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Raising Deliverers

by Randy Bohlender Published Jul 27, 2010

Guest Post by Randy Bohlender, co-founder of The Zoe Foundation.

Historically, whenever a deliverer was about to come on the scene, there is a battle against the children.

Pharaoh sensed the potential in the Hebrews and worried that a deliverer would rise. He had options. He could have vanquished the leaders. He could have tortured the men or separated the couples. Instead, he waged war on the children. Pharaoh told the midwives: “When the Hebrew women give birth, if the baby is a boy, kill him.” However, dictators don’t always get their way when the hand of God is in the mix.

A baby was born to a Levite. Scripture says he was a beautiful child. At three months of age, his mother feared for his life, so she sent the baby with her daughter to place him in basket near the edge of the river and watch. In a story that only God could orchestrate, that baby was discovered by Pharaoh’s daughter. She wept with pity when she saw him, and brought him home. From that day, within Pharaoh’s house, a deliverer grew. He lived in the palace that had waged war against the children, and yet adoption spared the life of this deliverer to come.

Years after Moses’ death, the Jewish people were enslaved again. Leaving Egypt, they wandered until they found their way to Canaan, only to be carried off in captivity to Babylon, where a young girl was born. Esther was an orphan. Life was difficult for an orphaned slave girl. Males were used as labor, but females with no men to protect them were probably used for other things. Her cousin Mordecai took her in and raised her. Adopting Esther, he earned influence for the future that he could never have fully anticipated. As a teenager, Esther became an unlikely queen. The orphan girl was in a place of privilege. The man who had the greatest influence over her was not her King-Husband, but a despised Jew.

Mordecai was a political target of the court yet he could whisper to the Queen and influence her because he had adopted her when she was helpless and vulnerable.  The influence of an adoptive father was enough to inspire Esther to stand for righteousness. That influence pressed Esther to win freedom for her people and gave Mordecai such renown among their captors that many people among them became Jews. Mordecai’s influence didn’t just save the Jews. It opened the door of salvation to those who held them captive. Esther followed Moses as an adoptee turned deliverer.

There was another boy born without a father. His mother was engaged to a man but he was not the father. Any normal man would have distanced himself but Joseph heard from an angel. Shame was not the destiny of this child. No, He would be a deliverer. Jesus needed a father to protect His mother, raise Him, and teach Him a trade. Joseph offered a name and a home to Mary and this Son. He played with him, chased Him among the olive trees, and even scolded Him when Jesus got sidetracked teaching in the temple. He taught Jesus how to work with His hands, how to saw timbers and how to hold nails. Joseph adopted the Son of God and played a role in the salvation of the human race.

Whenever the enemy feels a certain urgency, he wages war against the biggest threat: the children. To this day, the enemy seeks to influence or kill children outright. It is his primary scheme to influence the outcome of the events of the future. Historically, those who step into the role of an adoptive parent do not just change the state of a child. They change the state of nations and the world.

Randy Bohlender and his wife, Kelsey, are intercessory missionaries at the International House of Prayer, as well as co-founders of The Zoe Foundation.  They live in Kansas City, Missouri with their seven children.  This post was excerpted from their new book, The Spirit of Adoption: Winning the Battle for the Children.

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