Read - Acts 5v1-11
Message - Scott Woodburn
The church has never gone through a golden age. We look back to Acts and think "wouldn't it be wonderful if the church was like that today...we need another Pentecost and become the New Testament church once again" Truth be told, the church has never been perfect and it has always known difficulty.
As chapter four came to a close we saw the church at her best. Grace and generosity abounded and it was a beautiful sight, but not everyone bought into the vision. Chapter five begins and we meet Ananias and his wife Sapphira. They sell some property, keep some of the proceeds for themselves and bring the rest to the Apostles (v1-2). Straight away we see that they have done something perfectly legitimate. Indeed Peter tells Ananias that he was under no obligation to sell the property or distribute the proceeds (v4). No one forced him into this. So what's the problem?
Ananias had promised that all of the proceeds of the sale would go to the church. Let's argue he sold his property for one million pounds, all of it was for the work of the church. Ananias promised that this would be so. Instead when the money arrived in his bank account he decided that his promise would be broken. The church would only receive a quarter or a half or perhaps even 99% but not all that had been promised.
This seems quite trivial to our modern ears but Peter was clear that Ananias' actions were inspired by Satan (v3). This man was guilty of lying to the Holy Spirit (v3b). He had lied to God Himself (v4b). Brothers and sisters pause for a moment and marvel at the holiness and wrath of God.
The Lord is not a bloke down the street who we can treat however we want. The Lord is not a slightly better version of sinful humanity. The Lord is a not a genie in a bottle who jumps when we command. Our God is a holy God. In Him no sin is found. He is perfect in every way. Brothers and sisters do not play foolish games with such a God. He is righteous and just and His wrath burns against sin. Ananias had treated God with contempt and both he (v5) and his wife (v10) fell down dead before Peter.
Let's not try and whitewash this passage by suggesting the shock of their actions caused their untimely demise. Ananaias and Sapphira's lives were taken by God Himself. Brothers and sisters, pause and tremble. God will execute His judgement on the last day but He executes judgement today. May we not trifle with our holy God. Today we respond to such a passage with holy fear. Just as fear fell upon the church in response to the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira so too we fear God and keep His commandments. Our yes is yes and our no is no. We strive for the peace of the local church. We close the door to Satan and his devices. The church is not a playground where anything goes, it belongs to Jesus and He will roar against any foe who seeks to wound His bride.
Q80 What is required in the tenth commandment? The tenth commandment requireth full contentment with our own condition, with a right and charitable frame of spirit toward our neighbor, and all that is his.
Read - Exodus 3:13-15
Message - Alan Burke
After asking ‘who am I’, Moses, now albeit it a round about way asks God, 'who are you’? (13). He had just been given a wonderful assurance that it was not who he was but whose he was, that God would go with him and be with him in all that lay ahead and to that Moses said…
“Suppose I go”
Enthusiastic, isn’t he! If we had asked Moses to do a wee job for us we would at this stage think to ourselves it’s time to find someone else. But this reluctant recruit wants to know… “what shall I tell them?”.
Why the question? It isn’t because God’s people had forgotten them because the Hebrew midwives feared the Lord more than Pharaoh (1:17). So what is it then? Well it seems that Moses was still fixated on himself, he no doubt remembered his last dealings with his people and wondered how they would respond when on his return he told them how he was out in the wilderness looking after some sheep, how encountered a burning bush that wasn’t burning and a voice told him to the Israelites out of Egypt.
You wouldn’t take this guy seriously, you might think age has got the better of him. And then what, even if they took him seriously how’s he going to go before Pharaoh? Well, just as before the problem with Moses was that instead fo looking to the greatness of God he is so caught up in himself, the important thing is not who Moses is, but whose he is, whom he belongs to and that God is ever present with him, all that was required of Moses would be that he would go forward in faith for this was God’s work and not his.
If Moses had taken the time to consider and remember that he came before, the God of his fathers, this whole conversation would have been so much shorter, if Moses had simply taken God at his word, for God would do it, not Moses. This was all the work of God in his plan to redeem his people and bring salvation to the ends of the earth, then it would have been a very different exchange, but Moses was caught up in himself.
I don’t know about you but I take a great deal of comfort in the midst of this, the unwillingness of Moses, how he is so caught up in himself and its led to fear, doubt, unwillingness, hesitation.
That may sound really strange, but remember Moses is listed among the greats of the faith in Hebrews chapter 11. How many of you have had doubts, been filled with a sense of inadequacy at God’s calling on your lives, left feeling that you good enough, you don’t deserve God’s grace, how you are a miserable christian. If that’s you this day then stop getting caught up in yourself like Moses did and instead look to the greatness of God.
In Hebrews we are told Moses is a man of faith, a faith that had been worked in him by God just as the faith we have has been worked in us by God so that we might become his children, when we are filled with doubts, filled with a sense of inadequacy at God’s calling us through faith then we need to stop looking at ourselves and look to whose we are, for we are God’s through faith.
For it is by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not our own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Eph 2:8-10). In all that lies ahead it is not us that salvation depends on, our inadequacy rather it is God who was, and is at work.
Q 79 Which is the tenth commandment?
The tenth commandment is, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’ s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’ s wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’ s. (Exod. 20:17)
Read - Acts 4v32-37
Message - Scott Woodburn
At the end of chapter two Luke famously described what the church of Jesus Christ looked like in the days after Christ's Ascension. As chapter four ends he shows us again that these Christians were radically different from the world around them.
They were living and meeting in Jerusalem and by this stage of history that great city had known famine and hardship. The church of Christ would not have been immune from such difficulty and perhaps the outside world was curious to see how this "new" religion would react. The answer was that they reacted with grace.
These men and women had received Christ by faith and had been brought into the one body of the church. They had done nothing to deserve such an honour but instead they had received the grace of God in the Gospel. What is grace? Grace is God's unmerited favour to those who deserve His wrath. The Gospel had such an impact that these believers responded to hardship by holding everything in common (v32).
Did they join together in a big barn on the outskirts of town sleeping in bunk beds and rearing each other's children? No. We are not called by the Scriptures to such a life. There has always been a movement towards asceticism in the church. What's that? Some who earnestly desire a closer walk with God have done their best to remove themselves from the world and all of its sinful pleasures. Perhaps the most famous ascetic was Simon the Stylite who lived on a small platform at the top of a pillar for 37 years.
I'm as certain as I can be that Simon was a saved man but I see no call in Scripture for us to find our own pillar. The men and women in this passage owned private property (v34) and would certainly have continued to do so, but in response to the hardship of their brothers and sisters in the Lord, they sold such property and laid the proceeds at the feet of the Apostles (v37). They didn't retreat into splendid isolation. They didn't take vows of silence or chastity or poverty. Instead they met the needs of their fellow Christians with generosity and grace.
The Gospel changes attitudes and hearts and passions and treasures. Suddenly the field that has been in our family for generations doesn't compare to the treasure of knowing Christ. Quickly the home that we've spent thirty years building doesn't shine as brightly as Jesus. As Christians we know that our earthly treasures cannot be kept and so with glad and generous hearts we seek to meet the needs of our fellow saints in the household of God.
It was the American missionary Jim Elliot who was killed by those he was trying to reach with the Gospel. Days before his death he wrote in his diary "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." May the glory of the Gospel be reflected in our generosity towards others.
Q78 What is forbidden in the ninth commandment? The ninth commandment forbiddeth whatsoever is prejudicial to truth, or injurious to our own or our neighbor’s good name.
Read - Exodus 3:11-12
Message - Alan Burke
Who would you choose, successful business person or someone down on their luck, a new graduate or one who hasn’t worked since they qualified a few years ago, someone in their twenties or someone past retirement age? (You don’t need to put your answers below). But if it was you would you have called Moses when he was prince or a shepherd, when he was forty years old in the palace or at eighty years old in the wilderness, when he was a somebody or a nobody?
Today even with all the anti discrimination laws that there are I doubt that Moses would be given the chance. Yet God called Moses the shepherd in the wilderness not the prince in Egypt, he called the Moses who was eighty years old and not forty, he called Moses when he was a nobody not a somebody. And to this Moses says;
“Who am I that I should go”
Who was Moses, well the important thing is not who he is, but whose he is and who is ever present with him. In other words, Moses should redirect his attention from himself to his God. For it is now Moses status or worth that make him important, that make him fit for the task that lies ahead, it is not his education or how he was a shepherd although God had been preparing him in these tasks, what made him the right choice was God. God would do it, not Moses, this was all the work of God in his plan to redeem his people and bring salvation to the ends of the earth, then it would have been a very different exchange, but Moses was caught up in himself even though God assured him that where he now stood God’s people would worship him (12).
A few things that we should notice, Moses was an undeserving sinner yet God was going to use him, he was a sinner, a murder a fallen man who hid his face from God because he knew he deserved the earth of God. In truth is that all of us are undeserving sinners, you may be sitting at home thinking that your sin is to great for you ever to be forgiven or use by God well there is a reason Moses is listed among the heroes of the faith (Heb 11:23-28). Well it’s a good thing that God is not like you or I and it's a good thing his grace is sufficient because as the psalmist reminds us in Psalm 130:3 If the LORD should mark iniquities who could stand?
The truth is not one of us!
Remember God “saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:5-6). Know that it is because you are not good enough, that you are unworthy that Jesus came, turn to him in repentance and faith.
Secondly the God who calls also who calls us to service also equips us to serve (2 Peter 1:3). Moses learned this during his life, the apostles of Jesus who were uneducated, ordinary men learnt and experienced this truth (Acts 4:13) and believers continue to learn experience this truth today. When God calls us to service. He also gives us what we need to perform that service. Remember His grace is sufficient for you, His power is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor 12:9).
Q 77 What is required in the ninth commandment?
The ninth commandment requireth the maintaining and promoting of truth between man and man, (Zech. 8:16) and of our own and our neighbour’ s good name, (3 John 12) especially in witness-bearing. (Prov. 14:5,25)
Read - Acts 4v23-31
Message - Scott Woodburn
If you've been paying attention to the American political scene you will have heard much about the "de-platforming" of Donald Trump. What is that? To de-platform someone is to remove from them the platform they use to speak. In Donald Trump's case he was banned from the social media app Twitter. It was on Twitter that the former President was followed by millions of people who heard his thoughts every day. Needless to say debates currently rage about the rights and the wrongs of Twitter's decision.
We'll leave politics there for today but regardless of Donald Trump I worry about the current urge to de-platform those with whom we do not agree. As Christians our concern should always be the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ which in this current age is becoming increasingly problematic for many in society. I suspect a good few of us will live to see an age where the Gospel is seen as something not suitable for the public sphere.
There is nothing new under the sun and if a modern government ever seek to silence the church it certainly won't be the first time. The Apostles were told that they couldn't share the Gospel anymore. Their response? They called upon the Lord and prayed for boldness in the face of opposition (v29).
Standing against God's people were the chief priests and elders (v23). Christ had been sent to the cross and was forced to stand before Herod and Pilate (v27). Their alliance was joined by Gentiles and people of Israel (v27b). None of this is surprising. As the fellowship pray they quote directly from Psalm 2 (v25-26). They remember that God has already said by the Holy Spirit that the nations rage and the people of the earth plot in vain. The kings of the earth are united in their opposition to the Lord and his anointed. Who is the anointed one? It is Jesus.
There are times in human history that nations have listened to the Gospel and times they have not. There have been moments that the Gospel was preached in our own parliament at Westminster and other days when the Gospel has been something of an embarrassment. I am no prophet but would suggest that we live in a time were the Gospel is still tolerated but we are moving quickly to a place of de-platforming. I hope I'm wrong, perhaps days of revival will come and we will see a harvest of souls. Thankfully, God knows.
We can't predict anything with certainty but in days of trouble our response should be boldness. John Bunyan was in prison for far longer than he should have been but he was promised that he would be released if only he would not preach. He responded by saying "If I am released today, I will preach tomorrow." The Gospel may be foolishness to those perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. May the Lord give us the boldness to share the Gospel is such an age as this.
Q76 Which is the ninth commandment? The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Read - Exodus 3:7-10
Message - Alan Burke
There is much that we hide from others, we put the face on when we leave the house and today we have anonymity behind a mask so we don’t even need to chat to people. There are other things that happen behind closed doors that are only known to us, how we feel, what we are going through, our circumstances are just a few. We thought last Monday of the cry of the people of God (Ex 2:23-25), how they in their desperation cried out to him, and in verse 25 “God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.”
Here the Lord God revealed to Moses that he had seen the misery of his people (7), their affliction, he had watched the oppression of Israel for a long time and has heard the people‘s cry of distress, he knows the extent of their need, and the moment for his action on the their has arrived.
His people may have wondered if God even cared but once more we are reminded that God always cares, he knew what his people were going though in Egypt and he knows what his people are going though this day, he is well aware of what we face, what is happening to us, he sees and knows our suffering and he cares about it. The Lord God is full of pity and compassion for the people he loves. God cares about the suffering of his people, and he comforts them (2 Cor 1:3-4), remember that this day. But God not only had seen their bondage he was going to deliver them from it, to bring them out of Egypt (8).
God was saving his people from their bondage in Egypt but he was saving them to something too. He was saving them into the Promised Land but all the while they were to look to that heavenly city. Likewise when God saved us, he saved us from our bondage to sin, our slavery to sin and is saving us to something greater, communion with the living God that was lost at the fall, he is saving us to a new heaven and a new earth.
For all of us, this is what God is saving us too, until we come to faith in God we are living in slavery, it may not be as the world sees it but all of us are slaves to sin (Rom 6:20), enslaved by its passions and desires, we are in as much need of salvation as God’s people in Egypt. God had come down to save his people and Jesus came down from Heaven to lift us up to glory. It is through Jesus that we enter into a personal saving relationship with God, in which we are saved from the power of sin, the terror of Satan, and the finality of death. We are also saved to something: Heaven is our promised land, the place of God’s abundant and eternal blessing.
What is more The God we come before is the God who sees, hears and remembers, is the God who knows our situation in all its desperate need. He is a God who is worth praying to. He already knows all about our situation because he sees everything that happens. He hears our prayer, He remembers that we belong to him through Jesus Christ and He answers our prayers even though they may not be in the way we wanted or desired but in a way that brings him glory.
Q 75 What is forbidden in the eighth commandment?
The eighth commandment forbiddeth whatsoever doth or may unjustly hinder our own or our neighbour’ s wealth or outward estate. (Prov. 21:17, Prov. 23:20–21, Prov. 28:19, Eph. 4:28)
Read - Acts 4v1-22
Message - Scott Woodburn
Peter was clear that the response to the lame beggar's healing was to be repentance and faith in Jesus. Indeed many received Christ bringing the number of men to about five thousand (v4). Unfortunately, the powers-that-be didn't heed this call and instead arrested Peter and John in a bid to silence their message of Christ and His resurrection (v1-3)
They wanted to know how the beggar had been healed (v7) and were quickly reminded of Christ. Peter didn't shrink away, instead filled with the Holy Spirit and with great boldness proclaimed that it was by the name of Jesus that the beggar was now walking (v10). Peter's questioners knew this name. They had crucified Jesus and rejected Him but this same Christ had now become the cornerstone (v11). Peter couldn't have been clearer. There is salvation in no one else. If you would be right with God, if you would be saved, then Christ is the One who must be trusted (v12).
The boldness of Peter and John left their accusers astonished (v13). The Apostles were uneducated common men and yet they taught with power and confidence. They knew that Peter and John had been with Christ (v13b) but as the lame beggar was now standing beside them the gathered accusers had nothing to say (v14).
At this stage you might think the events of the past day and testimony of the Apostles might cause the council to pause. They had heard an extraordinary message that had been underlined by an extraordinary healing. They know themselves that they cannot deny what has happened (v16). The man was more than forty years old (v22) and here he was standing straight and praising God. Perhaps all of this would cause the council to repent and trust Christ? Sadly not.
They can't find any grounds to punish these men for such a good deed but they warn them to be quiet and to no longer teach in the name of Jesus (v17). What a tragedy! An amazing work and word is before them and they choose to ignore it and try to silence it. The Apostles refuse (v19-20) and the people continue praising (v21) but the council remain resolute in their opposition to the Gospel.
It is still this way. The Gospel is preached faithfully in this land and yet many oppose it at every turn. Many have heard the Gospel since they sat on their mother's knee and yet relegate it to the dim and distant past. They see evidence of God's work and they hear God's word but still it is not enough. What is to be done? Brothers and sisters, knowing that God can melt even the hardest heart, continue to pray and continue to proclaim. If the Gospel is as glorious as we think then let us with boldness take every opportunity to speak of Christ. It is the power of God for the salvation of all who will believe.
To everyone else. Christ has been crucified for sin and rose again from the dead. He will return and you will stand before Him. Will you stand as His friend or His enemy? If you would be saved from His anger then do not go silently from this devotion. Repent of your sins and trust in Christ and you will be saved.
Q74 What is required in the eighth commandment? The eighth commandment requireth the lawful procuring and furthering the wealth and outward estate of ourselves and others.
Read - Exodus 3:2-6
Message - Alan Burke
In the spring or summer no doubt there will be wildfires on the Mourne’s. A couple of years ago now one fire at its front is a mile long, homes and a caravan park were evacuated while fifty fighter fighters tried to get it under control. It was started either to encourage young shoots for grazing or just out of badness but the visible effect of that fire was clear for everyone to see.
In the dry Sinai desert region a bush catching fires was and is not unusual. This bush that Moses saw was different; it appeared to be on fire even though it wasn’t actually burning. That’s because it was no ordinary fire. For this was the Angel of the Lord appearing to Moses, within the bush, clothed in flames of fire. God by his presence was there.
But this was not an angel in the ordinary sense, created beings sent by God like Gabriel to announce to Mary how she was with Child or the Angels who appeared to the shepherds. No, this Angel is the Lord himself appearing to Moses, this was what is known as a theophany, the visible manifestation of God to his creatures. God had been leading Moses to this point because He unknown to Moses and unknown to his people had been at work, to bring glory to himself, and it is this is the turning point in the book of Exodus for Moses and the people of God.
It is curiosity plain and simple that draws Moses to the bush (4), and the Lord speaks;
His Curiosity now turns to shock even terror. Our familiarity with this means that this supernatural theophany fails to fill us with wonder as it once did when we were children, I’m surprised Moses was even able to respond, there would have been many who turned on their heels and ran. Yet Moses says,
“Here I am.”
The Lord warns Moses not to come any closer, to take of his sandals, for the place where he was standing was holy ground. And then God said verse 6 “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
After hearing the voice of God, Moses is afraid, his reaction albeit in awe was initially to gaze at the bush, he now covers his face afraid to look at God. Moses understood that that the one who spoke from the bush was the Lord God, the God of his fathers.
Why did Moses cover his face?
Simply because Moses knew that he was an unholy man before the holy God. He hid is face for he knew his unworthiness, his sinfulness. This is why Moses hid his face because he knew that before a holy God he deserved his wrath. And all of us have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, we are all worthy objects of God's wrath and punishment.
Before the living God men are traumatised, because it reveals sin. Its not the picture that many of us have in our heads, we have made God some kind of fluffy agony aunt that meets our needs, but Bible teaches that at the end of history every human being who has ever lived or will live will stand before God’s throne for judgment (2 Cor 5:10). When that day comes, unless we are holy, we will be destroyed. How will we ever survive a direct encounter with God?
There is only one way that we can stand before God’s throne on that day, it is in and through Jesus Christ, the only way for us to come into the presence of a holy God is to become holy. This is only possible though what God has done, this is why He sent his Son Jesus Christ so that he might become our holiness and redemption (1 Cor 1:30). “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight” (Col. 1:21, 22).
It is the grace that God through Christ Jesus that enables us to approach Him—not as Moses did, hiding his face in fear, but by faith, trusting in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Q73 Which is the eighth commandment?
The eighth commandment is, Thou shalt not steal. (Exod. 20:15)
Read - Acts 3.11-26
Message - Scott Woodburn
As news spread that the lame beggar had been healed, a crowd ran to meet Peter and John (v11). Miracle workers always gather a crowd and many of them make their fortune by filling stadia and auditoriums around the world. But Peter and John didn't have white suits or perfect teeth, instead Peter addressed the gathering crowd to make sure they understood what was going on (v12).
Peter stressed that this man had been healed by Almighty God (v16) and not because Peter and John had miracle working power (v12b). Indeed he further stressed that it had nothing to do with their piety either. In other words Peter and John healed this man by the power of God and not because they were some sort of super Christians. With that message underlined Peter immediately turns to the Gospel.
Please note once more that the miracle of this man's healing wasn't to put on a good show or fill a stadium nor to make a service of worship more exciting. The healing of this man was a wonder and a sure sign that the Gospel was true and so Peter proceeds straight to the Gospel. The God of Abraham glorified Jesus (v13) who was delivered over to Pilate. The Jews could have had Christ released but instead asked for a murderer in Jesus' place (v14). Jesus who was the author of life (v15), the One who had made all things, was put to death but soon raised from the grave (v15b).
How was the lame beggar healed? By Jesus (v16). He had trusted in Christ who had caused him to stand again physically and spiritually. The beggar's new strength was miraculous but even more so was that a spiritually dead man was now alive. All of this done by Christ.
The crowd had rushed to see the brand new miracle workers and were instead confronted by the Gospel. They received much more than a good show, they received the word of life. Christ has fulfilled what was promised by the prophets (v18) and now it was time for the people to respond with repentance and faith (v19). If they would do so their sins would be blotted out.
Peter is sure that Jesus is the prophet spoken of by Moses (v22-23) and Samuel and the other prophets (v24). The covenant of grace had been made with Abraham (v25) and fulfilled in Christ and He has come to turn us all from our wickedness (v26).
I'm sure Peter and John left many disappointed that day. The crowd wanted lame beggars walking not a message of Christ who had died in weakness, after all what's better than a lame beggar walking? Greater than the greatest wonder is the Gospel. It is worth more than silver or gold. It has power to raise the dead to life. It is a message of grace and salvation. Christians - cherish the Gospel! Everyone else - believe it!
Q72 What is forbidden in the seventh commandment? The seventh commandment forbiddeth all unchaste thoughts, words, and actions.
January 20th, 2021
Read - Exodus 3:1
Message - Alan Burke
It’s Wednesday morning again, seriously I wonder where the weeks go, maybe your the same. The weekly monotony continues although it may be slightly more wearisome than this time last year for you because of Covid. What is it today? another day in front of a screen, another day trying to get back on your feet, another day homeschooling and praying that your children don’t hate you after it, another day taking six hours to do something that you know you can do in two, another day out on the yard, another day in the van or something completely different because your so skunnered and you’ve decided to do your weekly food shop in the form of a supermarket crawl only buying one item in each store and that will hopefully fill your week.
Well for Moses it was just another day, the usual monotony, moving his sheep to new pasture, making sure that they were all there, traveling great distances with them in the wilderness that would have been etched into his mind from the years of being alone with his sheep in the wilderness with no fences, dry stone walls to worry about. Moses most of the time was in a place of solitude only having sheep to talk to and exposed to the bitter reality of life.
What a change in the life of Moses, he was brought up in Egypt, in the place of Pharaoh, surrounded by servants and any want or whim his heart desired would have been catered to, the opulence of his upbringing when he was taken to the palace, now it would have seemed like a different life after these forty years.
Yet in it all The Lord God was at work and had been leading him throughout his life and to Horeb, to the mountain of God. For in his divine providence, God had brought Moses to this place and God would speak to him. It is not the setting that is significant, the mountain itself but rather it is that God appears and speaks to the wondering Moses.
These forty years were not forty wasted years, rather it was forty years of training and preparation for Moses in what lay ahead, it was his discipleship training for want of a better term, a forty year internship in looking after sheep. In all of it though God was shaping him, preparing him for what lay ahead by sending Moses to look after someone else’s sheep.
The Lord doesn't work according to our time scales, he is not in a hurry as we are often are, this apparent delay was not wasted time, this was part of the purposeful plans and purposes of God to bring salvation to his people. For God was training Moses up to the the shepherd of his people (Ps 77:20).
All his life God had been preparing Moses in what lay ahead. I’m sure Moses through those years cried out to God, he had no idea of what God was doing but God by his providence was at work. God by his most holy, (Ps. 145:17) wise, (Ps. 104:24, Isa. 28:29) and powerful preserving, (Heb. 1:3) and governing all his creatures, and all their actions (Ps. 103:19, Matt. 10:29–31) was at work in the life of Moses and all that he face and likewise he is at work in what we face this day.
I don’t know what that is, I don’t want to belittle what anyone is going though, but know that God is at work. We thought about this last week to, how many of us had experiences in the past or present that we haven’t a baldy why we are faced faced them, jobs that we only did as a stop gap, times of despair, heartache or hurt, suffering, yet in it all God was and is at work in our lives just as he was in the life of Moses. In all that we face remember that we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:10), that means in all of it, God is at work in our lives preparing us for what lies ahead. We were never promised an easy life as believers, our Saviour reminded us that following him means that we are to take up our cross (Matt 16:24-26), but remember that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope (Rom 5:3-4).
Q71 What is required in the seventh commandment?
The seventh commandment requireth the preservation of our own and our neighbour’ s chastity, in heart, speech, and behavior. (1 Cor. 7:2–3,5,34,36, Col. 4:6, 1 Pet. 3:2)