Exodus 24–Establishing the Covenant and Leadership

As Moses was being established as God’s leader for His people, God hosted a ceremony with the people, the elders, leaders, and with Moses.  There were sacrifices and offerings .  God literally met with the leaders and elders and allowed them to see Him in person.  He then called Moses up to the mountain to prepare stone tablets of the law and to prepare Moses for the journey ahead.

These chapters are critical for us to understand the heart and mind of God.  They show God’s intention and desire to connect with the people and to grant them the inheritance He promised their father Abraham. God was awesome and awe inspiring.  Still, He revealed Himself to the people so that they would never have to question His presence or power. 

He also set the standards and hierarchy so that the people would honor the covenant and those He placed in authority.  God did all these things as planned and executed them flawlessly.  That is what makes the story of Israel such an amazing quest.  Almost all the troubles and woes they would face were self-inflicted.  God neither surprised them with new rules nor abandoned them without guidance and structure. He wanted them to be secure in His plan and in His care.

He wants the same for us.  He established a plan from the dawn of time to give us access to Him and to Heaven.  We are in the season of Christ’s birth.  He was the sacrifice.  He is the way, the truth, and the life.  NOONE comes to the Father except by Him.  It is not a secret.  It is not a punishment.  It is the greatest gift God could offer.  As with Israel, He simply wants to be in fellowship with us and to provide us with our covenant-promised life with Him.  It is not subtle, there are no hidden exclusions or added factors.  He simply asks us to trust and follow Him. As with Israel, God wants us to allow Him to bless us like none other–that is part of an amazing Christmas gift! Shalom!

God Bless You

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you, and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. You are to worship at a distance, but Moses alone is to approach the Lord; the others must not come near. And the people may not come up with him.”

When Moses went and told the people all the Lord’s words and laws, they responded with one voice, “Everything the Lord has said we will do.” Moses then wrote down everything the Lord had said.

He got up early the next morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he sent young Israelite men, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as fellowship offerings to the Lord. Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and the other half he splashed against the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.”

Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up 10 and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky. 11 But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.

12 The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone with the law and commandments I have written for their instruction.”

13 Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God. 14 He said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone involved in a dispute can go to them.”

15 When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, 16 and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud. 17 To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. 18 Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

Exodus 23–God Makes His Plan Clear

As we have seen many times, God is not subtle or sly about teaching the people.  He laid out the laws for the people and then He told them–trust me, follow me and I will send an angel ahead of you and release the Land to you as you become ready to take it.  I will cause confusion and fear among the enemies, and you will simply have to claim your inheritance when you are ready.

God wanted the people to become the nation of priests to change the world.  They did not need to be war mongers and barbarians.  Go had a plan that would allow them to come, unmolested and acquire Israel.  He spoke to them face to face.  He gave them the law to have a peaceful society, and now He would lead the on their campaign to acquire their Inheritance.  

In our lives, Jesus told us in Mathew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things, (Food , clothing, shelter, peace and community) will be added to you.” God is not trying to be subtle.  He wants to bless us and allow us to have a full and meaningful life. There is no promise of prosperity, nor is there an exemption from trials.  Jesus does promise to meet our needs, grant us peace, and give us eternal life with God. All we must do is trust and follow the Lord.

God Bless You

20 “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him. 22 If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you. 23 My angel will go ahead of you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites, and I will wipe them out. 24 Do not bow down before their gods or worship them or follow their practices. You must demolish them and break their sacred stones to pieces. 25 Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, 26 and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.

27 “I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run. 28 I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way. 29 But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.

31 “I will establish your borders from the Red Sea[a] to the Mediterranean Sea,[b] and from the desert to the Euphrates River. I will give into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out before you. 32 Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods. 33 Do not let them live in your land or they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you.”

Exodus 20–God’s Covenant Commands

God wanted the rules of the game to be clear.  He called the children of Israel to be His people.  As His people, the Lord wanted Israel to worship Him and Him only.  Further, God wanted them to treat others with love and respect.  When one peruses the 10 commandments, it lays out in specific terms what it means to worship God and to treat others properly.  

As for God, don’t put other things ahead of Him. Don’t create gods for yourself, don’t disrespect the Lord’s name.  Make time for Him and for yourself. Treat the ones he has placed in authority over you with respect.  treat life as precious, treat others stuff with respect.  Don’t lie, cheat, kill, or steal.  Finally, be grateful for what you have and not wanting another person’s life or journey.  In short, love God and others and put them before your personal wants and needs.

In the years to come, this same outline would be the basis for societies all over the world.  Funny thing, though, men took these very simple principles and have filled libraries with explanations, interpretations, and loopholes to try to get around them.  God wanted it to be simple.  Love Him, trust Him, follow Him and as you do be selfless, respectful, and kind to others. 

These covenant commands still guide us today.  While Christ is our salvation and redemption, these basic tenants of life still guide our hearts and behaviors.  If we can walk in the world loving God and treating others with kindness and respect, we will enjoy God’s blessing and His peace.  While these behaviors will not save us, they will make life a whole heck of a lot better!!!

God Bless You

 And God spoke all these words:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods before[a] me.

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”

20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”

21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.

Idols and Altars

22 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven: 23 Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.

24 “‘Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you. 25 If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it. 26 And do not go up to my altar on steps, or your private parts may be exposed.’

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.”

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.

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.”

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?”

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.)

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.

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.”

%d bloggers like this: