Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Chapter 3 Miriam: The Leading Lady of The Exodus

For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, I redeemed you from the house of bondage; And I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.  - Micah 6:4

One of the most fascinating things I learned about Miriam is her role in Moses' life when he was a baby.  I never realized that her job was to follow her baby brother as he floated down the river.  She played a very important role in keeping Moses in their lives without having to be afraid of what the authorities might say.  (If you have not read Chapter 3, I encourage you to do so.  John MacArthur has a way with his words of telling the story of Moses as a baby that opened my eyes to things I never new.)

Below are the points that John MacArthur writes about in Chapter 3 of Twelve Unlikely Heroes.

*  God's providence brought about a remarkable result.  Miriam's courage led to Moses' mother being paid to raise her own son!  p. 48

*  At the very beginning of Moses' life, the Lord used his older sister, Miriam, in a specific way, to watch over him and bring him safely back home.  In her willingness to bravely approach Pharaoh's daughter, Miriam played a strategic role in her baby brother's return to his family.  She was emboldened by the faith she had seen in her parents, and which she herself possessed.  Moreover, in watching the Lord rescue Moses from the Nile River, Miriam herself was being prepared for the day when she would see God deliver her people from their bondage in Egypt.  p. 49

*  As she watched and waited, she would surely have wondered when God would elevate Moses to deliver her enslaved people from Egypt.  p. 50

*  Just as Miriam and her two brothers had been instructed by their parents, now she instilled wihtin her children a longing and hope for divine deliverance.  p. 51

*  For eight long decades, Miriam had waited.  She had always known that Moses was God's chosen deliverer; yet she did not know when that deliverance would begin.  p. 51

*  Miriam lived her entire life with the confident expectation that God would deliver Israel, using her brother Moses.  Time and again she had seen God's incredible power on display.  p. 56

*  Exodus 15:20-21 summarizes her joyful response with these words:  "Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron (and Moses), took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.  And Miriam answered them:  "Sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously!  The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!"  p. 56

*  In a moment of sinful weakness, she had challenged his authority.  p. 60

*  As a young slave girl, she had watched over her baby brother when he floated in the Nile.  As a wife and mother, she had waited in Egypt for deliverance to come.  As an elderly woman, probably in her nineties, she had seen the power of God at the Red Sea, and she led the women of Israel in joyful celebration as a result.  p. 61

*  Though she sinfully challenged Moses' authority in the wilderness-and was severely rebuked as a result-she lived out the last four decades of her life submissively supporting Moses' authority.  p. 61

*  Miriam is rightfully regarded as a hero, not because of her own greatness, but because she rested in faith on the mighty power of God.  p.  62

*  ....her greatest triumphs came when her heart was centered on the glory of God.  p. 63

Wow...that last one really hit me.  Read it again...

*  her greatest triumphs came when her heart was centered on the glory of God.

In other words, it wasn't about what she wanted in her life.  It was about what God needed to have happen in her life for Him to be glorified. 

Think about your own life.  What is happening in your life that God can use to glorify Himself?  Shouldn't that be what we want most out of life?  That God would be glorified with our lives to help save all of the lost people around us. 

Like Miriam, our own sinful nature takes over at times.  However, like Miriam, we need to wait patiently and faithfully on the Lord to give us all of His promises that He's placed in our hearts.  When these promises come, let's be sure to praise God and give Him all of the glory.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Join us on Wednesday October 31st as we discuss Chapter 3 of Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chapter 3: Miriam: The Leading Lady of the Exodus

Please join us on Wednesday October 24th as we discuss Chapter 3 of Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chapter 2: Joseph: Because God Meant It For Good

But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.  - Genesis 50:20

Joseph:  Because God Meant It For Good...I already knew Joseph's story, however for some reason the title of Chapter 2 in Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur didn't quite grab ahold of my heart until after I read the chapter.  Joseph's story is truly one that inspires us all to remain faithful in God and move forward with what He needs done in our lives and not what we want done.  In the end, we see that God's way is the way where our blessings come.

Chapter 2 tells the story of Joseph in full detail.  I highly recommend that if you haven't done so already, read Chapter 2 and learn about Joseph and his heroic life and how God did amazing things through him.  Below are the points that the author made that inspired me the most.

*  Unlike those who breed a seething hatred and desire for vengeance, Joseph treated his brothers with undeserved favor.  But how do kindness and love get cultivated in the heart of one so wickedly treated?  The answer is found in Joseph's theology-he had a clear understanding of God's providence.  p.22-23

*  God is in control and we can trust Him for the outcome.  p. 23

*  ...the Lord used Joseph's suffering to accomplish His sovereign purposes.  To be sure, God had some practical life-lessons for Joseph to learn along the way.  But He had a far bigger matter on His mind...   p. 23

*  As New Testament believers looking back on Joseph's example, we can see the principle of Romans 8:28 fleshed out in his life:  "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."  p. 23

*  ...though Joseph did not suffer because God was punishing him for sin, he did suffer so that God could ultimately save sinners.  p. 23

*  ...we also know that while the Lord never condones evil, He does overrule it and accomplish His purpose out of it.  p. 27

*  The Lord was perfectly in control.  p. 30

*  But God had neither forgotten nor abandoned Joseph.  p. 31

*  He understood that God had used him to preserve his family and to bring them down to Egypt.  Everything was according to the Lord's will.  p. 37

*  Three times, Joseph emphasized that God's hand was behind it all.  p. 37

*  His trust in God's providential power outweighed any feeling of personal animosity toward his brothers.  He recognized that everything that had happened to him was part of the Lord's perfect plan.  p. 38

*  He came to understand that God had a purpose in his suffering...  p. 38

*  We may not always understand what is happening around us, but like Joseph, we can rest confidently in the fact that the Lord is in complete control.  p. 39

*  We need to be anxious for nothing because our Heavenly Father reigns over all.  He is all-powerful, all-wise, and all-present, and He has promised to work all things together for His glory and our good (Romans 8:28).  We have nothing to fear because if God is for us, who can be against us?  No one can oppose His will, and nothing can thwart His plans (Isaiah 14:27).  p. 39-40

*  ...we can trust Him and wholly rest in the reality that He is on His throne.  Embracing that kind of perspective won't take our trials away, but it will enable us to find joy and peace in the midst of them (James 1:3-5).  p. 41

As parents with children on the spectrum, I think we all have a lot of those moments when we don't understand what's happening.  We have no idea what to do next.  We research, we pray, we consult each other to hopefully find the answer on what can help our children.  I think we can all take comfort in what John MacArthur pointed out in Chapter 2...We may not always understand what is happening around us, but like Joseph, we can rest confidently in the fact that the Lord is in complete control.

As I type this, I am sitting in a doctor's office with my son who not only has autism, but has PANDAS as well.  He is currently sitting beside me receiving his IVIG treatment.  Between the OCD, anxiety, speech delay, social delay, PANDAS flares, prescription meds and natural supplements, I often find myself not understanding what is going on and what I can do to help.  Through Joseph's story, I can rest assure that if I put all my faith in God and do what He needs me to do, in the end it will all work out the way He needs.  I just have to make sure I'm spending the time with Him so I can be sure that I hear Him and know what He needs for me to do next.  I have to prepare myself daily to trust in Him and know that He is in control. 

"Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?  But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.  Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little one."  And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.  - Genesis 50:19-21