Moses impact Jesus as a boy/young man?" To sum up in a text is not sufficient, as books can and have been written. However one chord struck me this morning. When Moses was overwhelmed by the oppression he witnessed against his people. He was so burdened by what he saw that he took action. Action that cost him his position, his comfort, his way of life. But to stand by and watch was not something he could do. He hoped that maybe he could bypass all the loss by hiding the body, but he took the risk anyway in order to rescue just one Hebrew slave! As I read Matthew 26 this morning, I see Jesus as he reflected on his decision to leave his position, his comfort, his life with the Father because he could no longer stand by and watch the oppression of his people at the hands of the Enemy. Yes, in the Garden he expressed a hope that maybe he could bypass the cost of the cross, as it was a great burden to bear, but he made the choice in eternity past and he took the risk in order to save one, his chosen people who make up one body, his bride. As he pondered these things that night, how he must have thought of Moses who led the people of Israel out of bondage by the power of God and then he said, "Not my will Father, You do Your Will by Your Power!"
So many things from today's reading that I find it hard to summarize one point. Exodus 3 we see Moses tending sheep, learning to lead them before leading people. (I can't help but wonder if Jesus tended sheep as a boy, how else would he know so much about being a good shepherd?) while Moses is tending sheep, God speaks to him and gives him direction and guidance (a personal favorite of mine as He has been teaching me in my fields, also leads me to wonder if Jesus watched sheep how much did he learn about being the Lamb of God from his lambs?) So many other things, but the "impact" moment for me today was when God told Moses that Pharaoh would not let the Israelites go until the firstborn of their nation had died! God gave Moses signs and wonders to do in order to convince the people, but God knew Pharaoh would hold on to his slaves until blood was shed. As Jesus heard this story as a child and read it and studied it as a young boy/man, how moved he must have been when he realized the bondage of His Father's people would not be released until the firstborn had died. This time though, it would not be the firstborn of the enemy who would pay the price, but it would be the firstborn of God who would have to suffer death in order for the Prince of the World to lose his grip on God's chosen people. His signs and wonders he performed touched the heart of the people, like Moses', but it was not enough to convince the Enemy to loose his grip! Jesus began to understand that he was Gods firstborn and that through his death, the Enemy would be forced to "Let His People Go!" I wander if Jesus wrestled with this even as a boy? Maybe he asked like Moses, as he did later in the Garden, "is there any other way?" But, like Moses, he knew the job ahead of him and in the Garden he embraced the task set before him out of love for His Father and a desire to set me free! What a Savior! #EnjoyTheShepherd
Today has been a full day! Many great things from His hands. In Exodus 5 we see the first time Pharaoh is told to let the people go worship God. His response is "Who is this God?" His immediate reaction was to increase the burden on the people so they would fear asking again. It seemed to work. They caved under the heaviness of their bondage. Their excitement from Exodus 4 is gone and now they are angry at God for increasing their burdens. Making life more difficult. How Jesus allowed this to sink in to his life and then passed it on to those who followed him. He learned from this story that obedience does not always lead to instant earthly peace or gain. In fact, he knew that stepping forward to follow his Father would lead to trouble before the victory. Just look into the wilderness scene and then throughout his life. Then, in his God given wisdom, he told his disciples and us that obeying the Father would lead to trouble in this world. Yet, he backed it up just like God did at the end of Exodus 5 by stating what He would do because of who He is! Therefore we can move forward in obedience with boldness knowing that in the end He will secure the victory and His will will be accomplished. #EnjoyTheShepherd
Exodus 7 starts out with an alarming word! God declares he is going to do signs and wonders, then He says "But I will harden his (Pharaoh's) heart." After each sign Moses and Aaron did, Gods word was fulfilled and Pharaoh's heart grew harder and he refused to let Gods people go. A few times he committed to give in and let them go worship outside the town, only to change his mind once relief had come. Jesus was clearly impacted by the truth that signs and wonders do not change the heart. In Mark 1 alone he shut up a demon in the temple and cast him out. He healed a leper, only to tell him to keep it quiet and go obey the law. As word spread about his miracles, he retreated to pray. His disciples found him and wanted to take him back where crowds were searching for him because they wanted to see more miracles. But Jesus knew that miracles only attach to emotions and that their hearts were not truly with him. His heart wanted them to hear the message and experience real life, not just a show! He knew from Pharaoh's story that miracles only lead to a half hearted commitment, but when relief came their hearts would be hardened and turned away. Jesus was looking for devoted followers, not fad chasers. He was interested in obedience to His Father, not fame and fortune. He desired true deliverance for his people, which would only come once the firstborn had given his life. I am amazed at the impact these stories had on Jesus, and how they are to impact me. #Impact #EnjoyTheShepherd
So I tried to ignore it, but this same point of #Impact keeps leaping at me today. Notice how God tells Moses "I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and then throughout the plagues Moses writes, "and Pharaoh hardened his heart Just as the Lord said." In other words, the heart of the king was in the Lords hands. And what was God's reasoning for hardening Pharaohs heart? "So that all of Egypt will know that I am the Lord!" God had a plan to reveal His glory not to only his people, but to all those in the world. What is beautiful here is that what God said He would do, He accomplished! How this story made its way into a young Jesus' heart and as he drew near to the accomplishment of His purpose, he could be assured that what His Daddy had said he would accomplish through Him, it would come to pass! #EnjoyTheShepherd