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Showing posts from February 2, 2014

Deep Meaning

Now safely through the Red Sea, Moses leads the Israelites to Mt. Sinai where God gives him the Ten Commandments and instructs him in how to build the Tabernacle. We have discussed its fixtures previously in a Today's Word but let's dig deeper into the elements that were used to create the Tabernacle. What would this Tabernacle have looked like if man had imagined it? With his limited knowledge of God and long history in Egypt, it would have been more about man than God. So, in Exodus 25-28 God directs with preciseness and specificity exactly how the Tabernacle is to be formed. The wood used in it was to be acacia wood. This was plentiful, a hard wood and a close-grained wood. It would be durable and strong, unaffected by the changing weather. The metals were gold, silver, brass and there were precious stones used in the garments of the priests. These were gathered from what the people owned and what they were given by the Egyptians upon their departure. These were of high va…

The Throne of God

There has been much speculation about what the throne of God looks like but in the Old and New Testament there are specific descriptions of the throne in heaven and its surroundings. As the people of Israel begin to set up their religious practices at the base of Mt. Sinai and before the Ten Commandments have been given to Moses, God meets with its leaders. "Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself." (Exodus 24:9-10) This is approximately 1,440 B.C. John writing the book of Revelation in 95 A.D. is taken up into heaven and sees "before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal." (Revelation 4:6) Two experiences 1,535 years apart reveal the same pavement around the throne of God. Further, John stated, "there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sa…

Walking in the "Light"

Most of us turn on the light in a dark room before we walk into it. We understand that walking in the dark can cause us to stub a toe, bang up a leg or even stumble. It is important to walk in the "light" as believers. This means walking in fellowship with God. John spoke of this in 1 John when he said, "God is light….if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin." (1 John 1:5, 7) There is much to be gained by walking around in the "light." John explains what the response is when we walk in God's light. One, we recognize and confess the sins we do commit and God forgives us. Two, we obey God's commandments understanding they are boundaries meant to help us not to harm us. Third, we love other believers by responding to them helpfully. Fourth, we separate our self from loving the world and from false teacher who by their words and actions deny Jesus as…

Ten Commandments

The instructions of the Ten Commandments have spoken to the heart of man for over 3,400 years. Yes, they are that old, written in stone by God as the people of Israel were exiting Egypt. Mount Sinai, in the middle of the now Saudi Arabian desert, was the location of their writing. They are like a door hinge which has three parts: one, is fastened to the frame; one is fastened to the door itself; and a pin is used to tie the two together. The first, fastened to the frame, is four commands concerning God: Have no other gods before MeMake no idols in the form of anythingDo not misuse the name of GodKeep the Sabbath day setting it apart from other days The second, fastened to the door, is five commands concerning neighbors: Do not murderDo not commit adulteryDo not stealDo not give false witnessDo not covet anything of your neighbor's The pin in the hinge is commandment number five which as the illustration implies holds the two parts together. Your relationshi…

Practice What You Preach

Do you tell others to do certain things yet do not do them yourself? Are you living a holistic life where words and actions align? Jesus is in the prime of his ministry and crowds are gathering around him among whom are the Pharisees when he points out to everyone "you must obey them [Pharisees] and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach." (Matthew 23:3) The Pharisees quoted or read Scripture to the masses and that's why Jesus said "obey them and do everything they tell you." But when you looked at the Pharisee's life they did not do what the Scriptures said so Jesus tells the people not to follow them in their actions. Sounds familiar doesn't it. Someone, a parent, co-worker or leader at your church, has shared this idea with you, haven't they? That is, to do what they say not what they do because what they do does not align with what they say. This is one of the hardest truths to live ou…

Grumbling

As the waters of the Red Sea return to their original state and the army of Pharaoh disappears beneath them the Israelite's fear turns to joy. Miriam, Moses' sister, begins to dance and sing a song of deliverance and the whole camp joins in. "Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea." (Exodus 15:21) This was a memorable event. But the memory of the people is very short for they travel only three days (33 geographical miles) into the Desert of Shur when upon finding water for the first time, it is undrinkable. Instead of remembering how God had delivered them through the Red Sea and trusting Him for water, they begin to grumble against Moses by saying, "What are we to drink?" (15:24) God hears them and tells Moses to throw a piece of wood into the water and when he obeys "the water became sweet." (15:25) You'd think they had learned their lesson but just over forty days later they are grumb…