The help of the Lord

f003127Genesis 4:1: Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD.”

We can receive help from the Lord, only if we give him due recognision in our lives. However, Israel, whose story occupies a big part of the bible, being a special race to God among others, in view of God covenant with their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, did not always recognise the Lord as helper.

Going to Egypt is sometimes described as a show of lack of trust in God for Israel. Egypt stands for the place of compromise.

And the ancestors of Israel, Abraham Isaac and Jacob, all have history of going down to Egypt, to varying results.

Abraham

Abraham, in the time of famine in the land of Canaan, where God sent him to, decided to embark on self-help. There he needed to tell a lie to protect himself (Genesis 12:10-20), and eventually he almost lost his wife. Abraham was not moved by the word of God, he was moved by need to go to Egypt. And the result was not palatable for this family life.

While in the place of the promise God protects, in the place of compromise, were we embark on self-help, we have to scheme to take care of ourselves.

We should to rest in the work of Christ, rest in the inheritance of life that is in him, rest in the portion we have in him. Paul wrote that God, who gave Jesus to us, will together with him, freely give us all things (Romans 8:32).

Isaac

God said that Isaac should not follow his father’s footsteps in going down to Egypt when there was famine in Canaan. He was guided by the word of God, who showed him where to stay, how Egypt should not be his choice (Genesis 26:1-17).

Also if God wants to help you, he uses his word.  The psalmist wrote: God sent his word and heals them, saving them from their distresses (Psalm 107:20).

When a Roman soldier came to Jesus, asking him to heal his servant who was sick, he said that Jesus only needed to say the word and his servant will be healed. The word overcame the barrier of space and effected healing in that servant (Matthew 8:8).

Jacob

Jacob went to Egypt by the design of God; assured by God that was His will (Genesis 46:3). There was again famine in Canaan, and in many parts of the world, and the only place where there was food was Egypt. And Joseph his son was there as the Prime Minister, who invited the whole clan over for preservation and sustenance during the famine. But after sometime, Egypt became too hot for them. Then the whole nation had to come out of that place, because they were severely oppressed as slaves, and they cried out for help (Exodus 2:23-25) to sent a deliverer in Moses.

Out of Egypt

Egypt was not a place of lasting rest for the people. But even on coming out of it, the people still perished in the wilderness, not reaching their highest possibilities, because of unbelief (Hebrew 3:19). They could not connect fully with the help of God because of unbelief.

Along the way, though they came out of Egypt, they still had a fondness for it in their heart. They could not follow God fully because the love of Egypt was still in their hearts (Exodus 16:1-3, Jeremiah 17:5). John wrote that we should not love the world, which Egypt symbolises, in the lust of the eyes, of the flesh and pride of life (1John 2:15-17). Pharaoh was hardened in pride against God, who sent Moses to him to ask that he should let the people of God go to worship him as they should and as he wants.

Egypt stands between us and the true worship of God. It makes an opposing demand on us, conflicting with our allegiance to Christ.

Pharaoh let the children of Israel go when God killed firstborns of all Egyptians (Exodus 11-12). But for the children of Israel, there was the provision for them to be saved through the sacrifice of lambs, and the application of the blood on the posts of their doors, to save them from that fate. And that was the final straw that broke the back of the stubbornness of Pharaoh. The blood brought them salvation, release from the House of bondage.

Jesus is the Lamb of God and his shed blood applied on our hearts symbolises the help that God gives all people for all time to be saved, from eternal damnation (Acts 20:28, Ephesians 1:7. Colossians 1:14).

As a nation

In the history of Israel even after they became a nation in the land of Canaan, which they have made theirs, sometimes returning to Egypt is seen by the prophets as a sign of leaning on the arm of flesh (Isaiah 30:1-5, 31:1-3), instead of depending on God. That according to God is high treason; depending on Egypt’s perceived capabilities, on the worshippers of foreign gods, with the hearts of God’s people departing from Him.

Jeremiah wrote that the people have committed two evil, forsaking God, the fountain of living waters and hewed for themselves broken cisterns that cannot hold water (Jeremiah 2:13). That means that they are abandoned trust in God, and involved themselves seeking help somewhere, which are no help at all. They went astray from the way and will of God.

On their journey to the land of Promised Land, from Egypt, Israel had ample opportunities to express their trust in God, but they blew them all to complaints, and wishing they were back in Egypt. (A time of difficulty was a time to prove how much we trust God.)

Their vision many times was backwards instead on focusing of the future God has for them. Sometimes later, God said that the thoughts that he has for them are not evil but good to bring them to a good end (Jeremiah 29:11). But at every turn they seem to second guess God and ascribe the most sinister of intentions to Him; and since they did not see God, they directed they anger at Moses, who was leading them from Egypt.

At times they were ready to abandon the vision of God, rating the challenges on the way more than the power of God who parted the red sea for them.

The help of God is available to you just as it was for the children of Israel, but you have a choice to make: whose report would you believe (Isaiah 53:1)? Would you believe your feelings, what you see, or what the word of God says?

To not lean on the hand of flesh, we need to lean on the Spirit. Jesus said that the Spirit gives life but the flesh profits nothing (John 6:63).

The help that God gave Israel was his presence, His Spirit being with them. Moses told God: if your presence will not go with me, don’t lead us further (Exodus 33:15).

When Israel lost a battle when Eli, was the judge in Israel, the conclusion was that the glory, the manifest presence of God, has departed from Israel (1Samuel 4:21-22). So the presence of God is the sign of his guaranteed help.

When Jesus Christ was giving a valedictory speech for his disciples before he departed from the earth, he said that he was going to send them another helper (John 16:7), which will be with them, the Holy Spirit, who will be in them always; he said later that they shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon them (Acts 1:8)

 

2 thoughts on “The help of the Lord

Have your say

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s