Tag Archives: faith

MOST AMAZING

You know our God is the most amazing God! As I sit in my training class this week, this being only the 3rd day on my new job, I think of the things in my past that God has brought into my life and I just sit there amazed. You see, there are so many things in my past that have culminated into needed experience for this particular job that I have just gotten. I am probably the oldest one of the team but the folks are all so wonderful. I know … you say… “Leah, you have only been there 2 days… it will change.” Maybe you are right, however, I do know this… My God is a good God and whatever doors He opens for me will be a wonderful experience for me. Why? Because my God loves me and cares for me. He has loved me since before I was born and will continue to care for me for eternity … because I am a child of the King!13-1

You may not remember, but this is the job that after the interview – the next day – I told God this was one door I didn’t want Him to open for me, because of the rigors of travel and standing a lot during the training that was required for this particular job. In the past 5 years I venture to say that I have applied for at the very least 2000 jobs. I was laid off in 2009 and have never been able to get back to what I have done in my past, which is Training and Project Management. This is a job that I will be training and traveling! This is a job almost exactly like what I did 10 years ago for another similar company. I have experience dealing with almost the same situations that I did 10 years ago. How have I grown in 10 years? WoW! That is a loaded question. Let me try to explain a little on that.

10 years ago, I was married to an abusive person and was most miserable in my marriage. I was determined to “make” it work though. You see, this wasn’t my first marriage, or my second. I desperately wanted this one to work. My husband had just come out of rehab – after an extended bout with a medication he should not have been left on for so long. He began to feel more suicidal than usual… so he actually admitted himself, thankfully! He was somewhat stable and the job I got traveling and making better money than I had since my layoff January 2002 – after 9-11, really, really helped. I was gone every week but home on the weekends – which helped a bunch!bc871b7b8508f2f772d1372f6ad19dbf

All I am trying to say is that God prepares you for things. If you allow Him to direct your paths and trust that He has the best plan for you, He will always lead you down the MOST beneficial path for your life. Jeremiah 29:11 states that He has the perfect plan for us.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

We just have to allow Him to have control of our lives for the benefit. Sometimes, even when we are not aware and don’t take the initiative to turn over our lives to Him, He will still “Make all things work together for good, for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose.”

Romans 8:28

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Back to what I was saying at the beginning… it is Most Amazing how God has taken the last several years… especially the last 10 … and given me the experiences and situations in my life that I can visually see come to fruition now. They are all coming together in a way that makes a beautiful picture.HPIM0621.JPG

Now I will say that I am a little worried about the rigors of this job, once I get up and going… but you know what… My God would not have brought me to it if He could not bring me through it. Now that may sound like a cute little cliché but it is so true! Why would God bring something into your life if He didn’t intend for you to be successful!? He wouldn’t! He loves you and always wants you to be successful.

Another thing He wants is for us to trust Him. I sat there yesterday and listened to this beautiful young woman tell about some of her training experiences. She talked about standing for hours and how taxing that could be. I began to worry. You see I have a bad back.. and neck.. but I was reminded by that wonderfully, peaceful, still, small voice… “Leah, I am your sustainer, your deliverer and your help in times of need.” Yes, I heard God speak those words to my heart. If He can hold the stars in place and tells the oceans to only go this far… He can help me!  So, I am going full steam ahead and trusting His Word to uphold me and sustain me because He opened this door for me and I will survive and not only survive but THRIVE!godsplan

You can too! If God has you in a spot that you are not sure of, talk to Him and tell Him about your concerns and worries. He wants to hear from you. He loves you so much! He is there waiting because He calls you His beloved! The promises I mentioned above are for you too! Call out to Him today!

The Song – Thrive – Casting Crowns

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PRAYER – SPLIT ROCK AT HOREB

As I have been studying and trying to find information on this subject I have run across some interesting things. One Outreach Ministry from Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas is called “Water From The Rock”. They do many things for low to middle income families from help with clothing, food and even job readiness and GED preparation. I also found many commentaries that talked about the symbolism in these verses of scripture. Let’s begin with the scripture like always.

Exodus 17:1-5

The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.”

Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?”

But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?”

Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.”337_09_eliasova_jeskyne

Now let’s stop there for a moment and see what is going on. One would think that these Israelite folks would realize that God is leading them and will supply ALL their needs but they keep forgetting. One commentary said this: The small cloud of doubt was hiding the face of God from them.” I like that statement. It is so true of the Israelites, yes, but isn’t it true of us too. We sometimes carry this “small cloud of doubt” around with us and it keeps us from enjoying the presence of God Himself. I know this is true sometimes with me. Yes, I am usually a very positive person that believes wholeheartedly that God will provide and take care of me. However, there are times, I will confess, that I have a small doubt sometimes… not very often but it has happened. I mean I have asked God for another job now for at least 18 months and have applied for at least 500 different jobs over the course of that 18 months and I am still where I was two years ago. Is He ever gonna’ open a door for me? YES! I believe He will beyond a shadow of a doubt … and I say that now… but I have had a thought in the past, buried deep in my being that maybe… I have done something to keep me from getting “that job”.   Just typing that seems ridiculous. I certainly do know that I have not done anything to keep God from opening that door to a new job.   It is just gonna’ be in His time and not mine. So as Forest Gump said, “And that’s all I have to say about that.” LOL! The Israelites were doubting and that kept them from fully enjoying the presence of God. That doubt can be like a cancer and eat away at a very slight bit of faith that one does have if you’re not careful. I believe that is what was happening with the Israelites. They would go from mountaintop to valley with God and sometimes everywhere in between. Just like we do sometimes and that’s because we are human.

Moses feared for his very life because the people became an unruly bunch when they got thirsty. So what does Moses do? He goes directly to God. He trusts God and he tells him his concerns. Here is God’s answer.

Exodus 17:5-7

The Lord answered Moses, “Go out in front of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the place Massah[a] and Meribah[b] because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”39908831

Now the symbolism I want you to see is this… Moses was told by God to go ahead of the people and God would stand before him “by the rock at Horeb”. Then He told Moses to strike the rock for the water to come out of it for the people to drink. The Rock symbolizes Jesus and He had to be struck or smitten for His saving Living Water to be effective. Just as the rock at Horeb had to be struck to get water. This is a beautiful picture of the Living Water of Jesus that saves us today. The water from the rock that Moses struck saved the people in the desert. There is a beautiful scripture in Isaiah that mentions this water in the desert.

Isaiah 32:2

Each one will be like a shelter from the wind
and a refuge from the storm,
like streams of water in the desert
and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.

There is also an old hymn that says “Jesus is a Rock in the weary land” and indeed He is. Here is the You Tube video (although it is just an audio) of Frank Sinatra singing this old hymn with The Charioteers.

From what I understand the original translation of the account of water coming from this rock is a “gushing” type of water coming out of the rock. In the video at the bottom of this post the lady talks about this original text and emphasizes that the rock that is believed to be The Rock at Horeb” has markings on the inside of the rock, PRESSURE FLAKED GRANITEwhere it was split into, that shows it was quite the “gusher” of water that came out of that rock. It was not just a small stream of water. It filled up the places below where the rock is to quench the thirst of these hundreds of people and their livestock. (The pictures are from that great video. Please take the time to watch it. It’s about where the “real” Mt. Sinai is and all the wonderful things that are mentioned in scripture.)Picture4

Isn’t that like Jesus, too? He doesn’t just give us a trickle of His Living Water, but He gives us a “gusher” of it. He gives so abundantly and fully that we will never thirst again, unlike the Israelites that drank the water from the rock at Horeb. Jesus is our Rock and our Salvation! Our Living Water and our Bread of Life.split

Do you know this Living Water? Do you know that it is a free gift from God? You can have everlasting life from Jesus if you trust Him as your personal Savior. Just ask him into your life today. Here is a link to the Simple Plan of Salvation. This will help you understand what it means to be a Christ follower. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line on the “Contact” form at the top of this page. Jesus is waiting to hear your voice call out to Him today. He loves you so much that He calls you His beloved!

The Split Rock – the Rock at Horeb

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BOMBARDED FROM EVERY SIDE

I feel led to share this topic instead of continuing in the Prayer series today. This is very appropriate these days with all that is going on in the world. We are bombarded by negative media, negative comments and negative situations that surround us almost daily. God offers hope in a hopeless world and peace in the midst of turmoil. This time of the year seems so hustle bustle and we barely take time out of our busy bg_day to even breathe the name of Jesus, much less ask Him for help when we feel overwhelmed.  However, He is waiting to help us with anything during the day, week or month. Being bombarded every day, all day – sometimes – is a sure sign that we need help… we need a Savior to help us through the negative, hopeless and hapless world. We need Jesus.

I have read a lot of devotionals lately about trusting God and having faith that He can work things out for our good. we-walk-by-faith-not-by-sight-300x225 It seems that the writers of the devotionals have heard all the same thing in their hearts.  Maybe it is because it is so tough these days in this world to have that strong faith that it takes to make it through each day.  We are bombarded on every side of our life with things in this world trying to get our attention.  It seems every time we turn around there is something else to pull our attention away from what we know to be true and right.   We must remain focused on Jesus and what He can do for us and not let the world overwhelm us and blot out our faith in Jesus.  Even when we can’t see what God is doing in our life, we must walk by faith and not by sight.

I have the honor of teaching my Sunday School class this coming Sunday and I am in the process of studying Psalm 27. This is a Psalm of David and he tells how he trusts his God to take care of him in any situation. The heading of the Psalm on the website I use (Bible Gateway) reads: “An Exuberant Declaration of Faith”. I love that word “Exuberant”. It just feels exciting when you say it. Exuberant! Here is what Merriam EXUBERANCEWebster has to say about that word:

“Exuberant: very lively, happy, or energetic : filled with energy and enthusiasm”

The picture here shows two lambs showing some exuberance and David was that for sure when writing about his God! He loved the Lord and remember, God called him a man “after His own heart”.

This is the scripture that speaks to that.

1 Samuel 13:14

14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.

My lesson for Sunday only covers the first six verses. However, the rest of the Psalm is wonderful. Here are the first six verses though.

Psalm 27:1-6the Lord red copy

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.

One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

David had plenty to fear and it was real fear. However, he always relied on his God to protect him and bring him through any adversity. Just as we can. We may not have a king out to kill us, or armies of soldiers after us orPoster_call_upon_me1 lions trying to grab one of our sheep, however, we have our own set of problems that any given day can bring. The daily grind will wear us down if we don’t stay in the Word and talk to God about all that bothers us and all that excites us.  He really does want to hear from you. He loves you and wants that kind of relationship with you. He is waiting for you to share anything with Him.

He is also waiting for you to pick up that Bible or open that Bible app on your phone and begin learning about His Word and all of the wonderful things that He has to share. His Word is filled with wonderful, ordinary people called to do extraordinary things for God. It is an exciting journey from Genesis to Revelation! I have learned so much since I have read (or listened) to God’s Word. As some of you know, I had a goal to read – or listen – to the entire Bible and I started listening to my Bible app on my phone around March of 2013. Picture7 I started at Genesis and finished Revelation around October.  It is such an exciting love story from God to us.  I have read the Bible all my life but listening to it brought all those stories to life and it brought a whole new life to it for me.  I recommend the YouVersion App and you can choose to listen to many of the different versions or just read it.  It is a wonderful way to pass time in the car or working around the house.

You may ask … “Why is it so imp08_whystartwithgodswordortant to stay in the Word daily?”  Because it will build your faith!  Really!  The more I read and study the Word, the deeper my faith grows. I have heard these stories all my life, but they are “real” to me now. It’s almost like I have experienced the stories in the Bible first hand. They came to life and sank deep into my soul. The Word of God is living and breathing and sharper than any two edged sword… Here is the scripture that explains that exactly…

Hebrews 4:12Word-Sword-wallpaper_1920x1200

12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

King Saul’s son and eventually David’s best friend, Jonathan, had such faith in God and believed and knew God could do anything.  David had that same faith. That is one of the things, I think, that drew Jonathan and David together and cemented their friendship. Do you have that kind of faith?  Do you have a friend that helps you deepen your faith by sharing the love of God and His Word? I tell you, it is wonderful to have a friend to share the love of God and His Word with. It makes a lot of difference to be able to share with someone. Yes, it’s good to enjoy it in your quiet time, alone. However, when you share with a friend, it deepens and grows into something beautiful! Seek out a friend, if you don’t have one already, to share with. Read (or listen) and build on your faith.

When you feel bombarded on every side, remember God is there and can help you with any situation that seems so overwhelming to you. He is your strength and your stronghold. He will protect! He will deliver! If you can remember just the first verse… memorize and use it daily! You have no reason to “fear”! God is on your side and He loves you so very much! He calls you His beloved!

Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?

The Song – My Heart’s Already There is – New Song.

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GOD STEERS MOVING SHIPS

I am diverting from my Prayer series this morning because I had a dear friend call me just as I was beginning to write last night.  She needed to talk and I was not going to turn her down.  She is going through some tough times right now with her job and family situations and she needed a sounding board.  This, to me, is one of the things that makes relationships stronger.  You have to decide sometimes what is most important, a friend that needs you or your “routine” of doing whatever it is that you do.  So I opted for the relationship building.

This post today is from an email  I received from another friend.  When I read it, I thought “One day this would be good to use as a post.”  So today, I am using it.  I believe it will speak to your heart and I think you will enjoy it as much as I did.  It is an excerpt from the book Jesus Continued …  by J.D. Greearby .  I plan on purchasing the book myself because the excerpt grabbed my heart so.  Here is the excerpt.  Enjoy (I have inserted the pictures of the ships)!

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He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Corinthians 5:15

Let me remark that being “led by the Spirit of God” is a remarkable expression. The Bible does not say, “As many as are driven by the Spirit of God.” No, the devil is a driver, and when he enters either into me or into hogs he drives them furiously. – Charles Spurgeon

God turned down David’s offer to build Him a house. David lived in a really nice house himself. Second Samuel calls it a “house of cedar,” an Old Testament way of saying “blingin’.” Meanwhile, God dwelt in a drafty old tent, so David thought he would do a favor for God and upgrade His abode. But God said,

In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel, did I speak a word… saying, ‘Why have you not built me a house of cedar?’… I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name… And I will give you rest from all your enemies… Will you build me a house? The Lord declares to you that He will make you a house.2 Samuel 7:7-14, v. 14 paraphrased

God did not need David to build a house for Him. In fact, God was building one for David.

God said David’s offer did please Him, however (2 Chronicles 6:8), because it revealed two things about David’s heart — two things that should characterize any believer’s heart: he was filled with a desire to sacrifice for God’s kingdom, and he was completely yielded in surrender to God. These two characteristics embody the posture of “active waiting”. Let’s look at them one at a time.

Posture 1: A Desire to Sacrifice65d37ca3519f9a3dfac91a8b26753401

David felt so overwhelmed at what God had done for him that his heart overflowed with a desire to give back to God.

This pleased God, so while God told David he could not build the temple, He did allow him to collect the materials that his son Solomon would use to build the temple. The writer of Chronicles records that David provided “a large amount” of materials, more than could be counted, and “at great pains” to himself (1 Chronicles 22:4, 1 Chronicles 22:14).

A heart that truly understands the Gospel overflows with gratefulness to God. Extravagant grace produces extravagant givers.

David knew he had been nothing when God chose him to be king: a shepherd, the lowliest occupation in Israel, and the “least” of eight sons. God gave him everything. And even more than an earthly kingship, God gave him forgiveness of sins and an eternal inheritance in Heaven. David’s heart burst with thanksgiving.

Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that You have brought me this far? –  2 Samuel 7:18

He had to do something. Something big. Have you ever stopped to think about how much you “owe” to God? Where would you be had Jesus not come to earth to save you? He had no obligation to come. What were you when He came for you? You were condemned, having sold yourself to sin. Yet, God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). He voluntarily absorbed the sting of your rejection and died in shame upon a cross in your place, going through hell itself for you, just so you could live with Him in indescribable joy forever. When you understand that in your heart, it changes your attitude toward what to do with your life. How could it not? Realizing the love of God for us produces love for God in us. Extravagant generosity compels extravagant response.REALIZING

When we realize how great a debt we owe to God, we become willing servants, eager to be poured out for God and His Kingdom. If we do not feel that way, we might never have truly understood the Gospel.

Gifts that please God express a heart of deep gratefulness and passionate worship. Jesus praised the woman, for example, who poured out the expensive perfume on His feet, not because He needed that perfume — after all, it sweetened the air for only a few minutes, and was wasted in an economic sense — but because it expressed His priceless value to her. Jesus didn’t need the perfume; it was she who needed to wash His feet with her tears and offer her most expensive possession. Jesus would wash her soul with His blood; she needed to declare His worthiness.

God calls us to be generous, not because He has needs, but because He wants us to become generous, as He is. Generosity is not something God wants from us, you see, as much as something He wants for us. He wants us to be consumed with His glory and filled with compassion, just like He is, moving instinctively to a world of need around us.

Toward the end of his life, David wanted again to give something to God — a field on which God would construct the temple. The owner told David he could just have it. But David responded, No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing. (2 Samuel 24:24)

David would not give to God an offering that cost him nothing, because by this point he understood well that his offerings were not about meeting God’s needs, but about expressing God’s worthiness. If the gift had been about meeting God’s needs, then a free field would suffice. But to give God a gift that cost David nothing would not express to God how he felt about Him.

So, is your heart ready to be led? The first question to ask is this: Have you offered your life to God in grateful sacrifice? God steers moving ships — ships driven by the winds of worship, gratefulness, love to God for what He’s done, and compassion for those He cares about.

Posture 2: Complete Surrender

Not only did David present his life back to God as a grateful sacrifice, he also yielded himself to God in complete surrender. Whatever God would command, David stood ready to obey. So later, when the prophet Nathan told David what God wanted from him, he obeyed with great zeal. His exuberance in obedience became so contagious that he brought all of Israel along with him into his offering (1 Chronicles 22:2-19).atocha_Spanish_Treasure_Fleet_1715(2)

Following Jesus means a full surrender of our wills to God. David likely remembered how his predecessor, King Saul, had failed so badly in this. Rather than giving God what he asked, Saul had offered a substitute — although a generous one — in place of surrender. God rebuked Saul with these harsh words, “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22)

At the end of the day, obedience is what God desires most from us. The first command Jesus gave for those who follow Him is the complete surrender of our wills. He said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24).

“Deny yourself” means a total surrender of every desire in your heart to God. Every dream, every desire, every ambition. You say “no” to all that you want from life so that you are ready to say “yes” to all that He wants from it. “Take up your cross” means you embrace His agenda in life rather than your own. The cross is the best-known Christian symbol, but for many Christians it has become little more than a sentimental piece of jewelry to hang around their neck. For the first disciples, it was no piece of jewelry. The cross was an instrument of oppression, torture, pain, and death. Crosses struck fear into the hearts of all who beheld them. Yet this is the image Jesus says should characterize the lives of His followers. To follow Jesus means that you die to any control you maintain over your life. Like a man on a cross, you place yourself under Jesus’ complete domination, with no more dreams of your own. Dead men have no more ambition for their lives. Have you ever presented your life to God that way — with no conditions, no restrictions?

This Is the Will of God for You

Grateful sacrifice and complete surrender. When Paul summed up in Romans 12:1 what God wants from us, he called for those exact two things:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship. – Romans 12:1

We are to offer our bodies as living sacrifices to God as an act of worship. Notice that we do this in response to something — the mercies of God. The mercies of God in the Gospel, Paul believes, should cause us to be so overwhelmed with gratefulness that we joyfully die to everything we have wanted from life so that we can live to fulfill His desires.

So again, I ask you to consider: Where would you be without Jesus?hms_victory_in_battle

Short answer: Lost. Forever. The only way others will hear about the gospel is through us. Others are at exactly the same place that we would be without Jesus. As Martin Luther said, “It wouldn’t matter if Jesus died a thousand times if no one ever heard about it.” It is impossible to understand that and not have your heart rise up to say, “Please, Lord, send me! Use me! I’m ready! Give your command.” The true Spirit of Jesus serves the mission of the cross. His goal is to make the cross larger in our hearts and to compel us to yield our lives in service to its purpose. The Holy Spirit, you could say, is always leading to the cross or from it, to carry its message of healing to others.

The Song – Jesus  Only Jesus – Billingsley, Penrod, Cottrell, O’Brien

The Video – Jesus Only Jesus – Billingsley, Penrod, Cottrell, O’Brien

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PRAYER – WILDERNESS AND BITTER WATER

Yesterday’s post “PRAYER – PASSING THROUGH THE RED SEA” ended with Israel successfully crossing the Red Sea on dry land and watching in amazement as Bridgman_Pharaoh's_Army_Engulfed_by_the_Red_Seathe choicest of Pharaoh’s army come after them with 600 chariots and horsemen only to be swallowed up with the waters of the deep as they return to their original place.  God saves Israel from Pharaoh once again and Israel rejoices with what is called in scripture as The Song of Moses and The Song of Miriam. Israel declares their allegiance to God and recognize Him as their “strength and song” and more. It is a little long, but please read the scripture. It is a beautiful tribute to the Lord God.

Exodus 15:1-21

“I will sing to the Lord,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The horse and its rider
He has thrown into the sea!
The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
He is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
The Lord is a man of war;
The Lord is His name.
Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea;
His chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea.
The depths have covered them;
They sank to the bottom like a stone.

“Your right hand, O Lord, has become glorious in power;
Your right hand, O Lord, has dashed the enemy in pieces.
And in the greatness of Your excellence
You have overthrown those who rose against You;
You sent forth Your wrath;
It consumed them like stubble.
And with the blast of Your nostrils
The waters were gathered together;
The floods stood upright like a heap;
The depths congealed in the heart of the sea.

Picture1 The enemy said, ‘I will pursue,
I will overtake,
I will divide the spoil;
My desire shall be satisfied on them.
I will draw my sword,
My hand shall destroy them.’

 10 You blew with Your wind,
The sea covered them;
They sank like lead in the mighty waters.

11 “Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods?
Who is like You, glorious in holiness,
Fearful in praises, doing wonders?
12 You stretched out Your right hand;
The earth swallowed them.
13 You in Your mercy have led forth
The people whom You have redeemed;
You have guided them in Your strength
To Your holy habitation.

14 “The people will hear and be afraid;
Sorrow will take hold of the inhabitants of Philistia.
15 Then the chiefs of Edom will be dismayed;
The mighty men of Moab,
Trembling will take hold of them;
All the inhabitants of Canaan will melt away.
16 Fear and dread will fall on them;
By the greatness of Your arm
They will be as still as a stone,
Till Your people pass over, O Lord,
Till the people pass over
Whom You have purchased.
17 You will bring them in and plant them
In the mountain of Your inheritance,
In the place, O Lord, which You have made
For Your own dwelling,
The sanctuary, O Lord, which Your hands have established.

18 “The Lord shall reign forever and ever.”

19 For the horses of Pharaoh went with his chariots and his horsemen into the sea, and the Lord brought back the waters of the sea upon them. But the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea.

The Song of Miriam miriam-1856

20 Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. 21 And Miriam answered them:

“Sing to the Lord,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The horse and its rider
He has thrown into the sea!”

The people were definitely enjoying that “mountain top” experience with God at this time. Then after a great celebration, they head out into the wilderness. God leads them in a three day journey to Marah. It is at this point the water supply they had is about to be gone and they begin to get nervous again. They still have not learned that all they need to do is look to the Lord for their provision. They praised Him and claim that He is their “salvation” just 3 days ago. Now they are complaining again to Moses, that they have no water to drink because the water at Marah is bitter and unfit to drink. This is when Moses lifts up his voice to the Lord and the Lord heard his cry, as He always does. God didn’t scold Moses for calling out to Him in their time of need. The Lord instead showed Moses a tree (log) and told him to throw it into the water. Then the waters became sweet and able to be consumed. Here is the scripture.

Exodus 15:22-25a

22 So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah.[a] 24 And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 So he cried tree-of-hopeout to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.

God showed Moses what to do to help the situation of bitter water. God will sometimes do it Himself, and then there are times that He shows us what to do to correct the situation. It was at this time that the Lord saw it to be necessary to make a statute and ordinance with Israel.

To explain the next part of scripture, I want to use a quote from this website: www.biblestudycourses.org. They have a good explanation of the scripture and I believe it is well explained and very easy to understand. First, here is the scripture.

Exodus 15:25b-27

There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them, 26 and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”

27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees; so they camped there by the waters.

And now the quote…

“At Marah the Lord faithfully provided for His people by miraculously sweetening the water by means of a piece of dead wood (15:25). After the Lord miraculously sweetened the waters, the reason and meaning of this bitter experience is defined: “There at Marah Jehovah made a statute and a decree for them, and there he tested them” (15:25b). There at the waters of Marah the Lord presented to His people a divine principle, (“a statute”), teaching them how He would deal with them, and a divine right, (“a decree”), teaching them what they could expect and claim from the Lord their God. The Lord was saying to them, “Throughout your life I will lead you, I will direct your path. At times I will bring you into difficult situations that are beyond your control and ability, but I will always prove Myself to be your all-sufficient God: trust Me.” And there at the waters of Marah the Lord tested them: by means of this test the Lord was posing the question, “Will you still trust Me and love Me and serve Me, no matter where I put you and no matter what I see fit to bring into your life?” The experience at Marah was intended to test the genuineness of Israel’s words recorded in Exodus 15:2 and at the same time to demonstrate to Israel that they could sing those words with complete confidence. After Marah the Lord led His people to the refreshing oasis of Elim: there they found twelve springs of good water (one for each tribe) and 70 palm trees.”no matter what we face in life god will be there with us

How many times can I look back on my life and see where God had given me an opportunity to recognize Him and what He was doing for me and I failed to take that opportunity. Or times when I had been on the mountain top with God at one time and then just a few short days later, I was lost all over again and had already forgotten to call out to Him in my despair. There is nothing wrong with being on those mountain top experiences and then coming back down to earth to life as we know it, but we should not leave God on the mountain top. He wants to go with us through every step of our day. He wants us to PL-TLC186-WB-12x18celebrate with Him and to cry to Him, but NEVER leave Him on the mountain top. He tells us He will go with us. He is there to help us through our journey through our “wilderness” we call life. When life seems to be all wilderness and bitter water, God is there. He alone can make our wilderness and bitter water into an oasis. He alone can comfort in a way that is a lasting peace, not what the world gives – which is so temporary… but a complete fullness of joy and fulfillment. Turn to God in your wilderness and bitter water experiences. Ask Him if there is something that He is trying to teach you. Ask Him to show you what He wants you to see and know. He will comfort you and guide you to the oasis. He loves you so much. He calls you His beloved.6123265_orig

The Song – If You Want Me To – Ginny Owens

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PRAYER – PASSING THROUGH THE RED SEA

The last post I did on the series on Prayer was “PRAYER – PASSOVER, ISRAEL AND YOU” and it was about when God instituted the Passover and what that was about and what it meant to the Israelites. God instituted this tradition when the Israelites left Egypt and it was to be done every year on the day that was the anniversary of the day they left Egypt in great numbers. God is an awesome God and He wanted Israel to remember that day and to teach it to their children and their children’s children. It is a very important event in history. When Israel was still in Egypt, at the time of the last plague – the death of the first born male – they took a year old male lamb, without blemish, from their flock and killed it to spread its blood on the doorposts of their home. Then they ate the roasted lamb in accordance with God’s instructions to Moses and Aaron. The blood on the door posts was to show the “Death Angel” that they were covered by the “blood of the lamb” so the angel would pass them over and not take the life of the first born male in their home. We, as Christians, celebrate Jesus as our “Passover Lamb” because He shed His blood on the Cross for our sins. As I have said and others have Redeemed-Jesus-Passover-Lambsaid, “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.”

When Pharaoh lost his first born to the death angel, he ordered the Israelites out of Egypt. They finally and gladly left and that brings us to this post. Let’s begin with the scripture.

Exodus 13:17-18

17 Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, “Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt.maps-bible-archeology-exodus-route-overview

Now, if you remember, this series is on Prayer and I have said that prayer is simply conversation with God whether it is initiated by God or us… or in this case Moses. This particular time God initiates the conversation and tells Moses that He is going to lead the Israelites around by the wilderness instead of going straight through.   If they had gone the “easy” way, it might have turned into a war between them and the Philistines. If they had come upon opposition that soon into their journey, they may have turned back to Egypt. They had been downtrodden for many years and didn’t have the stamina to withstand a strong force such as the Philistines at that time and God knew this.01046001-RLW-Genesis-46-1-Jacob-moves-to-Egypt-to-be-with-Joseph

Yes, they were quite a large number of people to be reckoned with and Israel “went up in orderly ranks” out of Egypt. This must have been quite a site. 600,000 people, carrying all their belongings and animals alike all walking and riding out of Egypt.

ON A SIDE NOTE… Now there is some question as to how many people there actually were and here is a website – The Associates for Biblical Researchthat gives their opinion as to how many there were. This is also the link to the good article “THE NUMBER OF ISRAELITES IN THE EXODUS and well worth the read… although it really doesn’t matter how many. I just believe there were several thousand … just like the Bible says. There seems to be some discrepancy in translation. Nonetheless, they left and God provided for them.

God in His mercy and grace allowed them to wander to gain their strength and stamina… however, the Israelites proved to be stubborn and hard headed from the start – and this was just the beginning. After a time of wandering, God led them to a place that had the Red Sea in front of them and the craggy mountain range behind them. God in His infinite wisdom knew just where to lead them to have them feel totally dependent on Him in their time of distress.RedSeaGatheringSite

Sometimes when you feel like you are boxed into a particular situation you may feel like grumbling and complaining just as Israel did. However, if you look to the Lord first and wait for Him, He will show you a way to get through whatever it is that you are going through. He provided a way of escape for Israel and He will for you too.

I found this website that lays out the route pretty plainly. There has always been a belief by some that Mt. Sinai is on the Sinai peninsula. There is proof that it is actually in Saudi Arabia. This website www.bible.ca/archeology shows and explains all of that. That is not what we are going to talk about in this post though… I just thought you might be interested in reading some about it.

One video I watched about “Crossing the Red Sea” showed the beach area that is believed to be the area where the Israelites crossed the Red Sea. You should really watch the entire video. It is an amazing journey and some wonderful discoveries. This is the link to the You Tube Video – The Red Sea Crossing – and these pictures are screen shots of some of the video.   Picture1

*It is important to note here that the time that Israel was wandering in the wilderness, not just now but throughout their 40 year journey, God provided a Pillar of Cloud by day and a Pillar of Fire by night, to lead them and guide them along their way. Here is the scripture.

Exodus 13:20-22

20 So they took their journey from Succoth and camped in Etham at the edge of the wilderness. 21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. 22 He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.

So, the time of wandering in the wilderness is believed to be around two weeks before they get to the Red Sea. They camp at the Red Sea for a period of time and the notice that Pharaoh’s army is pursuing them. They begin to be afraid and call out to Moses. The scripture shows that they have allowed their fear to overtake their memories of the wonderful things that God did for them in getting them out of Egypt. Here is the scripture.

Exodus 14:10-14

10 And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. 11 Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? 12 Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”

13 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

So Moses knew the Lord would deliver them. He didn’t know how at that time but he had faith and trust in his God. A saying that my father says comes to mind here. “God wouldn’t have brought us this far to let us go now.” That is what Moses believed too, I think. Then the Lord spoke to Moses and told him what to do.

Exodus 14:15-18

15 And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. 16 But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. 17 And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them. So I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen. 18 Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”

The Pillar of Cloud then moves from before them to behind them so as to shut off the access of Pharaoh’s army to Israel. This must have been quite an awesome site. The beach is covered with men, women, children and animals. Picture4.Pharaoh’s army is on the other side of the beach, behind the mountain range and they are waiting to attack! Israel is standing around worrying about how to escape from Pharaoh’s army this time, then God shows His mighty power once again!

Exodus 14:21-22

21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.RED SEA

If Israel thought the 10 plagues in Egypt were something to behold, this must have just astounded them! WOW… what a sight to behold! The Red Sea splits wide open and they cross on dry land! Amazing! God allows the army to pursue now with the Pillar of Cloud and Fire lifted and so they pursue. What a sight to behold! Pharaoh’s 600 choice chariots and horsemen race after Israel and just at the right time… God tells Moses…

Exodus 14:26-29

26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen.” 27 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28 Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained. 29 But the children of Israel had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.Bridgman_Pharaoh's_Army_Engulfed_by_the_Red_Sea

There are many that dispute this occurrence in the Bible. However, I believe that the Bible is God’s Word and is 100% accurate. I don’t understand how things like this happen and all the things that probably took place during and after … but I know what I believe and I believe that it happened just as the scripture states. What a miraculous event! Israel was saved and Pharaoh’s army destroyed! I would say that God was glorified that day!

The video I mentioned earlier – The Red Sea Crossing – shows a very detailed and in depth description and items that were found in the Red Sea where it is believed that Israel crossed and where Pharaoh’s army perished. They found chariot wheels and other items that led them to believe it is the remains of Pharaoh’s army. Quite convincing. I suggest that you take the time to view the entire video.

If God cares enough to part the Red Sea for Israel, He cares enough about your problems and can help you with anything you bring to Him. He is a gentleman though. He will not push Himself on you. You need only to call His name and He is there. He can help you with any problem you may have. He loves you so much and wants you to know how much! He calls you His beloved!

The Song – Thou O Lord – Prestonwood Choir

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PRAYER – DEATH OF THE FIRSTBORN AND PASSOVER

I will tell you up front that this post is a long one.  There was a lot to share and I used some quotes and a lot of scripture to tell the whole story.  I appreciate the time it takes for you to read such a long post, but it is vital to get all the information across in a way that makes sense and tells what God wants to share. Thank you, in advance, for your time and patience.

The 10th and final plague that God brought to Pharaoh in Egypt was the death of the firstborn son of every home from the Pharaoh’s palace to the maidservant grinding at the wheel. That covered everyone in Egypt. Let’s begin by looking at the scripture.

Exodus 11

And the Lord said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out of here altogether. Speak now in the hearing of the people, and let every man ask from his neighbor and every woman from her neighbor, articles of silver and articles of gold.” And the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people.

Then Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt; and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the animals. Then there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as was not like it before, nor shall be like it again. But against none of the children of Israel shall a dog move its tongue, against man or beast, that you may know that the Lord does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.’ And all these your servants shall come down to me and bow down to me, saying, ‘Get out, and all the people who follow you!’ After that I will go out.” Then he went out from Pharaoh in great anger.moses_and_aaron_before_pharoah_bbl34-129

But the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not heed you, so that My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” 10 So Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh; and the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go out of his land.

Pharaoh had been hard-hearted for the last time and God meant business this time. Pharaoh had gotten increasingly colder and indifferent, almost like he was playing a game with Moses and Aaron and ultimately with this God that he didn’t know. Each plague had gotten increasingly tougher on the Egyptians and Pharaoh was not budging. It was noted in some of the literature that I read that some of the servants that kept the animals for Pharaoh began to believe and fear the word of the Lord and did bring the animals into shelter before the hail storm.

Exodus 9:20-21

20 He who feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his livestock flee to the houses. 21 But he who did not regard the word of the Lord left his servants and his livestock in the field.

Remember that the Israelites, living in Goshen, never once had any hardships or felt the effects of any of the plagues. They were protected by God, they were His people. However, the last plague was most severe and the Israelites must actually perform a ritual so they could remain unaffected. I say unaffected… but I imagine it affected them in a very deep way. Let me rephrase to say they were not affected in a negative way. I will talk about that in a moment.

Something else that I read in some of the literature about this last plague that is noteworthy is this: (From Exodus – The God You Thought You Knew, A study of Exodus 1-40, Christ Fellowship Church, McKinney, Texas)

The plagues against Egypt show us what can result from hard-hearted rebellion. A denial of God brings judgment because the one, true God deserves our worship and obedience. Only God has creation at his disposal, and knows what is best for those created in his image. In submitting to him, we are availing ourselves of what we most need, peace with our creator. A stubborn insistence on having our own way will inevitably lead to our destruction.

Pharaoh insisted on his own will and thought God could be resisted. God powerfully demonstrated that the cost of rebellion is high.”hardheart

 How many times in life are we insistent on “Our Own Way”? As it says in the above text, this leads to our destruction. It certainly lead to Pharaoh’s destruction, didn’t it? Jesus taught us time and time again, to love one another, not to insist on our way, to be kind to one another, etc. This picture of Pharaoh is like a three year old having a temper tantrum. The temper tantrum is about to be his undoing, too. He rejected God and all of His ways to try to prove his point. The rejection of God and His ways will always change us for the worse. We, as Christians, are given ways to live and ways to think. We must follow those ways to be full in the Spirit of God. If we choose our own ways to live and think, unhappiness and destruction will find us out eventually.

If you notice back in Exodus 11:8, it is mentioned that Moses “went out from Pharaoh in great anger.”

And all these your servants shall come down to me and bow down to me, saying, ‘Get out, and all the people who follow you!’ After that I will go out.” Then he went out from Pharaoh in great anger.

On the website BibleStudyTools.com it has this to say:

“Holy and righteous indignation at the duplicity, repeated falsehood, and hardened impenitence of the king; and this strong emotion was stirred in the bosom of Moses, not at the ill reception given to himself, but the dishonor done to God.”

Moses had had enough and so had God. If you remember in Ephesians 4:26-27 it talks about be angry and do not sin… I think Moses was at this point and beyond!

26 “Be angry, and do not sin”:[f] do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil.

This had gone on and on and Moses knew God was at the end of his patience and so was Moses and Aaron.pharaoh and moses and aaron

The next thing we see is God preparing the Israelites for what we now call “The Passover”.

I like what they have to say in The God You Thought You Knew, A study of Exodus 1-40, Christ Fellowship Church, McKinney, Texas.

“The Passover became the most significant observance for the ancient Israelites. It demonstrated God’s commitment to his promises, and his willingness to save his people. For Christians, Passover represents God’s promises and salvation fulfilled in Jesus Christ. We have the benefit of seeing the Passover through the lens of the cross. As you study the events of that night, consider how it reflects the ultimate Passover lamb that was to come. Allow it to give you reason to worship him even more.”

As God explains to Moses what to do to prepare, He is showing them that this is a way of salvation for them if they act in faith. They must follow God’s instructions to be saved. Those instructions were clear, concise and very important. Not one thing should be left out or else anyone who leaves that one detail off will suffer the consequences of the 10th and final plague. Death of the first born male. Let’s look at the scripture.Exodus-Passover

Exodus 12

Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall passover_472_348_80kill it at twilight. And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails. 10 You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. 11 And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.

12 ‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man a1280px-foster_bible_pictures_0062-1_the_angel_of_death_and_the_first_passovernd beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. 13 Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

Another very good quote from The God You Thought You Knew, A study of Exodus 1-40, Christ Fellowship Church, McKinney, Texas.

“But while the God-rejecting Egyptians experience judgment, the Israelite homes marked by the blood are spared (Exod. 12:13). The message is unmistakable: Yahweh alone has the power to save life or to take it. He alone is God.

Be careful to note that the same God who graciously offered life to those joined to him by faith is also the one who personally took the lives of those opposed to him. Contrary to some attitudes today, Yahweh is deserving of the utmost respect, obedience and worship. The Lord judged the sins of the Egyptians. The only thing that prevented the Israelites from experiencing the same judgment was the blood of the lamb. The only thing that prevents us from experiencing God’s judgment is the blood of Christ.

We cannot allow cultural influences to convince us that we have the right to judge God’s actions. We are wrong to think that our judgment will necessarily reflect that of the creator. You may be offended by God’s judgment of sin until you are sinned against. Then you might just be offended by his forgiveness.”

God is a gracious and forgiving God that provides a way of salvation for the Israelites just as He provided a way for our salvation. We should never look at the Passover as just another event in history. It points us to Christ and His shed blood for our sins. For without the shedding of blood there is no JesusThePassoverLamb_Title_Fullres_Webremission of sin.

Hebrews 9:22

22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

The Passover was not just for the Israelites that night, but for them to teach it to their children and their children’s children, on down through all generations. These instructions were told to the Israelites and they understood and again… they “heard the Word of the Lord”… and “bowed their heads and worshiped”.

Exodus 12:26

26 And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ 27 that you shall say, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice of the Lord, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.’” So the people bowed their heads and worshiped. 28 Then the children of Israel went away and did so; just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.

Just as the Lord had said, it happened. Pharaoh had no recourse but to let the Israelites go. He was so distraught and spent with all of this and this final blow was it! You cannot mock God forever. He is God! He is in TOTAL control and you will either heed His Word or pay dire consequences.doreg_2_enlarge

Exodus 12:29-32

29 And it came to pass at midnight that the Lord struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock. 30 So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead.the-plague-of-the-firstborns

The Exodus

31 Then he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, “Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve the Lord as you have said. 32 Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also.”

Pharaoh’s frustration was at the end. Although it was a temporary “end”, he ordered them to leave and leave now! I think it very odd though, that he asked to be “blessed also”. Here is a man that has witnessed the power of the Almighty God and now has felt the dire consequences of his actions and now he asking to be blessed? Emotions. Pharaoh was having an emotional moment, and well that he should. He had just lost his first born. The first born to the throne. His successor! In this time in history, the first born was a vital part of the success and longevity of a family. To lose the firstborn, he had just lost his own success. Pharaoh was asking for a blessing out of his deep emotions.14-The-Egyptians-will-know-I-am-LORD

Emotions can be a good thing and then they can also be a bad thing… or at least they can be untimely. I have learned that if we abruptly act on our “emotions” instead of letting the heat of the moment die down a bit, our actions usually are not representative of how we may feel in the long run. Pharaoh definitely did not feel this way after the Israelites had all left, but that is another post.

We have covered a lot of ground in this post and as I said yesterday, this particular part of this Prayer series has been a challenge. God has stretched me and delayed me for whatever reason. I have learned though, that things happen for reasons and God’s timing is ALWAYS perfect and I can always trust His plan. I may not see why things happen for a long time or ever, but I know I can trust Him and His plan for my life. Whether that is writing a post or looking for a job or changing churches after 18 years. All things work together for good for those that love the Lord and are called according to His purposes. Romans 8:28. I am living that life for sure.

So the Israelites are now, finally, leaving Egypt with all their belongings, and the things they acquired from their neighbors, their children and their flocks. What a site that must have been! Our God is a Great God! He can do things on LARGE SCALE and yet cares for the tiniest detail. He plans for success in our lives. We just have to heed His call and follow His plan. The Israelites actually did that on this occasion and are free from bondage finally!

Thank you for sticking with me throughout this very long post. I had a lot of ground to cover and I felt compelled to include the quotes and all of the scripture that I did. I hope you have enjoyed this part of the Prayer series. There have been many important lessons to learn from Pharaoh and his hard-hearted ways. God is in control and He will demonstrate it if necessary!

I would like to close with a yet another quote from The God You Thought You Knew, A study of Exodus 1-40, Christ Fellowship Church, McKinney, Texas.

“The real point of the exodus story [is] that God supernaturally delivers his people from bondage to bring them to a promised land and that they belong to him, not to themselves.”2 God was teaching the basic concept that “if a life is to be restored, it must be bought back (redeemed) by a payment; and that payment is often the substitutionary death of something for something else.”3 That is the reason Paul tells us that we “were bought at a price” (1 Cor. 6:20 and 7:23). The price was the death of Jesus Christ so that we might live.

The Song – Generations – Sara Groves

The Video – House of Israel – Out of Egypt

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PRAYER – INFORMATION

This particular part of the Prayer series has proven to be quite a challenge to me.  In my last post, “PRAYER – MOSES AND THE TEN PLAGUES” I gave you quite a run down on the plagues but no in-depth information except on a couple of questions that arose during the reading and researching of the scriptures. I also offered a time line, of sorts, on how long this whole ordeal took with the Ten Plagues, referencing the constant contact (prayer time) that Moses and Aaron obviously had with God during this time. In researching the last plague, the death of the first born male of the land, I have found so much information that my brain feels like it is about to BURST, and I am not yet through reading. Here is a little of what I have found that has taken my focus away from strictly the last plague.

  1. There are many people “in the know” – supposedly – that dispute that the Exodus ever happened. Yep, they are calling it “folk-lore” or myth or legend.
  2. The “Pharaoh” who was ruling at the time of the “Exodus” is disputed 10 ways to Sunday (where did that phrase ever come from, anyway?).
  3. There is some speculation as to why Moses omitted the proper “name” of the ruling Pharaoh.
  4. The time of the Exodus – if it did occur – which is thought to be true by yet another set of people “in the know”.
  5. If Pharaoh “A” was ruling at the time of the Exodus – that may or may not have occurred… then he must not have been the first born son of his father (the previous Pharaoh) because he survived the last plague… So the last plague – death of the firstborn did occur … or did it? But if Pharaoh “B” was ruling, then…
  6. And so on and so on and so on…

You see how I get sidetracked. I tell you what, this information is so very interesting to me and I love tgloryhe research. However…. Oh how I can get going down rabbit trails and fox holes!.

Let me set the record straight… I believe that God caused all the plagues to occur just as the Bible states. I believe that the Exodus DID occur just as the Bible states and I believe that the Israelites (Hebrews) left the land of Egypt in a great number (2,000,000). I believe that the Israelites crossed the Red Sea on dry land, just as the Bible states. I believe that the entire premier army of the Pharaoh at the time, perished in the Red Sea – horses and all, in their pursuit of the released Israelites. I believe there was a C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-I-O-N on the other side of the Red Sea when the walls of the Red Sea fell in on the army of Pharaoh, and so much more! But that is getting a little ahead of this particular post… I just wanted to share with you what I have gone through tonight, trying desperately to find a landing spot, so I could begin to write my post.

It has been another lesson in futility tonight, to read a lot of the “skeptics” opinion and try to make sense of their diatribe! However, it is also a lesson worth learning. The lesson being … If you begin to tear apart the Holy Scriptures and do not give them the respect and honor that they demand and deserve, you will find yourself chasing your tail up and down rabbit trails and down fox holes. You must accept that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God!04-relax

There is a lot to still learn from the original language used and how “modern day” man has translated various aspects of the text. We will probably NEVER know all there is to know about each phrase or word used in all of scripture, but there is one thing that you can count on… God’s Word is true! It is powerful! It is God’s Word! His love letter to us.  As I said before… this scripture explains:

2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Yes, there is a lot o130822-TH-Gods-Word-Our-Foundationf bloodshed and strange happenings documented in this wonderful book that we call the Bible, but it is such a Masterpiece of a mirror of God’s grace, mercy, long suffering and love for His people. God is a good, loving, kind and compassionate God that wishes none to perish, but as I said in a post recently, God will NOT be mocked and tarry with us forever! He is God! He was, is and always will be! He had no beginning, and He has no end! He has always been!

That is so hard for some folks to grasp. I get it! Our brains just have a hard time with that. We are finite beings trying to understand and explain an Infinite God! An Infinite God that cares about the tiniest detail in your daily goings on. YES! He cares! faith-oswald-chambers-550x320There is a lot of faith that has to enter into the picture here, though. However, after my introduction to “Apologetics” lately, it takes a lot more faith to be an atheist than to believe in a Sovereign, Just, Righteous, Almighty, Omnipresent, Omniscient, Loving, Compassionate, Merciful, Gracious God that created the entire universe by the Word of His mouth. That’s another post someday though…

So with all of that said… I would like to beg your indulgence one more time to wait for tomorrow for the post on “The Last Plague”. As you can see, my brain seems to have been working overtime tonight and I have to shut it off and sleep. The hour is a bit late and I could not write any more – at least and it make sense enough for you to appreciate it. So I will begin to talk about the Last Plague tomorrow and see how this important event was so vital to the Israelites and their faith.

The Song – Be Thou My Vision – Ginny Owens

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PRAYER – THE TEN PLAGUES OF EGYPT

This post will be a shorted version of the one I will do for Monday. I will not be doing a post for tomorrow (Sunday). I will post this table and then expound on it on Monday’s post. Tomorrow is Sunday and I will be taking a little breather tonight from posting tomorrow morning.

The last post about Moses and Aaron was about how the Israelites “heard” the Word of The Lord that Aaron and Moses brought them and their reaction. They “bowed their head and worshiped”. Here is the link to that post if you missed it “PRAYER – MOSES, AARON AND THE ISRAELITES”.

As I said I will post more on the following information on Monday. Here is a table of the ten plagues.

Scripture Passage The Plagues
Ex 7:14-25
  1. Water of the Nile turned to blood (even the water in wood and stone vessels)
Ex 8:1- 14
  1. The plague of frogs
Ex 8:16-19
  1. The plague of lice/mosquitoes
Ex 8:120-24
  1. The plague of the mixture + *
Ex 9:1-7
  1. The plague of that caused the death of the Egyptians’ livestock +
Ex 9:8-12
  1. The plague of the boils
Ex 9:13-32
  1. The plague of the hail +
Ex 10:12-20
  1. The plague of the locusts
Ex 10:21-23
  1. The plague of darkness +
Ex 11:1-8; 12:29-32
  1. The plague of the death of the firstborn

+  the five plagues that did not affect the Israelites (8:16; 9:4, 26; 10:23; 11:7).

*  the precise nature of the 4th plague is not clear. The Hebrew word for the fourth plague is arov / arob, a noun based on a Hebrew root meaning to mix, thus yielding a word that means mixture ( Interlinear Bible: Hebrew-English, vol. I, page 160; Briggs-Driver-Brown Hebrew Lexicon, page 487).

Scripture does not identify the nature of the fourth plague; it is only noted that it was a mixture. It is possible, however, to suggest what the fourth plague may have been from observing the pattern of the other plagues that seem to progress in pairs:

  • Plagues 1 and 2 came from water: the water of the Nile turning to blood and the frogs came from the water of the Nile (Ex 7:28; 8:3).
  • Plagues 5 and 6 were caused by disease.
  • Plagues 7 and 8 came from the sky (9:23; 10:13).
  • Plagues 9 and 10 were the absence of light and the absence of the light of life; darkness in Scripture is often a symbol of death.

If you click on the following picture, it will expand and be clearer to read.

exodus_plagues1Thank you all for understanding… I look forward to bringing you more on Monday.

The Song – I Cry You Care – David Phelps

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PRAYER – MOSES THE SHEPHERD AND GOD

Yesterday’s post ended with Moses fleeing from Pharaoh because he killed an Egyptian for beating a Hebrew slave. Here’s the scripture

Exodus 2:15

15 When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well.

It just so happens… (remember what I said about happenstance? I don’t believe in it)… Moses was sitting at a well that the seven daughters of the Priest of Midian came to. They came to water their flocks and lo and behold… Moses was at the same well. Remember how many men met their future spouses at a well in the previous posts? Seems like a good place to meet. Anyway, after Moses helped them water their flock, the seven daughters went back to their father’s house and when asked how they got finished so soon, they told him that there was an Egyptian that helped them. Here is the scripture.956

Exodus 2:16-20

16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters. And they came and drew water, and they filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 Then the shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.

18 When they came to Reuel their father, he said, “How is it that you have come so soon today?” 19 And they said, “An Egyptian delivered us from the hand of the shepherds, and he also drew enough water for us and watered the flock.” 20 So he said to his daughters, “And where is he? Why is it that you have left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread.”

* Note:  Reuel is also Jethro – the Priest of Midian.  One in the same person. 

So, Moses found a home and a bride all at the same time. It doesn’t say how long a time period it was from the time he was first sitting at the well and then marries Zipporah… but nonetheless, Moses marries Zipporah and they have a son and they named him Gershom.

Next, the scriptures tell us that God hears the “groanings” of the Israelites in Egypt. Here is the scripture.

Exodus 2:23-25Schnorr_von_Carolsfeld_Bibel_in_Bildern_1860_044

23 Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. 24 So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.

The cries of the Israelites, I believe, were prayers to their God. The One True God that they served. This series is about prayer and I understand that I have covered a lot of things that didn’t necessarily have any prayer mentioned in it. However, I thought it necessary to share some of the history with you so you can understand the story line of each story that I share with you. I do try to find the “prayer” time and sometimes ipsalm_34_18t is just not mentioned but assumed that there was prayer because of the person being mentioned or the situation surrounding the person. Anyway, the cries of the Israelites came to God in prayer format, I believe, and He heard their prayer. Did you know that God always hears our prayers. His eyes are always on us.

Psalm 34:15

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.

If we humble ourselves He will hear our prayers from Heaven…

2 Chronicles 7:14-152-chr-7-14-web-watermarked

14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.

I would like to include an excerpt from a website that I found. It is from an article entitled “Moses in Egypt, and Moses in Midian” and is from “The Christian’s Friend”. The entire article is quite long and is written in “early English” somewhat, but this part is very interesting and I think you will enjoy reading this.

Moses was an eminent type of the Lord Jesus. And I would just notice, in passing, that they are the only two persons mentioned in Scripture whose course we are able to trace from their birth on to the glory. (** there is an addendum that I have made to this part of this quote – you can find the updated information on this part of this quote here on the next post… “CORRECTION – MOSES THE SHEPHERD“)

It is worthy of remark that the life of Moses is divided into three distinct periods of forty years.3-4_moses-shepherd

The first forty he spent in Egypt as the “son of Pharaoh’s daughter.”‘

The next forty in the wilderness tending the flock of his father-in-law. There, at the mount of God, he had a vision of glory, such as could never have been revealed to him in Egypt.

In the last forty we have the account of the sorrowful and trying course he had to run, as the servant of God and of His people Israel, in bearing the burden of that people.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So when the Israelites became so distraught about their situation, they prayed and continued to pray. God heard them and then He remembered Moses. God allows time to pass, sometimes, until we are ready and seasoned to do His will, before He tel162ba415-62c7-4c0e-af1f-c5fc7610922f_g_338ls us what He wants us to do. That is the case for Moses, as well. Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness, tending his father-in-law’s sheep. These 40 years were a wonderful “proving ground”, if you will, for what is to come. Spending 40 years with his father-in-law, who was the Priest of Midian, was the perfect place for Moses to grow in a different way than he did in Egypt. In Egypt he had access to the finest education, luxuries and food. He was a very highly respected man and very well educated. However, this education and all the refinements got him nowhere in Midian. He chose to learn to be a shepherd and keep his father-in-law’s flocks. This can be a very rewarding undertaking, as I learned when I did the series on “The Good Shepherd”. It is also a time of solitude. I believe the combination of being with Jethro – his father-in-law –Moses_w_Jethro_1116-80 the Priest of Midian, and the solitude of being a shepherd allowed Moses to grow in his relationship with God. I can’t help but believe that those alone times that Moses spent with the sheep in the pasture or up on the high plains of the mountains in the Spring and Summer months allowed him to reflect and pray. I can just hear Moses’ prayers (conversations with God). I can hear the realness and the humanness in his prayers. The outright confusion about how his life began and “look at me now” kind of prayer. In those times – those 40 years – though, I believe God imparted wisdom and knowledge to Moses and when God called to him out of the “Burning Bush” it was time. God saw the man that was to “save His people” from Egyptian bondage. Here is the scripture..

Exodus 3:1-10

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”

So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!”

And he said, “Here I am.”

Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.burning_bush-WS

And the Lord said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

God called him by name. Moses answered instantly. Do we answer God when He calls our name? Or do we ignore and walk the other way? God had something wonderful in store for Moses and He does for you as well. We just have to tune our ears, heart and spirit to hear God when He calls. As I said, I believe Moses spent a lot of time with God while he was tending the sheep. I also believe Moses recognized that familiar voice. It was the relationship they had.Moses Keeping Jethro's Sheep 1863 by Sir Edward Poynter 1836-1919

Now on further down in the scripture, Moses asks God – referring to going back to the Israelites and telling them that the God of their fathers sent him, he says “Who do I say sent me?” Now I believe Moses knew this was God but he was worried about telling the Israelites and wondered if they would believe him. Asking God… How do I convince them that I really had a conversation with You and You sent me….? I know it wasn’t exactly like that, but I believe that about Moses. I do believe he know who God was and was astonished about God appearing to him in this way. What an event! The One True, Almighty God. Speaking to him from a burning bush. Then telling him to go on this mission to save His people. WOW… I can see why Moses was a little overwhelmed.

I know sometimes I get so overwhelmed just in the presence of God in prayer or praise or when I listen to my Bible on my phone. It is just an amazing thing to feel the presence of God and it overwhelms sometimes. I believe this is what Moses was going through at about a 1,000,000+ on a scale from 1-10. So, he is overwhelmed, too. No doubt!

The next post on Prayer will be about the “real” conversation Moses has with God (the Burning Bush). If Moses had not had a relationship with God, he would not have been so real and honest about his reservations. Just my thoughts and opinions.

Tomorrow I will continue this conversation between God and Moses. It gets better!

The Song – Who Am I – Casting Crowns

The Video – Who Am I – Casting Crowns

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