Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bees in the Promised Land

While Timmy was playing in the yard, a bee stung him on the hand. He ran to his mother, crying, "I hate bees! I wish God had never made them." His mom put some ointment on the sting and said, "Let me get you something that will cheer you up. Do you want some toast and honey?"

Timmy perked up. "Yeah I'd love to have some honey!"
"Are you sure?" she asked. "You hate bees, but it takes bees to make honey." Tim looked at his toast and honey, which he was holding with the hand that had been stung. "Hmm. I never realized that bees had a good side!"

And so it is with life. Everything has a good side and a bad side, including the Promised Land. Moses sent twelve men into the land of Canaan to spy it out. The spies saw the land "flowing with milk and honey" but they also noticed the giants living there. Israel would have to fight the big guys to obtain the land that God had promised them. (See Numbers 13)

When they returned, ten spies gave a frightening report, saying they shouldn't go into the land because the giants would win. Joshua and Caleb said just the opposite--that the land was fruitful and God would give them victory over the giants. Although all 12 spies looked at the same territory, they came to different conclusions because 10 focused on problems and 2 focused on blessings. What we choose to focus on determines whether we're terrified or hopeful!

What does this have to do with your situation? You are "spying out the land" where you now live and are giving daily reports on what you see. Are you looking at your problems and missing what God has promised? Are you like the 10 whiners, or the 2 winners? You choose.
Keep looking up!
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Purpose for Joseph's Pit

Joseph was thrown into a pit in the wilderness by his brothers. They had planned to kill him, but Reuben suggested that they throw him into a nearby pit instead (Gen. 37:18-22). It was no accident that the pit just happened to be where they were. God had planned in eternity past for it to be there, knowing that it would one day serve a divine purpose. It was an ordained pit! Notice three things about this pit:

1. The pit kept Joseph from being killed.
His brothers fully intended to kill him and saw the pit as a way to get rid of him without shedding blood (v.22)
2. God made sure the pit was dry (v.24). If water had been in it, Joseph would have drowned.
3. The pit was used as a holding tank until the Ishmaelite traders came by and escorted him to Egypt (v.25-28). It was no accident that the traders just happened to travel by that route at just the right time. God was leading them (without them knowing it) so they would take His servant to the desired destination. And it was there that the Lord eventually made him a ruler!

Sooner or later, someone is going to throw you into a pit. When it happens, keep in mind that the Lord has a purpose for your pit. Although your enemy had the first word, look for God to have the last word. He is just using your pit as a holding tank to get you to a better place. And He will, if you will keep your heart right and not get bitter at your brothers.
Keep looking up! (Even when you're at the bottom of the pit)