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Where is God when life is darkest?

11 Jun

The headlines of the past week scream loudly about the darkness of our world!

  • 12 killed and dozens wounded in ISIS attack on Iran’s Parliament and Islamic shrine
  • Veteran to be arraigned on bomb possession, threat charges
  • Qatar and its neighbors have been at odds since Arab Spring
  • 22 die at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England
  • London Bridge attack—ISIS claims responsibility for Borough Market terror
  • Feds arrest alleged NSA leaker, Reality Winner
  • 5 reasons why marriage is harder in 2017
  • Russia has the third-highest number of new HIV infections in the world
  • Uber fires 20 employees after sexual harassment claim investigation
  • Study: Phone obsessed parent have naughtier kids
  • Three Michigan State University football players charged with sexual assault
  • Mom, young son dead after gunman opens fire on car in Utah
  • Bodies, plane parts found in search for Myanmar aircraft carrying 120
  • Japan murder suspect arrested after 45 years on the run
  • Springfield-Holyoke, MA (Pioneer Valley) is #3 of list of Top 20 Most Unchurched Cities (57% have not attended a church service in past six months; #5 on list to Top 20 Most Dechurched Cities (43% formerly were active but now are not)

Where is God? Doesn’t he care? Why doesn’t he do something?

3,000+ years ago, Moses was born into a situation very similar to our own. Exodus 1:1-2:10 describes the dark world that Moses was born into.

In the midst of darkness, God remembers his people (Exodus 1:1-7). In Genesis 15:13-14, God told Abraham that his descendants would be slaves in Egypt for 400 years and that he would bring them back to the Promised Land after that time. God told Jacob that he would prosper the nation during the time of adversity (Genesis 46:1-4). Even though they faced difficult times of oppression, God had not abandoned his people. He knows their names and their number, and he prospers them. Over 300+ years, they grow from 70 to 2-3 million people.

In the midst of darkness, God causes his people to grow (Exodus 1:8-14). After the death of Joseph, there is a regime change. Rather than being viewed as an asset, the Jews are seen as a threat. The Pharaoh decides to oppress the Jews in an attempt to blot them out. He is unaware of the Second Law of Thermodynamics—the greater the heat, the greater the expansion. Instead of disappearing, God prospers his people and they expand.

In the midst of darkness, God brings help from unlikely sources (Exodus 1:15-22). Since Plan A—oppression didn’t work, Pharaoh turns to Plan B—abortion. However, he didn’t account for god-fearing midwives who practice civil disobedience. He then implements Plan C—infanticide, murdering baby boys.

In the midst of darkness, God raises up a deliverer (Exodus 2:1-10). Moses is born at the right time in history. He becomes a man of great faith because he had parents of great faith. In an effort to hide the baby boy, God brings an unlikely ally, the daughter of Pharaoh. She rescues Moses, adopts him as her son, but allows Moses’ mother to nurse and raise him.

When life is darkest, remember …

  • God knows where you are and what you need. Hard times don’t erase God’s promises. Harsh treatment doesn’t escape God’s notice.
  • God will use the situation for your benefit. Romans 8:28-30 reminds us that God is actively engaged in overseeing the details of our lives and can use anything and everything to help us grow to be more like Christ.
  • God will provide the help you require. If you choose to honor God in (whatever challenging situation you face), how might God meet your needs?
  • God is at work to deliver you. God’s timing is always best. Deliverance doesn’t always mean removal. Sometimes God takes us out of the trial; sometimes he takes us through the trial.

When life is darkest, remember that God is at work in the dark.

This is the synopsis of a message preached at First Central Bible Church on June 11, 2017. It is the opening message in a series on The Life of Moses. Please click on the link to download a copy of the sermon notes.

 

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