God spoke to and through Moses, using him to make a written history of the nation of Israel. The books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Number, and Deuteronomy were all written by Moses. These five books memorialize Israel’s path to freedom and the journey through the wilderness to the Promised Land. In the book of Numbers, the Hebrew people made it to the Promised Land but did not have the courage to obtain what God had rightfully intended for them.
The Israelites spent four hundred years in the land of Egypt, where they went from honored guests to the bondage of slavery. God had a plan and used the faith of one man who gave up the riches of Egypt to be loyal to his Hebrew roots. Time and time again, God showed Himself mighty on the Israelites behalf through signs and wonders. He freed them from the most powerful empire on earth at the time and led a nation of three million people into the wilderness while taking care of all their physical needs during this journey of redemption.
They arrived in the Promised Land to find that the current inhabitants were fearsome giants, who had established nations that would be very difficult to conquer. Moses wisely sent out twelve spies into the land to report on the challenges they would be facing. One common quote states, “Ten said no and two said go!” The discouraged ten basically said, “There is no way we can defeat these enemies! We are like ants in their sight!”
The two spies brave enough to be in support of taking back the Promised Land were Joshua and Caleb. These are the only men of the twelve that most people remember today. They said, in Numbers 14:8, “If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.” Joshua and Caleb were men of faith who remembered not only the promises of God, but all the miraculous things that God did for Israel in the past.
The people of Israel responded with negative emotions. They lifted up their voices and the people mourned all night. Then after hearing the encouraging side of the argument, they shouted for Joshua and Caleb to be stoned. When God calls a congregation to step out in faith, there will always be hesitation among those with little or no faith in God.
When people respond to God’s call to live by faith, we find these common reactions when people lack faith or are crippled by fear. We are first attacked by negative emotions as the Hebrew people were. Sometimes people allow their emotions to drive them to forget to look to God as the Provider and Leader of their life. It is easy to begin to murmur and complain against the people trying to challenge and encourage us to do the right thing. The Israelites murmured against Moses and Aaron, saying they would have rather died in Egypt or the wilderness than face these daunting opponents. They even went so far as to consider replacing Moses and going back to Egypt.
Many Christians today want a life that they can manage in their own strength. However, that lifestyle brings no glory to God and does not grow our faith. God has a land that flows with milk and honey waiting for all of us, but we must conquer the giants in our way. The Promised Land was so abundant that it took two men to carry one cluster of grapes. God wants to bless us abundantly beyond what we can think or imagine. But, we must step out in faith and take hold of the promises of God, and believe that He will do what we cannot.
It’s amazing how rapidly we forget how bad life was without Christ. How foolish our thoughts can be when we are filled with fear. We are too quick to run back to the bondage we once were in, to which we have become “numb”. When our faith is weak, we easily become critical and begin to silence the voices of biblical reason. Do not be offended by the Word of God or critical of those preaching it. God wants to build your faith, so embrace the challenges and believe that God will pull you through them.
God blesses us when we have the right attitude and make the right choices, but he is offended when we do not. After seeing the attitude of the people of God who responded negatively to Moses, God stated “How long will this people provoke me? And how long will it be ere (before) they believe me.” After all the signs and miracles God did for these people they still lacked faith and were fearful. We too often forget all the blessings in our life when we face problems that seem unconquerable.
Time and time again, God proved His reliability to the Hebrew nation. Therefore God declared, “I will smite them with pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.” When we choose not to listen to God, we should expect unnecessary trouble. God is just and has the full intention of fulfilling all of His promises. However, God did spare the nation of Israel and showed them mercy.
God promised in Psalm 9:17, “The wicked shall be turned to hell and all nations that forget God.” This passage points out that the nation that knows God, like Israel, will face great judgment when they turn away from God, and the same principle applies to America. In Proverbs, it says that God chastens those He loves and scourges His children. Psalms 33:12 states the opposite, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord: and the people who He hath chosen for his own inheritance.” We have seen the evidence of this promise in our country over its 240 year history.
God chose to spare the nation of Israel despite their lack of faith and disloyalty to God’s chosen leader Moses. Is this not relevant to our country today in 2016? Are we not as a sovereign nation uniquely in our history, openly dependent upon God as our Creator and the Bible as our guide? A majority, if not all of our founding fathers, were members of Bible preaching churches and attended services weekly.
It has only been within my lifetime that prayer and Bible reading were not part of the curriculum in our public schools. God’s hand print is all over our federal and state capitols. James Madison said, “Our founding fathers accomplished a revolution, which has no parallel in the annals (records) of human history. They reared the fabrics of a government, which has no model on the face of the globe.” That statement is by a man who knew the history of the world and recognized the obvious hand of God in the United States of America.
The communication between God and Moses brought mercy upon Israel, but there were still consequences. No person of the age of accountability set foot in the Promised Land, except for Joshua and Caleb. The ten fearful spies died in the pestilence. God was still good and took care of them during their endless cycle of wandering in the wilderness.
God showed mercy because of men of faith like Caleb, Joshua, and Moses. We need men of that caliber to have faith for God to do the same for America. We need people that will pray to God as Moses did. Israel was rescued by the prayer of one man. Do not think that you are irrelevant!
Moses used a fascinating argument with God in Number 14:13-19, to defend the Israelites. He reminds God that they are His people and other nations know of how great and mighty is their God. He then reminds God of what the other nations will think and say when they see that God has abandoned his own people. God has raised America up to be the greatest nation on the earth and he certainly can sustain us if we stand up and prove ourselves faithful in prayer for our nation. If Sodom and Gomorrah had ten righteous men, then God would not have destroyed that city. I see our country today with many Christ-honoring people.
We need to do everything we can to preserve our country. We must look to the future considering what kind of a land we want our children and grandchildren to live in. God is jealous of His reputation! He wants everyone to know that he is able to do exceedingly and abundantly beyond all that we ask or think.
Remember the three Hebrew men faced a fiery furnace and said, “Our God will deliver us.” And that is exactly what God did! Will you pray that God will deliver this nation and make you a person of great faith? Join with me today in prayer pleading on the behalf of our country.
November 8th of 2016 is a day that we Americans get to celebrate our freedoms and vote for our elected officials in congress, and more importantly, the next President of the United States. Our country has come to a crossroad, where on Tuesday Nov 8th, our country will pick one of two very different political platforms, and even farther contrasting candidates to lead our nation for the next four years. This election should be a high priority on our prayer lists. We need to be informed and active in our civic duties of voting, and encouraging others to be responsible citizens and vote for leaders that are well qualified to lead our nation, and which share similar values.
We can easily get too focused on the people and overlook the policies and issues they represent. We need to be well aware of both parties’ policies, so that we can vote to maintain good policies and change bad policies in our government. The policies of the current administration would have been unthinkable a couple of decades ago. So my question to you is, do you know the party platforms for the candidates that you intend on voting for?
From the Bible, in the second chapter of Daniel we see four young men who positively influenced the bad policies of the pagan land they lived in known as Babylon. These four men were taken into captivity and placed in the service of King Nebuchadnezzar, and they proved themselves worthy to be among the wise men in his court. The King had a dream that none of the wise men of Babylon could interpret, so he decided they should all be put to death. This was one of his bad policies and it did not make Daniel and his friends’ future look very bright.
Today we have two dramatically opposing party platforms being presented to us this year. The Republican platform is considered one of the most conservative ever presented in the history of their party. The document states, “The unborn child has the right to life.” It strongly opposes the Supreme Court ruling of United States v. Windsor that took away Congress’ right to define marriage policy in federal law. The Republican platform also condemns the Obergefell v. Hodges case where the document specifies “Five unelected lawyers (meaning the U.S. Supreme Court) robbed 320 million American of their legitimate constitutional authority to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”
The Democratic platform takes a strong stance opposing the right-to-life of unborn children, and also opposes the definition of marriage as solely between one man and one woman. The Democratic platform focuses on more government regulations and oversight, which leads to a larger government, higher taxes, and an ever expanding and dangerously high nation debt.
We are blessed to live in a country where we have the freedom to elect the local, state, and national representatives that will govern us. They will make laws and take the positions in the best interest of the people who elected them. It is very clear to see that the bad policies we have today will either be changed for the better, or the country will continue down the road of increased moral decay and decline.
When Daniel was told of the decree that would potentially soon end his life, he immediately sought an audience with the King and asked for more time to come up with the meaning of this dream. Daniel went to his companions and they came to the Lord in prayer. God then revealed the secret of this dream in a night vision. It is encouraging to see how Daniel and his friends changed bad government policy through prayer. I hope we can realize that there is no fluff in the bible at all, and it is inspired by God and is profitable.
These four high caliber godly men are better than 10,000 mediocre men. We need men and women of prayer who have biblical roots like these men did. When they were first brought to Babylon, they refused the luxuries of the Kings table, and instead chose to eat vegetables and water in order to remain pure and healthy.
Daniel and his friends cultivated edifying relationships with those of similar convictions and with the leadership. They remained friends because they had parallel priorities and the same beliefs about God. We need relationships that will build us up and draw us near to God. Though they were young, they were able to relate to older people and gain the favor of their leaders. The Bible tells us that in matters of wisdom and understanding, these four men from Israel were found to be ten times better than all other wise men.
When God blesses Daniel and saves the wise men, Daniel gives credit to the Lord, thus showing great humility. We need this humility in our leaders today, and throughout the political realm. Daniel blessed the God of heaven and believed he was worthy of praise both in public and in private. He knew God was wise and strong. Daniel believed that God could change the inevitable and unchangeable. Do you believe God is bigger than the problems we are facing today?
There are some Daniels in politics today, and it is not an accident that the Republican platform is the most conservative platform in history. People were working towards that and God was blessing it as well. When bad policies violate God’s word, let us pray and seek to live in such a way that God will hear our prayers as he did Daniels and our lives will influence our leaders.
I encourage you to pray for this conservative platform. My prayer begins to ask God to, “Give us leadership that will protect the rights of unborn children and that will protect the sanctity of marriage.” We need to pray for our leaders, but also for the policies that they will enact, and for every election. Pray that God will raise up Daniels in our country that will bring change for the better, and draw us back to our Judeo-Christian values and principles that have been the foundation of our law and policies over the past 240 plus years. May we always remember our national motto, “In God we trust.”
For more information on party platforms please click here
Republican party platform please click here
Democratic party platform please click here
“My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man.” — Proverb 3:1-4
When Solomon looked into the eyes of Rehoboam, I believe he saw these two wonderful qualities: mercy and truth, qualities that are so much a part of God’s character. Because he said to Rehoboam, “let not mercy and truth forsake thee,” it seems that those qualities were already present. Solomon saw a kind, loving, gentle, forgiving, and generous son. So he looked into his eyes and said, “Listen, son whatever you do in life, do not allow mercy to depart. Don’t let them run away either.” You see God is the perfect balance of all good character traits, and He possesses the perfect blend of mercy and truth. However, these characteristics are not for Him alone. It is God’s plan and God’s desire for you and me to become men and women of mercy, and at the same time, men and women of truth.
Don’t allow mercy and truth to run away; go after them. Rehoboam received very good advice from his father and counselors, but he did not heed it. He turned his back on the truth and did not respond with mercy. Where did mercy go? What happened to truth? It was not there any longer.
Rehoboam is a sad example of how absolutely imperative it is to maintain this balance. We all have a tendency for to allow them to escape or run away when it is most needed. Because mercy and truth generally do not like each other, they mix like oil and water. We must always maintain mercy and always maintain truth. The Truth is very much critical of mercy. Truth says, “Mercy, you’re weak. Mercy you don’t understand. If everything’s left to you, it’s going to fall apart.” On the other hand, mercy says, “Yes, but without me, you’d be harsh and drive people away.” The problem is that most people let one or the other depart. Generally, the one that departs is the one that is our weakness. Which one are you weaker in?
The commitment to keep mercy and truth is a decision you don’t make only one time in your life. Rehoboam had them once but eventually he let them run away. This is something you will have to come back to regularly. Knowing that, what can we do? How can we remain in balance between mercy and truth? Solomon said to Rehoboam,” Bind them (mercy and truth) about thy neck.” Make the decision to be kind, generous, gentle, good, and forgiving. Make the commitment to be honest, faithful, and truthful. Put on both mercy and truth, realizing that they are the key to being an effective leader. Problems are bound to occur without this critical balance.
Mercy and truth must become part of our character. Solomon also told Rehoboam, “Write them upon the table of thine heart.” In Bible times, writing on tables or tablets referred to carving something in stone. It was something that would never be changed or forgotten. That is how important both mercy and truth are. Proverbs 6:20-24 gives the idea that maintaining mercy and truth offers protection. It keeps us from evil as we navigate through life. Mercy and truth are vitally important as we walk with God day by day. Note the two analogies God uses – an outward, adorning necklace, and an inward tablet within our heart. Mercy and truth are for both outward and inward relationships.
The etching of God’s qualities in our character is a result of God’s hand on my hand. 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 states,”Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, in fleshly tables of the heart.” I want to be a balanced Christian with both mercy and truth, but to save my soul, I can’t seem to etch them in my character. I can’t change me; but what I can do is say, “God, I can’t change me, but You can; etch it in my character. Would You Help me?” He uses the writing instrument of the Holy Spirit to etch His character on my nature.
Now God is bringing me to a place of completeness in mercy and completeness in truth so that I can maximize my potential and effectiveness in every part of my life. That is the result of maintaining mercy and truth.” So shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man.”
Continuing in our series on How to pray in the Spirit Pauls says in Romans 8:26,
“…but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
[su_pullquote align=”right”]As the Holy Spirit births prayer burdens in our heart we have a fervent desire to express these things eloquently in prayer in such a way as to be answered. However often we can’t put words to the burdens of our heart, and we really just groan in our spirit, but don’t feel as if we’re accomplishing much.[/su_pullquote]In verse 26 the word ‘groanings’ is the greek word, ‘stenagmos’ which means heart murmurings. It is used in Acts 7:34, “...I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them.”
As the Holy Spirit births prayer burdens in our heart we have a fervent desire to express these things eloquently in prayer in such a way as to be answered. However often we can’t put words to the burdens of our heart, and we really just groan in our spirit, but don’t feel as if we’re accomplishing much. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit takes the groanings of our heart and turns them into intelligible prayers that God answers.
There are many examples of men and women who were so burdened for something that they couldn’t do anything but groan in prayer, but God answered them. An Old Testament example, of course, would be Hannah, she was in so much agony, and groaning in prayer for a child that the priest thought she was drunk.
In more modern times the example of Daniel Nash is instructive. He was one of Charles Finney’s advance men, meaning he would enter a city several weeks or months before a meeting just to pray. Finney relates a story of His prayer,
“When I got to town to start a revival a lady contacted me who ran a boarding house. She said, “Brother Finney, do you know a Father Nash? He and two other men have been at my boarding house for the last three days, but they haven’t eaten a bite of food. I opened the door and peeped in at them because I could hear them groaning, and I saw them down on their faces. They have been this way for three days, lying prostrate on the floor and groaning. I thought something awful must have happened to them. I was afraid to go in and I didn’t know what to do. Would you please come see about them?” “No it isn’t necessary,” I replied. “They just have a spirit of travail in prayer.”
In his travail for souls, like a woman in labor, all that Daniel Nash could do was groan. It is interesting to note what happened after Nash died. Finney stopped holding meetings. He took a church the groaning prayer warrior that had helped bring thousands to Christ through his meetings.
The Bibles says in verse 27, “…he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” This means that the Holy Spirit and God the father are in constant communion. The Holy Spirit takes our feeble prayers which have an inability to produce results. He then takes those and turns them into prayers that are according to the will of God. Why is this important you ask?
1 John 5:14-15 explains, “…this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” Prayer that is according to God’s will is the prayer that He answers.
[su_pullquote align=”right”]We can claim one of the 7,000 promises of the Word of God in prayer. When we claim these we are praying the will of God.[/su_pullquote]So how do we know the will of God? Two ways, the Word of God, and the Spirit of God. This is why it is so essential to pray the word of God. We can claim one of the 7,000 promises of the Word of God in prayer. When we claim these we are praying the will of God.
Likewise, it is just as essential to incorporate the Spirit of God in prayer. Because He is God, He obviously knows what His will is. So instead of bringing the same prayer list you have been praying over for twenty years. Start asking God what should I pray for?
When you pray for what He tells you, you will always have your prayer answered. This is because it is the will of God. So now we have seen the many benefits of praying in the Spirit. Let us start doing it and the results will be amazing.