What I would like to share with you today is one of the applications God impressed upon me while working on the “Egypt to Canaan” study. It comes from the Book of Exodus during the time Moses was asking Pharaoh to let the Hebrew people go into the wilderness to worship God. Remember how Moses kept asking, Pharaoh kept refusing, and God kept sending plagues upon Egypt until finally Pharaoh relented and let the people go? Well, after God had sent the fourth plague, the flies, it seemed like Pharaoh was going to relent. He said to Moses, “I will let you go, that you may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness, only you shall not go very far away ” (Exodus 8:28).
This may have seemed like a decent compromise, but that last phrase, you shall not go very far away, made it favorable only to Pharaoh. The Hebrew people would seem to be free to worship, but it would not be the full deliverance that God had promised and, therefore, not the worship He desired. God’s people would be within Pharaoh’s reach, they would still be under the yoke of the Egyptians, and they would still be slaves (Exodus 6:6). Moses refused to compromise! And therein lies the application for our lives today. God’s people should always follow Moses’ wise example.
Are you a compromiser or have you set your heart to live for God’s glory? Have you moved away from the darkness of the world and into God’s light or are you so close to the things of the world that their influence reaches out and controls you (See I John 1:5-10 and 2:15-17)? Are you unable to move forward with God because you have not moved far enough away from the world? On a daily basis, how often do you choose the world over the Word?
In the Disciplers' lesson notes on Exodus 8, we are reminded “it is possible to seem separate and spiritual without ‘burning your bridges’.” Have you decided to follow Jesus, but only as far as your comfort zone extends and only as far as fitting in with the world allows? I think these are difficult questions for all of us. The world is all around us and like the Israelites in Numbers 11:5, we are enamored by the "cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic," sometimes at the expense of becoming slaves to the world. The next time you come to the crossroads of making a decision to choose the world or the Word, I hope you will follow Moses’ example. Throughout Israel's forty-year wilderness journey, Moses was often a one-man minority in the midst of people who craved the good things of Egypt and the sensuality of pagan gods. Moses may have stood alone, but he stood as a man of God!
With the prayer that we may all stand as men and women of God,