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Nothing in life comes without significant sacrifice

REAL TALK
By Bishop David Muriithi | November 7th 2021

There is a television programme I like to watch called ‘deal or no deal’. It shows the tenacity, courage and boldness that different people have. It shows how some people freak out and fail to continue the game, or settle for different prizes.

When a player accumulates too many points and seems about to hit the jackpot, the banker calls and offers them money to stop and leave the game. It is an interesting game because it shows how greedy people, who already have something, end up losing it too because they just want more and more. In every deal there is a catch or risk involved!

The book of Exodus gives the following account: Jacob died and his sons moved to Egypt where their brother Joseph was in charge at Pharaoh’s Palace.

After Joseph, his brothers and all that generation died; the Israelites were fruitful, increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty.

A new king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph. He told his people that since the Israelites had grown more and mightier than them, they should deal shrewdly with them.

That they may multiply and in case a war broke out, they join the enemy and fight against Egypt and so go out of the land. Therefore, they set task-masters over them to rigorously afflict them with burdens and made their lives bitter with hard bondage - in mortar, brick and all manner of service in the field. And they served for 400 years before the time for their deliverance came.

Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and told him, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: let my people go that they may hold a feast for me in the wilderness.” And Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord that I should obey his voice? I do not know the Lord nor will I let Israel go.”

It is the desire of God for people to be saved, separated and serve him. He saves you to make you alive, restore, quicken, preserve, protect, deliver and make you whole again.

The enemy is always unwilling to let you go. Pharaoh said he did not know their Lord God and increased the nature of their bondage and burden. He hardened his heart and would not let them go. Satan has no mercy and always adds more burdens to what you already have and will put up a fight before he lets you go.

There was a vain effort by the Israelites. The Israelites officers ignored Moses, Aaron and the God-appointed intercessors and went to cry and plead with Pharaoh. Their intentions were genuine - deliverance of the people - but they sought help from the wrong person. Sometimes we run and seek help from the wrong person - the very one oppressing us.

There was a heart-piercing charge. The Israelites started blaming Moses and Aaron. People have a tendency to blame the church or man of God, not knowing they have nothing to do with it. It has everything to do with God and his plan for us. Things sometimes have to get worse before they get better.

Pharaoh came up with various devices to make life difficult for them. When the frogs, lice, flies, cattle, boils, hail, locusts and Egyptian first-born-son plagues came, he assured Moses and Aaron that if the Lord removed them, he would let them go.

Moses prayed to God and he removed the plagues, one after the other, but still his heart was hardened and he did not let them go. If Satan does not succeed with pure scorn and oppression, he will try playing his ‘deal or no deal’ game with you.

Pharaoh told the Israelites to go sacrifice to their God in the land. Moses told him, “It is not right to do so for we would be sacrificing the abomination of the Egyptians to the Lord our God. If we do this in front of their eyes, will they not stone us to death? We will go on a three days journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as he has commanded us.”

He wanted them to remain on the land and under his rule. Pharaoh said, “I will let you go, that you may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only not very far away.”

He knew that if they went far off he would lose control over them. He wanted them close to Egypt where they would be thinking of the ‘onions and garlic’ they ate there.

They would be free to leave but their eyes, thoughts and talk would be on Egypt. Satan wants you to stay ‘nearby’ and remain fixated on your past sins and struggles.

Pharaoh told them that he would only allow the men to go serve the Lord as they desired. This was bait! He knew that if the men went to serve the Lord, no matter how far away they go, they would soon return to their families.

Satan makes sure that you leave behind something valuable behind so that you can go back for it. Pharaoh told them to go but leave their flocks and herds.

Moses answered him, “You must give us sacrifices and burnt offerings that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God. Our livestock shall also go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind. For we must take some of them to serve the Lord, and even we do not know with what we must serve the Lord until we arrive there.”

To leave without their flocks and herds meant that their service to God would be without a sacrifice. Moses understood that one cannot worship or serve God without their possessions. When Satan is unable to stop you from leaving his kingdom he will mess up your worship or service by getting in between you and your sacrifice.

 

Bishop David Muriithi

Founder & Overseer

House of Grace International Ministries

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