Category: Exodus

Deep Waters

Lake with DockSo many stories that I remember from my years in Sunday School, come from Moses and the Exodus. Maybe it’s because I remember watching so many shows about it like “The Prince of Egypt” or “The Ten Commandments” multiple times. Anyway, the scripture passage from this past Sunday told the story of Moses and the Israelite’s escaping the Egyptian army by walking through a parted Red Sea and watching the army get swallowed up when the waters receded again. This is an amazing story, but we must see that much of the Israelite’s’ story in the Old Testament, like this one, is also our story.

This is the power of God on display for the Egyptians to witness, for the Israelites to witness and remember, and now, for all of us to see and learn from as well. When the Israelites were being chased into a corner, into the shores of the sea, by the Pharaoh and his army; when the obstacle appeared to be impassable, God showed them that all things were possible if they would only put their trust in him. When it didn’t seem like there was a way, God made a way. And it was through the deep waters.

This is a story that reminds us of our faith journeys. Have you found yourself in times when you have needed a miracle? The enemy is breathing down your neck and you just can’t see a way out of the mess you’re in? Have you cried out to God and received provision? Have you prayed and found a way where there wasn’t one just a little while ago?

Maybe you’ve found yourself in a medical emergency, tests that were coming up, diagnosis which was not positive, and you cried out to God because you couldn’t see the final result, let alone what could happen by the end of the day. And then one door opens, followed by another, and before you know it, you are on the other side looking back over the water you had just crossed with God’s help.

Maybe you have been in a financial crisis, not knowing if you were going to have enough money for food or shelter. You knew that bills were piling up and you couldn’t see a way out of the hole. But in your prayers, you lifted this up to God and asked for a way out, asked for a passageway through the tumultuous waters, and you were given a way out, a path that God provided.

Maybe it’s a different kind of problem, a different obstacle in your adventure of faith? Whether it’s a relationship, a belief, physical, or mental, it could be depression or oppression, you could be dealing with the death of a family member or close friend, you could have been hurt or abused by someone, you may even be questioning your belief in God, all you know is that you are stuck and you can’t see a way out. You think that this is yours, that this is what you are going to have to experience for the rest of your life.

You’ve come to the shoreline, and the enemy is gaining ground. You can feel that thing in your life creeping up on you and all you want to do is just run. But you have no where to go. If you turn around, you will run right into the problem that you are trying to leave behind. If you try to go forward, you will drown in the unknown, the circumstances that surround you. You are trapped.

It’s time. It’s time to let go of all of your predispositions of how things work and your limitations on what can be done. It’s time to trust in something bigger and higher than anything you could ever dream of. It’s time to trust God with your situation. It’s time to lift it up to him in prayer and trust that his ways are higher than our own. That his ways are filled with so much more wisdom that we could ever fathom. That his ways are not our ways.

What fears, hurts, disappointments, or other issues do you need to lay down before God today? What enemies are chasing you down right now? What oceans stand between you and the life you desire?

Lay it down before the Lord and take a walk. Let’s wade out in the water…

The Body is a Temple

As I read through some of Exodus, from chapter 25 to the end, I am in awe of how detailed the text is about how the tabernacle, alter, garments, ark, tables and the lampstand are to be built. An incredible amount of detail has gone into each and every piece. How it should be made, what it should be made of and who should make it. This was certainly important because it is all spelled out in the Old Testament. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be there.

But then I remember that Jesus said our body is a temple and we should treat it that way. Oh boy, I see so many getting this wrong. This should be pretty easy to follow but then I look around at the people surrounding me everyday, from work to the store, even church. We are constantly doing something that is detrimental to our bodies. Smoking, drinking, body modifications and the list goes on and on, even neglecting our bodies. If we are to be the temple and we look back to Exodus to see how detailed God was to Moses and the Isrealites on how to build it, we should take a good look at ourselves and do some behavior modifications so that we can treat our bodies like the temple they should be. (Myself included!)

We are Redeemed!

I recently heard a sermon which was based on Exodus 34:19-20 “The first offspring of every womb belongs to me, including all of the firstborn males of your livestock, whether from herd or flock. Redeem the firstborn donkey with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem all your firstborn sons.”

At first glance this didn’t make much sense to me, except that it was talking about sacrifices. In the Old Testament there was much discussion about sacrifices and how these would either be pleasing to God or not. Then, when we got into the New Testament, the sacrifices went away.

Look a little closer at the verses above, it is asking us to “redeem” all of our firstborn sons. To redeem them we would need to sacrifice a lamb in place of our firstborn sons. Now how many of you have lambs running around your yards? My best guess would be, not that many. But, lucky for us we don’t need one because one was already provided, Jesus.

Jesus was the lamb of God who was sacrificed to redeem all of us, a sacrifice that was truly pleasing to God and one that redeemed all of us in the world yesterday, today and tomorrow. I am so glad that the sacrifice was offered for me and that God provided that sacrifice so that my life would be redeemed, your’s is too!

So those who know me, know that I have always had a problem with delegation. I must say that I am getting better at it, but I never thought I would run across a lesson in delegation in the Bible. However, I just read Exodus chapter 18 about Moses and his father-in-law Jethro. Jethro saw that Moses was acting as the judge for all of the problems that the isrealites were having and Jethro told Moses he was doing way too much. He told him that he needed to delegate, he needed to put trusted people in place to help him judge the easy cases and leave the difficult ones to look after himself.

What a great concept, but is this just to help us get more free time, more time to ourselves, more time to do things that we weant to do? I don’t think so. I think that with this new way of Moses’ judicial system, Moses was able to do more for the Kingdom of God. He didn’t have a full plate of things he needed to do everyday and therefore was able to devote more time to the things that God was wanting him to do.

Jethro helped Moses lighten his load. What things do we need to delegate in our lives to lighten our load? I know in the near future, I will need to do some discerning as to the things that I need to delegate and lighten my load so that I may better serve God in building up the Kingdom here on earth.

What We Want vs. What We Need

I have thought quite a bit about what it is that I want vs. what I need. There is a big difference in these two. I want to have wonderful dinners every night, the latest in electronic gizmos, a newer car and a really nice house. I need enough food to sustain me in the things that I do. I need a vehicle to get me and my family to church, jobs, the store and family gatherings. I need shelter over my head with a bed to sleep in.

We get so caught up in what the neighbor has that we forget what we need, what we need to make it through the day. Just because it seems like everyone else has the things that we want, doesn’t mean that is what we need. I was reading Exodus chapter 16 tonight and it was speaking to me about having enough for my everyday life and being happy with it. You see, the Isrealites were on thier exodus from Egypt and Moses led them into a desert where they began to get frustrated because they didn’t have food to eat and thought it might be better to go back to Egypt because at least there they were able to eat meat in the evening and bread in the morning.

God decides to give them when they need. He allows them to harvest manna every morning, but just enough for that day. They needed to trust that God would supply them with more brwad the next morning and the morning after that. Then on the 6th day, God would send them enough for two days so they may observe the sabboth. Even with this wonderful promise from God, the people still did not trust Him and they tried to save some of thier bread from the previous day. They found, however, the next day the bread had spoiled. Why couldn’t they trust God? Why can’t we trust Him sometimes. .

He said that He would provide eveything we would need for our lives if we would just trust Him. So lets trust God to supply everything we need, not everything we want. It is unrealistic to expect God to give us that new 90″ flat panel tv, but He will supply us with all we need for the days ahead of us and seeing what is coming, I can only trust that He will supply everything my family and I need.

Sometimes There Are Reasons!

So we feel that we have been called to do something, take on a special project, begin donating time to a worthy cause, begin a new career or anything else you may be thinking of. But there always seems to be a roadblock in the way. Why would we feel called to start this new adventure if there were all of these setbacks? Should we forget it, throw in the towel, waive the white flag and give up? I don’t think so.

This came to mind as I was ready about Moses’ task of getting Pharoah to let God’s people go (“Huh, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya” for those who know the song), and God told Moses he was going to harden the Pharoah’s heart so that he could show his power. Then came the plagues, snakes, blood, frogs, flies, locusts, darkness and firstborn sons perishing. If Pharoah let the Isrealites go after Moses and Aaron’s staff turned into a snake, God wouldn’t have been able to show his awesome power to not only Pharoah and the Egyptians, but also to all of the Isrealites who needed to follow Him and even fear Him. God was able to use some of these bad things to bring out the good in others.

So if you are feeling like the doors keep closing and the path keeps changing, stay true, stand firm and watch God work in your life. He is always in control.

Ordinary Men, Extraordinary Calling!

So I now begin my journey through Exodus, beginning with the story of Moses. I know that I’ve heard the story many times, even watched some movies about it. But I now see different parts of the story.

Moses was a normal guy, didn’t speak well, one could say that he didn’t even think that much of himself. He questioned himself at the burning bush by saying to God, “Who am I, that I should go?” Then he followed it with questions or dare I say, excuses as to why he shouldn’t go to Pharoah and ask him to set the Isrealites free. He was looking for a way out, but God didn’t allow it. He wanted Moses to go to Egypt and God knew he was the one for the job.

Everyday, I find myself thinking the same thing. Who am I to do all these things that God has called me to do? How can I, a mere person of the middle class, working week to week to make ends meet, striving to find that extra 2 hours in the day (thanks dad!) that doesn’t seem to be there, be a person that matters to this world? Why would they listen to me? What could I have that is so important to say that people would want to listen to me. Am I to lead people into battle for the Lord? How? When?

It’s just as it was when Moses was called. God says “I will be with you.” He will be with us wherever we go, whomever we meet or whenever we need him. He will be there. Trust in his Word, trust in His promise. God has called me, and He has called you too. Trust Him and go into this world and lead the people out of thier bondage. Lead them to a life of salvation, a life with a relationship with Jesus Christ!