06 Moses

06 Moses 6, Day 5

God’s People Celebrate God

It is OK to rejoice in the Lord.

Many of you will read that and think: of course it is.  But for others, and frankly for all of us at certain times, we can get so caught up in the needs all around us that we feel too guilty to celebrate.  What have we done to celebrate anyway?  Isn’t it prideful to rejoice in your own well being?  Isn’t it prideful to sing and dance? Isn’t it wrong to party when there is still so much to do?

But it is OK to rejoice in the Lord.

When we rejoice in the things God has done, we simultaneously rejoice in the things He is doing now and He will do in the future.  They are all the same.  In the same way that God is in all places and all times (our past, present and future) simultaneously, giving thanks in free flowing spiritual worship and praise honors Him in all times and all places.  He is the “I Am that I Am”.

What joy there would have been to have been at the Hebrew party.  Not only the freedom, but the shock and awe that this was their God.  This God chose them.  This God, who redeemed them and brought them out of Egypt and defeated the entire Egyptian army in one night with out a single Israelite injury… this God was their God.

This God, who not only kept his word but reunited them as brothers and sisters, as His children.  Imagine the emotion between Moses and Miriam.  His brother Aaron came out of Egypt and met him, but Miriam most likely would have continued to be a slave.  But now they are free and reunited.  The baby brother that she kept watch over in a basket in the Nile is now 80 years old and being used by God in a mighty way.

So, Sing!  Dance!  Pull out your tambourine or drum and take it to your BSF meeting and shake it and beat it while you sing the hymns.  But do it not to bring glory or attention to yourself, but to freely turn yourself over to praise and communion of Him.

And as you sing and as you dance remember: That mighty right hand that God reached out to defeat all the gods of Egypt including the entire Egyptian army… Jesus Christ, our Lord and King and our brother, sits at that very same right hand.  He has full and eternal access to all of that power and He has chosen to take it and turn into into His own sacrifice so that He can invite us back into a perfect relationship with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit to join into the eternal dance of the Trinity and to dwell with Him in holiness for all eternity.

Don’t forget your tambourines!

My Answers:

10.
a.
v6. Your right hand, Lord, was majestic in power.  Your right hand, Lord, shattered the enemy.
Christ sat down at that very same right hand.  All of the power of that right hand is directed through His loving touch

b.
My enemies hide.  They crouch at the doorway.  They lurk in the shadows.  They seek to sift me. But the Lord is my strength and my protector.  Though I am weak and afraid, He is mighty and in Him and with Him in me I am made strong and holy.

c.
By sharing His amazing love with others, through serving, through writing, through encouraging and teaching

11.
a.
Lead the people He had redeemed and guide them into His holy dwelling, protecting from all enemies to be brought into His sanctuary – Ultimately, bring them into Heaven

b.
God had promised it and God had kept all His promises.  Everything God had said happened exactly as God had said it would.

c.
Hope that I can encourage and strengthen not only my own family but future generations to be bold in following the will of God

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06 Moses

06 Moses 6, Day 4

The Biggest Gun

There is a famous scene of the Cairo Swordsman in the first Indiana Jones movie.  After a chase scene in a crowded market, Dr. Jones is faced with a trained assassin, a skilled swordsman prepared to meet this outsider.  In the scene, Indiana Jones watches the moves of the assassin for a few seconds then takes out his gun and shoots him.

The Israelite people left Egypt fully armed for battle (13:18) or at least battle as they knew it from their time in Egypt.  But God had something bigger and more powerful than they could even imagine, if they would put their trust in Him.

He couldn’t just tell them about it.  It was a power they would not have been able to fathom and believe.  Let’s face it, thousands of years later many still have a hard time understanding and believing it. No, the only way was to show them – and what better way to demonstrate it than against the most powerful army of the most powerful nation they could imagine: Egypt.

He placed them into a position that was contrary to any military logic.  He had them wander about to feign a message to the Egyptian army that they lacked direction and leadership and a mission.  Then he positions them in an indefensible camp with their backs to an impassible body of water.  At which point He demonstrates that not only is His power greater than all the gods of Egypt, but it is even more powerful than something the Egyptians put even more trust into than their 8700 gods.  God is more powerful than the entire Egyptian army, chariots and all.

He parts the water and the Israelite people cross over walking on dry land with walls of water on each side of them.  When they have all safely passed, he allows the Egyptians to pursue, but then confuses them so they run in circles and get stuck and break down in the midst of the parted sea, then He simply closes the sea around them, destroying and defeating everything about the army.

Now, that is a bigger gun!

 

My Answers:

8.
a.
God recognized the weakness of their faith and did not lead them through Philistine country.  They went up out of Egypt ready for battle.  He led them by day and night and was teaching them to trust fully in Him.

b.
He put them into a position, by wandering around and then camping with no avenue of retreat, that their own power and strength was futile, but through His mighty hand He provided a safe passage and defeat of their enemies.

c.
Pharaoh and all his army and all the Egyptians know that “I am the LORD.” when he freed the Israelites and destroyed the entire army

d.
I am totally unequipped to minister to those in foreign lands, I am not equipped, I do not speak any other languages, I do not know the culture – I am a man with faltering lips in this area.  But less than a week ago, with 3 days notice, God placed the main leaders of the house church movement in a closed communist nation in my house along with 40 people from that country who are here on student and work visas and God allowed me to be a small part of demonstrating His compassion and hospitality so that He could do His work through the connections of these people.  Buses were showing up full of noted Christian authors, pastors and house church leaders along with non-believers and seekers.  If this occurred in their home country they would have been persecuted and imprisoned for even being in the same room.  Many of the leaders in our home had spent years in prison and suffered brutality and torture in the name of Jesus.  But on this day, dozens of people were on their knees being prayed over in their native tongue and hearing the word of God spoken.  The hardest thing I had to do was the dishes!

9.
a.
the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant

b.
He is truly mighty and wonderful.  He does not need me, but has allowed me to have a part and to see how He is moving in the lives of others, especially the children.

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06 Moses

06 Moses 6, Day 3

430 years and then in 1 night everything changed

We forget sometimes that the Hebrews had been in Egypt for 430 years.  To put that into perspective, 430 years ago Sir Walter Raleigh was having discussions with 2 leaders in England to embark with a group the next year to form the first English Colony at Roanoke Island in America. Imagine if your ancestors had been a part of that first colony and it had survived and ever since this was the only life and place you had known.  Keep in mind, in this Hebrew community, there were no new immigrants.  There was no movement.  The group of Hebrews living in Egypt on the night of passover all, every one, traced their heritage back to those brothers of those bones of Joseph they would be bringing with them when they left.

We have a hard time grasping just how much changed in this one night.  They were on day 14 of the first month of the first year of a brand new calendar.  Then, every first born of man or beast, who did not live under the blood of the lamb died in one night.

Egypt was not an upwardly mobile nation.  There was position, there was rank and caste.  The first born inherited the title, the position and the authority of the family.  Pharaoh’s son became Pharaoh.  The son of the slave at the hand mill became a slave at a hand mill.  And then everyone of those designated to be the successors across not just a city but across the entire nation of Egypt all died in one night.  There was no planning.  There was no preparation or contingency for this.  It would have been utter turmoil

And out of that emerges the Israelites.  Complete, en masse, unharmed.  The Egyptians hand them everything.  All the plunder of Egypt.  All the things these slaves never had was handed over to them, gold, jewelry, clothing, weapons, everything their hearts had desired and, with it, they walk out of the country.

They are led by God, physically, by day and night.

The key point is that regardless of how long they had been a part of that old life, it is over.  The structure of what made Egypt Egypt is gone.  The entire structure is turned upside down and is left without any value.  The Hebrews have left with all the wealth and everything that was perceived as having value.

This is the model of what it means to become a Christian.  The old life is gone.  When you see the light of the truth of Jesus Christ, everything you thought of as being reliable and solid of being of value you realize that it was all a lie.  So what do you do?   You take the step the Israelite people took, they put their trust in God and followed.  But like a new believer, God recognized their weakness and protected them.  He protected them from battle and strain, providing time and direction to continue to teach them and strengthen them and to show them what it means to rely only on Him.  If we walk with God, He will do the same for us.  He will teach us, provide for us and help us grow into the truth that is His love and His Son’s sacrifice for us to be reunited for ever with God.

My Answers:

5.
a.
Drastically cut the population.  It would destroy succession planning  most of the positions of authority were passed down from father to oldest son.  Most of the heads would have died.

b.
When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set apart for myself every firstborn in Israel, whether human or animal. They are to be mine. I am the Lord.

c.
Israel is Gods firstborn son

d.
How I spend my time, where I place my treasures

6.
The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.

7.
This was to mark the obedience of the Israelite people and their descendants, those who committed their life to God.  It was a religious holy day, not just a day of feasting

 

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06 Moses

06 Moses 6, Day 2

Holy days start with obedience

In this night everything changed.  In this night the angel of Lord would go through the entire country of Egypt, not just a single city, but the entire country, and kill the first born of man or animal of rich or poor of highest station to lowest station.

But, when the Israelite people celebrated that first passover, none of that had yet happened.  They were not yet free from Egypt.  They had witnessed 9 plagues but through each Pharaoh’s heart was increasingly hardened.  They still were slaves.  They still had no possessions.  Pharaoh’s army was still one of the strongest in the world and they were among the lowest of the low.  What was there to celebrate?

The answer to that question is truly at the heart of why passover was such an important holiday.  What was being celebrated in heaven and earth was the fact that at twilight on that night the Hebrew people, the adopted people of the Lord God, had made the choice to be obedient and submit to protection under the blood of the lamb.

That is the day God chose to make a holy day (holiday), to be celebrated year after year.  Not the day they left Egypt.  Not the day they crossed the Red Sea.  But, this night.  This night when these people heard His promise of salvation and, although they did not fully understand it yet, they obeyed and accepted His promise.

I believe the same is true today.  I believe each time someone accepts the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and makes the decision to be obedient and paints the doorway to their heart with the blood of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world a party breaks out in Heaven and a Holy Day is celebrated!

My Answers:

3.
a.
I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely

b.
This is what the LORD says… he then laid out the entire plague of the death of the first born, when, who, how, what will happen afterward

c.
His heart was hardened.  As Moses began telling Pharaoh all that would happen Pharaoh said “Get out of my sight! Make sure you do not appear before me again! The day you see my face you will die.” Ex 10:28

4.
a.
Started new, 10th day, take lamb for family, share w/neighbor, year old males without defect (sheep or goats), care for from 10th through 14th, slaughter @ twilight, take blood and put on sides and top of doorframes (where eat lambs), roast over fire with bitter herbs, bread w/no yeast, roast it whole (not boiled), no left overs, dressed ready to go, eat in haste

b.
This was the night in which the angel of death of the lord passed over the obedient households where the blood was a sign

c.
JTB announced Jesus as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”, Christ our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

d.
Yes

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05 Moses

05.5 Moses 5, Day 5

Repent and submit vs. Recognize and negotiate

 Now we get to the really interesting part.  Pharaoh, even with his thousands of gods and magicians and hardened heart is finally beginning to see the power of God’s mighty hand.  The gnats were only God’s finger, but now, God’s might is right in Pharaoh’s face.  What is Pharaoh’s response?

Pharaoh responds in a very similar way that we see men respond each time they come in the presence of God.  One of the things they recognize, in the light of God’s glory, is the sin in their own lives.

But that is not God’s point.  He knows we have the sin.  His interest is not in us recognizing the sin and then continuing to do it.  His interest is in us recognizing the sin and turning to Him to bring change in our lives.

Let me use an illustration.  Pharaoh recognized that God is God and that he and his people have sinned by not obeying God and then tried to negotiate who can and cannot go worship God.  This is the same as an adulterous spouse being caught in the act and then trying to negotiate that they will only cheat on even days of the month or only when it is raining.  It is absurd.  Pharaoh’s appropriate response to Moses should have been, can I am my people come and worship God with you!  The appropriate response is to turn from the sin and back into the one and only true relationship.

But we have all done it.  Any time our thoughts and prayers to God start with “If you will”, we are falling into the same trap.  The question is not “If God will”, the question is “If I truly repent” and the answer is, “then I will turn my heart to God.”

God has already made his covenant – He gave His only son to die for our sins.  If that is not sufficient for you or me to turn to Him, then I can’t imagine Him being interested in making some other deal to redeem us from our sins.

 

My Answers:

10.
Pharaoh and the Egyptians began to recognize their sin
7. God gave opportunity for Egyptians to not be affected, Pharaoh admitted he had sinned
8. Egyptians begin to turn from Pharaoh (we are ruined), Pharaoh attempts to “cut a deal”, Pharaoh admitted he had sinned
9. 3 days darkness in Egypt, light in Goshen – Pharaoh summons Moses, go but leave flocks – do not return again

11.
a.
Letting some people go but not others.  Letting people go but leaving flocks.  He was slowly giving in.

b.
If you will…. then I will or I won’t….

c.
Sure.  When I was immature in my faith and didn’t trust in God fully I tried to use Him as a vending machine.  Send prayers and promises and hope for blessings.

12.
He did not falter – he did not negotiate or give in to Pharaoh.  He stood toe-to-toe with the mightiest earthly king and did not give up any of the LORD’s ground.

 

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05 Moses

05.4 Moses 5, Day 4

 Is all human illness caused by sin in the person’s life?

Is all human illness caused by sin in the person’s life?  At first we may look at that question and find it absurd.  Of course not.  Who would believe that?

Yet, our own sin does cause illness in our lives.  The decisions we make.  The choices of how we act and behave.  The friends we choose.  All of these affect our lives and our health.

Plus there are many who believe in the concept of karma or people “getting what they deserved”  or that through the “laws of attraction” we bring on positive or negative things into our lives.  There are even some (Christian Science) who believe that disease is a mental error rather than physical disorder, and that the sick should be treated, not by medicine, but by a form of prayer that seeks to correct the beliefs responsible for the illusion of ill health.

But if we have learned nothing else from Bible Study Fellowship, we hopefully have learned that the answer to challenging questions is not found in what others think, it is found in the bible.  So what does the bible says.

In John 9:1-3, we see this played out with Jesus and His followers:

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

We also see it in Jesus’ words in Luke 13:1-5:

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

In not so many words, Jesus makes it clear, “I TELL YOU, NO!”

1. No, this is not “karma” or people just getting what they deserve.  If that was the case, we would all get eternal death as the just payment for our sins.  The thought that we deserve something divine because we try to not do bad significantly over inflates our ability not to sin.

2. If we look at others and think they must have done something to deserve what has happened to them, we need to recognize the problem is not with them it is with us.  Instead of falling into a trap of thinking we must be better because we haven’t been struck with illness or death, we should fall on our knees and repent.  They may be sick, but with that attitude, we will surely perish.

God allows illness.  We seldom understand why and often cannot see how it brings Him glory, but because we don’t grasp it does not mean it is not real.

 

My Answers:

7.
They were not affected.  No swarms of flies will be there (where they lived)

8.
a.
Each time he is giving Pharaoh, as the representative of all non-jews, an opportunity to repent and turn to Him

b.
He is patient, full of grace, and has a desire to bring all of creation back as His children

c.
His heart was unyielding and he would not let the people go

9.
a.
People got sick, affected people directly, including the magicians in Pharaoh’s court

b.
Not in that person but sin is the cause of illness in the world.  John 9:1-3, Jesus heals bilnd man, “who sinned, man or parents”,  Jesus, “Neither, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

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05 Moses

05.3 Moses 5, Day 3

 God doesn’t need us, He wants us

God didn’t need Moses.  God could have talked to pharaoh directly, in a dream, through an angel, through an animal, through another person.

God didn’t need Pharaoh or his permission.  God could have taken his people out of Egypt in a moment, He could have destroyed all the Egyptians, sent other armies to wipe them out, sent a plague and just opened the earth and swallowed them up.

God definitely didn’t need the magicians, except maybe for some comic relief.

What God wanted was to reveal Himself to us, all of us, the Hebrews, the Egyptians, all the nations then and all the people now including you and me.  God wanted us to know that He was more powerful than any Egyptian god.  If they want to worship 8700 different gods, He would go head to head with their top 10.  Here is a great diagram of the 10 Egyptian gods that God defeats in the 10 plagues.  God didn’t want to just tell us that He was greater.  He wasn’t out to brag or boast.  He simply is greater and gave us the real life proof of His mighty hand.

But, I do have to admit, the magicians are my favorite part of the story.  They remind me so much of people today who try to disclaim God.  God turns the rivers of the Nile river (not a bucket of water, but the entire Nile river) to blood.  There is a horrible stench.  There is no water to drink.  So what do the magicians do?  They turn more water to blood.  Just what they need – more water turned into blood.  Next come the frogs.  Frogs are everywhere, in their clothes, in their food, on them.  So they turn to the magicians and what do they conjure up?  More frogs.  Just what they need!!!  How thankful do you think the Egyptians must have been when the Magicians failed to produce yet more gnats?

But God shows that He is totally in control.  Not only does he deliver the frogs, but he takes them away.  This is true of every plague and every sign.  Moses’ hand turns leprous and then is healed.  The rod turns into a snake and then back into a staff.  God actively controls all.  He allowed the magicians to add to his punishment of Egypt and to be a part of hardening Pharaoh’s heart, but He did not allow them to take away anything that He ordained.

God is all powerful.  It is by His love and grace that He blesses us by allowing us to be a part of revealing His glory to others.

 

My Answers:

5.

The LORD Moses/Aaron Magicians Pharaoh
You will know that I am the LORD, strike water/changed to blood, fish die, river stink, Egyptians won’t drink Did just as the LORD had commanded, in the presence of Pharaoh and officials, blood, dead fish, stink can’t drink Did the same things by their secret art Heart became hard, would not listen to Moses/Aaron, turned and went into his palace, did not take this to heart.   Egyptians suffered.
Let people go, if refuse: Plague of frogs, everywhere.Made frogs die when Moses prayed Obeyed, stretched out hand over water, frogs came up and covered the land.Kept promise to Pharaoh of when to pray. Did the same by their secret art, also made frogs come up on the land Summoned M/A, pray to take away and I will let people go.But when he saw there was relief his heart hardened and he would not listen.
Told: Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the ground and through Egypt the dust will become gnats Obeyed – there were gnats Tried, but could not produce gnats Said, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not listen (as the LORD had said)

 

6.
a.
This is what the LORD says

b.
Because it was God talking, not Moses

c.
God’s word is the word of God, not the men who wrote it down.

 

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