’ Faith Essay, Research Paper
Obedience and faith are virtues valued throughout the world. Families of all religions and cultures spend countless hours teaching their children these personality traits. Companies and social groups spend millions of dollars in an attempt to keep their employees and followers loyal to their cause. The reason for this effort is obvious: customers do not buy a product without knowing its quality and value. Children will not obey their parents unless they are scolded and taught otherwise. A constant effort with visual and emotional results is the only way to obtain the loyalty of someone in today s world. This is the major problem with all types of religions found on the planet. Blind faith is very difficult to trust and believe in. What is faith with God? It is a total dependence on God and the humble obedience to do God s will. The amount of faith is not as important as the right type of faith faith in the all-powerful God. A mustard seed is small, but it is alive and growing. Like this tiny seed, a small amount of genuine faith in God will take root and grow. Almost invisible at first, it will begin to spread, first underground and then visibly. Although each change will be gradual and imperceptible, this faith will soon produce major results that will uproot and destroy competing loyalties. People do not need more faith; a tiny seed of faith is enough, if it is alive and growing. The life of Moses from the bible is an example of using a tiny seed of faith to do the work of the Lord. God chose Moses to be a leader of the Israelites because he was a faithful and obedient man to the Lord. With God s guidance he changed his character, preformed exciting miracles and received God s gift to man. Until the moment when he disobeyed God, his leadership role was vanished. Only those with persistent faith and obedience will be used and blessed by God.
Anybody can receive the blessing of the Lord. It all depends on the faith of the person. Hardship and suffering are stages where people tend to lose their relationship with the Lord. This is the time where faith is one s greatest asset. Before Moses time, the Israelites were made slaves to the Egyptians in an attempt to suppress the Hebrew population. However, the Israelites remained strong in their faith and continued to grow. In fear of the increasing slave population, the Pharaoh ordered the midwives to slaughter all Hebrew baby boys (Ex. 1). He was asking the wrong people. Against Pharaoh s orders, the midwives spared the lives of Hebrew babies. Their faith in God gave them the courage to take a stand for what they knew was right. In this situation, disobeying the authority was proper in God s eyes. Moses mother knew how wrong it would be to destroy her child. There was little she could do to change Pharaoh s new law. Her only alternative was to hide the child and later she placed him in a tiny reed basket on the river. God used her small but courageous act to place her son, in the house of Pharaoh. Miriam, Moses sister, saw Pharaoh s daughter had discovered Moses. Quickly she took the initiative to suggest a nurse (her mother) who might care for the baby. Moses mother was reunited with her baby (Ex. 2:1-10). God used her small act of faith to overcome almost impossible human circumstances. She concentrated on God and his power helped her see the way out. That is all God needed to start his work in her.
Perhaps there are things in one s heart that stir inside. These may indicate areas where God wants one to be used. God uses a variety of means such as hereditary traits, environmental influences and personal experiences to develop and prepare his children. After being saved by the Pharaoh s daughter, Moses grew up to become an Egyptian prince. He observed the horrible way in which the Egyptians treated the Hebrews. In revenge of God s people, he murdered an Egyptian and ran off to Midian to hide (Ex. 2:11-22). He loved God and he grew up with the love inside him, so he knew that God s people in slavery were wrong. It took many years after this incident for Moses to be ready to serve God. He trusted God to deliver him, no matter how dark his past or bleak his future. The Israelites were groaning beneath their burdens because of their slavery and wept bitterly before the Lord. God had promised to bring the Hebrews slaves out of Egypt (Gen. 46:3-4). Israelites had waited along time for that promise to be fulfilled, but God rescued them when he knew the right time had come. God was preparing Moses for leadership. In learning about ways of the people he would be leading and about life in the wilderness. Moses could not see this for himself, but God was getting him ready to free Israel from bondage. He did this by an unexpected force, a burning bush. God told him to free the people out of the land into the promise land and to destroy Egypt. Although he felt inadequate for the job, God assured Moses that he would not be alone (Ex. 3). He offered other resources to help Moses: God himself, Aaron and the special gifts to do miracles. The Lord proved his power to Moses by turning a rod into a serpent (Ex. 4). Moses was confident enough in God and was ready to do God s will. It must have been hard when Pharaoh and his own people did not believe him. Eventually the Hebrews were sure that God had sent him, but for a time he must have felt alone. Moses did obey and God did intervene with his mighty power to deliver the people. Only those with persistent faith can obey when the task seems impossible. God lifted Moses faith for the Lord had bigger plans for him to achieve.
The amazing thing about the change in Moses character is not that he stopped serving God, but that he learned to serve correctly. Bringing two million people into the wilderness was more than enough challenge for Moses reacting ability. Much of the time Moses acted as a buffer between God and the people. At one moment he had to respond to God s anger at the people s stubbornness and forgetfulness. God gave the Hebrews a pillar of cloud and fire so they would know day and night that God was with them on their journey to the Promise land (Ex.13:21-22). However, the Israelites thought the pursuing Egyptian army would slaughter them. Where was their faith in God? The people were hostile and despairing, but Moses encouraged them to watch the wonderful way God would rescue them. God saw Moses faith and opened a dry path from the Red Sea for the people to flee and closed the walls of the sea upon the Egyptians (Ex.14). At another moment, Moses had to react to the people s bickering and complaining. God miraculously supplied food and water in the wilderness for the Israelites. In the Sihn wilderness he provided water from a rock (Ex.17:1-7). At still another moment, he had to react to their unjustified attacks on his character. In the middle of the wilderness the people cried out to Moses, Why did you bring us here to die (Ex.17:3). In Moses we see an outstanding personality shaped by God. But one must not miss what God actually did. He did not change who or what Moses was, but he worked on how Moses was. His abilities and strengths were not changed, but rather refined so Moses would use them for the work of God. The unending faith that was displayed by Moses not only gave him the power to perform miracles, but also influenced the Israelites, pushing their faith closer to God.
The undying love and honor for the Lord that Moses demonstrated in the past events proved to God that Moses was special. God chose him to bring forth the special laws to all the land. This made the promise to his people complete and Moses delivered the Ten Commandments to them at Mount Sinai (Ex. 20). God made these laws to live in peace for generations in the Promised Land. The Israelites would need to obey authority and build strong faithful families. The example Moses set for the people was a guideline for each individuals relationship with God. However, when Moses left the people to go up Mount Sinai, his followers lost faith and began to worship a false idol (Ex. 3). God was ready to destroy the whole nation because of their sin. Moses pleaded for mercy, and God spared them (Ex.32: 30-35). God had often told the people that if they changed their ways he would not condemn them. They changed and God did as he promised. A passionate devotion and reliance on the Lord s direction saved the people.
After thirty-seven years in the wilderness, the Israelites forgot that their wandering was a result of their own sin. The generation of those who had lived in Egypt had almost died off and the new generation would be ready to enter the Promised Land. In Kadesh, there was not enough water for the people and they complained bitterly and blamed it on Moses, which made him angry. The Lord had told Moses to speak to the rock and it would pour out water. Moses struck it, not once, but twice and for this he was forbidden to enter the Promise Land (Num. 20:7-13). Moses was the leader and model for the entire nation. Because of this great responsibility to the people, he could not be let off lightly. By striking the rock, Moses disobeyed God s direct command and dishonored the Lord in the presence of the nation. Despite Moses disobedience, he wanted to make sure that the nation did not forget all they had seen God do. He urged the people to listen, learn and obey the Lord. Blessing of God, according to Moses, comes from total commitment to God, the one who created life itself. Although Moses did not enter the Promised Land, his faith became stronger, for he still loved the Lord with all of his heart. Having faith in the Lord is the key to the blessing of the Lord.
Being blessed and used by God will only come with persistent faith and obedience. At first it may not seem to be as much fun as the world s way of living, but gradually, as our friendship with God deepens, it leads to strength of character, peace of mind and deep satisfaction. It requires discipline, obedience and faithfulness, which are why most people never find it. God often blesses his children in ways we do not expect. Moses was a faithful man, but when he disobeyed, God stopped using him as a leader. God released him from his duty, for he needed a person with continuous faith to do his work. God s blessings might not be immediate, but they will come if we are faithful to do what God says in his word. Overall, the long-term rewards of obeying God are greater than anything the world has to offer.