Ten Commandments

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I’ve been doing this extensive study of the Ten Commandments that has been really good.  I love that the study notes that the Ten Commandments are moral laws that teach us how to be in relationship with God and others.  These commandments teach us how to feel and act toward God (with great reverence) and toward other people (with utmost respect).

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Third Month

In the third month after the sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, o that very day they came into the wilderness of Sinai.

Observation

It’s been three months since the Israelites left Egypt and God demonstrated one miracle after another.  Now He settles them down for one year to give and teach them His laws so that (Exodus 19:5-6) ‘Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”

Application

God waited to develop relationship before He gave them the Laws.  As a parent I am always trying to enforce God’s laws but I sometimes forget to develop and foster relationship above the law.  I am finding that relationships always need developing because we are always changing and growing.  No one really has a developed relationship but should have an ongoing developing relationship.  Because once we feel like we have a developED relationship we are prone to no longer foster and grow the relationship.

Prayer

Lord, help me to develop and foster relationship with my husband and children daily.  Help me to never be on cruise control with the important relationships you have given me.

You Cannot do it Alone

Now when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge and all the people stand about you from morning until evening?”

 

Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God.

“When they have a dispute, it comes to me, and I judge between a man and his neighbor and make known the statutes of God and His laws.”

Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good.

“You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.

 

Observation

Here is the word kabed (heavy) again.  As a leader there are clearly some things you have to carry alone.  God calls Moses alone to come up to Mount Sinai and speaks to him.  But the Bible shows us here and in the previous chapter that we are not to carry heavy things alone.  Moses’ father-in-law teaches us the consequences, prevention and how to measure heavy matters of leadership.

Consequences:  Exo 18:18 You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.” We think that when we are carrying a heavy load that is only hurts us but it actually hurts those around us as well. Burnout hurts those immediately around us like our family, then those on the leadership team and ultimately those we are serving.

Prevention:  Exo 18:19-22 Now listen to me: I will give you counsel, and God be with you.  You be the people’s representative before God, and you bring the disputes to God, then teach them the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they are to walk and the work they are to do.  Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens.”  This teaches us that we need to first seek God personally, communicate publicly and then selectively delegate responsibilities to individuals.

Measure: Exo 18:22-23  “Let them judge the people at all times; and let it be that every major dispute they will bring to you, but every minor dispute they themselves will judge. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you  “If you do this thing and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people also will go to their place in peace.”  There is a art to delegation.  Delegating doesn’t mean abdicating nor does it mean tasking.  Often we abdicate the major/heavy responsibilities and task (micromanage) the minor responsibilities.  The art of delegating is understanding what are the major/heavy issues (burden and overwhelming) that should not be carried by the person selected.  Then leave the minor responsibilities up to them.  This bring about peace.

Application

What a great lesson on leadership.  I have learned so much about leadership through PWOC and serving on the board.  Being the President of PWOC is heavy and you can never do it alone.

Prayer

Lord, I pray for all the PWOC Presidents who are serving You and the ladies in their group.  Give them wisdom and discernment to know what is heavy and select the right individuals to lead with.

But Moses’ hands were heavy.

 

So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose men for us and go out, fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.”
Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed.
But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set.

 

So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

Observation

I love this passage.  The word heavy in Hebrew is kabed:  heavy, great, hard, difficult, burdensome.  Moses’ hands were heavy so Aaron and Hur were there to support him, physically and spiritually.  In addition Joshua was there to actually fight the battle.  Battles are won with team work.

Application

How many times do we feel like our hands are heavy from something difficult or burdensome?  But how many times do we fight the battle alone?  In the U.S. we pride ourselves on independence (self) vs community (share).  So we often fight battles alone and we keep on fighting.

Prayer

 

Test

Exodus 16 (AMP)

The whole congregation of the Israelites [grew discontented and] murmured and rebelled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the Israelites said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and ate bread until we were full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this entire assembly with hunger.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will cause bread to rain from heaven for you; the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, so that I may test them [to determine] whether or not they will walk [obediently] in My instruction (law).

Observation

The word test here in Hebrew is נָסָה nâçâh, naw-saw’; to smell, to try by the smell, to test, try, prove, tempt, assay, put to the proof/test.  God is setting up statutes, regulations and instructions for the Israelites so that He can test them.  Prior to this the only time God tested anyone was Abraham.  Now it came about after these things, that God tested H5254Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” Genesis 22:1.

Later on God explains why He tests His people:

Exodus 20:20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test H5254 you, and in order that the fear of Him may [fn]remain with you, so that you may not sin.”

Due 8:2 “You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing H5254 you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.

Deu 8:16 “In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test H5254 you, to do good for you [fn]in the end.

Deu 13:3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing H5254you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Application

It’s interesting that this word is testing by smell.  It’s true we often use our nose to test whenever food has gone bad, clothes are dirty, something is toxic, etc.  Smell is a good way to try something without actually tasting or touching it.  Almost like a preliminary test to help improve.

I  saw a good graph recently that illustrates justification and sanctification

Image result for justification vs sanctification graph

This makes me think that with Christ we have justification but we are still working on sanctification (to purify/cleanse).  To purify/cleanse anything it must be tested.
Prayer
Lord, whenever I am going through difficult times or circumstances help me to know that sanctification requires testing.

Songs of Praise and Grumbling

Exodus 15:1

 Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying,

“I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

22 Then Moses made Israel set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water.  23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. 24 And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?”

Observation

It doesn’t take long for the Israelites to go from singing praises to God to grumbling.  Moses responds to their grumbling by “Then he (Moses) cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet… Exodus 15:25.  Israelites grumble, Moses cries out.  God heeds Moses’ cry for help.

Exodus 15:25-26 continues “There He made for them a statute and regulation, and there He tested them.”  And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, am your healer.”  The Israelites will fail this test time and time again.  They will make for themselves a golden calf, continuing grumbling and disobey God’s commands regarding manna.  But God still keeps his promise to keep them from diseases.

Application

God knows what it’s like to be a parent because THIS is what parenting looks like.  Your children praise you one minute and then grumble the next.  As a parent you give them instructions/rules and they keep on breaking them.  If God’s children disobey and rebel after He performed all these great miracles and saved them why should we expect anything else from our children?  I often think my children are ridiculous when they disobey or rebel but I realize my expectations are just as ridiculous if not more.

Prayer

Lord, my greatest prayers are always about parenting.  I cry out to every day.

 

Misplaced Fear

Exodus 14:12-13

“Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”
But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear!  Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever.
Exodus 14:31
When Israel saw the great power which the LORD had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in His servant Moses.

Observation

This chapter illustrates a podcast on Fear that I listened to on the Journeyman podcast with Matt Lantz  https://journeywomenpodcast.com/new-blog/ep-46-fear.  Lantz points out that:

“Is fear bad? Fear isn’t a moral issue. I don’t think it’s really good or bad in that sense. However it can be misplaced. And when our fear is misplaced, that can create moral issues for us.” 

“Fear is an emotional response to circumstances that we cannot control and that we perceive will do us harm.” 

“That emotional response always sends us looking for a Savior, something that we believe is bigger or stronger or otherwise able to subdue or get rid of whatever it is that is causing us fear.”

“I’m reminded when I am afraid of something that I am not God. I don’t command anything. And I’m mortal. I can die, I can be hurt. I think God gave us the emotion of fear because he’s the only one worthy of it.”

Lantz comment to the song “Fear is a Liar” is also well stated, “[Satan] will certainly use your fears to persuade you to mistrust God. Satan’s the liar, not fear.”

 

Application

I remember doing a talk on “Freedom from Fear” last summer.  What is so amazing is that although we, in the United States live at the safest time in our history, fear is on the rise.  Rates of depression and anxiety have been steadily rising for the past 50-70 years.  Why?  Perhaps it’s because we have become our own “savior” trying to control our circumstances.  Whenever we’re stressed (not in control) we often turn to Google than God.  We feel so empowered that Google doc has become more trustworthy than actual doctors.  Not to say that all doctors are trustworthy but perhaps most are more trustworthy than our own research or essential oils.  Perhaps the only thing we fear less nowadays is God, Himself.  As Oswald Chambers stated,

  • “The remarkable thing about fearing God is that, when you fear God, you fear nothing else; whereas, if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.”
Nowadays if we faced the Red Sea most of us would go on our phones and search for an alternative route or youtube how to build a raft.  We have become our own savior, no wonder we are depressed and anxious.

 

Prayer
Lord, increase my fear of You so that I will become less fearful of everything else.