Saturday, August 26, 2023

August 26, 2023

Of the Ten Commandments, the first four are how God expects us to honor him and how we should show our reverence for him. He is unequivocal in his expectation of us because he is our creator and has delivered us from the hands of our enemy. It was out of love that he created us; it is out of love that he has set us free. LOVE GOD

1.Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3 

2.Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Exodus 20:4.

3.Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Exodus 20:7

4.Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: Exodus 20:8-10a

The following six are to help us show our love for people and how he expects us to act towards others. LOVE PEOPLE.

5. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. Exodus 20:12 

6.Thou shalt not kill. Exodus 20:13 

7.Thou shalt not commit adultery. Exodus 20:14

8.Thou shalt not steal. Exodus 20:15

9.Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Exodus 20:16

10.Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's. Exodus 20:17

We do our best to honor God by keeping these commands, but we are human and mess up. But Jesus came to save us so that if we break any of these laws, all is not lost, and our eternity is secure in him. He died on the cross, delivered our sins to hell, and defeated death so we may live eternally with him. If you are distraught over breaking any of these commandments, know there is salvation in Jesus; he knows we are weak and vulnerable to the enemy's wiles. He was tempted, too. If you are overwhelmed with guilt, reach out to him in prayer and ask him to save you and wash you clean of all your past and future sins. Remember, tomorrow is not promised. 

Friday, August 25, 2023

August 25, 2023

We need to start telling the children the whole story, not just the convenient bits and pieces broken down for easy consumption. I say this because the images we get as children stick with us as adults. Even though I've read the Bible many times and in different versions, simply reading it without in-depth study, my mind still goes back to the childhood version of the stories. Picture the cartoon-like images of Moses on the mountain getting the Ten Commandments from God. Do you see Aaron there with him? I don't. Yet, he was there! He and Moses were the only ones allowed on the mountain. And from the scriptures, it seemed dark and scary, with thunder, lightning, and loud trumpets, commanding reverence and fear of God. We don't think children can handle such stories, but they can because their minds are sponges and can soak up every detail. Not knowing the whole truth makes me feel like I've been deceived my entire life. Though it's not a big deal that Aaron is missing from the image in my mind, it makes me wonder what else I've missed. 

If you haven't begun studying the Bible, chapter by chapter and verse by verse, I recommend starting. Without knowing God's Word, there is no way to get the truth or recognize the lies.

And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them. Exodus 19:24

Thursday, August 24, 2023

August 24, 2023

Israel packed up and moved to the foot of Mt. Sinai; it was now the third month. God called to Moses, and he went to God on the mountain, and God made them a covenant offer:

"Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel." Exodus 19:5-6

They agreed to the covenant. This is the same as accepting Jesus as our Savior; we must agree to be blessed. God approached them, not the other way around. He must call you out of the multitude of people on earth, offer to be your God, you accept it and then obey his voice. God's Holy Spirit is the one who called to us while we were still in our sin.

God gave Israel three days' notice that they must clean up before coming to him, leave their worldly cares behind, and be ready to receive him on the third day, which happen to be 50 days after leaving Egypt: Pentecost. God came down, and everyone saw the thundering cloud full of lightning and heard an extremely loud trumpet; I'm sure they were overwhelmed with excitement and fear. 

The point is that God comes to us and makes us a covenant offer. If we accept it, we must then obey his voice. God offered himself to Israel, and Jesus has offered himself to us. It's up to us to accept his offer and obey his voice. When you accepted Jesus, you entered into a covenant with him, and that's a big deal! You have the Holy Spirit; listen to him and allow him to be your guide.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

August 23, 2023

When Moses was helping God deliver Israel out of Egypt, his wife and two sons stayed with Jethro, his father-in-law. Things had calmed down, so Jethro brought them to be with Moses. Moses told him all that God had done, and they rejoiced together. Jethro was not an Israelite, but he was the priest of Midian from the lineage of Abraham, and he appreciated everything God had done for Israel. Jethro still plays a part in current society because of his layout of the legal system. He helped Moses break down his duties as a judge and divide it out to relieve some of the pressure from him by giving responsibilities to others who were also capable of judging the issues of the people fairly. 

Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: Exodus 18:21

Before God gave Moses the law, He used Jethro’s wisdom to begin laying out the design and format for how the law would work. 

God is so good! He works out the details in advance, orders our steps, has a plan, and when he speaks to us and shows us the way, we are ready to receive it because he has prepared us. Don’t neglect to recognize the minor details you learn as you traverse the pathway of life. God’s plan is very detailed, and little things work to impact the greater good of your life.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

August 22, 2023

Amalek, the family of Esau, came against Israel to fight them. Remember, Jacob’s brother Esau, hated him. Doesn’t it help to know who these characters are? It helps me have a clearer picture of why. Moses appointed Joshua to gather men to go and fight. So the next day, they went out to fight, and Moses took the rod of God and went up to the top of a hill to watch with Aaron and Hur. When Moses lifted the rod, Israel would prevail, but Israel would be defeated when he lowered his arms. Moses's arms became tired; remember, he’s an old man now, so Aaron and Hur sat him down on a rock, situated his arms, and helped him hold them up until evening. They defeated the Amalekites with the sword. A lot is going on in this story. 

  1. It’s the first time Joshua is mentioned, and we can see he’s a warrior.
  2. When the fighters saw Moses holding up the rod, they knew God was with them. 
  3. They had to fight this time; God didn’t tell them to be still. That means we must listen carefully to the Holy Spirit to know whether to be still or fight.
  4. Sometimes the enemy is family.
  5. Moses couldn’t do it alone; he needed the help of Aaron and Hur. Your preacher shouldn’t be left in the pulpit alone, meaning you must help hold up his arms. That may mean prayer, offerings, or getting involved. In this situation, they got involved.

Sometimes we have to be still, and sometimes we have to fight. Now is not the time to be still when the freedom of our country is at stake. Fight or go to war with your prayer, but don’t remain complacent; get involved. 

And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. Exodus 17:13

Monday, August 21, 2023

August 21, 2023

God provided The Israelites with plenty of food each day. However, they had no water supply and began to chide Moses and question whether God was still with them. Remember, they still had a cloud by day and fire by night; how could they question whether God was with them? Here is the simple answer, they didn’t have the Holy Spirit, so it was easy for them to forget the goodness of God. By this, we can see that a visual is not necessarily better than the spiritual. We don’t have the cloud and fire, yet we still believe in Jesus and the power of God. With all the miracles they saw and still didn’t believe God was with them, it causes me to judge them harshly; however, we must remember they were incomplete without the Holy Spirit. 

Moses cried out to God because they were so angry over their thirst that they were about to stone him. So God told him to take some of the elders of Israel and the rod and stand before the people, hit the rock, and water would flow out. He followed God’s instructions, and the water came out of the rock just as he said. 

It’s important to remember that we have the Holy Spirit, that precious gift given to us by Jesus, but the people we are trying to bear witness to, do not have him, nor do most people we are surrounded by; they don’t even have the visual as Israel had. We must be patient and pray that they become thirsty for the water of life; maybe you will be their Moses and smite their rock so the Holy Spirit flows and they drink and are satisfied. 

Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. Exodus 17:6

Sunday, August 20, 2023

August 20, 2024

The Israelites had been in the wilderness for about a month and were now traveling in the wilderness of Sin. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the place is called Sin. The provisions they brought out of Egypt were gone, and they were getting hungry; they had no meat or bread. There is one thing I don’t understand; they brought all their flocks, herds, and cattle with them; why were they hungry? How were they feeding them? Whatever the case, God heard them complaining and accusing Moses and Aaron of bringing them out of Egypt to die, which also accused God because their release was at his hand. Out of the kindness of his heart, he provided manna with the early morning dew and flocks of quail for the evening meal; he provided their food for the entire 40 years of wandering, and all they needed to do was ask. As a side note: they still had to cook the bread and clean the quail; though God provided the food, they had to do their part. However, they were to gather for six days and rest on the Sabbath. So they gathered and cooked on the sixth day to prepare for the seventh day. Remember, this portion of scripture was before God gave them the law. Just as God rested on the seventh day, he also wants us to take time to rest. 

Jesus set us free from our sins, but we still have challenges to face that come with trusting him. We often feel that it would be easier to return to sin or, as the Israelites, return to Egypt rather than contending with the devil and his minions, but our lives are short, and eternity is long. Instead of complaining, we must seek God’s help and await his deliverance. Stay the course, and know that you are facing challenges because you are doing the right thing, and the devil hates it. 

I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God. Exodus 16:12

And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. Exodus 16:23