Standing Strong Through the Storm - Sunday, February 16, 2014
GOD AS DELIVERER
“And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”Exodus 3: 9-10
Moses may have been delighted to hear that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was a God with a heart for His people’s suffering. Delighted too that this God with such a father’s heart then rises from His throne—not commanding armies of angels to relieve the suffering of His people—and comes down in His own person to deliver them from the hands of the Egyptians.
But Moses is totally taken back by the command, “I am sending YOU, Moses, to Pharaoh in order to bring the Israelis out of Egypt.” Moses reaction is one of self-deprecation and insecurity. He poses innumerable questions and obstacles. God promises to go with him and give Moses the exact words to say. God is able to deliver. And often He will ask YOU to be His agent.
In Iran, Pastor Haik Hovsepian (martyred in 1994) recorded many messages. It has been possible to distribute thousands of his tapes. One of the people who recently got hold of a tape is a Quran reciter. He has a very powerful voice and many times he has been invited to recite the Quran in different mosques in Iran. He also passionately recited about the life of the dead Imams (Muhammad’s descendants) in mourning ceremonies in order to make people cry. He used to be a very religious person himself.
When he got hold of a sermon of Haik, he realized that through religion he cannot be saved. He was in captivity of some immoral sins such as alcohol abuse and adultery. When he heard about the difference between religion and salvation of Jesus, the Spirit of God spoke to his heart. Every time he listened to this tape, he felt even more convinced that he needed the salvation of Jesus, until he finally gave his life to the Lord. By then he was not only liberated from the captivity of his sins, but also from the captivity of the religion with which he was identifying. He is now using his voice to sing for the Lord and shares about Jesus wherever he goes.
As he was a well-known person among Muslim religious leaders and other people, one evening the secret police knocked at his door. Two weeks later, they released him from prison on bail until his trial date. He had to borrow half of the money from his relatives as his savings were not enough. Since he lost his job as a Quran reciter, he does not have any source of income, so it is difficult for him to live and to pay the money back to his family. He is trusting God to totally deliver him. Praise God for the steadfast faith of this brother in following Jesus.
RESPONSE: Today I will trust God for deliverance from every challenge and temptation I face.
PRAYER: Thank You Lord for this precious deliverance record of Your power and goodness. I am available to act as Your agent in this world of suffering.