Tag: Moses

Sunday rest and reflection

March 3, 2023

Greetings!  Hopefully, you are spending part of this day with God’s family in a place of worship!  God redeemed us from slavery to sin to lead a life of worship!  We are to worship personally and corporately.  We come together to meet with God and His family and prepare ourselves for a week of ministry and witness. We come together to hear the Word of God preached and taught by those with gifts of teaching and preaching.  We use our gifts to encourage other believers and pray. The gifts in the body help us to become equipped to do the work God has for each person and the church family.  (Ephesians 4:11-16)

Moses is one of my favorite Old Testament characters.  He was strong and vigorous at 120 years of age.  Evidently the manna and water diet kept him healthy and strong!  Moses was greatly concerned for the next generation.  He wanted them to be blessed and and take by faith all that the Lord had promised as their inheritance.  He clearly understood how their sinful human nature was a danger to them.  He shared that nature and because of his own anger and dishonoring of God would not be able to go into the promised land himself.  Deuteronomy is the record of his last messages preached to this next generation before he died.

God chose the preaching of His Word to be the vehicle of teaching and inspiring this next generation. (1st Corinthians 1:21)  Faith comes by hearing God’s Word!  (Romans 10:17)  Faith also works by love and God calls them to love Him and love each other! (Galatians 5:6) Love is not a feeling, but a commitment to act for the highest good of another.  God’s promises show His love and our faith and obedience show our love in return!  God’s love hasn’t changed!  He is still using preaching to reach people and inspire faith in them. (Romans 10:14-15)  He still desires faith and obedience as a show of our love for Him.   (1st John 5:2-4)  When we walk in faith and obedience and love Him, His face shines on us! (Number 6:22-27)   Have a great day of rest and reflection! In His Love, Pastor John

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Sunday rest and reflection: Moses and Christ

When we started our journey through the Bible, I began with Luke 24.  The resurrected Jesus taught his disciples on the road to Emmaus and again in the room in Jerusalem everything concerning Himself in the Law and the Prophets.  (Luke 24:27, 44) The Law refers to these Books of Moses that we have been reading.  As we take time to rest today, let’s think about these Books in relation to what they reveal about Jesus Christ.

Moses himself was a picture of Christ.  Moses was a prophet, a priest, a servant, a shepherd, a mediator, and a deliverer.  We find that Jesus is the final Word from God and holds the office of prophet and priest, as well as king (which Moses was not).  Jesus was a servant, (Matthew 12:18) the Good Shepherd, (John 10:11-14) the only mediator between God and man (1Timothy 2:5) , and our deliverer (1Thessalonians 1:10) In his character description, Moses was the meekest of men. (Numbers 12:3)  Jesus was humble of heart as well. (Matthew 11:28-30)  Moses was faithful and obedient as was Jesus Christ.  Like Christ, Moses was powerful in word and deed (Acts 7:22)!

In the account of Moses’ early life, he was a baby in Egypt and had to escape Pharaoh’s murder attempt.  Jesus, as a baby, was taken to Egypt to escape Herod’s murder attempt.  Both were providentially cared for by God to survive and fulfill their mission of deliverance!  Moses was rejected by his brothers and as a result obtained a Gentile bride while on the back side of the desert.  Jesus was rejected by His brothers and also has a Gentile bride, the Church!  Moses delivered God’s people from the death angel by the blood of a Passover lamb.  Jesus delivered God’s people from death by His own blood spilled on the cross! Moses was eventually accepted by his brothers.  Jesus will be when He comes again!  Moses led the people and fed the people and mediated their concerns.   Jesus Christ is our King, Provider and Intercessor!

Take time today to think of some other aspects of our Lord that he has revealed to you as you have read these Books of Moses!  May your heart burn with love for Jesus!  Have a blessed day!  Pastor John

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Leaders and those who follow!

Scripture reading for January 24th:  Exodus 16-18

For some reason, I’ve been in leadership positions all my life!  I’ve always felt inadequate and usually haven’t sought a leadership position; others always seemed to volunteer me.  As I’ve worked leading in various secular and church positions, I’ve become acutely aware of my inability to please everyone.  Moses soon learned this same truth!  There are as many opinions as there are people under you and Moses had over a million “followers”!

God’s people were delivered from Egypt by a mighty act of power by the Lord, and then from Pharaoh’s pursuing army!  Led by Miriam, Moses’ sister, they danced in joy and sang a song of deliverance!  A few days after the victory celebration, the Israelites faced hunger and began to grumble.  They blamed Moses for his poor leadership and for bringing them out into the desert to die. (Exodus 16:3)  A little farther into the walk, they ran out of water and began to grumble again, quarreling with Moses.  Their hearts were angry and hard and they blamed their leader, actually blaming God! (Exodus 16:8)

Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, came for a visit to bring back Moses’ wife and two sons.  Jethro was thrilled to hear the stories of God’s deliverance through his son-in-law.  He observed Moses sitting in judgment with all the people coming to him with their complaints.  His advice to Moses was to raise up some helpers to share the load of leadership.

If you are a follower, pray and obey before you complain!  When you grumble about your leader,  you are grumbling about God!  Listen to your leadership and support them by prayer and encouragement!  Don’t test or blame God; He is never at fault!  If you are a leader, raise up those who can help you with the work.  It blesses you and them to use the gifts God has given them to serve.  Leadership is a joy when you take these tips and your followers do, too!  The main one to please in all of this is God.  May His face be smiling on your leadership!

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Procrastination!

Scripture Reading for January 21st:  Exodus 7-9

When I was younger, we would hunt frogs each fall on a late October night.  It was an annual ritual that our neighborhood used to enjoy.  The men would go out after dark with flashlights, spears, and burlap sacks and head for the farm ponds.  The frogs would be gathering in clusters, getting ready to head down into the mud for the winter.  They were easy picking!  After harvest, the neighbors would gather to eat fried frog legs and pot-blessing, play cards and swap stories about the harvest.  It was great food and a good time!

 Moses had decreed a plague of frogs on the land of Egypt because Pharaoh would not let the Israelites go to worship God and they worshiped frogs.  Frogs filled the land.  They were in the fields, houses, marketplace, Pharaoh’s palace, and in the bedrooms!  Pharaoh summoned Moses to ask him to pray to get rid of them.   Moses, trying to be polite, allowed Pharaoh to set the time when the frogs would be gone.  Pharaoh’s answer was, “tomorrow”.  Why tomorrow?  Did Pharaoh want one more night of frog hunting too?  Did he enjoy sleeping with the frogs?  Maybe one of his magicians had turned one of his kids into a frog?  These are some silly questions to ponder but there are more serious ones.

It amazes me that when God offers us freedom to ask Him for anything (John 14:13), we often answer like Pharaoh.  We must want one more night with our addiction or to be sick one more night.  Maybe we want one more night to be angry and bitter.  When we procrastinate, we are saying that we love our sin or problem more than we love God.  In essence, we want one more night with the frogs!  Ask the Lord to help you break the bondage of procrastination.  Sit down with him today and get it taken care of!

“Let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:7

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Holy Separation!

Scripture reading for January 20th: Exodus 3-6

Moses was picked by God to deliver the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.  He knew of this early in his miraculous life.  First, the Hebrew midwives spared his life; they feared God and hid him.  Then God showed his parents a plan to save Moses’ life.  He was placed in a basket and released in the Nile river.  Pharaoh’s daughter was bathing just downstream.  She “found” Moses, named him and paid his own mother and sister to raise him!

Moses grew up in Pharaoh’s household and was taught in Egypt’s schools.  At 40 years of age, he tried to protect his  Israelite brothers by killing an Egyptian who was mistreating them and ended up on the back side of the desert, a wanted man.  He went from a prince in Pharaoh’s household to a fugitive wanted for murder in a story as bizarre as Joseph’s in Genesis.   For forty years it appeared that he was forgotten by God!

God’s delays and detours are for His purposes and our preparation.  When God appeared to Moses at the burning bush in the desert 40 years later, Moses was called to take off his shoes and deliver God’s people from slavery in Egypt.  Moses was said to be the most “meek” of men.  (Numbers 12:3) God honors humility and brokenness.  Moses, after 40 years of separation from the culture of Egypt in the desert, had learned a valuable lesson.  He couldn’t do anything on his own!  He needed God for everything!

Are you open to learn humility and brokenness?  What area of your life needs the most help right now?  Submit it to the Lord and wait patiently on Him.  He will take you through a course of ‘holy separation’ where you remove your shoes and submit totally.

All of you, clothe yourselves with humility towards one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 1st Peter 5:5-7

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Jesus, Moses, Elijah!

Scripture reading for April 1st: Luke 9:28-50

After Peter and the disciples acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ of God, Jesus told them that there were some who would not taste death until they saw the kingdom of God come.  (Luke 9:27)  Luke told the story of Jesus taking Peter, James, and John with Him up on a mountain to pray.  As Jesus was praying, Moses and Elijah appeared there as well.  These men all glowed with a glorious splendor that was like nothing on earth.  (Luke 9:29-31)

Peter, James and John apparently were sleeping during this process.  When they awoke from their “prayer nap”, they saw Jesus and the two men in their glorified state.  As Moses and Elijah were leaving, Peter spoke up, “Master, it is good for us to be here.  Let us put up three shelters–one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (Luke 9:33)  The Scripture notes that Peter did not know what he was saying.  At this point, a cloud came over them and a voice came from the cloud saying, “This is My Son, whom I have chosen; listen to Him.” (Luke 9:35)  After this, they were so puzzled that they kept this event to themselves and told no one about it.

As I ponder this amazing event, several things come to mind.  First, I note how like the disciples I am when it comes to prayer.  They had trouble staying awake and comprehending spiritual things.  These three disciples in the inner circle failed to stay awake here and at the Garden of Gethsemane.  My flesh is weak too, even when my spirit is willing and I often need reminding to watch and pray and stay awake.

Jesus met with Moses and Elijah to discuss His  own departure.  Moses was buried by God after being allowed to view the Promised Land. (Exodus 34:5-6)  Elijah was taken to heaven by a whirlwind in a chariot.  (2nd Kings 2:11-12)  God had these two men of faith come and encourage Jesus, His Son, before His death in Jerusalem.  Moses represented the Law and it’s failure to take man into the Promised Land and Elijah represented the faithfulness of God to honor His prophets.  Both these men were now in Glory and for the sake of Jesus’ followers, were allowed to be seen.  The Father, Himself, spoke confirming His Son!  How God shows mercy to us who are weak!

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A Look, A Word, A Blessing–check out!

Scripture reading for March 1st: Deuteronomy 31-34

I have often told the Lord that I would like to leave this world like Moses, strong and vigorous to the last!  I am a person who likes action and wants to be busy doing God’s will.  When my time comes to leave earth, I want to take one last look, and be gone!   I want to have a successor who will carry on the work.  I want to fight one last battle, give one last prophetic word, bless my church and family, and check out!  That’s how Moses, the man of God ended his time on earth!

In Deuteronomy 31, we have the transfer of power and anointing from Moses to Joshua.  Joshua had been faithful as a helper to Moses.  He was by his side continuously.  He went up on the mountain with Moses.  He was one of the twelve spies and had a “good report” as a man of faith.  Joshua was picked by the Lord to succeed Moses. (Deuteronomy 31:14, 23)

In Deuteronomy 32, Moses composed a song that would be a witness for the people.  God revealed to Moses that the people would rebel and suffer God’s punishment.  This song commends the greatness of God, as the Rock of Israel.  (Deuteronomy 32:3-4) It spells out again the curses that would come when they disobeyed the covenant. (Deuteronomy 32:20-26)  The song promised compassion and healing for those who returned to the Lord and those who remain faithful. (Deuteronomy 32:36-43)  Music has a way of getting into hearts and helping memory.

Deuteronomy 33 recorded the prophetic blessings on Israel and the tribes by Moses.  These blessing tell of God’s love for His people. (Deuteronomy 33:3-5)  The blessings in this chapter are filled with imagery from the recent wanderings.  There is one that I regularly claim:  “Most blessed of sons is Asher:  let him bathe his feet in oil.  The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze, and your strength will equal your days.” (Deuteronomy 33:24-25)  May that be true of you and me!

Moses ended his journey by climbing Mt. Nebo and getting  a look at the promised land.  After that,  God buried him!  (Deuteronomy 34:1-7)  He was strong and vigorous and full of life to the last and he ever lives in God’s presence!  In Scripture, he is last seen here on earth talking to Jesus Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration!  (Matthew 17:1-3)  I can’t wait to meet him someday!

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Moses: BSDD (Back side of the desert degree)

Scripture reading for January 20: Exodus 3-6

One of my brothers is a law professor.  He went to over nine years of college and  post-graduate study for his degree.  My other brother is a surgeon and he needed eleven more years of study for his degree.   God’s ‘graduate school’ sometimes takes 40 years to get the degree!

Moses was picked by God to deliver the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.   First, the Hebrew midwives spared his life; they feared God and hid him.  Then God showed his parents a plan to save Moses’ life.  He was placed in a basket and released in the Nile river.  Pharaoh’s daughter was bathing just downstream.  She “found” Moses, named him and paid his own mother and sister to raise him.

Moses grew up in Pharaoh’s household but at 40 years of age, he tried to protect his  Israelite brothers by killing an Egyptian who was mistreating them.  By running away,  he went from a prince in Pharaoh’s household to a fugitive wanted for murder in a story as bizarre as Joseph’s in Genesis.  Sometimes we think we know God’s plan and we end up in the back side of the desert.   “Where is God now?” we ask. We get involved in life again where we find ourselves, but wonder what went wrong.

God’s delays and detours are for His purposes and our preparation.  When God appeared to Moses at the burning bush in the desert 40 years later, Moses was called to take off his shoes and then go and deliver God’s people from slavery in Egypt.  Moses wisely took off his shoes but made excuses about  going.  God met Moses and answered each excuse  and he agreed to go.   You might say that Moses graduated with his BSDD!  (Back side of the desert degree!)

Are you in the ‘School of the Desert’?  Are you open to learn humility and brokenness?  What area of your life needs the most help right now?  Submit it to the Lord and wait patiently on Him.  He will help you pass the course!  He’s preparing you for your assignment too.

All of you, clothe yourselves with humility towards one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 1st Peter 5:5-7

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Jesus, Moses, Elijah

Scripture reading for April 1st: Luke 9:28-50

After Peter and the disciples acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ of God, Jesus told them that there were some who would not taste death until they saw the kingdom of God come.  (Luke 9:27)  Luke told the story of Jesus taking Peter, James, and John with Him up on a mountain to pray.  As Jesus was praying, Moses and Elijah appeared there as well.  These men all glowed with a glorious splendor that was like nothing on earth.  (Luke 9:29-31)

Peter, James and John apparently were sleeping during this process.  When they awoke from their “prayer nap”, they saw Jesus and the two men in their glorified state.  As Moses and Elijah were leaving, Peter spoke up, “Master, it is good for us to be here.  Let us put up three shelters–one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (Luke 9:33)  The Scripture notes that Peter did not know what he was saying.  At this point, a cloud came over them and a voice came from the cloud saying, “This is My Son, whom I have chosen; listen to Him.” (Luke 9:35)  After this, they found Jesus alone and were so puzzled that they kept this event to themselves and told no one about it.

As I ponder this amazing event, several things come to mind.  First, I note how like the disciples I am when it comes to prayer.  They had trouble staying awake and comprehending spiritual things.  These three disciples in the inner circle failed to stay awake here and at the Garden of Gethsemane.  My flesh is weak too, even when my spirit is willing and I often need reminding to watch and pray and stay awake.

Jesus met with Moses and Elijah to discuss His  own departure.  Moses was buried by God after being allowed to view the Promised Land. (Exodus 34:5-6)  Elijah was taken to heaven by a whirlwind in a chariot.  (2nd Kings 2:11-12)  God had these two men of faith come and encourage Jesus, His Son, before His death in Jerusalem.  Moses represented the Law and it’s failure to take man into the Promised Land and Elijah represented the faithfulness of God to honor His prophets.  Both these men were now in Glory and for the sake of Jesus’ followers, were allowed to be seen.  The Father, Himself, spoke confirming His Son!  How God shows mercy to us who are weak!

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Sin Shows Up in the Best!

Scripture reading for February 16th: Numbers 17-20

Sin is a malady of the human race that permeates all men.  All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God!  (Romans 3:23)  The wages of sin is death.  (Romans 6:23)  Our reading today records the deaths of brother Aaron and sister Miriam.  Moses also is told that he, too, will not be allowed to enter the promised land, but must be gathered to his people.

The first to pass from the scene was Miriam, the older sister of Moses. (Numbers 20:1)  Miriam was a prophetess who used her tambourine to prophesy and led the Israelite women in a victory celebration after the miracle of God’s deliverance at the Red Sea.  (Exodus 15:20-21)  Miriam got into trouble when she talked about Moses because of his Cushite wife.  She was jealous of her younger brother and evidently wanted to have some of his authority.  (Numbers 12:1-3, 9-12)  She was struck with leprosy and was put out of the camp for a week, then healed as Moses prayed for her.  Miriam was greatly used of God and gifted, but died without entering the promised land.

Aaron and Moses were faced with grumbling yet again because of a lack of water in the Desert of Zin.  Moses and Aaron went before the Lord and again fell face-down.  (Numbers 20:6-8)  God spoke to them and told them to take the staff from the Lord’s presence and speak to the rock and it would gush water for them and their livestock.  However, Moses and Aaron obeyed only partially.  They did take the staff, but in anger Moses ridiculed his brothers and struck the rock twice with the staff.  (Numbers 20: 9-10)

Moses and Aaron were rebuked by the Lord for dishonoring Him before the people.  The penalty would be no entry into the promised land.  Everyone wanted to be the leader and many tried to take Moses’ place over the years.  Now at the end of the journey, Moses is disqualified because of anger and frustration that led to striking the rock twice instead of speaking to it!

In truth, God is merciful!  He is teaching His people that the law, represented by Moses, cannot take anyone into the promised land!  It is only grace through faith that can take us all the way!  Joshua (Jesus) is the one who by faith would lead God’s people into the land to possess it.

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