Monday, January 27, 2014

Yellow Jacket Stings

O. T. #215  "Yellow Jacket Stings"
Jan. 27, 2014
Exodus 23-Part 6
And I will send....     Exodus 23:28


When our son was about 12 years old, he and his neighbor friend were playing near a pond. They surprisingly encountered yellow jackets. The two boys must have been near the insects' nest. Can you imagine the terror of those guys as they run away, as fast as their legs would carry them? Our son was stung several times in this incident. One place was on his eyebrow. By the time he ran home, his eye was swelling. Being new in the area, we did not have a family doctor at that time, so we drove him an hour away to a walk in clinic. Needless to say, his eye was swollen shut upon arrival. He got a shot and we headed home. Obviously, our son is highly allergic to insect stings. The next day he was better. (Even today he has to be aware of wasps and such.)
Did you know that God told the Israelites that that He would use an insect to drive out their enemies? Want to know what kind? Read on.

Israel's ownership of the new land where their nation would eventually settle down, that is the Promised Land, was by God's grace. Their enjoyment of the land depended upon their faithfulness to and faith in God. Come to think about it, they walked forty years with God. Grant it, sometimes their heart was not as close to Him as it should have been.

Previously, we talked about the "If you will," the "I will" between God and the Israelites. Now God gives more promises:
  • He would send fear before them, as they are traveling through and conquering the Promised Land. Fear is more than just being afraid. In Strong's Concordance, fear means horror, terror, terrible. A couple of million people would be moving, with their army marching, through these heathens' lands. These nations would hear about the wonderful miracles which God had performed for the Israelites, the people He loved. They would hear about the mighty power that their God had-part the ten plagues upon Egypt, parting of the Red Sea and killing of the Egyptian army, the Jordan River parted (comes later). These -ite people would be terrified to have Israel come into their land. 
  • He would confuse every nation they would encounter. Their enemies would turn their back and run when Israel confronted them. Are you pumped? Let's go conquer! 
  • He would bring hornets to drive out the Hivites, Canaanites, and Hittites before Israel. These stinging creatures prepared the way for Israel (Joshua 24:12).
  • He wasn't going to do this in one year, so the land would not be desolate and animals would multiply in it.
  • He would establish Israel's boundaries  from the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea.
Probably, Israel wanted God to wipe out their enemies all at one time, but He didn't do it that way. One at a time, little by little, one tribe at a time, is how He did it. He wanted to grow their faith step-by-step.
Aren't we that way? We are experience several problems or trials at the same time in our life, have faith in God to remove them all at once, but He may not choose to do it that way. Do we question Him? Friends, God wants us to grow in faith and obedience, a little at a time. We want the easy way out, but He wants to teach us.


In turn, what were the Israelites to do?
  • Israel was told to not make a covenant with those people, nor with their gods. (verse 32)
  • These heathens were not allowed to live in Israel's land because they would cause Israel to sin against God by worshiping their gods.
As it turned out later, Israel did make a covenant with some of the people of the land (Joshua 9:1-27). This shows us that there is no one who can keep the law perfectly.

God is not an indulgent, spoiling father, pouring out on His children resources, blessings, and gifts they are not ready to receive or be responsible with. We have been granted every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ; but will only possess what we will partner with Him in faith and obedience to receive.  (Guzik)

Does God have to sting us spiritually in order to get us moving for Him or to Him?
Are we walking by faith one step at a time?


Love God above all others.

Walk by faith.

Be patient as He works in my heart and life.

Keep on praising Jesus!

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