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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

June 5, 2012 - Misplaced Hope?

By Jerry D. Scott

I sometimes think life would be easier “if only … ” — I had more money, I lived in Colorado, I could be 30 again, or the food I like wasn’t fattening. We look for hope in so many places, don’t we? For the believer, there is only one true Hope: the Lord himself.

God sent Moses to Egypt and charged him with leading the Israelites out of slavery and to the Promised Land. In Exodus 5, we learn Moses’ first encounter with Pharaoh was a disaster! Not only did Egypt’s ruler mock Moses and the Lord, Pharaoh doubled the workload of the Israelite slaves, who turned on Moses in anger.

What did Moses do? Find a new job? Move to a new city and take a new identity? Sorry, none of the above. The Bible says, “Moses returned to the Lord” (Exodus 5:22, NIV).

Admittedly, Moses’ prayer was little more than complaint: “O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me?” (Exodus 5:22). But here is the telling detail from this narrative: God listened and answered. It is the Lord’s answer I want you to focus on with me. In a wonderful three-part reply, God calls Moses, and us, to renewed hope in himself.

First, God says, “Trust in my Providence!” “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country” (Exodus 6:1). If Moses and Aaron had met success on their first visit to Pharaoh, they would most likely have congratulated themselves! God wanted the Israelites and the Egyptians to know, beyond question, He was the mover and shaker in this great deliverance. The difficulties were a means of creating utter dependence on Him.

Second, God says, “Know me Personally!” “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them” (Exodus 6:2,3). God told Moses that the trials would lead him to a deeper intimacy with God himself. Moses was given the Name of God, the holy Name that was so revered by the Hebrews they would not speak it. So in the Scripture text, we read the word they substituted: Lord. Where you see that in all capital letters, that is a clue that the personal Name of God, Yahweh (some say, “Jehovah”) appears. His Name means, “the I Am,” “the Self-Existent One,” or “the One who is Present.”

Third, God says, “Renew your hope in my Promises!” “Say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord’” (Exodus 6:6-8). Seven “I wills” are God’s declaration. And the promises are bracketed by the statement, “I am the Lord.” God secures the promise with the honor of His Name!

Believer, God is our Hope! Money might make life simpler, but you can’t buy peace with God, nor exempt yourself from life’s trials with wealth. Pleasure may divert your attention away from suffering, in your own life or in the world around you, but when the music stops playing and the dance is over, reality returns. God does not fail. Return to Him. Renew your worship, deepen your devotion, lay aside your complaints.

Trust His Providence!
Know Him Personally!
Renew your hope in His Promises!

— Jerry D. Scott is senior pastor at Washington (N.J.) Assembly of God.



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