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365 Challenge

Filtering by Tag: Moses

Something unmistakable(Exodus 19-20)

Wesley Skinner

One of my biggest beefs with Mormonism, aside from being altogether incorrect, is how Joseph Smith found the 'sacred writings' for the Book of Mormon. I don't generally advocate Southpark, but this clip is brilliant. 

http://youtu.be/06jF1EG8o-Q

If there is something so life changing that I will build my entire belief system around it, I'm not going to trust the word of someone who's story can in no way be verified. 

A few months back the History channel aired "The Bible" miniseries. I didn't have a problem with some of the creative liberties they took. It helped tell the story and give emotion to people who were present. One issue I did have was how Moses received the 10 commandments from God. In their depiction, Moses was stumbling up a mountain that was violently shaking and all of a sudden two stone tablets are uncovered from the shaking ground. Moses then marches back down the mountain and everyone accepts these commandments without question. 

The Bible actually gives us a much different picture. All ofIsrael was gathered at the foot of mount Sinai. God had instructed Moses to take steps to have everyone be ritually cleansed. Barriers were put up keeping people from getting too close to the foot of the mountain. The mountain shook violently and was covered in a thick cloud. Don't miss this, this is super important, the law that Israel would live by, the law that taught holiness and became the foundation for Judaism and subsequently what points out our sin and show us our need for Jesus, was not stumbled upon or handed to us from one individual who we were just supposed to 'take his word' about its truth and authenticity. God spoke his commandments audibly in the presence of 600,000 Israelite men, not counting women and children.  

Exodus 20:22 "Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven'"

Something so foundational and important, God made unmistakable.  

Even Moses can't do it alone!(Exodus 17-18)

Wesley Skinner

Delegation is great! There are a lot of times, when Monica has been talking about me, she says, 'Wesley doesn't actually do anything, he just gets other people to do stuff!' In a lot of ways that is really accurate. I'm the idea guy! And I love being the idea guy! I love dreaming big, casting vision and getting things started, then afterward, I love evaluating and seeing how we can improve. I am a great starter and mobilizer, I am not a great finisher. This is where Monica and I make a great team! I can easily get a lot of things started and not finish any of them before moving on, this is why I have read the first half of most of the books on my bookshelf. Monica is not that way, she needs completion before moving on.  

I have noticed this same problem with getting consistency in running again. I want to run. I have a great plan. When I am in shape, I really love to run. But the last time I had consistency was when I was on the cross country team at UAH. Having the team really helped me to stick with it. I have noticed this in other areas as well, I can run really hard for a while, I can juggle a lot of things, I can get a lot of cool things rolling, but unless I have other people with me, I will burn out. This is a lesson Moses had to learn. 

We get this cool picture of battle. A battle is happening and as long as Moses holds up his hands, Israel is winning. But as time progressed, he needed his friends to hold up his arms for him. Then we see Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, give him some golden advice 'The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.'

Moses learned two things here: 

1. Delegation is a beautiful thing.  

2. It is good to have people who can look from the outside in and give advice.  

Random observation: Jethro ate, with Moses and the elders, in the presence of God. 

 

God, the deliverer(Exodus 13-15)

Wesley Skinner

Exodus moves so fast! After reading Genesis which covers several thousand years over the course of 50 chapters, we now follow one group of people(Israel) led by one man(Moses) for 40ish years over the course of 4 books(Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers)! We also see God much more vocal. And as God expresses himself more, one major theme begins to come out, God's Glory!

Lasting ordinances: during the time of Moses we are going to see the institution of many things, in these chapters God gives Israel some lasting ordinances.  

1. Passover - Passover has become the longest continually celebrated festival in all of human history! The is no other celebration that still happens that predates this!  I could write much more about this, look for that blog post around Easter!

2. Consecration of firstborn. This is a really cool ordinance because we see the parents of Jesus observe it after he is born. 

Both of these, God institutes to remind Israel about the mighty hand of God that rescued them from Egypt.  

God's pressence: one interesting thing about the Exodus and the subsequent wandering is the visible pressence of God leading his people. He gives them a pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night. 14:19 let's us know that the angel of God was also traveling with them.  

Random oberservation: I know that it says God hardened Pharaoh's heart, but seriously, 10 horrendous plagues that destroy your country, one of which killed all the firstborn sons, now there is "the angel of The Lord" and a pillar of fire separating you from the people you are chasing, then you see walls of water opening a gap for you to go across the Red Sea. I'm thinking that's a bad idea. How much disaster is enough to get you to stop?!

God's Glory: over the course of this year, I will write extensively about this. For now I just want to mention three things, God hardened Pharaoh's heart for three reasons

1. So that Egypt would know there is a God in Israel. 

2. So that God would be glorified in Pharaoh's destruction. 

3. So Israel would fear God and listen to Moses.  

Israel complains way too much:  They have just seen God's miraculous deliverance and they give Moses a really funny complaint, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?” Funny, but still, have a little faith people! And again, when they can't find drinkable water. This will be a pattern, Israel sees God's provision, but still doubts. Can't say I'm much different though. I, so quickly, forget God's faithfulness. 

Random observation: Apparently, God is right handed(totally joking) but look at 15:6

Cool verse for the day: Exodus 14:14 "The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

 

God's plan and death due to excess foreskin?(Exodus 4-7)

Wesley Skinner

The is so much mystery wrapped up in the Exodus, none weirder than the near death of Moses before his wife touches his feet with his son's foreskin! What's up with that?! Let's start by looking just before that section. 

 "22Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son,a 23and I told you, “Let my son go,a so he may worshipb me.” But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.'"

God's plan from the beginning was to kill the firstborn son of pharaoh!  What a picture of the gospel! For His chosen people to be set free it will take the death of the firstborn son!

Now back to the super weird verse about circumcision. The sign of the covenant God made with Abraham was circumcision, with this covenant Abe would be blessed with innumerable offspring, have a relationship with God and be given a land of his own. A land that is to be holy, set apart for God's people. So much so that later on when Moses strikes a rock instead of speaking to it, he is not allowed to enter. God will even allow a generation of faithless Hebrews to die before giving the land to their offspring. Enter Moses on his way to this promised land,  he may be God's chosen person to lead Israel out of Egypt, but God still expected him to be obedient in all areas of faith and practice. And according to Gods covenant with Abraham, Moses' son should have been circumsized. 

Other random observations: 

Exodus 5:2- Pharaoh- 'who is The Lord?'- demonstrates Pharaoh doesn't know God.  

Exodus 5:20,21- Obedience is met with hardship. Israelites first reaction is to blame God. This becomes a pattern...

Exodus 6:2-5- this one is really interesting, God reinforces his name not Elohim, but Jehovah. He gives a fuller revelation to Moses than the patriarchs.

Exodus 6:15- one of the ancestors of Moses was the son of a Canaanite woman.  

Exodus 7:5- The signs were so the Egyptians would know God.

Exodus 7:10-13- The magicians staffs also become snakes but Moses snake eats them.
 

 

A burning bush moment(exodus 1-4)

Wesley Skinner

A moment we all wish we had, that burning bush moment. How many times have you longed for God to speak to you in some unmistakable way? If only God would appear to me in some dramatic fashion, I could do what He says with confidence... Let's look at the story of a man who had that chance encounter. 

Moses, the man we will follow for the next month or more, enters the picture. As a baby, he is taken in by Pharaoh's daughter, rather than killed, like other Hebrew boys. He grows up with all the Egyptian luxuries he could want. One day he stands up for a Hebrew slave being beaten and kills an Egyptian. Moses runs for his life. He finds a place in midian and marries. At the age of 80, God speak to him from a burning bush. 

And what does God tell Moses in this miraculous way? 'Go tell pharaoh to let my people go! ' Moses, a man uniquely qualified for this job. Raised in Egyptian royalty, educated like the king, raised as brother to pharaoh, passionate about fair treatment to his kin. If anyone is qualified for this job, it is Moses and now God is speaking to him directly in a miraculous way. How does Moses respond? He gives every excuse in the book to get out of doing what God says!

I am always so quick to pass judgement on Moses. This same judgement will be a frequent theme in coming weeks, as I struggle to understand how Israel can turn from God so quickly, time and time again. But, if I'm honest, I wonder how different I really would have responded. Obedience to God is no different for me than for Moses. Sure, I don't have a burning bush telling me to do things, but when I know what God is asking of me, how often do I respond exactly like Moses? I'm not you're guy. No one will listen to me. Who do I tell them sent me. I'm not a good enough speaker. People won't want to give money to see the mission happen. Being vulnerable with people about struggling to have a baby will be too embarrassing. Calling people to go on mission will seem too pushing. Sharing the gospel with that person will end in rejection. Being myself will be insuffient. 

In the end, I wonder, if we are not quickly obedience to God without a burning bush, what makes us think we will be obedient with one?