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Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Longaberger Basket Company headquarters
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"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).
On the way back from our trip last week we drove by the headquarters of the Longaberger Company in east central Ohio. Since they specialize in baskets their headquarters is shaped like a gigantic basket and it is an amazing sight to see off the highway! We also went in and visited inside.
Baskets are huge collector items and are used mostly for decorative purposes. In our home their main use is for flowers, plants, and collecting vegetables from the garden. Brooksyne really isn't very interested in the heirloom quality such as Longaberger baskets offer. On a practical level we also have laundry baskets and trash baskets.
All throughout history baskets have had a practical function. They are first mentioned in the Bible in the Book of Genesis. When we visited Central America we saw women and children carrying baskets on their heads. When we visited the pre-European Cherokee Village two weeks ago we watched Cherokee women making baskets. Today we want to consider a time in the Bible that a basket was used in a very functional way as a means of deliverance.
Pharoah had decreed that all male babies were to be destroyed. 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 babies.
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! 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?
Well, in time, Pharaoh's daughter came down to the river, found the crying baby and "had compassion on him." 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!
Of course this baby was Moses, destined to lead God's people. It has long been my conviction that Moses' later greatness is a result of the godly influence of his mother (and perhaps father from a distance) during that formative time. But Miriam also played such a vital role in God's plan.
In his book "The Invisible Hand" theologian R.C. Sproul points out that "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 to Him 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 Weber
Daily 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 share several more photos of our trip we returned from last week.
The Longaberger Basket Company headquarters office building (pictured) is entirely open on the inside as a huge atrium with skylights for a ceiling. (see this photo)
World's Largest Apple Basket!
The Cross At The Crossroads
We passed this large cross at the junction of I-70 and I-57 near Effingham, Illinois. It is is intended to serve as a beacon of hope to the 50,000 travelers estimated to pass by each day. It is reported to be the world's largest cross.
See here for details.
Yesteray I stopped by and visited with a minister friend of mine. Alberto Hernandez is a native Peruvian who moved to the US ten years ago to serve in missions among the Hispanic population. He and his wife Jenny have a vibrant walk with the Lord and are seeking to raise their children for Christ and impact their world. Several years ago we had them over to our place for a meal and took this photo.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)
"Trust His Heart" Video
"God Is In Control" Audio
The Invisible Hand: Do All Things Really Work for Good? By R.C. Sproul / P & R Publishing - In a world steeped in anguish and evil, how can God be in control? Do all things really work for good? With head-on honesty and biblical insight, Sproul examines the difficult doctrine of divine providence. Discover how your Lord lovingly guides the events of your life without creating human wickedness or destroying human freedom. Ordering information.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I 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 please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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