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Not A Hoof Left Behind

Not A Hoof Left Behind

24 January 2021

Jim Stephens

Reading: Exodus 9-11; Luke 24

9 Moses replied, “We will all go—young and old, our sons and daughters, and our flocks and herds. We must all join together in celebrating a festival to the Lord.” 11 (Pharaoh replied) Never! Only the men may go and worship the Lord, since that is what you requested.” And Pharaoh threw them out of the palace. 26 (Moses declared) “All our livestock must go with us, too; not a hoof can be left behind. We must choose our sacrifices for the Lord our God from among these animals. And we won’t know how we are to worship the Lord until we get there.” (Exodus 10:9, 11, 26 NLT)

I believe the events in the Exodus story really happened to Jacob’s descendants! But I believe the story is our story as well. In our personal Exodus story, slavery in Egypt represents living in bondage to sin, Pharaoh represents Satan, and Moses represents Christ our Savior and Deliverer. God used Moses’ faithful obedience to supernaturally break Pharaoh’s power so that Moses could lead the people to freedom. Christ’s faithful obedience broke Satan’s power so that we can follow our master Jesus to freedom from Satan, self, and sin. What a story! What a reality!

But check this! As Pharaoh’s grip on God’s people weakened, he suggested partial response – partial obedience to God’s requirements. Satan’s tactics haven’t changed. If he can’t keep us away from God, he’ll suggest partial response. He’ll say, “Oh all right. Go ahead and believe this stuff, but don’t impose it on your children!” or “Go ahead and go to church, but don’t let this stuff affect your pocket book!” or “Of course the teachings of Jesus about humility, integrity, loving, and forgiving sound nice, but you can’t actually live like that or people will walk all over you!”

A partial response to God won’t bring full deliverance to our lives! A faith that doesn’t get passed on to the next generation is short-lived. Salvation that doesn’t include our wealth and possessions is incomplete. Saying we believe something without putting it into practice it is dead religion. Like Moses said, “We’re going to worship God and we’re taking the whole family and everything we own!”

Prayer:

Father, In our believing, our living, and our faith-sharing, let us not settle for partial response to you, for short-term commitment, for incomplete freedom. The temptations are strong and the enemy is shrewd. Please help us not be lazy or be fooled by the temptation of a less-than-complete commitment to your Lordship and your Love. Thank you for including the children and for providing a salvation for the totality of our lives and our eternity. Amen.

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