So, Where Are You?

That’s the question I concluded the message with last Sunday night.  Where are you?  Exodus 1, where I preached last Sunday, opens with the location of God’s people.  While Abraham and Isaac wandered away from the best path for their lives by going “down to Egypt,” Joseph and his brothers were placed in Egypt by God’s sovereign hand.  They were right in the middle of the will of God.

The passage then descends into a dark and very dismal cavern of history.  God’s people are despised and put to hard, forced labor.  The amazing thing is that they continue to prosper. The point we made from the passage is that circumstances change but the brightness of God’s promises never change. I gave three other Bible characters prior to Exodus 1 who gave noticable reaction to the promises of God to them. 

1.  Eve – When Eve gave birth to their first child, Cain, she exclaimed that she had received a man from the Lord (Gen. 4:1).  I believe she thought Cain was the answer to the promise God gave in Genesis 3:15 of the coming Savior.  The word we attached to Eve as she responded to God’s promise was ANTICIPATION. She lived with a very imminent sense that God’s words were sure and what he said would happen, and she actually lived every day as if it would happen that day!

2.  Noah – After the great flood had subsided and Noah exited the ark with all the animals and his family, he built an altar to God with some of the choicest of his animals.  He took of “every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar” (Gen. 8:20).  He thoroughly gave of that which cost him something as a response to the fact that God’s promises are very sure.  The word we used for Noah’s reaction to God’s promise in his life was CONSECRATION.

3.  Abraham – If there ever was a promise as big as the heavens, Abraham received it from God.  Genesis 15:5 is God bringing him out under the sky and saying, “Look now toward the heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them…so shall thy seed be.” You might think his immediate reaction would be to build and altar and worship like Noah. Not so.  Abraham does what we almost think might be forbidden to do…he asks a clarifying question.  Was God not clear?  Did Abraham not recognize God’s voice?  None of the above.  Abraham, the text says, did believe what God said (vs.6). However, his question reveals what happens to most of us: we falter.  We just find it hard to believe that what God said is really, really going to happen.  Put yourself in his shoes…he has no children…he is older…and the promise is that his children will be more in number than sand.  I would have a hard time with that.  So the word we gave to Abraham in the message was CLARIFICATION.  Yes, our response should be belief, but go ahead, ask God to clarify the way.

4.  Joseph – Genesis 50:25 may be my favorite words in the whole book of Genesis.  Joseph makes the people take an oath and says, “God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.”  No uncertainty there. He is talking like it has already happened.  And in a certain sense when a promise is given, the decision part has happened.  Because if God is in the matter, He cannot deny His character and go back on a promise.  Our word for Joseph was EXPECTATION.

Anticipation…Consecration…Clarification…Expectation.  Do any of those words characterize your walk with God? So, where are you in relation to the promises of God?

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