10 Moses, Uncategorized

10.2 Moses 10, Day 2

Perfect Purpose

We know that God is all powerful.  The Creator of everything has the ability to do anything, any way He wants.

As we begin the study of the tabernacle, I think this point is important to keep in mind.  Every thing and every way that goes along with the tabernacle is God’s intentional plan.  He did not need the people of Israel to bring gifts.  He did not need the gold, precious stones and yarn that they had taken from Egypt.  He didn’t need them to build the table or lampstand or even the tabernacle.  He does not need a tent or building.  He didn’t even need their sacrifices.

God chose to do these things in these ways not for Himself but for the people.  He allowed them to be a part of this.  He enabled them to have the joy of sharing and giving.  He accepted the sacrifices and obedience that they offered.

God did all of this with purpose.  The stated purpose of the temple may have been for God.  He would dwell among the people.  But God was already everywhere and in everything.  The physical representation of the temple was for the people, so they could physically experience God with them.  It was a touch point, not unlike a favorite chair that you might have sat in and cuddled and read books with your mother.

Today we don’t have a tabernacle or temple.  We have something far superior.  God chose to fulfill the promises of the temple through Jesus.  When Jesus was born, Immanuel, God with us, He take on human flesh and walked and lived and ate and slept among His people.  Then, as the ultimate sacrifice, He gave up that human life so that His blood would pay the full price of our sin as a covering, sufficient for everyone for ever.

All of this that we are reading in Exodus was not just a specific design, it was a specific revelation of God’s plan done with purpose.

 

My Answers:

3.
a.
everyone whose heart prompts them to give – not forced, but a joyful giving

b.
Remember Malachi 3:8-12

c.
A living sacrifice.  My heart, my time, my talent, my devotion, my order, my attention.

4.
a.
It is for God.  He will dwell among the people

b.
Christ was born “God with us”, He was made flesh, we are adopted as brothers/sisters to Christ, we will dwell with God forever.

c.
God would dwell in their midsts.  He would look down from above the mercy seat and see the laws (all that we broke) but in between is a covering of sacrificial blood

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09 Moses

09.5 Moses 9, Day 5

Bookends: Bigger patterns – a foreshadowing of things to come

There is an old training axiom: Tell them what you are going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them.  You start and end with your most important points.

If we take a step back and take a mountaintop view of our study of this week and last, this is exactly the pattern that is followed.

Salvation by God: God brought His people out of slavery into community with Him

Covenant: God starts with His covenant – Treasured Possession, Kingdom of Priests, Holy Nation

Relationship with God: He then goes on to the law, the 10 commandments, starting with the most important, the first 4 laws defining our relationship with God

Social Relationships: He goes on to laws about our interactions with others in the next 3 commandments

Property Relationships: He continues to laws about our interactions with stuff (property/possessions) in the last 3 commandments

Social Relationships: Ex 21:1-32 pick up on the laws about our interactions with others

Property Relationships: Ex 21:33-22:31 pick up on the laws about our interaction with property, especially the property of others

Social Relationships: Ex 23:1-9 back to how we treat each other, the poor, foreigners

Relationship with God: Ex 23: 10-19 Are about special days set aside for our interaction with God

Salvation: Exodus 23: 20-33 God will bring His people out of the wilderness into the Promised Land with Him

Covenant: Ex 24 God ends with His covenant.

 

There are some really interesting patterns in this.

1. Salvation by God and His covenant go hand in hand.  This is in the same way that the people of Israel were required to purify themselves for 2 full days at the foot of the mountain before approaching God on the third day.  God provides his promise of salvation first, because without it we could not be a party to a covenant with Him.  We have nothing, aside from His grace, to bring to the agreement.

2. God has placed our relationship with him inside the binding of His covenant.  God is bigger than anything and everything, but He chooses to lower Himself into a relationship with us.

3. Our interaction with property is important, but it is enclosed within our relationship with each other.  The emphasis on establishing a community is at the heart of this entire pattern, both figuratively and literally.  That makes sense in the wording of the covenant.  How could they or we be a Kingdom of Priests or a Holy Nation if we are not a Kingdom or a Nation.  God placed the community of believers, what we call the church, at the very center of the Mosaic covenant.

4. I may be stretching it with this one, but I thought it was interesting.  If you follow the pattern, in the center verse of the center “Social Relationships” section, there is one more item book-ended inside verses 12-18.  12 & 18 are about striking a fatal blow to someone.  Inside that 15 & 18 are about attacking and cursing parents and in the center is vs. 16: Anyone who kidnaps someone is to be put to death, whether the victim has been sold or is still in the kidnapper’s possession.  As we study the book of Revelation next year, I think it will be interesting to remember this verse in the center of the Mosaic covenant and see how God implements it onto our kidnapper, the one who tempted and lead us into sin and rebellion against our Holy Father.  Because, while the fall of man was a fatal blow to mankind, it is not outside of God’s ability to yield justice.

Finally, the people of God accept the covenant and commit to obedience and then they are covered in the blood of His sacrifice.  In the same way, God has offered the New Covenant of Salvation through Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made.  After we accept it and commit our lives to it in words and by accepting Him, then we are covered by the blood.  But, contrary to the external covering of the blood sacrifice at this mountain, Jesus’ told us to drink the blood of His sacrifice.  It is not simply an external covering but and indwelling.

Jesus is in us, but He is also our mediator, sitting at the right hand of God the Father, petitioning Him on our behalf.  And our advocate Jesus, through whom we were given a counselor in the Holy Spirit, has been given the authority to also be our Judge.

 

My Answers:

11.
a.
Jesus – I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me

b.
Before

c.
Drink from it, all of you.  This is the blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

d.
Without accepting the price that Jesus paid as our own, then we are responsible for paying restitution for our own sins, something we are not capable of doing.  If there was another way, would God have sent His only Son to die?

12.
a.
1. Invited by God with Moses and 70 elders to go up, 10. see God, 11. eat and drink (where did the food come from? Heavenly buffet?)

b.
the cloud, what looked like fire, God’s voice

c.
The power and might, but also the voice of God.

 

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Uncategorized

09.4 Moses 9, Day 4

Good Things to the Wicked

We know God is a just God.  We know that He is a jealous God.  We know that not only is He the creator of everyone and everything, but He also is the final judge of the covenant that calls all creation to obedience and holiness.

But we look around and we see things that don’t make sense.  We see the wicked prosper.  We see oppressors grow in power and strength.  We see sin magnified while those who attempt to abide by the law persecuted.

But our perspective is short and narrow.  We can see only the things around us, the here and now.  We are small picture, like the story of the blind men trying to describe an elephant based only on the tiny part they are able to touch.

Our lesson today gives us insight into a larger picture.  In addition to all the other attributes of God, He is also patient.  He promised to wipe out the enemies of Israel.  He could have done this in a single night, but he allowed them to continue as caretakers of the land that He would give to Israel.  To the people of that time it must have seemed as if the enemies of Israel were prospering.  They continued to live in the land of milk and honey.  But, little did they know they were simply the maintenance crew keeping the property up to date through their own expense and labor so it would be in the best of condition for when the Israelites were ready to occupy it.

Christianity does not have a principle of karma, that what goes around comes around or that good and evil must balance in a yin yang.  Christianity believes in God and His holiness and His love.  All else is sin and all else will be consumed in a righteous fire.  Equity and fairness do not come from the wicked being repaid with wickedness (even though in the end the wicked will perish).  Instead, the God who is over all creation has the power and authority to use even the wicked for His good.  Those in our time who seem to be prospering through evil may simply be accumulating wealth or power so that God can then use it, at the appropriate time, for His glorious plan.  We don’t know – but we should have faith.

 

My Answers:

7.
a.
Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong – my yardstick of right and wrong is holiness, not the crowd

b.
Special days set aside for God

c.
God is just, merciful, holy and sacred

8.
Jesus: Phil 2:9; Mark 2:10; Ex 3:2-6; Isaiah 63:9

9.
a.
11 explicit, 13 counting implicit

b.
enemy 2 enemies, oppose oppose you, wipe out 6 nations, blessing  food/water, take sickness/fertility probs, full life, terror/confusiont, make enemies turn back, run, send hornet 3 tribes, drive out>1yr, little/little=increase, borders, give land to you

c.
21 pay attention, listen, do not rebel 22 listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say

10.
a.
He could wipe out their enemies in a single night, but He is building Israel while using their enemies as caretakers of the land

b.
I struggle to invest time studying bible daily but God keeps putting bible verses either in print or calling forth ones I’ve memorized daily

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09 Moses

09.3 Moses 9, Day 3

Make things right

We all understand the principle of restitution. It ties deeply to our concept of fairness and justice.  If someone takes from us, we should be compensated.  Their punishment is insufficient if we are still at a loss for what they took, it doesn’t seem fair.  It isn’t made right.

Simply replacing something isn’t restitution because there are always complications.  There might be a time with which you were at a loss for what was taken.  There might be inconvenience or suffering that takes place while the item is missing.  Even if you are paid back, you still have the effort to replace the item.

So on one hand we understand the obligation to attempt to make things right.  On the other we understand that we can’t turn back the clock or completely make things right again.

This is critical because it is at the heart of God’s covenant.  In his original covenant with Adam and Eve, He gave them life and in return He asked for obedience.  But they chose to disobey.  The only fair thing is for them to give back, then, what God gave them.  But like our attempts at restitution, even that is insufficient because it is counter to God’s original plan and goal.  We face the same obligation under the covenants.  God calls us to obey and each day we choose disobedience and sin.

But Jesus paid our restitution for us.  Jesus lived a life in complete obedience to God.  As a result, he owed no restitution.  But Jesus willingly chose to pay the highest price possible and in so doing, completely restored those who accept His provision.  In effect, He set back the clock to a time when man and God walked together in community with each other.

We, like Israel, have a long way to go in our journey to become holy.  But by accepting Jesus and asking for the Holy Spirit to live in and with us, we are on the path and it is now a toll-free road

 

My Answers:

5.
a.
property rights and laws

b.
a “make-good”, a repayment-in-kind

c.
i.
Negligence and equipment damage, faulty tools, faulty vehicles

ii.
Theft, breaking and entering

iii.
property damage

iv.

Fiduciary responsibility and trust

d.
When I have taken or damaged something of value to another person.  When  my sin against someone can be monitized

6.
a.
Respect and care of virgins, widows, orphans, foreigners, the poor. Laws against social deviants.  In other words, things that cannot be adequately restored (restitution is not possible)

b.
So they could begin learning how to become His holy people

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09 Moses

09.2 Moses 9, Day 2

Stumbling Block

The people of Israel no longer simply represented themselves; they now represented God.  When He committed in his covenant to make them a holy nation, to make them priests, He was welcoming them onto His team.  Not just as spectators, but as fully uniformed members of the team.

When you wear a uniform, your words and actions, the things you do and don’t do, your character, reflects not only you but also on everything that uniform stands for.

God provided Israel with laws and training to develop themselves as a community.  For 430 years all they had to witness was Egypt, but now God was beginning the retraining to set them on a new path to become a holy nation, set apart, to be His people and for He to be their God.  But the laws were not just for them.  The laws also set a higher standard so that as other tribes and nations looked at Israel they saw this was something different.  There was something here that was missing from their nation and their lives.

We have the same obligation.  When the lives of the Christian community look the same as non-Christians, we misrepresent the uniform that we choose to wear.  We face the same struggles, temptations and battles as non-Christians, but we are held to a higher standard.  We are not just held to the rule of law, but also to the New Covenant of Jesus Christ.

 

My Answers:

3.
a.
Book of the Covenant

b.
Because of their time in Egypt and because of the specific Mosaic covenant

c.
Luke 12:48; Ezek 34:1-10; James 3:1; Heb 13:17; Matt 5:14; 1 Cor 4:2; Rom 3:19

d.
Teaching responsibility has made me study deeper.  Parenting responsibility has made me a more conscientious role model

4.
They spent 430 years in Egypt.  He is starting with community as they have known it and beginning the retraining to shape them ultimately into a holy nation.  This does not necessary mean that God is condoning these behaviors (slavery, seduction, etc.), but he is starting them on a journey and training them as they go.

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08 Moses

08.5 Moses 8, Day 5

Fear of God

For many years of my life I struggled with the concept of “fear of the Lord”.  Throughout the bible, especially in the old testament, people were called time and time again to not be afraid.  Yet, in the same breath, the fear of the Lord was encouraged.  How can you have fear but not be afraid.

Then, my dad became sick and was diagnosed with terminal cancer and I finally understood.  I wasn’t afraid of my dad because he could punish me.  I didn’t have fear of him doing something negative to me, not loving me, not providing for me or not showing me kindness and love.  What I saw that I feared was doing something with the rest of my life that would reflect negatively on this man that I loved and honored.  I feared not only letting him down with my actions, but even more so, doing something that negatively impacted the memory of him.  It wasn’t a shrink away fear, but a fear that encouraged me to be better, to do better, to grow and to honor him.

I think that is the meaning inside the two fears that Moses discusses with the Israelites.  We, like them, are chosen by God.  We are loved and need not fear God even though He is big and powerful and mighty.  But, out of love and honor and respect, we should live with the understanding and fear that our lives and our actions directly reflect on our Heavenly Father.  Every interaction we have as Christians is a portal for others to either grow closer to or farther away from God.

While our actions and thoughts and behaviors matter, God also provided for an equality among people.  In His instructions about the construction of the altar He set the stage against something that has been the downfall of many churches.  We and our churches have attempted to bring in art and beauty and architecture under the premise of showing honor to God.  This encourages a reliance and pandering to those with wealth to provide the funds for those items.  But God says that any tool we lay to His creation does not add to it, but subtracts from it.  He says our desire to put God and the altar to Him up on a pedestal does nothing to bring honor to Him, it just puts our private parts on display.

God is to be honored.  God is to be worshiped, but God doesn’t desire or even condone a towering edifice built by human hands “for His glory.”  He is perfectly content in the glory that His creation, (the planet, the solar system, the universe) paints.  God is not looking for us to honor Him by throwing money or art or architecture at Him.  What God wants and what we can do to bring glory to Him is to be present with Him.  By seeking to be in a relationship with God, we honor Him.  Whenever He causes His name to be honored, He comes to us and blesses us.  This is the heart of worship and it is the heart of our relationship with God.  Show up!  Commit yourself, not your money.  Build your relationship, not buildings.  Invest in time with Him, not time in other things so you have funds to contribute to things for Him.

I wish I could spend more time with my father.  But, while he is no longer on this earth, I can still honor him by investing time with the Heavenly Father that we both love and worship in ways that honor him and honor God.  Each moment I spend in prayer, each minute I spend studying His word, each conversation or class I lead that glorifies God the Father honors me and my father as well.  The loving relationship that father built in me lives on because it was built not on him or his strength or his life, but because it was built on God.  That love lives forever!

 

My Answers:

10.
a.
afraid: God is big and powerful but as his children we need not shrink from Him in fear of harm, Fear of God: God’s expectations of His children are high, nothing short of holiness, and we should fear falling short of those expectations

b.
first paralyzes and keeps someone away from God, second protects and buffers us from a nature or inclination to sin

c.
Fear of God – as my Father I fear every day that the way I am seen by others does not bring Him the honor and respect He deserves

11.
a.
Wherever God causes His name to be honored, He will come and bless those who worship Him – connection with God

b.
any gods alongside god, do not build altar with dressed stones, do not defile it with tools, do not go up stairs (flash people)

c.
Our worship of God is to be for the worship of God, not about showing off what we can do or how we look.  It is also not something to be done carelessly or in a way that might be a distraction to others

12.
so that is is not defiled by the use of a tool on it.  Do we attempt to improve on what God created in order to worship God.? Why would we think what God created is insufficient for His glory?

13.
Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you. – this is the heart of worship: Communion with God

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08 Moses

08.4 Moses 8, Day 4

Honor

BSF presents the last 6 commandments as applying to relationships with other people. But, I think it is more appropriate to divide them into sets of 3 and 3.  The first 4 commandments are about our relationship with God.  The next 3 are about our relationships with others and the last 3 are about our relationships involving stuff.  Again, I believe this shows the levels of priority and importance the commandments provide as additional guidance for our lives.  God first and foremost (4-most), others second, stuff last.  But how often do we turn that completely upside down.  Our laws tend to focus about stuff first, myself and my rights second and others next and God last (if at all).

The last three are simple to understand, but hard to live because our nature is so driven to stuff.  Don’t steal it, don’t lie and cheat to get it, and don’t covet it.  We get that, even though we don’t do it.

But, I think we are losing an understanding of what honor means.  We still use the term, but we often think of it as an archaic notion, something mature and sophisticated people have outgrown.  What does it mean to have honor much less to honor someone else?  It is not obedience, although being obedient is definitely a part of it.  The dictionary defines it as “being a source of credit or distinction.”  In that regard, we are to be something of value to our parents.  Something that makes them distinguished.  Something that is a credit to , as opposed to a deduction from, their standing.

In other words, if we honor our father and our mother, we live our life in a way that elevates them and their standing.  Instead of viewing them as the ones we rely on and take from, it is a practice of building them up and adding credit to them.  Is that how we live our lives?  Are we rising to that level of maturity or do we continue to live in reliance on the honor and credit our parents established?  When we speak of our parents is it in a way that gives them honor and respect?

If we don’t, not only are we sinning against our parents, but we are sinning against God’s commandment.  When we criticize, blame or speak negatively of our elders, particularly our parents, we reduce them and reduce ourselves.

The right thing, the thing God planned and commanded, is for each generation to grow.  It is for each generation to live as a credit to the prior.  It is a plan for each generation to provide for and give credit to the former.  It is a plan that is every increasing and reaching to God.  Is that the path we are on?

My Answers:

9.
20:12 – Honor father & mother, live long (and it may go well with you) in the land God has given you

20:13 – You shall not murder – (sin of omission) who am I allowing to be murdered by my inaction

20:14 – You shall not commit adultery – where do I have behaviors that do not honor my wife and family

20:15 – You shall not steal -what do I take that does not belong to me? What is the value of my integrity that I would sell it so cheap?

20:16 – You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor-Do I know my neighbors that I can give truthful testimony of them?

20:17 – you shall not covet your neighbors house, wife, servants, ox, donkey or anything that belongs to them – desire for stuff

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