Weekend, November 25, 2023
Where to Build Your Faith
People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed. (Proverbs 10:9 NLT)
Will Rogers said, “So live that you would not mind selling your pet parrot to the town gossip.”
That is the idea of integrity. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Personal character and integrity are things that we develop on a daily basis. With every thought we think, with every deed we do, we are either building it up or tearing it down.
Moses was a man of integrity, so much so that his influence and personal godliness prevented more than two million Israelites from turning full tilt to idolatry. As long as Moses was around, his influence was so profound, significant, and strong that it kept these people from doing the wrong thing.
God had instructed Moses to go to Pharaoh and demand the release of the Israelites in Egypt. But Pharaoh refused, and his heart grew harder. Then God sent a series of ten successive plagues on Egypt, each growing in intensity. Finally and reluctantly, Pharaoh relented.
God supernaturally looked out for the Israelites, and as they were making their way out of Egypt, they came to an apparent impasse. Before them was the Red Sea. To the right and left was treacherous territory they could not enter. And behind them was Egypt.
To make matters worse, Pharaoh and his army were in hot pursuit. But Moses told the Israelites, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm” (Exodus 14:13-14 NLT).
Then God opened up the Red Sea, and the Israelites crossed through on dry ground. However, the sea came crashing back down on the pursuing Egyptian army and drowned them in the process.
Once the Israelites reached the other side, they sang a song of praise to God. Then He began to lead them through the wilderness in a very clear and obvious way. During the day, there was an ever-present cloud. When the cloud moved, they were to move. When the cloud stopped, they were to stop. At night, a pillar of fire led them.
God provided for their physical needs as well. Every morning when they walked out of their tents, breakfast was waiting for them in the form of fresh manna. God faithfully provided it every day. All they had to do was gather it and enjoy it.
Amazingly, in spite of the miracles they witnessed, it took a relatively short period of time for them to turn to idol worship while Moses was away.
This reminds us that miracles don’t necessarily guarantee godly living. The Israelites’ problem came down to one thing: the shallowness and superficiality of their faith. Their first idol was Moses himself. They never seemed to develop their own relationship with God. That is a wonderful tribute to the influence of a godly leader, but it is also a criticism pointing to their lack of personal faith.
God can use people in our lives, but we must never let people take the place of God in our lives.
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