Friday, August 19, 2011

The Power of God, verse 3

As for me, I shall call upon God, and the LORD will save me.
Psalm 55:16

Our friends the Israelites have been wandering in the dessert for a while now, and unfortunately, they haven't learned their lesson. God continues to provide for them, guide them, and save them from their enemies. He truly is their deliverer, and not just from Egypt - from every situation they get themselves into! We find them now as they journey through the desert, and the king of Arad rises up against them and takes some of them by force.

When the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming by the way of Atharim, then he fought against Israel and took some of them captive. Numbers 21:l

The people respond by promising to destroy this people if God will give them over to them.

So Israel made a vow to the LORD and said, “If You will indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities.” Numbers 21:2

God answers their cry for help and Israel is victorious.

The LORD heard the voice of Israel and delivered up the Canaanites; then they utterly destroyed them and their cities. Thus the name of the place was called Hormah. Numbers 21:3

But, how soon they forget the promises of God and His faithfulness to them! Our grumblers are back!

Then they set out from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient because of the journey. The people spoke against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food.” Numbers 21:4-5

Remember, this is not the first time that they complained about being delivered from slavery. And God punished them for their sin.

The LORD sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. Numbers 21:6

It didn't take long for the people to realize their transgression, and they ask Moses to get involved.

So the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, because we have spoken against the LORD and you; intercede with the LORD, that He may remove the serpents from us.” And Moses interceded for the people. Numbers 21:7

And once again, the Lord has a plan for saving His people, even when they sinned.

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live.” And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived.
Numbers 21:9

God displayed His mighty power for the people of Israel once again. It wasn't the first time, and it won't be the last.

The serpent on the standard gave life to those who had sinned against the Lord. We don't need a serpent anymore, because God has provided His own Son to give us life, even in our sinful condition.

As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. John 3:14-15

God's power was at work when the Israelites wandered in the desert, and it was at work when Jesus came to Earth to become our salvation. And, His power continues to be on display every day in our world.

God is our Jehovah Rophi - the Lord Your Healer! Just as He healed the Israelites from their sin, He makes us whole through the blood of Jesus Christ. And His magnificent power can heal our physical bodies too. Whatever God has promised, He's able to perform. Hallelujah!

The Power of God
Words by Frederick A. Graves

When Abraham and Sarah had been promised a son,
They were surprised and knew not what to say;
But they knew what God had promised He was able to perform:
And the power of God is just the same today.

The pow’r of God is just the same today,
It doesn’t matter what the people say;
Whatever God has promised
He’s able to perform:
And the power of God is just the same today.

When Moses wanted water to quench the people’s thirst,
He knew that God would then provide a way;
Although his rod was useful he had the power first:
And the power of God is just the same today.

When Moses made a serpent and placed it on a pole,
The bitten ones were told to look that way,
And then while they were looking Jehovah-rophi made them whole:
And the power of God is just the same today.

When Joshua was commander, he spoke—the sun stood still,
The moon its onward course was made to stay;
Thus he won a mighty battle, for he did his Father’s will:
And the power of God is just the same today.

When Naaman, the leper, before Elisha stood,
He thought he knew just what the seer would say,
But he had to wash in Jordan, though he thought it wasn’t good:
And the power of God is just the same today.

When David met Goliath he meant to have a fight,
The leaders put the battle in array;
Of course he killed the giant, for he was in the right:
And the power of God is just the same today.

When Jonah went to Tarshish to flee away from God,
A mighty fish was waiting for its prey;
It quickly swallowed Jonah, then threw him on the sod:
And the power of God is just the same today.

When Malachi, the prophet, was preaching all abroad,
And cutting like sickle and the scythe;
The people were accursed, for they were robbing God,
They filled to bring the offering and the tithe.

Then came the blessed Savior, with power to cleanse and heal,
To bear my sin and sickness all away;
My burdens, too, He carries, and doth my sorrows feel:
And the power of God is just the same today.

Through Paul and Silas singing and praying in the jail,
For Paul and Silas knew the way to pray;
The prison doors were opened, for locks could not avail,
And the power of God is just the same today.

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