Today's Little Lift
by Jim Bullington
“I declare but your actions are enough to try the patience of Job!” Have you ever made this or a similar statement to someone who just got on your last nerve? Well, if you have, you're not alone. Today's message will deal with someone who has more patience than Job and how, at times, He just says, “Enough of that!”
“Then I [Moses] pleaded with the LORD at that time, saying: ‘O Lord GOD, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your mighty hand, for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do anything like Your works and Your mighty deeds? I pray, let me cross over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, those pleasant mountains, and Lebanon.’ But the LORD was angry with me on your account, and would not listen to me. So the LORD said to me: ‘Enough of that! Speak no more to Me of this matter.'” (Deuteronomy 3.223-26).
The sin of Moses had sealed his fate as far as entering Canaan went. Thousands had fallen along the way during the forty year trek en route from Egypt to the promised land. Had circumstances been different, God's answer might have been different. However, why should God jeopardize the lessons He had sought to teach the rest of Israel for the sake of Moses? How could the masses understand such mercy when they were seemingly being subjected to the hand of a sterner God? This seems to have been God's reasoning for denying Moses' request; He was angry with Moses on their account. The sin of Moses was not so grievous that God could not forgive, but the circumstances were such that He had to punish Moses or else His reputation of being fair-handed was at stake. For that reason, “Enough of that!”
“And David said to Solomon: 'My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build a house to the name of the LORD my God; but the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “You have shed much blood and have made great wars; you shall not build a house for My name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in My sight. Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. His name shall be Solomon, for I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days. He shall build a house for My name...”'” Once again God denied the sincere desire of one of His children for the possible effect that granting his wish would have on others. “Enough of that!”
“And lest I [Paul the apostle] should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12.7-10). This well known thorn in the flesh was not something that Paul would have chosen, but it was something he learned to live with and to use to God's glory. Though he prayed earnestly to have it removed, God said, “Enough of that!”
Among other things, these events point out the fact that God frequently has plans for us above what we have for ourselves. He views a huge moving panorama while we struggle to take in a tiny snapshot of life. It is the panorama that sometimes leads Him to deny our sincere desires. It is the snapshot that prohibits us from understanding. Don't be disheartened when God says, “Enough of that!” Take it as a compliment that He loves you enough to say no and to use your life for a higher cause.
1. What was the specific sin that Moses committed that prevented him from entering Canaan?
2. Who finally built the house that David desired to build? What did David contribute to its building?
3. Does any man really know what Paul's thorn in the flesh was? How did Paul use it for God's purposes?
4. Discuss the idea of the moving panorama versus the snapshot? How is this analogy appropriate? In what ways does it fail to capture the full difference between God's purposes and our purposes?
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