Putting God's Word into Practice…

Exodus 21-29

Chapter 21

  • Right when I thought that I would just be reading a bunch of facts and details and not get anything personal.  God starts off my reading with a very special passage to my heart!  A slave could be set free, but if he said, “I love my master and don’t want to go free,” the master would pierce his ears to show that he belonged to the master forever.  Oh, Lord, how I love you, my Master!  I don’t want to go away from you ever!  I want to be near You, in Your service, all the days of my life.  Pierce my ear for you!  I’m Yours!

Chapter 22-23

  • Justice if found when we draw near to God.
  • Care for widows and orphans and sojourners!
  • God is compassionate.
  • Offer gifts to God out of the fullness and abundance He has given.
  • “Many” do evil.  Do not fall in with them!
  • God orders plans for our rest and refreshment.
  • The Lord sent a representative before the people to guard them and bring them to the place He had prepared for them.  (Like sending Jesus to us, and leaving His Spirit with us!)
  • Obey the “representative,” Pay attention!
  • God would blot out their enemies in a way that was methodical and calculated and in their best interest–even if it seemed slow.

Chapter 24

  • The people committed to obedience.
  • They beheld God!
  • God wrote the instructions.
  • The glory of the Lord dwelt on the mountain.

Chapter 25-27

  • Contributions for the sanctuary were given by hearts that were moved to give.
  • The Lord wanted to dwell in the midst of His people…amazing!
  • I don’t know why, but I found myself silently crying as I read the detailed, glorious, and beautiful specifications the Lord laid out for His dwelling place.
  • His place would be on the mercy seat!  Mercy!!!  Where would we be without it!

Chapter 28-29

  • The Lord filled people with a “spirit of skill” to be used on His sanctuary.  Just like He gives gifts today to be used for the building up and beautification of His body!
  • Priests were to be anointed, ordained, and consecrated as “Holy to the Lord!”
  • Many offerings:  sin, food, wave, peace, and drink.
  • Sanctification comes through the glorious presence of the Lord.  Even in my heart!
  • “I will consecrate,” “I will dwell,” God is the author and perfecter of faith!  He is the one who cleanses and sets apart His people.  He is the one who wants to dwell with us.  He wants to be our God and for us to be His people.  It’s all His idea!
  • He consecrates people so they can serve Him…I am set apart to serve the Lord!
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Exodus 18-20

Chapter 18

  • Jethro “HEARD” about what GOD HAD DONE for Moses and the Israelites and went to see and hear for himself.
  • Moses told him the whole story of God’s power and glory to rescue His people.
  • Jethro rejoiced for all the good the Lord had done in delivering His people.
  • No one is meant to serve people on behalf of the Lord alone.  It’s not healthy or wise.  Trustworthy men who fear the Lord need to serve together.  This is how servants of the Lord endure and peace reigns in the body of God’s people.

Chapter 19

  • Wilderness, wilderness, wilderness…over and over again…reminders that is where the people lived!  It’s where they experienced God.
  • “For all the earth is mine!” Don’t ever forget that!
  • Consecrate–dedicate or set apart for a divine purpose.
  • Where the Lord is, there is power!

Chapter 20

  • Because He is Lord and because they have been delivered from slavery then He has every right to set the rules and enforce them.
  • He must be God alone in our hearts and actions.
  • He is a jealous God–He wants all my heart!  All my worship! All my service!
  • Please show steadfast love to my family line to the thousandth generation unless you return first!
  • Rest is holy
  • The fear of the Lord keeps us from sinning.
  • Altar of stone must not be hewn…we can’t take anything the Lord made and make it more worthy of beautiful for him.  He makes all things well!
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Exodus 12-17

Chapter 12

  • Verse 3, “…a lamb for a household.”  This was the requirement for escaping the plague of death.  The sacrifice of one lamb for a household.  It reminded me of Acts 16:31 where the jailer asks Paul what he must do to be saves, and Paul answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (The Lamb of God) and you shall be saved, you and your household.”
  • The covering of the lamb’s blood is what saved the Israelite from death plague.
  • They used hyssop to spread the blood.  Hyssop is known for it’s cleansing properties.
  • The Passover should be celebrated for all time as a testimony to the next generation of the saving power of the sacrifice and blood of the Lamb…a reminder of deliverance.
  • The people worshipped!
  • Total deliverance–“all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.” ALL!  Only God can do that!

Chapter 13

  • The recurring phrase, “by a strong hand the Lord brought you out of Egypt (slavery)  The Lord’s hand is strong and mighty.  It is a refuge and comfort to His people and a dread to His enemies.
  • The Lord led His people around by way of wilderness instead of into war.  Sometimes God leads us in to the wilderness because He knows it is safer for us spiritually than to go to battle.  Sometimes the wilderness is for our protection.
  • God hemmed them in with His glory–a cloud in day and fire in night.  And he did not depart from them.

Chapter 14

  • Then God told Moses to tell the people to turn back.  God always gives the right direction even when it feels like it doesn’t make sense.  He is working on a plan for our deliverance and His glory.
  • When the Israelites saw the Egyptians coming after them, they feared greatly.  And they cried out to the Lord.  But they cried out to Him with fear and grumbling. Fear is a common and acceptable response to being pursued by the enemy…Crying out to the Lord in trust, not in grumbles should be our next response.
  • “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for your today….the Lord will fight for you, you have only to be silent.”
  • The Lord tells the people to “go forward.” When they obeyed this direction even though it didn’t make sense, they were all delivered across dry ground on the Red Sea while the Egyptian army was desecrated. The Lord received all the glory.
  • The people feared the Lord and believed in Him.

Chapter 15

  • What was their response to this deliverance and salvation? Singing!  They sang praise and worship to the Lord for His glorious triumph, for his strength and salvation, for his power and majesty, for his uniqueness and holiness, for his awesome wonders and steadfast love, for his redemption and guidance, for his reign and rule over all things forever.
  • They walked for three days after this worship service and only found bitter water.  The people grumbled to Moses and he went to the Lord for guidance.  Using a tree, the bitter water became sweet.  Oh Lord, do it in my heart.  Use the cross in my life to make anything bitter-tasting in me into sweetness!  So I can bless and refresh others.
  • The Lord called himself their Healer.  He promised to keep them healthy if they would walk in obedience, listen to the Lord and do what is right.
  • Then he brought them to a place with 12 springs of water.  More than enough!!!

Chapter 16

  • The whole congregation set out for a new wilderness, and they grumbled against Moses.  (I’m sure they thought the land with 70 palm trees and 12 springs was pleasant and good enough. I wonder how often I buck the new wilderness on the way to something better because I think what I have is good enough?)
  • They said they would rather have died in Egypt and then said to Moses, “You brought us out…”  Their anger and grumbling was misplaced!  Moses didn’t bring them out, God did!  Their anger and complaints were really leveled at Him!
  • In spite of their grumbling, the Lord showed them His glory again. He sent them meat and manna.  Morning by morning they gathered manna!  This is what it means to have “daily bread.”  We trust God to provide each day.
  • They had to get up!!! to get their manna!  It melted away with the sun.  If they missed the manna, they missed their meal.
  • They ate manna for 40 years.  Morning by morning the faithful mercy, steadfast love, and provision of their Deliverer.

Chapter 17

  • The people grumbled against Moses again, and said, “Why’d YOU bring us up out of Egypt?” They didn’t have any water!
  • The Lord stood before them on the rock, Moses struck the rock, and water gushed out for all the people.
  • They tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”  Bitter water made sweet, manna, healing, cloud/pillar of fire, etc…and they still had a hard time believing that they were in the presence of God–that He was with them constantly.  I’m not judging them.  I often overlook the presence of God when I fixate on my circumstances.
  • Their first battle was against Amalek.  Moses stood with the staff in the air, with the help of some friends when he got weary, and as long as the staff was in the air, the Lord’s army prevailed on the enemy.  They were victorious.
  • The Lord is my Banner–Yahweh Nissi.  He unifies His people when we come under his protection, leadership, and direction.
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Exodus 6-11

Chapter 6

  • Chapter 5 left off with Moses asking the Lord why he sent him to the Israelites if he was just going to let evil happen to them and they were getting the opposite of deliverance.
  • BUT THE LORD…always pay attention to this phrase in Scripture.  Often when we think we know what is going on, we don’t know what He is doing.  He is about to blow their minds with His might and glory.
  • God Almighty puts Moses on a first name basis!  “I am the LORD.” is stated numerous times in the next few chapters.  God wants people to know Him and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is the one delivering them.
  • God made many promises to the Israelites, but they didn’t listen because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.  (This is also why so many of God’s people don’t listen to truth today…don’t believe His promises.)

Chapter 7

  • Why was the Lord going to put so much pain and suffering in Egypt? SO that the people would know that He is the Lord.  He is always working to make sure His glory is revealed and His name is known.
  • Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord commanded…full obedience! Their obedience didn’t change Pharaoh’s heart or allow them quick deliverance…but it opened up the path for them to see the mighty miracles of God and to have Him produce the miracles through them.
  • Every miracle required a staff…a staff is just a piece of wood!  No power in the wood, no power in the man’s hand holding the wood.  The power was in the Lord delivered through man’s belief and obedience.
  • “Let my people go THAT THEY MAY SERVE ME IN THE WILDERNESS.”  Serve in the wilderness?  We serve the Lord wherever He calls us to serve and worship Him!

Chapter 8

  • There is no one like OUR God! (vs. 10)
  • When Pharaoh saw respite, he hardened his heart.  Isn’t that how it is for us?! When the Lord releases us from our suffering, we turn back to ourselves and our desires.
  • “That you may know that the Lord is in the midst of the earth.”  He wants them to know more about Him and His rule.  Not just that He is the Lord, but that He is near!
  • Moses’ prayer moved the hand of God to relent.

Chapter 9

  • “That you may know that there is NO ONE like me in all the earth.”  Zeroing in on His glory and supremacy!
  • The Lord shares His purposes in all these plagues with Pharaoh in vs. 16…”BUT FOR THIS PURPOSE I HAVE RAISED YOU UP TO SHOW YOU MY POWER SO THAT MY NAME MAY BE PROCLAIMED IN ALL THE EARTH.”  Who raised Pharaoh up?  God did!  Why?  So people would know which one is God.
  • Fear of the Lord results in obedience.  The reason people do not obey is that they do not believe or fear the Lord.
  • “So that you may know that the earth is the Lord’s.”  Not only is He the Lord, and near, that He stands alone, but everything belongs to Him.  They are getting quite a lesson!
  • P.S.  As this story unfolds we see “Mr. Uncircumcised Lips” (6:30) taking over the speaking role (9:35).  God is also transforming Moses into the man He originally called him to be.  As we see God’s glory, our pride is wiped away and the fears that seemed so real and justifiable melt away.

Chapter 10

  • Verse two…”and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and of your grandson how I have dealt harshly with the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them, that you may know that I am the Lord.”  God wants His glory and name to be made known from generation to generation.  It is our job to tell our children and grandchildren about the deeds and deliverance of the Lord.

Chapter 11

  • The Lord gave his people favor in the eyes of the Egyptians.  And they effectively received much gold and silver jewelry from their Egyptian neighbors.
  • The Lord makes a distinction between Egyptians and Israelites.  He makes a distinction between His people and every one else.  His people are set apart.
  • Pharaoh will not listen “so that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”  God has a plan and it’s always for His glory.
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Exodus 1-5

Chapter 1

  • We left off Genesis with the Israelites making their home in Egypt due to a severe famine.
  • Verse 7 says they increased greatly in number and strength…the land was full of them!
  • The new Egyptian king didn’t like it…it struck fear in his heart.  Some words/phrases that describe his approach to them:  deal shrewdly with them, afflict them, lay heavy burdens on them, ruthlessly make them slaves, made their lives bitter with hard service, etc…not a good time to be an Israelite in Egypt.
  • Then Pharaoh hatched a plan to kill all the baby boys born to Israelite women.
  • God blessed the midwives because they feared the Lord and protected the baby boys.

Chapter 2

  • Moses’ birth is a foreshadowing of Christ…when he was born all Hebrew babies were killed and he escaped just like in Matthew 2:16 when Herod killed all the Hebrew boys and Jesus escaped.
  • Moses’ mama got paid to nurse and nurture him until he was weaned.
  • Moses killed an Egyptian. He was afraid and fled to a foreign land–Midian.
  • Moses got a Midian wife and had a son.
  • The Israelites groaned and cried out for help.
  • Their cry came up to God–He heard, He remembered his covenant, God saw, and God knew.  Never underestimate His presence in our dark circumstances.

Chapter 3

  • Moses saw the burning bush.  “When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush.”  Don’t walk by God’s glory…draw near and listen for His voice.  He will speak when we pay attention.
  • The Lord reiterated that He saw His people’s affliction, that He heard their cry and that He knew of their suffering.
  • He came down!!! Wow!!! to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and into a good and broad land.  God doesn’t just deliver his people out of bad stuff, but he delivers them into good stuff.
  • “Come!” God offers and invitation to Moses to work with him.
  • “I will send you…I will be with you…And I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt…and when you go, you shall not go empty.” What great promises from the Lord!

Chapter 4

  • Command, obedience, miracle!  Every act of obedience builds confidence in God’s power and ability.
  • Vs. 20–deliverance by way of donkey!  Just like Jesus!  Zechariah 9:9, Matthew 21:5
  • Power comes from the Lord. (vs. 21)
  • The people believed Aaron and Moses and they worshiped!  Worship always flows out of belief!

Chapter 5

  • Pharaoh didn’t know or respect the Lord.
  • Their request to go worship the Lord was met with heavier work, more laborious burdens, and evil demands.
  • Pharaoh valued work over worship.  “You are idle, you are idle; that is why you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’ Go now and work.”  Often when we want to worship the Lord, people won’t understand.  Their ideas of what is important are skewed.
  • The people get angry with Aaron and Moses.  Moses turns to the Lord.  His honestly responds to the only one who has the answers.  He doesn’t hesitate to ask the Lord hard questions.
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Genesis 48-50

Chapter 48

  • God Almighty blessed Israel and he passed on that blessing to Joseph so that he would know it…generation to generation.
  • Rachel was buried in Bethlehem.
  • Gracious and generous God let Israel see his son, Joseph’s face again.
  • Israel calls God his daily, life-long shepherd.  Oh, Lord, how I’ve seen this to be true in my own life–leading and guiding me even all the years I thought I was in control and doing my best to ruin my life.  You were there all along, preserving me for your family and your purposes.  Redeeming me from evil.
  • Israel blessed Joseph’s sons in reverse order just like he and his brother had been reversed at birth.
  • Israel told Joseph that God will be with him and will bring him again into the land of his fathers.

Chapter 49

  • “Unstable as water,” what a description of the character of Reuben.  Lord, how often I feel like that could describe me!  Make me stable and steadfast in all my ways.
  • “Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce, and their wrath, for it is cruel.”  It reminds me of James 1:20 that says, “the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”  Anger is not how I want to be characterized.  I had victory for a while, and I feel like I’m slipping back into being easily provoked, having a short fuse.  I went almost four years without raising my voice to Henry and now I have been almost every day.  Of course, he is at a trying age right now, but it is not an excuse for anger.  Lord, make my emotions and responses a blessing not a curse.
  • Judah would produce a ruler forever.  Jesus!  Our savior!  All tribute and obedience is due him from all people!
  • Names of God:  Mighty One of Jacob, Shepherd, the Stone of Israel.

Chapter 50

  • Israel dies and is buried with his forefathers.
  • God used and planned the evil done to Joseph to bring about life for a nation.
  • When we realize that God is in control of even our difficult pathway, it frees us up to be kind and comforting even to those who hurt us.
  • Joseph died and made everyone promise that when they left Egypt they would take his body with them and bury it with his forefathers.
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