Bible Ballistics: Vol. 17 No. 23 Baskets And Palaces???
Just a few thoughts on whether we are being willing to serve with ‘baskets’ if that’s where God has us, or if we are so busy pursuing ‘palaces’ on our own, that we reject and diminish the value of ‘baskets’!
“There be four things which are little
upon the earth,
but they are exceeding wise:
25 The ants are a people not strong,
yet they prepare their meat
in the summer;
26 The conies are but a feeble folk,
yet make they their houses
in the rocks;
27 The locusts
have no king, yet go they forth
all of them by bands;
28 The spider
taketh hold with her hands,
and is in kings’ palaces.” Proverbs 30:24-28
There are good things of God’s creation that are small but powerful, and God wants us to learn from His creation. Yet, there are small things of God’s creation that while small, they demand caution and care, and we often forget to beware of the difference. James warns us of one of the greatest dangers we face daily—our words, our tongue!
“For in many things we offend all.
If any man offend not in word,
the same is a perfect man,
and able also to bridle the whole body.
3 Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths,
that they may obey us;
and we turn about their whole body.
4 Behold also the ships,
which though they be so great,
and are driven of fierce winds,
yet are they turned about
with a very small helm,
whithersoever the governor listeth.
5 Even so the tongue is a little member,
and boasteth great things.
Behold, how great a matter
a little fire kindleth!
6 And the tongue is a fire,
a world of iniquity:
so is the tongue
among our members,
that it defileth
the whole body,
and setteth on fire
the course of nature;
and it is set on fire
7 For every kind of beasts,
and of birds,
and of serpents,
and of things in the sea,
and hath been tamed
8 But the tongue
can no man tame;
it is an unruly evil,
full of deadly poison.” James 3:2-8
James goes on to tell us even more about our tongue—in a nut-shell— ‘we can control our tongue with God’s help and the work of The Holy Spirit’, or ‘we can allow our tongue to control us’! Our words can bring life, peace and hope to others, or we can speak things that do more harm than a gun or knife could ever do! How often have we wished we could take back “our words”—but once they are out, they are irretrievable. How true is the proverb (not a biblical one, but a true one, nonetheless) that I have often quoted, “Watch your words and keep them sweet! You never know which ones you’ll eat!” What are you doing with your words?
“But the tongue
can no man tame;
it is an unruly evil,
full of deadly poison.
9 Therewith bless we God,
even the Father;
and therewith curse we men,
which are made after the similitude of God.
10 Out of the same mouth
these things ought not so to be.
11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place
12 Can the fig tree, my brethren,
bear olive berries?
either a vine,
so can no fountain both yield
13 Who is a wise man
and endued with knowledge among you?
let him shew out of a good conversation
with meekness of wisdom.” James 3:8-13
Do our words reveal meekness and wisdom? If our fountain is full of God’s Spirit, may our words reflect it!
You all remember Moses? Well, I’d like to consider Moses and his parents—scripture tells us that they had a heart to believe God and pursue HIS purposes, even if it meant relying on a small basket; even though it could have cost them their lives as well as the life of their tiny baby!
But God took that “basket” into the “palace”. Many today are busy trying to push their children into “palaces” of fame, fortune, or popularity at any cost. We dress them up like harlots, and immoral movie stars, actors, musicians, and other rabble, with no regard for what we are encouraging them to pursue. We send them out with all their virtue uncovered and wonder why their morals fail. We fill their lives with constant activity, yet we take very little time to teach them what God expects of them; and how to follow God’s Word. May heaven help us see the import of teaching them about modesty, dignity, self-respect, and respectability! Oh, please God our Father, open our eyes to see YOUR truth.
“And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi.
2 And the woman conceived,
and bare a son:
and when she saw him that he was a goodly child,
she hid him three months.
3 And when she could not longer hide him,
she took for him an ark of bulrushes,
and daubed it with slime and with pitch,
and put the child therein;
and she laid it in the flags
by the river’s brink.
4 And his sister stood afar off,
to wit what would be done to him.
5 And the daughter of Pharaoh came down
to wash herself at the river;
and her maidens walked along by the river’s side;
and when she saw the ark among the flags,
she sent her maid to fetch it.
6 And when she had opened it,
she saw the child:
and, behold, the babe wept.
And she had compassion on him, and said,
This is one of the Hebrews’ children.
7 Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter,
Shall I go and call to thee a nurse
of the Hebrew women,
that she may nurse the child
… 10 And the child grew,
and she brought him
unto Pharaoh’s daughter,
and he became her son.
And she called his name Moses:
and she said,
Because I drew him
out of the water.” Exodus 2:1-7 & 10
God knew where that basket would end up, and while Moses’ mother didn’t know that I believe she had an idea of the possibility of his rescue, especially since she sent his older sister to watch the outcome of her actions. She acted in faith and knew her God would provide somehow! I’m so glad that the book of Hebrews describes the events from God’s perspective that she didn’t have at the time—but she did know the God who did KNOW!!! Remember that faithfulness to God produces obedience, and obedience will result in other’s seeing the faithfulness of GOD ALMIGHTY! And a mother of faith, changed the future of her son and her people—not by her own power, but by trusting in the God who did have the power!
“By faith Moses,
when he was born,
was hid three months
of his parents,
because they saw
he was a proper child;
and they were not afraid
of the king’s commandment.” Hebrews 11:23
Moses the adult:
“By faith Moses,
when he was come to years,
refused to be called the son
of Pharaoh’s daughter;
25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction
with the people of God,
than to enjoy the pleasures of sin
for a season;
26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ
than the treasures in Egypt:
for he had respect
unto the recompence of the reward.
27 By faith
he forsook Egypt,
not fearing the wrath of the king:
for he endured,
as seeing him who is invisible.
28 Through faith he kept the passover,
and the sprinkling of blood,
lest he that destroyed the firstborn
should touch them.
29 By faith they passed through the Red sea
as by dry land:
which the Egyptians assaying to do
were drowned.” Hebrews 11:24-29
Both Moses and his parents chose to go God’s way even when it was unpopular, even when it was against the law for him to be kept alive as an infant, yet his mother and father believed that God had a plan even though it might cost them their lives as well as Moses’ life. How is it that we would rather blend in than stand for what we say we believe? I find it interesting that while most have read and stand by what they read in the first half of Hebrews 11, many often overlook the last half that describes those whose faith appeared to “fail” before the world—according to the “name-it-and-claim-it” folks. God says faith is faith in HIM and HIS provision, not in how things may look, nor the opinion of the world! When did we choose popular opinion over biblical obedience? See what God says in the last part of Hebrews 11.
“And others had trial
of cruel mockings
37 They were stoned,
they were sawn asunder,
were slain with the sword:
they wandered about
38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:)
they wandered in deserts,
and in mountains,
and in dens
and caves of the earth.
39 And these all, having obtained a good report
received not the promise:
40 God having provided some better thing for us,
that they without us
should not be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:36-40
Whose approval are you after? I think I’d rather seek God’s approval in a basket, than the world’s in a palace void of God’s presence. God’s plan seldom matches what the world is expecting. What do your kids see in your choices? Are you leading them to trust in God or something or someone else? What do those around you see in you? God or the world? We must choose!
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God,
a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
May we heed Paul’s call unto Timothy and see the import of God’s Word, and use it to “order” our steps; it will surely lead us into the ways of God—which the world will never do. May we learn like Joshua to choose rightly, regardless of what others do.
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD,
choose you this day
whom ye will serve;
whether the gods which your fathers served
that were on the other side of the flood,
or the gods of the Amorites,
in whose land ye dwell:
but as for me and my house,
we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15
God’s rules have never changed—and they never will!
the same yesterday,
and to day,
and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8
Will you stand with the unchanging Christ or the transient world around us? It’s your choice, but choose wisely, there is a test.
“To him that overcometh
will I grant to sit with me
in my throne,
even as I also overcame,
and am set down with my Father
in his throne.” Revelation 3:21
Amen and Amen!!!