January 28

 

Watch Exodus 21-40 video  Watch an overview of Exodus 19-40

We’ve read a lot of instructions this week. We have read instructions concerning Israel leaving Egypt, crossing the Red Sea, eating manna, battle plans against the Amalekites, preparation for Moses to meet with God, the Ten Commandments, civil and ceremonial laws, and specific instructions for building the Tabernacle. Again, we ask the question, “What does all of this have to do with us?” Let me mention just a few reasons for these instructions for your meditation.

First, these instructions will help Israel later commemorate what God has done for them. Two examples come to mind. They are to participate in the Festival of Unleavened Bread so as to be an annual reminder that they “came out of Egypt.” In addition, they were to give over to the LORD the firstborn male of their livestock. Of course, this would remind Israel that God had spared their firstborn.

The second reason for the specific instructions is that God is creating in Israel an atmosphere of total dependence on God. The daily provision of manna and the instructions that come with manna are good examples of this dependence upon God. Israel would have to learn to depend totally on God for their survival. This lesson in dependence begins immediately for Israel.

Third, God gives some of these laws to simply create a more orderly society. Some say rules are no fun and are too binding. However, remove rules from any society or any game and the result is always chaos.

Fourth, the laws communicate the holiness of God. The temple is elaborate, but God is holy. He is set apart from all other things and beings. The majesty of the Tabernacle helps us to understand this.

Finally, the laws cause us to realize our need for Christ. The law was inadequate in bringing us to God. The inability of Israel to follow the laws of God paves the way for Christ to come and bridge the gap of our sinfulness and God’s holiness.

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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January 27, Exodus 25-27

 

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Watch Exodus 21-40 video  Watch an overview of Exodus 19-40

Here is why I am a believer in a systematic approach to the reading of God’s Word.  If I had not read Exodus 11 just a few days ago, I might have found myself wondering where the Israelites got the gold and silver to bring as an offering to God for the building of the Tabernacle. But, because I just read Exodus 11, I remember that God told Israel to ask their neighbors for the silver and gold articles.  We may not always realize why God asks us to do certain things, but we must always obey.  Sooner or later, we will be glad we obeyed.

The details of the Tabernacle seem overwhelming to us, but the continuing lesson of Exodus thus far is to follow God.  I trust that today finds you following God.

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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January 26, Exodus 21-24

 

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Watch Exodus 21-40 video  Watch an overview of Exodus 19-40

This may be the first day that you question whether you really need or want to be reading through the Bible.  You may be wondering what all these laws have to do with you.  “All good questions” is my response. My encouragement is to look for one verse that really speaks to you. You may be surprised to find more than one.  (Give me a call if it is 23:19b.  We need to talk.)

Here is mine:  Exodus 23:2, especially the first part.  We need to be reminded to not follow the crowd.  We have so many opportunities.  It is so much easier to follow the crowd than to stand for what God wants us to do.

Thank you, LORD, for this reminder that I’m going to have an opportunity to follow the crowd today to do wrong.  Give me the courage, no matter the price, to not follow the crowd to do wrong.

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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January 25, Exodus 19-20

 

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Watch Exodus 1-20 video  Watch an overview of Exodus 19-40

Stay with me today.  I am going to share a thought that I have never really had before now.  I am hesitant to share the thought, but part of my strategy in sharing these daily thoughts is to just write the first thing that comes to my mind.  My hesitancy to share this thought is that “pride comes before the fall.”  Some might take my thought to be prideful, but I don’t mean it that way, I trust.Ready.  Here’s my thought. When you really get down to looking at these Ten Commandments, God really isn’t asking us to do anything all that difficult.  Think about it.  Let’s break them down from easiest to keep to more difficult to keep.Don’t murder, Don’t commit adultery, Don’t steal, and Don’t lie.  Yes, a lot of people do, but are these commandments all that difficult to keep?  (Yes, I understand that Jesus expounded on murder and adultery to include attitudes toward people and lust as murder and adultery of the heart, but just stay with me.) These are just commands that any decent human being ought to keep.We are down to six already.  Misusing the LORD’s name—As a Christian, I am disgusted when I hear my LORD’s name taken in vain. I don’t want to have any part of this.  Honoring father and mother—The older that I am and the longer that I am the parent, the more that I want to honor my parents in all that I do.  Keeping the Sabbath—Call me crazy, but I kind of like the idea of being given the freedom and permission to give myself rest.

Wow!  We are down to three already.  Two are similar in the way they tempt us.  No other gods and no other idols.  The last one deals with coveting something from someone else. What is the most difficult command for you to follow?  Pray about it today and remember that the LORD’s commands really are not all that difficult.  Not sure?  Check out 1 John 5:3.

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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January 24, Exodus 16-18

 

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Watch Exodus 1-20 video  Watch an overview of Exodus 1-18

As I indicated yesterday, we continue to see Israel doubt the power of God, though He shows Himself to them in great glory.  God displays His patience with Israel by providing manna and quail to eat.  In addition, we see some rather personal accounts of Moses.  First, we see God give victory to Israel over the Amalekites.  Moses’ part is to hold the staff of God in the air.  When the staff is in the air, Israelprevails; when the staff is down, Amalek prevails.  The lesson?  Israelcan only prevail with the power of God.  The other interesting lesson in this story is how Aaron and Hur held Moses’ hands in the air.  What a wonderful picture of how we need others to come along side of us and help us.  We continue to see this principle at work in chapter 18 as Moses’ father-in-law gives some very prudent advice to Moses.  The advice is to choose some people who can help him be administrator over the people.   Ask God today to put the right people in your life to help you to do the work that God has called you to do.

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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