(II Corinthians 4:18; Titus 2:13)
For our light, momentary affliction is ever more and more
abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight
of glory, since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the
things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal, but the
things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting (II Cor. 4:17-18).
Visible and invisible things are ever being introduced to us
by means of circumstances (visible) and faith that sprouts from the reading the
Word of God. Those whose hope depends solely on things seen are the most
miserable of men. They are as the illustration YAHSHUA gave concerning the man
who built his house on sand. Its foundation lasts only as long as there is no
change in the environment or weather. But soon as they change, the foundation
disappears with them. The foundation of things is the most important part of
any plan to be successfully substantiated. YAHSHUA said that life did not
consist in and is not derived from possessions; life is more than things, as
food; and the body more than clothes (Luke 12: 15,23). These are temporal and
seen things available to us as part of life, but they are not to control and
dictate our state of mind.
The Light has come into the world, and people have loved the
darkness rather than and more than the Light for their works were evil (John
We all have experienced some time in our life, one way or another, the effect of physical darkness. Voided of light, darkness grabs and handicaps us with fear, panic, and anxiety. We feel lost, not knowing where we are and how to get somewhere. People associate darkness with the presence of evil, as in Satan and his demons, rightly so. The feelings of fear, panic, anxiety attacks are feelings that express the presence of evil spirits in the environment. For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of love and a sound mind (I John 4:18). Darkness is blindness. When we are used to the darkness, we find difficulty adjusting to the light. The eyes water and hurt to some extent until we become accustomed to the light. In other ways, light exposes evil deeds. It hides nothing that seems invisible.
When YAHSHUA arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the
half shekel [the temple tax] went up to Peter and said, Does not your Teacher
pay the half shekel? He answered, Yes. And when he came home, YAHSHUA spoke to
him first, saying, What do you think, Simon? From whom do earthly rulers
collect duties or tribute from their own sons or from others, not of their own
family? And Peter said, From other people not of their own family. YAHSHUA said
to him, Then the sons are exempt. However, in order not to give offense and
cause them to stumble, go down to the sea and throw in a hook. Take the first
fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find there a shekel.
Take it to them to pay the temple tax for Me and for yourself.
Israelites, while living in Egypt, were undefined as a nation. They were a
family composed of twelve brothers, whose numbers grew greatly, as God was
preparing them to make a nation out of them. The 430 years that they remained
in Egypt, they grew to a staggering number, causing the Egyptians to kill their
babies and force hard labor on them, bringing them to a slave’s status. Jacob, his
wives, and sons were living in Canaan before they sojourned to Egypt until the
famine took them to Egypt in search of food. These were days of uncertainties
in the mind of Jacob, as he made decision to move to Egypt, a distance of 121
miles from Canaan, their Promised Land; they were already there, but not in
fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham in the space of time ordained for it to
happen. Many years had to pass, many things had to happen in their lives,
including in Moses’ life. A nation to be
a nation is required for a good number of people to fill the spaces. A nation,
out of seventy people is hardly enough to be formed into one. God’s plan was
for them to grow and multiply before He took them out of Egypt for the purpose
to form a nation unto Him- a royal race.
Bible gives us a short synopsis of Rahab’s life just enough for us to know whom
that woman was. In the book of Joshua we find the accounts about her as a
prostitute and one who saved the Israelite spies. In doing so, she exercised
faith and belief in the God of Israel. Rahab acknowledged to the spies what
they all had heard concerning God’s supernatural deliverance of Israel from
Egypt. Although, she lived among pagans, she confessed her faith in the true God-
the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, by
saying, “ The Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth beneath”
(Jos.2: 9-11). Her faith expanded to action to protect the spies, as a gesture
of fear and respect for Israel’s God. She was chosen for that time with God’s purpose
not only to save Israel, but to display His plan far off into the future. Sometimes,
in our feeble mind, we get lost in our understanding of how God fulfills His
plans. In the case of Rahab we wonder why a prostitute. Remember YAHSHUA’S
reaction toward the Pharisees when they brought a sinful woman to Him,
condemning her? He bent down and went on
writing on the ground with His finger; when YAHSHUA raised Himself up, He said
to her, Woman, where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you? She answered,
No one, Lord! And YAHSHUA said, I do not condemn you either. Go on your way and
from now on sin no more (John 8: 8,10-11). No one is without sin, no matter the
size of it. Rahab’s heart was right with God and when the opportunity presented
itself, she chose to obey the Lord.
family of four fled the famine in the land in the time when the judges ruled
the country. There were four of them: husband, wife and their two sons. Theirs
was a life of tragedy and misfortune in the period of ten years while in the
country of Moab, where they made it their home for a while. They were
Ephrathites from Bethlehem of Judah, a place linked to prophecy concerning the
birth of the Savior of the world. But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are
small among the clans or rulers of Judah, out of you will come for me One Who
will be Ruler over Israel, whose coming forth from of old ( Micah 5:2). Nothing in God’s calendar happens by mistake.
Although circumstances pointed out tragedy, His plan of old, from eternity was
firmly established through the lives of this family, although indirectly, for
it was not going to be from them, but from a Moabitess woman and a kin of the husband,
that Bethlehem was going to be exalted above the heavens.
When Moses and the Israelites left Egypt, they faced two walls of great magnitude- the Red Sea in front of them and the Egyptians army behind them. How were they to flee in that predicament? Easy. Fear not; stand still and see the salvation of the Lord which He will work for you today. The Egyptians you have seen today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest (Exodus 14:13-14). These were Moses’ words to the Israelites. Then the Lord told Moses, Tell the people to go forward. Lift up your rod and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the Israelites shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea (vs. 15b-16). Moses had to lift up his rod, stretch out his hand over the sea, and divide it. These three things Moses had to do for the Israelites to go forward on dry ground. It all depended on him for things to happen and salvation to come to the young nation of Israel. Moses was a doer of the command of YAHWEH. At His command, Moses took the first step and YAHWEH’S power was visible for all to experience their salvation. The Egyptians, as he had said, you see today, you shall never see them again. Israel was saved and the Egyptians came to know and realize that YAHWEH was the Lord, throughout the land, for all those who pursued Israel drowned.