11 Moses

11.5 Moses 11, Day 5

Take off the ornaments

We have been blessed to have had the opportunity to support and serve an organization in our town that helps bring homeless women and men in off the streets.  Many of these men and women have exhausted every other support option.  They have been to jail.  They have drug addictions.  They are prostitutes.  They have lost hope.

The Christian woman who founded and runs the organization came out of that same environment.  She knows and her ministry is built on the fact that these individuals do not have the strength to get out of their situations on their own.  It is only with the strength of Jesus Christ that their lives can be turned around.  She will take them in, feed them, shelter them, care for them, teach them, help them find work, make them birthday cakes, share life and love and the good news with them.  In return they simply need to accept this gift and submit to follow a few house rules.

One day we were talking with the founder and discussing what rule was the hardest for people to follow.  I was surprised to learn it was the rule about cell phones.  She has a requirement that someone new to the house must give up their cell phone for 60 days and must agree to allow them to erase all the contacts on the phone.  This is the single biggest hurdle.  The reason they require this is her time proven belief that you cannot continue to play in the same playground with the same playmates and think you are going to play a different game of life.  She said that, despite the fact that it breaks her heart each time it happens, they have learned to not bend on this rule.  If someone who needs their help refuses to cut ties with their old life, they fully intend to go back to that old life.

The Israelites didn’t have cell phones, but they had jewelry and ornamentation.  Is jewelry and ornamentation bad?  Are we restricted from wearing earrings?  I don’t think that is what this is trying to say.  Instead, the message was to remove the temptations.  If wearing earrings causes your mind to return to the golden calf, get rid of the earrings.

You may not have a drug dealer on speed dial or a penchant for golden calves, but you may have ongoing repetitive sin in your life.  Are you so foolish to believe that you can expose yourself to the same playground and playmates and not keep doing the same things?  Clear out the ornamentation in your life that pulls you back into the same old things that you regret.  It is OK to let it go, Jesus has way better things in store for you, but He needs you to grab ahold of Him with both hands – not one while you refuse to let go of your old way of life with the other.

 

My Answers

10.
a.
They sought to seek God’s forgiveness for others by offering themselves as an atonement for their sins

b.
Jesus

c.
His was innocent blood, He was God, He gave Himself as a ransom

11.
Self responsibility.  (also that there is punishment for sin and a book of life to be blotted out of)

12.
a.
Before He said the angel would protect them along the way, they angel would wipe out the inhabitants, God’s blessings on their food and water, no sickness, no miscarriage, a full life span,

b.
stiff-necked people

c.
they mourned and took off their ornaments

d.
be humbled in my sin, repent and seek God’s forgiveness.  Make restitution where possible. – Leave the old temptations behind.

About these ads
Standard
11 Moses

11.2 Moses 11, Day 2

Idle spirits, idol worship

Waiting is hard.  It is one of those things that seems like it should be easy.  You aren’t doing stressful work.  You aren’t fighting battles.  You aren’t doing anything.  You are waiting.

But, we grow impatient.  We don’t like to wait.  We want to do something now.  We want immediate satisfaction and gratification.  We don’t know what we want, but we want something.

While Moses was communing with God, the people were waiting.  Clearly they knew that escaping Egypt and arriving at the base of this mountain was not the end-all be-all objective.  But they didn’t have a leader to take them further.  Aaron was not their leader, he was filling in as a substitute – more like a baby-sitter.  So they grew impatient. They were idle and instead of focusing on what was ahead and preparing for it, they focused on themselves and their wants and needs.

They wanted fulfillment.  They wanted gods that would move it along.  They wanted to go now.

They should have been drilling and practicing.  They should have been sharpening their weapons and honing their skills.  They should have been fasting and praying.  They should have been growing stronger: physically, mentally, spiritually and mechanically (tools/armor/weapons).  Instead, they were building idols and preparing for a party.

There are times in our life when we feel like we are parked.  We know we are not where God ultimately has planned for us to go, but we also know that God hasn’t moved us forward, yet, either.  So what do we do?  Do we use the time to grow stronger in our relationship with God?  Or, do we grumble and complain and fill our body, thoughts and soul with junk to try to satisfy our wants and desires?

Waiting is hard.

 

My Answers:

3.
a.
Moses was so long in coming down, didn’t know what happened to him, turned to other gods

b.
He asked for their gold jewelry, he cast the idol and finished it with tools, he praised the idol instead of God, he built an altar, he participated in sacrifices to the idol, he called for a festival

c.
The Egyptians – bounty from the Lord’s conquest

4.
a.
Talents used for impropriety and wickedness, wasted or misused resources.  Focus on self satisfaction, greed

b.
there are no new temptations, just common ones, God is stronger and in charge, no reason to yield.  Use past lessons to learn

5.
a.
“your people” have become corrupt, quickly turned away from commanded and have made idol, stiff-necked, destroy them

b.
Destroy the people and start over with Moses – I will make you into a great nation

c.
As a witness to the Egyptians, out of memory of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, God’s covenant to them,

d.
relented and did not bring on his people the disaster He had threatened

Standard
10 Moses

10.4 Moses 10, Day 4

Priests, Present, Prayer, Patience, Passing the Torch

Are you called to be an active part of the ministry of your church? Yes.

1. Priests: When you become a Christian you are clothed in Christ.  Just as the priests of the tabernacle wore special clothing to designate them as part of a unique group, set apart for special work before God, we wear Christ inside and out.  All Christians are priests, with an expectation of being part of the ministry of the church.  That ministry can take on many forms, such as teaching, counseling, caring, feeding, praying, supporting, etc.  When the priests put on their clothing, it was like a uniform.  In the same way, when we ask for Christ to be the center of our life, we take on the uniform of that faith.  There are no spectators, no one sitting on the sidelines, if you are a Christian you’re place is in the field.

2. Present: The priests were present at the tabernacle every day.  They had days of rest, but a big part of what they did was show up every day.  The incense was lit twice a day, the candle wicks were mended, the bread was placed on the table, the sacrifices were made, the cleansing took place.  In the same way, we are called to show up and do kingdom work every day.  Every day we are called to cleanse our soul.  Every day we are called to break bread with God.  Every day we are tend the light to the world that our candle shines to those to whom we influence.

3. Prayer: When we decide we need to become more active in church, we often start with an assessment of what we are good at or what we are comfortable doing.  But, that is wrong.  Our approach should begin with prayer.  If we trust God and know that He has a plan and calling for our work in His church, we need to also begin by asking Him to reveal that plan to us.

4. Patience: After we pray, we need to wait patiently and continue to pray.  A few years back I read Tony Dungy’s book, Quiet Strength.  He said, “I needed to do my current job well, keep preparing, and wait on God’s timing. I needed to trust His leadership rather than try to force an outcome I wanted.”  He explained that every time he jumped ahead of God in his career, things did not go well.  We need to have the same patience in our work and our job in God’s church.

5. Pass the torch: God did not only appoint Aaron, He also appointed his sons.  I was visiting with a lady recently who asked about the church we attended.  She and her family had attended a church for the past 2 years, but she explained that it was an older, established church and they had not found a place to plug in and serve in the church.  Each time they had attempted, they found themselves trespassing on someone’s established turf.  People serving in roles in the church are often heard to complain that they have to do too much themselves because others aren’t stepping up.  Could it possibly be that we are not actively developing the future leaders to step in?  Could God have something else in mind for you that you can’t step up to because you won’t let go of your current position?

 

My Answers:

7.
a.
God

b.
If try to take an easy, comfortable job, it is blocked or not successful – called to serve in area that would not have been my initial preference, such as working with kids instead of adults.

8.
Titus: We are washed in the saving blood of Jesus and rewed by the Holy Spirit

Galations: those baptized into Christ have clothed themselves with Christ

2Cor: Anointed us, seal of ownership, put spirit in our hearts

Rom: Christ as a sacrifice of atonement – righteousness

1 Peter: the church is a chosen people, Kingdom of priests, holy nation, God’s possession

Standard
10 Moses

10.3 Moses 10, Day 3

It’s a map not an art project

My daughters are very talented artists.  One, in particular, can lose herself in the act of creativity.  There have been many a time that she had a school project for a class such as science or history that called for a visual representation of something.  Several hours into the project, which for most children probably took less than 1 hour, we would remind her, it is history homework, not an art project.

In today’s scripture we look at the clarity of God’s instructions, learn what it points to and remember that he repeatedly said, “make it exactly as patterned.” This reminded me, the tabernacle is a map, not an art project.  A map is exact and clear.  It provides direction.  It records and reveals the nature of things (such as nature).  It plots a specific course and/or points to a specific destination.  All of this is true of the tabernacle.

Each dimension, each object, each article used in its construction was part of a map.  It was a map that pointed to worship of God and it was a map pointing to the redemption provided through Jesus Christ.

 

My Answers:

5.
Bread Table:
The table was covered in gold, the plates and dishes, pitchers, bowls all gold.  The bread of the presence was before God at all times – Jesus at the last supper took the bread, broke it and said, this is my body given for you

Golden Lampstand:
Jesus is the light of the world,  In heaven, God is the light (no sun or moon)

Inner Curtain:
The curtain was separation from God.  When Jesus died on the cross the curtain was torn from top to bottom – the curtain represents his body

Altar:
redemption is through the precious blood of Jesus

6.
a.
make it exactly as planned/patterned

b.
It was a revelation of the temple in heaven, it also was a foreshadowing of Jesus.  Everything about God is connected.

Standard
08 Moses

08.2 Moses 8, Day 2

That would change everything

One of the things I appreciate about BSF is the thought and prayer that goes into not only the daily lessons themselves, but the grouping of information or topics together.  Looking ahead to this week is a prime example.  Many of us would have placed the focus on the 10 commandments.  We tend to dive right into the details of the shalts and shalt nots in those verses.  But the commandments are not the main point.  They are daily application points to help us learn and keep us on the right path while also showing us that our own efforts, no matter how diligent, are always insufficient when compared to the standard of perfection.  But even that isn’t the main point – the aim.

The main point of our lesson this week is the covenant.  You are a treasured possession of God.  You are a priest in a kingdom of priests.  You are holy in a holy nation.  Even though we did not and do not obey God fully and keep His covenant, Jesus did and yet sacrificed His own life to pay the ransom to buy back ours.

Each week in our BSF lesson, some of the questions are personal or application directed questions.  Today we were asked “how have you responded.”  My adult son attends BSF and he has been bringing a young man with him who is here from another country which has been closed to the open teaching of the gospel.  As they sat by each other or rode together he noticed that this young man answered all the fact based questions and the other questions but left the application questions blank.  Finally, after a few weeks my son had the opportunity to ask him about this.  His reply was that he was learning and thinking about God and Jesus and trying to decide what to do.  But, he said, “if this is really true, well, then that would change everything.”

The covenant of God, both the old covenant to Abraham reconfirmed in Exodus and the new covenant through Jesus as we read in 1 Peter 2:9-10 does change everything.  Does our response reflect that fact?

My Answers:

3.
Deliverance doesn’t just mean set free, it means delivered, as a gift.  God delivered His people, with the care of a loving parent, to Himself

4.
a.
If you obey me fully and keep my covenant

b.
1. out of all nations you will be my treasured possession, 2. you will be for me a kingdom of priests, 3. a holy nation

c.
By declaring the praises of Him who called me out to darkness.  By teaching and spreading the message of the mercy He has shown me.

5.
By appearing in His mightiness (something He had been doing) and speaking to Moses in a voice the people could hear

6.
a.
God is holy, He is the King of kings.  he is to be approached with reverence and preparation and at the proper time and place.

b.
We have been delivered out of sin into His presence, justified through faith, brought back into peace through the grace that Jesus personified when He died and then defeated death to sit with God the Father in heaven

Standard
07 Moses 7

07.5 Moses 7, Day 5

God, Family, Ministry

If you are a Christian you are called to be in Ministry Work.  But where does that calling and obligation fit with the other callings and obligations God may have given you in your life?  Obviously, ministry work is important, very important.  But what if you also have a family and children?  Are these things in conflict?

I think that is one of the very interesting topics in our scripture and our discussions today.  We don’t know when Moses’ wife and children were sent back to Midian.  The bible doesn’t say exactly.  In specific terms, the only time reference it gives to this event is in Exodus 18:2: After she was sent, she was received by Jethro.

We know that Moses wasn’t an advocate of leaving women and children behind.  In Ex 10:11 Pharaoh told Moses that he and the men could leave to worship God, but they had to leave the wives and children behind.  This was not acceptable.

We also see that Moses’ sister, Miriam, was a prophetess and had a leadership role in the worship service, leading all the women of the community in praise of God.  There is clearly a role for both men and women (and children) in ministry work.

The Apostle Paul advocates for those who devote their lives fully to ministry work to stay single as a way to avoid the conflict that both obligations present.  But that does not mean and he does not indicate that those who are married cannot participate in ministry work or that they must leave their families behind to do so.

In fact, this conflict can often lead to bigger problems.  A passion and dedication to ministry can bring some to ignore or fail to fulfill their role in their own household.  This, in turn, can weaken that relationship and cause other problems, marital issues and separation and a weakening of the family structure.  That approach is not supported in the scriptures.  The opposite is true.  We see the strength of the joint ministry work of Priscilla and Aquila.  We see the dedication to family members, even ones that are not blood relatives, such as Ruth and Naomi.  We know that God could have brought Jesus into this world in any number of miraculous ways, but He chose for Jesus to be born to Mary and Joseph.

Moses’ wife and children could have been sent away for safety reasons, if they were in mortal danger either during plagues or even when the Hebrews were rising up to stone Moses over food and drink.  But I believe a more supported reason would have been to spread the good news of God’s glory to people who could not be otherwise reached, and then, only for a short time.

Who else could have brought the news of God’s miraculous redemption of the Hebrews to Jethro than his own daughter and grandsons (who would likely have been full grown adults)?  Would he have believed or accompanied a stranger?  I think this is supported in the fact that Jethro returns with his daughter and grandsons to Moses.  There is no indication of disapproval or the action or that Moses was not fulfilling his role from any words of Jethro.  In fact, he celebrates God with Moses and the elders of the community.  Furthermore, he goes on to coach Moses and give him wisdom in how to raise up leaders.  This structure and hierarchy of the people was a part of God’s design and training to turn this group of former slaves into His nation.

In the same way it is wise for us, in our churches, to look for capable servants of the Lord to raise up as leaders, prayerfully and each according to their current talents.  I was visiting with a co-worker who was searching for a new church for her family.  The church they attended was fine, bible-based and God centered, but the long-term members of the church had each carved out their roles and areas of service which they had lead for years.  After 3 years, neither she nor her husband had been able to find a way to serve inside the church in any meaningful way that wasn’t received as trespassing on someone else’s turf.

Are we getting into a situation like Moses where others can’t grow because we have refused to let go of our own turf?  Not only is that detrimental to the church and community, but it is unhealthy for us and others.  Have we fallen in love with serving the Lord or is our love in the Lord?  We cannot even imagine what God has in store for us next if we don’t trust Him enough to cling to Him instead of to a position of service or authority.  That does not mean to abandon the role you are in – it simply means that we shouldn’t be doing it alone, but instead looking to bring others alongside.  Run your leg of the race, but understand clearly who you are handing the baton to for the next leg.

 

 

 

My Answers:

10.
a.
Scripture doesn’t say.  When they had passed through the red sea and Egypt’s army was destroyed to  send word to family., Ex 10:11

b.
When God calls them (spouse and children) for His ministry – when they are going into safety and they have provision

11.
a.
He was delighted, praised God and brought a burnt offering and other sacrifices to God, ate with the elder in God’s presence

b.
How God has rescued us and blessed us with His grace

12.
a.
He was not raising up other leaders by delegating work.  He was trying to do it all Himself.

b.
Can’t be all things – Moses role was to be the people’s representative before God, select capable men to also serve

c.
capable men from among the people – men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain

d.
the people of the tribes of Israel

e.
To be a capable man from among His followers and for Him to continue to show me how He would have me serve

 

Standard
07 Moses 7

07.3 Moses 7, Day 3

Being Blind

There was a verse in today’s reading that both shocked me and humbled me.  Exodus 17:7, “Moses named the place Massah (which means “test”) and Meribah (which means “arguing”) because the people of Israel argued with Moses and tested the LORD by saying, “Is the LORD here with us or not?” (NLT)

Here is why this was so shocking to me.  In Exodus 13:21-22 we read, “By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.  Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.”  These people were living day and night in the physical, visible presence of God in His shekinah glory in the pillar, 24x7x365 and they are blind.  “Is the LORD here with us or not?”

They see themselves.  They see their thirst and their physical needs.  They see Moses and Aaron.  But they don’t see God.  How is that even possible?

When they have physical needs, they don’t turn to the source of all power who has saved them and brought them out of Egypt.  They turn first to Moses.

But then my eyes were opened to how I act the same way.  When I am sick or hurting, I turn first to doctors and medicine.  When they are not able to help me, then I turn to God in prayer.  I’m walking with God every day and reading His word, but my approach is completely backward.  I’m not saying God wouldn’t use a doctor or medicine to help and heal me, He works in both ordinary and miraculous ways, but where am I turning first and where as a last resort?

We foster this blindness even in church. “If anyone is in need of prayer…”  Aren’t we all in need of prayer?  We need to continue to lift the blindness and see that God is present with us just as He was with the Hebrew people in the wilderness.  We should turn to Him first and then allow Him to work in and through whomever He chooses for His glory.

My Answers:

6.
a.
quarreled – accused him of not giving them water to drink

b.
Because he did not now have nor had he ever had power to provide water to drink, only God had that power

c.
Told Moses to go in front of people, take the elders, take the staff, I will stand before you by rock of Horeb, strike the rock adn water will come out of it for the people to drink

d.
Jesus is the provider and source of the living water.  He is the rock from which that water flows

7.
a.
3 and none.  15:24 drink, 16:2-3 food, 17:3 drink

b.
Who I turn to first – Israel turned to Moses – I turn to doctors & other people of authority

Standard