“For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. “ – Jer 31:11 (KJV)
Our text suggests that Jacob was in trouble.
He had sold himself to people more powerful than he is and would ever be. Either by indebtedness or by any other means, he had mortgaged himself, his life forever without any possibility of him being able to save himself.
God decides and declares that he has come to his rescue. The word redeem from where we got redeemed, means to recover by an expenditure of effort or by a stipulated payment.
Jacob served Laban, his father-in-law because he had no money to pay dowry and other expenses. One can, like Jacob in such a case, buy back himself by serving if he does not have the cash to do so.
And the word ransom implying the same means money demanded or paid for the release of a prisoner. The only difference in this is that the person (prisoner or slave) is not directly responsible for his freedom. It takes another, a guarantor, a bailiff, to deliver him. In either case, Jacob needed the intervention of another.
In this case, however, God was not referring to physical issues such as we have between Jacob and Laban, but between Jacob himself and the spiritual forces that made him “Jacob”, sup-planter, cheat, etc. He was up against forces that no amount of physical labour could quantify to pay for his release.
I remember a story I read about a horse that a man bought for a member of his family. They all fell in love with the horse, but it was not in the compound most times; always found in the lawn of their neighbour whose family had also fallen in love with the animal. In the fear that the horse might stir up a cold war between the man and his neighbour, the owner sold her to a Jockey.
When both families heard the horse was to compete in a race, they went to the race course to cheer the horse. Both men found themselves at the side of the Jockey who had mounted the horse, enabling the horse one more time to hear their beloved voices which I believe spurred her not only to clear all the hurdles set before it but also to beat all the other horses to return first.
The following day, the man woke to see the horse in his compound. Both families rejoiced at seeing the animal but that was before the Jockey came looking for it. The horse had to be bought back from him, even twice the amount they sold it to him. Why? The worth of the horse had appreciated!
The devil is the accuser of the brethren. We all know this. But one thing we do not all know is that in accusing us the devil puts us up in the spiritual slave market, to hand us over to the taskmaster that promises the most gruesome persecution and pain. That was exactly what happened to Joshua the high priest.
“And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.” – Zech 3:2-3 (KJV)
Joshua was “a brand plucked out of the fire”. He was on fire, burning for God, Who makes His angels wind and His ministers a flame of fire.
“Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire.” – Psalms 104:4 (KJV)
“And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.” – Heb 1:7 (KJV)
He was in the spiritual state of godliness, with the fear of the Lord in him yet the devil “plucked” him out of that state and clothed him in filth, in rubbish and shame! The filthy garment certainly would have been upon him by a demon making his life miserable. Oh, let him that thinks he stand take heed!
God intervened by sending His angel to rescue him because he was valuable to God. If you were put up for sale in the spiritual slave market, how much would you be worth to God? Would God so value you, that He would give lives, or kill people just to redeem or ransom you? Would God readily give nations for your sake?
“For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.” – Isaiah 43:3-4 (KJV)
Generally, God loves us all; and this is recorded in John 3:16. God is not partial and does not take sides. He is not committed to people, race, colour or language. He cannot be bribed or bought over either with our tears, words, thought or deed. However, He is committed to Jesus.
….to be continued.
There is no time in the history of the Church as now when we need to fumigate our spiritual lives, killing of the spiritual pests that trouble us; and make straight the way of the Lord.
“And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 2 And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. 3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. 4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. 6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. 7 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt………And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:) 26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. 27 And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. 28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.” -Ex. 32:1-8; 25-28
Theologians have said for centuries that Aaron lied about throwing gold in the fire and out jumped the calf. But, Moses never said he lied! Yes, to the natural man, this could be the greatest lie in the history of mankind. What if he did not lie!
There are things that we cannot see with the naked eyes, yet we cannot deny their existence. Aaron could have seen one of those. But how would he explain to people what they couldn’t see? Sometimes it is very difficult, almost impossible explain to others what they have not seen, how much more a spiritual thing!
In Psalm 22, David narrated what Jesus saw behind the actions of men.
“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?…………He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him…………..Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. 13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. 16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. 18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. 19 But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me. 20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.” – Psalms 22:1,8,12-20 (KJV)
These are not the words of David but of the Lord Jesus! You see David was a prophet and one so dear to the heart of God; he was permitted a peek into what the Messiah would go through on the Cross. There is no place in Scripture where David’s garment was parted (vs. 18) or cast on lot. Neither is it recorded that his hands and feet were pierced (vs.16).
Jesus on the Cross saw “bulls of Bashan” (vs.12) and “dogs” (vs. 16), the forces of darkness that influenced man against God, prompting His prayer, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”
There were unseen forces at play around the Cross which were also at play in the wilderness in the days of Aaron; even today those forces are still at work, which is why “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” – Eph 6:12 (KJV) Humans are not our enemies, there are forces influencing them that cannot be seen!
Aaron saw something others did not see.
“And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD.” – Ex 32:5 (KJV)
Look at the scenario. Aaron asked for the earrings, they brought them to him and he fashioned a calf out of it. What was so special about what he saw that the Holy Spirit would note “it” for us? “And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it.” Certainly “it” is not the people bringing their gold which at this time they had stopped. Neither would “it” be the “art” work which was always in his sight. So, what did he see?
Something else at this time had “jumped out” onto the calf to take over the image. God would not be jealous if nothing was there!
There is a law of double-identity. God spoke to the prince of Tyrus (Ezekiel 28:2) and the king of Tyrus (Ezekiel 28:12), but He referred to the entity or intelligence behind them: Lucifer – the covering cherub. People could only see the humans, not the power motivating their actions. Jesus turned to Peter but spoke to satan (Matthew 16:23), Paul spoke to a girl but addressed an unseen entity (Acts 16:18).
I remember searching through the store one day, while still living with my parents. I saw a wooden masquerade face my father bought for us as kids in one of his many tours. As I looked at it, I thought how beautiful it would be as a decorative art piece. Since it had openings where the eyes would be, I got two pieces of white paper and with a black pen drew two eyes which I pasted inside the mask where the eyes should be. I hung this mask on the wall of the living room facing the door. The eyes were so real; everyone including visitors noticed the mask and passed comments that the eyes seemed to be looking at them. Two days later my mother asked me to remove it because it was frightening and seemed to follow her every move that day. I just laughed telling her it was a harmless piece of decoration. That night with everyone sleeping, I was alone in the living room writing; gradually I began to feel uneasy and uncomfortable: I was not alone! Something was with me there! But, what or who? I raised my face and looked around. There was no one, yet I continued to feel the stare of something! The second time I raised my face, my eyes went to the mask; a pair of eyes was staring at me! A sudden fear gripped me as shivers ran down my spine! I mustered courage, and with shaky legs walked to the wooden face, took it off the wall and removed the papers I posted on it.
What happened? An entity had “jumped upon” it to reside! It would have been dangerous if I had delayed.
How did the entity get there? Collective thought energy! Everyone that came into the living room thought the mask face was real and alive!
“……..and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” – Gen 11:6 (KJV)
We invited the entity through our thought! The fiends of hell; the powers of darkness can be drawn through thought! That is why need to think pure thoughts.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” – Phil 4:8 (KJV)
What were the children of Israel doing when Aaron was working on the image? Excitedly preparing to receive “their god”! They gave life to the image through their collective thought energy.
…….to be continued.
WORRY THE SILENT KILLER!
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” – Matt 6:25-34 (KJV)
Here Jesus taught us not to worry ourselves, as on our own, we cannot change anything. He adds that something comes before worry; this something is the source of worry; it gives birth to worry!
“THEREFORE” verses 25 and 31, proves something precedes worry.
What is this thing?
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” – Matt 6:19-21 (KJV)
On what have you put value? Where have we put worth? What attracts or carries your attention? What do you hold dear in your everyday life?
Heaven or earth?
In HEAVEN there is love, joy, peace, temperance, meekness, gentleness, goodness, faith etc.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” – Gal 5:22-23 (KJV)
Against these there is no law; no evil can prevail against these!
The Settled word of God, His plan, is also in heaven.
“Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” – Psalms 119:89 (KJV)
Here on Earth there are elegant houses (but can be destroyed through fire, riot, war); there are also powerful cars (but can be lost through thieves, fire, riot, war); we have designer wears (again they can be lost through fading, fire, thieves), is it expensive colognes and perfumes? (they fade).
All for honour, fame and power; encouraged and blown out of proportion by motivational speakers who instead of pointing us to heaven point us to things on earth; which if we do not have gives birth to worry.
A lack of heavenly focus plunges one into insecurity and uncertainty. One would seek to change times and seasons.
Things that have been concluded and settled in heaven concerning you!
This thought to change things you have no power to change is the cause of worry!
“Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” – Matt 6:27 (KJV)
What you value is certainly where your heart would be; what you will think about all day, especially if it is something you do not have!
SIX STEPS TO STOP WORRYING
(1) know God places a high value on you.
“Look at the birds. They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are.” – Matt 6:26 (NLT)
(2) Know that there is a plan for your life.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” – Jer 29:11 (KJV)
“ (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” – Matt 6:32 (KJV)
(3) Know that you cannot change that plan.
“Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” – Psalms 119:89 (KJV)
Not even with your prayers can you change God’s plan. Ask Abraham, David, Jeremiah, Paul. Not even Jesus was able to change God’s plan for Him.
(4) Know that God cares for you.
“Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” – Matt 6:30 (KJV)
(5) Have faith in Him.
“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” – Matt 6:31-32 (KJV)
(6) Keep busy with Him; the writer of your part or role in the drama of life.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matt 6:33 (KJV)
“According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.” – Ex 25:9 (KJV)
Car gears differ; Mercedes, Volkswagen, Volvo, Toyota etc. Every manufacturer knows his product. We destroy the cars when we want them to function like another.
We destroy our businesses, marriages, health, and finance, when we try to run them like other people’s own.
Moses was told to build according to plan. God has a plan for you, your home, and your job. Stop comparing yourself!
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” – Jer 29:11 (KJV)
“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. “ – Jer 29:11 (NASB)
His plan for you existed before you were born.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” – Jer 1:5 (NASB)
“Before I formed you …… I have appointed you!” This is awesome!!! You were chosen, appointed, consecrated, and empowered even before you were born! Make requisitions (prayers) and build, according to God’s plan.
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee; The tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is thereupon, and all the furniture of the tabernacle, And the table and his furniture, and the pure candlestick with all his furniture, and the altar of incense, And the altar of burnt offering with all his furniture, and the laver and his foot, And the cloths of service, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest’s office, And the anointing oil, and sweet incense for the holy place: according to all that I have commanded thee shall they do. “ – Ex 31:1-11 (KJV)
Imagine Aholibah, a fine artist and fashion designer going to the store room in the spirit realm to ask for a billow and an anvil!
The store keeper will refuse him those things because they are to be given to Bezaleel. No matter his good intention and fervency. He would be asked to build according to plan!
Be unique! Build your home, your job, your life according to His plan!
Jesus rode on a donkey into Jerusalem to fulfill “need”.
“And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.” – Matt 21:3 (KJV)
The plan of God for Jesus as recorded by Isaiah.
“All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.” – Matt 21:4-5 (KJV)
This was God’s plan for Jesus even before He was born! Follow God’s plan for your life!
The things God has need of for you and all you represent, have been sent to the spiritual store bearing your name!
Every plan of God has its provision and timing. Certain things you asked in prayer are not denied but await their timing. When the need meets God’s time, it becomes manifest! Until it becomes a need for God in your life, it will not be supplied!
“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time.” – Eccl 3:11 (KJV)
It has to be a need to Him, not to you! Don’t forget He is the one working in you to do His plan!
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” – Phil 2:13 (KJV)
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” – Phil 4:19 (KJV)
Whatever the request, it has to be a need in your life to fulfill God’s plan for you in Christ Jesus!
How do you know what He needs?
(1) Stop using head knowledge!
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” – 1 Cor 2:9 (KJV)
The natural man cannot know the mind or plan of God and consequently cannot know what to pray for!
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought.” – Romans 8:26a (KJV)
(2) You need the Spirit.
“But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” – 1 Cor 2:10-12 (KJV)
His plan is already written in your heart but you cannot know it until the Holy Spirit opens your eye of the spirit!
“…….. also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” – Eccl 3:11 (KJV)
Only the Holy Spirit can tell us the mind of God.
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” – John 16:13-14 (KJV)
Build a strong relationship with Him. Talk to Him; He has emotions and, He feels!
Success in whatever you have chosen to do, does not come without a price. Nothing in life is free! Even Salvation cost God and Jesus something.
How much are you willing to pay for success?
You have to be willing and obedient to eat the fruit of the land.
“If ye are willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:” (Isaiah 1:19).
Success is expensive and if you want it, you have to pay for it!
The price to pay for success is nothing but a resolute determination.
A mountainous determination to succeed is the price to pay. A strong desire to counter disgrace poverty, failure, misfortune, etc, must be put in motion day and night; in thought and in deed.
A resolute determination is a mixture of desire and expectation.
I read a story of people engaged in a week long prayer asking for rain. On the last day of the programme the Minister suddenly realized that not a single person, including himself, came with an umbrella all through the days of the programme. There was no burning desire!
It takes a desperate desire to succeed!
“He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.” (Proverbs 10:4).
Diligence means hard work. A person who works hard is a diligent person. Laziness, idleness, is not tolerated by a diligent person.
Poverty, like a vagabond, stalks everyone.
It takes diligence, hard work, to keep it at bay.
A diligent person does not need “motivation” to work! Joseph was diligent in the house of Portipher; he did every available and undone work that came to his attention. He needed no external motivation to work. His motivation was from inside. A diligent person works for himself, even if employed. He works almost round the clock, consumed with the passion of the work.
A diligent person places value on the work and derives satisfaction when work is done and done excellently; this fulfillment, the satisfaction that follows a work well done is what he values more than the financial reward.
May we learn to look beyond financial reward and see the worth of the inner reward; a thing money cannot buy!