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Cloud of Witnesses IV

March 5, 2007

Genesis 50:24-25  “And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.  And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God shall surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.”

The life of Joseph is an incredible account by any stretch of the imagination.  Sold by his brothers, falsely accused by Mrs. Potiphar, and forgotten by the butler.  He was blessed of God in every state of trying and one day, everything came together when Pharaoh had a dream which none could interpret.  God gave Joseph the interpretation to the dream and suddenly all of the seemingly unconnected events of his past made perfect sense.  Had he not been sold, accused, and forgotten, (all three events had to happen) he would have not been in the right place at the right time and not only would the money fail in Egypt but a famine would have ensued which may well have done them all in. 

As we know, Pharaohs dram told of seven plentiful years followed by seven years of drought.  The dream was to cause preperation for the drought and thereby preserving life until things returned to normal.  (Genesis 45:5-6)  With the instructions that Joseph gave concerning his bones, he demonstrated his belief in the promise of God to bring them into the land which God had promised unto Abraham.  This may have seemed unlikely at the time as the Hebrews were settling and prospering in the land of Goshen and the future actions of the king which knew not Joseph would have seemed very unlikely.  His thoughts were on that which was to come and not on the contemporary; regardless of how appropriate the current situation may have been. 

Hebrews 11:22-23  “By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.  By faith Moses, whe he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.” 

I just had a thought concerning this.  Suppose that Moses life had not been in jeopardy at the time of his birth.  He would have grown up in a Hebrew household, would not have been schooled in all the knowledge of the Egyptians and would not have never faced the trial that will be mentioned shortly.  Also I was thinking of the danger to Moses family if they had been discovered hiding the child.  The wrath of the Egyptians may have caused the entire family to be done away with.  The sheer numbers of the Hebrews troubled the Egyptians to begin with and such an act of defiance would certainly been treated as a threat to the status quo.  Moses family took the risk as they too looked beyond the present.  It’s amazing when you read these accounts, how Gods plans may seem totally off the wall if one observes the individual segments.  But when they come together, it’s an awesome thing to behold, and God is glorified. 

Hebrews 11:24-25  “By faith Moses, when he was come of years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;  Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;”

A lot of insight in this passage.  It acknowledges the truth in that there is a temporal pleasure in sin; a very short lived pleasure that must constantly be fed.  It can never satisfy, but can be fun for a while.  Hebrews 3:13 warns us to exhort each other as to not become hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  Moses chose rather to suffer afliction with the people of God.  Most of us have heard the old saying “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.”  I have two responses to this.  One –  I have more joy unspeakable now than I ever did when I was undone.  Two –  I would much rather be in the camp of the saints; regardless of what may be coming against the camp.  The next two verses are beyond awesome.

Hebrews 11:26-27  “Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.  By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” 

That last part; “as seeing him who is invisible” says it all.  He dwelt in Midian and kept the flock of Jethro,  his father-in-law.  A far cry indeed from the lavish settings of Pharaohs household, abiding in an almost inhospitable land with scorching hot days cold star filled nights.   The same star filled sky that David sat beneath as he meditated upon the deep things of God.  When we arrive at a place where we can, if need be, walk away from it all; even in the face of conventional wisdom, it’s a beautiful thing.  It’s a necessary willingness that I pray we would all grasp the concept of in its fulness. 

Hebrews 11:28  “Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.”

Exodus 12:13  “And the blood shall be to you a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.”

Wow!  The saints are washed in the blood of Jesus which was shed for us and is also available to any who will come to him; even in these late moments.  What an awesome gift of salvation.  This morning, (yesterday morning rather as it’s almost 2:00am) three folks, Jean, Dawn, and David accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Of all the great things which the Lord does, nothing compares to a new name being written down in glory and an eternity of torment averted.  One can never say it enough; “Our God is an awesome God!”  

I was thinking about the plagues of Egypt; the likes of which I cannot fathom folks going through.  The last one left no household untouched; only those with the blood on the door posts were protected.  I can imagine the Hebrews; hearing the screems throughout the night as those not protected by the blood had their world altered in a single moment.  We tend to lose sight of the truth that God holds in his hand the very breath of life.  Sometimes we wonder why some folks can live a completly ungodly lifestyle and prosper.  God sees it all, but he is longsuffering.  That person is breathing only because our God is merciful, and allowing their window of grace to continue on.  I am eternally grateful that my window of grace didn’t expire in August of 1983. 

Well time to wrap this post up.  I have to run to Elkhart in the morning and therefore, this had to be done tonight.  I would ask prayer over Jean, Dawn, and David.  I know that the days are full of deceptions but that if they truly gave their hearts to Jesus this morning (yesterday morning) the Holy Spirit will guide them in all truth.  Just as he did and continues to do for all who love the Lord in spirit and in truth.  Amen! 

Jude 24-25  “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,  To the only wise God our savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen”

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7 comments

  1. Good post, good reminder and wonderful news of the those three who made professions of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    There is not quite like new births, nothing. New life resulting in new lives, fragile, yet alive and living. May they be discipled in the Lord Jesus Christ and may they come to know him, the Lord Jesus, in ever increasingly deeper and more intimate ways, growing in His Holy and Living Word and bearing the marks of true servanthood, in righteous obedience, all for the greater glory, honor and praise of the Lord Jesus Christ!

    Blessings in Christ Jesus brother!


  2. Father God, we are rejoicing with you and the angels over your lost children who have come home! Praise You, Lord, for your longsuffering and patience to bring your children into the household of faith in Jesus Christ. Lord, I pray that your Word will fall deep into the hearts of Jean, Dawn and David where it will take firm root on fertile ground. Lord, please pour at out your great blessings upon them and make them feel like your only child – forever firm in their salvation, to walk in your presence without ceasing, overflowing with your Holy Spirit so that they contagiously share their story of eternal salvation with those you will send them! This prayer is offered in the precious name of Jesus Christ. Amen!


  3. I am always glad to hear of new brothers coming to Christ. HALLELUJAH!


  4. “Jean, Dawn, and David” -the angels got to rejoice three times this morning.

    The story of Joseph is a treasure trove of encouragement for those who are locked behind bars in our penal system. Even while Joseph is deprived of freedom, God is able to bless and promote him.


  5. I thank God, too, that my window of grace didn’t expire. He is truly generous and patient. I am troubled about my friends who are not saved, worrying every day about their window of grace narrowing, closing. None of us knows when we’ll be taken. I just want to grab them and shake them; not a good approach to witnessing, huh?


  6. Some of what you wrote reminds me of the message my husband preached yesterday, which he entitled, I’ll Take The Hard Road. Also, when you spoke of Joseph, my mind went back to a message I heard a few years ago called “Your Setback is really a Set Up.” Sometimes things happen in our lives that don’t seem to make sense at the time or don’t seem fair, but if we’re trusting in God, He has a way of turning things around for His glory!


  7. […] 1Cloud of Witnesses IV « Grace County SUBMIT […]



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