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Friday, August 1, 2014
A basket Brooksyne made at the Longaberger Homestead several years ago
"A Basket Story"
Note: Due to travel a podcast was not prepared for this message.
"But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for
him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it
and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood
at a distance to see what would happen to him" (Exodus 2:3,4).
we visited the Longaberger Homestead and later passed by the
Longaberger company headquarters about twenty miles away. Longaberger
is a company known
baskets and their headquarters is shaped like a gigantic basket. It is
an amazing sight to see off the highway as we drove by! (For true scale
visualization you have to remember those are full size trees next to
the pictured basket.)
Baskets have been huge collector items over the years but based on our
it seems the interest in Longaberger baskets is waning at the very
least or simply a thing of the past. The place was practically
deserted with a huge parking lot and only a few cars. The busy
production area we had visited years ago looked closed. We overheard
people (mostly older) commenting on how busy the place used to be. The
whole store and all the shops were 50% off. This
would be a good reminder concerning all popular fads which tend to come and go!Some baskets are functional but many baskets are used for decorative
purposes. In our home their main usage is for flowers, plants, and
collecting vegetables from the garden as well as packing a meal for a family in need. Brooksyne really isn't very
interested in the heirloom quality such as Longaberger baskets offer.
Please note: Due to the historical background today's message is longer than usual!
All throughout history baskets have had a practical function. They are
first mentioned in the Bible in the Book of Genesis. (Genesis 40:16) When
visited Central America we saw women and children carrying baskets on
their heads. When we visited the pre-European Cherokee Village in
Tahlequah, Oklahoma we watched Cherokee women making baskets. Today
to consider a fairly well-known time in the Bible that a basket was
used in a very
functional way as a means of preservation and deliverance.
Pharoah had decreed that all male Hebrew babies were to be destroyed, the first attempted holocaust. A Hebrew named Jochebed
had a son and after his birth she tried to hide him. But at three
months of age she could hide him no longer. Babies have a will of
their own and though Jochebed may have sung and rocked the baby to try
to pacify his infant whimpers, surely they turned into loud crying as
the child grew. All parents experience this with their healthy growing
God could have intervened in this matter by silencing the baby but He
didn't work things out that way. So Jochebed came up with a plan of her
own. She got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch
(to make it waterproof and thus it would float) and placed him in the
basket among the reeds along the Nile River. This must have been very
hard for her to do, but perhaps she had seen firsthand Pharoah's
vengeance and her motherly instinct was to protect her baby.
I am intrigued by the actions taken by the baby's older sister, Miriam,
in the next several verses. Even a child had a part in God's
redemptive plan! After the basket was placed in the reeds beside the waters Miriam "stood at a distance to see what would
happen to him." I wonder what she was thinking? How much
had her mother explained to her? How long did she watch and wait
for something to happen?
In due time Pharaoh's daughter came down to the river, found the
crying baby and "had compassion on him." Isn't a motherly instinct wonderful whether or not a woman has actually given birth!Miriam, who had been
watching all along, boldly sprang into action with an ingenious plan.
She cleverly volunteered, "Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women
to nurse the baby for you?" Notice she doesn't say "my mother" or
"his mother" but "one of the Hebrew women." That took some quick
thinking. Perhaps she and her mother rehearsed several scenarios that
might unfold should the baby be spotted in this most unexpected
hideaway. Upon approval she sought out the baby's mother, who
essentially raised her own son at least for some time!
Of course this baby was Moses, destined to lead God's people. It
has long been my conviction that Moses' later greatness is in part a result of
the godly influence of his mother (and perhaps father from a distance)
during that formative time. But Miriam also played a vital
role in God's plan.
In his book "The Invisible Hand" theologian R.C. Sproul points out,
"The doctrine of concurrence refers to historical events in which the
work of Providence has been acted out through human agencies.
That means at the same time human agents are acting, God is acting in
and through them."
Today we need to understand that God is active in even the most
seemingly mundane parts of our lives. Miriam made the most of an
opportunity and we should do the same. Do you suppose when Miriam
acted on this occasion she had the slightest notion that her tiny role
would be recorded for all to read nearly 3,500 years later? I
wonder how often she viewed in her mind's memory Moses, as a babe,
hidden in the bulrushes. It must have been gratifying to see her
little brother who was rescued from the Egyptian's hands now rescuing
his people from their hands and leading them to the Promised Land.
God is still working in the "mundane" today. Moses' story should
give us incentive to heed the words of Paul: "Be very careful, then,
how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every
opportunity, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:15,16).
Small, seemingly insignificant, acts of faith and obedience have a
major part in the mosaic of God's master plan for our lives. We
may desire to do something great for God, but often His plan is the
simple day by day acts of obedience in following His leadings,
both large and small. We'll just have to wait and see how it all
fits together. May the Lord help us all, like Miriam, to do what
is appropriate for the moment!
Be encouraged today,Stephen & Brooksyne WeberDaily
prayer: Father, we're grateful for the supernatural work You
perform in our lives. Help us to follow Your leading in the small day
to day promptings we receive from Your Spirit as we go about our
activities. The way You cared for Moses is a great reminder that we are
never without hope and our circumstances are never too grave when we
walk in Your ways and trust You for that which concerns us. Amen.
Today we will head into Indiana and plan to attend the Indiana State Fair this afternoon.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
to Stephen &
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am created by God to bring
Him glory. Through God’s Son, Jesus Christ, I have been
redeemed and I make it my life’s goal to honor God through my
faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for
Encouragement Net 495
Church Road Mount
C. Weber All
the weak things in the world,
That no flesh will glory
in His presence."