Acknowledged by God

Posted on 09/06/2009 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***


Public Prayer Requests:


Tubal Amiot: may you pray for a friend! She was on sl and she had a cancer, I think she is dead now, she called Bebb. At the end her weight was 28 k. She has a son 14 y.o. and she had 38 y.o. pleaase pray for her, a french woman like I am a french man

Hi, We are dealing with many fires in California, some of which we are close to. But we are not in any danger; just getting smoke and ashes everywhere. I am trying to deal with the many things going on in my life right now. Some days are better than others, and I am in therapy to help deal with the depression and stress I am going through right now. I told my therapist that I feel trapped not going forward or going backwards too quickly. On September 9 it will be going on 5 years that Steven has been away from home.Steven is still in juvenile hall waiting to be placed in a facility. His Probation officer is looking into another placement where there is the bed space. I am praying that it will happen soon for Steven's sake and for his sanity. John is back at school and back into playing baseball; I think that will be good for him ; because he has been depressed lately. And my relationship with Jim is not where it should be; I know he loves me and is going with this difficult time with me. We are in marriage counseling to help us through the tough times. Believe me I am praying for God to reveal more of His plan for our lives, but I realize that things will happen in his timing and not mine. ( a hard thing for me to remember at times). Love and Hugs to you all ! Karene
   –KareneW50


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Please turn around and click one of the offering plates by the doors, and give as the Lord leads.

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A REASON TO REJOICE

I have a reason to rejoice
I have a reason to clap my hands
I have a reason to lift my voice
and sing praises to the great I Am

I have a reason to move my feet
and take the Gospel into the street
I have a reason to lose my will
and let Jesus take full control


For you have set me feet to dancin'
You have filled my heart with joy
You have freed me from my passions
and filled me with the Holy Ghost

You have set my heart on fire
Fill my soul with your desire and
Melt me Lord 'til only you remain!

WHEN THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD

When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my heart
     I will sing as David sang
When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my heart
     I will sing as David sang
I will sing, I will sing, I will sing as David sang
I will sing, I will sing, I will sing as David sang

YOU ARE MY ALL IN ALL

You are my strength when I am weak
You are the treasure that I seek
You are my all in all

Seeking you as a precious jewel
Lord, to give up I'd be a fool
You are my all in all

Jesus, Lamb of God
 worthy is your name
Jesus, Lamb of God
 worthy is your name

Taking my sin, my cross, my shame
Rising again I bless your name
You are my all in all

When I fall down you pick me up
When I am dry you fill my cup
You are my all in all

Jesus, Lamb of God
 worthy is your name
Jesus, Lamb of God
 worthy is your name

*** listen to the audio for the message introduction ***


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In Exodus chapter two, we cut in on a time during which the people of God were slaves in Egypt. A couple of weeks ago, we talked about some of the differences between the Biblical worldview and that of the world. Those who believe the Bible and trust in God, know what the future will bring, and they are not afraid. Those who do not believe, are afraid of what tomorrow may bring, and panic about the natural heating and cooling cycles of the earth, and are terrified that we are going to destroy the planet.

Well, it was no different thousands of years ago in Egypt; and Pharaoh, the leader of the Egyptians, was afraid. He was afraid the Hebrews would become too strong. He was afraid of the future.

Let's see the lengths to which a lack of the fear of the Lord, and the fear of everything else it brings, can lead to.

Exodus 1:9-22

9 And (Pharaoh) said to his people, "Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we;
10 come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land."


Pharaoh was afraid of his own imagination. "What if?" And, as we discussed recently, the fear that comes from not believing the Word of God is irrational. Wouldn't they have done better to treat the Hebrews as their own? They could have become very productive members of their society, if treated with dignity, respect, and brotherhood.

But the mind of the world does not have wisdom, for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And the mind of the world does not truly understand, because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of true knowledge and understanding.

Listen to what those without a true knowledge of God's Word and those who do not put their trust in Him do with their own fears, starting with verse 11:


11 Therefore they set taskmasters over (the Hebrews) to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses.
12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And (the Egyptians) were in dread of the children of Israel.


Whatever answers the world has to solve their real or imaginary problems, they simply do not work. In fact, they usually make things worse.

The world's idea of fixing a bad economy is to spend more money and put our grandchildren into a greater debt than America has ever seen.

The world's idea of fixing healthcare, even if it's the best system in the world to which people from other countries are flocking, is to transform it, sneakily and one step at a time, into the same systems that right now are disasterously failing.

We could keep going down an almost endless list.

How do we slow down teen pregnancy? Offer abortion on demand and pass laws so the parents don't have to know.

How do we slow down the spread of STDs? Pass out condoms and tell kindergarteners in public schools how to have sex. Oh, and before we do that, let's outlaw the Bible and prayer in school, because we wouldn't want little kids to become offended by it, or to feel guilty when they play doctor in the broom closet. After all, they're using a condom the school nurse gave them.

I'm sorry if that offends someone. But this is what is happening today. Just like Pharaoh in ancient Egypt, our leaders do not believe the Word of God, do not live by it, do not govern by it, and do not put their trust in Jehovah. Our societies are in the toilet, and I think it's been flushed.


Let's continue reading, starting with verse 13.


13 So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor.
14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage -- in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. All their service in which they made them serve was with rigor.
15 Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one was Shiphrah and the name of the other Puah;
16 and he said, "When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live."
17 But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.


Oh, that those who fear the Lord would stand up and refuse to allow babies to be murdered in the womb! America's science czar believes babies don't become truly human until around age two. If we don't believe the Word of God is the final authority, then were DO we draw the line?

"Well, I don't believe in partial birth abortion, where the doctor thrusts scissors into the baby's brain and then vaccums out the brains, but at just a few weeks after conception, it's okay."

Or how about this... "Well, if the pregnancy is the result of rape, then abortion is okay."

Wake up! God has called you from your mother's womb, and had planned out your whole life from the very first day. Murder is murder, no matter how the mind of the world, drunk on a fatal deficiency of the Word of God, twists and distorts the truth.


Pharaoh did not know the Word of the Lord and did not trust or even know God. And while today's world leaders might not be afraid people are going to be born and overthrow them, organizations such as Planned Parenthood, various environmental groups, and others, believe the planet is going to be over-populated, and that by too many of us being born, we are going to destroy ourselves and this false god they call "Mother Earth."

Others simply believe that a woman's rights are going to be violated. "When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live."

What about the rights of those being murdered in the womb? Is there no voice crying out for the most innocent among us? No one has ever seen a suicidal baby. They will fight in any way they can to survive. We are violating the rights of innocent human beings in order to accommodate the selfish desires of those who desire their death.

Lord have mercy on us!


If there's anyone under the sound of my voice who has had an abortion, can I remind you of a man who lived his life for the purpose of hunting down Christians and killing them. He would stand there watching as stones were thrown at them, cutting them, beating them, until eventually they died a painful death.

And then he encountered the risen Jesus, who shone with such a radient light that this man was made blind, and who accused him by saying, "Paul, Paul, why are you persecuting me?"

To make a long story short, Paul became a mighty man of God. He knew he had been a murderer; not just once, not just twice, but too many times to count. And he knew that much better just how great was the mercy of God, and just how large was his love for a wretch like him.

God has a calling on your life. He has a plan and a purpose for you. And when you ask his forgiveness and reject your sins, then the Bible says he removes them as far away from you as the East is from the West, and that he casts them into the Sea of Forgetfullness, and never remembers them again. As though you have never sinned!

Ask for his forgiveness, receive it, and give your life to Jesus. And you can have a brand new start today!

Let's start back with verse 18:


18 So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, "Why have you done this thing, and saved the male children alive?"
19 And the midwives said to Pharaoh, "Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them."
20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty.
21 And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them.


This says God dealt well with the midwives because they feared him. He provided households for them. Do you want a solid foundation? Do you want to prosper in what you do? Then fear the Lord and depart from evil.

Verse 22:


22 So Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, "Every son who is born you shall cast into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive."

Pharaoh turned the decision over to the general public. And the stage was set to snuff out the deliverance of Israel the moment he was born.


Do you see all the things that are happening around us today? They're not happening for no reason. The ones who are promoting the so-called "right for women to choose," government-controlled this and that, gay rights, homosexual marriage, the removal of offensive Christian doctrine from the public square, the removal of God from the classroom replaced by sex education and teaching evolution as though it were a fact; they are in the same spiritual condition as Pharaoh. They do not believe the whole Bible, the Word of God. They do not know God, and they certainly don't trust and obey him.

And they are full of fear; fear of what will happen if abortion were recognized as murder; fear of what will happen if too many Christian parents home school their kids; fear of what will happen if too many of the public, the majority of which are conservative, have guns; fear of what will happen if the history books retain too many facts about the Christian foundation of America; fear of what will happen if the people are not forced to give money to the poor; fear of what will happen if the truth is ever revealed to themselves or to the general public, that truth they see as insanity and are trying to censor from the public eye and ear.

And who is behind this fear? Who is behind the actions they are taking in response to that fear?

Make no mistake about it, he's the same one who was advisor to Pharaoh, and who tried to kill Moses the moment he was born.

Today, is another Moses about to be born? Is another one in our public school system? Is another one in Sunday School hearing that God created the world, and needs to be molested by their Sunday School teacher so they turn against the Word of God?

Maybe if they can be aborted, we will be saved. Maybe if they can be sexually perverted at an early age, we will be saved. Maybe if they can be given false science to discredit the Bible, we will be saved.

Satan sees something coming. And he's throwing a fit. But the thing is, what is coming cannot be stopped. Sure, lives are destroyed. Sure, millions of people are successfully saved from Heaven and instead end up in eternal misery in hell. And of course our enemy is happy about that.

But there's something satan cannot stop. There's something he is powerless to avoid; he simply cannot keep it from coming.

And in the next chapter of Exodus, in the first two verses, we see something that the enemy, in all his fearful fury, could not see. Exodus chapter two, verses 1 and 2:

Exodus 2:1-2 (NKJV)

1 And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi.
2 So the woman conceived and bore a son.

Of course this son's name eventually became Moses, and despite all Pharaoh had done, all the really stupid things he did to try to ease his demon-induced fears, Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt and eventually into the promised land.

The rest of this second chapter of Exodus tells us how Moses was set to float in the river in hopes of saving his life, how his sister followed the basket to see what would happen to her little brother, how Pharaoh's daughter found the basket and decided to keep the baby, how his own mother ended up nursing him, and how his name became Moses.

Then he grows up and marries. And the last two verses of Exodus chapter two, verses 23 and 24, say this:

Exodus 2:23-25 (NKJV)

23 Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage.
24 So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.

God acknowledge them. Weary from their bondage, used and abused, they cried out. How did they cry out? It doesn't say; but we DO know that God heard it. This says, "And they cried out, and their cry came up to God because of the bondage."

So first, they groaned because of the bondage. Then, God heard their cries because of the bondage. This is important to remember.

Then in verse 24 we read, "So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them."

What was God's covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob?

In the notecard, I've provided Scriptures for the promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I encourage you to study these more after the service. But for now, let's just get an idea of the big picture.

God promised to make of Abraham a great nation, to bless him, to make his name great, to make him a blessing to others, to bless those who bless him and curse those who curse him, and to bless all families of the earth through him.

God promised Isaac that his descendants would be innumerable, that they would posess the land he promised to give them, and that through them, all the nations of the earth would be blessed.

God promised Jacob that his descendents would posess the choice locations of the earth, they would be great among the nations, that he would not leave them, and that he would perform what he promised through them. And in Genesis chapter 28 and verse 15, God promises this:

"Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you."

That phrase translated "I am with you and will keep you" literally means "To keep, guard, observe, give heed; to protect, celebrate, to watch for, to wait for..." It was no small thing God promised, even just this little part at the very end.

And because the bondage of these people was in opposition to his promise, we read these words: "And God acknowledged them."

And the title of today's message is, "Acknowledged by God."


Acknowledged by God. God had already promised that he would guard them, keep watch over them, protect them, celebrate them, and even watch and wait for them. And here they are in bondage, slaves in Egypt. They began to cry out. And because of their bondage, God, in observance to his promises, acknowledged them.

Now to those who are critical of God and think themselves so greatly exalted that they are morally magnificent enough to judge him, this might sound as though God was being flippantly arrogant. "Oh yeah, there's those people there. I vaguely remember promising to protect them. Looks like they've had their babies slaughtered by their wicked masters. Yeah, looks like they're slaves. Okay, I acknowledge they exist."

But you and I know that God is good, that he is the definition of morality, justice, goodness, kindness, judgment, mercy, and love. We know that his thoughts toward us are too many to count, and that they are good, to give us a future and a hope.

We realize that God's acknowledging us is an amazing thing. We realize that God's timing is not our own, and that he is faithful to keep every single one of his promises; not partially or half-heartedly, but down to the very last jot and tittle, and with great passion and power.

And this is what we see at the end of Exodus chapter two:

"Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them."

Not only in Exodus but all the way through Revelation, every chapter and verse that follows this shows us what it meant for God to acknowledge them.

He miraculously brought them out of Egypt. He fed them and watered them and sustained and clothed them through their many years in the wilderness. He brought them into a land flowing with milk and honey. He gave them victory over their enemies, even when they were greatly outnumbered.

He kept them, guarded them, observed them, gave heed to them, protected them, celebrated them, watched for them, and even waited for them.

He could have completely destroyed them many times, and rightfully so, because they repeatedly disobeyed him, turned their backs on him, and served false gods. But each time they were turned over to their enemies because of these things, they eventually cried out to God. And each time they returned to him, he acknowledged them.


In the New Testament, Jesus tells the Jews that they will know the truth, and the truth will set them free. They didn't like that statement, because it implied they were not free already. But Jesus pointed out that those who sin are slaves to sin.

You see, Jesus knew his purpose there. It was the same reason God called Moses to become their deliverer -- because of their bondage, God remembered his promises, and God acknowledged them.


In the wilderness, the people of Israel remembered the good food they used to eat, and they said they'd be better off in Egypt. More or less, even after they had been set free, the enemy was happy to see them thinking, "Being in Egypt isn't that bad. Just look at all the pleasure we had!"

And today, it is practically illegal in the U.S., and IS against the law in other places, to claim that a chosen lifestyle is sin, and that those who sin are slaves to sin. Just as in the wilderness, slavery to Egypt is looking better and better.

After all, we too, because of disobedience and unbelief, are wandering around in a spiritual wilderness. And we look outside our windows and see a world that is still in Egypt. Do we tell them their bondage is not that bad? Are we perhaps too busy protecting our own vices to see how evil a taskmaster sin really is?

But those of us in bondage to sin have something incredible we should ponder. BECAUSE of our bondage, and because of God's promises, he acknowledges us.

We tend to think he acknowledges us only after we've cleaned up our lives and have everything all worked out. But he acknowledged the Hebrews because of their bondage and because of his promises. And because he has promised to make a way for YOU to be free from your bondage to sin, he has acknowledged you.

He has called your name. He has sent people to point the way to the promised land. And just as the Hebrews were set free so they could worship God, so salvation is standing at your door, waiting to set you free so you can worship God with the rest of your life.


Do you realize that the promises of God extend to every tribe and nation? "Through you, all peoples of the earth will be blessed." God has pronounced a blessing over your life. Just as he prepared a promised land for his people, so he has prepared a promised land for you; both for eternity, and also during this life in the realm of the spirit.

Jesus said in John 10:10, "The thief comes for nothing but to steal, kill, and destroy; but I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it in overflowing abundance."

You see, God saw your bondage to sin. And he acknowledged you by sending Jesus to pay the price for your sins so that you could be forgiven and so that, in his eyes, you could be as though you had never sinned.

And God acknowledge you by sending his messengers to tell you that your sin has a price, and that price is eternal separation from God in hell. But Jesus already paid your price. He has already become sin, borne sin, bled for sin, and died for sin. Will you hold on to your sin, or will you reject it, leave it nailed to the cross, and accept God's free gift of freedom and everlasting life?

God is acknowledging you right here and right now. He's already done everything imaginable, he's already gone far above and beyond what human mercy and kindness could have conceived.


Now, I realize that most of us here today have already been born again. But do the things you left behind in Egypt ever catch your attention? Have you brought something with you? If so, it holds you bound, and you are its slave.

Remember the Hebrews in Egypt. Because of their bondage, God heard them. And because of their cries, there was something to be heard. Are you comfortable in your sin? If you don't cry out to God to deliver you, how can he hear your cries?

But if there is a sin that still holds you bound, and if you are crying out day and night for God to set you free, then be of good courage. God has promised that those who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. And he will acknowledge you, and he will set you free.


There is yet another type of bondage I'd like us to consider today before we close, and that is bondage to fear. Pharaoh was bound by fear, and while God acknowledged him as well, it was not the type of acknowledgement you or I would want.

But this isn't the type of fear I'm talking about. Instead, there is a fear that we all have experienced, and many of us remain bound to it to this day. It comes around with many different faces -- fear of failure, fear of inadequacy, fear of rejection, fear of falling short. Whatever forms it takes, fear is a wicked task master, and it binds us in the heaviest of chains.

Fear keeps us from sharing Jesus with our neighbors. Fear keeps us from offering to pray for someone. Fear keeps us from daring to believe that God will answer our prayers. Fear keeps us from answering the calling God has placed on our lives.

First John 4:18 says that "Perfect love casts out fear," and, "He who fear has not been perfected in love." I think that covers all of us. Show me the man or woman on this earth today who has been perfected in love, and I'll..... Well, I won't do anything, because you won't find anyone like that.

We're all a work in progress. We're all being transformed from glory to glory into the image of Jesus. None of us have arived yet. At least, none of us on this side of eternity.

But there is hope. There is GREAT hope. Have you been held captive by fear? Has it kept you from moving forward and doing what God has called you to do?

God sees that bondage as well, and as you continue to cry out to him for freedom, he will hear your cries, and God will acknowledge you. Don't lose heart. Just put your trust in the Lord and call upon his name, and he will hear you and he will send the deliverance you need. It probably won't be on your preferred schedule, but it will be at just the time and in just the way that is God's absolute best.


Anyone on the ministry team here today can come stand at the front now.


If you'd like someone to pray or speak with you, you can instant message someone on the ministry team, or go to almcyberchurch.org and click Prayer Room or Pastors' Offices.

If you need to go, you're free to do so. Otherwise, this altar is open, and you're invited to get out of your seat, as we all gather at the front and spend some time in prayer and worship.

After this time at the altar, you're invited to come to the room to your left for a time of fellowship.

Come, and let's give thanks and praise to our Lord and King, for we have been Acknowledged by God!