PERISHING CONVINCINGLY

  1. The Conflict of Faiths

You will never amount to much if you believe in those who do not believe in you, ‘practical’ and reasonable as their points might seem.  You will always prove somebody right whether you fail or you succeed.

As Moses led his people out of slavery into freedom, the same people opposed him fiercely, demanding, Why did you bring us out of Egypt? Why did you bring us out here in the desert to die? We could have died peacefully in Egypt; there were plenty of graves in Egypt.”  Really?  Die “peacefully in Egypt”?  Why and Why and Why?

Like nagging raindrops on an adamant iron roof, they loudly reminded Moses of how strongly they had warned him before the trip, that it was better to “stay and be slaves than to come out here and die in the desert” (Exodus 14:11-12, Easy-to-Read Version).  Indeed, “stay and be slaves” than ‘risk’ walking “out” into freedom!  They made their strong point that a little bird in hand was better than two large ostriches in a vision, in a faraway land across unpredictable deserts. They did not believe in him or in his mission, but he believed in his God and in himself.  Put differently, they believed that he could not succeed; he believed that he would.  It was a conflict of faiths.

  1. Sit and Die

The doubters made a strange unintended point: “stay and be slaves.”  To remain a slave, you don’t have to do anything, just stay and keep staying; but to get out of enslavement, there will be fears to confront and deserts to cross.  The legendary four lepers at the gate of Samaria put it succinctly: “Why sit we here until we die?” (2 Kings 7:3).  Sitting kills, slowly; even the doctors tell us so; but standing up to one’s fears opens unimagined gates.  Sitting is effortless, daring forward is risky; the choice was up to them.

  1. The Mystery of Weakness

I wonder why God often gives apparently impossible dreams to very unlikely folks! Maybe so that their trust would be in His grace rather than in their skills (Judges 6:12-13, 15; 7:2).  Many ancient leaders that we hail today never felt that they could do the things for which we hail them now.  Moses excused himself as a stammerer (Exodus 4:10); Jeremiah said that he was a mere child (Jeremiah 1:6-8); Amos was clear that he was no prophet at all but just a farmer (Amos 7:14-15). In their sincere littleness, they found a great God.

On the contrary, those who felt so capable that they needed no helper did not go very far.  Samson lost his title when he boasted that he had known the methods of success too well to depend anymore on the Lord (Judges 16:20).  King Nebuchadnezzar lost it just when he thought he had become so strong that he had everything under his imperial control (Daniel 4:30-32).  A gang of men who were “famous in the congregation” felt so qualified that they thought Moses needed them more than they needed God.  They did not live to tell their tale as the earth promptly swallowed them up, with their important titles (Numbers 26:9-10).

What is the mystery of weakness, and the mystery of strength? What makes weak men so strong, and strong men so weak?  What turned weak men into such mighty men who eventually grew too strong for God and fell back into worse weakness (2 Corinthians 12:10; 13:9; 2 Chronicles 26:15-16)?

  1. Your True Fans…

Strangely for Moses, whereas many of his own people did not believe in him, several Egyptians believed in him and joined his mission (Exodus 11:3; 9:20-21).  Some of your true fans will not be from your camp.  It takes more than slogans to tell your true friends.

At last, beyond the preferable hazards of seeming security in Egypt, the Promise was achieved.  If Moses had believed the multitude who vehemently did not believe in him, he would have stayed; then Exodus might have awaited another messiah in another generation – while the people lingered still in slavery, oddly ‘convinced’ that their stranded Moses could not have succeeded after all.  You will always prove somebody right whether you try or not; whether you fail or you succeed.

  1. The Verdict is Up to You

The doubters that followed out of Egypt did not go beyond the deserts that they had feared, of which they had severely warned. Moses lives on.  Those who believe in their God enough to believe in themselves will always outlast their doubters, but those who believe in their doubters will perish convincingly.  You will always prove somebody’s point whether you fail or you succeed.  The choice is up to you.

From The Preacher’s diary,
January 6, 2006.

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Bolanle Musa
Bolanle Musa
1 month ago

We thank God that the excellency of power in us is God Himself.

Mary Kokoyo Edem
Mary Kokoyo Edem
1 month ago

I’m blessed.
Thank you sir.
Great grace in JESUS mighty name.

O.N
O.N
1 month ago

I believe that they experienced Stockholm Syndrome way back then. And it’s still happening to many folks today.

O.N
O.N
1 month ago

Thank God for his mercies and power to deliver his own.

Olugbenga Olajide
Olugbenga Olajide
1 month ago

The bitter truth!
Thanks prof.

Barry Oko-Enya
Barry Oko-Enya
1 month ago

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith simplifies our walk with God.

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