Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright. The Promised Land should be the place of ease. That Promised Land, that's the place where you don't have any more battles, right? Not in the picture of the Bible.
So if the Old Testament image of the Promised Land is a picture of the abundant Christian life, well, it must be your Promised Land is also your battleground. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in our series called Moses, as presented at Reynolda Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It'll be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries. So as you listen to today's message, we encourage you to go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at PastorAlan.org, that's PastorAlan.org, or call 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. More on this later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching.
Here is Alan Wright. You ready for some good news? You're in a spiritual battle, but Christ has been raised from the grave, and He lives for you, and He advocates for you, He intercedes for you, and He pours out blessing upon you so that you can fight this battle with every confidence that you are winning and will win. We're in a series on Moses, and it, wow, I just, I just love not being in a hurry, coming through the life of Moses. We started out at the Red Sea because that was our primary image of seeing how it is that God opened up the Red Sea and walked right through on dry land. And we just have been believing God together for a season in which for many of us and many places in the kingdom of God that we see figuratively, He's opening up, He's parting Red Seas, just when you think that you are up against the most insurmountable obstacle and God opens up a way where you couldn't have seen a way.
And that's where we started all of this. Then we went back and we've been following along as Moses was called and he delivered the people as God brought a series of plagues against Egypt. And those plagues culminated with the plague of the death of the firstborn, wherein we had the Passover and the blood of the lamb placed over the Hebrew doorpost. And they were set free from their bondage and they come out and then they encounter the Red Sea.
They pass through the Red Sea and God does a mighty act of judgment against Egypt, swallows up the Egyptian armies. And we've seen how it is that when they come out into the desert, that the people begin to worry and murmur and grumble, that they don't have food, they don't have water. And we've seen how God provides bread for them, manna from heaven, and how He provides water from a rock and invites them to drink deeply. And all throughout this, we have been seeing that this all in one way or another is pointing us to the gospel. It's pointing us to the story, our own story, that we spiritually, not literally, but spiritually have been in slavery to sin and fear. And in the amazing rescue that God brought, the death of the firstborn of God himself, Christ on the cross, becomes the blood of the lamb, wherein we put it not on our doorposts, but it is sprinkled into the heavenlies and we claim it by faith and we are set free and our sins are forgiven. And therefore, we are a new people, God's people, and we walk through life knowing that His word is what we live on and the Holy Spirit is living water to us.
And so we've been seeing that this is our story. And now today, we come to another part of the story, which is a very, very important part of the story, and that is that the people of God are in a fight. We're in Exodus chapter 17 and we're at verse 8. This is the second book of your Bible, Exodus, and we're in chapter 17 and we'll be reading at verse 8. It's a fitting text when you remember Palm Sunday and Jesus coming in and standing over Jerusalem and advocating and interceding and weeping and saying, oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how I've longed to gather you as a mother hen would gather her chicks, but you were not willing.
And you see the heart of God. Well, all of this advocacy is prefigured in this amazing story in Exodus 17 verse 8. Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. So Moses said to Joshua, choose for us men and go out and fight with Amalek.
Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with a staff of God in my hand. So Joshua did as Moses told him and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed. And whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands grew weary. So they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side and the other on the other side.
So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword. Then the Lord said to Moses, write this as a memorial in a book and recite it in the ears of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, the Lord is my banner, saying a hand upon the throne of the Lord.
The Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation. It's a story about winning the battle. Well, I have, just to confess, I can be a sore loser sometimes. My teams are all out of the March Madness now. And I don't have anybody strongly to put my Baylor Bears should have won, lost in the first round.
Matar Hills, they had a chance up by four points with about four minutes left in that game. And I'm getting better over the years. I don't brood as long about this. And I've tried to convince myself that it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game.
But I've never been able to convince myself. When I was coaching Bennett's little soccer team when he was little, every time we'd leave the house and my wife would say, now just go out there and have fun. Remember, it doesn't matter whether you win or lose.
It's just about that you have fun out there. And she'd say this week after week. Well, the first year I coached, we lost almost every game. And it wasn't that fun losing every game. So finally, after a number of weeks of this, I said, sweetheart, I said, would you mind quit saying that?
Because it does matter. And these boys, I'm trying to coach them in life as well. One of these boys might grow up and be a surgeon one day. And I can't envision him just standing over the operating table and saying to the medical team, team, listen, this is a life and death surgery, but don't worry about how it turns out because whether he lives or dies, the only thing that matters is if we had fun while doing this operation. I just had a hard time envisioning these boys, one of them growing up to be a salesman and coming home one day and saying, honey, I almost had a $20,000 commission today, but I blew it because I gave a bad presentation and so I didn't get it. And I don't imagine her saying, well, don't worry about it, sweetheart.
Did you have fun? That's the only thing that matters. Oh, come on. It does matter winning and losing. And if it matters over little things like that, compare it to the big matters of life itself. And when you talk about winning and losing in the spiritual life, what we're really talking about in the victorious, abundant Christian life is we're really talking about being able to have a triumph over the tyranny of sin in our lives. We're also talking about having a triumph over our flesh that craves such selfish things. We're talking about ultimately a triumph over the powers of darkness that seek to keep us under condemnation rather than enjoying the full benefits of what it means to be co-heirs with Christ Himself. So in the end, it really does matter ultimately whether we win or lose. And the picture in the Scripture for the Christian is that you win.
And so we come today to this battle scene. There is a principle interpreting Scripture that is often referenced as the principle of first mention. This rule of first mention in the Bible is based on the observation that very often when you see something that is mentioned for the first time in the Scriptures, you'll see that it is capsulizing everything that will be later said about it. The first words of God, let there be light, say a whole lot about the nature of God and the nature of what God did when He brought forth His Word. It is like light, a lamp unto our feet and revelation. So it is when the first mention of the word worship is when Abraham is told to take Isaac up on the mountain, sacrifice him.
And of course, he's never going to sacrifice him because child sacrifice and his abomination. But it was words from Abraham that assured Isaac and everyone else. And he said, we're going to go up and worship and then we will come back and return.
So that worship is pictured as this glad surrender and trust of God and His provision and so forth. Well, this is the first mention of a battle. There are going to be lots of battles that are going to come for the people of God as they conquer the promised land. But this is the first battle that they ever fight. And so let's start with this and understanding this text. Recognize the fight. That's the first part of living in what we might call spiritual victory or abundant Christian life. This is a person is recognized that there is a fight.
Now this fight for the people of God came interestingly after the great miracles of the Passover, the Red Sea and the provision of manna and water from the rock. That's Alan Wright. And we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Ever feel like something's holding you back as if you lack an important key that could change everything?
Is there someone you love who seems stuck? You'd like to help them, but how? What's missing? Blessing. We all need a positive faith-filled vision spoken over our lives. You can learn how to embrace the biblical practice of blessing through Pastor Alan Wright's new book, The Power to Bless, which quickly became an Amazon number one bestseller after its recent release.
Until now, the hardcover book has only been available through retail sales. But this month, Alan Wright Ministries wants to send you the book as our thank you for your donation. Make your gift today and discover the power to bless. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. After they had experienced great natural provision, there was a great natural battle. And many of you could bear witness to this, that this is a spiritual picture as well. Because there's so often in which you have spiritual provision that comes in your life, that then you find yourself facing some kind of new spiritual battle.
Beloved, do not be surprised when this happens. It was after Jesus had been baptized and the Holy Spirit descended upon him as a dove and the father said, this is my son in whom I'm well pleased that then he was taken into the wilderness where he was tempted for 40 days. This is just part of what it means to be in a spiritual battle. It means this, that when you are growing up in the Lord and when you are experiencing God's grace in new ways, that there is an enemy of your soul and there will come seasonal intensity to the spiritual battles that you face. I know this is just not popular in the modern mindset to even conceive of there being forces of darknesses, darkness in heavenly places. But it is absolutely the picture of Scripture and absolutely any Christian's experience who's ever walked with the Lord to know that though it may seem primitive to the modern mindset, that there's a spiritual battle that is going on.
And so when you are growing up in the Lord, you can expect that there is going to be spiritual attack. It's interesting to me that there was no fighting in Egypt. When they were slaves in Egypt, there were no battles to fight. They had hard labor and they were abused, but they weren't fighting battles.
But as soon as they have freedom, as soon as they have experienced what it's like to be heirs, they find themselves battling. Years ago I preached on Joshua and the primary revelation the Lord showed me during that whole series that changed so much of the way I look at life was one day while just studying Joshua and thinking, wait a minute, they're in the promised land and they're having to fight every other weekend because I thought, you know, the promised land should be the place of ease. That promised land, that's the place where you don't have any more battles, right?
Not in the picture of the Bible. So if the Old Testament image of the promised land is a picture of the abundant Christian life, well, it must be your promised land is also your battleground. So sometimes when you're in the midst of a battle and you feel like I must really be outside of God's will right now, maybe you need to rethink it and go, maybe this is the way the promised land is. And so it is that they have a big battle to fight and they need to recognize that they have a battle to fight. Now, the second thing is to know who you're fighting.
And this becomes really, really important. Again, this principle of first mention, the first battle that the people they fight against are called the Amalekites and they are called first among the nations. It means like first among the nations that will oppose Israel because there are going to be so many nations that oppose Israel, but the first among the nations. Pay attention to this is what the Bible is telling us. Now, who are the Amalekites? The Amalekites are descendants of Esau. Amalek was Esau's grandson. Now, if you remember the story, you'll know that Esau is a very important figure in the Bible. He was the twin brother to Jacob and Esau was the firstborn of those twins. So according to the customs and the laws of primogeniture, Esau felt entitled and was expecting to receive a special blessing from his father Isaac and to receive a double portion of the inheritance.
So if they were two boys, two twins, the way they did it was the firstborn would get two-thirds of the estate and the secondborn would get one-third. And that's what Esau was expecting. But Esau, in a very interesting way, sold his birthright. He was one day very hungry and his brother Jacob had made some stew.
And he said, give me some of that stew. And Jacob said, sell me your birthright. And Esau said essentially, what's my birthright to me when I'm as hungry as I am?
Sure. And so the Bible looks back on this story and says that Esau despised his birthright. What is all this pointing to? It's pointing to this, that Esau symbolizes someone who caves in to the fleshly desire rather than looking to the grace that is in front of him. Instead of living his life out of a sense of glad gratitude for the blessing of being an heir and counting it all joy and all important what was coming for him, instead he succumbed to just the fleshly cravings. It's because of this that Esau in the scripture becomes a symbol of fleshly living. And we talk about the flesh in the Bible. We're not talking about our physical flesh.
We're talking about the idea or the principle of how our sinful nature is so prone to want immediate satisfaction and pay attention to not only the hunger of our belly but the lust of our eyes or the covetousness of our heart for the things that the flesh craves rather than living in the spirit. And so there is a sense in which part of the battle of a Christian life is a battle against the flesh so that we live by the unction, by the infilling, by the power of the Holy Spirit constantly reminding us that we're children of God and that we live as the heirs of God. So the first thing that Esau represents is the flesh. Amalekites are descendants of Esau, the symbol of fleshly living, non-spiritual living.
So that's what they're fighting. But there's something deeper about Esau and all that he represents. And it's this, that when Jacob got the blessing instead of Esau, it came because Jacob was such a conniver and a deceiver that he wriggled his way in and pretended to be Esau so that he in a sense stole the blessing from his brother Esau. And Isaac blessed Jacob rather than Esau. And after this happened, Esau couldn't stand Jacob. He couldn't stand the fact that the father had blessed the one who didn't deserve it. Now this, I know I'm throwing a lot of Bible at you here and a lot of thought, but this is really, really important to understand this story and why this is the first battle, the primal battle for Israel, because this is the primary, the first, the foundational battle that we all face. And that is that our flesh is crying out that we live by it rather than walking in the spirit.
But there's something even deeper and more important at work. And that is that Esau symbolizes hatred towards unmerited favor, hatred towards the grace of God, hatred towards someone being blessed who doesn't deserve it. And y'all, the entirety of the gospel and everything that makes the gospel good news is based on the fact that we have received unmerited favor from God. We were all Jacobs. We were all the deceivers, the connivers. We were all the sinners. And yet what happened was there was a great exchange where in Christ, Jesus became our sin and we were imputed with the righteousness of Christ and treated as though we were the first born and receiving a double portion of the inheritance and everything that should have been laid up for Christ alone instead has been shared with us so that we become co-heirs with Christ. That's who we are.
And so let me tell you what Amalekite represents, what Amalek and all the Amalekites represent. They represent the primal spiritual battle because here's what hell hates. Hell hates grace. Satan is a legalist and every part of the spiritual battle in one way or another is designed to bring condemnation against the elect, to bring upon you a sense of inward condemnation even though in reality you have been set free because in the end the powers of darkness have no ultimate sway over the people of God except for the deceptions that lure us away from the purity and the simplicity of the gospel wherein we know every single day we're the children, we're the heirs of God. That's what hell hates. So what were they fighting? They were fighting the symbol of fleshly living and hatred of grace.
That was the battle. Ever feel like something's holding you back as if you lack an important key that could change everything? Is there someone you love who seems stuck? You'd like to help them but how? What's missing? Blessing. We all need a positive faith-filled vision spoken over our lives. You can learn how to embrace the biblical practice of blessing through Pastor Alan Wright's new book The Power to Bless which quickly became an Amazon number one bestseller after its recent release. Until now the hardcover book has only been available through retail sales but this month Alan Wright Ministries wants to send you the book as our thank you for your donation. Make your gift today and discover the power to bless. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860 or come to our website pastoralan.org. Alan so we got somebody who's hanging on now ready for the next installment for the next broadcast. What takeaway can we rest on right now? Well Moses has lifted hands as he intercedes for this battle. It's a picture of prayer and it's a picture of praise but it's also a picture of blessing. So in the same way that Moses was interceding and Moses has lifted hands we're representing his blessing over the people. I want to point people to Christ who is our intercessor and who is our praise and who is the one who blesses us and what a powerful image to think that if the people were in the battle if Moses hands were lifted they were they were winning how much more so can we take this assurance that Christ's intercession for us never ceases and as long as he continues to be our intercessor we're going to be victorious in the battle.
It's encouraging. Oftentimes we find ourselves in the in the spot of Moses I feel like boy I haven't really I'm not being allowed into the promised land but here is the amazing news of the gospel. When you accept Christ you're already declared in the promised land. You're already declared blessed with every spiritual blessing. There's not something else that has to happen. In this world you have troubles but you need to be assured this God's not withholding his grace from you and the reason is that God doesn't need to strike you Christ has already been struck and that really is the point of the foreshadowing that goes on in the story of Moses striking the rock. We're later told that rock is Christ and he has already been struck with the blows that should have come upon us but instead Christ died in our place and anyone who accepts him in Christ is blessed and already given the promised land. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-26 12:25:03 / 2023-02-26 12:34:23 / 9