OceanSide church of Christ
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GOD USES UNUSUAL OBJECTS (2)
Victor M. Eskew
A. I Corinthians 1:27-29
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world, and the things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and the things which are not, to bring to nought the things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence.
1. Notice the types of things God uses to accomplish His will.
a. Foolish things
b. Weak things
c. Base things
d. Despised things
e. Things which are not
2. Notice what these things do:
a. Confound the wise
b. Confound the things which are mighty
c. Bring to nought the things that are
B. In a previous lesson, we looked at some of the unusual things God has used in the past to accomplish his will: the dust of the earth, the rib of man, and gopher wood.
C. Let’s examine some more interesting things God has used to His glory.
I. A ROD
A. When Moses was called to deliver Israel from Egyptian bondage in Egypt, He made many excuses. One is found in Exodus 4:1-2.
And Moses and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee. And the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.
1. God placed power in Moses’ rod that day (Ex. 4:21).
And the Lord said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.
2. When that rod was cast upon the ground, it became a serpent. When Moses took it by the tail, it became a rod again.
3. This rod became known as “the rod of God” (Exo. 4:20).
B. There are numerous times this rod is mentioned.
1. The rod was cast down before Pharaoh and became a snake and it ate the snakes of the magicians of Pharaoh (Exo. 7:9-12).
2. The rod was stretched out over the waters of Egypt and they were turned into blood (Exo. 7:19-20).
3. The rod was stretched out over the waters of Egypt and frogs came forth from the waters and invaded the land of Egypt (Exo. 8:5-6).
4. The rod was stretched forth, and smote the dust of the earth in Egypt, and the dust became lice (Exo 8:16-17).
5. The rod was stretched out to bring forth hail and fire from heaven (Exo. 9:22-23).
6. The rod was stretched out over Egypt to cause the east wind to blow that brought locusts upon Egypt (Exo. 10:12-13).
7. Moses lifted up his rod to cause the waters to divide the Red Sea (Exo. 14:16).
8. Moses smote a rock twice with the rod to bring forth water out of the rock (Exo. 17:60.
C. In Moses’ day, men of power and authority carried scepters as symbols of their power. God insured that His leader, Moses, had not only a symbol of power, but a rod endowed with divine authority as he stood before Pharaoh, and, as he led the children of Israel in the wilderness.
II. A BRONZE SERPENT
A. The wilderness account (Num. 21:4-9)
1. Discouragement (Num. 21:4)
2. Dissatisfaction (Num. 21:5)
3. Discipline (Num. 21:6)
4. Deliberation (Num. 21:7)
5. Directions (Num. 21:8)
6. Deliverance (Num. 21:9).
B. The Brazen Serpent (Num. 21:8)
And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
C. Why a fiery serpent?
1. Barnes refers to is as “the essence of symbolism” (e-sword, Barnes).
2. “It was rather intended as a figurative representation of the poisonous serpents, rendered harmless by the mercy of God” (e-sword, Keil & Delitzsch).
D. Two interesting points:
1. The brazen serpent was kept by Israel into the reign of Hezekiah who destroyed it because it had become an object of worship to Israel (II Kings 18:4).
And he removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.
2. Jesus taught that He was the antitype of the serpent lifted up in the wilderness (John 3:14-15).
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
a. Both were lifted up
b. Both could bring healing
c. Both involve faith by the one needing the healing
III. A SCARLET CORD
A. The spies saved Rahab the harlot (Josh. 2:15-21).
1. The Cord (Josh. 2:15)
2. The Command (Josh. 2:16)
3. The Covenant (Josh. 2:17-20)
4. The Compliance (Josh. 2:21)
B. The word of the spies (Josh. 2:18a)
Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by…
1. Rahab obeyed (Josh. 2:21)
2. The promise of the spies was kept (Josh. 6:17, 22-23, 25)
And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
3. Hebrews 11:31
By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
C. Her salvation was dependent upon faith plus obedience.
1. There was no saving power in the scarlet cord.
2. Binding the thread in the window was an action that proved the faith of Rahab.
1. It was essential to her salvation.
2. No one would refer to her actions as “works salvation.”
A. The little things used by God never cease to amaze us.
B. They prove the words of Paul in I Corinthians 1.
C. In addition, the little things enable us to remember the entire narrative of the story.