The Mixed Multitude

The Mixed Multitude

“And a mixed multitude went up also with them”
Exodus 12:38

The great multitude that left Egypt (well over one and half million people) was comprised not only of Israelites but also of foreign slaves and Egyptians; a great diversity of races, cultures and motives. There were no doubt sincere followers of God in every one of these nationalities* for the promise of the Passover was to all: “when I see the blood I will pass over”. The blood was the reason for the pardon; not the nationality of the people inside the house. Even here we see glimpses of the New Covenant promise which is based upon faith and not natural birth. This mixed multitude were called the children of Israel. The wilderness was the crucible where many offending elements of the throng would be judged and purified (1 Corinthians 10:1-6).

Historically within the purposes of God mixture is a common malady. Within the hearts of all exists various motives for following after God. There are those who join themselves to the multitude for the blessings rather than out of a pure love for God. After the Sermon on the Mount a great multitude followed Him enthralled by the pure words of grace and wisdom which He spoke.

“When he was come down from the mountain,
great multitudes followed him”
Matthew 8:1

Later we read that multitudes followed Him because He fed them.

“Ye seek me…because ye did eat of the loaves,
and were filled”
John 6:26

Jesus began to speak of deeper things; truths which were no longer pleasant and soft but offensive to the natural mind and the religious culture.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man,
and drink his blood, ye have no life in you”
John 6:53

The multitudes began to shrink and many fell away. The way was becoming narrow and the gate unpopular. Many of His “disciples” began to murmur.

“Many therefore of his disciples,
when they had heard this, said,
This is an hard saying; who can hear it?”
John 6:60

So too in our day the multitudes enjoy the broad way focusing only on the elementary things of God. Discipleship, dying to self, the pursuit of true righteousness and holiness are forsaken for the golden calf of the masses. In our day the masses are the proof of a successful church or ministry and often the truth is crucified at the hands of those who want the approval and esteem of men. Nevertheless, there are those whose hearts are set upon following Him. It is to the disciple that His sayings become costly and His way becomes narrow. The self-life must be left behind to move forward in the mystery of His Way. It is the hard sayings of Jesus that cause many to stumble.

“From that time many of his disciples went back,
and walked no more with him”
John 6:66

In our day we have many places where people can congregate to ease their conscience and pacify their convicted soul. They can hear His words without having to follow Him and call Him Lord without obeying. It is a new “gospel” that claims one simply has to believe and heaven is assured and God is pleased. A relieved conscience and a no-cost gospel are nothing more than a religious sedative for a lukewarm environment.

“Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people;
Ephraim is a cake not turned.
Strangers have devoured his strength,
and he knoweth it not…”
Hosea 7:8-9

Even so God calls out to us to draw near in truth and in purity of heart; to leave the crowds and the broad paths. There is a refuge and consolation to be found there. Even the weak, the downtrodden and the lonely are made strong in the way of our God. The Great Shepherd Himself will lead us through the labyrinth of compromise and mixture into truth, righteousness and holiness.

“A faith which works not for purification will work for putrefaction.
Unless our faith makes us pine after holiness,
it is no better than the faith of devils,
and perhaps it is not even so good as that.
A holy man is the workmanship of the Holy Spirit”
Charles Spurgeon

* Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite; one example of several non-Israelites. For his faithfulness to God, Caleb was given an inheritance of the Tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:13).

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Thought for Today – Obstacles –

Thought for Today

Obstacles

“As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
the children of Judah could not drive them out:
but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah
at Jerusalem unto this day”
Joshua 15:13

Though the Land of Promise had been given, it was the responsibility of His people to take the land and possess it. Within every promise given to us by God there remains a warfare and a battle of faith to make it our own.

“This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child,
in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you,
that by them you may wage the good warfare
1 Timothy 1:18

It is in the receiving of God’s promises and embracing His call upon our lives that we contend in faith to see them come to pass. There is no victory without the battle, no crown without the fight and no overcoming without the exercising of our faith.

It has taken me years to appreciate that every obstacle in my life is for my own good and learning. It is in these things we discover the true value of Grace and Mercy. If the victory in these things were easy and within the realm of our own strength, then we would be a poor example of what HE has intended for us. If we do not engage in the warfare, our walk will never be able to show forth His victory in our lives and we will live a life of compromise with our enemies…

“By little and little I will drive them out from before thee,
until thou be increased, and inherit the land”
Exodus 23:30

God has a purpose in the obstacles which stand between us and His promises… it is to the “increase’ of our faith and our strength. He has purposed us to become strong, He has intended us to be persistent and determined in the apprehending of the promises given to us. It is in these things we grow strong in our God for we have learned that our God is strong!

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info