Sunday, 31 July 2005

And the Lord came down

“And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.”

- Exodus 19v20

These are absolutely astounding words. “The Lord came down.” In Isaiah 57 we read that God is the “High and Lofty One, Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy.” The Lord Who “came down” is One Who is so holy that He cannot tolerate sin. He is the One whose ways are not our ways and whose thoughts are not our thoughts. Who ways are high above our ways and whose thoughts are far above our thoughts. He is the One who created us as perfect and the One against Whom we rebel every time we sin.

God had told Moses to prepare the people for this event. Moses had told them to cleanse themselves and he has sanctified them. The stage was set for a climactic event. God said that He would come to Sinai. The day came when God came down to meet Moses. We note that the Lord did not come all the way down, but He stopped and called Moses to come to Him, and Moses did so.

What a wonderful picture of how God works, even today. The perfect holy God in the Person on His Son Jesus Christ came to earth to dwell amongst men. He called out for men to come to Him. To meet with God all one has to do is accept His invitation and come to Him.

Praise God that He took the first step to come to man. We could never be worthy to take the step up to Him. He indeed could not go to the high and lofty place. I am grateful that He took the step to allow me to come to Him.

Saturday, 30 July 2005

The thing that you do is not good

And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening. And when Moses' father-in-law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even? And Moses said unto his father-in-law, Because the people come unto me to inquire of God: When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them known the statutes of God, and his laws. And Moses' father-in-law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good.” Exodus 18v13-17

Moses returned to the father-in-law he had lived with for so many years. It was a joyous reunion and the men spent time catching up on what had happened since their parting. Moses testimony caused Jethro to become a firm believer in Moses’ God and His power over all.

Jethro was a very practical man, a shepherd, and he perceived that there was a problem with Moses’ leadership. Every single situation was brought before Moses himself. He was spending all of his time, from morning to evening, dealing with even the most trivial matters. Jethro wisely suggested that Moses appoint men at various levels to govern the people, taking some of the load off himself. These were not to be just any men, but those who; fear God, truthful men, and who hated covetousness.

Neither Moses nor the nation would succeed if Moses continued trying to do all the work by himself. God’s work is to be shared. We must never think that we can only do the work. Pride can sometimes get in the way of sharing God’s work. There is much wisdom in the words of this humble shepherd. May we learn to apply these same lessons in our lives.

Friday, 29 July 2005

My banner of victory!

And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi:” – Exodus 17v15

One notable feature after a great victory in a war, or even in sports, is that waving of national or team banners. Think of the great VE or VJ parades or the last Super Bowl or World Cup match that you saw. One very noticeable features of Gaelic sports is county flags and banners. Flags and anything that resembles the county colours wave like crazy at the sporting events. After a victorious match those standards swamp the pitch. The waving of the banners inspires a sense of pride and county identity.

After God gave the victory over the Amalekites Moses built an altar to the Lord and called the altar “YHWH-Nissi.” The translation of this name is “The LORD is My Banner.” Moses wanted the people to understand that God had given them their victory and that He was the standard they were to follow. Victory banners have always been a part of celebrations. Moses instead wanted to focus to be on the Lord and not on their nation.

When we consider our lives today we must consider what kind of victory stirs up a celebratory spirit within us. Patriots are always stirred when they see their national standard being waved. After 9/11 a Hollywood actor proudly stated that Old Glory was still waving. All over the world television cameras showed the flag in scene after scene dealing with the tragedy. A flag was raised on the rubble of the World Trade Center.

Sports fans love it when their team wins. People wear their team colours and even paint their bodies in those colours. Team supporters are called “fans,” short for fanatics.

How often do we get fanatic about our Lord? I am not suggesting body paint and a wild, uncontrolled fanaticism, but do we ever get excited about our victory in Christ? The LORD is our banner of victory. May we wave His banner high in our daily lives.

YHWH-Nissi! The Lord is indeed my banner!

Thursday, 28 July 2005

Aaron and Hur

So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.” -

Exodus 17v10-12

Israel was about to learn that their journey through the wilderness was not only going to have times of huger and thirst, but there were battles to be fought as well.

The first battles was to be against the Amalekites, descendants of Esau, at Rephidim Moses set Joshua out as the military commander and then he went up on the hill to intercede with God for the nation. Moses lifted up his arm in prayer with the rod of God in his hands. As the battle wore on Moses, Aaron, and Hur noticed the success of the troops in battle depended on whether Moses had his hands raised or not. When Moses got tired and his arms drooped the Amalekites were winning. When he had his hands raised Israel was winning. Moses could not keep his arms raised all day.

Aaron and Hur noticed this and acted. First they found a stone for Moses to sit on to allow him to alleviate some of the weariness. Then Moses and Aaron sat down next to Moses, one on his right and one on His left. Every time Moses allowed his arms to drop Aaron and Hur would hold up his arms for him. As a result Moses arms were held steady all day and the battle was won!

Spiritual warfare was never intended to be fought alone. Only Moses could hold up His arms before God in this case. Aaron and Hur could not actually take the rod and hold it up for Moses. There was something they could do however. They could assist Moses and uplift his arms for him when he grew weary.

Do you know a Moses today who is weary in a spiritual battle? He or she may be worn out and their arms may be getting heavy. You may not be able to fight their battle for them, but you can uplift them in prayer. May we dedicate ourselves today to be like Aaron and Hur for those like Moses, who grow weary in their battles.

Wednesday, 27 July 2005

What will I do with these people?

And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.” – Exodus 17v4

Leadership is never an easy task. All of us lead in some capacity, be it as a teacher, parent, boss, supervisor, older brother or sister, Sunday School teacher, or even an example to those younger that us. As Christians we all have a ministry of reconciliation and some of our leadership may be leading people to a knowledge of the Saviour.

Leadership is not always easy, as Moses was quickly learning. Once again the water supplies ran low and once again the people started complaining. Moses was frustrated with them – “What am I going to do with these people?” Everyone who has ever led knows his feelings. Leadership can be so frustrating and difficult sometimes that we just don’t know what to do!

God showed Moses what to do. He patiently instructed Moses on how to provide the water they we begging for. Patience is a hallmark of a true leader. God is a God of patience. Whenever we are tempted to get impatient with others may we remember just how patient God is with us. Moses should have remembered how patient God was with him in preparing him for his service.

“What will I do with these people?” Patiently lead and teach the, following the example of God’s patience with us.

Tuesday, 26 July 2005

Bread from heaven

Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.” – Exodus 16v4

I never cease to be amazed at God’s grace and mercy. After only a month of travel the food supply began to run low. One might think that the people would trust God to meet their needs. One might expect them to simply ask the Lord to meet their needs. However, the people did what they did best, the complained about their condition. Their moaning is almost beyond belief. “Oh that we were still slaves in Egypt. It would have been better to die there than to be killed by God here.” These were the same people who had begged God for deliverance, who now were whinging because He did it!

Yet, once again, God shows His mercy and supplies bread from heaven for them. This is a marvellous picture of God’s mercy and grace. These folks deserved nothing from God. They were due His wrath. Gives them what they don’t deserve, their manna, and does not give them what they do deserve, His punishment.

Why does God do this? Verse twelve has the answer – so that they might know that He is the Lord their God. Over and over God shows this and over and over the people forget. It is sad that we can by just like those people. God shows us His mercy and grace and the next time trouble comes we start complaining. Contentment with what God gives us must come first. Just like Israel, we base our view of Him on Him doing things our way, not His way.

Praise Him for His mercy and grace to such undeserving people.

Monday, 25 July 2005

Waters of bitterness

And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?” – Exodus 15v23-24

One would think that people’s faith and confidence in the God Who will reign forever and ever would have a faith that lasted longer than just three days. Yet, just three short days after the Red Sea deliverance God’s people ran out of water. They had just seen God bring 10 plagues on Egypt and part the Red Sea to let them leave. They had seen the most powerful army in the world destroyed by God. Still, they could not trust God to take care of their thirst.

What did they do? Sadly, they did something that God hates – they complained. Why do you think that complaining is so abhorrent to God? The answer is simple, when we complain we put ourselves in the place of God because we are deciding what is best for us. Complaining comes from discontentment, which God calls idolatry in the book of Hebrews. When we complain we are telling God that we know better than He does.

God mercifully stepped in and met their need. A short time later they came across 1 place with twelve wells of fresh water. God knew what He was doing long before these malcontents whinged and griped.

In the New Testament we are told to let all things be done without murmurings or disputings, to be content with such things as we have, and are told that Paul had learned to be content no matter what his state.

Godliness, with contentment, is great gain. Lord, remind us of the complainers the next time we are tempted to question you.

Sunday, 24 July 2005

Our God reigns

The LORD shall reign forever and ever.” – Exodus 15v18

As part of their wonderful psalm of deliverance from Egypt the people of Israel made this wonderful, bold statement – “Our Lord shall reign forever and ever.” This is a truth we will se put forth often in our stroll through the Word of God.

We often forget the fact that the Lord shall reign forever and ever. Even if we know it we tend to try and push Him off the throne and put ourselves there instead. When we see the situations in life and insist on working things out our way we rebel against His kingship.

Another problem is that we simply forget Who the King really is. We worry and fret because we can’t see what His plan is. We think that the throne is vacant and that the world in anarchy.

However, our view does not change things. God is still on the throne. He has not and never will vacate the throne. It is walking by faith, not sight that we acknowledge His kingship.

It when we see Him on the throne that we can be care-ful for nothing. Our God reigns. The Lord shall reign forever and ever. May we walk daily in that wonderful truth.

Saturday, 23 July 2005

Glorious in holiness

Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” – Exodus 15v11

The thoughts of God’s people were directed God ward after their miraculous deliverance from Egypt. Their psalm of praise is a great testimony to their acknowledgement of the God who delivered them.

In this section they praise God that He is glorious in His holiness. In this rhetorical question God’s people ask, “Who is like You, glorious in Your holiness?” No one is like God in His glorious holiness.

God’s holiness sets Him apart from all others. He is totally separate from all the sin of he world. We are honoured to serve a truly holy God. His holiness if glorious and we must give Him glory because He is so holy.

We are also challenged to be holy as He is holy. When we walk in holiness our God is glorified. Our purpose of earth is to glorify Him, and we do so as we strive for His holiness in our own lives. May we live holy lives that glorify our holy God.

Friday, 22 July 2005

I will sing unto the Lord

Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spoke, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.” – Exodus 15v1

The victory was won and the deliverance from Egypt was complete. God defeated the nation of Egypt in a glorious way. The people of Israel responded with a wonderful song of praise and each one said, “I will sing unto the Lord.”

Songs of praise are a consistent theme throughout all of Scriptures. God’s people are always referred to as singing people. We read in Ephesians 5v19, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”

It is obvious that God’s will is for His people to sing songs of praise. These songs have two purposes. One reason is simply to give God the songs of praise He is due, but singing also is to allow God’s people to edify and encourage each other in their joint praise of God.

May our hearts and lips be full of praise songs to our Saviour.

Thursday, 21 July 2005

God moved behind them

And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:” – Exodus 14v19

There are many parts of this amazing account of the parting of the Red Sea that could draw our attention. The very fact that God allowed at least two million people to escape across a sea in one night is fantastic in itself. The destruction of the Egyptian army shows His mighty power.

One thing must not escape our notice. The Bible tells us that just before the crossing of the Red Sea God moved from in front of the crowd to behind them. By so doing God changed His position from one of leadership to one of protection of His people. We can take tremendous comfort from the fact that God not only guides us, but He also protects us.

There is one thing more though. The crossing of the Red Sea was going to be one of faith. While the people knew that God was behind them, all they could see in front of them was two great walls of water. They had to pass between the walls of water trusting God to take care of that while He was protecting them from the army behind them.

We will all face some Red Sea experiences in our lives. Often we must move forward by faith, trusting God to protect us as we go. Like Israel, it is during these trying times that it is most important for us to walk by faith instead of my sight.

Wednesday, 20 July 2005

Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord

And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” - Exodus 14v13-14

Finally, Israel was on their way! Joyously they marched out of Egypt. Conservatively, there were two million people walking out of captivity. From all appearances the victory was surely won!

All went well for a few days until they found themselves camped on the Red Sea. Most scholars tell us that they were camped with mountains on either side. Things were going fine. Israel was free.

However, back in Egypt Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and he sent out 600,000 choice charioteers to bring the people back. When the people saw the approaching army they were in despair. They had the Red Sea before them and the most powerful army in the world behind them. The situation surely seemed hopeless, so, they did what they would do best, they complained to Moses.

Moses was unwavering – “Don’t be afraid. Stand still and watch God work. He will fight your battle for you and you will have nothing to complain about.

God doesn’t change. Many times in our lives we find ourselves trapped between the Red Seas and Pharaoh’s armies of our own lives. We must not lose confidence that God will work. When we cannot fight the battle, He will. When we don’t know where to go or what to do next He will lead us. What joy to know that we too are able to “stand still and see the salvation of the Lord!”

Tuesday, 19 July 2005

Because of what God has done for me

“And thou shalt show thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt.” - Exodus 13v8 13:8

As God delivered the people from Egypt He gave them specific instructions to commemorate the event. The annual Passover was to be observed forever by the people of Israel. God even told the people why they were to do this. In generations to come people would say, “Why do we do these things?” The answer was, “Because of what the Lord did for us when He delivered us from Egypt.”

We would do well to commemorate what God did for us as well. At salvation, God delivered us from the captivity of sin. What are we doing to commemorate that? Are there things in our lives that cause others to ask the question, “Why do you do that?” This is what Peter was talking about in 1Peter 3v15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” As we sanctify the Lord in our hearts we set up a memorial to show what He has done. When the question is asked we should be able to answer, “I do the things I do because of what the Lord did for me when I came forth from the captivity of sin.”

The Passover observance was clear for all to see. Our testimony and commemoration of our deliverance should be just as obvious and should entice people to say, “Why do you do these things?” May we always be able to give the answer to that question!

Monday, 18 July 2005

When I see the blood

“And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.” - Exodus 12v13

Pharaoh still would not be broken. His economy was wrecked, all crops and livestock were destroyed, and the god Ra had been humiliated by the plague of darkness. Still, due to a combination of hardening his own heart and God hardening his heart he would not yield. There was one plague left which would cause him to relent.

When God came to Moses and Aaron this last time he gave very clear instructions. Even those in the camp of Israel had to act this time to be spared God’s wrath. The first-born son of every family was about to die. The only way to escape God’s wrath was to sacrifice a perfect lamb and spread its blood on the doorposts. Only those homes where the blood was spread would be spared God’s judgement. The faith of Israel had to be proven by an act of faith, a simple application of the blood.

What a blessing to know that when God’s final day of wrath comes we also have escape. In our case however all of the work is done. God Himself provided and Lamb and provided for His blood to be spilt for our sins. The blood can cover us simply by accepting God’s wonderful gift. Praise God that when His day of judgement comes He will see the blood of Christ covering my sins and will pass over me!

Sunday, 17 July 2005

Fearing God means obedience

He that feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses: And he that regarded not the word of the LORD left his servants and his cattle in the field.” – Exodus 9v20-21

The seventh plague was a deadly mixture of fire and hail. In this instance God gave everyone a chance to escape the plague by saying that anyone who took their livestock indoors would escape their destruction. Some amongst Pharaoh’s people by this time must have learned to truly fear the Lord, for they moved their livestock to shelter, while others, who “regarded not the Lord” ignored God’s directions.

The consequences of fearing God or disregarding Him are obvious. Those who feared God had their livestock saved and those who ignored him lost all that they had.

God always give us two choices. If we truly fear God we will learn to obey Him. If we choose to disobey Him we will suffer the consequences. Sometimes we suffer that natural consequences of our actions and sometimes God will deal with us directly.

Our surest route is to be like these Egyptians who feared God. Trust God and obey what He says.

Truly fearing God will ALWAYS result in obeying Him.

Saturday, 16 July 2005

I have raised you up

And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth. - Exodus 9v16

Surely by the time of the sixth or seventh plague Pharaoh knew that something was going wrong. He was powerless against Moses and his God, the same God of whom he had said, “Who is this Yahweh that I should obey Him?” His economy was in ruins. Moses seemed to be able to call down plagues and stop them at a whim, and all this while he, the “Great Pharaoh” was supposed to be the greatest god of all.

In today’s selection Moses spells it out clearly for Pharaoh. God told Pharaoh, through Moses, that He had raised Pharaoh up as leader of Egypt to do two things. 1) To show the power of Yahweh, and 2) to have His name declared throughout all the earth.

Pharaoh had just been told that he was no more than a puppet is God’s hands and that God would use him to do His own will! What a bow to Pharaoh’s pride.

God does indeed raise up powers to work out His divine purpose. Daniel tells us the “the Most High rules in the kingdom of men and giveth it to whomsoever He will.” Paul write in Romans that the powers that be are ordained of God. We may not always understand all that is going on, but we can be assured that God is always in control, even when governments do and allow terrible things. They are there for an ultimate purpose, that God might show His power and have His name proclaimed!

Friday, 15 July 2005

I will separate my people

And I will put a division between my people and thy people..” – Exodus 8v23

God was not finished showing His power to Pharaoh. First He did miracles that the Egyptians could not do. Next God showed in a very clear way that what was happening could not just be natural events. He told Pharaoh that the plague of flies would only be on the people of Egypt and not on the Hebrews. No one would now be able to doubt that this was the “finger of God.”

Today there are still only two groups of people in the world today; those who are God’s people and those who are not. One day God will draw a clear division between His people and the rest. When He pours out His wrath on the world, He will divide out His people for protection. Praise God that he makes a division between His people and the people of the world.

In a practical way we should note that as God puts a division between His people and the rest of the world we are also called upon to be separate. “Come out from among them and be ye separate” God tells.

God has divided us from the world. May we acknowledge that difference and live accordingly.

Thursday, 14 July 2005

The finger of God

Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.” – Exodus 8v19

God’s judgement on Pharaoh had begun. His refusal to let the people go resulted in tow plagues, the turning the water into blood and the plague of frogs. Pharaoh’s magicians had copied those plagues and strengthened Pharaoh’s stand.

The third plague was a plague of lice. The Bible says that “all the dust of the land” became lice. It is hard to imagine the depth of this plague, and when the magicians failed to copy it they made an astounding statement to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.”

These lost men knew when God had acted. They knew that this plague was the act of Moses’ God. His chief magicians now acknowledged this God Who Pharaoh had refused to acknowledge.

We need to be aware of when the finger of God is at work. We can see things happening and just think it is the natural course of things. The finger of God is at work even today. Rather than see events as happenstance, may we always recognise the “finger of God” at work.

Wednesday, 13 July 2005

I am the Lord

And God spoke unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD:” – Exodus 6v2

When Moses came to god perplexed about his situation and the increased burden on his people God began his words to Moses with a simple statement. This reminder, standing alone, should be enough to make us forget about our own perception of a situation. In His words to Moses God repeats these words several time. They are simple in their profundity.

“I am the Lord”

These words ought to be in some mega-sized font and in flashing lights. If we would ever grasp the impact of these words we could never doubt Him again. Our personal views would fall aside and we could learn to rest only in Him. These words are packed with meaning. In them are these thoughts – “I am the eternal, immutable, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent One. Nothing escapes My view for I AM. No matter where you are or what you are experiencing, one thing has not changed – I AM.”

How sad that we so easily forget that. No matter what comes across our path today we can be assured that one thing has not changed. God still is the great I AM. May we grasp just a glimmer of that amazing truth – we serve the great I AM and therefore we never need fear or doubt.

Whenever doubts or fears come our way let us remember God’s words to Moses.

“I am the Lord!”

Tuesday, 12 July 2005

Now you will see

Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.” – Exodus 6v1

The ever-present problem of walking by sight instead of by faith is not a new one. Men have always found it much easier to look at the seen instead of the unseen instead of looking at the unseen. Obviously it is much easier to look at what you can see than what you can’t see.

Moses had two chooses as to what he could look at. He could look at God’s promises (the unseen) or he could look at the seen (Israel’s affliction). It was hard to miss Israel’s affliction. Things went from bad to worse. After Moses and Aaron’s demand to let the people go Pharaoh increased the workload by removing the required straw from their brick making and did not reduce the quota of bricks. Of course they could not keep up and were punished. The Hebrews chose to blame Moses and Aaron for their problems.

When Moses took the matter back to God he blamed God for sending the evil. “What are you doing such evil God? Why did you send me here?” We can find ourselves in the same dilemma at times. We can look at our efforts to serve God and wonder why God is doing the things He is doing, because we tend to look at only what we can see.

God had an answer though – “Now you will see what I will do.” God knew exactly when to work, something Moses and us do not always see. God always has a purpose in what He does. We may not see it until we get to heaven, but one day it will be all clear, one day we will see what God is doing. May we have the faith Jesus talked to Peter about that does not require seeing to believe.

Monday, 11 July 2005

Who is the Lord?

“And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.” – Exodus 5v2

Moses and Aaron were admitted into Pharaoh’s court. There request to let the people of Israel go was pretty simple, “Who is the Lord that I should obey Him?

What else would we really expect from Pharaoh? He had plenty of gods in his kingdom. People worshipped frogs, cats, the Nile, and any number of things. The god above all gods in Egypt was considered to be Pharaoh himself, so why would he consider listening to this God of the Hebrews? He would soon find out just who Yahweh was.

What happens, however, when God’s people act like Pharaoh? We might think, “I would never say what Pharaoh said. That was awful!” However, there are times when we may very well act like Pharaoh while not saying those same words. We read our Bibles, do our devotions, and listen to preaching or teaching. The Holy Spirit deals with our heart, and yet we walk away and choose to ignore His leadership. In essence we are saying the same thing that Pharaoh did – “Who is God that I should obey Him?” God says to walk by faith, nit by sight, yet we too often are guided by what we see. God tells us not to be full of cares, yet we choose to worry. God says to keep our hearts, yet we devour the filth of the world.

Who are the gods that we obey instead of the Lord? The god of convenience and expediency? The god of the flesh? The god of self? May we live our lives so that we never reflect Pharaoh’s attitude. May we recognise Who the Lord is and obey Him.

Sunday, 10 July 2005

The people bowed down and worshipped

And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.” – Exodus 4v31

Moses and family travelled back to Egypt along with Aaron. The first thing they did was to go to the Israelites. Aaron spoke the words and God to the people letting them know that they had come back to deliver them from the Egyptians.

The Bible says next that they believed, bowed their heads, and worshipped God. They remembered their cries to God back in chapter two and knew that God had heard and answered their prayers. They did the right thing my immediately giving God the worship He was due.

It is easy enough to cry out to God when things are tough or when we are in affliction. Sometimes we do no do near as well when God responds, almost acting like that is just what He is supposed to do. These folks were still slaves; they had not seen any indication of their coming freedom other than the signs that they had seen.

Even more trustworthy than those signs is the written word of God. God has promised that He will be with us, meet our needs, and carry us through our afflictions. Is He not worthy of us believing, bowing down our heads, and worshipping Him? And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.

Saturday, 9 July 2005

Let somebody else do it

“And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.” – Exodus 4v13

Moses decided finally that he just would not do what God wanted him to do, at least ALL of the job. He was simply too afraid to actually speak God’s words to Pharaoh so he told God to just let someone else do it.

The next verse tells us that God was angry with Moses. God took away the privilege of proclaiming His words and gave it to his brother Aaron. How sad that Moses missed that blessing simply because he was afraid.

We see something else here however. God was not done with Moses simply because of his fear. In His mercy God would go on to use Moses anyway. While we should never incur God’s wrath by walking in disobedience, we can also be sure that we can depend on His mercy.

Friday, 8 July 2005

Who made your mouth?

“And the Lord said unto Who hath made your mouth…have not I the Lord?” – Exodus 4v11

Moses was about to run out of excuses about why he could not do what God called him to do. Since proper elocution was important in Pharaoh’s court and he was a simple shepherd he must have figured that this would surely suffice.

“God, I can’t speak properly, my speech is slow and I trip over my own tongue. How can You expect me to speak before Pharaoh?”

Of course God had the answer. “Who do you think made your mouth Moses? Since I made it don’t you think I know what you can do with it?” Then God said, “Go, and I will be with you.”

God never sends us to do a work for which He has not enabled us. We may, like Moses, look at ourselves and think that we are totally unable for something God has laid before us. Who knows better what we are able for? Frail, sinful us or a holy, perfect God?

Who made your mouth? Who made you who you are? Who gave you your physical and mental abilities?

God did of course. May we never flinch from any task that God lays out before us, knowing with full assurance that God knows full well what we can and cannot do.

Thursday, 7 July 2005


“And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said thou shalt tell the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” – Exodus 3v12

This surely must be one of the profound names of God in the Bible. Dismayed at the task before him Moses simply asked God, “When they ask me who is the God who sent me to deliver them, what will I say.”

God gave him a very simple answer – “tell them I AM sent you.” This seemingly simple name for God has tremendous ramifications. YHWH is a name so holy that traditional Jews will not speak it. By interspersing the vowels from Adonai an acceptable Yahweh has developed as a name for God. I AM reveals that God is just this same at this very instant in time as He ever is and ever will be. It reveals His immutability, His omniscience, His omnipotence, and His omnipresence.

Nothing will ever take God by surprise for He is the great I AM. Nothing is more powerful than God for He is the great I AM. We can face every challenge that crosses our path because the great I AM is with us. This name sums up so much about our great God. He will never learn anything, for He is the great I AM.

It was this very name that turned the religious leaders against Jesus when He said, “Before Abraham was I am.” In this statement Jesus clearly claimed deity. Is it nor amazing that the great I AM would die for you and me? Praise God for the great I AM and that the great I AM loved me enough to die on a cross for me!

Wednesday, 6 July 2005

I will send you…I will go with you

“Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh… Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee...” Exodus 3v10-12

God had chosen a task for Moses. This man who had been a shepherd job had a task laid out before him. Simple enough, walk into the most powerful nation in the world and then walk out with six million slaves. Not only that, you are going back to the nation you fled from forty years ago while an official in the government.

How is that for an impossible task? How would you feel if God can you that kind of job? How do you feel when you face a seemingly impossible task?

God had great words of comfort, the same He had shared with Abraham and Isaac. “I will send you,” God said, “and I am going with you.” Not task, no matter how impossible it may seem is too much when God goes with us.

Moses was just like any of us. Sometimes we face a task that seems insurmountable. Sometimes we can’t imagine how we are supposed to get the job done. Yet, the Word of God is clear, “With God ALL things are possible.”

Tuesday, 5 July 2005

Holy Ground

“…draw not nigh hither; put off thy shoes from off thy feet., for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” – Genesis 3v5

As Moses tended sheep he saw an unusual sight. He noticed a bush that was burning, but not being consumed by the fire. Of course that attracted his attention and he drew near to see what was happening. He heard God’s voice, and replied “Here I am.”

God’s next words remind of a vital aspect of His nature. “Put off your shoes, for you are on holy ground.” The presence of God is a holy place. The ground was so holy that Moses could not defile it by even entering with his shoes on. Holiness is not a matter to be trifled with.

Sadly, true holiness is seemingly a forgotten concept. As Christians we live our lives constantly in His holy presence. Yet too often we ignore the fact that we live in the presence of our holy God. Our actions more often resemble the vile world than our holy God.

Remember today that we are living our lives before a God of absolute holiness. May our lives, are actions, our dress, our attitudes, and our speech reflect His holiness.

We are indeed on holy ground. Let us live accordingly.

Monday, 4 July 2005

Their cry came up unto God

“And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.” – Exodus 2v24,25

Moses had been run out of Egypt and had been gone for forty years. The struggles for the Hebrews only got worse and there was no improvement when a new pharaoh came on the scene. It surely looked like these people were doomed to be an enslaved nation.

Finally however, from a source we don’t know, the people decided to call out to their God for help. We find four ways that God responds to their cry.

God heard their groaning

God remembered His covenant

God looked upon the children of Israel

God had respect (acknowledged) them

There is great comfort here that God responds to prayer. We cannot comprehend how our prayers combine with God’s perfect will, but we can be assured from this passage and others that God hears and acts in response to prayers.

Praise God that He is not deaf to the cries of His people. It is an amazing fact that a perfect, holy God would have any regard for sinful man. Yet, He does. He gives us the wonderful gift of prayer and invites us to call upon Him. How do often do we avail ourselves of this wonderful blessing of access to Him?

Sunday, 3 July 2005

The child’s mother

“…and the maid went and called the child’s mother,” – Exodus 2v8

Is there anything more precious than the relationship between a mother and her young child? How it must have broken the heart of Moses’ mother to put him in the basket and watch him float away. The chances were very real that she would never see him again. The anxiety was so great that she sent his big sister to see what would happen to him.

What fear must have gripped the sister’s heart when she saw Moses discovered by Pharaoh’s own daughter. Certainly death of the child would now be certain. Yet, God intervened. Pharaoh’s daughter decided to save the child as her own son. When Miriam was discovered nearby she was sent to find a Hebrew woman to nurse the child for Pharaoh’s daughter. Of course there was one perfect choice – Moses own mother. When she returned Pharaoh’s daughter said that she would pay her, for nursing her own son!

All of this shows that God pays attention to details. Not only did He honour the mothers’ love and faith, he allowed Moses to grow up bi-culturally. He would have the affection for his people that he would need, while at the same time he would understand the operation of the court of Pharaoh. Moses would need both for the work to which God had called him.

How wonderful to know that we serve a God Who cares about the details of our lives!

Saturday, 2 July 2005

When to disobey

“But the midwives feared God and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them…” Exodus 1v17

All through the New Testament God makes it clear that we are to obey the government. He tells us that to disobey is the face His judgement. We are to pray for our leaders and submit to their authority. Submission to authority is a key character trait for God’s people.

Here we find women who choose to disobey their government. Ordered by Pharaoh to murder all the male children of Israel as they are born they choose not to do so. This was a very serious decision. Disobeying Pharaoh could result in the death penalty. As it turns out God honours their decision to disobey the king.

What gives here? Surely God must set a double standard?

No, there is an answer. As the apostles told the government authorities when they were ordered to stop giving the gospel, “we ought to obey God rather than men.” In both of these cases there was a direct conflict between obeying God and obeying men. It was impossible to obey both so the choice was made to obey God. This is not a decision to be taken lightly. Government still has the power to punish those who choose to disobey their laws. Sometimes, however, it must be done. God does not support breaking the law, but when it must be done to obey God may He give us the strength to do so and be willing to suffer the human consequences for eternal reward.

Friday, 1 July 2005

Growing through affliction

“But the more they afflicted them the more they multiplied and grew….” – Exodus 1v12

God greatly blessed His people Israel in the land of Egypt. In the time since Joseph Israel was “fruitful, increased abundantly, waxed exceedingly mighty, and the land was full of them.” Location is never a hindrance to the blessing of God.

However the day came when a Pharaoh arose who “knew not Joseph.” He was afraid of this nation of foreigners in his land and saw them as a threat to his people so he decided to make slaves out of them to keep them under his thumb.

God had other plans for the nation of Israel. We read in verse 12 that the more they were afflicted the more they grew! How frustrating this must have been for the Pharaoh. The harder he tried to wipe them out the stronger they grew! God’s plans for His people were not going to be suppressed by a mere human leader.

James 1 reminds us that trials are still meant for our growth. No matter how trials are meant by those who may impose them, God has a greater purpose, to teach is patience that leads to maturity. We saw that we Joseph, we see it here with the nation of Israel, and we also see it on our lives. May we see each affliction which comes into our lives as an example to multiply and grow in our walk for our precious Lord.