Thursday, October 02, 2008
Current Study: People Who Made a Difference
Today’s Topic: God’s Rescue Mission
Today’s Scripture: Exodus 3:7-10 The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 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.”
Moses made a difference because he was willing to rescue people from injustice. As a young official in Egypt, he stepped in and rescued one of his countrymen who was being beaten, and he killed the tormentor. Although his known people did not understand his actions and rejected him, his desire to rescue those in need did not cease. Later, in another land, he rescued some women who had come to water their father’s flocks but had been driven away by other shepherds. Moses was a man who saw injustice and took steps to rescue those caught in its bondage. God knew Moses was the man to accomplish a dangerous rescue mission. So he sent him back to Egypt to bring His people out of slavery and direct them to the Promised Land.
Years ago, the coastal communities of England established rescue stations where men prepared to assist ships that had crashed on the rocks. During one particularly terrible storm that swept the Atlantic and hurled huge waves upon the coast, a ship was thrown on the rocks. It was a dark night, and the storm rose higher as the night deepened. Fires were kindled all along the shore, if by any means to help those who were needing help. The lifeboat was manned. Out through the breakers and into the storm they went to the rescue. When they returned, a man named John Holden, who stood upon the shore, cried out, “Do you have all the ship’s company?”
The rescuers answered, “All but one man.”
“Why did you not get him?”
“Well, our strength was nearly gone, and we knew if we stayed any longer we would have all been lost to the sea.”
Then John Holden said: “These men who have been to the rescue are nearly exhausted. Who here will go with me to rescue the one man?” Six sturdy fellows promptly came forward. Then John Holden’s mother threw her arms around his neck and said, “John, don’t you go! Your father was swallowed up by the angry ocean, and your brother William went to sea two years ago and I fear that he is lost, too, for we have not heard of him since. You are the pillar of my life and my only dependence. Who will care for me if the sea swallows you also?” Then John Holden, with a firm, strong grasp, removed her arms from his neck and said to her, “There is a man drowning out there, and I must go. If the sea should swallow me, God will take care of you; I’m sure He will.” Kissing her cheek, he turned and stepped into the lifeboat. They pushed out into the breakers and rowed to the wreck. They found the man still clinging to the rigging, and, getting him into the boat, they pulled back to the shore. As the boat neared the shore, someone shouted, “Have you found the man?” “Yes,” answered John Holden, “we have him, and it is my brother William.”
The mission of God is the rescue of mankind. The human race has been hijacked and held hostage by the ultimate terrorist. God has already paid the ransom by sacrificing His own Son on the cross. But the terrorist has not informed the captives that they are free to go. They need to be rescued, and God has called us to man the boats. Only one thing is stopping us from accomplishing the rescue – we care more for ourselves then we do for the lives of those who are in distress. We are more like the mother than we are the brother who cared about another. And yet, when the needs of the other were considered first, the needs of everyone were met.
It is time for the people of God to participate in the mission of God. Someone made a difference in each of our lives because they were on a rescue mission. Whose life will you attempt to rescue today?