Jehovah Rapha

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 15:22-27; 16:1-18 (day one) 

“If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His eyes, if you pay attention to His commands and keep all His decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I the Lord am your healer.”–15:26.

Jehovah Rapha.  “Lord, healer.”  I am not sure that the waters of Marah would have made them sick.  I am certain that they feared that drinking brackish, bitter water would do so.  Years of free, unlimited, clean water in Egypt (from the Nile) had made them tender and timid soldiers.  So God toughened and taught His people to trust Him for their health and welfare.  So long as we are in the center of God’s will, walking with Him in cooperative, surrendered life; so long as He orders more days for our story, we are invincible.  He is our healer!

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Where are your eyes?

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 14:1-4, 10-31; 15:1-2, 20-21 (day seven)
“As Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked up, and behold the Egyptians were marching after them, and became very frightened.”–14:10.

Where are the eyes of your heart focused at this present moment?  On your disappointments or the Lord?  Faith is more than a spiritual technique, but God’s wisdom calls for His people to place our eyes on Him, only Him, always Him.  We call it worship.  Walking on water taught Peter this lesson. (Matthew 14:22-23)  Exodus 14 illustrates the same principle. So long as their eyes were on the Egyptians, they were paralyzed by fear.  When God is large, then our problems are small by comparison. The problem is that our eyes are often focused on the wrong thing or person.  “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling. . .what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.”Ephesians 1:18-19.

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Remember

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 14:1-4, 10-31; 15:1-2, 20-21 (day five)

Exodus 14:12  Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”

The people of God were already showing signs of “memory loss”.  They had quickly forgotten about God’s power and faithfulness to act and protect them as they were being freed from Pharaoh’s captivity.

The Israelites had trusted God for their salvation (Passover) but were having difficulty in trusting God in their circumstances (wilderness).  The cloud and pillar were close and present, but these people became less aware because of the tension, stress, and uncertainty of their circumstances.

The promise of Psalm 46:10-11 becomes our prescription for understanding and security 10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”  11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.  We do well to remember God’s promises and power in the midst of our circumstances.

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Let God Do His Part

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 14:1-4, 10-31; 15:1-2, 20-21 (day four)  There are some things that we are responsible to do and some things that God takes responsibility to do.  Verse 15-17 says, Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. 16 As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land. As for Me, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen.”  Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade had a definition for witnessing.  “Successful witnessing is simply taking the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.”  Key for us is to know and do what we should be doing and letting God do what He is responsible for.  He is glorified through our obedience and trust!

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Do

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 14:1-4, 10-31; 15:1-2, 20-21 (day three)

“Why are you crying out to me?”  Throughout the Bible, we read that God leads men to become the kind of people who do what God would do if God were the one living their lives.  God will do many things for us, but there are things he will most certainly not do for us.  If they are to get done, we must do them.  We see this kind of leadership in the life of Jesus: “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?”; “When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers”; “Whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing.”  The Lord is our redeemer, not our enabler.  He intends that our obedience grow us up, not perpetuate our inabilities.  This is hard, but it is possible: Be doers, not hearers only.

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You Have a Reason to Sing

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 14:1-4, 10-31; 15:1-2, 20-21 (day two) 

Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today.” 14:13

I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted;
The horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea. 15:1

Been chased by any armies or chariots lately? Probably not. Remember the last time that San Antonians were told to stay indoors, told what to eat, and then told to grab what they could and leave their homes? No? Me neither. But what has the Lord delivered you from? Have you struggled with doubt, depression, addiction? Perhaps the Lord has brought you from a place of hopelessness to one of great hope in him. What about prayers answered? Can you look back and see the work of the Lord through your life and marvel at how his hand is clearly evident throughout. God is still parting the sea. He is still in the business of delivering people from bondage to freedom. You don’t need an Exodus story like the Israelites, all you need is your story that is filled with the mercy and love of Jesus. Then you have as much reason as Moses to sing of how the Lord continues to deliver his people.

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When prayer is the wrong thing

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 14:1-4, 10-31; 15:1-2, 20-21 (day one)

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward!”14:15.

I sympathize with Moses.  He leads and before things get better they almost always get worse.  Three days into the “great escape”, the Egyptian army catches up with them. The people panic and blame Moses.  Even Moses seems off-balanced.  But, as he cries out to God (usually a good thing) He hears an unexpected answer and learns an important lesson.  When the way is clear, when the will of God is known, further prayer is just delay.  When we know what we should do, doing it is the only godly thing.  And calling others to do God’s will is the leader’s job.  “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin.”James 4:17.  Hmmm. . .should I pray about this, or do what I know He wants?

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New Year’s Day

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 12:1-14, 24-27, 13:8-9 (day seven)

“This month is to be. . . the first month of your year.”–v 12:1.

How do you celebrate New Year’s Day?  Football?  Family?  Fireworks?  The Hebrews had a different tradition, the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Began with Passover.  They took a lamb (v 3), without defect (v 5–to accurately represent the coming, sinless Christ), cared for it in their homes for 14 days (v 6), then slaughtered, roasted and ate it with the family.  Bitter herbs (v 8–to remind of sin and suffering) were also included and bread without yeast (unleavened, v 8–to remind of the speed and decisiveness required to be included in God’s plan– not even time for bread to rise).  It told an important story!  Life BEGAN for Israel when God made them free.  So maybe New Year’s Day is not January 1. For believers, it is the day we received Christ by faith and forgiveness and power as a result.  ” In Christ. . . new creation”–2 Corinthians 5:17. Please celebrate!

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Saved for Worship

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 12:1-14, 24-27, 13:8-9 (day six)

Does your heart sing? Years ago as a college student in Hattiesburg, MS I went to worship at FBC Hattiesburg with one of my closest friends. During the sermon the pastor was speaking on the extravagant love of God in our justification through Jesus, and being unable to contain himself my friend erupted with a loud fist pumping holler (like one you would hear at a football game). Needless to say he frightened many people, and probably left many scratching their heads. He was overcome with inexplicable joy! Isn’t this how it should be for us? Full of joy and erupting in song!

This week in Re:Verse we encountered the spontaneous praise of Moses and the Hebrew people following their salvation out from the Egyptians (Exodus 15). This is both beautiful to behold and compelling. Should not our praise erupt out of our joy of God’s salvation?! Yes, and again I say yes!

In fact the root of our joy rests in the saving work of God. In that work we see God for who he is as loving redeemer and mighty warrior. When we see God, we can’t help but worship. King David’s sin (and ours) was born out of dysfunctional worship. In Psalm 51:8 he wrote, “return to me the joy of my salvation.” Let’s pray like David that we never lose sight of our God who is mighty to save, so that our praise will always be loud and true!

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The “What” and the “Why”

Re: Verse reading–Exodus 12:1-14, 24-27, 13:8-9 (day five)

Exodus 12:26  And when your children say to you, ‘What does this rite mean to you?’”

Exodus 13:8  “You shall tell your son on that day, saying, ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’”

It is a great privilege for parents and grandparents to shape the faith of the next generation. Current research continues to affirm what the Lord knew thousands of years ago- that spiritual practices and patterns by parents and grandparents would indeed lead to questions and conversations with kids and teens.  Through these relationships, children will see and sense the urgency and priority of a vibrant and dynamic relationship with God.  So, what do our kids sense and see about our faith?  Does it cause them to ask “What” and “Why”?  Do we have meaningful answers from our own experiences and understanding?  Maybe an honest look at our practices and patterns as they relate to spiritual growth and strength would be helpful today.

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