A Voice in the

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Walk-thru the Bible
-- series --

Chapters - Topics:
  • 002 - Hero man: knocked down a peg (ch2)
  • 2-3 - God allows this evil? (2-3)
  • 3-4 - Who has made the mouth? (3-4)
  • 005 - Pharaoh's Strong Heart (ch5)
  • 006 - Now you will see what I will do (ch6)
  • 007 - I have made you a god (ch7)
  • 7-8 - Satan's Signs & Wonders (7-8)
  • 008 - Separation in Worship (ch8)
  • 8-9 - Separation for Protection (8-9)
  • 009 - Pharaoh Acknowledges God? (ch9)
  • 10a - Will you not humble yourself? (ch10)
  • 10b - Negotiating with God (ch10)
  • 011 - One more plague - First-born (ch11)
  • 012 - Passover (ch12)
  • 014 - Take your stand, See Jehovah's Salvation (ch14)
  • 12a - Mixed Multitude (12 & 16)
  • 16a - Murmuring against God (16-17)
  • 016 - Day by Day, Step by Step (ch16)
  • 020 - Ten Commandments (ch20)
  • 021 - Civil Laws (ch21-23)
  • 032 - God Changed His Mind? (ch32)

Re: Hero man: knocked down a peg (Exodus 2) Joseph has died and been put "in a coffin in Egypt". (Gen50:26) Years pass, and the king that knew Joseph is replaced by a new king, and little by little, the fame of God's deliverance of civilization from the horrendous famine through Joseph is forgotten. However, God's promise to Abraham is being fulfilled, to "multiply [his] seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is on the shore of the sea." (Gen22:17) Israel is being "fruitful and [increasing] very much, and [multiplying], and [becoming] very strong." (Ex1:7) In fact, the Hebrew population was exploding so much so that they became more numerous than the Egyptians, whose land they initially came into as strangers. The land was "filled" with them. (vs7) So, for political expediency, and "national security" the Egyptians subjugated them into servitude. Made them slaves. During this time, many of the structures we see even today, were built by the Hebrew slaves. But the more they were enslaved, the more they multiplied. (vs12) And the Egyptians "were afraid before the sons of Israel." (vs12) Among other things we will discover as we progress through Exodus, this verse provides one key for understanding. This word, "FEAR". Notice that the Egyptians were "bullying" the Jews, being "tough" against them. I'm sure we can all remember back to our younger school days. There were the bullies, and those they picked on. The weaker ones were always afraid of the bullies, but did not realize that the bullies were actually afraid of and intimidated by the very ones they picked on. Intimidated by the fact that they could not get the good grades, or did not experience the love at home that they perceived in the ones they picked on, etc. Furthermore, the Egyptians did not know God. The fact that they "feared" meant that they did not know God's "love". (1Jn4:18) One of the generic characteristics of the final Judgment is of those who are "fearful" or "cowardly". (Rev21:8) Into this scene is born Moses. You can read the account for yourself if you're not familiar with it. But we are told that, in spite of the king's edict to destroy all male babies, "by faith" his parents protected him. (Heb11:23) And even though he was trained up in all the wisdom of Egypt (Acts7:22) as the son of Pharaoh's daughter and received the best education available to anyone in the world in those days, his childhood nurturing by his -real- parents in the Fear of God did not leave him. Now, Moses is about 40 years old. All educated. Living right in the seat of power and authority. If God was going to rescue Israel out of Egypt, what better job of "infiltration" could He have devised! A Jew raised right under Pharaoh's nose, trained in all of Egypt's wisdom. He knows all the ins and outs of Egyptian politics. And he must have been informed in some manner that God had chosen him to save Israel out of Egypt. So, with all his aristocratic flair, he goes to see how things are down in Goshen. His military training obviously has been good, because he apparently didn't have any trouble killing the Egyptian taskmaster who was beating a slave. (2:12) And the next day, he tries to play 'judge and advocate' between a couple of Hebrews. Whereupon they retort back, "Who appointed you as a man, a ruler and a judge over us?" (2:14) Just who do you think you are? Well, Moses figured that since -he- knew he was to deliver Israel out of bondage, that they would, too, automatically. After all, he was now fully trained, and groomed with all of Egypt's wisdom. What better qualifications could one possibly have for the job? All one has to do now is assert one's own authority and "go for it"! Right? If you've got "what it takes", just get in there and "do it". No waiting around, and dilly-dallying. Sound familiar? You, just graduating from seminary. Or, you "church" looking at the -qualifications- of a prospective pastor. What do you look for? The ABC-XYZ's after the name, indicating all the degrees and disciplines in which the person is trained? After all, if they have the right degree from the right school, -SURELY- they are now "qualified"!! Well, the one-man S.W.A.T. team is now exposed. It is obvious he can't do the job on his own. In fact, the king now knows who/what he is, and, instead of leading Israel out of Egypt, Moses ends up running for his -own- life. (2:15) Into the wilderness. Shepherds were an "abomination" to Egyptians. (Gen46:34) Moses has been raised in affluence, living among those who look down their noses at such humble people; and now finds himself 'rescuing' some shepherdesses from bullies. (2:17) Shepherds, and -women-!! ...of all things!! This is a far cry from the "glory" of delivering Israel out of Egypt! The thing he has been 'groomed' for, and is 'qualified' for! Well, he might be educated. But he's not yet -really- 'qualified'. There's some pride there. Some needed training in "reality orientation". There are yet 40 years in the wilderness, before he will be leading Israel out of Egypt. He needs, yet, to know Who God is. That cannot happen in the seat of Egypt's idolatry and politics; in all the hubbub of civilization. As Elijah would later discover that God was not in the wind, fire and earthquake but in the "still small voice" (1Kg19:11-12), Jesus taught that communion with God comes from going "into your room and shutting your door" (Mt6:6) If he was going to lead God's people in God's way, he needed to be trained -by- God. Truly, he would use many of the skills and associations he learned from his formal education. But what was more needful was to know God. Of the early apostles it was noted, "that they are untaught and uneducated men.." the rulers "recognized them, that they were with Jesus." (Acts4:13) And they "turned the world upside down" with the Gospel. (Acts17:6) By the way... many of the -truly- "great men of God" spent time in the wilderness. Elijah (1Kg17,19), John the Baptist (Mt3:1), Paul (Gal1:17), and yes, even Jesus. (Mt4:1) Each, for their own reasons and purposes to be greatly used by God. [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: God allows this evil? (Exodus 2-3) If God is a -good- God, why is there evil? If God is -love-, why does He allow pain and suffering? If God is these wonderful qualities, and yet these evils exist, since God would -surely- NOT allow such evil, it must mean that He doesn't exist. Look at this predicament I'm in; doesn't God -care- that I'm suffering? These are just -some- of the various arguments people raise about God. While we aren't going to necessarily address these arguments directly, one thing we are going to see in the coming studies, is the manner in which God reveals Himself to mankind. He had made Himself "known" to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Ex6:3) It has now been a few years since He has had 'personal' contact with His people. He is about to be making Himself "known" to all the nations by "bringing [Israel] out of the land of Egypt." (Eze20:9) All things God does is for His Own glory. Where does it start? As the "sons of Israel groaned from the slavery.. they cried, and their cry went up to God from the slavery. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God saw the sons of Israel, and God knew them." (2:23-25) Remember, God had chosen Israel to be His own special people, "an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for possession." (1Pt2:9) Paul states, "God did not thrust away His people whom He foreknew.." (Rom11:2) God's -election- had chosen the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as His own special people. He had preserved their lives during the famine by bringing them to Egypt where Joseph had gone ahead to "save life". (Gen45:5,7) And as Jacob was going, God promises, "Do not fear" to go to Egypt "for I will make of you a great nation there." And God does not abandon them, but promises Jacob, "I will go down with you into Egypt, and I will also surely return you." (Gen46:3-4) God's love for His own people He describes as "an everlasting love." (Jer31:3) Often, when we are in the deepest agony is when God is closest to us. In our human frailty we seem to not -notice- Him at times. But He is there, bearing us up on "wings of eagles". (Ex19:4) If we have been to the 'bottom', and have met Him personally and realize why we are where we are, even when our heart might be in excruciating pain, He has a way of making His love even -more- precious to us. Israel has grown. They are suffering. But God knows. As Israel will eventually come to realize, that is the best place of blessing. God -is- there. He -knows-. Now, it's time to start revealing Himself. It is now 40 years later and ol' -educated- Moses is herding sheep. (3:1) He is now 80 years old. All the "prime" of his life..."wasted". All that talent and education 'down the drain'. And God calls out, "Moses! Moses!" (3:4) "Do not come near here. Pull off your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." (vs5) During the subsequent conversation God introduces Himself to Moses. "I am the God of your fathers..." of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (vs6) Notice Moses' response. "Moses hid his face, for he feared to look upon God." And now notice the order of things. First of all, God explains to Moses how He knows Israel's afflictions. He knows their sorrows. Just as Jesus "bore our sickness and carried our pain" (Is53:4), Israel was not suffering alone. As is said, "he who touches [Israel] touches the pupil of His eye." (Zec2:8) Israel's suffering was also God's suffering. Why did He not come sooner to deliver them? He was "[enduring] in much long-suffering [the] vessels of wrath.." (Rom9:22) Not desiring to destroy Egypt, because He doesn't desire that "any should perish". (2Pt3:9) And also, the nations God would judge as Israel would take over their new heritage, God had said, "the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full." (Gen15:16) So, God assures Moses that He knows Israel's plight. And now notice, "I have come down to deliver them from the hand of the Egyptians." (3:8) Why had Moses failed 40 years earlier? Because he, Moses, was trying to work in his -own- wisdom and strength. But it was not yet God's time. Remember how the Hebrew had taunted Moses with, "who made you our judge?"? Well, now -GOD- is saying "I will send you to Pharaoh, and you bring My people out.." (3:10) Notice just -Who- is now 'in charge'. God. Moses is now no longer "big stuff". He is a servant. God's "representative". Not his own -presumed- authority. As Paul says, "we are ambassadors". (2Cor5:20) Many today claim to -have- "authority" as they think to -command- God. No! God is "in charge", and we are His servants. He has the authority, and we are -merely- His messengers. But if a person has not 'met' God, they will not understand this. Moses has now 'met' God, and instead of his 40-year previous bravado, he now shudders, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring out the sons of Israel from Egypt?" (3:11) Notice the credentials Moses is given. God introduces Himself further. "I AM THAT I AM" This is God's "memorial" name.(vs15) His essence. "You shall say this to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you." (vs14) Moses has learned to be a "loathsome" shepherd, and is now ready to be a messenger for God Most High. Since this is now -God's- project, and will be done in God's way, it is going to result in success. [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: Who has made the mouth? (Exodus 3-4) And Moses said to God, Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring out the sons of Israel from Egypt? (3:11) Forty years later, this is now a different Moses from the one who "thought his brothers would understand" that God would deliver them by his hand (Acts7:25), and was striking out on his own. 'Oooooh, I can't do this!' God's response, "I will be with you." (vs12) What a comfort! What assurance! As Christians we can sing "Blessed assurance Jesus is mine..." and will quote "He leads me beside the still waters...You prepare a table for me before my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over." (Ps23:2,5) But how often do we forget it, or doubt it, when we are actually in the middle of life's situations? This 'chiding' is as much to myself as it is to you who read this. The area I worry about the most, I have seen God's hand work in the past numerous times. I -know- "better" than to worry. But I still do. Knowing that God is "with" me should be enough; as it should have been for Moses. First of all, God makes a promise. A "sign" of God's call upon Moses. Once Israel has come out of Egypt, they will "serve God on this mountain." (3:12) Well-and-good... for the -future-. But what about -now-? As I re-read this passage now, I realize Moses was doing what I always do, too. Trying to figure out everything ahead of time. Thinking through all the angles and 'what-ifs?' and 'what-abouts?'. So, I come to Israel, they're going to have all sorts of questions that I don't have the answers to. Jesus said, "do not be anxious beforehand, what you should say...whatever may be given you in that hour, speak that." (Mk13:11) But...! You are sending me, but I don't even know Your -name-. "I AM THAT I AM" (3:14) As Jesus identified Himself to the rulers, He said, "before Abraham came into being, I AM." (Jn8:58) God, with this name, "I AM", is the only one who -could- make the claim He does, "declaring the end from the beginning.." (Is46:10) He is the only God Who can claim 100% accuracy for prophecy, because He -IS-. His existence traverses all time concepts man can imagine. This is His unique distinguishing characteristic of His essence, making Him "above all gods" (Ps95:3), the "Most High". (Gen14:19, 2Sam22:14, Is14:14, Dan4:34) "I AM", the One who created all things and holds it together, will bring Israel out from their affliction in Egypt, to a land "flowing with milk and honey." (3:17) However, you need to understand that there will be a struggle. The "king of Egypt will not permit you to go, except by a strong hand." "I will..strike Egypt with all My wonders..and afterward he will send you away. (3:19-20) And Israel will come out with great wealth and possessions. But...! They won't believe me! "Jehovah has not appeared to you." (4:1) Let's face it, a lot of people claim to be great -somebodies-. They claim to have visions or dreams. And, no doubt, he is remembering the taunt 40 years earlier, "who made you a judge" over us? Why should this be any different than last time? What is that in your hand? A staff...which becomes a snake. (4:2) God gives him the first indication of what is about to come. "Signs" to perform. While he would have seen Egyptian magicians performing their demonic craft, he is now experiencing God's power, himself. This is just the beginning. But...! "O Lord, I am not a man of words, either from yesterday or the third day, nor since You have been speaking.." with me "..for I am heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue." (4:10) -This-, from the man with the world's greatest education credentials behind his name, of whom it was recorded, "powerful in words and works." (Acts7:22) Even, once he gets into Egypt and begins to speak to Pharaoh, and Pharaoh increases Israel's bondage, and they don't listen to him, Moses complains, If Israel isn't listening, "How should Pharaoh hear me..?" (6:12,30) Who has made man's mouth? Who makes the dumb, deaf, seeing or blind? "Is it not I, Jehovah?" And now go, and I will be with your mouth, and will teach you what you shall speak." (4:11-12) But...! "O Lord, please..." send somebody else, whomever You wish. Enough already!! In an eastern culture things are typically done in "threes". A gift is offered; the recipient refuses. The gift is offered three times; and then is accepted. If it was accepted before the third offer, the recipient could be considered greedy or too eager. Now, if the recipient doesn't wish to accept, he might refuse the third time. But if the giver -REALLY- wants to give the gift, he would offer a "fourth" time. That goes beyond the requisit "three", and shows his VERY SINCERE desire to give the gift. Now, if the recipient -REALLY- does NOT want the gift, or has hostility to the giver, he can refuse the fourth time. And that's like a slap in the face to the giver. One OT example of this matter of "three" is found when Joash struck the ground "three times" with the arrows, and Elisha is angry with him for not striking more times, and thus assuring victory over the Syrians perpetually. (2Kg13) After his humble beginnings into this conversation, God has assured Moses over and over of His hand upon Moses. And Moses has objected "four" times. Three questions and doubts. And now, this "fourth" time it's as if to say, 'I really -don't- want to do this! Can't You please send somebody else?" "And the anger of Jehovah glowed against Moses." (4:14) Later when God would call Ezekiel, God's "hand..was on him", and he was "made to eat" the scroll full of "weepings, mourning and woe" and as God called him to go to the Jewish exiles, God -physically- lifted him and carried him to where he was to go (Eze3:14), and it says he "went bitterily in the heat of [his] spirit.." He did not want to go. He was 'angry' at having to go. If you will, "kicking and screaming". But "the hand of Jehovah was strong" upon him. You see, the call of God upon His prophets is -NOT- a call to glamour. It is not easy. As in Ezekiel's case, he took God's message into his "heart". (3:10) Which meant that his heart was continually heavy, because of the "woe" it contained. When Jeremiah sought to keep quiet due to persecution, God's Word was a "fire" (Jer20:9) that he COULD NOT keep it in. Moses was no different. And God retorts...Well, there's Aaron! He's a 'good speaker'! BUT... My call is upon -you-. "I will be with -your- mouth...and I will teach -you- what you shall do." (4:15) And, of all things, notice the nature of this relationship as they are about to face the Egyptians. As for what the Egyptians observe, Moses will be a 'god' and Aaron will be his (Moses') 'prophet'. (vs16) After all, this is the way many pagan religions often function. Recall that the people at Lystra differentiated Barnabas and Paul in this manner. (Acts14:8~) But, there is no choice in the matter. It is settled. All your questions/objections have been answered. Whatever comes up along the way, "I will teach you what you shall do." (vs15b) Now, Go! (vs19) Your final concern, your safety... The ones seeking your life are dead. It's safe. [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: Pharaoh's Strong heart (Exodus 5) Paul quotes regarding God's purposes for Pharaoh, "For this reason I have made you stand, in order to cause you to see My power, and in order to declare My name in all the land." (Rom9:17,Ex9:16) And as the plagues were progressing upon the Egyptians it says, "And Jehovah made strong the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not send away the sons of Israel." (10:20) Many people who have not experienced God's mercy in their own lives, suppose that God is "hard". They believe certain things told to them by -supposed- "great men of God" ...that God indiscriminately went "eeny, meeny, mynee, mo" and chose some people to bless, and others to curse. That He gleefully set up creation and stacked the "good ones" over here and the "bad ones" over there, and then turned them loose. And as the "bad ones" traverse their way to destruction it is as if He was sitting there saying, "So long, Suckers!!" ..as He 'squishes' them like ants; or chases them around like an ant with a magnifying glass, to delight in seeing how frantically they will scurry along, until they are burned up. But notice as Paul continues, "But if God, desiring to demonstrate wrath, and to make His power known..." (Rom9:22a) See? Isn't this the argument? God is on this big ego "power trip", and uses people as pawns, and He chooses them 'willy nilly'. Lates face it; didn't He say outright that He was -using- Pharaoh to show His power? Well, let's continue... "..endured in much long-suffering vessels of wrath having been fitted out for destruction." (9:22b) Oh! God is "enduring"? "Enduring", another way of saying, "putting up with; exercising extreme patience with; giving many opportunities for the person to change and repent; receiving many abusive, hostile responses without retaliation; etc." Let us never forget that "It is by the kindnesses of Jehovah that we are not consumed, for His mercies are not ended." (Lam3:22) If He were to mete out justice according to our deserts, He -would- "zap" us into oblivion because we are filthy in His sight. (Ps14:3) He delays punishment for a long time because His desire is "not having purposed any to perish, but all to come to repentance." (2Pt3:9) Notice the wording from the LITV there... "not having -PURPOSED- any to perish". He did not randomly 'pick' the group He 'desired' to judge. So, let's look at Pharaoh. Moses and Aaron come before him, proclaiming God's will that Israel go into the wilderness to worship Him. And what does Pharaoh reply? "Who is Jehovah that I should listen to His voice to send away Israel? I do not know Jehovah, and I also will not send Israel away." (Ex5:2) Let us realize that the world religion begun at Babel with Nimrod was 'now' centered in Egypt. Isis, Horus and Set. The deities which became the Queen of Heaven and Baal to snare Israel in later centuries. The entities which became "christianized" in the 300's AD and became the church of Rome. Which are now worshiped as various "marian apparitions" and New Age thinks of god as "she". And, as for the Egyptians, Pharaoh -was- deity. So, when Moses comes to Pharaoh, the Egyptian -deity- is being confronted by The Most High. And where satan said, "I will be like the Most High" (Is14:14), Pharaoh is scoffing, "Who -is- the Most High? I don't know Him. I don't recognize Him; His existence or right of authority. You want to worship somebody else (besides me)? I'll show you. You need to work harder." Whereupon he reduces the building materials, but requires the same output from the people. And when they are unsuccessful and their output drops, they are beaten. This is the background from which God is working, when He declares that He is "using" Pharaoh to show His Own glory and power. It is God Most High against the world's "deity". Pharaoh has been approached, and given opportunity to obey God, but refuses. But for Moses and Israel things are looking bleak. Israel is now suffering -worse- than before Moses arrived. They, the ones he's supposed to lead out of Egypt, are bitterly dejected and condemning Moses for meddling into things, "May Jehovah look on you and judge, you who have made our odor to stink in Pharaoh's eyes.." (5:21) 'It's all -your- fault, Moses, that we are suffering so much!' And Moses, in turn, goes to God, "Lord, why have You done evil to this people? Why then have You sent me?" (vs22) You sent me to deliver this people, but things are MUCH WORSE, and "You did not certainly deliver your people." (vs23b) Things look rather hopeless right now! [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: Now you will see what I will do (Exodus 6) And Jehovah said to Moses, Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh. For he will send them away with a strong hand, yea, he will drive them out from his land with a strong hand. (vs1) Promises! Promises! You already said this, but things are worse!! Pharaoh has increased the bondage and retributions, and "You did not certainly deliver your people." (5:23b) In Sunday School we have always heard about the "ten plagues" and the parting of the Red Sea, the manna, etc. But I wonder if we have ever really considered what was going on mentally, spiritually, emotionally with Moses and the people of Israel -just- prior to their deliverance. We remember everything -after- their deliverance, and make boasts about how powerful God was in delivering Israel. But do we realize just HOW BLEAK it all -looked- beforehand? At the bleakest moment is when God says, "Now you will see what I will do." And this, actually, is the first in what will be a series of "impossible situations" in which God will demonstrate His power. And Israel will be learning little by little that, "for nothing shall be impossible with God." (Lk1:37) And that comment was made to Mary, as she was being promised a husband-less pregnancy when Jesus would be conceived in her womb. If we can 'see' the solution to the problem, no faith is required, is it. The way God teaches us of Himself is by allowing us to be in situations where we can't see the way out; and -then- He resolves the matter. "Faith is the...evidence of things not having been seen." (Heb11:1) So, God intruduces Himself to Israel some more; and makes more promises. As they see His power unfold, they need to know -Who- is doing it. "I am Jehovah." (6:2) The "self-subsisting, existing" One. This is the first time God introduces -this- name to them. When Hagar met God, she called Him, "God of vision" (Gen16:13) because she experienced God's looking after her. But right now, God lays the foundation for the work He is about to do. With the situation seeming so hopeless, Israel needs to know the qualifications of "the God" Who is making these promises. He needs to be more powerful than Pharaoh-god. "Self-existence" is a quality Pharaoh does not possess, because he was born of an earthly woman. Everything in creation came into being from God. But where did God come from? From Himself. Later He asks, "To whom will you compare and make Me equal; yea, compare Me, that we may be alike?" (Is46:5) All the other gods are either born, if they are human; or their substance is weighed out and fashioned into an image, and are carried around on the shoulders, and propped up so they don't fall over. And He declares, "I am God, and no one else is God, even none like Me." (vs9) OK...'Now that I've introduced Myself, I'm going to prove it.' God had established a covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (vs4) Yes, God heard the "groaning of the sons of Israel" (vs5) and He "remembered" His covenant. Even though they were suffering, they were not abandoned and forgotten; even though it might have seemed like it at the moment. "I am Jehovah.." (vs6a) As we progress through Exodus, God will be revealing His name over and over. When the Law is given, it will be given -because- "I am Jehovah". All His works He does will be because "I am Jehovah". Because "I am Jehovah" He promises "I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments." (vs6b) Jehovah promises "I will take you for Myself for a people, and I will be a God for you." (vs7) Remember how Peter reminds the Believers of the Israeli dispersion, "But you are an elect race...a people for possession.." (1Pt2:9) And by association we can understand Him saying, when this comes about as I am promising to you that it will, "And you shall know that I am Jehovah your God, the One bringing you out from under the burdens of Egypt." (vs7b) Jehovah knows that Israel doesn't -really- fully know Him yet. But by the time He's finished, they will. However, for right 'now', as Moses is relaying all that God is saying to Israel, "they did not listen to Moses, from anguish of spirit and from hard bondage." (vs9) Things are at rock-bottom. They can't get any worse! So God now says to Moses, "Go, speak to Pharaoh..that he may send away the sons of Israel from his land." (vs11) Surely You're joking! Israel [Your own people] won't listen to me. Why should Pharaoh?! (vs12) Moses is all "alone". Pharaoh has retorted to him. Israel is rejecting him. And God says to go talk to Pharaoh some more. He is being asked to lead a people that don't want to be led, out of a physically impossible situation. Can things be any more impossible? Remember God's words, "Now you will see what I will do..." (vs1) [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: I have made you a god (Exodus 7) How could Pharaoh listen to me? And Jehovah said to Moses, See, I have made you a god to Pharaoh; and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. (6:30-7:1) We are about to see God's version of what Paul declared when he said, "I became as a Jew to the Jews, that I might gain Jews..to those without Law as without Law..I became to the weak as weak.." (1Cor9:20-22) God's own way of working with mankind can be described, "With the merciful, You reveal Yourself as merciful; with an upright man, You reveal Yourself as upright...with the perverting ones You appear perverse.." (Ps18:25-26) So, what a person is, God reveals Himself in that fashion. Whatever a person is, God brings more of the same upon them. For the one loving cursing, cursing comes to them. (Ps109:17) If a person walks contrary to God, God will be contrary to them. (Lev26:23-24) He "scorns the scorners and gives grace to the humble." (Pr3:34) He gives to each according to their works. (Rom2:6) If you feel like God doesn't hear your prayers, could it be because you never listen to God? If God seems far away from you, who moved? And on the other hand "..if you seek Him, He will be found by you." (1Chr28:9) Well, Pharaoh, Egypt's deity, has just refused to acknowledge God. And as the 10 plagues will be God's curse upon 10 deities the Egyptians worship, the conversations with Pharaoh are with a person who claims to be "deity". Thus, God informs Moses that he is to appear to Pharaoh as another deity. The matter of Israel leaving Egypt is not so much a matter of politics, but is a battle of the gods. Now... any "god" worth his salt needs to have supernatural powers. So, when Pharaoh asks for signs, give them to him. Throw your staff down and let it become a snake, like I showed you. (7:9) And may the true God win! "And the Egyptians shall know that I am Jehovah..." (vs5) [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: Satan's Signs & Wonders (Exodus 7-8) Pharaoh asks for a sign. And so "Aaron threw his staff before Pharaoh and before his servants. And it became a snake." (7:10) Remember, this is a battle of gods here. Pharaoh, not to be outdone, calls his "wise men and the sorcerers." (vs11) Notice their description. They are the "-priests- of Egypt". Right here we have a definition of Egypt's religion. It is based on sorcery and witchcraft. God has just turned a walking staff into a snake. And by sorcery, the Egyptian priests perform the -same- sign. Only thing, Aaron's snake ate up their snakes. Let us receive some learning from this. These were -real- snakes they conjured up. They -imitated- God's sign. You see, this is how satan works. He "marvelously [transformed] himself into an angel of light" and his ministers also "transform themselves as ministers of righteousness." (2Cor11:14-15) And notice the wording. If Satan could do this, it's "not a great thing" [no big deal] for the false prophets to imitate God's works, too. When the false prophets purport to "heal" people, it is quite possible that many of them are -actually- healed. I can still "see" (in my memory) the room full of crutches in that cathedral in Montreal, Canada. The result of someone now called a "saint" who healed hundreds of people. His actual -heart- was on display behind a window, contained in a 'jar', preserved. But this is how it is promised that satan will deceive many people, whose "coming is according to the working of Satan in all power and miracles and lying wonders." (2Th2:9) In fact, the 'miracles' will be so 'authentic' so as to deceive, if he could do so, even the elect. (Mt24:24) This is why so many lean on their "experiences". They get knocked to the floor in what they call "being slain". They become overwhelmed and start babbling like idiots. They get 'thrown' from one part of the room to another. Some are healed. Gold appears on their teeth. Others see sightings; apparitions of "Mary" who speaks to them. Others have near-death experiences, and come back with marvelous tales of what they saw on the "other side". And yes, they will quote Scripture, talk about God and love and heaven. But it's all a big deception. The experiences -are- "real", but they are real 'IN ORDER TO' be a deception. God would say to Israel later, "Take heed [be careful] to yourselves, that your heart NOT BE DECEIVED, and you turn aside and serve other gods.." (Deu11:16) Paul says, "Do not let anyone deceive you in any way..." (2Th2:3) and describes how satan will use signs and wonders. Satan's purpose always has been to deceive. He is a liar and the father of lies. (Jn8:44) As he seeks to be "like the Most High" (Is14:14) and deceives people into thinking that his miracles are actually God's, and people worship...they are worshiping satan. Notice God's warning to Israel again, not to be deceived into worshiping "other gods" and "bowing" to them. Perhaps, if you weren't yet convinced before now, you will understand when we warn, repeatedly, that these modern-day "spiritual experiences" that you partake of "at church" are "demonic". When you partake in Satan's counterfeits, you are bowing to Satan...in spite of the fact that the charismatic magicians and conjurers are called "christian". But these modern-day sorcerers are satan's "priests"..."pastors". You see...that's the best deception... to call it "christian" and yet have it be directly from satan. If it all looked like being from a jungle witch doctor stirring up potions in his 'pot', there would be no deception. The deception is because it -appears- to be "christian". Satan is skilled in these things and has been perfecting his talents for 6000 years. Thing is, in the end, Aaron's snake ate up those of the magicians. So... did this "sign" cause Pharaoh to believe in God? "And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as Jehovah had said." (vs13) And you know, this is true of the modern sorcery. Some of the angriest retorts to these mailings have been from those who bow at satan's church of charismatic sorcery. As one person was recently unsubscribing he brazenly, angrily proclaimed, "I'm a tongue-speaking, spirit-filled, blood-washed Christian!" And usually the attitude comes across, "How DARE YOU tell me I'm following satan? That I'm not a Christian?!" But to put the words "tongues/spirit-filled" and "Christian" in the same sentence or label is an oxymoron. i.e. Those two concepts are incongruous [contradictory]. The priests continue imitating in turning water into blood, and bringing up frogs. (7:22;8:7) But Pharaoh continues to be hardened. You see, "signs and wonders", rather than making him believe, instead hardened his heart further. The Pharisees sought signs from Jesus, even though they had observed His works for three years. They wanted Jesus to "perform" for them, as Moses and Aaron were doing before Pharaoh. Pharaoh was hardened, and so were the rulers who crucified Jesus. "But though He had done so many miracles before them, they did not believe into Him." (Jn12:37) As Jesus said about faith, "Blessed are the ones not seeing, and believing." (Jn20:29) If a person doesn't believe into Christ because of "hearing the Word of God" (Rom10:17) they will not believe even if signs and wonders are performed; even to the raising of someone from the dead. (Lk16:31) However, with the land full of frogs jumping all over the place, God begins to work a change. Pharaoh asks, "Pray to Jehovah that He may remove the frogs..." (8:8) And Moses asks, "When shall this take place?" "Tomorrow." And Moses says, at the specified time it will be done, "..so that you may know that none is like Jehovah our God." (vs10) God is -specific- in His work. When sorcerers do their conjuring, they do their incantations in the -hopes- that the spirits will comply. When the modern charismatic priests do their prophesying, they are never -sure- of the visions they 'see' or -pretend- to see. They 'hedge' a lot, "I'm seeing...oh, just wait a minute...no I'm seeing...oh yes, here it comes..." And this, of course, is done with lots of theatrics, squinting of the eyes, hand up on the brow, bodily contortions and moanings and gruntings. This is because, "The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I did not send them and I have not commanded them, nor did I speak to them. They prophesy to you a false vision, and a worthless divination, and the deceit of their heart." (Jer14:14) Of course, Pharaoh is still hardened. So now it's time for another division. When Aaron struck the dust, and lice came forth, the priests were not able to duplicate this sign. And the priests tell Pharaoh, "It is the finger of God." (vs19) They recognize God, but Pharaoh still is hardened. When the king of Babylon had a dream and his conjurers could not reveal the matter, this was God's distinguishing characteristic. They could not conjure up the spirits to make the revelation, "But there is a God in Heaven who reveals secrets, and makes known...what shall be in the latter days." (Dan2:28) The dream had been from God...and so it took God's servant to interpret it. Now, another division. Pharaoh is told ahead of time that "tomorrow" there will be flies. But in Goshen there will be -NO- flies. And from this point onward, as the plagues continue, Goshen will not experience any more of the plagues. "...that you may know that I am Jehovah in the midst of the earth." (8:22) This shows us another of God's ways. He says "I will put redemption between My people and your people." (8:23) Paul speaks of redemption in this manner, "also we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly expecting adoption, the redemption of our body." (Rom8:23) This redemption is when we are "changed. In a moment...[when] this corruptible shall put on incorruption." (1Cor15:52,54) At the Rapture. "God has not appointed us to wrath, but for obtaining salvation..." (1Th5:9) But notice that there is a period of time when we see "wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, etc." Jesus exhorted "see, do not be terrified...but all these are a BEGINNING of throes." (Mt24:6-8) Israel saw the "beginning" of events which ultimately culminated in Egypt's total destruction. But when it came to a certain "line" as these things progressed, God made a distinction between His own people, and those upon whom He was pouring out His wrath. This is, simply, the way God works. So, for another topic we repeat constantly... NO, the Church, Christ's blood-washed Believers, will NOT go through the time of His coming wrath when He, again, metes out judgment upon the world, it's gods, and its priests and worshippers. "Babylon" (Rev14,16,18) The Church will be "redeemed" out of the earth just as His judgments begin to get underway. (Mt24:38, Gen7:7, Lk17:29) So... do not let the false prophets and sorcerer-priests deceive you otherwise, as they conjure up their imitation 'signs and wonders'! [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: Separation in Worship (Exodus 8) And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go! Sacrifice to your God in the land. And Moses said, It is not right to do so, for we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to Jehovah our God. Behold! If we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not stone us? We will go into the wilderness, a journey of three days, and sacrifice to Jehovah our God, as He may say to us. (vs25-27) Here we see the first recorded indication about "separation" in worship. In recent weeks (months?) we have addressed the matter of "unbelievers in the assembly". Some people understand and practice 'separation'. But others simply cannot seem to fathom the concept. They seemingly cannot understand that there are times when God's people need to gather to -worship- Him collectively, and that unbelievers simply DON'T BELONG. They cannot seem to accept the fact that not all meetings are necessarily 'evangelistic' to "win the lost". Timothy was exhorted in his ministry "of the believers" (1Tim4:12) to be faithful to "attend to reading, to exhortation, to teaching." (vs13) The things he was to exemplify was "conduct, love, spirit, faith, purity." (vs12) When those gifted to be pastors and teachers do their work, it is "with a view to the perfecting of the -saints- (not unbelievers) for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ." (Eph4:12) The outcome is that there is a "unity of the faith" (being of "one mind and one judgment" -1Cor1:10), and "of the full knowledge of the Son of God." (vs13) Such study needs focus. If unbelievers are "sharing" their worldly ideas, it waters down God's Truth as received into the heart. We should never forget that we are in spiritual warfare against "the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenlies." (Eph6:12b) In the military, boot camp is done in -isolation-. The recruits eat, sleep, work, 24/7 to train their bodies and minds into the focus necessary to be effective soldiers; so they can learn their skills to get the job done, and not get killed. If they are married, they don't get to go home each night during training. When they are in their various training exercises, they don't have 'civilians' standing on the sidelines, yelling (sharing) "suggestions" as how best to accomplish the task at hand. They receive orders from their commanding officers...and they OBEY. ...or else!! Or else they receive punishment, or when they practice with "live" amunition, they die when they didn't keep their 'head down'. Think about it a moment, if you were a hostage needing rescuing, what kind of SWAT team would you want coming to your rescue? A rag-tag operation that had been trained by sitting around in a circle, holding hands, "sharing" with civilians; or one that had focused, having been trained in the best ("unloving" and "harsh") techniques available? You'd want them to be well-trained to shoot your captors...not you! And yet, for some reason, "christians" want to have the world in their assemblies. "Sharing" back and forth. Being all lovey-dovey. Not realizing that their mission is to "save others with fear, snatching them out of the fire.." (Jude23) 'Can't go on "rescue missions" without proper proving and training! "No one serving as a soldier entangles himself with the affairs of this life, so that he might please the one enlisting him." (2Tm2:4) OK, let's get back to Moses. Even the -world- knows you can't mix things up in worship. Pharaoh says, OK...go ahead and worship..."in the land" (vs25) In other words, 'where we can keep an eye on you, where you won't be running off, and we lose our cheap (free) slave labor.' And Moses observes, That's not very smart. For whatever reason, cattle were an "abomination" to the Egyptians. If the Egyptians saw something "abominable" being sacrificed in worship, that would rile them up to protest, and "stone" the Hebrews. That would have been the same as to offer a -pig- on an altar in Israel. Pigs were unclean. If a Jew even -touched- a pig, he was "unclean" until evening, and had to cleanse himself ritually. No, "we will go into the wilderness..." (vs27) Not long after the previous writings on this subject were mailed, I saw a documentary on Public TV. If I remember correctly, it was about a train 'tour' through certain parts of the United States, set up to view several historical, cultural, geological, ethnic features that most people might not be aware of. During part of this tour, the trip took the visitors into Navajo Indian territory. And of course, practically everything about them and their art was related in some way to their worship. Remember a past Portion on Bali? Just like the natives of Bali, the Navajo had certain things they would 'perform' for tourists. Religious dances and such. But then, there were some Navajo rituals which they -only- 'talked' about. They would not do them on camera, nor for the tourists. They were "private". Not for "outsiders". Very intimate aspects of their worship. The Masons, as I understand it, are -very- secretive with their rituals. We've already spoken of the Mormons who don't allow non-Mormons into their temples; and even more specifically, outsiders are not allowed in to view some of their secret rituals. Even the -world- knows better!! But not the "church"!! Strange, isn't it! The Last Supper Jesus commemorated with His disciples... not among the crowds, but in 'private' in the upper room. When the unsaved join in in worship, the words coming from their lips are an abomination to the Lord. When they are allowed to "share" in the assembly, they sprinkle "leaven" all over the place. Such a thing is an "unequal yoke". If you have ever wondered why so many churches have disgruntlements and factions, it's because there is no "fellowship". And, how CAN there be? "What fellowship does light have with darkness? And what agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or... WHAT PART DOES A BELIEVER HAVE WITH AN UNBELIEVER? One reason there is no "unity" in the "churches" is because the world has been allowed into the Church. How can there -possibly- be love and unity when Believers are mingled with unbelievers?! There Can't! Do you feel distant from God? Do you want fellowship with the Lord? God promised, "I will dwell in them and walk among them..." but if we mix up the "temple of God" with "idols", that fellowship is broken. Believers -are- the temple of the living God. The "unclean [should] not in any way go in" (2Chr23:19) When we claim to have fellowship with God in worship, and knowingly invite the unsaved to such meetings, God is -not- honored! They serve satan. Thus, they are like "idols" in the worship. If Believers would just obey God, they would experience His presence in a way they cannot imagine! They would grow in knowledge of Jesus Christ. But people don't like to be where there's -few- numbers. But notice that Moses says to Pharaoh, We need to go out into the wilderness, BY OURSELVES. Paul wrote this to the -Church- at Corinth, "Come out from among them and be separated, says the Lord, and do not touch the unclean thing, and I will receive you..." (2Cor6:14-18) [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: Separation for protection (Exodus 8-9) I am about to send swarms of flies on you, and on your servants... and in that day I will separate the land of Goshen with My people resting on it, that there be no swarms of flies, so that you may know that I am Jehovah in the midst of the earth. And I will put redemption between My people and your people. This miracle shall be for tomorrow. (8:21-23) Behold the hand of Jehovah is going to be on your livestock in the field...a very heavy pestilence. And Jehovah will make a distinction between Israel's livestock and Egypt's livestock. Also of all that belongs to the sons of Israel, not a thing will die...And the hail struck every plant of the field, and it broke in pieces every tree of the field. Only in the land of Goshen, where the sons of Israel lived, there was no hail. (9:4,26) If we remember back to our studies from Matthew 24, the wars and rumors of wars and earthquakes are merely the "beginning of throes" (24:8) but that as we see these things, we know that "the end is not yet." (vs6) Truly, Christians have been victims of war, famine, earthquakes; just like the rest of the world. And we concluded the first study in that series by suggesting that the world has had a "2000-year pregnancy". Of merely "discomfort". And notice how Israel also experienced some of the beginning "discomforts" of the frogs, and water turned to blood, etc. But at a certain point, God drew a "line in the sand". And He says, From now on, My people are separated and protected from the judgments I am bringing. And notice the wonderful word Jehovah uses. "I will put REDEMPTION between My people and your people." We see that word used by Paul where he says, "..we ourselves..eagerly expecting adoption, the REDEMPTION of our body." (Rom8:23) This is the redemption where our bodies change from "corruptible" into "incorruptible". (1Cor15:50-54) The RAPTURE. You see, yet another O.T. example of what has become know as the "pre-trib Rapture". Dear Believer in Jesus Christ, don't let the unregenerate dissuade you from God's Truth. Never forget Jesus' promise to the Faithful Church at Philadelphia that, because of their faithfulness, He would keep them from the "hour" of trial that is coming upon the world. (Rev3:10) He has not "appointed us to wrath". (1Th5:9) And He gave us this example from Israel's history as to how He did so in the past. He separated Israel from the rest of Egypt; brought judgment on Egypt, but kept Israel safe. The reason so many from the "church" are proclaiming that "the church" is going through the tribulation can be traced to the last Walk-thru lesson, "Separation in Worship". The Church has allowed the unregenerate into the assembly, and as a result it has become the "church" (notice small "c"). The "church" today has become filled with predominantly unsaved people. So, naturally... -THEY- WILL be going through the coming time of God's Wrath upon the world. They are of the world. They are not the True Church of Jesus Christ! If you want SEPARATION ("redemption") from God's wrath, then you need to be SEPARATED unto God in your Faith and Worship. Further, please notice Paul's words about those who experience the change from corruptible into incorruptible. This happens because of Victory over death. (1Cor15:54-56) Where does death come from? Sin. (see also Rom6:23) But notice where Victory over death comes from. "..through our Lord Jesus Christ!" (vs57) A Christian is one who has passed from "death into life" (Jn5:24) and does not "come into judgment". The coming time of Wrath is -God's- judgment upon the world. But notice -WHY- Jehovah makes this distinction, to keep His own out from under His judgment. "..so that you may know that I am Jehovah in the midst of the earth." (8:22) God does not save us because -we- are so wonderful. But to demonstrate His power and His own essence. So that the whole of creation knows Him... Who He is! If you, in obedience, "come out from among them and be separate" (2Cor6:17) you will find your numbers are few; and the way the world talks, you will "feel" like you are being "unfruitful". But notice Paul's encouragement... "So that, my beloved brothers, you be firm, immovable, abounding in the work of the Lord always, knowing that your labor is not without fruit in the Lord." (1Cor15:58) Amen! [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: Pharaoh acknowledges God? (Exodus 9) And Pharaoh sent and called Moses and Aaron, and said to them, I have sinned this time. Jehovah is the righteous One, and I and my people the wicked ones. (vs27) Oh, wonderful!! Did you hear this, everybody?? Pharaoh just became a Christian! Yes, that's right. He confessed his sin, and acknowledged Jehovah. He even 'humbled' himself and acknowledged that he was wicked. When I was about 10 years old, in Japan, I remember this one day a man came to the house. My father spoke with him for 3 or 4 hours...an entire afternoon. Through the course of the conversation, the man made a profession of becoming a Christian. And then, as they were "fellowshiping" in this "new-found faith", the man expressed a need for a "ride" to a certain distant village. Well, of course, Christians help one another out when one has a need. Right? And in those days in rural Japan, there was no regular mass-transit system, nor taxi one could call up. We were one of the only households in the whole village that had a car. And so, my dad gave him a ride to the destination. The man was never heard from again amongst Christian circles. The whole 4-hour visit, and pretense of becoming a "Christian", was for the sole purpose of getting a Free-Ride to where he needed to go. Notice what Pharaoh does. "Pray to Jehovah and let it be enough of the thunders and hail of God." And I -promise- "I will send you away..." Moses is not fooled, however. He says, Yes I'll go pray, and the current judgment will cease, "so that you may know that the earth is Jehovah's" (vs29) but "as for you and your servants, I know that you do not fear before Jehovah God." (vs30) Oh, Moses! You are being so judgmental! How can you know such a thing? He has just acknowledged his guilt! How can you claim to know his heart, when you haven't even taken the time to "get to know him" and his "fruit"! You see, the Holy Spirit "bears witness". (Rom8:16) This "witness" not only assures the Believer that he belongs to God, but the witness also often extends to one Believer recognizing whether another person -is- a Believer, or not. E-mails often come in to VW, and right at the outset I will often -know- that the query is intended to raise strife. But I will respond. And by the time a few exchanges have taken place, it gives me opportunity to share God's Word with them, so that when I finally explain to them how I will not engage in further discussion with them, and why, they have it from God's Word. They will know from God's Word, why I knew right off the bat, that they were a false prophet. And they then often -prove- their 'fruits' with subsequent comments and blasphemes. Just as Pharaoh did... "And Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, and he continued to sin. And he made his heart heavy, he and his servants." (vs34) You see, mere -acknowledgment- of sin, or of God, is NOT Regeneration. Just because a person admits guilt, does not indicate a humble, repentant heart. When something extraordinary happens, people often exclaim, "Oh-my-God!" Ones who don't want to use God's 'name' will soften it and say, "Oh-my-gosh!" Saying "Oh my God" does not indicate the kind of Faith Thomas was expressing when he said, "My Lord and my God!" (Jn20:28) Mere acknowledgment of sin and God is no better than the demons who "believe and shudder" (Jas2:19) when there is no Repentance and Saving Faith. But you see... often, discerning those who are -true- converts from those who are not is difficult. If it was an easy matter, John would not have exhorted, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone forth into the world." (1Jn4:1) But because these demon spirits who proclaim their own doctrines (1Tm4:1), appear to be "ministers of righteousness" (2Cor11:15), new converts need to be tested before they are entrusted with ministry. (1Tim3:10) Another one of the major problems with today's "church" is the fact that most of the people now in high-profile positions of leadership, were thrust there, or took it upon themselves, immediately after "being saved". They were well-known celebrities. They were already used to being on stage, and so, when a country musician "became a christian", they stayed on stage, and started doing "christian" country. An actor "got saved" and continued acting, and brought the world into the church from their acting background. That's partly how "Hollywood" got into the "church" as it is today; you know... the "show biz". And the "church" followed them. They were never tested. They never grew. They were "babies" leading others, not submitting themselves to God's Word. They were never -taught-, but immediately started -teaching-. Just because a person has a high degree in education and worked for a former US president, doesn't qualify them to be a Christian leader until they grow in the Lord, and are proved as to whether they are truly Believers or not. Just because somebody -says- they "believe in Jesus" does not make them a Christian. A successful business man and CEO of a large corporation, newly saved, is not qualified to lead older Christians. Remember... Moses' great education did not qualify him to lead Israel out of Egypt. He needed to grow in Jehovah, first. It takes -time-. First of all for the new convert to grow. And also for others to see the fruits, as the person "passes the test" as being, truly, a Believer... not merely a 'changeling'. Thus, Paul specifies "not a novice [new convert], lest being puffed up he may fall into the Devil's judgment." (1Tim3:6) [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: Will you not humble yourself? (Exodus 10) And Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and said to him, So says Jehovah the God of the Hebrews, Until when will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Send away My people so that they may serve Me. For if you refuse... more judgment is coming. (vs3-4) And Moses describes how the locusts will wipe out everything that is left, whatever the hail didn't -quite- pulverize into the ground. I've never seen grass hoppers of this magnitude. But I've heard tell of the "dirty thirties" in North Dakota when the grass hoppers would come like a "cloud" and cover the land, and essentially eat everything in sight. And the damage they caused was not limited to crops, but they'd even eat the rubber canning seals, whatever was sticking out from between the lid and the jar. Now, Pharaoh's servants get into the act. "How long shall this one be a snare to us? Send away the men that they may serve Jehovah their God. Do you not yet know that Egypt is perishing?" (vs7) Pharaoh, don't you know there's NOTHING LEFT to your kingdom? The fish were killed off in the Nile. The crops and cattle were wiped out in the hail. And we're still healing up from the lice and boils. You might be ruler, but there's nothing left to rule over! These people have long-ago become a liability to our welfare! Remember the "fear" the Egyptians had about Israel years earlier? (1:12) That's why they subjugated them in the first place, so they wouldn't take over Egypt. But now, on account of them, Egypt is being systematically destroyed...by, of all things, their "God"! "And Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. And he said to them, Go, serve Jehovah your God..." (vs8) Phew! It's about time!! ??? Is it, really ??? [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: Negotiating with God (Exodus 10) Who and who are the ones going? (vs8) Ok, you can go worship, but let's clear up a few details, here. He starts 'negotiating' even though his country is wiped out. Sounds somewhat like Saddam Hussein, who was supposedly "defeated" in 1991, but he still has power, and plays games. EVERYBODY and EVERYTHING is going. Oh, no, no, no you don't! Just the men can go. Nobody else! Of course, if only the men go, and their families are still in Egypt, he knows they will come back. So, the locusts come and they "eat every plant of the land, all that the hail left." (vs12) Oh, I have sinned against Jehovah your God and against you. Now, only this once, pray again and have the locusts taken away. Just this once! (vs16) Well, he hardens his heart again, and this time there is no warning. The next plague comes. "Darkness of gloom." (vs22) Oh, OK then. Take your wives and your children along. Just leave your possessions. And Moses says, we need everything for worship, too. And after all the back-n-forth, and Pharaoh has been refusing to submit to God, "Jehovah hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he was not willing to send them away." (vs27) And finally, after everything they've been through, Pharaoh finally threatens, Don't you dare come into my presence again anymore, or "you shall die." And Moses replies, You said it! In 11:1 God promises Moses, "I will bring still one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. Afterward he will send you from here. When he sends you away completely, he will surely drive you out from here." And we know that that is the death of the first-born of all living beings in Egypt, man and animal. Just as God many centuries into the 'future' will be giving His Own Son, Jesus Christ; right now, as He prepares Israel to look forward to that, He is going to -take- Pharaoh's first-born. But notice how Pharaoh tries to "string" God along. You see, the way people are today is nothing new at all. How many "fox-hole conversions" have there been? The soldier behind the bunker or in the trenches ("fox hole") with bombs going off all around, and he's hunkered down for dear life. And he "prays". Oh, how he prays! "Lord, if you'll get me out of this mess alive, I -promise- to serve You." Just like Jacob did as he was running away from Esau, "If you bring me back home alive, I promise to tithe to You." How many of those end up just like Pharaoh? After the person is out of the 'jam', they go back to their old debauchery. A person has lived like the devil his whole life, and is 'now' on his "death-bed". Somebody comes along and "shares Jesus" with him. And he "prays" and "invites Jesus into his heart". Well, that's what Pharaoh did, "..that He may take away from me this death only." (vs17) How many of those are -real-? It's quite possible that -some- of them are, for "nothing shall be impossible with God" (Lk1:37) "but with God all things are possible." (Mt19:26) I dare say, however, that -most- are actually like Pharaoh. Around 25 years ago I had a dream. I have believed the Lord gave me the dream as an instance of teaching; of "information". You see, I have never known what it is like to not be a Christian. I was saved at age 5. While I have a few miscellaneous scattered memories (images) from ages 2-4, the memory of the "time-line" of my life begins, realistically, at age 5. And, that also being around the time when I was saved, I don't remember those previous years. And furthermore, I would have been too young to contemplate philosophical 'eternal' matters. In this dream (I was college age when I had the dream), I was on my death-bed. I knew I was to die. And a few people that came by to visit also knew that I was to die. But, in the dream, I was NOT "saved". And these people also knew that I wasn't saved. And the 'message' that was the dream's 'reality' to my heart was the fact that it was "too late". I was dying; I was not saved; and it was too late to be saved. I have believed the dream was given to me, so that I might understand in some limited way the "emptiness" of those who are not saved. Could that emptiness I felt be part of what Jesus spoke of as the "outer darkness"? I don't claim to know or understand. But in that dream, on the death-bed, there was "no more chance". Many people try to "negotiate" with God about their lives, and their eternity. They try to strike up "deals" with God. God, if You'll do X, Y or Z, then I'll do A, B or C. But God doesn't work that way. God knows your heart, just as He knew Pharaoh's heart. When it was quite clear where Pharaoh was, "Who is Jehovah that I should listen to His voice? I do not know Jehovah..."(5:3) ...and I will NOT obey Him or submit to Him in humility and repentance! God didn't play 'games' with Pharaoh. He doesn't play games with you, either. Don't count on waiting till the last minute, to then be able to "say a quick prayer" (the "magic formula") and then expect to "get in". It won't happen. You can be at that final moment where you know you are about to meet your Maker, and you will "not be able to" be saved. In your heart you will -know- that it's "too late". You had so many chances throughout your life, which you "blew off". So, what makes you think that 'now' is any different? Don't play such games. It's your "eternal destiny" we're talking about! You might think you still have a bit of time yet, before you have to make the final decision. "Come now, those saying, Today or tomorrow we will [do this and that, living life] who do not know of the morrow. For what is your life? For it is a mist, which for a little while appears, and then disappears.." (Jas4:13-14) And you don't know -when- it will 'disappear'. You might be in an airplane that looses pressure at high altitude, or you get run over by that truck...and "snuf", in a split-second your life is over. "Behold, now is the acceptable time! Behold, now is the day of salvation!" (2Cor6:2) You may not have been aware, up until now, of all these things you are just now reading, and fear has gripped you. That's OK. But what will you -do- about it? "Truly, then, God overlooking the times of ignorance, now strictly commands all men everywhere to repent.." (Acts17:30) "For it shall be, all who shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be saved." (Joel2:32, Rom10:13) [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: One more plague - First-born (Exodus 11) And Moses said [to Pharaoh], You have spoken rightly. I will not see your face again. (10:29) And then, God gives Moses some words for Pharaoh, so he knows -just- what is about to take place. But in review, what do we have at this point? Nine plagues so far. These plagues have been judgments against Egypt's deities. And like the current global religious push as they are going back to the gods of Egypt, these deities had to do with the earth and nature. A prime characteristic of the present unification of religions is "ecology". Mother earth. The environment. Being at one with nature. For instance; while the early settlers were used by God to judge the Native American religions, essentially wiping their idolatry out into nothingness, today America is going back to their heathen/pagan spiritualism. Over the recent holidays I was hearing local civic comments about the "spirit of the falls". The 'falls' being those in Spokane's city park, of the Spokane River. I drive by one of their 'sacred pillars' daily as I go to work, the totem pole. In America (who "in God we trust") there used to be a mentality that we don't adhere to pagan/heathen religions. We, as westerners are 'above' that. But I've been noticing lately that what seems like practically every other commercial is using a particular heathen drum beat. It is used to sell GM trucks, Indian casinos, and was the same beat use during the opening ceremonies for the Atlanta Olympics a few years ago, in which all the tribes of the whole world worshiped together. It used to be considered that this 'heathen' spiritism was a 'backwards/tribal/ethnic' sort of thing of the jungle witch doctors. But as I watch the travel show on public TV at noon, I see the same hideous demonic figurines in German (and other European) architecture and church ornamentation, that I grew up seeing in "heathen" Japan, and which are characteristic of China and other eastern religions. Judging by architecture, the "west" has never really ever been any different from the "east"...where it counts. ...in their worship. In the East it's called Shinto, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. In the West it has been given the name "Christian". But it is not the same "Christian" of Acts 11:26. In judging Egypt's deities, the whole country of Egypt is in shambles. God has shown Himself to be Supreme. And yet Pharaoh, a god wanna-be, is still not submitting to the Most High. So now Jehovah is going to strike Egypt's most precious commodity. Their first-borns. In most cultures, the first-born is the prized offspring. The bulk of the inheritance goes to the first-born. It is the first-born through whom the family tree is remembered. It is the first-born that opens the womb, and typically is the result of the two-become-one union when husband and wife are united. The first-born is the symbol of that love and union. In Egypt -every- family will be affected. From Pharaoh's own first-born, set to be his successor, down to the lowliest of servants, and yes... the animals, too. (11:5) It is to be of such a nature that "a great cry shall be in the land of Egypt". (vs6) And in the midst of all this calamity, God is going to do another wonder. "And a dog shall not sharpen his tongue (bark) against all the sons of Israel...so that you may know that Jehovah distinguishes between Egypt and Israel."(vs7) Think about this a minute. How do you know the mail man is on his way through your neighborhood? You know -exactly- where he/she is by -which- dogs are barking. Yes? And you can audibly "follow" the person through the neighborhood by the change of dogs barking. When some 'phenomenon' is occuring, it is the nature of dogs to bark. God is promising that not-a-dog will bark during the impending night of horror. Furthermore, Pharaoh, you may be kicking me out of your palace right now, as you are threatening me; but "these servants of yours will come down to me, and bow to me, saying, Go out, you and all the people.." And then, we will be outta here! (vs8) And Moses, the 'meekest' man on earth (Nu12:3) left Pharaoh's presence "in the heat of anger". Is it proper to be angry sometimes? Indeed, when God is being mocked. And notice God's word to Moses, that Pharaoh would continue to harden his heart unto the end "so that My miracles may multiply in the land of Egypt." (vs9) But after this final plague "he will send you from here. When he sends you away completely, driving he will drive you out from here." (vs1) Now, the penultimate insult to Egypt. Plunder the Egyptians. Silver, gold jewelry. The land is decimated. Now, Israel is also getting all their wealth. Egypt is left with absolutely nothing as Israel leaves. Well, -almost- nothing. The 'ultimate' insult is yet to come. Pharaoh may be hardened, but "Jehovah gave favor in the eyes of the Egyptians toward the people." (vs3) And remember shy Moses? "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh...?" (3:11) "..and the man Moses was very great in the land of Egype, in the eyes of the servants of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of the people." [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: Passover (Exodus 12) This month shall be the chief of months for you..they each shall take for themselves an animal..a male without blemish..from the sheep or from the goats..they shall take from the blood, and put it on the two side doorposts and on the upper doorpost, on the houses in which they eat it..they shall eat..with unleavened bread and bitter herbs..it is the Passover to Jehovah. I will pass through the land of Egypt in this night..the blood shall be a sign to you..and I will see the blood, and I will pass over you. And the plague shall not be on you to destroy, when I strike the land of Egypt..And the day shall be a memorial for you. And you shall celebrate it as a feast to Jehovah, for your generations..you shall not eat anything leavened..take a bunch of hyssop and dip in the blood..and touch some of the blood..to the lintel and two doorposts. And you shall not go out, anyone from the door of his house until morning..And the sons of Israel..did as Jehovah commanded Moses and Aaron. So they did. (~vs1-28) Perhaps we can understand how Peter's first epistle was written to Jewish Believers when he writes, "Knowing that not with corruptible things, silver and gold, were you redeemed from your worthless way of life..but with precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot, indeed having been foreknown before the foundation of the world, but revealed in the last times because of you." (1Pt1:18-20) The "chief of months". The most important Feast and celebration. Without Passover, none of the other feasts to follow could have any significance. Passover was the occasion where Israel was redeemed out of slavery in Egypt. Israel didn't fully understand all the ramifications of Passover as they celebrated year after year. But this event was foreknown before creation. When God created the universe, earth, and put man on it, He knew man would sin. And so, He already had a redemptive plan. The thing is, Passover was not -just- about getting Israel out of Egypt. It primarily pointed ahead to Jesus Christ. Everything about Passover had a type and fulfillment in Christ. We will not study all the details at this time; this is merely a 'walk-thru' series. The central event of all human history, the event around which the world's calendars are even hinged (year "0"), the birth of God incarnate, born for the purpose of dying, to redeem mankind from the slavery of sin. Without this event, Jesus' crucifixion, nothing else is possible. There is no Heaven and eternal life. There is only slavery and death. There could not be Pentecost and the Holy Spirit indwelling. There could not be Christ's glorious appearing. There could not be a future Feast of Tabernacles where God "dwells with them" as "My tabernacle shall be with them, and I will be their God and they shall be My people." (Eze37:27) Once there is Passover, redemption from sin; then everything else is possible. Another little necessary element that was "tucked away" within the Passover remembrances... the sheaf of the firstfruits "..then he shall wave the sheaf before Jehovah for your acceptance; on the morrow of the sabbath the priest shall wave it." (Lev23:11) Along with that sheaf, there was also a burnt offering of a lamb. (vs12) Again, something they didn't know, as the disciples "did not yet know the Scripture, that it was necessary for Him to rise from the dead." (Jn20:9) But Jesus would fulfill that little annual ritual, Himself being the "firstfruit of those having fallen asleep" (1Cor15:20) when He rose from the dead on the day 'following the sabbath'. After all, what good is death, if there is no resurrection? "Eternal Life" would be a farce. Let's look at Passover, briefly, through the eyes of an Israelite, not yet having any -written- Scriptures. But since we do have the Scriptures, and Christ -has- died and risen, we know what the various things mean. But just briefly, as though to explain it to one not having the scriptures... The Passover was to be a "male" sheep/goat. The 'coming' Redeemer would be a "Male". God's "Son", not daughter. Just as sin came through the first-created human, Adam; so also redemption came through The Son of Man, Jesus Christ. (1Cor15:21-22) Redemption from sin, and transference into some eternal ethereal destiny does not come about through all the various female deities that are worshipped. Down through the idolatrous centuries, they have been worshipping the Queen of Heaven in her various forms; and today, even, the pope elevates her above Jesus. Supposing that praying to the "blessed virgin" will protect them from Jesus' wrath. But it was Jesus, God's (male) Son who redeems us from the Father's wrath. It was the blood from the 'male' lamb that protected Israel from the death plague. They took from the lamb's blood and put it on the door posts. Some translations have the hyssop being "struck" on the doorposts. Symbolizing Jesus' blood when He was stretched up to the whipping post, and beaten till His back was a bloody pulp. And the lintel, signifying the cross from which Jesus would be hung. Notice that the household HAD TO HAVE BLOOD on their doorposts in order to escape judgment. While God had been making a distinction between Egypt and Israel for the ending judgments/plagues, this 'blood' was a matter where EVERYONE needed to adhere to God's command. The BLOOD was what provided redemption. And later, all the rituals would include sprinkling of blood for cleansing. "Almost all things are cleansed by blood according to the Law; and apart from shedding of blood, no remission occurs." (Heb9:22) And so, this looked ahead to Christ, "in whom we have redemption through His blood, the remission of sins." (Col1:14) Because the "life..is in the blood" (Lev17:11) and is what makes atonement. When Jesus shed His blood, He gave His life. This blood could not be from -just-any- lamb. It had to be "without blemish". There were tithes and first-borns that were given to Jehovah, in as-is condition; blemishes and all. But the Passover had to be without any defect. No broken bones, sores, disease or malformation. This was a -physical- representation that Jesus would come, and while being in "likeness of men" (Phil2:7) was without sin. (Heb9:28) John proclaimed, "Behold! The Lamb of God, taking away the sin of the world!" (Jn1:29) And the Father proclaimed Him to be perfect, "in whom I take delight". (Mk1:11) Also notice that there was to be no leaven. Leaven, in Scripture, is often a type of sin, as Paul exhorts, "Then purge out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, even as you are unleavened. For also Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. So let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with leaven of malice and of evil, but with unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." (1Cor5:7-8) Yes, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. (1Jn1:7) If we have truly been redeemed, then we clean out the garbage of our lives. That's a -choice- to do or not. Works do not save us. (Tit3:5) But once we are redeemed, we do not "continue in sin" assuming that "grace abounds" (Rom6:1) and thus, Israel would fastidiously clean out the leaven from their homes. This was of such a serious concern that if anyone ate leaven during this feast "that soul shall be cut off from Israel". (12:15) As James says, "faith is dead apart from works". (Jas2:26) And so, what is the significance of all this? Most modern gospels preach a God of "love". Many evangelists (e.g. Luis Palau) don't even like to talk about hell and God's judgment. They only like to talk about Heaven and the "sweet by and by". But the truth of the matter is that all humanity is headed for destruction because of sin and God's wrath upon sin. (Rom3:10,6:23,1:18) When John started preaching he quipped, "Offspring of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" (Mt3:7) Jesus said that "many" would be travelling down the "broad way" to destruction. (Mt7:13) There really is NO OPTION to man, in his normal state, to escape God's wrath. When God sends His death angel out, that angel is commissioned to find -every- 'first-born'; which is how it will be at the Great White Throne. (Rev20:12-15) Anybody who has ever lived on earth will be reconstituted from whatever state of the decay of their death, and will appear before God. What is the ONE THING that will keep a person from appearing before that Great White Throne? Being found in the Book of Life. How does one get his name in that book? By the cleansing blood of the Lamb of God. Without that blood, there is no forgiveness of sin. In Israel's case at this first Passover, the death angel was commission to kill every first-born...EXCEPT...where there was blood on the entry to the house. If he came to a house and was seeking to enter to kill, but saw the blood, he PASSED-OVER that house, sparing it. In the same way, as Believers are charged with carrying out what has been called the "Great Commission" to reach the world for Christ, our duty is not so much to 'romance' people into the Kingdom by telling them "how wonderful" Heaven is. Rather, it is as Jude proclaims, "Pity some, making a distinction. But save others with fear, snatching them out of the fire..." (Jude22-23) So many people are busy "loving people into the kingdom". But it is actually a rescue mission. In the midst of the hubbub of satan's lionous roars, and the growls of all his cubs which would attempt to drown out the communication, screaming to the individual, "Heeere! Grab my hand! You're drowning! Let me pull you out of the water! Hang on! Jump out of the burning building, and I'll catch you!" And just as "it happened..Jehovah struck every first-born in the land of Egypt" (vs29) God's final judgment is also coming. And come, it will! Where there was no blood, there was death. In Israel, where they obeyed God, and stayed indoors, within the shelter of the blood, they were spared. And furthermore, that night, Egypt couldn't get Israel out of their land fast enough. Israel was free at last. Free from bondage. Just like Egypt no longer wanted redeemed Israel in their midst, a True Believer usually finds the fellowship with old unsaved friends is no longer of the 'chummy' nature it used to be. There is now a difference. If close friendship is attempted, it is an unequal yoke. "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership does righteousness have with lawlessness? And what fellowship does light have with darkness? And what agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? ..because of this, come out from among them and be separated, says the Lord" (2Cor6:14-17) The Believer is commanded to "come out" from the former life of sin "former lusts" (1Pt1:14-16) And, if a Believer truly lives as a believer should, the old crowd will no longer accept him in "close fellowship". They become "surprised" that you are no longer "running with them into the same overflow of unsavedness, blaspheming." (1Pt4:4) And so, Israel came out of Egypt, "and all the sons of Israel did as Jehovah commanded Moses and Aaron. So they did. And it happened on this day, Jehovah brought out the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt..." (12:50-51) [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: Take your stand, See Jehovah's Salvation (Exodus 14) And behold! I am making strong the heart of the Egyptians. And they will go after them. And I will be honored through Pharaoh and through his armies, through his chariots, and through his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am Jehovah, in My being honored through Pharaoh, through his chariots, and through his horsemen. (vs17-18) Back in June, 1967 I had just barely left home to live on my own, preparing for my first year in Bible school. After the kind of upbringing I had had, I was not keeping track of the news...because at "home" the news was -always- on. The news always usurped any kind of personal family interaction. When my father wrote in letters, all excited about the "seven day war", I didn't pay much mind; I was too busy, for the first time in my life, discovering who "Paul Becker" was. Discovering personal identity. That victory essentially whizzed right past me, over my head. It did not grab me, at the time, as being of any significance. I barely noticed it. However, next to Israel becoming a new country again in 1948, after two millennia of exile, the 1967 war was the next significant event as Israel again occupied Jerusalem. Since that time I have read various things, and forgive me if I don't remember details; but the thing which astounded the whole world was Israel's military prowess. Where most military conflicts 'waste' a lot of ammunition, where bullets miss the mark, and missles miss their targets; during that conflict Israel's weapons achieved nearly total accuracy. Practically everything they shot, hit the targets. The world has looked at that as being some sort of superior Israeli military/technical 'ability'. Back during the Cold War, world military might was of the order: USA, USSR and Israel. Little -tiny- Israel with scarcely a 'handful' of million people, the world's -third- military power. We live during a time when God is again fighting for Israel "like the day He fought in the day of battle." (Zech14:3) "..five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight." (Lev26:8) At one point, of the tribe of Benjamin it says of 700 "chosen men..every one could sling stones at a hair's breadth, and not miss." (Judg20:16) The world looks at military machinery. Weaponry. I was reading something recently that spoke of the US's superiority being closely related to its technology. And in large measure, to its unparalleled satellite/communications/spying technology. Concerns that if an enemy could disable the satellites, that it could bring the US to its knees. What is Israel's advantage? We find it in David's response to Goliath, "You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of Jehovah of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied." (1Sam17:45) We see that heritage beginning as Israel leaves Egypt. God proclaims that He will be glorified against Egypt's -military- power, that which nations boast in and rely upon to protect themselves, and extend their religious idiologies to their neighbors. It is how the Roman church "christianized" the "New World", at the point of the bayonet. "Convert or die!" It is at the root core of modern Israelie/Arab -military- conflicts. Their 'deities'. Jihad..."holy war". Let us first see Israel's situation; and how God is setting things up to show His power. God leads Israel right into a 'corner'. God knew that if Israel saw war, they would try to go back to Egypt, so He leads them away from the Philistines (13:17); and they end up with with water ahead of them, a spiky grasslands to one side, and tower-like abutments on the other side. And God says to Moses, "I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue you..." (14:4) Now hold on just a minute! What kind of "deliverance" is this?!? When the Egyptians knock themselves up-side the head and say, "What is this we have done? For we have sent away Israel from serving us." (14:5) And Egypt's armies come pursuing after Israel, this "trap" is not lost on Israel, either. "Were there no graves in Egypt, that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What is this you have done to us, to bring us out from Egypt?" (14:11-12) As a 'human' who often worries about certain things in my own life, I don't always fully understand God's ways. But I have seen His hand in my own life in what seemed like impossible situations. God would test Saul, and he would fail; as he would see the enemy approaching, his own armies deserting him, and he would take it upon himself to offer the sacrifice, not waiting for Samuel. (1Sam13) David would prove himself to be after God's "own heart" in countless situations. Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah would find themselves in the furnace before God would deliver them. Daniel would spend a night with the lions. And so right 'now' Israel find themselves trapped. No where to escape, and Egypt closing in from behind. They have -no- weapons or military skills or prowess. And God is proclaiming victory over Egypt's military power; the world's -foremost- military power of that day. They are sitting ducks!! Moses calms them, "Take your stand and see the salvation of Jehovah, which He will prepare for you today. For as you see the Egyptians today, you shall not continue to see them again forever. Jehovah will fight for you, and you be silent." (14:13-14) You see where God often places His people? Into corners. Trapped. No way out. No possibility of SELF-extrication. Yes, as frail humanity, we fear greatly and tremble. We want to be 'in control' of our own destiny. We are raised up and taught, if you get yourself into a mess, get yourself out. Work hard and struggle, do the best you can, and pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. But this was Passover. Redemption. Salvation. This was symbolic of a 'future' redemption Christ would provide for sin. Israel was trapped in a place where they could not get themselves out, just like we as sinners are trapped. There is no way out. We are subject to death. (Rom6:23, Eze18:4b) We cannot save ourselves. We are "without strength" or ability. (Rom5:6) Just as Moses exhorted Israel to "stand and see" and "be silent" while they observed what God would do, the salvation that Christ provides is "not by works of righteousness which -we- have done" (Tit3:5) but according to what -He- does. So, until Israel's salvation is complete (them being on the other side of the sea away from Egypt's forces), notice what God does. "And the Angel of God withdrew, the One going before the camp of Israel. And He went behind them. And the pillar of cloud withdrew from before them, and it stood behind them. And it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel." (14:19-20) Many people have speculated as to -who- this "Angel of God" was. Paul makes it quite clear. It was Christ. (1Cor10:1-4) God had "elected" Israel. (Is45:4, Rom11:7) He "called" Israel out of Egypt. (Hos11:1) He was not about to let anything separate between Him and them before He had saved them. (Rom8:35-39) Just as God put limits on satan before Job came to repentance, Christ also stepped between Israel and Egypt to protect them until they would be delivered through the sea. See the Rom8:29-30 pattern here? "..Predestined, called, justified..." But also protected until it was all fulfilled. Now, just as an interesting piece of 'trivia' about God's coming kingdom rule, we are told that this Cloud of fire/smoke will again be present over Israel, once they have received their new hearts. (Is4:5) It will again be a "canopy" of shelter for Israel. Well... the rest of this account is pretty well-known. The sea-bed dries up for Israel to walk across. And the Egyptians, attempting to do the same, end up being destroyed and drowned. Their entire military destroyed in one fell swoop. Israel did nothing, except obediently walk across. God took care of Israel's enemy. As though God was saying, Don't try to do -My- job, and don't complain or worry. Let Me do what I will do, you be silent and when the time is right...go. As for you, Moses, tell Israel to get ready (even though they are boxed in and have no idea what is about to take place, like Abraham "went out not understanding where he went"-Heb11:8). Moses, you stretch out your staff to divide the sea. And I will do My part...making sure Egypt follows you into the sea. "And it happened in the morning watch: Jehovah looked on the camp of the Egyptians..and He confused the camp of the Egyptians" (14:24) and completely dismantled their 'superior' technology, as their chariots fell apart. And the Egyptians said, I will flee from the face of Israel, for Jehovah is fighting for them..." (vs25) About the "end of times" it speaks of armies with "much equipment" (Dan11:13) And notice how God will defeat Israel's enemies again in the future, "each man's sword shall be against his brother...(Ez38:21) and I will strike the bow out of your [Gog/Magog] left hand, and I will cause your arrows to fall out of your right hand." (39:3) And the weapons will be burned for seven years. (39:9) God fighting for Israel. If He did this for Israel in the past, and we have seen it in modern days (1967/1973), and we know it will be again; what's the big deal with all -our- 'little' concerns that we worry so much about? [Ed: yes, I'm saying this to -me-, too!] "But if God so dresses the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much rather you, little-faiths?" (Lk12:28) And finally, notice that "fear" comes before "faith". "And Israel saw the great hand with which Jehovah worked against Egypt. And the people feared Jehovah, and they believed in Jehovah and in His servant Moses." (14:31) God would be glorified against Egypt's military, and they would sing, "Jehovah is a Man of war; Jehovah is His name." (15:3) [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: Mixed Multitude (Exodus 12 & 16) And also a mixed multitude went up with them, and flocks, and herds, very many livestock. (12:38) And they came to Marah. And they were not able to drink water from Marah, for it was bitter...and the people murmured against Moses... (15:23-24) And all the congregation of the sons of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron in the wilderness...Would that we had died by the hand of Jehovah in the land of Egypt, in our sitting by the fleshpots, in our eating bread to satisfaction. For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill all this assembly with hunger. (16:2-3) "And the mixed multitude among them lusted with a great lust; and the sons of Israel also turned back and wept, and said, Who shall cause us to eat flesh? (Num11:4) Here, we see the 'secret' to Israel's continual rebellions. Truly, they were God's elect people, descendants of Abraham. They had seen God's power in delivering them out of Egypt's slavery, and had feared and believed in Him. "Yet God was not pleased with most of them..." (1Cor10:5) And the book of Numbers chronicles their 40 years of wanderings due to their rebellion. Where did it start? What is a "mixed multitude"? Mixed == "mixed company, knitted, interwoven". Multitude == "exceedingly numerous". Think of a multicolored sweater or shirt. You cannot pull one colored thread out, without it unravelling the whole. All the colors are 'integral' with the whole. I drink "Russian Tea" sometimes. It is made from mixing together Tang, sugar and instant tea. Once the ingredients are combined, and the mixing jar has been shaken and turned multiple times to make the mixture 'even', it is not possible to again separate out each ingredient into its distinctive essence. Drop food coloring into a clear liquid, the liquid is never again clear; you CANNOT separate out the color. And there were 'many' of them. They were busy obeying the matter of keeping leaven out of their bread dough, but didn't figure out to apply the same principle to their leaving Egypt. And, once they got into the land of promise, they would again have problems with making peace treaties (Josh ch9), when God commanded, "you shall not cut a covenant with them..." (Ex23:32) Same problem they have today; God gives them victories and land, and they negotiate it away and give it back to those whom God defeated; even giving sanctuary to their enemies within their own midst as it is today! This mixed multitude was living right in the midst of Israel. They became an integral part with them. And what did they get Israel doing? Murmuring. Complaining, stirring up strife and rebellion. But notice what an 'asset' they were to Israel! They had "flocks and herds...very many livestock". You who have been on this e-list for awhile, already know where this discussion is going, don't you. A prime characteristic of the Church of Jesus Christ, His "body", is that they "love one another". (Jn13:34-35) This love and unity is a 'distinguishing characteristic' of the Church. You can -know- it's the Church -because- there is [already] love. If there is -not- love, and thus they are striving to 'make/create' love and unity, then you know it is not the Church. (1Jn3:10b) How many arguments and flaired tempers in church business meetings are the result of the 'mixed multitude' within the church 'membership'? How did they get into the church? They drove up in their high-priced cars, wearing their expensive clothing and jewelry... they were 'beautiful people'. And as they came, they contributed their 'wealth' into the offering plate. Such an asset, as we had the building program. When Israel was being led step-by-step, what did the mixed multitude lust after? The finer delicacies. God doesn't know what we need... we want...! Along with the fancy building, that wealth will also bring in the high-priced Hollywood 'show biz' entertainers, too, to help bring in other wealthy people to contribute to the offerings, to keep the various -programs- going. The more money in the offering, the higher can be the pastor's salary. After all, like the world does; the more 'successful' the pastor is in bringing in more wealthy 'clients', he should get a bigger piece of that 'pie'... right? In Israel's case the mixed multitude resulted in them spending 40 years in the wilderness, instead of going 'right' into the land of promise. 40 years to have the rebels die off, and be judged, and raise a new crop from childhood, who would follow the Lord. The rebels never did get to enter the land, for all their murmuring. To the Church God commands, "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers" (2Cor6:14) While this is a classic verse regarding marriage and dating, it is primarily written to the Church as a whole. We have addressed, in the past, the matter of unbelievers not belonging in the assembly. When Israel did not heed, they died in the wilderness. When the Church does not heed, it goes into apostasy, as we see all around us. When enough of a 'multitude' ends up in the "church", ultimately the pastor is also unsaved. When they are "winning" people into the church, always remember that figs do not come from thistles. (Mt7:16) Their converts are -not- Christians. If satan is like a "roaring lion" (1Pt5:8), his followers are like lion 'cubs'. Lions do not 'give birth' to lambs! What results is a "church" full of lions, not "sheep". And it is -sheep- who hear the Shepherd's voice. (Jn10:27) This is why I said that they are being won "into the church". They are becoming "church members", but are not part of -the- "Church" ("C"). The apostasy all starts with the mixed multitude. However, when celebrating the Passover of God's Salvation, Believers are to "..purge out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, even as you are unleavened. For also Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us." (1Cor5:7) [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: Murmuring against God (Exodus 16-17) "..all the congregation...murmured against Moses and against Aaron. (vs2) When Jehovah gives you flesh to eat in the evening, and bread in the morning to satisfaction; when Jehovah hears your murmurings which you are murmuring against Him, you will see. And what are we? Your murmurings are not against us, but against Jehovah. (vs8) "..and the people wrangled with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said to them, Why do you wrangle with me? Why do you tempt Jehovah?" (17:2) Because of this, even as the Holy Spirit says, "Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness, there where your fathers tempted Me, testing Me, and saw My works forty years. Because of this, I was angry with that generation and said, They always go astray in heart; and they did not know My ways; so I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter into My rest." (Heb3:7-11) Reading the account of Israel's wilderness wanderings is an account of continual complaining and rebellion. And who was it aimed at continually? Moses, the 'man'. Moses, why did -you- bring us out here to this wilderness, when we had it 'so good' back in Egypt. How quickly they forgot the daily beatings of the taskmasters in their former slavery. Any of you who truly serve the Lord have experienced the taunts, anger, backstabbings and excommunications from groups called "church". Since I've been there, too, I know how you experience loneliness and depression over the situations. They come at you with what sound to everybody else like 'reason'. But they disobey God's Word. They accuse you of being 'unloving', 'judgmental' and 'divisive' and of not submitting to the 'chain-of-command'. They, the pastors of course, being "God's higher authority" over you; and so you are supposed to "submit to them". And in your flesh you begin to wonder if, perhaps, they are correct. After all, their arguments are sooo convincing. And... how can everybody else be wrong, and -only- 'you' be 'right'? What kind of pride do you have that you think you are right, and they are wrong?? You need to "humble yourself"!! ...??? Well, if you are standing upon God's Word, and are suffering thus for it, first of all Jesus calls you "Blessed". "Blessed are you when they shall reproach you, and persecute you, and shall say every evil word against you, lying, on account of Me." (Mt5:11) And notice that Jesus says, "on account of Me". These reproaches are not against us, but against "God and against His Anointed" (Ps2:1) When Israel continually murmured against Moses, they were murmuring against God. Moses was God's servant. A True Believer is also God's servant. And notice Jesus' words about who these "church" people are.. "if the -WORLD- hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it has hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, for this reason the world hates you." (Jn15:18-19) If you doubt this verdict that those who persecute you in this way from within the "church" are unsaved, notice the verdict upon those who murmured in the wilderness, and didn't go into the land of promise, "..we see that they were not able to enter because of UNBELIEF."(Heb3:19) Now that we have clarified the nature of the persecution that comes against us, a little friendly reminder/warning to us who are believers to be careful how we respond to God! And yes, for you who still confuse "Eternal Security" with "Once Saved-Always Saved" as though they were the same thing, this will likely rile your dander...be that as it may. All of Israel experienced Passover. They followed Christ in the cloud. They passed through the Sea...a figure of baptism. They were "saved". And "yet God was not please with most of them." (1Cor10:1-5) Why? When they got out into the wilderness they decided the "cost" of following God was too great. (Lk14:28) The "cares of this age...and the lusts about other things" entered in, "they choked the Word" (Mk4:19) and they perished. And these things about Israel were documented for our benefit, so we don't follow after their same kind of lusts. (1Cor10:6) As the writer of Hebrews warns us: "Watch, brothers, lest perhaps there shall be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief in -WITHDRAWING-FROM- [the] living God. But exhort yourselves each day, as long as it is being called today, that not any of you be hardened by [the] deceit of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if truly we hold the beginning of the assurance firm to [the] end; (Heb3:12-14) Amen! [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: Day by Day, Step by Step (Exodus 16) "That is the bread which Jehovah has given you for food. This is the thing which Jehovah commanded. Gather from it, each one according to the mouth of his eating...and so the sons of Israel did. And they gathered; the one gathering much and the one gathering little...and the one gathering much did not have too much. And the one gathering little did not have any need..." (~vs15-18) This, of course, the place where Israel discovers Manna. The food which God provided on the ground each morning. God providing daily their "daily bread". (Mt6:11) Whether they gathered little or much, it was always 'just right' for the need of each person. If we follow this through to Joshua, we would see that this provision would occur like this for 40 years, daily, until the time they crossed the Jordan River and were in the land of promise, and ate of the produce of the land. (vs35, Josh5:12) The life of faith is sometimes 'scary', because God works differently than the world does. The world seeks to amass fortunes, and be living lives of ease with their granaries full. "Eat, drink and be glad" (Lk12:19) The timing of the writing of this is most appropriate to me, because I have been struggling with this, myself. Some of you may think I'm well-off because I "run my own business". But, the more involved I get with VW, the slower business has become. I've had several months now where I haven't been able to pay myself. The store's bills have just 'barely' gotten paid on time. My personal 'reserves' have been dwindling. And yes...I 'worry'. The handful of gifts that come in to VW during the year don't even cover VW's costs of POBox rental, postage or website maintenance. And I 'worry'. In discussing this recently with my friend, who also happens to be a pastor in UK, he shared with me about his life with his wife and little daughter, doing village 'missions' type work. They have lived an even 'scarier' life. They don't even have the meager 'reserves' that I do, and they live week-to-week. And yes, they sometimes 'worry', too. What was the word he uses sometimes? "PANIC!!!" ...yes, that's it... You see, this seems to be how the Lord sees to His own, to learn to rely upon Him. Jesus taught, "Do not be anxious for your soul, what you eat and what you drink, nor for your body, what you put on." (Mt6:25) Observe the birds. They don't plant in the spring, and harvest in the fall. They do not store up provisions.."yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Do you not rather excel them?" (vs26) Elijah had just done great exploits for God, and prayed fire down from God to consume the sacrifice, and kills all the false prophets. But with Jezebel out for his life, he is on the run. God provides his daily provisions from ravens. His breakfast in the morning, and his supper every evening. (1Kg17:4-6) During the worst of the drought, Elijah comes to the home of a poor widow woman who is on her last cup of flour, and last measure of oil...and Elijah says, Make me a cake first, and then make your meal...and promises from God, "The pitcher of meal shall not be consumed, and the jar of oil shall not fail, until the day that Jehovah sends rain on the land." (1Kg17:13-16) And, indeed, it happened just as Elijah prophesied. Now... when God leads His children, we have two options as to how we will respond. We can do as the widow woman of Zarephath: "And she went and did according to the word of Elijah" providing for him first, and then reaping the reward "..and she ate, she and he and her household, many days.." (vs15) Or... we can be like Israel with the manna. Some did not believe God's word through Moses. Instead of gathering just a day's provision, they gathered up a bunch, and had left-overs, "..and it became rotten with maggots, and stunk" (Ex16:20) And when it came to the Sabbath, instead of having gathered double on Friday, they went out Saturday morning, hoping to gather... "And Jehovah said to Moses, Until when do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws...because Jehovah has given the sabbath to you, therefore He is giving to you two days of bread on the sixth day. Each one of you remain in his place. Do not let anyone go out from his place on the seventh day." ...being disobedient... The life of faith is step-by-step, moment-by-moment. Israel also learned about following God, -when- and -as- He led them. They followed the pillar of cloud/fire, Jesus. If the pillar rose up and moved, they moved. If it stayed put, they remained encamped..."whether two days, or a month, or days...by the mouth of Jehovah they encamped, and by the mouth of Jehovah they pulled up stakes." (Num9:~23) The way of the world is to make plans; plan way into the future. Years ago not long after I had just been married, I was living a life of faith. I was "waiting on the Lord" for direction for service/ministry. I still vividly remember a conversation with my father-in-law, a successful business man, and his suggestion to "come up with a plan" and just "go for it". Well, I certainly did a few little things along the way back then, but unbeknownst to me at the time, I had just become encumbered with an unequal yoke. In many ways, I was not 'fit' for service. It would not be until almost 20 years later that it would be the Lord's timing for VW to begin. But I spent those 20 years, taking 'this' step, and then 'that' one. Along the way, the 'yoke' was removed from me. And there were also many learning experiences. As we already observed, Moses thought he had some great plans going when he was freshly graduated from Egypt's education system. But the Lord had to drive him into the wilderness first, to be trained in his knowledge of the Lord. The world makes plans, "who do not know of the morrow". But the Believer says, instead, "If the Lord wills, even we will live, and we will do this or that.." (Jas4:14-15) At the "mouth of the Lord" we stay. At the "mouth of the Lord" we take that step. Yes, we may push on doors to see if they open, but sometimes the Holy Spirit doesn't allow that path. (Acts16:7) But then He sends a messenger who says, "..come over and help us.." (16:9) And we obey. Again, as my friend from UK says, Doing what the Lord "requires" of us. Amen! [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) This section of the series is in the Library: Please Click Here [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: Civil Laws (Exodus 21-23) This section of the series is in the Library: Please Click Here [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: God changed His mind? (Exodus 32) Our 'Walk-thru' this time takes the form of a Q/A. QUESTION: In doing my search (on an unrelated topic), I read a portion of scripture that I am very confused about.......... Exodus 32:9 - 14 I have tried to understand this, but I can't figure out an explanation. It leaves me with the impression that God "changed his mind"....that Moses talked God out of what he said he was going to do. Surely, there is a much deeper understanding . When you have time could you please shed some light on this. I find it just a tad disturbing. ANSWER: First of all, God's attitude regarding Israel I think can be understood from: "For I am Jehovah, I change not. Because of this, you sons of Jacob are not destroyed." (Mal3:6) If we understand God's "foreknowledge", Paul writes about Israel, "God did not thrust away His people, whom He foreknew" (Rom11:2) In God's foreknowledge, when He chose Israel, through Abraham, from out of the rest of the nations, He certainly -knew- they would rebel. Even in that, as he would later judge and subsequently restore them, the world would know that "He is Jehovah". (Eze36:23) I think the understanding of this passage is in careful looking at the wording. This is why -exact- translation is so important. And that we see what is -actually- said. Notice that God did not say "I am GOING TO consume them." (vs10) He says, "leave Me alone, so THAT...I MAY consume them." In current vernacular, "Get outta my way and le' me at 'em!!" Notice also, in the context, He says, "And I will make of you a great nation." I believe God is both 'testing' and 'preparing' Moses for what comes next. He is communicating to Moses His great anger over Israel. And a little bit later, Moses would also become angry and break the stone tablets of the Law. (vs19) And subsequently, in the midst of the turmoil of the situation where it says that "the LORD would speak to Moses face to face" as "to His friend" (33:11), God will be showing Moses the glory of His "back parts". (33:23) I believe this was one of God's ways of communicating with Moses, having a "discussion" over the matter; as it says "which He -spoke- of doing to His people". (32:14) This word "spoke" might be seen as "converse, threaten, commune, speak with another". If we consider how the Church is related to Christ like a "wife" (Eph5:32), we might view Moses' relationship with God in a similar fashion. What happens when a child rebels drastically? If we speak stereotypically, the 'father' might get in a rage and say "why, I'm gonna XXXX to that brat!!" It doesn't mean he's actually going to vent his rage to the extent of his words. But these are his words. Let's face it, people often say things like "I'm gonna kill him!" when they have no such -real- intentions. But it is an expression. So, the father may vent in words, and the father and mother then discuss what they are going to -actually- do about the disobedient child. Now, if Moses was filled with God's Holy Spirit, then like a Christian, he would have had "the mind of Christ". (1Cor2:16) And as we continue, it is Moses who is 'in charge' of overseeing their punishment. But before Moses is to carry out the punishments, he is instilled, first, with mercy and compassion. Both for Israel, and for God's great name among the nations. If Moses is verbalizing these things, it means that he is -thinking- about them, and they are becoming solidified in his heart, as to his -attitude- with which he subsequently carries out punishment. [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]