Apples of Gold

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Out of Egypt

And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.í Numbers 21:5

This Lordís Day in my congregation there will be a separation and division among the people. Some will be seated at the Lordís Table while others will not. Some I hope will take their place at the Lordís Table for the first time, while others will pay their final visit.

I cannot think of a more blessed thing to be able to do than to pass the cup of blessing on to your wife, your son or your daughter. I often wonder whether I will ever be able to sit at the Lordís Table again in this world or must wait for that Great Banquet that is to come.

It is on weekends such at this that I feel the frustration of my condition the most. I miss being among the people. I miss the healthy thoughts of those who have travelled the road longer than I have. I have gained much from their wisdom over the years. I will not be with them in body but I will be with them in spirit, praying that they would indeed enjoy a feast of fat things.

I have often experienced the heartache of taking my place at the Lordís Table while my family have headed upstairs to seats in the gallery. If salvation ran through blood lines then they would be sitting beside me, however salvation is by grace alone. I want them to be saved, I pray for them to be saved. If I could save them I would, but I canít.

I could not even save myself!

I was taken by the hand out of Egypt many years ago. My Saviour called me by my name and I followed Him because He drew me.

Thankfully, even at my lowest points I have never had the desire to return to Egypt and to an unregenerate state. The Ďworldí holds absolutely nothing for me. It promised me much but failed time and again to fulfil.

I am a Christian. I believe that Jesus Christ died for me. I have new thoughts, new hopes, new desires and hopefully a new language. I am part of a new family. I have been adopted by God Himself. I have left behind the so called Ďpleasures of Egyptí to follow Jesus.

The second Person of the Godhead veiled His glory in human flesh and bore the wrath and curse due to us for our sins on a cross outside the walls of Jerusalem. He died and they carried His lifeless body and placed in a tomb and left it there. He died on the cross for sinners. His death was a sacrifice unto God.

He is not in the grave now!

He was dead!

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and may His name be exalted time without end. Christ is no longer dead. Our God reigns.

He is alive!

He lives!

Others may see our faults and our failings every single day. They may judge us accordingly. We know that we are not perfect, just forgiven. We are often called saints but I prefer to be referred to as a sinner saved by grace.

Others may expect us to be faultless, but we know better. Some may look at me and find fault after fault. I tell you that they do not know the half of it. I am far worse than they could possibly imagine. That is why I need a Saviour.

The children of Israel also needed a Saviour. God was patient with them up to a point. But under Moses they turned their noses up at the manna sent from Heaven and the water from the rock, and they now wish that they had died in Egypt with their bellies full.

But God is not mocked!

The bites from the serpents were deadly.

Once bitten they had no hope, death was calling their names. The whole nation could and no doubt would have been wiped out had it not been for the intervention of Moses. They multiplied their abuse and took out their frustrations on this man, yet he prays for mercy upon them! Confession of sin is made and an earnest plea that the serpents be taken from them was sent heavenward.

Mosesí prayer was heard, but it was answered in a way he could not have imagined. Can we relate to this - petitions made and answered in ways that have exceeded our expectations and in ways we had not thought of?

There were no antibiotics, there was no penicillin, and there were no steroid injections!

But all they had to do to be cured was to look up at the serpent of brass and nothing more! It did not matter whether they were near at hand or at a distance. As long as they obeyed Godís command they would live.

Simple?

Our generation is also suffering from a fatal bite. When Adam bit into the forbidden fruit he sentenced us all to death. That one bite severed our communion with God and left mankind wallowing in sin, facing the wrath and curse of God and a lost eternity.

We may be like the children of Israel by attempting to shift the blame. And we may be quick to point the finger of blame at Adam. What good is that going to do? Are we going to use this as an excuse and a plea before God at the day of Judgement. Such a thought is absolute folly.

Many have tried living the good life, tried as best they can to please God and to win His favour by good works. But though the works may be good, they cannot be good enough! The writing, my friend, is on the wall and the scales of justice are balanced in Godís favour. We have been found wanting!

Unless we accept Godís remedy we will also die in like manner as our brethren before us.

Instead of looking to a serpent of brass we are to look to Jesus as crucified on the cross for sinners. This is Godís remedy for sinners. Look, trust, believe and be saved. Believe that Jesus died in your room and place, taking the punishment that your sins deserve and that by His sacrifice He is reconciling you to God.

Simple?

Is it too good to be true? Is it too easy?  Surely there must be some other way?

There is no other way. Come as you are and live, or carry on living as you are and Hell will welcome you as another easy catch. The matter is serious. The matter is urgent.

Today, I believe my soul to be safe. Is yours? Jesus is waiting for you to turn from your evil ways. His arms are outstretched waiting to embrace you. Will you accept Him as your Redeemer or will you turn your back on His pleas once again and walk away? Choose you this day whom you will serve.

Author : Iain Mackenzie   Edited by : Pastor Al Moak