January 28, 2010

Exo 30-32: Reverence and Awe

Posted in Fear, Moses, worship tagged , , , , , , , at 10:51 pm by Steve

(1)   Pay attention to Details!

Assume for a moment you’ve been invited to the White House to have dinner the President, the Vice-President and their families. What would you do? Perhaps you would buy a new dress or new suit, new hair styling, shoes, nails, etc. Every detail of your appearance would be analyzed and if possible, improved. You would arrive in Washington a day early and spend all day getting ready because after all this is the President.

When we prepare to meet the Creator of the Universe do we send much time with the details? Notice that every detail of the Ark of the Covenant is described, every weight and measure of the incense to be used and how often is recorded for the generations. It may seem to be in nauseating detail, but it is God’s way of saying this is to be unlike any other place on earth. It is to be God’s place.

When you prepare to encounter God at worship or private prayer, do you have the same reverence and awe that God if offering to the Hebrews?

(2)  Old Testament example of Spiritual gifts

31:1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts- 4 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 5 to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship.

(3)  Golden Calf

After all that God had done to liberate these slaves from Egypt, why the Golden Calf?

I think that without Moses’ constant leadership and movement they pressure was off and people will naturally revert to what they are comfortable with even that means returning to Egypt. Why do battered women return to the same situation time and time again? Why do people go to jobs they hate day after day? Why do people fight to maintain youth when aging cannot be stopped?

The Golden Calf represents our hesitancy to trust God and have the kind of faith that moves mountains. A faith that has not been tested is a faith that cannot be trusted. This is the first time Moses leaves the people for an extended period of time with disastrous results. If we can create our own god, even though heartless and powerless, we will bow before something we can control.

What is your Golden Calf that when stressed, you will seek help besides God?

What is your greatest fear that would cause you to build a Golden calf?

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January 21, 2010

Exo 4-6: What if?

Posted in Fear, Historical, Moses tagged , , , , , , , , at 10:47 pm by Steve

Moses is scared and who could blame him? Whenever God asks us to follow Him, it will always cause what Henry Blackaby calls “a crisis of belief.”  Faith in God is not worth much if we already have all the answers, all the strength, and all the confidence to complete the task on our own. Faith comes when we are stretched beyond our limits to the point where only God can accomplish what lies before us.

What crisis are you facing today? None?

How’s your faith today? Is it growing or is it stagnant? You already know the answer!

Paul says, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.’” 1 Corinthians 1:27-31 (NIV)

How does God help Moses grow and give him confidence? Through a simple staff, but it was a physical representation of God’s presence and Grace. Do you ever wish you had a staff to touch the Nile River and turn into blood? [Remember the Nile was Egypt’s source of power, prosperity, and confidence of divine blessing. To touch the river was to touch their source of confidence? If you could touch the oppressive forces in your life, where would you touch?]

What physical representation of God’s power and grace have we been given?

Holy Communion – the body and blood of Christ

Baptism – washed into the community of faith through water in the Spirit of Christ

The Cross – a constant reminder that “God so love the world that He gave His only Son…” [John 3:16]

Worship – the community of faith that represents the Body of Christ to the world.

>> Can you think of others?

Aaron – Moses doesn’t go alone. God partners Moses with Aaron to speak to Pharaoh. Moses is the visionary, but Aaron has credibility with the people. This is a strategic move by God based on Moses’ fear and anxiety.

Burning Bush – I have often wanted a burning bush in my life to know FOR SURE what God’s will was that I may walk in it. When things don’t work out as I thought they should, I’m big at second guessing myself. The downside of a burning bush is that it belittles the relationship. God command – we do. God grace comes in Christ that we might know His heart. Now the question is simply “What Would Jesus Do?”

New Testament Parallel

LORD had said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all the men who wanted to kill you are dead.”  4:19

“Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.” Matthew 2:20

Prayer

Father I pray that as we read your word together we will grow in grace, gratitude and faith. Continue to guide us and when we feel we cannot accomplish what lies before us, remind us that You are with us always in Christ Jesus. Amen

January 19, 2010

Exo 1-3: Freedom? For what?

Posted in Fear, Revelation tagged , , , , , , , , , at 8:47 pm by Steve

The Tribes of Israel that go into Egypt

  1. Reuben
  2. Simeon
  3. Levi
  4. Judah
  5. Issachar
  6. Zebulun
  7. Benjamin
  8. Dan
  9. Naphtali

10. Gad

  1. Asher

12.  Joseph  —  Ephraim and Manasseh

“The Egyptians used them ruthlessly” [1:14]

“Pharaoh-type” individuals come in many disguises in our culture. They can appear as the boss of your company, finances that oppress and slaves to credit card debt, health concerns and pursuit of youth, and relationship that force us to act in ways that are contrary to our basic natures. There are pressures to work longer, harder and with less family time. There are more and more demands to run the kids to every event to achieve more, to be more, and have more. This life is ruthless to our wellbeing. We are slaves of our own choosing with no way out, until we cry out to God for help, guidance and deliverance.

What is the Pharaoh in your life?  There are simply some things you cannot do without God’s help!

What we remember most from Exodus narrative is the Charlton Heston version when Moses says to Pharaoh “Let my people go!” We assume that Moses comes to free the slaves, but free them to do what? It is extremely important to read the text carefully. God tells Moses that He wants to liberate the slaves to go and worship Him. The focus of the Exodus is not freedom, if we define freedom as the ability to do whatever you want, but freedom to serve God. Exodus is not about freedom to do anything, but freedom to worship and serve God alone and not Pharaoh. That’s why God tell Moses to go to Pharaoh and say ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God.’” [3:18] God wants the freedom to worship God alone.

I will let other tackle God’s self-revelation of Himself “I AM THAT I AM”

Let me know your thoughts.