Recently I concluded a series of classes entitled “Old Sunday School Lessons”. I rolled out those old time favorites like David and Goliath, Joseph & the Coat of Many Colors, Moses and the Red Sea and quite a few others. My overall theme was faith with each lesson focusing on faith in God or having faith in His promises.
Benjamin Franklin is credited with a quote… “Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.” In context this was given in reference to those who stop learning and or growing as an individual. Isn’t it a sad thought to consider that many can remember those old Sunday School lessons but have lost their passion for God’s word as they entered adulthood. They might be young adults, middle aged or even senior adults but their spiritual awareness is the equivalent of an elementary education.
Let’s go back to our childhood for a moment. Do you remember when God told Moses to stretch out his staff and the Red Sea would be parted? (Yes, I know the world wants people to believe it was the Reed Sea with ankle deep water; let us be reminded of what the bible says about the Red Sea… Isaiah refers to the Red Sea at this time and said in chapter 51:15 “whose waves roared”. You can’t have roaring waves in ankle deep water.) Do you remember seeing in your mind, or perhaps on the old flannel graph board, a visualization of the scene? After all, the Bible said it and we believed it. (I still do by the way.) What happened? Where is our faith now?
The Story of Bob
About a year ago, while out on visitation, I was going door to door hoping for the chance to talk to people about Jesus. At one door I met a man I am going to call “Bob”. I was wearing a polo shirt with our church logo on it. Bob recognized the name of the church and stood there stunned for what seemed like minutes. He finally gathered himself and told me he was picked up as a child on one of our buses. (Our church runs buses into neighboring areas for anyone who would like a ride to church.) That experience from his childhood started flooding back to him. Bob was about 45 years of age so his mind was going back 30+ years as he talked about Children’s Church and Sunday School.
When I felt the timing was right I asked him “What happened to you”? His reply was rather common today, “I grew up.” “So what does that mean, do you not believe in God anymore?” “Of course I believe in God, it just that life gets in the way, you know how it is.” As kindly as I could I disagreed with him and his priorities. After a few minutes of discussion Bob told me I had given him a lot to think about and to look for him on Sunday. Unfortunately, to date, I haven’t seen him yet.
So when I say “faith” what am I really saying? Looking solely at the definition it would be to believe in something without tangible proof of existence. Well, let’s try this out then… Do you believe in God? Many will answer yes. Is this the faith I speak of? Well, sort of; let me explain further. Moses certainly believed in God but Moses went farther, his faith became action. By faith Moses, with the armies of Egypt on his heels, led the children of Israel to the brink of the Red Sea and stretched out the staff. (There was no plan “B”; all escape routes were cut off.) He was reliant upon his faith because if the sea doesn’t open up the Egyptian army will be upon them shortly. God responded to Moses’ faith in action and the sea was parted.
This isn’t about asking “Can God do anything?” It is easy to answer yes to that question. The real question is can God do anything through us? Will we allow God to show His power through our faith in action?
I suppose you expect me to say something like “We need to recapture that child-like faith and trust in God again”. That isn’t a bad ending but no, not what I had in mind. I was thinking of something on a much grander scale; how about giving this world tangible evidence that God is who He says He is?
Easy question: Who really parted the Red Sea? (A) Moses (B) God. I told you it was an easy question. Moses’ steadfast faith resulted in an undeniable act of God on the banks of the Red Sea. If we would trust in God and have a faith of action then God would be able to show His power, a power that can only be attributed to Almighty God.