Category Archives: Exodus

Exodus 30-32

If Aaron knew …

Aaron must burn fragrant incense on the altar every morning when he tends the lamps. He must burn incense again when he lights the lamps at twilight so incense will burn regularly before the Lord for the generations to come. Do not offer on this altar any other incense or any burnt offering or grain offering, and do not pour a drink offering on it. 10 Once a year Aaron shall make atonement on its horns. This annual atonement must be made with the blood of the atoning sin offering for the generations to come. It is most holy to the Lord.” (Exodus 30:7-10, NIV, emphasis mine)

If Aaron knew the plans being discussed behind the scenes, would he have participated, encouraged, enabled the things he did?

Moses was getting instructions from the Lord. The Lord names people, tells Moses that he is equipping them with honorable tasks and special skills to do the things he as planned for them. So many people get to participate in the Lord’s plan, get to contribute meaningfully to a people’s future–creating things of beauty, leading them in reverence–all things they were specifically chosen for and given knowledge and ability to accomplish.

But when Moses didn’t come back soon enough, the people grew impatient. And Aaron, one of them who had been set apart for something greater, participates in something lesser, detestable even, than what God would have for him.

He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” (Exodus 32:4a, NIV)

And his excuse? When you know the truth, it’s pretty lame. Even if you didn’t know the truth, it’s just lame.

22 “Do not be angry, my lord,” Aaron answered. “You know how prone these people are to evil. 23 They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’ 24 So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!

25 Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies. (Exodus 32:22-25, NIV, emphasis mine)

The reading today has me in deep reflection. I want to be attentive to the Lord, to be available for tasks he has for me, to honor him with my life. But sometimes my attitude, words and actions aren’t in alignment with that desire.

If I knew what the Lord was planning, behind the scenes, the plans he had for me, would my impatience, immaturity, or lack of restraint derail me from something better, meaningful, God honoring? At first glance of the subheadings, I imagined I would write something about the idols we craft. But here I find myself thinking on how stupid moves and pressure can quickly take one so very far for what God wants for him.

If Aaron knew what God had set aside for him to do, would he have been so quick to fashion a golden calf instead?

Lord, help me to make better choices.

Courtney (66books365)

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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 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.

Amy(amyctanner)

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Exodus 35-37; Psalm 26; Philippians 4

Six days work shall be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death.

Exodus 35:2 ESV

God took the Sabbath pretty seriously. It has gradually gone out of style over the years. There is lots of (mostly self-motivated) debate around the Sabbath. Does it now mean on Sunday instead of Saturday? Does this law apply to us since we live under grace? Does this apply to modern day since it was not repeated in the New Testament? How do pastors and other church staff take a Sabbath when they have to work then? Can I participate in sports on Sunday? And so on.

I’m going to intentionally, admittedly side-step this debate and settle on one fact I think we can all agree on — we all need rest. We need time set apart from the crazy activities of the rest of the week to refresh and worship. We need to just stop, at least once a week and just be.

But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity;
    redeem me, and be gracious to me.
12 My foot stands on level ground;
    in the great assembly I will bless the Lord.

Psalm 26:11,12 ESV

Even if I have daily devotional time with Jesus, I still need that time each week to gather with other believers and worship, learn through others’ teaching of Scriptures, realign my week with God’s agenda, let Him level the path ahead.

Many things drive us from setting aside time to worship and be with other Christians — exhaustion, laziness, lack of transparency, scheduling conflicts, transportation troubles, viruses, illness, fear, judgment, guilt, depression, conflict, confusion, and more.

God doesn’t give a lot of latitude here. I need to be there. Stop the physical and mental chaos that sometimes ravages my days and get myself to church. Stepping away from everything else in my life, before God, with other believers, blessing the Lord, every week.

Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you.

Philippians 4:21 ESV

As I bring my weekly life plan into sync with God’s glory, the blessings of Philippians 4 open up before me.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. . . The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. . . the God of peace will be with you.

I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Philippians 4:4-23 excerpts ESV

It takes serious discipline to get everyone up and out the door on Sunday morning. It takes profound trust to take a day off my to-do list. It takes some sacrifice to say “no” to some opportunities to preserve the rest and worship my body and soul need. I don’t always succeed, but I am reminded again today of the power of rest and the importance of God-above-all priorities.

Lord, help me to keep You first. First in my day, first in my week, first in my plans. I want to trust You with everything. Trust that six days is enough to accomplish everything You have for me. Grow my faith to walk this path of surrender more consistently. Show me clearly what Sabbath-rest looks like in my world. Thank you for the beautiful promises that come when we live recklessly for You. In Jesus name, Amen.

Erin (6intow)

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Exodus 10-12; Ephesians 2

The blood on the houses where you are staying will be a distinguishing mark for you; when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No plague will be among you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. – Exodus 12:13 HCSB

I like to think of the blood as a distinguishing mark of love, especially in the context of Jesus who brought us into the New Testament through the shedding of His own blood. He loved me while I was still turning my back on Him and pledged to love me into eternity.

It is a distinguishing mark of intense love, not just a love uttered from lips, not a love that looks more like mercy, but a love that wells up from His heart. It is a love that I do not doubt.

It is a distinguishing mark of a mighty love and testifies to the One who gave it – an undying love which water nor death could quench. I received it from His hand.

It is a distinguishing mark of a love that is given through wisdom – the Lord already knew why I rebelled against Him and has met me where I am at.

It is a distinguishing mark of a love that is unlimited – not sparing even His own Son, God gave it freely. It is a love that I will prize.

So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household. Ephesians 2:19-20 HCSB

This love allows me to be united in Christ and that means I am also united with other followers of Jesus. There are differences between us, but not divisions. That is what love looks like.

Father, when I take communion with other followers of Jesus, it is in the taking of the bread and of the wine that allows me to remember and to celebrate what You have done. I love that You have asked me to do this as often as I meet with other believers. This past Sunday morning, as we celebrated together, I remembered vividly the tears that were shed by me as I released my shame into Your hands as You loved me and forgave me. For one who was forgiven much, I love You much. Your love has never failed, Your love has never disappointed, and Your love has always been enough. Thank You. Help me to be generous in my love and in my forgiveness to others so that I will look more like You. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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