Archive for February, 2016

PART 3 OF TWO BROTHERS + AN OVER-TOLD STORY : MAIN TAKE-AWAYS

February 4th, 2016

After looking at the events that took place in Exodus 31-33ish in post 1 and observing each brother’s response to the circumstances in post 2, this 3rd post will highlight what I believe are some further take-away applications for anyone seeking to grow as believers in Christ. In all honesty, we can find ourselves relating to […]

 

After looking at the events that took place in Exodus 31-33ish in post 1 and observing each brother’s response to the circumstances in post 2, this 3rd post will highlight what I believe are some further take-away applications for anyone seeking to grow as believers in Christ. In all honesty, we can find ourselves relating to either of these two men who served God…so it is beneficial to store away some Biblical wisdom for times in our life that are not too unlike this time in both Moses and Aaron’s walk with God.

What we can take away from this – 

This is what brothers are for – God can do anything and everything, yet He often uses our family of believers to help each other and come alongside each other – both to teach us how to live when we feel like Moses in this story as well as reveal insight, truth, and hope to us when we might find ourselves more like Aaron. When we can see our lives in light one of these two brothers, we realize God can use us in the lives of others to help us see, know and understand our Lord’s heart more, and He can work in our lives to shape our hearts to be more like Christ and more suited for the plans He has for us if we choose to come to Him in our time of need. As it is in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, “ Two are better than one, … For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!  Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” God doesn’t have to involve us in the work He’s doing in other people, but He chooses to often to teach and stretch and shape us both through our life circumstances if we seek Him in them. Are we there for others when we could be? And do we come to Him when we realize we’ve wandered?

For times we could be Aaron – When we are unsure of our calling, We need to trust that God has a plan for our lives, especially if we’ve experienced Him before, and rest assured that He planned what he wanted us to do long ago (Ephesians 2:10). Meanwhile, if we feel like we do not yet know specifics about what God has called us to do, we need to carry out the great commission while loving God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength… and love our neighbors as ourselves (the general call on all believers’ lives Matthew 22:36-40, Matthew 28:16-20) and continue to seek Him wholeheartedly lest we be led astray to temptation (2 Peter 3:14-18).

And For when we feel like a bystander like Moses – We need to first check our hearts and ask God’s help in making our hearts like His. Moses was overcome by anger – which tends to cloud our ability to keep perspective and leads to poor reactions. I believe we need to make sure we ask God to help us exchange some of the raw reactions of our heart for a heart that more reflects that of the Holy Spirit  (specifics of what God’s spirit exemplifies in the fruit of the spirit and definition of love in Corinthians)  before we’ll be able to be most useful in the given situation. Once we have done this,  we should pray to God fervently for mercy for whoever is an Aaron in our life…and be willing to act when God invites us to share the truth in love and point to Christ to our Aaron.

Moses and Aaron. Two imperfect brothers…One Holy, Mighty, and Loving God, and a chord of three strands that was not quickly broken. May we always have someone to help us when we fall, and may we always be there to help when another falls, and may we come to know the heart of our awesome God through it all!

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Part 2 of Two Brothers + an Over-told Story : Response is Key

February 2nd, 2016

In part one of this post, we looked at the events leading up to this crucial moment in time in the events in Exodus. Moses, Aaron, and the Israelites all experienced God’s awesome undeniable power and deliverance and yet, while Moses was coming down from a mountain top experience with God, Aaron led the charge […]


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In part one of this post, we looked at the events leading up to this crucial moment in time in the events in Exodus.

  • Moses, Aaron, and the Israelites all experienced God’s awesome undeniable power and deliverance
  • and yet, while Moses was coming down from a mountain top experience with God, Aaron led the charge of creating and worshiping an idol despite the amazing plans God had for His future (more details on all this in the part one of this post series). So – as I said last week – here they are – Moses frustrated and enraged, and Aaron leading a charge against everything he’d just witnessed. What’s a brother to do? Let’s look at their responses:

First, Aaron’s initial response when being confronted by Moses was deceitful to himself. Aaron made it seem like he had needed to please the people, but the truth is that other people can only tempt us, not force us to sin. (Matt Henry) Rather than responding in recognition of his wrong, he rationalized and justified his choices. Until we recognize and own up to our choices, we cannot recognize our need to repent, we won’t desire forgiveness, and thus cannot find or accept mercy or grace. If you are Moses and you are watching your loved one self-destruct and enter denial or try to hide it from you, it sounds hopeless right? But Moses is an example of what one in the bystander situation can do.

Moses pleaded with God for mercy for his brother and the people even before Aaron or the Israelites may have recognized their wrong and need for mercy. If you look at the text, it is the act of pleading for mercy on behalf of the people in sin that invokes God’s compassion to work in tandem with his justice all while still accomplishing His purpose. I believe this is an all too symbolic picture of how Christ pleads to the Father on our behalf. (Matt Henry) God wants us to have a heart like Christ and to teach us forgiveness, love, grace, and mercy …and yet He also wants to teach us and help us understand the cost of it to the one who gives it. When we can be like Moses and go to God on behalf of a brother or loved one for mercy – especially at the risk of it costing us in some personal way…whether it be time, upset between you and that person when you need to speak truth and expose sin, energy invested in prayer, or heartache and submission to however He might choose to use us to encourage change in the individual – we experience and understand just a tiny glimpse of the cost Jesus paid on our behalf. This scripture is encouraging to me because it shows that Moses’s prayer for mercy on behalf of an undeserving, cretinous people did have an impact on God’s response to the people. Our prayers for people, even before they recognize their need for change, are heard and are not in vain.

Though Moses pleaded for mercy on behalf of Aaron and the Israelites, there eventually came a time where they were called to choose sides and decide their own destiny. Moses asked “Who is on the LORD’s side?” What happened then and there was a deciding factor that preceded the death and destruction of those set on persisting in wickedness. While it is God’s decision and timing alone, there will always come a point in time where every person makes the ultimate choice, and those who persist on continuing in sin, who openly stand forth as those that choose openly and firmly to stand against the Lord and thus the ones on the Lord’s side – and are firm and happy in it – they are destined for judgement and ruin. (Matt Henry)

And Finally, Aaron – praise the Lord – did not stay in denial long before returning to God’s side. The Bible says that He who began a good work in us will carry it out to completion (Phil 1:6). I believe we saw the good work begun in Aaron back in Egypt, and despite his foolish choices, God’s mercy in this situation made it >

  • possible for Aaron to still live the calling to which God intended for him >
  • but with a deeper level or understanding that he was unworthy of his calling apart from any reason other than the grace of God. (Matt Henry) What good is it if we have an exciting and important calling from God, yet we somehow deceive ourselves into thinking we are worthy of it in any way apart from under the righteous goodness of Christ? Like the specific and intricate priestly garments he would soon wear (that symbolized the righteousness of Christ that we all must wear to appear justified and blameless and redeemed before a holy God), Aaron needed to know full well that it wasn’t he who was worthy but God whose grace and mercy and righteousness that made him worthy.  This is also so true for us. Aaron may have fallen to temptation and experienced a major defeat, but God took what Satan meant for evil and worked it for good in the end so that any pride and boasting about the high call on Aaron’s life may be silenced and prevented.(Matt Henry) Instead of anyone thinking it was he who earned the position, or instead of him beginning to think he’d deserved any of the positions God would place him in, he would now know he was undeserving and that he would fulfill his role because of God’s grace alone. The grace and ability of God would be the only thing magnified in his role as a priest…not his own ability.

There are some main take-aways I see after looking closely at this part of scripture….and I cannot wait to dig into them with you in part 3! Stay tuned! :)