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Words of Faith Final

Words of Faith 9-27-2022
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2022
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Exodus 5
Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, "This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the desert.' "
[2] Pharaoh said, "Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go."
[3] Then they said, "The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now let us take a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, or he may strike us with plagues or with the sword."
[4] But the king of Egypt said, "Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their labor? Get back to your work!" [5] Then Pharaoh said, "Look, the people of the land are now numerous, and you are stopping them from working."

Moses and Aaron were both in their 80s when they marched in to see Pharaoh. The fact that they could even come into the presence of Pharaoh was likely because Moses had been raised as a prince of Egypt. They came in talking about their God to a ruler who was viewed by Egyptians to be a god, and they found a man who responded as his own god.
Pharaoh responded in a way that expressed his own godship or "self-rule." "Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and I will not let Israel go." Pharaoh was not about to let the Hebrews go. The idea of another "God" telling him what to do was ridiculous!
At the time of Moses' birth, the earlier Pharaoh had enslaved the Hebrews because of a fear that they were numerous and might pose a threat. But after 80 years of using the Hebrews as free labor, the issue of liberation was now a huge business decision. The massive Hebrew workforce allowed the Egyptians to enjoy affluence and leisure. The loss of free labor would be devastating to the economy and a shock to the Egyptians. We see Pharaoh's hard heart as he refuses to let the Hebrews go.
This story reminds us that the fundamental nature of sin is to claim rule over our own lives or "to be our own god. "Just as Eve sought to "be like God" in the Garden (Gen. 3:5), so Pharaoh chose to function as his own god in Egypt. A part of our fallen nature declares, "Who is the Lord, that I should obey him?"
Even as Christians, we exercise "godship" when we choose to walk after the flesh rather than walk by the Spirit of God. When we choose to live life "our way" rather than the Lord's, we do the same thing that Pharaoh did. We may be "saved" by God's grace and still rebel against the way and leading of the Spirit, following our sin nature instead.
One of the reasons that we rebel against the Lord is that we fundamentally misunderstand His nature. The Lord does not come to take away but to give. With Pharaoh, the Lord sought to give freedom to the Hebrews and return dignity to the Egyptians. An economy based on slavery is dehumanizing to all people.
But Pharaoh could only see the short-term effect. He was losing a commodity. We often respond in the same way. When the Lord asks us to trust and obey, it is so that He can bless us and give us the very best plan imaginable. But, like Pharaoh, we are often tempted to cling to control of our lives and possessions rather than discover the gift He is offering.
What about you? Is there an area of life that you have been clinging to? Is there a request or call from the Lord God that you have resisted? Is there an area of life that you have stubbornly refused to surrender because you are afraid you may "lose" out? There is a straightforward answer to the problem of "godship"; it is Lordship-- surrendering to the Lord of all the universe.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11).

Lord God, teach me the meaning of surrender to Your rule and way in my life. You are the Lord. You are the One true God. I am listening. In Jesus' name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2022
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2022 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.