Deal

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

“You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.”  Perhaps there were times that the Israelites had legitimate complaints against Moses.  He was not perfect, after all.  But this was not one of those times.  The Israelites weren’t chafing against some plan that Moses had drawn up; they were calling into question the total resettlement initiative—and that was God’s project.  The Lord was breaking them free from not only forced servitude, but from the entire Egyptian worldview.  He was forming them into a people who could think straight.  Their grumbling gave evidence that they had not grasped that radical reality.  But the words Moses spoke to them called their attention to God’s activity in the midst of these circumstances.  The time will come when we all have to deal with God—and Moses tells them that time is now.

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Short-term Memory

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

So the people grumbled…vs 24. This word of complaint is just three verses removed from Miriam’s song “Sing to the Lord, for is highly exalted.” What were they expecting? Why so quick to turn to grumbling? Later in the chapter God provides bread from heaven. BREAD FROM HEAVEN! That’s pretty incredible provision. That too, however, will become tiresome to the Israelites. Just days removed from Egyptian captivity, with empty bellies all they could think about was how well they ate while they were slaves. Do you become myopic when it comes to the Lord’s call? The call to obedience may indeed require you to make uncomfortable sacrifices, but a bit of perspective is also required. Fixating on the Egyptian buffet made the Israelites forget 400 years of oppression. Are we short-sighted when it comes to the call of the Lord? Do we forget just how much he has already done for us? His provision is more than enough, it always has been.

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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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