Exodus 14:21-17:16 

When the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, and the entire Egyptian army died that day, Moses wrote and sang a song —

Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to God, giving voice together,

I’m singing my heart out to God—what a victory!
    He pitched horse and rider into the sea.
God is my strength, God is my song,
    and, yes! God is my salvation.
This is the kind of God I have
    and I’m telling the world!
This is the God of my father—
    I’m spreading the news far and wide!
God is a fighter,
    pure God, through and through.
Pharaoh’s chariots and army
    he dumped in the sea,
The elite of his officers
    he drowned in the Red Sea.
Wild ocean waters poured over them;
    they sank like a rock in the deep blue sea.
Your strong right hand, God, shimmers with power;

    your strong right hand shatters the enemy.
In your mighty majesty
    you smash your upstart enemies,
You let loose your hot anger
    and burn them to a crisp.
At a blast from your nostrils
    the waters piled up;
Tumbling streams dammed up,
    wild oceans curdled into a swamp. – Exodus 15:1-8 MSG

I can feel the words declaring that God is worthy of such honour and praise because of who He is, and because of His great redemptive work.

It is a holy song, consecrated to the honour of God and intended to exalt His name and celebrate His praise which is designated only to Him – holiness to the Lord is engraved on it. To God they made the melody in the singing of it.

I find myself very easily joining them in this song for I too have reason to heap honour on God.

There is something I have to do. I have to find more ways to honour God in worship. It cannot just be with my tongue though, I have to honour Him with a humble awe on my spirit.

Here is what I know when I look at the words of this song – all the honour of the victory were reverently laid at God’s feet.

Father, I know You have heard the songs I have sung to You, whispered to You, cried to You, even whistled to You. The release of these songs have all made me a free man as I walked into the next chapter of my life a little bit more wiser than the one I was leaving. I want to honour You, may the Holy Spirit enable me to find ways to humbly come before You and keep finding ways to show You my awe of who You are. Touch and fill me with Your Spirit. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Exodus 12:1-14:20

17When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea.13:18a Hebrew sea of reeds. Thus the Israelites left Egypt like an army ready for battle.

Exodus 13:17-18, NLT

A lot happens in these two and a half chapters that I was assigned. The Passover happens and the parting of the Red Sea is about to happen. I am not sure about you, but I often breeze right past things that should stop me in my tracks. The above certainly does.

Here, God leads His people the long way out of Egypt. Not the short way through Philistine territory because the Philistines were fierce and the Israelites were weary and defeated from so many years under enslavement and not ready for a fight with them. So, God, in His infinite wisdom takes the Israelites the longer, but “easier” way. If you recall my last post, I had given up my well paying job and didn’t know what to do next. I ended up working for a company I had worked for before and started something new for them until I ended up opening my own business in December 2016. It has been moderately successful so far after we almost ran out of money in 2017 (a story for another day). It has been tough the last several months, but is getting better.

I think that is why these verses stopped me. Was I not ready for a fight? Was I too downtrodden when I left my boss’s control in May of 2015? I feel a bit like the Israelites in that the route of the last 6 or 7 years has been, well, winding. I know everything happens for a reason. It is His plan, not mine, as much as I want to take control. The fact that these verses jumped out at me likely means that they apply to me. Right now. Maybe they apply to you. Is God taking you the long way out of or away from something? If so, He is protecting you, strengthening you, and guiding you. He knows the way and is not lost.

21The Lord went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire. This allowed them to travel by day or by night. 22And the Lord did not remove the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire from its place in front of the people.

Exodus 13:21-22 NLT

The first few times reading these chapters, I kept coming back to the pillars. Here, God has offered his protection – a cloud by day to hide the multitudes and protect them, and a fire at night for protection from the creatures of the night and whatever else may be lurking in the darkness. In a few commentaries I read, people have made comparisons of these pillars to the Holy Spirit. That is interesting as here was a visible sign of God’s holy presence protecting His people. He doesn’t offer visible signs of protection like this in today’s world (well, not like this anyway), but He does offer his protection and guidance day and night.

I know God has been doing this for me. He is led us to certain companies to do business with and away from others. He has led me to certain relationships with people and away from others. God leads the way as long as I let him. When I am going the “long way,” His guidance is crucial, or I will never get to where He intends me to go.

Dear Lord, let me accept that sometimes you take me the long way, and it is for my own protection. Maybe it is arduous and I don’t understand the direction, but your pillars of cloud and fire guide me daily if I just allow myself to see them. Thank you for your protection and your provision. Amen.


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Exodus 8:16-11:10

While full and meaningful in itself, the story of the exodus feels like a foreshadowing. Plagues and devastation make me think of what’s to come in Revelation. And the three days of darkness and the death of the firstborn son make me think of Jesus’s death and three days in the tomb.

Other things I notice in the reading: God intentionally brings these things to pass so that generations will remember what he’s capable of, and so that Pharaoh and his officials will know there’s no one like him.

13 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning, confront Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me, 14 or this time I will send the full force of my plagues against you and against your officials and your people, so you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth. 15 For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth. 16 But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. (Exodus 9:13-16, NIV)

God spares his people of these losses, and they are a witness to others of God’s promise.

But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and that of Egypt, so that no animal belonging to the Israelites will die.’”

The Lord set a time and said, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this in the land.” And the next day the Lord did it: All the livestock of the Egyptians died, but not one animal belonging to the Israelites died. Pharaoh investigated and found that not even one of the animals of the Israelites had died. Yet his heart was unyielding and he would not let the people go. (Exodus 9:4-7, NIV)

A hardened heart is the breeding ground for corruption, deceit, sin, and cruelty. How quickly when the pressure is off, an unchanged heart returns to its wickedness. An unchanged heart cannot be trusted.

29 Moses replied, “When I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands in prayer to the Lord. The thunder will stop and there will be no more hail, so you may know that the earth is the Lord’s. 30 But I know that you and your officials still do not fear the Lord God.” (…) 33 Then Moses left Pharaoh and went out of the city. He spread out his hands toward the Lord; the thunder and hail stopped, and the rain no longer poured down on the land. 34 When Pharaoh saw that the rain and hail and thunder had stopped, he sinned again: He and his officials hardened their hearts. 35 So Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not let the Israelites go, just as the Lord had said through Moses.

In all the occasions that Moses spoke to Pharaoh, of all the things that happened as Moses said they would, Pharaoh still refused to believe him. And it would cost him dearly.

So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again. But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any person or animal.’ Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. All these officials of yours will come to me, bowing down before me and saying, ‘Go, you and all the people who follow you!’ After that I will leave.” Then Moses, hot with anger, left Pharaoh. (Exodus 11:4-8, NIV)

God wants a relationship with his people. Here, he works to set them free from enslavement so that they are free to worship him (through sacrifice). And it makes me think of Christ’s sacrifice so that we could be free to worship God. So much of the Bible tells of this desire to be in relationship, and so that God will be known throughout the world.

Father God, Your Word is living and active, and I am so very grateful to have access to it.

Courtney (66books365)

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Exodus 5:10-8:15

In one of the churches I served in we had a youth pastor who was quite the nerd. He was one of those guys that had a pocket protector for his pocket protector. You know the kind. If you don’t, perhaps your that one. Well, he got it in his head and said it was God’s will for him to date and eventually marry one of the women in our church. She was a registered nurse and was just the opposite of the youth pastor. I hate to say this, but the rest of the staff teased him mercilessly about it. None of us could never see her accepting an invitation to go out with him, let alone marry him. It did get to the point where we decided to let up a bit because it was getting a bit much. We all knew she would never go out on a date with him. Well to make a long story very short, today they have children and grandchildren. God was definitely in it and he was not deterred by our teasing.
Well today’s passage has stakes that are much higher; the deliverance of an entire nation. And yet the people that Moses and Aaron were representing and attempting to free we not very happy with them. Their presence and demands before Pharoah had caused him to bear down even harder on the Israelites. Read it here:
19 The foremen of the people of Israel saw that they were in trouble when they said, “You shall by no means reduce your number of bricks, your daily task each day.” 20 They met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting for them, as they came out from Pharaoh; 21 and they said to them, “The Lord look on you and judge, because you have made us stink in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.” (Exodus 5:19-21 [ESV]).
Has that ever been your lot? Have you felt as if God were leading you one way and others were discouraging you from that path? It takes courage to swim against the current. It can be lonely and scary. But if God is in it there is no turning back. That was the case for Moses and Aaron and finally they saw the fruit of their labor. What’s God calling you to do today? Will you follow him even if others make fun of your journey?
Father God, give us courage to follow you through any kind of obstacle or hurdle. Even if we are alone it, please give your Holy Spirit sway in our lives. In the strong name of Jesus we pray, Amen!

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Exodus 2:1-5:9

Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.” But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharoah? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” God answered, “I will be with you…But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?” Exodus 3:10-13 NLT

Moses didn’t feel qualified for the task before him. Moses was dwelling on his weakness, but God didn’t. God told him that all that mattered was that He would be with him. When have I let doubt stop me from doing what God has called me to do? Or I try to do it in my own strength? I think of everything that could go wrong and I listen to Satan’s lies. Sometimes I forget that He is with me and have nothing to fear. When I remember when He was with me in the past, it gives me courage to face the future. It gives me such comfort in knowing that God doesn’t change. He can be trusted. The same way He was with Moses, He is with me.

God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. Say this to the people of israel: I AM has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors-the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob-has sent me to you. This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations.” Exodus 3:14&15 NLT

Dear Father, thank You that You are the same yesterday, today and forever. You are faithful. Thank you for the ways that you show me this again & again. Amen.



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