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Today in Exodus chapter 16 we read about Manna and Quail from heaven. Verses 29 & 30 were powerful for me today, as God speaks about the Sabbath: ""Do they not realize that I have given them the seventh day, the Sabbath, as a day of rest? That is why I give you twice as much food on the sixth day, so there will be enough for two days. On the Sabbath day you must stay in your places. Do not pick up food from the ground on that day." So the people rested on the seventh day." You will probably read on this blog over and over and over again about the Sabbath... I am a huge fan of the concept! And such a poor practitioner of it... I honestly think the Sabbath is one of the most compassionate things God ever created for us. And, don't get me wrong - my personal view is not legalistic in the sense of the Sabbath.... But.... personally, I think the Sabbath is just such a blessing of a gift to us. And I think we - I - us - humans - often do such a bad job of really taking a Sabbath. Really taking 1 day a week to really rest and relax and be with God. Recently I read in our local newspaper about a Hasidic Jewish rapper who came through our town on tour - yes, seriously, there is a Hasidic Jewish rapper who is getting hugely popular nationally. Anyhow, the article - in our secular newspaper - wrote about how this rapper will not perform on Fridays or Saturdays in observance of the Jewish Sabbath Law - and Hasidic Jews strongly observe most all of the Laws still today (I believe... except for animal sacrifices - simply because there is not the Temple in Jerusalem today for the sacrifices). Anyhow - I'm going off on some tangents here - but, the point is, that when I read about how this guy will not perform shows on the 2 best money-making nights of the week for concerts, because of his observance of the Sabbath - I dare say his love of God and his appreciation of the Sabbath - it really struck me. And it really reminded me of how really really bad I am at truly resting and being with God 1 day a week. And I'm not feeling guilty about this per se... but maybe I am feeling convicted... :) Basically - I am feeling that God is really calling me to slow down and simply rest and be with him 1 day a week. A Sabbath.
Verse 31 quick comment - "In time, the food became known as manna. It was white like coriander seed, and it tasted like honey cakes." I love that manna means "What is it?"! That is awesome... I think you'll notice throughout our Bible readings this year that names can often be very descriptive of locations, happenings, personalities - and can even be simple questions like "What is it??" Great commentary on Exodus chapter 16 entitled "Boot Camp and "C" Rations" :) is online at bible.org at this link. Below is "The Gathering of Manna" from 1614 by the Italian painter Guido Reni:
Today in Exodus chapter 17 we read about the Israelites defeating Amalekites. We are introduced to Joshua in verse 9. Joshua is from the tribe of Ephraim and he has a strong faith in God and loyalty to Moses, along with leadership skills. He will be Moses' successor who leads the Israelites into Canaan 40 years later. Below is a painting from 1915 by Hungarian artist Adolf Fenyes of "The Jews Defeating Amalek's Army":
Verse 12 reminded me of how oftentimes we cannot always do things on our own - we oftentimes need our friends help: "Moses' arms finally became too tired to hold up the staff any longer. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side, holding up his hands until sunset." Who are your Aaron and Hur? Who is holding you up your arms when they get tired? And whose arms are you holding up when their arms get tired?
In Exodus chapter 18 we read about Jethro's visit of Moses and Jethro's wise advice to Moses. This chapter has been pointed out to me as something I should take heed of a couple of times over this past year or so... Like Moses in this chapter, I think I have a hard time delegating! :) But, indeed, Jethro's advice in verses 17 & 18 about how Moses was settling every single case is something I need to reflect upon often: "This is not good!" his father-in-law exclaimed. "You're going to wear yourself out--and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself." How about you? Are there areas of your life where you are doing too much? Where you need to delegate to others? Where you need to "let go and let God"? Are you wearing yourself out? Will you follow Jethro's advice to Moses? Great advice on how to avoid "burnout" in our lives as based on Exodus chapter 18 titled "The Tyranny of the Urgent" is online at bible.org at this link. Below is an image of Moses as the judge of the people's cases from today's readings:
Exodus chapter 19 is a significant chapter because the Israelites arrive at Mt. Sinai! Exodus chapter 19 verse 3 all the way through Exodus chapter 24 verse 18 is what is called by many commentators "The Sinaitic Covenant." You'll recall that we have already read about the Noahic Covenant in Genesis 9:8-17, the Abrahamic A Covenant in Genesis 15:9-21, and the Abrahamic B Covenant in Genesis 17. Per the NIV Study Bible, this Sinaitic Covenant was "made with Israel as the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and as the people God has redeemed from bondage from Egypt. This Sinaitic Covenant is a conditional divine pledge to be Israel's God on the condition of Israel's total consecration to God as his people who live by his rule and serve his purposes in history." Tomorrow we read about the Ten Commandments! Welcome to Mt. Sinai! Today in Exodus chapter 19 Mount Sinai plays quite a prominent role in the narrative. Below is an image of Mt. Sinai that I think correlates well with verse 18: "All Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the LORD had descended on it in the form of fire. The smoke billowed into the sky like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain shook with a violent earthquake."
Worship Video: Today's readings in Exodus remind me of Chris Tomlin & Christy Nockels song "Glorious:"
Do you know our Glorious God? Click here for Glory!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on two verses of Scripture today: "'Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites." Exodus 19:5-6 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you are fully obeying God. Pray in thanksgiving that you are God's treasured possession, through your saving faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Pray in thanksgiving that the whole earth is the Lord's.
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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