“You Must Not Go Very Far”


Paul the apostle wrote about the stories in the Old Testament that happened to Israel as picture examples to us in this dark age in which we live: “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come” (1 Corinthians 10:11). For instance, in the Book of Exodus, when God sent Moses to bring Israel out of bondage to slavery in Egypt, Pharaoh would not release them from their cruel taskmasters. To humble Pharaoh, God brought levels of pain to Egypt via ten plagues that grew steadily worse. The Israelite situation worsened at first for Pharaoh said that to make bricks, the Egyptians would no longer provide straw for the bricks they had to make, yet the quota was not diminished (Exodus 5:7-11). The people of God found it harder to continue to live under slavery. As the ten plagues in Egypt began to tell, Pharaoh tried to compromise with Israel to keep them under Egypt's dominion:


Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, "Go, sacrifice to your God here in the land" (Exodus 8:25).


This is the same cry for freedom from debt slavery that many all over the world seek. Our enemy, Satan and his minions, exacts more and more hardships and more and more injustice. When God’s people cry for freedom to worship God in whatever way they wish, the enemy gives in a little and hopes we will settle for just a little bit of freedom to worship but don't go very far!


Pharaoh said, "I will let you go to offer sacrifices to the LORD your God in the wilderness, but you must not go very far. Now pray for me" (Exodus 8:28).


When you became a Christian, did anyone in your circle of friends and family try to hold you back from being entirely for the Lord? Often, we hear people say, "you are going a bit too far in this." Why do you need to go to church? Satan whispers to us, "you can worship the Lord in your bedroom and read the Bible." We are tempted to listen to the enemy and compromise and give in to his schemes of attack.


In 1519, Hernán Cortés, with some 600 Spaniards, 16 or so horses, and 11 boats, had landed on a vast inland plateau called Mexico. When they arrived on the beach, Cortés didn’t give a motivational speech but strongly spoke three words, “burn the boats.” Brothers and sisters in Christ, we can only go forward in the Lord; there can be no compromise to ever return to our former lives. Jesus said, “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples” (Luke 14:33). When a person comes to Christ, the temptation the enemy puts our way is to not go too far in this newfound faith in which you walk. Satan wants to hide your testimony and be a secret believer; no, burn your boats and read Jesus' words, "Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels (Luke 9:26).


As the situation with the plagues got worse, Pharaoh’s officials tried to speak some sense into him:


“Let the people go, so that they may worship the Lord their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is ruined?” 8Then Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. “Go, worship the Lord your God,” he said. “But tell me who will be going?” (Exodus 10:7-8 Emphasis mine).


When Moses said that all Israel, young and old, even their cattle and sheep, would be leaving the land of slavery, Pharaoh replied, “No! Have only the men go and worship the Lord, since that’s what you have been asking for” (v. 11). Our enemy would have us keep this salvation just to ourselves, but we must be firm in our faith and tell our enemy that everything we have belongs to the Lord and will not be left behind. Moses said to Pharaoh, "not a hoof shall be left behind” (Exodus 10:26). The enemy knows that if our children or our possessions are left in this world system, we can be lured back. Not a Hoof Shall Be Left Behind! Keith Thomas


If you’d like to share these thoughts on social media, scroll down to the Facebook and Twitter links at the bottom of the page, as well as the link to send on an email.