Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
The Lord will fight for you, and you can be still. Exodus 14.14
After leaving Egypt boldly, the Israelites are terrified. They are at the edge of the Red Sea watching Pharoah’s army overtake them. They cry out to Moses, blaming him for the situation in which they find themselves, fearful that they are about to die in the desert.
How does Moses respond? He tells them not to fear, to stand firm, and to watch the Lord save them from Egypt, Exodus 14.13.
How does the Lord respond? Basically he tells Moses and the people to quit crying and to move forward. Moses parts the Red Sea. The Israelites walk through the middle of it, not through mud, but on dry ground. Then, in the morning watch, he threw the Egyptian army into a panic by jamming the wheels of their chariots, Exodus 14.25. They wanted to flee for they recognized that the Lord was fighting for the Israelites! After extending his hand toward the sea, Moses watched as the waters returned to their normal place, covering the army of Pharoah, which was completely destroyed.
Fear can be debilitating. It can stop us where we stand and cause us to freeze, unable to even breathe properly. In fearful times, we need to remember Moses’ words to the Israelites. Do not fear! Stand firm! Watch for God’s salvation! He will fight for you!
#risingjoy #Exodus #fear
Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
I will reside among the Israelites, and I will be their God, and they will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out from the land of Egypt, so that I may reside among them. I am the Lord their God. Exodus 29.45-46
I will reside among them. Earlier in this chapter, God tells Moses how to consecrate or set apart Aaron and his sons to serve him as priests. God gives detailed instructions on how and when that is to be done. Not only were Aaron and his sons to be consecrated, but the tent of meeting and the altar were also to be consecrated and set apart as holy. Why did this have to be done and in such detail? Because God is holy. He resided among them while they were faithful to the instructions that they had been given. Today, God abides within us. Jesus makes this possible through his sacrifice on the cross. In John 14.23 Jesus tells us that if we love him, we will obey his words. Then, something amazing happens! Jesus and the Father will come and live with us. But, just as in the days of the Israelites, God has left instructions in his word as to how that is made possible. I cannot approach God in his holiness on my own merit. You see, I had no merit within myself for I had sinned. However, Jesus makes it possible if I will obey him. His words are found in God’s word. I must obey him. Then, I can know that God is my God and he lives with me.
#risingjoy #Exodus #merit
Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
Let them make for me a sanctuary, so that I may live among them. According to all that I am showing you – the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings – you must make it exactly so. Exodus 25.8-9
God wanted to live among the Israelites. He allowed them to make him a sanctuary where they would know that he would be present. God told Moses how to make the sanctuary and the people were to bring offerings to the Lord. The offerings that were acceptable were on a list that God gave to Moses. The people were to be motivated by a giving heart to make the offering. Their attitude and motivation were both important to God. Not only did he tell them what to offer, but he showed Moses the exact floor plans of the sanctuary that he was to build and the model for everything in it. Nothing was left to man’s whim about how to make it or furnish it. They were given full instructions. The Lord tells Moses that he must make it exactly to the specifications. God has left instructions today for us to follow. He has told us how we can enter his kingdom. He has specified how we are to worship him. However, man sometimes thinks that he knows better than God what he should do or what God should want. That is the message that we relay when we do it our way instead of how he has instructed. Read the word. Make sure that you are following the instructions that he has left for us exactly as they are written. Then he will live among us.
#risingjoy #Exodus #pattern
“Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, or that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?'”
Moses offered several excuses to God to avoid the responsibility of leading Israel out of Egypt. One was his unimportance. The answer: Who is God? He would be with Moses, v. 12.
When God calls, do not look to self, but to his empowering presence. No one is qualified, but all are called. Christ says, “I will be with you” Mt 28.20.
#votd #Exodus #God
“At three times in the year all your males will appear before the Sovereign Lord.”
For the three great feasts established by God the Israelites were to gather in Jerusalem, where the temple was located as the center of worship. There were “pilgrim feasts” v. 14.
Today, in the covenant of Christ, the church of God gathers for 52 great feasts around the table of the Lord. We have no authorization for an annual calendar, but a weekly schedule of meetings.
#votd #Exodus #covenants
“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Come up to me on the mountain and remain there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commandments that I have written, so that you may teach them.'”
The giving of the 10 commandments was a historic moment, perhaps second only to the crucifixion of Christ. God wrote down his will, in order that it be taught to the people.
As God’s written will, Scripture is meant to be taught. If you have received it, you are responsible to teach it. Who are you teaching?
#votd #Exodus #teaching
“The Lord passed by before him and proclaimed: ‘The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, and abounding in loyal love and faithfulness, keeping loyal love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. But he by no means leaves the guilty unpunished, responding to the transgression of fathers by dealing with children and children’s children, to the third and fourth generation.’”
The Lord showed compassion by giving the Ten Commandments a second time to Moses. He is both loving and just. He carries forward his purpose, even in the midst of human rebellion.
In both Testaments, God is the same. He seeks fellowship with us. He desires to show his love. What are you doing to allow him to do that?
#votd #Exodus #love
“Please forgive my sin once more and make an appeal to the Lord your God, so that he will just take this death away from me.”
The second time forgiveness of sin is mentioned in the Bible is on the lips of Pharaoh, after the eight plague. Even pagans had an understanding of sin and its consequences.
Our repentance should desire more than avoiding the death brought by sin. It should look toward the holy nature of God and be motived by desire to enter his presence.
#votd #Exodus #forgiveness
“Come, let’s deal wisely with them. Otherwise they will continue to multiply, and if a war breaks out, they will ally themselves with our enemies and fight against us and leave the country.”
The Egyptians thought they were preserving their nation by oppressing the Israelites. They actually destroyed themselves by their actions.
Worldly wisdom finds itself fighting against God. It fails to recognize where God is moving and in whom he has placed his kingdom.
#votd #wisdom #Exodus
“‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt and how I lifted you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. And now, if you will diligently listen to me and keep my covenant, then you will be my special possession out of all the nations, for all the earth is mine, and you will be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you will speak to the Israelites.”
The if-then statement defines the conditions of being God’s special people. Keeping the covenant meant obeying God’s commandments. Since all the earth is God’s, he chose Israel to represent him in the world.
This condition continues to hold true for the church, which is God’s people today representing his kingdom in the world. Recall a New Testament text about obedience and its place in God’s plan today.
#obedience #Exodus #VOTD
Maybe it goes without saying? Maybe not. I don’t know. Then again, maybe I do.
In a recent interview with Christian Bale (who plays Moses in the movie “Exodus: Gods and Kings” which is set to be released in December of 2014), that was conducted after an early viewing of the upcoming holiday film for the media, the actor was asked, to one extent or another, about his knowledge of the person he set out to portray on the big-screen. The answer was surprising, or maybe not. You decide. Here’s the given paragraph from the interview that describes what I’m talking about:
After the footage, Dave Karger of Fandango conducted a Q&A with Bale, who said his knowledge of Moses was minimal, so he read up extensively, studying everything from “Moses: A Life,” by Jonathan Kirsch, to the Koran. He described Moses as “A troubled and tumultuous man, very mercurial,” but said God is also mercurial, with “a God of good and evil,” with no mention of the devil or even the afterlife.
Let’s see. I’m playing in a movie called Exodus. And I’m playing a person called Moses. Now where would I go to read and learn about a situation and a person like that? Hmmm?
I suppose “everything” would include studying the biblical account, but then again there are people every day who go to every other source than the Bible itself to find out about biblical matters. I mean because come on, we wouldn’t want the scriptures to get in the way of the script would we?
I haven’t seen any previews, and I don’t plan on seeing the movie, but I’d say the “new version” of the ole’ Ten Commandments will fall in line with Hollywood’s version of the recent film “Noah” – more emphasis on entertainment and next to zero emphasis on education. Remember, there’s a world of difference between “biblically inspired” and biblically based.
A phrase that occurs over and over again through the Scriptures is “then you will know that I am the Lord.” There are variations on it, but it can be found throughout the Old Testament, and the concept is present in the New. Sometimes the telltale event is a good thing; sometimes it is bad. What is constant is that God is repeatedly trying to show His people that He is in control, and He will be glorified. The next time you read through Ezekiel, count the times this phrase is used. I am fairly certain it occurs more than fifty times in that one book. It occurred in two of the chapters of my Bible reading today:
Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever, and let them be humiliated and perish, that they may know that You alone, whose name is the Lord, are the most high over all the earth. (Psalm 83:17-18)
I will be among the sons of Israel and will be their God. They shall know that I am the Lord their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them; I am the Lord their God. (Exodus 29:46)
Lord, cause us to open our eyes and see all the things You’ve made and all the things You’ve done; and may the way we live reveal this to others: You are the Lord our God.
Being a teacher requires a certain resolve. It doesn’t matter how intriguing or boring your lesson topic is for the day, there will be students who just won’t open up to it. Sometimes I say, before giving instructions for an assignment, “Everyone listen closely, because I am only going to explain this once.” By the end of the day, on a good day, I have explained it at least four or five times. This holds true no matter how simple the task–even writing down notes I am speaking verbatim. At times it can be exasperating, leaving you exhausted after a simple activity.
Exodus 16 makes me think of my classroom. It shakes out like this: In verse 2, the people grumble against Moses and Aaron. In verse 4, God says He is going to test them to see whether they will follow His instructions. In verse 14, they see the first manna. In verse 19, Moses tells them not to leave it til morning. In verse 20, they leave it til morning. In verse 25, Moses told them they would not find any manna because it was the sabbath, so don’t go looking for it. In verse 27, the people went looking for it. At this point the Lord seems exasperated, for He exclaims, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My instructions?” Finally in verses 29 and 30 they get it right.
Lord, sometimes it takes us a little while to catch on. Please be patient with us while we learn to walk in Your instructions.
19. GOD’S BLESSINGS ARE OFTEN TESTS.
Here is a second lesson from Exodus 16:4.
The manna that God provided six days a week was both a blessing and a test. Would the Israelites obey in only gathering what they needed each day (except on Friday), and would they obey in not going out to gather anything on Saturday? Some did not obey; they failed the tests. What about us? Will we use the blessings He bestows in harmony with His will or will we use them disobediently? Money, for example, can be a great blessing, enabling one to give and do good works to God’s glory (cf. Eph. 4:28; I Tim. 6:17-19), but this is only the case if we are its master. If we allow money to possess us, so to speak, the blessing will turn into a curse (cf. I Tim. 6:10).
18. GOD WILL PROVIDE FOR THE NEEDS OF HIS CHILDREN.
Exodus 16:4,35 – “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not’…And the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.”
How could God feed over two million people in the wilderness for nearly four decades? Miraculously! God provided for them as He promises to do for any today who seek first His kingdom and righteousness (cf. Matt. 6:33). We must trust Him and do our part, and He will take care of us.