When God speaks to Moses from the burning bush, he knows that Pharaoh will not let the Hebrews go “unless compelled by a mighty hand.” God has a series of signs and wonders in store for Egypt. There comes a point when Pharaoh would have been willing to let them go and we’re told that God hardened his heart, because he was not done demonstrating his power. It was all part of God’s plan.
I did not intend to preach a sermon featuring 9/11 on the 10th anniversary. I decided to use text from Genesis 15, when God met with Abram (not yet Abraham) and renewed his covenant to make of him a great nation. God explains that it will not happen right away; as a matter of fact it will not happen for another 400 years.
Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. Gen. 15:13-14
I’m going out on a limb here. Maybe it’s getting late and this will just be the Diet Pepsi talking, but I would like to share a thought.
I recently met a blogger named Joe Derbes, author of Everyone’s Entitled to Joe’s Opinion. I don’t know how much of an influence Michael Spencer was to him, but his blogroll credits Michael with being his new favorite Christian author. I have certainly said before that I blog because of Michael Spencer. I know that one student of Mr. Spencer says the same thing. How many others are there? The Internet was teeming with tributes to Michael in the days following his passing. How many people out there blog, or perhaps blog with a different message or purpose, as a direct result of the original Internet Monk?
I can’t write a new post without considering how Michael would evaluate that installment. I miss the constructive criticism; he made me a better writer. He helped shaped my current view of systematic theology. And tonight I can’t help but think of this: that’s kind of like Jesus. Jesus taught multitudes of people, and 12 in particular were privy to special teachings, prayers and examples. Jesus taught them, told them to follow in his footsteps, and then left them. Two of the disciples wrote Gospels (and perhaps Mark was dictated by Peter). Peter lead the others in starting the Christian church at Jerusalem. Paul did just about the same thing. He planted churches across Asia minor and southern Europe, training leaders and then moving on. His letters to Timothy still guide church leaders today.
That’s the Christian model. A teacher, a pastor, a blogger – in this case – not only does his job but teaches others to do the job as well. Even as Paul was ministering he was training others to be ministers. Even during his earthly ministry Jesus sent the Apostles out to preach and work miracles. When the human life is spent the work continues. The church grows. The gospel goes forth. We need to think now about the future generation of leaders that will be following our lead. Heaven and earth will pass away but the Word of the Lord endures forever.