Monday I started my reflections from the retreat I attended but got a bit side tracked with family days and rants. So today it is back to fears. Here we go with part 2.
I started the week writing about why we fear in, “Why Am I Afraid? What Does the Bible Say About Fear?” Today I want us to take those fears that we listed and see what the promises of God say to those fears.
Take the worst fear you have on your list. Now play it out in your mind. Let that worst fear go to the worst place. Maybe in your worst fear your marriage ends, your child dies, or someone you love walks away from the Lord.
Keep that there and let’s visit Exodus 3 & 4. Here we find Moses exiled from his royal life in Egypt tending sheep. As he leads his flock, the angel of the Lord comes to him, speaking in burning bush that is not consumed by fire. The voice of God speaks his name. “When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.” God then calls Moses to a terrifying work. Moses must go home and challenge the Pharaoh to let the Hebrew slaves go. Some historians have figured that at this time the man who was raised as Moses’ brother Ramses was king. Even if that isn’t the case, the Pharaoh was most likely someone from Moses’ family.
So here he is, in the desert, speaking to God, being sent back to challenge his adoptive family to let the people of his birth go FREE.
Even after God promises to be with him, Moses protests God twice. God says this:
God replied to Moses, “I Am Who I Am. Say this to the people of Israel: I Am has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.
This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations.
“Now go and call together all the elders of Israel. Tell them, ‘The Lord, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me. He told me, “I have been watching closely, and I see how the Egyptians are treating you. I have promised to rescue you from your oppression in Egypt. I will lead you to a land flowing with milk and honey…
“But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand forces him. So I will raise my hand and strike the Egyptians, performing all kinds of miracles among them. Then at last he will let you go. And I will cause the Egyptians to look favorably on you. They will give you gifts when you go so you will not leave empty-handed. Every Israelite woman will ask for articles of silver and gold and fine clothing from her Egyptian neighbors and from the foreign women in their houses. You will dress your sons and daughters with these, stripping the Egyptians of their wealth.”
In this passage of scripture God reveals His identity. He doesn’t just promise to get the Hebrews out by the skin of their teeth. He promises that they Egyptians will look favorably on them and give them gifts as they leave. Amazing.
Yet Moses continues to protest. As Moses argues with God his staff is turned into a serpent and his hand was made leprous. But Moses struggle to accept God continues.
Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”
Moses AGAIN pleads with God to send someone else.
Then the Lord became angry with Moses…
Despite his insecurities, his fears, and his resistance to God, Moses finally obeys. God follows through with ALL His promises. God protects Moses, works through him, and frees an entire population of people from their oppressors.
What can God do through you if you stop excusing your immobility with your fears?
How did Moses conquer his fear? He believed in a God who was able.
It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward. It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.
So today, what ever those fears are, know this, God promises to see you through. GOD IS ABLE!
But all who listen to me will live in peace,
untroubled by fear of harm. Proverbs 1:33
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10