Wednesday, November 8, 2017

God is Faithful!! (1 Corinthians 1:9)

“God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9, NASB95)

The answer to every struggle is found in this assurance. Years ago, I began exploring the “But God’s” of Scripture. It has not been an exhaustive one, but one that has led me to ask in each of the passages what difference God makes in that context. The contrast to this is the initial reaction that we might have when a trial occurs, and we say, “But God….” Moses did this when He was called by God to return to Egypt to be used of God to set His people free.

We read, “The Lord said [to Moses from the burning bush], “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. “So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. “Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them. “Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:7–11, NASB95)

“But … God, who am I…?” Have you ever said that to God? I know that I have on more occasions than I can count or even dare to remember. I love what came next in verse 12, “And He [the LORD] said, “Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.”” The LORD told Moses that He would be with him. God made a promise to Moses that when Moses went He would be with Him. He would be faithful to be there. Moses was not going on his own.

However, God’s answer did not fully move Moses into action. He still had objections, and God answered those objections in the rest of chapter 3. The LORD even told Moses what to say and what to do. But this still was not enough for Moses. Chapter 4 begins with another “but God.” We read, “Then Moses said, “What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you.’ ”” (Exodus 4:1, NASB95) The LORD once again answered Moses’ objection with another “BUT GOD” assurance. “Then He [the LORD] said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. But the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand and grasp it by its tail”—so he stretched out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand— “that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”” (Exodus 4:3–5, NASB95)

Moses heard this from God, and still he had another “but God” response. “Then Moses said to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”” (Exodus 4:10, NASB95) Of course, Moses’ objections did not catch God by surprise. He already knew every word on Moses’ tongue before it was said and every thought in his head before they were thought. He responded to Moses, “The LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? “Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say.”” (Exodus 4:11–12, NASB95)

And still, Moses was saying, “but God….” This time he asked the LORD to send someone else. In response to this we also see the patience of God balanced with the anger of God in the face of someone refusing to trust and obediently respond. We read, “Then the anger of the LORD burned against Moses, and He said, “Is there not your brother Aaron the Levite? I know that he speaks fluently. And moreover, behold, he is coming out to meet you; when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. “You are to speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I, even I, will be with your mouth and his mouth, and I will teach you what you are to do. “Moreover, he shall speak for you to the people; and he will be as a mouth for you and you will be as God to him. “You shall take in your hand this staff, with which you shall perform the signs.”” (Exodus 4:14–17, NASB95)

God had answered every “but God” objection of Moses with His own ability to meet that objection with His own “BUT GOD” answer. With Moses, it got to the point that the LORD answered Moses’ final “but God” with anger and a command to go and do accompanied with another assurance that He would do just as He said. I found it interesting as I continued to read that the next several chapters included a series of “but’s” and every single one of them ended in God doing exactly as He said. In Exodus 12:51 we read, “And on that same day [10th plague – Passover] the Lord brought the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts.” (Exodus 12:51, NASB95)

Scripture is full of similar records as God shows Himself immensely faithful to His promises, and it is with this assurance that Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers reminding them of God’s past, present, and future grace in their lives to do exactly as He purposed to do in them. It was God who called them into the fellowship that they shared in Christ, and it was God who was also faithful to keep them. And, the same if true about our faithful God today regardless of the situations that we face personally or in our churches.

“God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9, NASB95)

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