January 30, 2010

Exo 33-35: God of Second Chances

Posted in God's Character, Grace, Moses tagged , , , , at 10:52 pm by Steve

Have you ever taken on more than you could chew? What your eyes ever bigger than your stomach? Did God ever ask you to take on a task that was simply beyond your ability? We often think so and I think Moses felt like it too. Remember these were slaves he was leading. They weren’t used to making decisions let alone taking on the military powers that resided in Canaan.

“God did you really want me to take on the fortified cities in Jericho, Jerusalem, and Damascus with this ragtag group of misfits?”

But Moses knows something that makes him persevere. “I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.” [33:2]

So Moses, it will not be you who fights the fight, but God’s power. You just have to follow through. The fact that God will not travel with them highlights the holiness of God.

“The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.” [33:11]

As Christian we all have the ability to speak to God like this. To have the kind of relationship that Adam and Eve shared in the Garden. Prayer opens the door to the Kingdom of God, our true home.

When Moses asked to see God he was not able to see God’s glory. The Glory of God is expressed in Jesus. If you want to see and experience the fullness of God’s glory, know and experience the person of Jesus Christ.

Second version of the 10 Commandment. This version is different from the version encountered in Chapter 20.

Why? What is being revealed here than is different from the original?

Share your thoughts.

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January 18, 2010

Gen 46-47: The World is Not My Home

Posted in Historical, Israel tagged , , , , , , , , , at 7:33 pm by Steve

Jacob, the father of the Promise, meets Pharaoh the lord of the Empire. Through the work of Joseph, Pharaoh has become very rich indeed owning all the cattle, people and land in Egypt. The genealogy of the sons of Jacob is recorded so that the reader may know the size of the tribe entering Egypt. This genealogy will become important later when we see how many leave Egypt.

Pharaoh is gracious to Jacob because of Joseph and gives them the best land of Goshen to live in. But even now, at the end of his life and living in the best land in Egypt, Jacob makes Joseph swear to take his bones from Egypt and rest in land of the promise.

I think we all live in the land of Egypt from time to time, but this world is not my home. I have a tie my kids gave me years ago for Easter, appropriate timing, that has a sort of ancient map on it and the words “this world is not my home.” We are the children of the promise and we know that when that time comes our bones too will be taken to the Promised Land where they will be restored.

Thank you God for the legacy of Jacob, a man of passion and one in whom the covenant was lived out in a very human way. Through him we have all been blessed to know that Your love and compassion knows no bounds. We thank you for Joseph and pray that we can be a type of Joseph for those we love and in our own way, save lives through our integrity, honesty, and unfailing faith.

Amen

Miscellaneous Comment

I feel that when God calls out “Jacob, Jacob” He is calling out to the patriarch of the family and settling the covenant that God made with one family, Abraham. “I am God, the God of your father,” he said. [46:3]

This draws this family covenant into a wider national covenant through the blessings of the sons, the twelve tribes of Israel (Jacob). You can see the change in identity happening through the language which does a lot of flip-flops. “Jacob left Beersheba, and Israel’s sons took their father Jacob…” [46:5]

“We will be in bondage to Pharaoh.” 47:25

I often hear people complain that giving God a tithe or 10% is unreasonable and even impractical. Pharaoh does not save his people, but buys them and owns everything. Pharaoh is not a “living god” but a shrewd business man who cornered the market on grain in a famine. He owns his own people and demands 20% payment for the rest of their lives in order to live. Contrast that with God who generously gives us everything and asks that we return 10% to be used to feed the poor and those facing tragedy, like the recent earthquake in Haiti or the poverty in Honduras.  Are you surprised we take God’s grace and generosity for granted and often begrudgingly give as little as 1%.

Pharaoh owns people and demands a 20% tribute.

God give people life and commands we return 10% to help others. Which we then ignore.

Looking back on it, I wonder who is really in bondage here!