Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
As we have stated before, the ceremonial/sacrificial system was fulfilled by Jesus:
“First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). 9 Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. 10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.
11 Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. 12 But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.” Hebrews 10:8-12
Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!
God remains the same, yesterday, today, and forever…the moral law remains intact. Man’s intellect, wisdom, self-will, self-interest expressed in rebellion will never change this truth.
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Matthew 24:35
A careful reading of the New Testament will help those who want to discount the Old Testament to know that nine of the Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament. The exception is the Sabbath Day but the principle regarding rest remains intact, we will discuss later.
We are saved by grace through faith into a new and abundant life. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” No longer enslaved to sin but set free to live for Christ as a display of His glory. It is our blessing to be reminded of at least a couple of things Jesus spoke in regards to the commandments:
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15
“Whoever has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him.” John 14:21
“Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.” John 14:23-24
“If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love.” John 15:10
and from John:
“By this we can be sure that we have come to know Him: if we keep His commandments.”
1 John 2:3
“For the [true] love of God is this: that we do His commands [keep His ordinances and are mindful of His precepts and teaching]. And these orders of His are not irksome (burdensome, oppressive, or grievous).“ 1 John 5:3
“And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the very commandment you have heard from the beginning, that you must walk in love.” 2 John 1:6
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40
““So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12
The Ten Commandments helps us to see and know the character and nature of the True and Living God and His great love, grace, and mercy. The Commandments will also show us His expectations of just how we live out the new lives He has given us! It is our privilege, the overflow of our love is our obedience.
And God spoke all these words, saying, 2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:1-3
As I read the above verses, a post from nine months ago came to my mind and heart. The Lord brought us out of the bondage of sin for Himself, not that we would be enslaved to anyone or anything else.
“But he brought us out from there to bring us in and
give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors.”
Moses and the Israelites’ Exodus from Egyptian bondage is such a rich garden from which to feed. I believe the Lord is leading me to write from the Book of Exodus and am excited as it is one of my favorites places to read and meditate. I am blessed by your faithfulness to this site and that you will coming along with me. I am praying that the Lord would open His Word to us and then open our hearts to His Word that transformation would take place. 🙂
First of all, the word “Exodus” means “exit” or “going out” and as we eat we will see that it is the story of Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage. As we look into this book, we will find God’s character including that He is a Promise Keeper who loves and keeps His children.
God will teach us that whenever He moves in our lives to bring about an exit, we also “enter” or “come in”. His bringing out is always to bring us into a new realm or season as we will see with the Israelites. Deuteronomy 6:23, “But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors. The Lord does not change as this was truth for the Israelites so it is true for all His children.
This principle is worth holding in our hearts. No matter how hard life becomes, the issues we face, the obstacles in our way, the things we so desperately want to hold on to and God is us urging us to let go, no matter strongholds and yokes, traditions and SELF…God is never desiring to harm us BUT to prosper us and give us hope and a future. All His plans and ways are perfect, it is okay…more than okay, it is safe to let go and follow. He brings us out to bring us into His great and glorious land and promises.
Exodus 3:8 records the plan the Lord had for Israel, “So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.” We will look at this is greater detail later but the place God has for us is ALWAYS the place of promise. It is to our blessing and benefit to follow Him all the way!
1 Peter 2:9 is the perfect example of God’s redeeming love and perfect plan and ways, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
What place is God calling you to exit in order to enter or come into the new? Remember that His plan is not to harm but to bring prosperity, hope and a future!
As we look back to the Exodus 20:3 verse, we see the Lord declare that the God who brings you out is the God you should worship. He is not only Savior and Deliverer but He is Lord! From there, He begins to give them the terms of the covenant. Remember from Exodus 19:8, ” All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”
Scriptures: Bible Gateway
10 For cross over to the coasts of Cyprus [to the west] and see, send also to Kedar [to the east] and carefully consider; and see whether there has been such a thing as this:
11 Has a nation [ever] changed its gods, even though they are not gods? But My people have changed their Glory [God] for that which does not profit.
12 Be astonished and appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked and shrivel up with horror, says the Lord [at the behavior of the people].
13 For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the Fountain of living waters, and they have hewn for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns which cannot hold water.
Jeremiah 2:10-13 AMPC
It’s heart month and many of us take this as an opportunity to test our physical hearts for any sign of disease or danger. This is wise for a good heart check and proper treatment of any revealed problems can bring us back to health, healing, and wholeness.
Perhaps, we should take the opportunity to check our spiritual hearts as well for the Scriptures do teach us that “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23).” One of the reasons that this is so necessary is that God has also told us that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it (Jeremiah 17:9)?” The Lord has also counseled us to “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test (2 Corinthians 13:5)!”
Since we have an enemy who has come to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), a flesh which rises up to take control, and a world system that allures us to sin, it would be wise to test our hearts. We will use the above text from Jeremiah as our testing tool asking the Holy Spirit to guide us in all truth (John 16:13). I have placed the NLT translation below as well.
“Go west and look in the land of Cyprus; go east and search through the land of Kedar.
Has anyone ever heard of anything as strange as this?
11 Has any nation ever traded its gods for new ones, even though they are not gods at all? Yet My people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols!
12 The heavens are shocked at such a thing and shrink back in horror and dismay,” says the Lord.
13 “For My people have done two evil things:
They have abandoned Me—the Fountain of Living Water.
And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!
Jeremiah 2:10-13 NLT
Jesus is the Fountain of Living Water. He promises that “whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:14) and in Isaiah 12:3, “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. In these verses, we see the promise of life, joy, and satisfaction. Praise God.
The Jeremiah verses speak of exchanging our Glorious Fountain of Living Water for worthless idols. God calls it abandonment, such a horrible exchange that even the heavens are astonished and appalled…in shock, shrinking back in horror and dismay. My, my, my…if this is how creation responds, how it must wound the heart of our Creator! We do know that God sees it as evil (vs. 13).
The devil will never tell us that God sees it this way, neither will our flesh or the world system. If fact, they will all chime in at the same time and sing the Whopper song, “Have it your way.” God says it is abandonment to choose the worthless idol instead of Him.
Most of us would quickly say, “I have no idols.” It is heart month and I believe the Lord is typing these keys to say, put it to the test by the Word and the Spirit. After all, those who worship Him must do so in Spirit and in Truth. You may say, what idols could I possibly have and the answer is shown in the text, anything we love, value more than God Himself is an idol. Perhaps it’s the love/practice of money, sex, power, prestige, intellect, wisdom of man, emotions…things like bitterness, not willing to forgive, greed, deceit, pornography, etc. These all speak of self-indulgence and self-exaltation.
God declares it all to be broken cisterns that have no possibility of holding water…cracked pots that are incapable of holding the Living Water that gives life, joy, and satisfaction. Not only does a broken cistern not hold water but it separates from the Fountain of Living Water which means death. Now, since we are God’s people, saved by grace through faith this blog is not about losing our salvation because the Lord has said that we can not be plucked out of His hand (John 10:28-30). Rather, it about the separation from the abundant, life to the full, intimate and soul satisfying relationship with our Creator, the Glorious Fountain of Living Water who so freely gives life, joy, and satisfaction. It is about valuing someone or something other than Jesus as our great Supreme Treasure which usually begins as little cracks along the way. So thankful that God had prompted this little heart check!
O Heavenly Father, Blessed is Your Name! We desire no other God but You. Please help us to examine our hearts and help us to know if we are chasing other ‘gods’ that separate us from a full, God-exalting, Christ honoring, intimate and personal relationship with You. We are mindful of Your Word, “Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that He has made to dwell in us”? 6 But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you (James 4:8-10).” Bring us back to you as a person, people, and nation.”
In Jesus Name, we pray. Amen!
11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!”
13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” 14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped. Revelation 5:11-14
9 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
13 Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”
14 I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore,
“they are before the throne of God
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne
will shelter them with his presence.
16 ‘Never again will they hunger;
never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them,’
nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne
will be their shepherd;
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’
‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’” Revelation 7:9-17
22 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
6 The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”
7 “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”
8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. 9 But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!”
10 Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near. 11 Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.”
12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen. Revelation 22
Blessings today! I firmly believe that the overflow of an intimate love relationship with God is obedience. No man lives a perfect life but it can certainly be our heart’s desire to submit and surrender to the will of God. As Lynn Thaler commented on yesterday, “Obedience is not always easy, but it is essential.” One of Charles Stanley’s life principles is “Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.” He states further, “Obedience may not be easy—you may receive criticism from others or face fierce obstacles and opposition—but it will always put you in a favorable position before God. He will take care of all that concerns you. Stay on the path of obedience and leave the rest to Him.”
I have another old friend, A. W. Tozer, and I would like to share some of his quotes on today along with the Word of God which is the source in the world today! Blessed is the Name of the Lord!
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross. Philippians 2:8
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. James 1:22-25
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
Then Samuel said: Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord? Look: to obey is better than sacrifice,
to pay attention is better than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22
For the [true] love of God is this: that we do His commands [keep His ordinances and are mindful of His precepts and teaching]. And these orders of His are not irksome (burdensome, oppressive, or grievous). 1 John 5:3 AMPC
“I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never turn away from doing good to them, and I will put fear of Me in their hearts so they will never again turn away from Me. 41 I will take delight in them to do what is good for them, and with all My heart and mind I will faithfully plant them in this land. Jeremiah 32:40-41
Exodus 19 `In the third month, on the same day of the month that the Israelites had left the land of Egypt, they entered the Wilderness of Sinai. 2 After they departed from Rephidim, they entered the Wilderness of Sinai and camped in the wilderness, and Israel camped there in front of the mountain.
3 Moses went up the mountain to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain: “This is what you must say to the house of Jacob, and explain to the Israelites: 4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Me. 5 Now if you will listen to Me and carefully keep My covenant, you will be My own possession out of all the peoples, although all the earth is Mine, 6 and you will be My kingdom of priests and My holy nation.’ These are the words that you are to say to the Israelites.”
7 After Moses came back, he summoned the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. 8 Then all the people responded together, “We will do all that the Lord has spoken.” So Moses brought the people’s words back to the Lord.
It is exactly three months after the Israelites left Egypt that they enter the Desert of Sinai and camped by the mountain. This is the same as Mount Horeb where God appeared to Moses in a burning bush. This is a wonderful opportunity to praise God for being the Sovereign God (Jeremiah 1:12). This is the promise He spoke to Moses.
Exodus 3:1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.”
5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
7 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”
We know that Moses was fearful and hesitant to accept this assignment from the Lord. The Lord promised Moses that He would be with him and that Moses return to the very place this conversation was taking place. We know that this promise was important to Moses for we have the privilege of reading about it so that we too would be able to build our faith upon it. God is faithful to His Word.
God is not a man who lies,
or a son of man who changes His mind.
Does He speak and not act,
or promise and not fulfill? Numbers 23:19
I reminded of our Scriptures just a few days ago:
Remember what happened long ago,
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and no one is like Me.
10 I declare the end from the beginning,
and from long ago what is not yet done,
saying: My plan will take place,
and I will do all My will. Isaiah 46:9-10
So what does this mean for you and me? What is that thing that has you worried, concerned, cast down, won’t allow you to sleep at night and even causes you tears whether inside or out? Ask the Lord to lead you as you read His Word and open your heart to His promise for your situation or circumstance. God will prove Himself just as He carried Moses and the Israelites on eagles’ wings, He will do the same for you and me.
You know, once again, life happens. It comes with pain, sorrow and disappointments. If it is not you personally, other people’s life issues and circumstances have a way of impacting you. Just as the Lord used life issues to build Moses’ faith, he does the same with us. Our loving, gracious, and merciful Father gives us opportunity to draw even closer in these seasons of life. Faith must be built upon the Word of God. Despite our seeing through the glass dimly, the Lord always sees and knows the full picture and has control over it.
The verse that He has given me for right now is Psalm 3:3, “But You, O Lord, are a Shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head.” Nobody but Jesus, He is the Lifter of my head and Keeper of my soul! Not only that, but the Lord is reminding me that He is my very personal Shield and glory! I can trust Him NMW (No Matter What)!
As for God, his way is perfect:
The Lord’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30
The Book of Exodus can be split into two sections: 1) The Israelites deliverance from Egypt (Chapters 1 – 18) and 2) The Israelites are given the law (Chapters 19-40). Today, we begin the second section as we ask the Lord to speak to our hearts and open our hearts to receive His Word. Thank you for coming along with me. Today, we read Chapter 19.
Exodus 19 (ESV)
Israel at Mount Sinai
19 On the third new moon after the people of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. 2 They set out from Rephidim and came into the wilderness of Sinai, and they encamped in the wilderness. There Israel encamped before the mountain, 3 while Moses went up to God. The Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”
7 So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. 8 All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” And Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord. 9 And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever.”
When Moses told the words of the people to the Lord, 10 the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments 11 and be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 And you shall set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death. 13 No hand shall touch him, but he shall be stoned or shot; whether beast or man, he shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain.” 14 So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people; and they washed their garments. 15 And he said to the people, “Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman.”
16 On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. 19 And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. 20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.
21 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to the Lord to look and many of them perish. 22 Also let the priests who come near to the Lord consecrate themselves, lest the Lord break out against them.” 23 And Moses said to the Lord, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for you yourself warned us, saying, ‘Set limits around the mountain and consecrate it.’” 24 And the Lord said to him, “Go down, and come up bringing Aaron with you. But do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the Lord, lest he break out against them.” 25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.
13 The next day Moses sat down to judge the people, and they stood around Moses from morning until evening. 14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw everything he was doing for them he asked, “What is this thing you’re doing for the people? Why are you alone sitting as judge, while all the people stand around you from morning until evening?”
15 Moses replied to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16 Whenever they have a dispute, it comes to me, and I make a decision between one man and another. I teach them God’s statutes and laws.”
17 “What you’re doing is not good,” Moses’ father-in-law said to him. 18 “You will certainly wear out both yourself and these people who are with you, because the task is too heavy for you. You can’t do it alone.19 Now listen to me; I will give you some advice, and God be with you. You be the one to represent the people before God and bring their cases to Him. 20 Instruct them about the statutes and laws, and teach them the way to live and what they must do. 21 But you should select from all the people able men, God-fearing, trustworthy, and hating bribes. Place them over the people as commanders of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. 22 They should judge the people at all times. Then they can bring you every important case but judge every minor case themselves. In this way you will lighten your load, and they will bear it with you. 23 If you do this, and God so directs you, you will be able to endure, and also all these people will be able to go home satisfied.”
24 Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. 25 So Moses chose able men from all Israel and made them leaders over the people as commanders of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. 26 They judged the people at all times; they would bring the hard cases to Moses, but they would judge every minor case themselves.
27 Then Moses said good-bye to his father-in-law, and he journeyed to his own land.
It has been said that if you want to be an effective leader, go to the Book of Nehemiah. I would add, after stopping by Exodus 18 first. We find so many characteristics of good leadership in these few verses. I will simply list and you may expound upon them or give additional ones.
“Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. 4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,
“I will take revenge;
I will pay them back,”
says the Lord.
“If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
burning coals of shame on their heads.”
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good (Romans 12:3-21)”
5 Moses’ father-in-law Jethro, along with Moses’ wife and sons, came to him in the wilderness where he was camped at the mountain of God. 6 He sent word to Moses, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons.”
7 So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, bowed down, and then kissed him. They asked each other how they had been and went into the tent. 8 Moses recounted to his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardships that confronted them on the way, and how the Lord delivered them.
9 Jethro rejoiced over all the good things the Lord had done for Israel when He rescued them from the power of the Egyptians. 10 “Praise the Lord,” Jethro exclaimed, “who rescued you from Pharaoh and the power of the Egyptians and snatched the people from the power of the Egyptians. 11 Now I know that Yahweh is greater than all gods, because He did wonders when the Egyptians acted arrogantly against Israel.”
12 Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat a meal with Moses’ father-in-law in God’s presence.
Bless the Lord! The last time we looked at Exodus 18, we were told that Jethro said “I have heard all.” Today, we are told that Moses “recounted to his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardships that confronted them on the way and how the Lord delivered them.”
This passage encourages us to personally tell the wondrous deeds and movements of the Lord in our lives. There is a song that we use to sing and the words are “you don’t know what the Lord has done for me.” While I understand the message of the song, it is not one of my favorites because the reason people wouldn’t know what God has done for me is because I haven’t told what God has done.
Jethro’s saying “I heard all about it” did not stop Moses from taking the time to personally share from his heart the goodness of the Great God, I AM THAT I AM. Now, “about” is a good thing but when I have the personal, inside, intimate knowledge and the heart to share it personally, those God is speaking to through me have opportunity to draw closer to the Living God! Verse 8 says that Moses did not share just the outcome but all the hardships that confronted them along the way and how the Lord delivered them. This is much different than a simple speaking of the trouble and the outcome.
Moses shared all that happened and the many opportunities that he and the Israelites were privileged to witness and experience the Lord’s glory – His hand of strength, His power to open their mouths before this cruel pharaoh, God’s presence and voice, His protection and provision, the details of every plague, God’s power to cause plagues in Egyptian homes while not allowing them in the Israelite homes, the wailing of the Egyptian mothers at the death of their firstborns, the opening of the Red Sea, passing over on dry ground, miraculous signs and wonders, His mighty hand and outstretched arm – the glory of the God!
Jethro heard all and believed it is safe to return his daughter and grandsons to Moses. But after listening to Moses’ all he is now able to rejoice and exclaim, “Praise the Lord who rescued you from Pharaoh and the power of the Egyptians and snatched the people from the power of the Egyptians. NOW I KNOW THAT YAHWEH IS GREATER THAN ALL gods, because He did wonders when the Egyptians acted arrogantly against Israel.”
Jethro moves from knowing about to “Now I know!”
I believe the Lord would have us to have a ‘selah’ moment…
We live in a world of busyness that is primarily self-focused, self-indulgence, self-satisfying…somehow some believers have been deceived into thinking God is all about blessing ‘me’ and my main focus should be all about ‘me’ getting my blessing. Now, don’t get me wrong. Our God is the God of multiple blessings…we have all received grace after grace after grace. My, my, my…Hallelujah!
BUT we should never be so self-focused that we forget that we are blessed to be a blessing! God still delivers and He continues to use man in His work.
Just wondering if you know anyone that is in bondage, anyone living in misery, anyone oppressed, anyone that needs to be loosed, anyone who needs to be unshackled, anyone who needs to be set free? Today is a great day to walk in our calling to be an instrument of righteousness and ask God to give us opportunities to recount all that the Lord has done. His love, grace, mercy, protection, provision, deliverance including the hardships, etc…to tell HIS STORY, all Jesus has done that whomsoever would be rescued and set free.
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”