Biblical History Lessons – Heavenly Will of God
Biblical history lessons are not always in the heavenly will of God.
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
24 August 2014
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor
Biblical history lessons are not always in the heavenly will of God; therefore, we need to be on the alert to understand whether the lesson is “don’t follow this example; learn from its mistakes.”
Today we are going to talk about one of these biblical history lessons and compare the examples given with both the present day problems in the world and the heavenly will of God.
The Bible, particularly the Old Testament, is filled with the history of the Jewish people, and the things that they did to follow God’s will, and the things they did against God’s will, and the consequences that followed.
One of these biblical history lessons is found in Exodus 1:1-2:10, which contains the historical record of what happened prior to the Hebrew exodus from Egypt; so, as we read these verses, let’s keep in mind what we have been discussing in our studies about living in the heavenly will of God.
Remember that Joseph forgave his brothers for selling him into slavery in Egypt, and invited them to come to Egypt where he would be able to care for them.
1. Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob; they came each one with his household:
2. Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah;
3. Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin;
4. Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher.
These are the names of Joseph’s eleven brothers.
5. And all the persons who came from the loins of Jacob were seventy in number, but Joseph was already in Egypt.
6. And Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation.
7. But the sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty, so that the land was filled with them.
This sounds very much like these Israelites became exceedingly mighty for their own benefit, and not necessarily for the benefit of the land and people of Egypt, as Joseph had done.
This is one of the biblical history lessons we are to learn and understand.
What was the result?
8. Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.
We’re not told why this happened, but if the Israelites and the Egyptians had been working together, it is much more likely that this new king would have known about Joseph, and what he did to benefit Egypt.
9. And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are more and mightier than we.
10. Come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply and in the event of war, they also join themselves to those who hate us, and fight against us, and depart from the land.”
11. So they appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor. And they built for Pharaoh storage cities, Pithom and Raamses.
This sure doesn’t sound like a wise decision, for it would naturally turn the Israelites against them, which is what the king said he wanted to prevent.
This is also a description of what has caused almost all of the world problems we have had through history, even to this present day.
This is another one of the biblical history lessons we are to learn and understand according to the heavenly will of God.
One powerful leader and group wants to dominate another group, and they do it mostly by violence.
Human beings have cruelly dominated the animals throughout human history, and as a result it has hardened their hearts and souls so they wouldn’t have empathy for the animals.
And this hardening of human hearts and souls has led them to dominate other human beings, for if we don’t care about what happens to animals, it’s very easy to extend that ungodly way of living to our fellow human beings.
So, what happened in Egypt some 3,500 years ago, and what additional lessons can we learn from the historical record?
12. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out, so that they were in dread of the sons of Israel.
Because of the Egyptians’ own cruelty, they created something to fear, and this is the same thing that happened with slave “owners” and slavery in the early days of the United States.
13. And the Egyptians compelled the sons of Israel to labor rigorously;
14. and they made their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar and bricks and at all kinds of labor in the field, all their labors which they rigorously imposed on them.
This is a description of the mistakes slave owners also made, and it is proof that most people don’t learn from history; they repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
But instead of turning from their evil ways, they most often make things even worse.
Our biblical history lessons teach us these things, and why we are not to follow their examples, if we wish to remain in the heavenly will of God.
15. Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah, and the other was named Puah;
16. and he said, “When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.”
This kind of thinking comes straight from the devil. Murder can never be in the heavenly will of God.
17. But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live.
18. So the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and let the boys live?”
19. And the midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous, and they give birth before the midwife can get to them.”
20. So God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied, and became very mighty.
21. And it came about because the midwives feared God, that He established households for them.
22. Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born you are to cast into the Nile, and every daughter you are to keep alive.”
When we allow evil to flourish, it never stops; it only escalates into even greater ungodly acts.
We hope we can all see and understand these things from our biblical history lessons.
Then the story switches to the time of the birth of Moses.
Exodus 2:1 Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi.
2. And the woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months.
She did this to try to escape the sentence of death that the king had placed upon all male babies of the Israelites.
We hope we all can feel the anguish that this woman feels, and we hope we can all feel the pain and suffering of all other humans and animals that have been subjected to this and similar forms of ungodly oppression.
And don’t forget that these same kinds of sentences of death are inflicted upon almost all male dairy calves (veal calves) and almost all male chicks of egg laying hens.
Furthermore, our support of these industries causes the suffering and death of even more babies and makes us equally responsible with those in authority who hold the power of life and death in their hands.
These are more of the things we are to learn from our biblical history lessons, and how we are to apply them to all similar situations in the world.
3. But when she could hide him no longer, she got him a wicker basket and covered it over with tar and pitch. Then she put the child into it, and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile.
4. And his sister stood at a distance to find out what would happen to him.
5. Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the Nile, with her maidens walking alongside the Nile; and she saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid, and she brought it to her.
6. When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the boy was crying. And she had pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.”
At least Pharaoh’s daughter has a sense of compassion, even if her father does not.
7. Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?”
8. And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go ahead.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother.
9. Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me and I shall give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him.
10. And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she named him Moses, and said, “Because I drew him out of the water.”
This is the only male baby of the Hebrews that we are told was spared the sentence of death imposed by the king, which seems to indicate that all the others were killed.
From these biblical history lessons we are to feel the anger and frustration of the people, and the reason we have so much unrest in the world which continues to this present day.
All of us need to seriously think about the long term effect that our decisions will have on our generation and on future generations, and we hope and pray that all of our choices will be made as peacemaking children of God.
Let’s think about these things as we look at Romans 12:1-8…
1. I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
This explains why there were so many problems in Egypt; neither the Israelites in the beginning, nor the Egyptians under the new king, followed these Godly rules.
Instead they followed the corrupted ways of the world.
Think about this for a moment; doesn’t this also explain why we have had so many problems throughout history, even to this present day?
Yes, it does. We are not learning from biblical history lessons, nor from other historical events. We keep repeating the mistakes instead of living in the heavenly will of God.
2. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Causing any other living being, human or animal, to suffer or die can never be considered good and acceptable and perfect. It is always ungodly.
3. For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
Isn’t this also an accurate description of all the people in the world who are causing so much violence and strife?
They think more highly of themselves than the people they oppress.
And this is the same problem with what our societies do to billions of animals every year.
If we simply followed God’s original plan for us to eat only plant foods, we would stop the raising and slaughtering of animals for food and clothing.
And if we did this, our health would dramatically improve, and we would no longer think that we are justified in torturing millions of animals in laboratories to find a cure for our chronic diseases.
God gave us the cure thousands of years ago, if we would only accept it.
This plant food diet is the cure for all our chronic health problems.
We have no excuse for what most humans do to animals, either directly or indirectly.
We need to learn to live in the heavenly will of God.
4. For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function,
5. so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
We just need to learn to live and function together in this way.
6. And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;
7. if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching;
8. or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Think of all the good we could do in the world if we all lived this way.
Individually, none of us can do everything to free creation from its present corruption; but collectively, if we work together in love and cheerfulness, we can change the world for the better.
Therefore, we should not just think about these things; we need to commit ourselves to doing it.
And, every other one of us.
We can no longer afford to sit back and keep silent.
We must be active in the service of the Lord.
The world can no longer sustain itself with the present level of corruption and violence to humans, animals, and the environment.
We must do whatever we can to improve the world around us.
We can do it.
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