Exodus 1:1-2:25; 1 Chronicles 6:1-3; Exodus 3:1-4:17
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Today we begin the book of Exodus!
Date: 1420 or 1220 B.C.
Content: The book of Exodus deals with the significant facts surrounding Israel’s emergence as a nation. Moses’ great leadership is described as he accepted God’s call to return to Egypt in order to lead God’s people to freedom. God sent the ten devastating plagues upon Egypt because the Pharaoh refused to obey his command. The ceremony of Passover was established during the last plague and became a memorial of God’s deliverance for all time to Israel. The Israelites crossed the sea and arrived at Mt. Sinai where God gave the Ten Commandments and the plan for the tabernacle, and the covenant was renewed the nation.
Theme: The power of God over evil is clearly shown when God defeats the enemy of his people by delivering them from bondage, but God expects that we trust and obey him in return. Worship in the Tabernacle and adherence to the law were two aspects of Israel’s obedience. (Above commentary is from Tyndale Publishers “The One Year Bible Companion” pages 1-2) Terrific in-depth commentary on the book of Exodus can be found at bible.org at this link.
In Exodus chapter 1 verse 12 is awesome: "But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more quickly the Israelites multiplied!" It's amazing how when God wants people to flourish, they flourish! Even in the midst of oppression. This verse kind of reminds me of the flourishing of churches over the centuries and even today where the body of Christ is still often oppressed. It flourishes! Praise God for flourishing his people then - and now!
In Exodus chapter 2 we are first introduced to Moses, who is the author of this book of Exodus - along w/ the overall first 5 books of the Old Testament - also known as the Pentateuch or the Books of Law. A fun little Bible factoid for you in Exodus chapter 2 verse 6 is that this is the only mention anywhere in the Bible of a baby crying! :) "When the princess opened it, she saw the baby. The little boy was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This must be one of the Hebrew children,” she said."
Bible.org's commentary on Exodus chapter 1 titled "Pharaoh’s Fears and Israel’s Faith" is at this link.
Well, I debated posting up this water color of Moses killing the Egyptian from chapter 2 today, but the image probably captures things accurately enough. We cannot hide from some of the things in the Bible that are not squeaky clean & perfect. The Bible is not always squeaky clean & perfect in terms of the behaviors of people in the Bible. Life is not always squeaky clean & perfect. However God will ultimately make us squeaky clean & perfect - forever. And in this life God can even redeem Moses after this act:
Please do read up more on this act of Moses' in chapter 2 at bible.org at this link. At this link you'll see this line: "We dare not seek to defend Moses in the murder of the Egyptian, no matter how cruel he may have been. Moses’ act was in defiance of the authority of Egypt, and it was premeditated murder (“he looked this way and that,” v. 12). While Moses’ method of dealing with this problem was wrong, we can see that his motivation was commendable. Moses sought to defend the oppressed. When he sought to rebuke his Hebrew brother for wrongly mistreating another Hebrew (v. 13), Moses revealed, once again, the disposition of a deliverer." Moses was 40 years old when he killed the Egyptian. Moses then escapes to Midian - an area on the eastern side of the Red Sea that was very dry and desolate. Moses ends up living in Midian for 40 years:
In Chapter 3 today God speaks to Moses through the burning bush! What I love about this is in verse 4: "When the LORD saw that he had caught Moses' attention..." It seems like Moses probably could have seen this burning bush - and kept going. He could have somehow walked on by - maybe because he had to get the flocks back home or he was late for dinner or who knows what. He could have missed the adventure and the calling of his life. But he doesn't. He stops. He investigates. He has a conversation with God. God caught his attention. And I wonder in our lives today, is God trying to catch our attention? Is God trying to tell us something important? And are we just passing God by - or will we stop and investigate and have a conversation with God?
Exodus 3:14 is a biggee in today's readings as Moses asks God who he should tell the Hebrews who sent him: "God replied, "I AM WHO I AM. Just tell them, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" I AM WHO I AM translates into Yahweh in Hebrew. I read a great little commentary that said when God speaks of himself, he says "I AM". When we speak of God we should say "He is." I like that. He is. I actually heard a sermon recently about the unchanging nature of God. He is omniscient. Omni-present. Eternal. He is wisdom. He cannot learn anything, because He knows everything. He is. The Hebrew letters yud, hey, vav, hey (below) -- often depicted in English as YHWH or Yahweh -- spell the ineffable name of God:
Another powerful thing to note is that Jesus uses this same phrase of I AM and nearly gets stoned to death for sharing this truth in the Gospel of John chapter 8 verses 58 & 59: "“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds." Do you believe that Jesus is? So - when God says I AM! - what is our response? He is! :) I like that. He is. A great commentary on the Burning Bush & I AM in Exodus chapter 3 is at bible.org at this link.
Today in Exodus chapter 4 we read about God discussing with Moses from the burning bush how Moses will lead the Israelites out of Egypt! Below is a portrait by Guy Rowe of Moses having this conversation with God before the burning bush:
Moses has a classic line to God in Chapter 4 verse 10: “Moses said to the LORD , "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue." I think what is classic about this line is that probably many of us have some sort of line similar to this one that we say to God when God is calling us to do something big for His Kingdom. Or maybe even if it is something medium-sized or small God is calling us to, we probably have some pretty good excuses. "Why me God?" "I’m too young." I’m too old." "I’m too busy." "I’m not that smart." "I’m not that talented". And I’m sure our list of excuses could go on. BUT – check out what God says to Moses in verse 12: "Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." Wow. Is there an area of your life where God is calling you to move forward? Maybe calling you to some Kingdom work? And are you making excuses? Will you leave those excuses behind? Do you realize that God will help you do whatever you need to do? Do you realize that God will teach you what to do as you go? You may not know exactly what to do right now – but if you move forward, do you believe God will show up and help you accomplish the task? Will you go? Now? Below is a wonderful stained glass image of God in the burning bush telling Moses to "now go!"
Worship Video: Today's readings remind me of Rich Mullins' song "I See You" sung here by Michael W. Smith:
Have you seen the Lord? Click here and see Him!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" Exodus 3:14 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray in thanksgiving that HE IS! Pray in thanksgiving if you are in a relationship with I AM through a saving faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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