Posted in Devotions

Exodus 19 God Prepares Israel for Moses and Their Inheritance

This chapter is a definitive chapter of the Bible.  In this chapter, God shares His heart with Moses.  God loves Israel.  He brought them out of Egypt, and now, at Mount Sinai, the Lord makes clear that they are nation He selected out of all the nations of the world.  Adonai has a plan for Israel to be a nation of priests loved and protected by Him.

 When God told Moses the plan, He made it clear that while as a father God may love them unconditionally, He required Israel to honor Him and obey His commands. In return, Israel would be treasured and protected as a priceless treasure.  In addition, they would be God’s ambassadors to a lost world.

God gave Moses specific instructions for preparing Israel to enter this covenant and begin the journey toward their inheritance.  God expected reverence from Israel. He wanted them to prepare their bodies and their hearts. They would be a part of the conversation with Moses and Adonai would leave no doubt about His commitment to Israel and His trust in Moses as their leader.

God simply does not hide His intentions.  In our lives, the Lord provided the Bible as a love letter and guide.  He also provides His spirit to comfort, guide, and teach us God’s ways and plans.  He also has installed the church community so that His children would not have to “go it alone”. 

As with Israel, however, God expects our allegiance and our reverence as we seek and follow Him.  We do not come to God on our terms.  We come with a heart prepared for Adonai to lead.  He will not force Himself upon us.  Adonai wants us to submit to His plan with a humble and grateful heart.  That is what a Father expects, and that is what we should long to deliver.

God Bless You

On the first day of the third month after the Israelites left Egypt—on that very day—they came to the Desert of Sinai. After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain.

Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you[a] will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the Lord had commanded him to speak. The people all responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has said.” So Moses brought their answer back to the Lord.

The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.” Then Moses told the Lord what the people had said.

10 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes 11 and be ready by the third day, because on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, ‘Be careful that you do not approach the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain is to be put to death. 13 They are to be stoned or shot with arrows; not a hand is to be laid on them. No person or animal shall be permitted to live.’ Only when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast may they approach the mountain.”

14 After Moses had gone down the mountain to the people, he consecrated them, and they washed their clothes. 15 Then he said to the people, “Prepare yourselves for the third day. Abstain from sexual relations.”

Posted in Devotions

Exodus 18–Moses the Leader and Listener

Say what you will, but Moses was a pretty amazing superhero.  He led these freed slaves away from their captors, at great personal expense.  The stress, the energy, the patience it took to stand before Pharaoh and then stand with this grumbling bunch of whiners was incredibly taxing.  Moses even sent his family away so as not to risk them and not to distract Moses from his mission.  Fortunately, Moses had a godly Father-in-Law.  

From the first, Jethro had been Moses’ mentor.  He taught Moses how to shepherd.  He led Moses for 40 years as Moses raised a family and built a family business. He protected His daughter and grandkids while Moses left to free Israel.  Now, as Israel was on its way, Jethro watched this man with pride and concern.  He watched Moses act as an administrator and quickly saw the toll that took on Moses and on the people. Jethro manned up and confronted Moses.  He taught him how to delegate duties. He encouraged Moses to trust others as He led these 2+ million people.

Moses Listened to Jethro, built a governing body to ease the leadership burden.  Jethro also returned Moses family to him.  Jethro did not mind caring for his daughter and grandkids, but their place was with their husband and father.  Moses was wise to listen and as he did, he was able to lead these people effectively without bogging down in daily administrative matters.

Our lesson? We need to be sensitive to God’s lead in our lives.  We need to allow those that will come along side and encourage us to speak the truth in love.  We need to heed God’s intervention and not allow pride or fear to keep us from God’s best. As we start this Thanksgiving season, We need to truly be thankful for all that God has provided and all that the Lord has done.  Thank You, Lord for all You have provided me and my family.  Without You, Adonai, we would be and have nothing.  Help us, Lord, to honor You and follow You closely.

God Bless You and Happy Thanksgiving 

13 The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. 14 When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?”

15 Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. 16 Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.”

17 Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. 19 Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. 20 Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. 21 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22 Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. 23 If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”

24 Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. 25 He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 26 They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves.

27 Then Moses sent his father-in-law on his way, and Jethro returned to his own country.

Posted in Devotions

Exodus 17 Part 2–Moses the General

Just when they thought it was a time of peace and safety, Israel was attacked by the Amalekites. I am sure these heathen people thought Israel would be easy pickings since they were recently released slaves.  It is sad, however.  Had they been paying attention they could have fished the mighty Egyptian army out of the Red Sea and asked them how formidable Israel was as an opponent. 

Instead, Joshua led the troops into battle and God did the work.  The Lord allowed Moses to stand as the leader and conduct the battle.  All could see Moses Arms raised as Israel battled the Godless Amalekites.  As Moses arms were raised; Israel was winning the battle. When Moses lowered his arms, the Amalekites would gain momentum. In the end with Aaron and Hur’s assistance, Moses kept His arms raised, and Joshua with God’s power led the army to victory.

God used the event to reaffirm His commitment to Israel.  He also used it as a banner of reminder that Amolak would be forever cursed for trying to sneak in and attack His chosen people.  What a daunting curse.  

In our lives, God is still about protecting us from our enemy.  As with Israel, God is in the middle of life’s battles with us.  He empowers us to persevere and reign victorious. It is a difficult thing, and there are times we need our friends to hold us up because we are simply exhausted.  It is not a lack of faith; it is simply a loss of energy.  In those times, we must not be afraid to seek assistance and to trust God to provide it.  If we will, God will be our banner of victory against the enemy.

God Bless You

 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”

10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.”

15 Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. 16 He said, “Because hands were lifted up against[c] the throne of the Lord,[d] the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”

Posted in Devotions

Exodus 17 Part 1–Water From a Rock

It would seem that a good deal of the conflict Israel experienced with God centered on their approach to His throne. On this day, It is about the water. It was probably quite taxing to gather bread from Heaven. As the people grew thirsty, they started their copywritten chant, “You gonna let us die out here?” Like any Father, God truly wanted to bless His chosen people.  He led them, fed them, protected them, and still when things were slightly difficult, rather than approaching God with a grateful heart and a humble Spirit; they approached Moses like entitled bullies.

Moses would then reverently seek God, God would in turn do something amazing, (Send Water gushing from a rock…), and the people would not become anymore free or reverent?!!? How God put up with that day in and day out is inconceivable.  Further, God went on to show these “Mutton Heads” Moses was His man and they needed to trust Moses’ leadership!  Had they done that from the beginning, the 5 books called Pentateuch would have been a celebration of building a God-centered nation committed to His glorification and the salvation of the rest of the world.

Instead, we see in this, and in the rest of Moses’ books, God developing Israel despite their grumbling and rebellion.  It is the most detailed picture of all aspects of grace. The Father loves them through idolatry, fear, rebellion, and total disregard of God’s favor and protection on this nation.  Moses, while far from perfect; clearly was perfect for this role. 40 years a shepherd, and personally aligned with God made this man uniquely qualified to endure all the grumbling, whining, and disruption these former slaves would serve up.  

I pray that I am not ungrateful, doubting, or rebellious.  I want to be used by God; not frustrating to Him.  I want to pray ceaselessly for the Lord’s favor and His provision–not what I think should happen.  Many times, however, I end up being as stiff-necked and mutton-headed as was Israel.  I forget the miracle from yesterday and fail to acknowledge God’s provision and protection in my life that came this very day. 

I want to live gratefully and peacefully right where he has me without the thought of how I can assist Him in plotting my journey.  For many, that seems simple enough–but watching Moses the true superhero dealing with that issue on the daily, is the best reminder of my need to repent and seek the Lord each day.

God Bless You

The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.”

Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?”

But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?”

Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.”

The Lord answered Moses, “Go out in front of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the place Massah[a] and Meribah[b] because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

Posted in Devotions

Exodus 16 Part 1–Manna and Quail

As Israel would continue to learn in the days and years ahead, God will protect, prepare, and provide for His own.  He destroyed the Egyptian forces sent to recapture Israel.  He turned the bitter waters into sweet at Marah.  Now in the Wilderness of Sin, God would teach Israel about Divine provision. 

For the next 40 years, Israel would literally see food fall from the sky in the forms of Manna and quail.  Israel would collect daily amounts of Manah and periodically, God would add quail to spice things up a bit.There were some pretty strict guidelines for His provision.  they could only take enough for their needs for the day.  If they took too much, it would turn rancid and smell horrible.  and if they failed to gather enough for Sabbath , there would be no Manna on the Sabbath. Then God would intersperse quail to keep it interesting, but clearly Manna was a superfood. 

God needed the people of Israel to understand that their provision was a gift from Him. God had already shown them He provided their protection and their direction.  These were His people.  This was to be His nation of priests and evangelists.  In the early stages, however, God was not being subtle.  He wanted to the world and His people to trust in His protection and provision.

God still protects, directs, and provides for His chosen.  If we trust Him, the Lord will help us navigate this journey we call life.  He will not stop the trials and storms, but He will walk through them with us.  If we continue to trust Him, the Lord will prepare us for eternity with Him. Sadly, we sometimes lose patience and try to assist or direct God.  When we do, it never goes well. 

We neither have the power nor the perspective that the Author and Creator of all has.  He is executing a plan that leads to His return and our salvation.  We are called to simply follow and trust God’s leadership.  We have thousands of years of proof that God always makes good on His promises.  We simply need to cling to that proof of God’s integrity to trust Him through the storms and trials of life.He will protect, provide, and prepare us for a full and meaningful life while here, and an eternity with our Lord in Heaven.

God Bless You

They set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the people of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “At evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against the Lord. For what are we, that you grumble against us?” And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.”

Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, ‘Come near before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’” 10 And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11 And the Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning, you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God…31 Now the house of Israel called its name manna. It was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. 32 Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Let an omer of it be kept throughout your generations, so that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’” 33 And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar, and put an omer of manna in it, and place it before the Lord to be kept throughout your generations.” 34 As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the testimony to be kept. 35 The people of Israel ate the manna forty years, till they came to a habitable land. They ate the manna till they came to the border of the land of Canaan. 36 (An omer is the tenth part of an ephah.)

Posted in Devotions

Exodus 15 Part 2–Excuse Me…Weren’t We Just Worshipping?

The people grumbled against Moses…Sadly in the days ahead, that would be one of a few recurring themes from the Israelites.  As the tribes started through the wilderness, they could not find an adequate water source. Then they came to Marah, problem solved…or was it. The water was bitter.  Clearly these thirsty people quickly forgot what God had already accomplished in their lives. 

They started grumbling. I am sure it was the typical “Egyptian water is so much better…” They started grumbling about Moses, “That idiot doesn’t even plan enough water for us!” Moses was so demoralized.  He went to God–the right choice! God reminded Moses to remind Israel that they need only trust and follow God and the Lord Himself would protect them from their enemies, not allow the plagues and sicknesses that the Egyptians felt to touch them; and provide their needs and their inheritance.

Then, God turned the bitter water into sweet water.  The people and livestock were saved…Really? God had a plan all along.  We see in the next verses that Israel marched down the road a bit to Elim where there was plenty of water for everyone.  God was not only prepared, but He was also continuing to draw the slave out of these people. Or at least, He was preparing their leader and their children for what was to come.

God Bless You

22 Then Moses made Israel set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah.[b] 24 And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 And he cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a log,[c] and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.

There the Lord[d] made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them, 26 saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.”

27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they encamped there by the water.

Posted in Devotions

Exodus 15 Part 1–Memorializing the Important Stuff

After such a mighty victory, Moses needed to memorialize the event for all the people.  Since Google was not around, written communication was not common, often things were memorialized with festivals, monuments, or songs.  Make no mistake, those tools are still used today.  Otherwise, we would never remember How glorious our flag looked after the raging battle of Fort McHenry in 1812.

Moses wrote and the people sang the Song of victory as they saw the Egyptian army vanquished without them raising a hand.  It was a turning point for the slaves.  There would be no going back, nor would there be any doubt that God would protect His chosen people. 

God continued to deliver on His promise.  Israel now had to learn to march forward as a free nation and claim the land God promised them.  Moses had a big job getting the people ready, getting them inspired and leading them home.  This psalm would assist them in always remembering God was large and in charge.

In our lives, we need to memorialize the many times God has shown Himself faithful in our lives.  At our home, we talk about places and events where God made sure we knew He was on the job.  We recall homes and treats that God set before us that were absolutely delivered personally by Him.  In those times, we gained hope when the enemy thought he had us defeated.  We are forever grateful and will never forget the memorials God has provided to our family.

God Bless You

Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying,

“I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
    the horse and his rider[a] he has thrown into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my song,
    and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
    my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
The Lord is a man of war;
    the Lord is his name.

“Pharaoh’s chariots and his host he cast into the sea,
    and his chosen officers were sunk in the Red Sea.
The floods covered them;
    they went down into the depths like a stone.
Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power,
    your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy.
In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries;
    you send out your fury; it consumes them like stubble.
At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up;
    the floods stood up in a heap;
    the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea.
The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake,
    I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them.
    I will draw my sword; my hand shall destroy them.’
10 You blew with your wind; the sea covered them;
    they sank like lead in the mighty waters.

11 “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods?
    Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
    awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?
12 You stretched out your right hand;
    the earth swallowed them.

13 “You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed;
    you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode.
14 The peoples have heard; they tremble;
    pangs have seized the inhabitants of Philistia.
15 Now are the chiefs of Edom dismayed;
    trembling seizes the leaders of Moab;
    all the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away.
16 Terror and dread fall upon them;
    because of the greatness of your arm, they are still as a stone,
till your people, O Lord, pass by,
    till the people pass by whom you have purchased.
17 You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain,
    the place, O Lord, which you have made for your abode,
    the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established.
18 The Lord will reign forever and ever.”

Posted in Devotions

Exodus 14 Part 2–It is Time to Sink or Swim…Or Walk on Dry Land?

Once again, the human eye of the Israelites saw the danger behind, while God saw only the future of His people, and their gaining of the inheritance He promised their ancestors.  Sadly, Israel could not imagine God protecting them from a mighty army with their backs up to the shore of the Red Sea.  I mean, it is not as if they had seen him do anything else of note. (AKA the 10 plagues, pillar of cloud and fire…)Moses would become keenly aware of the people’s lack of faith and God’s patience in transforming the Israelites into a free people. 

On this day, He did truly amazing.  He let the 2mm Israelites and their livestock, and stuff pass through the Red sea on dry land.  as they looked to their left and right, they saw great walls of water but their sandals were getting dusty from the dry ground they passed. Conversely, the Egyptians were getting bogged down and stuck, who would have thought???

Then as the Israelites reached the other shore, the sea returned to normal, and the Egyptian soldiers and all their high-tech equipment were drowned.  No more problem with Egypt.  Verses 30-31 sum it up quite nicely, “Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.”

As we walk through our lives, God shows His power and plan in big and small ways.  Often, we stand in awe of the Lord’s mighty power and plan.  Other times, we see God steadily leading through provision (Manna) and protection (The pillar of fire and cloud) that our Lord provides for us.  We need to remember that the mighty hand and deeds of God are a precious gift and therefore, we cannot feel entitled to His assistance.  Instead, We need to be reverent, grateful, and sensitive to God’s daily leadership.  That is what our hero Moses did, and that is what all who entered Canaan also did.  That, however, is a different story for a different day.

God Bless You

The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. 16 Lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground. 17 And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen. 18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”

19 Then the angel of God who was going before the host of Israel moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them, 20 coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel. And there was the cloud and the darkness. And it lit up the night[a] without one coming near the other all night.

21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 23 The Egyptians pursued and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. 24 And in the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down on the Egyptian forces and threw the Egyptian forces into a panic, 25 clogging[b] their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily. And the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from before Israel, for the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians.”

26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.” 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal course when the morning appeared. And as the Egyptians fled into it, the Lord threw[c] the Egyptians into the midst of the sea. 28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen; of all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea, not one of them remained. 29 But the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

30 Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.

Posted in Devotions

Exodus 14 Part 1–Just How Many Signs Are Enough?

This story is a bit maddening.  God just liberated Israel from Egypt.  He was literally leading them personally with a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. He tells Moses that Pharaoh was going to make one more attempt to subdue Israel but that He has the situation well in hand.  So how does Israel respond? Well, they start griping about being killed in the wilderness.  

One needs to remember that God was working to transform His people from having a slave’s heart to having the heart of a free people.  God knew that was a process and that each event on the journey helped to chip away at the slave inside them.  This event was no different. By the end of this day, God knew that Israel would no longer have to fear or deal with Pharaoh or with Egypt.  Still the Red Sea crossing would seal God’s credibility to the rest of the world–even if His people still struggled with doubt.

God moves us through our lives in a very similar way.  He reveals his pan to us a piece at a time.  Sadly, no matter how many times we see the Lord’s power and hand in our lives, we want to run back to our own fears and slave tactics whenever things become difficult.  We berate the Israelites for doubting God when He made Himself so apparent to them. Yet, we have the Lord’s Spirit in our lives and His word to read and see His glory, but in tough times we still cave–just like Israel.

We must trust God and His leadership.  As we do, we can count on attacks from the world and the enemy to disrupt, minimize, and even destroy our fellowship and ministry for God.  But, even when we struggle, God remains faithful to complete His mission in our lives.  Expect to become fearful from time to time, but, in those times cling to His amazing and perfect track record of faithfulness and protection.

God Bless You

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel to turn back and encamp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baal-Zephon; you shall encamp facing it, by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the people of Israel, ‘They are wandering in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.’ And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.” And they did so.

When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the mind of Pharaoh and his servants was changed toward the people, and they said, “What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” So he made ready his chariot and took his army with him, and took six hundred chosen chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the people of Israel while the people of Israel were going out defiantly. The Egyptians pursued them, all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and his horsemen and his army, and overtook them encamped at the sea, by Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.

10 When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” 13 And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

Posted in Devotions

Exodus 13 Part 2-God’s Real and Visible Leadership

An amazing thing that Israel experienced as they left Egypt was God’s very physical leading of the people.  He led as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  Those pillars never left Israel.  Each day as they moved through the desert there was no doubt that God was with the Israelites.  God knew he had to ease Israel into being a free people.  He led them away from the Philistines toward the Red Sea. While they were ready for war, God knew fighting the Philistines would cause the Israelites to want to retreat back to Egypt.

God also knew that the Exodus was going to be a difficult journey.  Moses would need to see God’s hand in each part.  God did not mind making His presence known and as the world would see God’s protection for Israel would be complete.  For the start, however, God would make sure Israel was armed for battle and could travel by day or by night.  That was important for them to see and for the world to see as well.
God sent the Holy Spirit to be our pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. 

If we allow, God’s Spirit will lead us, teach us, and comfort us through the journey.  We can rely on God’s spirit to transform us into a free people as well.  We like Israel, need to ready for battle.  This is a spiritual war.  We can be confident, that he who calls us is faithful and He will do it.  We only need to follow God’s lead–just like Israel.

God Bless You

17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” 18 But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle. 19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph[a] had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones with you from here.” 20 And they moved on from Succoth and encamped at Etham, on the edge of the wilderness. 21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. 22 The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.