Category Archives: Exodus

He looked the part

“When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.”  Exodus 34:29.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Exodus 33-34, Psalm 16, and Acts 9.

Moses had been with God and it showed.

Moses didn’t even realize that his appearance was different.  Those in his midst did.

Certainly lessons for me are in this passage.

If I am spending time with God, it will show itself in my appearance and in my behavior.

If I am spending time with God, I will not have to direct people’s attention to it…….they’ll see/hear it.

My thoughts/words/behavior reveal my relationship to God.  I can make claims, or even imagine things, but the proof will be revealed in those three things.

And how called out am I!  I write often of rightly representing God.  How am I doing at it?  My thoughts/words/behavior will answer that question.

I have no need to call attention directly, or indirectly, to my godliness.  It will be noticeable to those in my midst without my “help.”

“Lord, fill me with You.  Overwhelm me.  Let me not escape from the reality that, if You aren’t controlling me then Satan is.  I want You in control of every part of my life.  I surrender it all to You.  Forgive me for drifting away from Your guidance.  Forgive me for forgetting that every good thing I have comes from You AND to You I must express my thanks.  I love You, Father.”

What do your thoughts/words/behavior reveal about you?

 

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Setting myself up to give Godly advice

“What is this you are doing for the people?”  Exodus 18:14.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Exodus 17-20, and Acts 3.

If the verse above was all you knew about Jethro’s interaction with his son-in-law Moses, you could easily perceive Jethro as an overbearing father-in-law.

But we have more information.  Jethro did things before he reached the giving-advice level.

Jethro went to where Moses was. He wasn’t “shooting” from long range.  He had a face-to-face interaction.

Jethro listened to Moses before giving advice.  How many times do we get that order wrong?

Jethro was “delighted” to hear about what God had done.

Jethro recognized verbally what God had done in rescuing the Israelites from Egypt.  He separated “God did it” from “Moses did it.”

Jethro gave offerings and sacrifices to God.  He worshiped God in front of Moses confirming God’s importance to him.

Jethro watched, for a day, the way Moses was handling things with the Israelites BEFORE offering advice.  Jethro had his facts straight.

Because Jethro was so thorough, Moses was willing to listen to him and take needed action.

“Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said.” – Exodus 18:24.

I am often quick to give advice.  Sometimes, in the process, I omit some (all?) of the steps Jethro took before he offered advice.  I must do better.

“Lord, You have a Way for me.  Forgive me for going it alone without You.  I need You every second.  Help me to follow the steps of role-model Jethro before offering opinions.  I want to speak Your Words in Your Timing.  Help me, I beg.”

Jethro provides guidelines for setting myself up to give advice.  Will I heed them?

 

 

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Fearing God

“Those officials of Pharaoh who feared the word of the Lord hurried to bring their slaves and their livestock inside.”  Exodus 9:20.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Exodus 9-11, and Luke 24.

Pharaoh may have been slow to figure out God but some of his officials weren’t.

Those officials may have taken the threats of Moses as idle chatter at first, but they had seen that what Moses said did happen.  And they developed a fear of God.

They didn’t just say that they feared God, they took action that confirmed it.

I love God.  If you ask me, I’ll tell you.  But do my actions confirm what I say?

How often do I take my sinfulness lightly?  God doesn’t.  Why?  Because my sinning is done against Him!

There are consequences for sinfulness.  My sins distant me from Him.  My sins add burdens for me to carry thus slowing me down.

I do not want to be encumbered in any way.  I want to move freely in His Will.  I want to follow Him wholeheartedly.

To do this means total surrender to Him.  It means constant evaluation of my relationship to Him.  “God, where are You in this moment, and what should I see and do?”

“Father, I fear You.  I am not afraid of You.  I am in awe of You.  I recognize Your greatness.  I recognize my inadequacies.  Lift me from myself. Draw me close to You.  I want a tight relationship with You.  O Lord, how I need You!”

Am I and my fear of God coordinated?

 

 

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How old is too old?

“Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord commanded them.  Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.”  Exodus 7:6-7.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; Exodus 6-8, and Luke 23.

I always pictured Moses and Aaron as being younger, maybe in their forties.

But here the two of them are early in the exodus story and they are already as old as dirt!

It does give inspiration to those of us who are retired.  I’ll never see sixty again.

I must NEVER retire from serving God.  He knows my limitations, yet there are ways that He can use me.

When my mother-in-law (now deceased) was in assisted living and near the end of her life, she told a relative that she wanted to go, “home.” There was nothing more she could do.  My relative told her that she still could pray.  And that was what my mother-in-law did.

It is true that as we age we need to adjust how we serve Him.  To accurately make that adjustment requires that I have a close relationship to Him.

“Lord, You are awesome.  You created everything, including me.  Remove from me, I beg, the things that obstruct my relationship to You.  Thank You for the endless ways that I can serve You.  Direct my path this day.  Protect me and guide me, I pray.”

I will never be too old to serve Him in some way.

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How to anger God

“But Moses said, ‘Pardon your servant, Lord.  Please send someone else.’ Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, ‘What about your brother, Aaron the Levite?’” Exodus 4:13-14.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; Exodus 3-5, and Luke 22.

Think about all the wonderful stories you know about Moses.  Trust me, this isn’t one of them!

God says, “Do this,” and Moses won’t obey.

Terrible behavior for sure but how often do we behave similarly?

We may not hear God telling us to do something but we know, via His Word, what to do……..and yet we don’t do it.

God tells me to love my wife.  How many times do I disrespect her in one way or the other?  This does NOT please God.

My behavior must reflect my relationship with God.  I must strive to do whatever He wants.  I must be alert to His instructions.

Many of God’s instructions are plain and clear.  I have no excuses for disobedience.

Moses was fortunate that God didn’t respond to his refusal by doing something terrible to him.  In the story, God moves on to someone else.

“Lord, I need You every second.  Forgive me for disobeying You.  I want to do Your Will at all times.  Enlighten me to Your Ways.  Help me.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

Are you angering God?

 

 

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Don’t leave home without Him!

“Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped.  ‘Lord,’ he said, ‘if I have found favor in your eyes, then let the Lord go with us.  Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive OUR wickedness and OUR sin, and take us as your inheritance.” Exodus 34:8-9.

“I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” Psalm 16:2.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Exodus 33-34, Psalm 16, and Acts 9.

I like the way Moses includes himself in the problem by using the word, “our.”  Based on the circumstances, it would have been easier (more accurate?) to blame the others.  Moses recognized that he was a sinner too.

The key connection in these two verses is the realization by the speakers (Moses and David) that they must have God with them or things will go terribly wrong.

It is such a simple truth: Connect to God before proceeding.

How often do we plan, proceed, and THEN invite God along?  Why would that not be a spiritually flawed tactic?

“If you abide in me……”  There can be no other starting point.

“Father, forgive me for ever starting anything without You on board.  I know better.  I must get You close to You at the start of each day and be tuned to You throughout each day.  There is no other way to live.  I must have You in charge as I go into today’s activities.  I give You charge now.”

Don’t leave home without Him!

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Aaron uses the “Adam excuse”

“He (Moses) said to Aaron, ‘What did these people do to you, that you led them into such great sin?’  ‘Do not be angry, my lord,’ Aaron answered. ‘You know how prone these people are to evil.’”  Exodus 32:21-22.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Exodus 30-32, and Acts 8.

“I would have never done that if they (someone else) hadn’t made me do it.”  Pitiful excuse.

Aaron is left in charge.  He knows where his brother had gone and he knows what Moses is doing.

The length of time away is an issue but Aaron completely caves in to permitting the Israelites to do something wrong.

Adam yielded to Eve’s request.  When confronted, he blamed the woman.  Where was his ownership?  Same with Aaron.  If he had at least said that he was opposed to what they wanted to do it would be one thing but Aaron facilitated what went on!  It was his idea to make the golden calf.

How Aaron survived after Moses returned is a mystery to me.

I must take ownership of the things I do that are sin.  The essence of sin happens when I reject God in my life.  I cannot blame others when I sin, nor can you.

A life filled with the Holy Spirit has the tools to resist sin.  That we so often give in to it does not open the door to blaming others instead it opens the door to examining our relationship with God.

“Lord, forgive me for blaming others for my sins.  I am the guilty one.  I want my life to be clean in Your omnipresent sight.  Prick my conscience where I need to get things cleaned.  I love You, Lord.”

Are we blaming others for our sinfulness?

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What’s your heart telling you to do?

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering.  You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give.  These are the offerings you are to receive from them:……..’”  Exodus 25:1-3.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Exodus 25-27, and Acts 6.

No subtlety here: You owe me, so give me what is on your heart to give.

I heard a sermon Sunday that included a reference to all the wealth that Christians have.  We’re talking billions of dollars.  Yet there are so many needs still in place.

I admire the work of Samaritan’s Purse because they will attempt to help wherever they can get to.  Their ability to pray for and counsel with those in distress is praiseworthy.

But what about the rest of us?

We owe God.  If we would just take note of the good things we have.  If we would just realize that every good gift comes from Him.  Is it possible that we are to give a portion of our good gifts to those less fortunate?  By hogging things are we locking His desired qualities out of our hearts?

God included a list of things He needed in verses 3-7.  It was not all the same thing.  It might not be money from some of us.  Time?  Service?

If my heart is right with God, I can say, “What do You want from me, Lord?” and be ready to go from there.  How willing am I?  How willing are you?

“Father, forgive me for not seeing all the good things You have given me.  Forgive me for forgetting that You expect a return.  I surrender everything to You.  Take me over.  Take what I have.  Help me to follow a Godly prompting for what this involves.  I love You, Lord.”

A Godly heart can be prompted by Him to do good.

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Smart aleck question

“’Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?’”  Exodus 14:11.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Exodus 14-16, and Acts 2.

These folks certainly had a short memory!

The killing of the first born had just happened.  Their families had been spared because God provided a way for it to happen.

Yet here they are with the Red Sea on one side of them and the Egyptian military on the other and they’re complaining?  Reality sets in pretty fast in a situation like that, doesn’t it.

How easily we condemn the Israelites for their anxieties.  We need to remember that they didn’t know that the water before them would be parted.  They didn’t know that the Egyptians behind them would have transportation problems.  The Israelites, in fact, reacted just like we do!  We whine.  We get nasty.

God must be so prevalent in us that we trust Him no matter what.  Bad things will happen.  We aren’t spared from them.  We must remember that the Big Picture is in His Hands not ours.  We must represent Him through thick and thin.  Only in His strength can we pull this off.

“Lord forgive me for my doubting attitude.  You are in charge.  I like it that way.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

Stop whining.  God is in charge of what is going on.

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Does God check your age before assigning you?

“Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord commanded them.  Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.”  Exodus 7:6-7.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Exodus 6-8, and Luke 23.

Earlier Moses had tried to remove himself from leadership.  He would be disliked.  He didn’t speak very well.  Surprised that he didn’t try the “too old” gambit!

Life has many, many easy choices: raincoat or not, shortcut or long way, etc…  Those we make with little conflict, but what about the tough ones?

We are excellent at measuring the consequences: If I do this then that could happen.  We know the cost.  Will it be worth it?

Moses had run for his life.  Now God was asking Him to go back to the scene since things had changed.  So far, so good.  But in addition, God wanted Moses to confront the leader (Pharaoh) of Egypt.  Moses could see that doing what God wanted would surely put Him in a bad place.

Excuses, excuses, excuses.  God eventually “commanded” Moses and his brother Aaron to do what He wanted.  That got their attention and they returned to Egypt.

My age need not deter me from doing what God wants.  He is in charge.  He knows what I can and can’t do.  He knew what Moses and Aaron could do.  They just needed to be willing.  And the same is true for me.

“Lord, what do You want me doing…..and not doing.  I must get those two things right.  Help me, Father.  Please be in my head so that I choose rightly.  Take away my fears over doing Your Will.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

Don’t ever think that you’re too old to be used by God!

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