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

 

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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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02 Moses

02.5 Moses 2, Day 5

God has already laid the foundation

I have a good friend and brother in Christ who is a builder.  Throughout the summer we met once a week for a bible study at a local coffee shop.  One morning we were having coffee and discussing the roadwork going on outside the restaurant.  I was commenting, in frustration, about how long it seemed to be taking.  He explained to me the need for concrete to cure.  He said that when his crews pour a driveway it takes about a week for the concrete to dry and cure all the way through.  The concrete the road crew was using was about 18″ thick and he explained it would take 4 full weeks for it to cure properly.  Like baking bread, the outside will harden first, but it takes time for the center to be finished as well.  Allowing traffic on it too soon, especially heavy trucks, could ruin it and they would have to tear it out and start over.

I was reminded of this as we read about the Hebrews calling out to God in their slavery.  Like my ability to see the road, they saw God and knew his promises, but their patience was thin.  But 80 years prior, God had poured the foundation of salvation for the hebrews in Egypt.  At the marriage of Amram and Jochebed, God had dug the footings and began to lay in the reinforcement iron.  At the birth of Moses, the path was poured.  80 years would be required for Moses to grow solid throughout and become the prophet God had designed him to be.

In the same way, when Jesus was born into this world, the foundation of salvation for us was poured.  Jesus is our “highway to heaven”.  We will and should groan out to God in our bondage to sin, but Jesus’ payment has set us free.  One day the waiting will be over and Jesus will come again.  One day, the hazard cones and detours will all be removed and we, either still living or asleep in the grave, will rise up and go out to meet his triumphant return.  One glad morning…

In the mean time, God does not forget.  When it says God remembered, it doesn’t mean He had forgotten and needed the Hebrews to remind Him.  It means, they called on Him to remember and He did, He had and He always would.  God does not forget His people.  God does not forget His promises.  God remembered then and He remembers now!

 

My Answers:

10.
a.
king of Egypt died, Israelites continued to be oppressed in slavery

b.
groaned in their slavery and cried out to God

11.
a.
Heard, Remembered, Looked on, was Concerned about

b.
Loving, engaged, true, consistent

c.
Yes, absolutely – IF I pray and wait for God, I have that assurance.  If I take it on my own and then run and hide, God waits for me.

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01 Moses

01.2 Moses 1, Day 2

King’s plans, God’s plans

The Israelites arrived in Egypt when Joseph was in the midst of saving that world from a devastating famine.  Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had a plan.  His plan was to reward Joseph by honoring his family.  He gave them land and work.  He allowed them to continue to live as a separate people and worship God.

But that Pharaoh died.  Joseph died.  Time passed and the plans of Pharaoh changed.  I love the way it is worded in the NIV in Exodus 1:10, “come we must deal shrewdly”.  What an interesting choice.

Shrews are animals that live throughout the world.  Very small, the size of a mouse, a shrew is closely related to a mole.  They have very poor vision.  They are extremely territorial driving away all rivals.  They live their lives mostly in hiding in leaf litter and deep vegetation.  They have voracious appetites consuming 80-90% of their body weight each day.

The contrast between the plans of earthly men of power, the earthly pharaohs and kings, and God, the King of Kings, is drastic.  God doesn’t die.  God’s plans do not change. God is large, bigger than the universe.  God is all seeing and all knowing.  God is welcoming and inviting, desiring to bring all into His house.  God not only lives in the light, He is the light.  God provides for us all that we need.

Nothing against shrews, but, I think, as we continue to study the bible, we are called to live our lives becoming more holy each day rather than more shrewdly.

My Answers:

3. They had been welcomed guests during the great famine because of the way God, through Joseph, had saved Egypt

4.
a. They were numerous, if war breaks out they will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country
b. Oppress them with forced labor
c. (1) The more oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread (2) The Egyptians came to dread the Israelites and worked them ruthlessly
d. Birth control: Hebrew midwives commanded to kill all boy babies born, letting only the girls live

5.
a. Death and the wrath of the king of Egypt, punishment for themselves and family.  They feared God
b. Protected them from Pharaoh and  was kind to them, the people increased and He gave the midwives families of their own

 

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29 BSF Matthew Week 29

29.2 BSF Matthew Week 29, Day 2

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

When I was growing up I would take trips with my Grandmother to visit her relatives that still lived in the farming community where she grew up.  One of the people we would always stop and visit with was Aunt Lea.  Aunt Lea would often start a story by asking my grandmother if she remembered a certain person from far back in the years.  “You know, Red,” the story would start.  “He lived down the tracks from Mary Jo.  Mary Jo had the brother who drove the red pickup.  He was the one who was injured in the war.”  On and on it would go, stretching into several minutes of tracing between houses and neighborhoods and years and events until my grandmother would finally say, “oh, sure, I remember Red.  What about him.”  To which, Aunt Lea would always reply, “him died.”  And that was the end of the story.

Except for the story of Jesus.  This is the pivotal event of Christianity:  That Jesus Christ, of His own divine power, without outside intervention, raised back to life after 3 days dead.  Without the resurrection, there is no risen Lord, there is no ascent into Heaven, there is no authority, there is no judgment day.  There is only life that ends in death.  Death wins.  But the power of the resurrection changes everything.  In science, a theory needs only be proven false once for it to be forever invalid.  Death was believed to be the end.  Death is not the end, therefore, there is more.

That more is the glory that we get to experience for all eternity.  This is the story we must tell because it is the truth.  Holding to a theory after it has been proven false is foolishness. “YOLO and then you die” is not the whole story, because, death is not the end.

I loved the last question about “how would you answer…”.  I think the best approach is to simply ask what they believe about the resurrection and on what facts do they base their belief.  There are only 2 paths: either you believe it did happen or you believe it did not.  Either path requires basis of fact to support the belief and “doubt” is not a basis of fact.

My Answers

3.
a.
3rd day – Sunday

b.
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary

c.
A violent earthquake, an angel came from heaven, the angel rolled the stone away, the guards were shocked like dead

4.
a.
They had just had a conversation with angels, things were not as they were expecting them to be

b.
clasped his feet and worshiped him

c.
“Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

d.
He provides peace.  I can rely on His strength and power

5.
a.
friends: afraid yet filled with joy, ran to tell others, clasped Jesus and worshiped him
guards:shook became like dead, reported to chief priests, took bribe to lie and save self
leaders: colluded to bribe guards and deceive jews and roman leaders
people: did not understand, were confused, accepted the lie

b.
He appeared to many.  If they were inventing a story, they would make themselves heroes not slow-witted group who didn’t understand  and were rebuked for lack of faith and stubbornness

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27 BSF Matthew Week 27

27.4 BSF Matthew Week 27, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

Restitution: recompense for injury or loss.

Recompense: make amends to (someone) for loss or harm suffered; compensate.

In our common understanding, for justice to exist there must be restitution and recompense for wrongs committed against another.  For example, if I break your window, it is only just that I pay to have the window repaired or replaced.  Anything less is unfair and unjust.  Even when there is an act of forgiveness, the need for repair doesn’t just vanish, it shifts to someone else (most commonly the one giving forgiveness) to pay the price.  Again, for there to be resolution, the broken window can’t stay broken forever.

But what about when the wrong is something that cannot be set right again?  That is the situation that we find with Peter and Judas.

Peter knew who Jesus was.  He had professed it through the power of the Holy Spirit in Matthew 16:16.  But during the time that he should have been praying, having been warned that Satan had asked to sift him as wheat, he slept.  Not once, but 3 times.

When temptation came through a young girl, but really through his own fear, he faltered and denied that he knew Jesus.  Not once, but 3 times.

He had no way of taking back that he slept.  You can’t “unsleep”.  He couldn’t stay awake at a different time to make up for it.  He had no way of taking back the words that he said.  Acknowledging Jesus in the future wouldn’t change his denial.

The same with Judas.  He tried to give back the 30 coins.  He spoke aloud of Jesus as an innocent man.  But his action was not so easily reversed.

Neither man had the capacity to “make things right” nor could they ever have that capacity on their own.  It was a dead end road that led off the side of a cliff.

Both men felt regret and sorrow, but only one man made a U-Turn.  Only one man would run to the empty tomb.  Only one man would profess his love to the one who paid the price for his wrong.

Jesus’ prayer for Peter wasn’t that he would live in a bubble and avoid all temptation. Luke 22:32, “But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Turning back is the critical component.

 

My Answers:

8.
a.
1. profession: You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Mt16:16, 2. temptation: Satan asked to sift you as wheat, L22:31, 3. Jesus prophecies, L22, 4. Jesus Prays for Peter, 5. Peter in denial (die before), 6. Prophecy fulfilled – temptation 7. stronger

b.
when I am tempted and attempt to rely on my own strength instead of Christ’s

9.
a.
denial not betrayal. repent not regret, strengthen others not suicide

b.
Acts 2:14, Peter addresses the crowd and converts 3000

c.
regret is a bad or sad feeling. repentance acknowledges sin against God and requests His forgiveness then change

d.
premeditated (30 silver Mt26:14-16 ). Free choice (Jesus predicts and offers bread to Judas, Judas took bread) J13:27

10.
Annas to Jesus about disciples and teaching: All in the open ask anyone, nothing wrong; servant girl to Peter, you a disciple? No. Peter asked if he was with Jesus, no threat, no injury, no abuse, no bonds, just questions from simple people. Jesus accused by powerful foes who want to kill him

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26 BSF Matthew Week 26

26 BSF Matthew Week 26, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

Jesus made the choice to be killed on the cross.  It wasn’t forced on Him.  It wasn’t a surprise.  He made the choice to yield completely to His Father’s will.  And the fulfillment of that will was for His death and resurrection.

But that did not mean Jesus ran blindly into the fray.  He worked incredibly hard to ensure He stayed firmly in the will of Abba, Father.  He prayed intensely.  Not trying to change God.  Not trying to make a deal or to get out of something.  He prayed to completely and clearly understand God’s timing.

The scriptures imply that He prayed for approximately an hour at a time, with 3 trips.  Each time He asked a question and He listened, intensely.  I don’t have any issue asking God questions, but I struggle to listen.  My mind wanders, my stomach grows, my knees ache, and I get distracted.  The spirit is willing but the body is weak.

How can we follow Christ’s example?  We can bring a friend for support.  We can find a quiet place away from the normal situations of life.  We can be focused and keep it simple.  We can not negotiate but concentrate on being fully in God’s will.

There is peace in prayer, a peace that comes not from our own understanding, but comes from submission to God’s design.

 

My Answers:

11.
a.
joy, life, self-determination/will, justice, reputation, Enough!

b.
watch and pray so you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Still sleeping? The hour has com

c.
distress, despair, a branch bending completely to the will of the Father but not breaking

12.
Abba, everything is possible with you, “couldn’t you keep watch 1 hour?” withdrew about a stone’s throw, knelt down, angel appeared and strengthened Him, prayed more earnestly and his sweat was like drops of blood falling, exhausted from sorrow

13.
a.
Abba, everything is possible with you, “couldn’t you keep watch 1 hour?” withdrew about a stone’s throw, knelt down, angel appeared and strengthened Him, prayed more earnestly and his sweat was like drops of blood falling, exhausted from sorrow

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