They Feared The Fire, Pt. 1

Exodus 24:1-8… “And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel…” (v. 1, KJV).

At this point, the nation of Israel had been in the wilderness for a very short time. Moses gathered the people together, built an altar, and erected twelve pillars that represented the twelve tribes of Israel. Burnt offerings and peace offerings were made. Then, under God’s direction, Moses read out of the book of the covenant in the presence of all the people. The people responded with “All the words which the LORD hath said will we do” (v. 3, KJV). When God’s presence is there, most people will respond positively.

Exodus 24:9-11… “Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink” (KJV).

What an experience–they saw God, and ate and drank! Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, Joshua, and seventy elders saw the supernatural. They saw the sapphire stone under God’s feet which symbolizes the clearness of God’s government. Nothing is hidden from God. God is very attentive in what He is doing; He sees everything clearly. After this experience, Moses was asked to come up higher (for forty days). There, on the mount, Moses was given the tables of the law and commanded to teach them to the people after he returned. Joshua also went up closer, along with the elders, and they were told to tarry in their tents at the foot of the mountain until Moses got back. Aaron and Hur were left in charge (Aaron represented the spiritual side and Hur represented the physical side of the camp), and what a mess they made! Exodus 24:15-18 tells us that Moses went up into the cloud, into the glory, into God’s presence. Moses was there six days before God even spoke. The children of Israel could see the cloud, the glory, and the fire from down below. For the rest of the forty days, Moses received the design for the construction for the tabernacle. Meanwhile, in the camp at the foot of the mountain, a different god was being fashioned. When God’s presence is not in the church, people will influence their leaders to do stupid, religious things. They will produce what is very much against the heart of God. Exodus 32:7 (KJV) uses the words “corrupted themselves.” They had church at the foot of the mountain and began to decay spiritually. (Just like many present-day churches, holding worship services and preaching while God isn’t even there.) Have you ever wondered how the anointed could do stupid things after seeing God, feasting, and having fellowship with Him?

Follow on into Exodus 32:1-6… “And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play” (KJV).

(To be continued…)

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2013 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Stand Still And See The Salvation Of God, Pt. 2

(Part 2 of 2)

The third word was, “See the salvation of the Lord” (Exodus 14:13, KJV). (Remember that the word “salvation” also means deliverance). The message is “change what you see.” Don’t see the blockades to your future. See God opening a way to your future. Don’t see the devil closing your future. See God’s deliverances. Some days it’s hard to drive out unbelief because we see the negatives. Exercise your faith to see the positives (Hebrews 11:1-40).

The fourth word was, “The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace” (Exodus 14:14, KJV). This is a much-needed word. In essence, God says, “I’ll fight; you keep your mouth shut.” All too often we negate our faith because we talk too much. Unbelief and speaking negatively have robbed us of miracles. I heard a Christian executive say that he has a motto on his desk that reads, “Keep your words nice and sweet just in case you have to eat them” (Andy Rooney). We do have to eat a lot of our words sometimes, don’t we? Faith does not struggle. Faith lets God win the battle for you. Real faith refuses to panic. Remember, don’t give God your battle plans. God has His own plans to fight for you.

The fifth word was, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward” (Exodus 14:15, KJV). God tells Moses to quit crying. The word “criest” means “to call loudly, shout.” Was God saying to Moses, “Don’t you dare shout at me! Moses, speak to the people to go forward”? First he says, “stand still”; now he says, “go forward.” This is not a contradiction. Remember the word to stand still was a word telling them to pull up the tent pegs and be ready to march. Now they are to go forward and to start walking.

The sixth word was, “But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it” (Exodus 14:16, KJV). What a command. By the word of the Lord, Moses did just that, and the sea divided and the people walked over on dry ground. Our troubles would soon be solved if we used our God-given authority over our problems and spoke the word of the Lord. It’s speaking the word that empowers our faith to see miracles. The moment that Moses obeyed the word of the Lord something great happened. Verse 19 states, “And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them [between Israel and the Egyptians]. The sea was no longer a problem, and now the enemy was no longer the problem either. God did something else, also; the cloud that brought darkness to Pharaoh brought light to the people of God. It’s always like this if we can believe it. 1 Thessalonians 5:5 says, “For you all are the sons of light and of the day. We are not of night nor of darkness” (NASB). For the enemy to touch God’s people they had to first get God out of the way. Please read that again… For the enemy to touch God’s people they had to first get God out of the way. Pharaoh was in the dark about what God was doing for His people. God keeps the devil in the dark about what He wants to do for you and your future. The Lord made a way through the sea and a way for Israel’s future. What is the sea that is holding you back? Isaiah 43:15-16 says, “I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your king. Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in mighty waters” (KJV). God is the creator of the church through Christ. He is our king, and by His word, He opens a path for us through the sea of troubles in life that we face. What is the sea that is hindering you? Is it finances, family troubles, sin, job needs? Do you need guidance, or a word for your next move? Have you positioned yourself to move and are your tent pegs out? Are you expecting a miracle?

Verses 24-31… The next morning the Lord looked over towards the enemy and troubled them. “He knocked their wheels off.” Or we might say, “God knocked their socks off.”  The enemy was trying to follow God’s people through the sea. God doesn’t like the enemy following His people. Did you hear that? The opening of the sea was for Israel and not for the devil. As a matter of fact, the enemy said, “God fights for His people and not for us; let us flee” (v. 25). The word that God gave to Moses was for the people of God and not for the enemy. The word of God that works for us works against the devil. The water of the Red Sea was life to God’s people and death to God’s enemy. I believe that God is speaking to us today and saying, “Be ready to move into miracles.” If God has encamped you in a difficult place, then His purpose is to deliver you by a miracle. What often looks like death to you looks like victory to God. Exercise your faith. Prepare yourself for the moving of God on your behalf.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2013 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Mighty Men Of Valor, Pt. 1

Joshua 1:14… “But ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them” (KJV). Proverbs 3:27… “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.”

There is a very interesting incident in the book of Judges (chapters 6-8) that speaks about the men of Succoth and Penuel, who withheld food and water from Gideon and three hundred warriors in the time of battle. Catastrophe came upon them. First, let me give you a little background about the calling of Gideon and the Midian oppression.

The Midian oppression came at a time when the people of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. In the book of Judges, the story is told of how the people did what they felt was right in their own eyes and how they fell away from doing what was right in God’s eyes. The book of Judges is filled with people very much like us, people with potential greatness, yet wide open for catastrophe. When they trusted God and obeyed His laws, they made a strong godly impact upon society, and God’s glory was proclaimed. When they depended upon their own flesh, they sealed themselves in isolation for fear of their enemies. The marauders of Midian (and of the devil) came and tore their lives to pieces. Israel began to compromise with the enemy, and in doing so, they cut themselves off from the biblical roots of divine protection.

The Midian oppression came in time of harvest. 9/11 happened in a time of prosperity. The people of the U.S. watched as their hard work was torn down. The Midianites succeeded because there was no national or spiritual unity. We are seeing this same thing in our nation today. One motto today is “United we stand,” but at this time there is more division than ever. The book of Judges presents us with living examples of people who fell under oppression, and also of people who survived and flourished in times of adversity. When people draw back from God, God is not pleased (Hebrews 10:38-39). In spite of the hard times in our land, we still live in exciting and challenging times. What a day to serve the Lord and to help the mighty men of valor in our day who are serving the Lord in a fivefold faith project by subduing kingdoms, sowing righteousness, obtaining promises, stopping the mouths of lions, and quenching the fires of violence (Hebrews 11:33-34). There are violent fires burning in our society, such as the drug wars, AIDS, child abuse, murders, corporate stealing, homeless people, and much more. The devil is marching too.

In this Midian oppression, God called a mighty man of valor to be a deliverer. Judges 6 tells of his call and his commission. The name “Gideon” means “to cut down.” He was called to cut down the oppression caused by the Midianites. Isn’t this what Jesus came to do? He came “healing all who were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38, NASB). Isn’t this what we are to do? (Mark 16:15-20) Despite the nation’s persistent unbelief and disobedience, they cried unto the Lord, and He responded by calling a mighty man… an obscure farmer who nervously threshed wheat in hiding to escape detection. He didn’t look like a man of valor, yet the angel of the Lord called him exactly that because of the qualities of leadership that lay dormant in him (Judges 6:12). I strongly believe that the next great revivalist will not be found behind some pulpit. He will be found at home, sitting at the feet of Jesus and worshipping. Jesus called out Peter and said, “Thou art . . . Thou shalt be.” (John 1:42) Gideon was at first timid and fearful (Judges 6:13-15), but soon built an altar (6:24). The altar speaks of renewal, dedication, and consecration to do the will of God. Gideon had met the Lord and he worshipped. After this came Gideon’s first challenge, which was to tear down the altars of Baal (6:28). He did it at night, but he did it. He was fearful, but he did it. The Midianites were angry and gathered to do battle (6:33).

The Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon. “The Spirit of the LORD clothed Gideon” (Judges 6:34, ESV). Gideon was now a God-ruled man and anointed, a man selected by God. He blew the trumpet and the people sensed the presence of God with him. 32,000 made a spontaneous emotional response to help this mighty man of valor. People recognize anointed men. God eventually reduced this army to three hundred men (7:1-7). God looks for quality help more than He looks for quantity. God is not impressed with numbers. It’s not numbers that move God’s hand; it’s the quality of the saints. He looks for saints with faith who are disciplined and committed to obey, and who are not afraid to face great odds that war against them. Napoleon said, “In war, men are nothing; the man is everything.” In chapter 7:3, the 32,000 were asked to test their own hearts. What is in there? Is it faith or fear? Fear broke down their faith and 22,000 went home. Emotional people do not make good warriors if their faith breaks down. In chapter 7:4, 10,000 men were asked to drink from a stream of water. The Lord was weeding out the careless and reckless. Most drank without concern of a possible ambush. Many people never watch out for their souls. 9,700 more went home. That left only 300 warriors.

(To be continued…)

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved