Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Revelations 9 (the three baskets) Part I

By Odon Bulamba (15th July 2005)

Tonight we will talk about baskets and this will be an introduction to Revelation 9.

In the Bible there are different types of baskets, but tonight we’ll just look at 3 of them.

A basket is just a simple, human-made instrument, whose purpose is to help human beings carry or hold things. That is the only purpose of baskets for men. But for God, baskets have a great meaning. Not only dothey hold clothes, meals or little things but they also fulfill God’s plan. It’s up to us to understand what plan He has through a basket, and sometimes we find it tricky, it seems to be over our head.

The first time a basket is mentioned in the Bible is in Exodus chapter 2. At that time, Pharaoh had ordered to kill any baby boys at birth and when Moses was born, his mother didn’t know how to hide him. The more he grew up, the more he cried and made a lot of noise. The king of Egypt was afraid of the growing number of boys as he thought that when they grow up, they might become a threat for his government and destroy it so he preferred to eliminate the boys and he thought that victory was just killing.

In today’s in this world, it’s OK to fight to take something by force from someone. A nation will fight another nation. Someone will fight someone else.

For example, if I kill Peter I can take everything here from his house but for God that’s not a solution. God has a better way to win battles, a good solution to give people freedom, but unfortunately Pharaoh didn’t use it. So he decided to kill the boys and when newborns were killed, I don’t think there was joy. If you were a mother or father at that time and your boy was killed because the king feels threatened that one day he might lose his power, I think you will not be happy.

Let’s say if today a father has a newborn baby and he is told his baby must be killed so that the primeminister of NZ can continue to reign he will say, “What is this? This is strange I can’t accept it”. The courts will have a lot of complaints if all the newborn boys were killed!

But Pharaoh didn’t think of that, his problem was just to stay on his throne, forgetting that above him there was God. God is the one who provides life, and he could take it from Pharaoh at any time if He wanted. He could say, “Okay I’m finished with you” and take his life away. His reign could then stop and his kingdom given to someone else. So, first of all he forgot that he could die and planned to kill others in order to keep the power.

The same system exists in our world today. For example, in order for France or South Africa to control their colonies and continue to reign, they kill mainly men and boys. Many years ago, people thought it would be better to have an army of women because men are always killed. That strategy started in the Middle East. We can see Muslim women who don’t know anything, showing they are good fighters with a gun in their hands.

This strategy already existed at the time of Pharaoh. Pharaoh wanted to use the midwives as a weapon, so he commanded them, “Since you are assisting ladies in childbirth, whenever you see a son, just kill him.” But these ladies were servants of God, they knew God was The Almighty, so they thought it was better to let God do His justice. “Let’s not kill, killing is bad. It’s better for us to protect the lives of these people. The mothers have suffered a lot and it would be terrible to lose a son.” So they stood against Pharaoh’s decision.

But Pharaoh attacked them:

-Why didn’t you kill the boys?

- Hebrew women are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive. They can deliver their babies without our assistance. They can support themselves.

We are called to be midwives in this world, to assist others in their second birth under the sun, to bring them to life, to take them from darkness to light. In order to do it, we need wisdom and we need to remember that we fight for God. We are the people who have the lives of other’s in our hands. If I don’t educate my people or my nation then who is going to educate them? If I don’t share the gospel with my friends, my family or others, then who else is going to do it? No one.

The biggest problem for the church today is that it’s very hard for a pastor to preach to his wife, a father to preach to his son, for a mother to preach to her daughter and so on. So the people who are closer to us, mostly they are the ones who gain little chance to be taught about the Word of God. We may prefer to talk to people who are far away, people who we don’t know instead of talking to our own.

But those ladies who were Hebrews they were there to protect firstly the interest of Hebrew people. Satan will never go in a family where it is full of pagans and say I have to attack these souls so they will not turn toward God. He will never do that because he knows they already belong to him, in the same way that Pharaoh knew that all Egyptians belong to his kingdom. But when Pharaoh or Satan will see that in such a family someone will come from there and that person will struggle against something, that is the time where he will raise up his army and say, “Go and fight.”

To go and fight, Satan will not go far away. First of all he will come through a husband to get to his wife or his daughter. He’ll say to the husband, “Look if you can do this, it will be good, encourage your daughter to live a type of life, encourage your wife to do such and such.” That’s what we are calling modernization. The husband will think that it’s modern and the that the wife needs to be on the same page as other modern wives and the husband will open his Bible and say “Yes that’s true in the Bible its written in Hosea such and such”. And he will also think to himself, “anyway she’ll only do it one or two times and that’s all”.

But first of she’ll do it; secondly she’ll feel pressured and three times later it will become like a habit. When that habit will grow up it will become a character. To change that character will not be easy at all.

Then we’ll see someone who is really standing in Jesus Christ that doesn’t have the courage to talk to his daughter. When it is a matter of the gospel the daughter will say, “Oh Dad shut up, what are you talking about? I’m sick of hearing every time about Jesus, it’s boring.”

The father will say, “Why is that? I’ve been telling you every time about Jesus, why don’t you want Jesus anymore?”

“Because I’m young, I am a teenager, I want to live my life according to my will.”

The problem is not because you have been talking to your child but the problem is that you didn’t find enough time to kneel down and commit your daughter or your son’s life into Gods hands. That requires good preparation. You need to sacrifice your time so that your nation and your people can be saved.

In front of Pharaoh the midwives said, “No, we are unable to respond to your needs.” Sometimes we have to stand up and tell Satan, “We cannot respond to your needs. I will never accept my son to be a liar. Satan I will never accept my daughter to be a thief. I will never allow my mother to be a magician. Satan I am telling you, you have to give them freedom. They must be free because Jesus has paid the price.” We have to tell him so that he can know that in this family there is a resistance. But if we say “Oh no my daughter is doing such and such, what can I do?” If you are complaining instead of standing up and reminding Satan, he will see that this is a good way, I can go through this.

In one of the descendants of Israel, which was one of the descendants of Levi, a son was born but he did not have a name. When he was 3 months old, he was crying a lot to the point that his mother could not hide him anymore. She decided to make a basket to hide her son. But she thought, where could she hide him? If I leave him in the house it will be dangerous. I have to take him somewhere on the river. But on the river there was also a danger, perhaps it was even more dangerous than keeping him home. I have to make a basket that is different to other baskets, it has to float. It must resist water so it will not destroy my son.

She needed wisdom she needed to think about what materials are needed so that it will not leak. All the mothers here will tell us that any child born needs to be covered properly and protected against cold. So why is that, why do you protect your children against cold? Imagine if you take your baby and put her on the Waikato River for 5 days, what will happen? It will be really hard and the baby can even lose her life.

The mother of Moses knew there was a danger but she knew that God exists and will continue to protect her son. She had faith. As you know the Nile River is full of crocodiles. She knew that at a certain time, maybe around 6 o’clock it would be dangerous for even an adult to walk along the river. For example, if I tell you to go and walk along the riverside and there is no moonlight what will happen? What would you be scared of? Would it be darkness or of other people coming along that could cause you to die.

But the mother of Moses knew that Miriam could never resist the power of darkness but she said, “My daughter go there, this is your brother you have to look after him. If there is any danger come back and tell me.” I’m not sure if Miriam can run faster than a crocodile or other people, but God said that you have to stay with your brother. The brother didn’t talk to her at all; he was only 3 months old. Whenever he was hungry Miriam couldn’t feed him, he was just in that small basket floating maybe he was crying. We can see a simple basket made by human hands can hold a life of someone like Moses (among the biggest men of the Bible who was serving God). The simple basket that his mother made could protect him from death.

You need also to make a basket. The basket represents all the members of your family so they can come to Jesus. For example if I invite my mother here and she is not a believer and I say Mum before we eat we have to pray. She’ll say “Okay pray then.” If before bed I say “Mum can you pray?”

She’ll say, “I’m tired I have to go to bed you pray.”

“Thank you God for giving me a lovely Mum and such and such in Jesus name Amen.” I’m sure your Mum will be quiet. “Mum can you say amen?”

“Why! Why do you say amen, are you forcing me?”

“No, it’s just of way of saying that you believe so God can protect you”. She will say it and go to bed. Tomorrow morning when she will wake up you can ask, “Mum how was your night? I’m so happy to see you because God protected you during the whole night.” Your mother will start to hear about God whether she accepts it or not. But the more you are talking it will be like a seed that you are putting in her heart. As Paul says our job is just to plant seeds, you don’t know how seeds grow up that’s not our work. God is the one who deals with that.

When I was a young boy around 5 or 6 I asked my mother why can’t people plant meat to grow. One day I took a piece of meat to plant it to see how the tree of meat will grow. I dug the ground, placed the meat in it and covered it. Everyday I was going there to water it. Five days later I went back and my meat wasn’t there anymore, it was gone. I asked my Mum where my meat was. Beans are just small seeds and they can produce life why can’t my meat? My mother told me that whatever contains blood in it will never become a tree, you can’t plant it. I used to ask myself, why is that? This was a big question for me.

For God he asks us now to make a basket and to make a basket, Moses’ mother chose what type of grass she would use or what type of tree to make it. For you, what types of strategies do you use to push, invite or intoxicate your family members to become Christians? Do you have any strategies or not? If you don’t have any, this is the time to choose them. For example, my mother can be 25 years old today so this is the opportunity to write a card for her. I will write Happy Birthday, I thank God because you are now 25. It’s really a joy to see that God has been protecting you for so long. She can read it and be happy or unhappy but the message will be passed on. One day God will make it to grow up. For our children that’s the same strategy, for our bosses or where ever we go we have to make up that basket.

To make a basket, it won’t really take a long time, only a matter of a few minutes. When I was younger I made a basket myself, I was learning how to do it. Making a basket is just like knitting; you need to know what to do and how to do it. Someone must show you. When I made my first basket it looked really ugly because it was my first time to do it. You and I when we are trying to plan which strategy to use so we can protect the lives of others, maybe the first time it will be hard. Don’t be disappointed, try again and maybe at the 4th or 5th time it will be fine. Don’t feel bad whenever you talk to your father, friend or colleague about God and they don’t respond positively. Don’t say okay I will not continue anymore. Persevere and things will come at the right place.

Moses mother put the basket there and she left. She said, “God I did my job and I commit Moses’ life in your hands, look after him, do whatever you will do. Miriam cannot do much but she has to look after him because I have other things to do.” Miriam will represent the picture of the church. If you talk to your father or mother about the word of God, or just give little things about God, invite them along one day to church. They can say yes or no but maybe one day they will go and listen to something and God will do whatever he will do.

Moses was there but unfortunately his sister was unable to look after him properly. She saw the princess come; the princess didn’t know what was inside the basket. She heard the voice of the baby crying so she followed the voice. She thought this is an opportunity to take this son out of the basket. Miriam could not stop her. So she offered to find someone to help her with him. Today we can also prepare our family members. God help them, support them but sometimes Satan can come and take them away from us. But we don’t have to let Satan take them. We have to say, “Satan stop, I know someone who paid the price for the life of this person. Jesus died on the cross because of him. Where are you taking my father? My father has been a drunkard for 15 years why are you taking him? My mother is a murderer, where are you taking her? Someone has paid the price please leave her. I know someone who will look after her properly and that person is Jesus Christ.” The princess didn’t say no, she accepted the suggestion of Miriam to have Moses’ mother feed her son. That is the first type of basket.

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