Tuesday, June 23, 2009

HOW PHARAOH LEARNED ABOUT GOD'S MERCY

~ OR ~
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TAKING ADVANTAGE OF
THE LONG-SUFFERING NATURE
OF GOD
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Lately, our Sunday School lessons have been focusing on Moses and Pharaoh in Exodus, chapters 5-15.
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I have been pondering what The LORD could be showing us for today's living in these Old Testament Scriptures.
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Certainly, HE+ must be speaking to us in these lessons... because The LORD JESUS CHRIST is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
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<(((><
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We all know the familiar story about the LORD'S ancient people, the Hebrews, living in Eygpt for about 400 or so years. During that time, they became slaves and oppressed. They were badly mistreated.
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At the time of Moses' birth, the Hebrew slaves were ordered to cast their male babies into the Nile River. Some books say the Hebrew babies were eaten by the crocodiles which lived along the Nile and were considered "sacred" ~ the crocodiles, not the babies ~ in some parts of Egypt. Some books say this command was lifted after a couple of years, under a new ruler. [I do not really know this for certain, not having researched this myself. ]
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We know that The LORD sent Moses back to Egypt with instructions to tell Pharaoh to let MY+ people go. Pharaoh, of course, did not recognize the authority of this GOD Who was telling him to do something. Pharaoh rejected Moses' Word from the GOD of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, and thus, refused to obey it.
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<(((><
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So, did The LORD destroy Pharaoh ?
NO.
The LORD, in His mercy,
gave Pharaoh a glimpse
of His great power.
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<(((><
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The LORD commanded Moses to show Pharaoh the great sign of Aaron's rod becoming a serpent. That serpent swallowed up Pharaoh's dark magicians' serpents.
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<(((><
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So then, did Pharaoh believe that the LORD,
the GOD Whom Moses served,
was powerful ?
YES!
Did Pharaoh care that HE was powerful?
NO!
So, did The LORD destroy Pharaoh?
NO!
The LORD showed Pharaoh
His Mercy, once again.
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<(((><
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In The LORD'S mercy, HE sent the first plague of waters-turning-to-blood, through the hand of Moses, as Moses obeyed the LORD and smote the waters of the "sacred" Nile with his rod.
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<(((><
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So then, did Pharaoh believe that The LORD,
the GOD Whom Moses served was powerful?
YES!
Did Pharaoh care that HE was powerful?
NO!

So, did The LORD destroy Pharaoh then?
NO.
The LORD showed Pharaoh
His mercy, once again.
.
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<(((><
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On and on the confrontation continued, all through the plagues of blood, frogs, lice, flies, murrain sores on livestock, boils upon both animals and Egyptians, hail and fire, locusts, darkness...
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<(((><
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Until finally... did Pharaoh believe that The LORD,
the GOD Whom Moses served was powerful?
YES!

Did Pharaoh care that HE was powerful?
NO!

So, did The LORD destroy Pharaoh then?
NO.

By the end of these confrontations, what did Pharaoh know...

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REALLY KNOW...

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about the GOD Whom Moses served?

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<(((><

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Pharaoh knew: HE was powerful and HE was merciful.

And, that was ALL that Pharaoh

needed to know

in order to obey HIM.

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<(((><

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DON'T WE KNOW THE SAME THINGS....

AND EVEN MORE SO...

IN CHRIST JESUS,

WHOM WE CALL "LORD" ?

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<(((><

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Did the knowledge of GOD'S Great power

and evidence of His Great mercy

change Pharaoh?

NO.

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<(((>< .
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NEITHER WILL IT CHANGE US...
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unless we obey HIM+ in Spirit and in Truth,
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for The FATHER seeketh such to worship HIM.
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<(((><
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In the name of the FATHER, Who created us,
and His beloved SON Who saves us,
and The Blessed HOLY SPIRIT
Who sanctifies us.
+ + +

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