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“But Moses tried to pacify the Lord his God” (Exodus 32:11 NLT).

February 11, 2018

When the people sinned with the golden calf, God threatened to destroy them and start over with Moses. But Moses interceded, not according to the people’s worthiness, but according to God’s covenant and God’s reputation. Moses remained and interceded even though God had asked him to “leave him alone” to let His anger blaze against the people. Moses took God’s instruction to leave as an invitation to stay and intercede. Like Abraham who interceded for Sodom, Moses interceded for the Israelites and God relented.

“Each year you must celebrate three festivals in my honor” (Exodus 23:14 NLT).

February 6, 2018

The Lord commanded that three annual festivals be celebrated in His honor. These festivals were:
1) The Feast of Passover
2) The Feast of Pentecost
3) The Feast of Tabernacles

The Lord may have had other reasons for commanding these festivals, but several reasons seem apparent:
1) To perpetuate remembrance of what God had done.
2) To keep them faithful to the Lord
3) To put seasons of rest and celebration in the annual calendar
4) To offer instruction, as the appropriate Scripture was read at each festival.
5) To renew their corporate identity as they came from all over Israel to the Temple to celebrate together.
6) To pass on the spiritual legacy of God’s people to the next generation.

“You must not follow the crowd in doing wrong” (Exodus 23:2 NLT).

February 6, 2018

How many of us as teens explained to our parents, “But everyone was doing it”? If your parents were like mine, then that excuse didn’t go over too welll. And it doesn’t go over well with God either. The Bible is clear. We are not to just follow the crowd. Wrong is still wrong even if the majority view it as acceptable. Live for the approval of the Lord, not the crowd. Following Jesus almost always means going against the flow of the crowd.

“So the people of Israel ate manna for forty years until they arrived at the land where they would settle. They ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan” (Exodus 16:35 NLT).

February 2, 2018

The Lord faithfully supplied the Israelites with manna every morning, except on the Sabbath, for forty years. It was always just enough for that day, except on the sixth day when the Lord gave them enough for two days to allow them to rest on the Sabbath. In this way, the Lord taught them to depend on Him for life.

We hear an echo of this in the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt. 6:11). Jesus taught his disciples to pray for that day’s bread, just as the Israelites had learned. Not next week’s, nor next year’s bread, just pray for today’s bread. Learn to depend on the Lord for daily life.

We hear the fulfillment of this in Christ’s declaration, “I AM the Bread of Life” (John 6:35). For Christ is the true Bread of Heaven come down to give everlasting life to those who believe on Him.

“So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea” (Exodus 13:18 NLT).

February 1, 2018

Why didn’t God lead the Israelites out of Egypt and straight to the Promised Land? The Lord answered this question in Exodus 13:17 saying, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” God knew they weren’t ready for battle. They weren’t an army. They were a rabble of slaves with no training nor confidence. They were free, but they didn’t know how to live in freedom. So, the Lord had to take them the long way, lasting 40 years, in order to prepare them to possess the Promised Land.

“But I have spared you for a purpose—to show you my power and to spread my fame throughout the earth” (Exodus 9:16 NLT).

January 29, 2018

The Lord warned Pharaoh that He could have easily wiped them off the face of the earth for holding his chosen people in slavery. But instead he spared them, using the ten plagues to reveal His power and spread His fame in the earth. There were many ways the Lord could have chosen to free the Israelites, but the ten plagues were given to reveal His power over every aspect of life.

“Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron was eighty-three when they made their demands to Pharaoh” (Exodus 7:7 NLT).

January 28, 2018

The life of Moses can be divided into three 40-year phases. The first 40 he lived as a prince of Egypt, the second, as a shepherd in Midian, and the third, as the deliverer of Israel. It took 80 years to get Moses prepared to deliver God’s people. That’s a long education. Yet finally, he was both humble and obedient enough for God to use. The last 40 years of his life were devoted to being God’s man, leading Israel out of Egypt and into the land of Canaan.

What do plan to do with you life after 80?

“But Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in the land of Midian” (Exodus 2:15 NLT).

January 26, 2018

Moses had spent the first 40 years of his life as an Egyptian prince. Now, he would spend the next 40 years as a shepherd in the land of Midian. Midian was located near the Northeastern shore of the Red Sea in modern day Saudi Arabia. It was populated by the Midianites, a nomadic people group that descended from Midian, a later son of Abraham by his wife, Keturah (Gen. 25:1-2). It was in this land, that God prepared Moses to rescue Israel. He had tried rescuing his people in his own strength, even killing an Egyptian slaver, but ended up running away to escape the wrath of Pharaoh. Yet, it was in the wilderness of Midian that God prepared Moses for his true calling.

God often uses wilderness experiences to prepare His people for leadership.

“…but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle” (Exodus 33:11 NKJV).

February 11, 2017

After Israel’s idolatry over the golden calf, Moses set his tent outside the camp and called it the “tabernacle of meeting.” There, Moses would meet with God. The pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the tabernacle door, and the Lord would speak to Moses. Moses would come and go between the Israelite camp and the tabernacle, but Joshua “did not depart from the tabernacle.” Notice the detail given concerning Joshua:

1) His name – “Joshua,” in Hebrew is יְהוֹשׁ֫וּעַ, or “Yehoshua,” which means, “the LORD is salvation.” This is the same name given to Christ (From the Greek Ιησούς, iesous or “Jesus”).
2) Moses’ servant – While the rest of Israel, including Moses’ own brother, Aaron, committed idolatry, Joshua remained a humble and faithful servant to Moses. In like manner, Jesus was a humble and faithful servant to His Father.
3) Son of Nun – Joshua, son of Nun, was from the tribe of Ephraim (Num. 13:8), which was the son of Joseph. Joshua descended from the half tribe of Joseph. And Jesus was known as the legal descendent of one named Joseph.
4) Young man – Joshua was much younger than Moses. Moses was at the time in his 80s, while Joshua was probably in his 50s. This makes me feel better about my age. The Bible says that the 50s is young! I like that! Jesus was a young man in his 30s when He fulfilled His ministry.
5) Did not depart – Joshua stayed at the tabernacle continually. The Scripture doesn’t comment on his activity there, but it must have involved serving Moses and perhaps guarding access. Jesus was also known for not departing from the Temple. Even as a 12 year old boy, his parents found him there talking with the teachers (Luke 2:41-51).

Moses was the lawgiver of Israel who was unable to give them rest (salvation); that honor was given to Joshua, who brought Israel into the Promised Land after Moses died. Similarly, Jesus, the Son of God, has accomplished that which the law could not do, namely, salvation for all those who believe (Rom. 8:3-4). And now, He never departs from the presence of the Father, always interceding for us (Heb. 7:24-25).

“Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Beware of Him and obey His voice; do not provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions; for My name is in Him” (Exodus 23:20-21 NKJV).

February 6, 2017

Who is this “Angel?”

The word in the Hebrew means “messenger.” So, some say it refers to Moses. Others suggest it was the archangel Michael. Some Jewish scholars say it refers to the Hebrew Scriptures. But let us consider the clues given in the Lord’s description of this unidentified “Angel.”

Clues to the identity of the “Angel:”
1) Masculine singular pronouns “He” and “Him” are used.
2) He goes before the Israelites to “keep” them.
3) He goes before them to lead (“bring”) them to a …
4) A place He has prepared for them.
5) They were to beware and obey His voice.
6) The Lord’s “name is in Him.”

I believe this “Angel” is the second person of the Trinity, the preincarnate Christ, the Son of God. It was Christ who kept and brought the Israelites through the wilderness, giving them manna to eat and water to drink. It was Christ who prepared the Promised Land for them. It was Christ who had the “NAME” and nature of the Lord “in” Him. No angel or man would have all these attributes. Yet, they did not obey His voice, but provoked Him, so that most of that adult generation died in the wilderness without seeing the Promised Land.