Hospital/Crisis Visitation. In this lesson, we will consider principles for hospital/crises visitation.
Principle: God expects you to accept responsibility for wisely managing and investing the abilities God has entrusted to your care.
The God of the universe invites you to discover that you are His unique creation. He urges you to accept Him as Lord in all that you are and all that you do.
When you acknowledge God’s Lordship of your life you give Him the right to rule over your life. But, simultaneously, when you call Him Lord, He gives you a new responsibility called “stewardship.” Stewardship means “to manage and administrate resources belonging to someone else.” As Lord, God is the owner of your talents and abilities. As steward you are responsible for their wise use and investment.
Many of Jesus‘ parables provide insight into the meaning of stewardship. Let’s look at one that is especially helpful.
What Is Stewardship?: A Parable
In Matthew 25:14-29, Jesus tells the parable of the talents. Take a few minutes and read the parable. This parable teaches some important lessons about stewardship. First, stewardship means entrusting what is rightfully yours to another. This is exactly what God does with you when you present your life to Him. Presenting your life to Him means you acknowledge His ownership. By entrusting your life back to you, God makes you a steward.
Second, though we have different talents (abilities, not money) entrusted to us, we are each responsible for the wise investment of precisely those talents that are given to us.
God only expects you to achieve results in your life that are consistent with the measure of skills and abilities He’s built into you. Yet, at the same time, “To whom much is given much is expected.” This phrase doesn’t just refer to your abilities. It can also refer to your knowledge of God and His Word, your citizenship in a free country, your income, or hundreds of other resources God allows you to manage.
The more God invests in you, the more He expects of you. It was true in the parable of the talents, and it’s true today. This has staggering implications for those of us who God has richly blessed.
Third, the goal of a steward is to meet the Lord’s expectations. Two of these stewards knew the master well enough to know that he expected them to invest his money; the third either understood the master’s expectations and disregarded them or did not know what the master expected. Either way, the third steward failed.
God has invested talents in you, not only in the form of money, as in the parable of the talents, but in the form of skills and abilities. He expects you to invest those talents in work that meets His expectations.
Understanding the principles in the parable of the talents should help you understand stewardship better. It provides important insight regarding who is responsible in your career decisions. Yet understanding how to make life decisions as a steward requires knowing what your Master expects and who He holds responsible for making decisions.
- Israel in Egypt (1:1–12:30)
Joseph brought his family to Egypt and protected them there. But after Joseph’s death, as they multiplied into a nation, they were forced into slavery. God then prepared Moses to free his people from slavery and lead them out of Egypt. To help Moses, God unleashed ten plagues upon the land. After the tenth plague, Pharaoh let the people go. On the night before the great Exodus, God’s new nation celebrated the Passover. Just as God delivered Israel from Egypt, he delivers us from sin, death, and evil.
Exodus Book Overview
|1805 b.c. (1640 b.c.)||Joseph dies|
|Slavery in Egypt
|1526 (1350)||Moses born
|1446 (1280)||Exodus from Egypt|
|1445 (1279)||Ten Commandments given
|1406 (1240)||Israel enters Canaan
|1375 (1220)||Judges begin to rule|
|Purpose:||To record the events of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt and development as a nation|
|Date Written:||1450-1410 b.c., approximately the same as Genesis|
|Where Written:||In the wilderness during Israel’s wanderings, somewhere in the Sinai peninsula|
|Setting:||Egypt. God’s people, once highly favored in the land, are now slaves. God is about to set them free.|
|Key Verses:||“Then the Lord told him, ‘You can be sure I have seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries for deliverance from their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering.… Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You will lead my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt’” (3:7, 10).|
|Key People:||Moses, Miriam, Pharaoh, Pharaoh’s daughter, Jethro, Aaron, Joshua, Bezalel|
|Key Places:||Egypt, Goshen, Nile River, Midian, Red Sea, Sinai peninsula, Mount Sinai|
|Special Features:||Exodus relates more miracles than any other Old Testament book and is noted for containing the Ten Commandments|
What follows is one of the greatest scene in the Bible.
Risky claim, you say? Exodus is one startling scene after another. Burning bushes, dividing seas, manna falling, quail scampering. The plagues, the slaves, the pharaoh, and the fire. How could they be ranked.
Do we dare isolate one moment as the greatest?
Yes we do.
We turn to the Hebrew slaves and stand silently as they perform an act of faith. A brush is dipped into a bowl of lamb’s blood and streaked over the doorpost. Do it, they were told, and the angel of death will pass over. They obeyed. And death took an alternate route.
That’s the peak of Exodus. Exodus is a book of deliverance. Liberation from slavery. The blood on the doorpoast reminds us, however, that it wasn’t Moses who set them free. It was God. The blood on the doorpost reminds us of blood smeared on another post.
Blood of another lamb.
The Lamb of God.
Because of his blood, we are free.
Get up … leave … take off—these words are good ones for those trapped or enslaved. Some resist their marching orders, however, preferring present surroundings to a new, unknown environment. It’s not easy to trade the comfortable security of the known for an uncertain future. But what if God gives the order to move? Will we follow his lead? Exodus describes a series of God’s calls and the responses of his people.
Four hundred years had passed since Joseph moved his family to Egypt. These descendants of Abraham had now grown to over two million strong. To Egypt’s new pharaoh, these Hebrews were foreigners, and their numbers were frightening. Pharaoh decided to make them slaves so they wouldn’t upset his balance of power. As it turned out, that was his biggest mistake, for God then came to the rescue of his people.
Through a series of strange events, a Hebrew boy named Moses became a prince in Pharaoh’s palace and then an outcast in a wilderness land. God visited Moses in the mysterious flames of a burning bush, and after some discussion, Moses agreed to return to Egypt to lead God’s people out of slavery. Pharaoh was confronted, and through a cycle of plagues and promises made and broken, Israel was torn from his grasp.
It was no easy task to mobilize this mass of humanity, but they marched out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and into the wilderness behind Moses and the pillars of cloud and fire. Despite continual evidence of God’s love and power, the people complained and began to yearn for their days in Egypt. God provided for their physical and spiritual needs with food and a place to worship, but he also judged their disobedience and unbelief. Then in the dramatic Sinai meeting with Moses, God gave his laws for right living.
God led Moses and the nation of Israel, and he wants to lead us as well. Is he preparing you, like Moses, for a specific task? He will be with you; obey and follow. Is he delivering you from an enemy or a temptation? Trust him, and do what he says. Have you heard his clear moral directions? Read, study, and obey his Word. Is he calling you to true worship? Discover God’s presence in your life, in your home, and in the body of assembled believers. Exodus is the exciting story of God’s guidance. Read with the determination to follow God wherever he leads.
|A. Israel in Egypt (1:1–12:30)
1. Slavery in Egypt
2. God chooses Moses
3. God sends Moses to Pharaoh
4. Plagues strike Egypt
5. The Passover
|When the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt, God heard their cries and rescued them. We can be confident that God still hears the cries of his people. Just as he delivered the Israelites from their captors, he delivers us from sin, death, and evil.|
|B. Israel in the Wilderness (12:31–18:27)
1. The Exodus
2. Crossing the sea
3. Complaining in the wilderness
|After crossing the Red Sea, the Israelites became quarrelsome and discontent. Like the Israelites, we find it easy to complain and be dissatisfied. Christians still have struggles, but we should never allow difficulties and unpleasant circumstances to turn us away from trusting God.|
|C. Israel at Sinai (19:1–40:38)
1. Giving the law
2. Tabernacle instructions
3. Breaking the law
4. Tabernacle construction
|God revealed his law to the Israelites at Sinai. Through the law, they learned more about what God is like and how he expected his people to live. The law is still instructional for us, for it exposes our sin and shows us God’s standard for living.|
|Slavery||During the Israelites 400-year stay in the land of Egypt, they became enslaved to the Egyptians. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, oppressed them cruelly. They prayed to God for deliverance from this situation.||Like the Israelites, we need both human and divine leadership to escape from the slavery of sin. After their escape, the memory of slavery helped the Israelites learn to treat others generously. We need to stand against those who oppress others.|
|Rescue/Redemption||God rescued Israel through the leader Moses and through mighty miracles. The Passover celebration was an annual reminder of their escape from slavery.||God delivers us from the slavery of sin. Jesus Christ celebrated the Passover with his disciples at the Last Supper and then went on to rescue us from sin by dying in our place.|
|Guidance||God guided Israel out of Egypt by using the plagues, Moses’ heroic courage, the miracle of the Red Sea, and the Ten Commandments. God is a trustworthy guide.||Although God is all-powerful and can do miracles, he normally leads us by wise leadership and team effort. His Word gives us the wisdom to make daily decisions and govern our lives.|
|Ten Commandments||God’s law system had three parts. The Ten Commandments were the first part, containing the absolutes of spiritual and moral life. The civil law was the second part, giving the people rules to manage their lives. The ceremonial law was the third part, showing them patterns for building the Tabernacle and for regular worship.||God was teaching Israel the importance of choice and responsibility. When they obeyed the conditions of the law, he blessed them; if they forgot or disobeyed, he punished them or allowed calamities to come. Many great countries of the world base their laws on the moral system set up in the book of Exodus. God’s moral law is valid today.|
|The Nation||God founded the nation of Israel to be the source of truth and salvation to all the world. His relationship to his people was loving yet firm. The Israelites had no army, schools, governors, mayors, or police when they left Egypt. God had to instruct them in their constitutional laws and daily practices. He showed them how to worship and how to have national holidays.||Israel’s newly formed nation had all the behavioral characteristics of Christians today. We are often disorganized, sometimes rebellious, and sometimes victorious. God’s Person and Word are still our only guides. If our churches reflect his leadership, they will be effective in serving him.|
Key Places in Exodus
1 Goshen This area was given to Jacob and his family when they moved to Egypt (Genesis 47:5, 6). It became the Hebrews’ homeland for 400 years and remained separate from the main Egyptian centers, for Egyptian culture looked down upon shepherds and nomads. As the years passed, Jacob’s family grew into a large nation (1:7).
2, 3 Pithom and Rameses During the Israelites’ stay in the land of Egypt, a pharaoh came to the throne who had no respect for these descendants of Joseph and feared their large numbers. He forced them into slavery in order to oppress and subdue them. Out of their slave labor, the supply cities of Pithom and Rameses were built (1:11).
4 Midian Moses, an Egyptian prince who was born a Hebrew, killed an Egyptian and fled for his life to Midian. Here he became a shepherd and married a woman named Zipporah. It was while he was here that God commissioned him for the job of leading the Hebrew people out of Egypt (2:15–4:31).
5 Baal-zephon Slavery was not to last because God planned to deliver his people. After choosing Moses and Aaron to be his spokesmen to Pharaoh, God worked a series of dramatic miracles in the land of Egypt to convince Pharaoh to let the Hebrews go (5:1–12:33). When finally freed, the entire nation set out with the riches of Egypt (12:34-36). One of their first stops was at Baal-zephon (14:2), where Pharaoh, who had changed his mind, chased the Hebrews and trapped them against the sea. But God parted the waters and led the people through the sea on dry land. When Pharaoh’s army tried to pursue, the waters collapsed around them, and they were drowned (14:5-31).
6 Marah Moses now led the people southward. The long trek across the desert brought hot tempers and parched throats for this mass of people. At Marah, the water they found was bitter, but God sweetened it (15:22-25).
7 Elim As they continued their journey, the Hebrews (now called Israelites) came to Elim, an oasis with 12 springs (15:27).
8 Sin Desert Leaving Elim, the people headed into the Sin Desert. Here the people became hungry, so God provided them with manna that came from heaven and covered the ground each morning (16:1, 13-15). The people ate this manna until they entered the Promised Land.
9 Rephidim Moses led the people to Rephidim where they found no water. But God miraculously provided water from a rock (17:1, 5, 6). Here the Israelites encountered their first test in battle: the Amalekites attacked and were defeated (17:9-13). Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, then arrived on the scene with some sound advice on delegating responsibilities (18).
10 Mount Sinai God had previously appeared to Moses on this mountain and commissioned him to lead Israel (3:1-10). Now Moses returned with the people God had asked him to lead. For almost a year the people camped at the foot of Mount Sinai. During this time God gave them his Ten Commandments as well as other laws for right living. He also provided the blueprint for building the Tabernacle (19–40). God was forging a holy nation, prepared to live for and serve him alone.
- What turning point marks the “before” and “after” of your own life with God? How does it relate to God’s plan for you?
- Who was your “Moses,” the person who brought you into a loving relationship with God? How do you feel about this person?
- To whom have you been a “moses”? What did you learn about redemption from this experience?
- 1My child, listen to me and treasure my instructions. 2Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. 3 Cry out for insight and understanding. 4Search for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure. 5Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7He grants a treasure of good sense to the godly. He is their shield, protecting those who walk with integrity. 8 He guards the paths of justice and protects those who are faithful to him.
- 9Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will know how to find the right course of action every time. 10For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy. 11 Wise planning will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe.
- 12Wisdom will save you from evil people, from those whose speech is corrupt. 13These people turn from right ways to walk down dark and evil paths. 14They rejoice in doing wrong, and they enjoy evil as it turns things upside down. 15 What they do is crooked, and their ways are wrong.
- 16Wisdom will save you from the immoral woman, from the flattery of the adulterous woman. 17She has abandoned her husband and ignores the covenant she made before God. 18 Entering her house leads to death; it is the road to hell. 19The man who visits her is doomed. He will never reach the paths of life.
- 20Follow the steps of good men instead, and stay on the paths of the righteous. 21 For only the upright will live in the land, and those who have integrity will remain in it. 22 But the wicked will be removed from the land, and the treacherous will be destroyed.
- Wisdom comes in two ways: It is a God-given gift and also the result of an energetic search. Wisdom’s starting point is God and his revealed Word, the source of “knowledge and understanding” (2:6). In that sense, wisdom is his gift to us. But he gives it only to those who earnestly seek it. But because God’s wisdom is hidden from the rebellious and foolish, it takes effort to find it and use it. The pathway to wisdom is strenuous. When we are on the path, we discover that true wisdom is God’s and that he will guide us and reward our sincere and persistent search.
- God gives wisdom and victory to the godly but not to those drifting through life or acting irresponsibly with his gifts and resources. If we are faithful to him and keep our purpose in life clearly in mind, he will keep us from pride and greed.
- We gain wisdom through a constant process of growing. First, we must trust and honor God. Second, we must realize that the Bible reveals God’s wisdom to us. Third, we must make a lifelong series of right choices and avoid moral pitfalls. Fourth, when we make sinful choices or mistakes, we must learn from our errors and recover. People don’t develop all aspects of wisdom at once. For example, some people have more insight than discretion; others have more knowledge than common sense. But we can pray for all aspects of wisdom and take the steps to develop them in our life.
- An adulterous woman is seductive or a prostitute. Two of the most difficult sins to resist are pride and sexual immorality. Both are seductive. Pride says, “I deserve it”; sexual desire says, “I need it.” In combination, their appeal is deadly. In fact, says Solomon, only by relying on God’s strength can we overcome them. Pride appeals to the empty head; sexual enticement to the empty heart. By looking to God, we can fill our heads with his wisdom and our hearts with his love. Don’t be fooled—remember what God says about who you are and what you were meant to be. Ask him for strength to resist these temptations.