Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday Blueprint Madness

A long time ago, in a land far, far away, there lived giants. Sounds like the beginning of a fairy tale, right? Not really. Genesis tells us that when the sons of God and the daughters of men got together, their children were giants - Nephilites.

Later, during the time when God's people searched for the promised land, Moses sent out 12 leaders of the Israelites to explore the land of Canaan. When the scouts returned, they reported that the land flowed with milk and honey. "But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large." Only 2 of the 12 men, Caleb and Joshua, recognized the promised land, the gracious gift from God. The others lacked faith, inciting fear in the people. They falsely reported that there were Nephilites in the land. Giants. "We can't attack these people; they are stronger than we are." And the Israelites raised their voices and wept aloud, grumbling against the LORD.

Joshua and Caleb were distraught by the reaction of the Israelites, who were threatening to return to Egypt. The two faithful men tore their clothes and implored the assembly, "The land we explored is exceedingly good. If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Don't rebel against the LORD. Don't be afraid of the people of the land because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone but the LORD is with us." But the crowd didn't want to hear this. They threatened to stone the two men.

And the LORD was not pleased with his people. Moses interceded on their behalf and God agreed to let the rebellious people live...for forty more years, wandering in the desert. The 10 evil spies were struck down immediately. When the people realized their sin, they mourned bitterly. So they decided to go ahead and enter the promised land. But wait! This was no longer God's plan! The people were again disobeying God! Moses tried to stop them, but they were determined...and they were beaten down by the people of the land. Because God was not with them they were defeated. Although there were no giants, the Israelites needed God's protection to defeat the natives and claim their promised land.

I wonder if the 10 evil spies came into town and spotted an ATM positioned 8 feet high. It would be easy to presume there were giants living there. When we find ourselves in a daunting situation, we need to assess, "Has God got my back? Will the LORD lift me in this venture to assure my success?" If "yes!" then go for it!

"I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth." (Psalm 121:1-2)

"Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless." (Psalm 10:12)

Through Him, all things are possible. Maybe not easy, but through faith we can achieve the impossible. "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see....And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." (Hebrews 11:16)

Praise God!


Randall said...

Interesting side note, if you continue the story in Genesis 6, the daughters of men and sons of God had kids and were renouned but God was so angry with them becasue they were full of eveil he decided to wipe out mankind with a flood...

I like his later response better. Having tried making deals, punishing, rewarding, etc. He choose to come himself in human form to show us how to live our lives, leading by example. Enter Jesus!

YES! God has got our back, in both victory and defeat. Win, lose or draw, everything we do should be for the glory of God, not ourselves or man but for our Father in heaven:

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)


Servants, do what you're told by your earthly masters. And don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you'll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you're serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn't cover up bad work. (colossians 3:22-25, message)

tough act to follow, luckily He stays with us to show us the way!

Jeanette said...

Great message Fran! Sometimes I think there are giants in front of me and I have learned to listen for God. If He is there, then I stand tall (sometimes shaking) and take my steps forward. I know for me it has been scary, but the rewards are AMAZING!