For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. —Romans 15:4

When he summoned a famine on the land and broke all supply of bread, he had sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave. 18 —Psalm 105:16-17

They angered him at the waters of Meribah, and it went ill with Moses on their account, for they made his spirit bitter, and he spoke rashly with his lips. —Psalm106:32-33

            So the Word of God that “was written in former days” should have an impact on us today. How? His Word should instruct us (II Timothy 3:16). His Word endures and we can fully trust it. God’s Word gives us encouragement. This all that we might have hope and not doubt or be uncertain.   Let’s take a couple examples. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5XTm-XXIbU

            Maybe you are going through a difficult time. The Israelites were as Psalm 105 states above. They were going through a famine and we are told that it was the Lord who “summoned a famine on the land.” Our Lord God works through this fallen world to accomplish His purposes. He also works through the conflict of man to accomplish His purposes. Not only did He bring a famine on the Land of Canaan, but He also sent 17 year old Joseph ahead of the nation to Egypt. How did He do this? He worked through Joseph’s brother’s jealousy of him and anger toward him so that they sold him into slavery. We know the story. Joseph was falsely accused of attempting to rape Potiphar’s wife. He was thrown into prison, but gained favor with the jailer and ran the place. He interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s cup-bearer and baker which came true and eventually interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams and was made 2nd in command of all Egypt. Yes, God used difficult circumstances, but it was He who ultimately sent Joseph to Egypt.   Joseph understood this when he said to his brothers— “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20).  What man meant for evil, God worked through for good.   This should give us great hope when we go through difficult circumstances. God is still at work. God is still accomplishing His desires. God is still working through you. Continue to be faithful.

            In Psalm 106 above we read how Moses became bitter because of the people’s opposition of him.

Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron.  They quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the Lord!  Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this wilderness, that we and our livestock should die here?  Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!” —Numbers 20:2-5

            In Moses’ bitterness he spoke rashly and struck the rock instead of speaking to the rock as the Lord had instructed him to do.   This caused things to go ill with Moses “on their account.” This Psalm tells us that “they made his spirit bitter.”   Other people’s negative attitudes can have a negative impact on God’s leaders. This incident disqualified Moses from leading the people into the Promised Land! Truly God’s Word is accurate when it says— “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you” (Hebrews 13:17).  It was not joyful for Moses at this point.

God’s Word gives us hope. He works through imperfect people in an imperfect world. Dear Father imperfect as I am it is my desire to serve You in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son, Jesus. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus as I run this race.

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