Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Exodus 36

  The divinely inspired artisan took all the different pieces and parts of the offering and he had them put together in the pattern given by the Lord.  ... And he made all the diverse components to be fashioned in such a way ... that it might be one tabernacle,  that it might be one.

Reflecting on the idea of one from some lead me to:

Genesis 1:5 God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
Genesis 2:24  For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

Acts 1:14 These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer ...

Acts 2:46-47  Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Romans 12:4-5  For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 
1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27  For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.  For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.  For the body is not one member, but many. ... Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.

Galatians 5:14  For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “ YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

Philippians 1:27  Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel ...

Philippians 2:2  make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 

Colossians 3:15  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 

Hebrews 10:12   ... but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD ... 

 Lord God, with all the different things that this life offers, help me to be the woman whose heart is stirred by You to join in Your plan for the one purpose You have for Your Name and for this world.  I praise You that You have included me in this great glory.  Lord, help me to be one who is easily braided into Your perfect cord, that thrives in the diversity of Your unity and functions fully and freely - as it is for liberty that You have made me free.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Exodus 35

Moses assembled all the congregation of the people of Israel and said to them, “These are the things that the LORD has commanded you to do. ... You shall kindle no fire in all your dwelling places on the Sabbath day.”

... O kindle, Lord most holy, a lamp within my breast,
To do in spirit lowly all that may please You best.
                                                      (O Lord, How Shall I Meet You; Gerhardt/Winkworth)

No fire to be physically kindled because the Lord was kindling holiness in their hearts.

Father, Holy Lord, please kindle Your holiness within my heart, my mind, my spirit, my soul, my strength - in Your dwelling place.  I desire You and none other.  What tenderness You display towards Your children, how gracious You are to receive from their hands that which You placed there.  Stir me, Lord God, inspire me, fill me - that I may be useful to Your Kingdom, Your purpose and Your Name.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Exodus 34

All that open the womb are mine ... All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem.  

Jesus was redeemed by Mary and Joseph (Luke 3:22b-23 ...they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord"), and then God through His firstborn Son redeemed all of humanity - all of the firstborn, secondborn and so on.  The Messiah was the original plan, the temple redemptions were the pictures of what was to come and yet, what had already been established.

Thank You Father for Your utter previousness in creation.  I praise You for Your plan is not thwarted by mere mortals or fallen angels.  You are omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent.  Nothing jumps on Your radar without Your prior  approval and plan.  I am encouraged in my day of being surprised and in my day of plans that You have all things worked out and I can walk with You in confidence through whatever may come.  Your grace and presence go with me; but You have been here already and You are in the tomorrow, too.   

Oh Lord, may Your people reflect Your radiance as Moses did.  May our countenances shine in response to time with You.  I pray that we would be discernible by Your holy shiney-ness in and on us. 

Exodus 34:10  The Lord replied, “Listen, I am making a covenant with you in the presence of all your people. I will perform miracles that have never been performed anywhere in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people around you will see the power of the Lord—the awesome power I will display for you. 

Favorite verse (hey, He's infinite, so I feel some liberty with not choosing just one).  This verse was the one the Lord brought me in the time of our enduring 'season of God's faithful love and the curious displays of man.'

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Exodus 33

Lord, help me to never be stuck in the entrance to my tent; too afraid, too ashamed, too timid, too _______ to leave its flaps and go where You are moving/working/stirring/speaking, where Your glory is, where my God-adventure is.  Give me strength and perseverance to step out in faith that I may dance with You.

Oh Father God, Your Presence is in me and I am distinguishable by Your Holy-ness.  Please keep me from covering up, minimizing or fitting in with the landscape; let me revel in Your distinctiveness in me.

Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. (favorite verse.  well, at least until Exodus 34:10)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Exodus 32

The Israelites were operating from what they saw or didn't see, from the status of their circumstances.   The little choices, the little doubts, the conversations  in the shadow of the fiery mountain and the memories of His hand's work grew into a calf and an altar - pagan revelry.  I wonder if you had asked the children of Israel when Mo left if they would participate in that type of behavior what they would have said. I know I never intend to or plan to veer off the course God has for me.  But what do I listen to?  What do I say to myself?

Faith is not by sight.  Hope is confidence and patience in God that He will do what He said He will do.  Not in man. Not even me.  My words should only agree with the LORD's.  They should have not weight or influence against what the Lord God Almighty has spoken to me.  I must choose the good confession, even when I want to toss my gold at a local authority figure.

Lord, please help me to walk by faith in You, let my confidence and patience reside in You that I may not engage in pagan revelry or even the smaller thoughts, doubts, conversations that precede such choices.  Let me not give any other authority power over Your Authority in my life.  Holy, holy, holy is the LORD.  Help me to live holy, too.  You alone are worthy of my worship.  I praise You for Your forgiveness and grace.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Exodus 31

The Lord appointed and He filled those He called.  He further gives increased abilities to those He has allowed/designed to be skillful. 

Lord, may I be faithful in Your design for me that I may be trusted with increased ability for the blessing of Your Kingdom and spread of Your fame.  Father, I pray that You would fill me and that I would be a good steward of Your filling for the work You have appointed for me.  May I delight in the unfolding of Your good works for me.  Lord, I love how we are Your creation, Your craftsmanship and You dwell in us.  You have made Your own temple in me.  Lord, may I be diligent to upkeep and decorate this earthly vessel according to Your great Name.  Keep teaching me, Father.

Lord God of the Universe, teach me Your pleasure regarding Sabbaths.  I want to honor You rightly; I seek to live that set-apart live, to be rested and refreshed on the day which You approve.  But I also know that I am not bound by Your law to be legalistic.  Rather, I am bound by Your steadfast love.  Help me to celebrate You in my dailyness, to observe a spirit of Sabbath which pleases You every day and on the day which You prefer - whatever day(s) it may be.  You alone are worthy of my worship.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Exodus 30

The LORD said to Moses, “When you take the census of the people of Israel, then each shall give a ransom for his life to the LORD ... You shall take the atonement money from the people of Israel and shall give it for the service of the tent of meeting, that it may bring the people of Israel to remembrance before the LORD, so as to make atonement for your lives.”

Each shall give a ransom for his life ... not like the previous giving which was freely and as each one delighted to do; but a "shall give" that they would be brought to remembrance before the LORD for atonement purposes.  Reminds me of the verse which says it is appointed unto man, once to die.  Not an option.  

But the point was not to enrich the golden sanctuary of the LORD God; but for the service for the benefit of HIS people.  The Lord God did not and does not need to be reminded of anything; but the obedience of His commands was instructive for His children.  

Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your gift of ransom, Your payment of atonement for me and Your intercession to the Father on my behalf.  I am so grateful that You teach and disciple Your children.  Thank You for Your lessons which are for my benefit; may I walk in Your ways and Your wisdom to the praise of Your Name.

  It is holy, and it shall be holy to you.

Lord, help me to treat the holy as holy.  Cultivate in me holiness and the pursuit of holiness.  Let me appreciate holiness according to Your design.  Let me bear Your holiness, share Your holiness and be known for Your holiness.  May I always remember the source of holiness is You and may I live in response to that.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Exodus 29

And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them up out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them. I am the LORD their God.

God called Abram out of Ur, God met with Abram and his descendents throughout the patriarchal times.  Now, after slavery, the LORD God desires to dwell among His people.  He wants them to know that He is the I Am, the LORD their God.

Even now, He has arranged all things that He might dwell among us.  With us.  In us.  In me.  That I would know Him as the LORD my God.  

Oh Father, I cannot imagine what life was like back in this time.  I would have been scared to death to attempt to prepare a sacrifice.  I probably would have been grossed out, too.  So much death, so much blood, so much anointing had to happen before consecration and holiness could be pronounced.  Before Your servants were acceptable.  And can I praise You now for Your callings and service were for a lifetime.  You are not a part-time God.  Oh Lord, I praise You for Your sacrificial offering of Your life, Your death, Your blood, Your anointing.  I receive what You have done in renewed seriousness and sobriety, as I am reminded of the extreme cost and conditions You met to do so.  I thank You that my name was on Your heart and part of Your burden.  I do not deserve such favor.  May I walk in the fulness of  that royal priesthood to which You have called me.   May I be cognizant of the lifetime role I am to play.  May I serve You well.  And Your people.  To the praise of Your very great Name and the expansion of Your Kingdom.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Exodus 28

Clothing for holiness, glory and beauty.  What a concept.

The requirements for ministering before the LORD are to be called and to answer the call in the way defined by God.  To bear the burden, the commemoration and the judgment of the people, both generally and specifically before the LORD.  To bear His holiness in a no-questions-asked manner - so that anyone who sees you will know you are "HOLY to the LORD."  The dress and conduct are consistent with the calling - holiness, glory and beauty.  Oh Father, may this be true of me.  Teach me Your ways, that I may reflect You. 

I praise You for Your tender attentions to the children of Israel in listing them by birth.  Lord, You arrested the contentiousness of competition from the gift of the design.  I praise You for seeing each one and, subsequently, each tribe as individuals worthy of unique nomenclature and remembering.  I praise You that You set no one above another; for only You is worthy of worship.  I also praise You for the fact that You adopt us into Abraham's line and not one of the subsequent heirs.  What a wise parent, God and Authority You are. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Exodus 27

The skills to make the temple must have been learned in Egypt. The metal working and all the details must have come from preparing the pyramids and other finery for the elite in Egypt – for surely, a bucolic people would not need much metalworking knowledge when they could barter for it. The master craftmanship was learned in their slavery.

When the Israelites left, they plundered the Egpytians who seemed to be willing participants in the despoiling. It strikes me that the commoners native to Egypt would not have the richness at their disposal to bless the departing slaves with; but that the nobility would have, the business owners would, also. In their time of enslavement, God’s children had great connections.

Father, I thank You for Your provision in times of pressing. Help me to be diligent in the difficult seasons that I may come away with the skills You intend for me to use later for the Kingdom. Whatever You have for me to do, let me do it as unto You, that my work ethic would shine, my relationships would be blessed and the networking You have prepared for me would be in place. Let me not grumble in those times; but embrace all that You have for me in those moments. Whether in richness or in want, Father God, let me live for You and not miss a morsel of what You have prepared for me. Life-stewardship to the praise of Your Name. Good choices. Godly choices and actions. Diligence in the dailyness. For Your Kingdom’s sake.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Exodus 26

Oh Lord, the earth is Yours and all that is within it.  I praise Your Holy and Creative Name.  Every detail from the small to the large You teach.  Lord, may I look to You for the tiniest of items and for the grandest of designs - You alone have the master plan.  I am in awe of what You care to teach Your children; may I have those teachable hands, heart and mind and may I wait on You to give me the finer points instruction.  

And Father, did anyone else in Your throne room  know when You ordered the veil's construction what it was to represent; that, years later, it was to be discarded?  Did they applaud You more for the richness of Your blueprints?   I praise You that You didn't stick particleboard or polyester in Your precious place.  Your previousness still amazes me.  Please give me eyes to see You more in this manner.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Exodus 25

The cherubim are to have wings spread out above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and are to face one another. The faces of the cherubim should be toward the mercy seat. Set the mercy seat on top of the ark and put the testimony that I will give you into the ark. I will meet with you there above the mercy seat, between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the testimony; I will speak with you from there …

This passage reminded me of the words from 1 Peter 1 … so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ … … in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look. 

The proof of a Christ-bearer’s ( E. Elliott) faith is more precious than the gold used for the Ark. Faith tested by fire, hammering, shaping, forming and designed to be portable yields praise, glory, honor for Jesus. Faith, so proved, never looks away from mercy.

The mercy seat is watched over by two cherubim, as the angels who long to look into salvation. Mercy seat is covering the law, the testimony; it is where the Lord God Almighty will meet with and speak to His child – in the setting place/sitting place of mercy. There is a protection and a privacy provided by the golden angels’ wings at that meeting place. In the context of mercy and faith, we meet the Lord according to His very great provision.

Lord God, I praise You for Your words of encouragement and illustration. I pray that my faith would shine like gold to the praise of Your Name. I pray for the angels who watch over Your people – please bless them and strengthen them, encourage them with great works in Your Kingdom. I thank You that Your mercy covers the commands. I am so grateful that it is by the mercy You have poured out and the faith You supply that You allow me to come to You. Please help me never to neglect meeting with You, to never overlook Your mercy and to never resist the work You have for my faith. May I praise You always.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Exodus 24

Exodus 20:20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.” ... 24:2 And the Lord said to Moses,  "Moses alone shall come near to the LORD, but the others shall not come near, and the people shall not come up with him.”

The fear of God is to quench sin in me.  Lord, teach me to fear You better, to reverence You rightly and to operate from the awe of You.  But, let me not be so fearful that I am content to be relegated to not coming up to You.  Increase my heart for You, for Your Presence and for Your Name.  I praise You that You have given me constant access to You.  Let me live more mindfully of Your Presence in me and Your purposes in this time.

God invites me to draw near to Him.  

Am I consistently dedicated to bear the cost of devotion, 
                                                                                                 of obedience, 
                                                                                                         of coming up to Him?  

Whose face do I seek the most?  

Where do I find myself content to be - 
                               in the near,               on the fringe,               or from a distance?  

Am I close enough to be burned by the heat of His holiness?

Lord, help me to desire You as much as You created me to and as much as You paid for me to.  I know You did not save me for sporadic nor mediocre responses to You.  Let me live all out and all in for You.  Teach me those ways.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Exodus 23

Do not serve their gods.  Do not bow down to other gods.  Do not worship other gods.

After all they had witnessed and experienced, they still need to be told sternly to not dabble, look or entertain other gods.  Lord, help me in my propensity to not be faithful.  Make me faithful to You.  Bind my wandering heart to Yours.  May I utterly overthrow any god which seeks to rest on my radar.

The LORD kept the enemies around the Israelites as they were useful to Him and the children.  Slowly were the adversaries to be dealt with.  Lord God, please help me to have vision for Your perfection and patience in the face of long-present foes; give me a heart and confidence for the timing of Your battles.  Increase my trust that I may live to the glory of Your Name amidst the enemies You are using for my good.  Help me to not wiggle around on the altar of living sacrifice when I am surrounded by large, hungry complications with forks.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Exodus 22

David, when confronted by Nathan, calls for the man suffering the loss of the precious lamb to be restored fourfold.  From this command in verse one, no doubt.  Oh Lord, that I would know and believe Your Word so well that even in emotional reaction mode Your words would come from me.

“You must not dishonor God or curse any of your rulers."

Father, I don't know why You put these two things together; but keep me from dishonoring You.  Help me to not complain, grumble or speak ill of my rulers.  I pray Father, that they would not dishonor You, either.  May I be a loyal servant of the most Noble King and a faithful steward and emissary of Your Name.

Thank You for giving me Your Firstborn Son.  I thank You for entrusting me with those You have given me to raise.  They are Yours and I know that full well.  May I humbly and graciously steward them to the praise of Your very great Name.
You must be my holy people - Yes, I must.  Grow me up in Your holiness.

Exodus 21

But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master ... and do not want to go free,’  then his master must take him before the judges.  He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.

Oh Lord, pierce my ear.  Pierce my heart, my mouth, my mind.  Pierce me that I may serve You better, for I do love You, my Master ... and I do not want to go "free" away from You.  Please increase my capacity and faithfulness in loving You.

Exodus 20

Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.”
Lord, may I not be so fearful of You that I shun Your Word.  May I not be so used to You that I ignore Your Word.  God, I want the fear of You to remain with me that I may choose the sacred journey You have created for me.  Lord, enrapture my heart and my mind, capture my imagination, master my will that I may not sin.  I know and thank You for paying for all of my sin on the cross.  I just don't want to add to the burden You carried for me that day.  May I bring You glory.


Exodus 19

And the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever.”

The LORD God of the Universe is still working on Moses' self esteem.  The skittish, stumbling, stuttering man picked from the setting of slavery to accomplish liberty for God's people in God's time is being reassured by the very Lord of All that the people will believe him forever.  After all the miraculous work done through Moses' hands, the Lord God is still taking care of Moses' (at this point, almost inconceivable) need to be believed.  What a precious consideration He makes for His child.  
Thank You Father and Creator, that You wire each of us uniquely and You deal with each of us individually.  You don't make us one way and get mad at us for being that way.  You have plans for the fashionings of Your hands.  You are Good and what You do is good.  I praise You!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Exodus 18

Without hardship, there is no rescue.  Without trouble, there is no delight in what the Lord does.

Oppression led to rescue which led to knowing God in new ways which led to praise.  Father God, let me land on praise every time. Help me to anticipate praise.  Let me revel in Your plan even when I am confounded by it.

Moses humbled himself before Jethro upon Jethro's arrival.  Later Jethro brings sage advice to Moe.  Without the humility Moe offered, would Jethro have been so willing to help his son-in-law?  If Moe had not been in the habit of humbleness, would he have been willing to take the advice.  Lord, help me to practice humility, to be humble before all men and women.  Let me not think more of me than I do of the person I most struggle with.

Exodus 17

One to stand with steady hands and the rod of God; 

two to support the one standing; 

one, with some chosen folks, to go out, fight and defeat with the edge of the sword.

I realize this sounds like the answer to the joke "how many Hebrews does it take to defeat Amalek?"; but it's not.  A different picture came to me as I read this text.  

One stands, with the authority of God. This one has the power to call to war.  This one also is seated on a rock - the Rock.  Perhaps this One is the Rock?

Others very close to the first one need to support the authority of God and the one who bears that responsibility.  Their purpose is unity in their support and to stand steady in wartime.

And more others who actually engage in the battle against the enemy.  Who battle until defeat is handed to the enemy.  Who are able to wield the sword of the Lord.

Each one plays a critical role in the fight and subsequent triumph.  Not one can be excused or written off.  Each must embrace their part and do so until the victory cry.  

My Commander in Chief, my Warrior Lord, may we all play our parts well.  May we faithfully respond to Your call to war.  May we all be united under the authority of God and God alone.  May we stand steady and focused on the battle, sensitive to the needs at hand and on the field.  May we consider the well-being of others before ourselves.  May we fight to the finish, Your finish.  May we bear honorably Your Sword.  

As we pray, Lord, help us to engage in the spiritual battles according to Your model.  Give us heart for the spiritual strife and combat.  Teach our hands and minds to war.  Do not let us depart from Your authority, Your power, Your glory.  Unity, Lord, unity.  Do it, Lord, do it now.

Exodus 16

Father God, may I never settle in the desert or wilderness of Sin.  Keep me from being drawn there, also.  I know my tendency to end up there; keep me from it, my Lord.

Father, in the morning with the supernatural manna, You showed Your glory to Your children.   Lord, let me know You ... see Your glory ... be content to wait for and receive Your provision.  Show me where I complain about You.  I don't want to speak against You, ever.  Please help my words not be complaints but trusting praise.  Purify my motives.

Yahweh, fullness comes from You.  Enable me to know You are Yahweh my God.

they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. 

Lord, is this what is spiritually in play when I try to live off yesterday's provision?  Please let me come early, each and every day to receive Your supply for me.  To the praise of Your great and all-wise Name.

Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away.

What if I only have a certain window to receive from God what He has for me for today?  Grant me diligence in the dailyness and a hunger for Your sustaining - spiritual and physical - that I may gather as much as I need, all that You offer me.

Lord God of the Sabbath, teach me to take the effort necessary to know, to understand, to comprehend the Sabbath is Your gift to us.  A present to be received and implemented.  Let me walk in the wisdom of Your thoughtfulness and example. 

Exodus 15

Lord, You are my strength, my song; but in this season, I have come to know You as my Salvation, my Rescue, my Redemption.  Lord, You are.

I praise You, my God, that You are a Warrior, You do battle, not just report it or dispatch others.  You are a warrior, teach me Your ways of war.

You will lead the people You have redeemed (like me) with Your faithful love; faithful, curious and sometimes severe love.  But You redeem and You lead.  I praise You.  And I follow You.

Lord, Your children finally are allowed that journey of three days into the wilderness so they could worship You.  They experienced three days without locating water. ... did they look for You?  Would I?   When water was found, it was bitter; but You provided the wood (even back here bitterness and a tree are part of Your story) to sweeten their refreshment and need.  Teach me Lord, to focus on You in the work of worship, the consequence of consecration and sacrifice of sacredness.

God, then they grumbled.  Please keep my words as sweet as the waters became.  Let me not complain, grumble or gripe about circumstances You have sovereignly deemed right for me.  Lord, whether in comfort or distress, may I bring You praise.  It should not matter in what estate I find myself as I seek to bring You glory.  Give me eyes to see You in all places, situations and times.


Exodus 14

But Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again.  The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.’  Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward' 

don't be afraid

stand firm

see the Lord's deliverance 
                                                      He accomplishes
                                                                                           for you  

You shall never again see these who oppose you

The Lord will fight for you

Keep still

Go forward
Warrior Lord, I want to see the deliverance You have for me everyday.  I praise You that You fight for me.  Make me brave, courageous, strong and unyielding to any but You.  Help me to know when to keep still, when to cry out and when to kick it into gear.  Please, God, help me to go forward.  Especially when I want to scatter.


Exodus 13

When in the future your child asks you, “What does this mean?” you shall answer, “By strength of hand the Lord brought us out ... from the house of slavery."

How do I tell my children about the strength of the Lord's hand which delivered me from the house of slavery?  Where am I intentional in sharing God's story of my life to those who would not know?  Which rescues am I hoarding in the library of my heart?  Why?  

Father God, please help me to answer questions with "by the strength of the Lord's hand, He brought me out from the house of slavery to _____ ."  May I give You glory, may I bring You glory and may I see Your glory.  I praise You that You redeem Your children.  That redemption is a priority with You and a recurring theme in Your story.  I am in awe of Your work and the strength of Your very strong hand.

Exodus 12

 Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, "This month shall be the beginning of months for you ... "

When God steps in, even time is changed, redefined.  His mercies are new every morning.

‘Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance. ...'   

In the midst of declaring the climax of the plagues, the pending deaths of Egypt's firstborn, God sets up a celebration for all generations of His people.  

Lord, help me to remember to celebrate You even in the hardest and most confusing of times.  Let me never forget how You have dealt with me and the grace You have bestowed on me and my family.  What steadfast love You pour out on Your children.  Teach me to celebrate God-style.

Exodus 11

Moses departs from Pharaoh's presence in "hot anger."  The cost of Pharaoh's hardened heart is going to be great and painful.  Maybe that's why Moses leaves in such a fashion.

Lord, I know that the cost of not responding to You is great and painful.  I understand what You say will happen to those who do not come to You in faith; help me to be stirred to action, to choose to advocate You rather than my comfort and leisure.  Please don't let me sit - unconcerned, aloof and remote while those in my circle of influence choose to ignore You.  God, if I need to have hot anger, then give it to me.  Enrage me against the success of the enemy that I might be useful to Your Kingdom's cause.  It's not all good; don't let me live as if it were.

Exodus 10

The darkness comes without warning.  There was light then there was darkness.  Palpable blackness.  

Pharaoh presumed he had light, maybe even thought he was light - the sun god Ra. When darkness came, he was stuck.  And pridefully, refused the only option for light, God.

Lord, may I never presume to be in Your light.  May my life be a gracious response to the Light You have given me.  May I reflect Your light and share the Source with all You entrust to me. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Exodus 9

God had said the many wonders would not be effective in attaining the release of the Israelites - their salvation.  Those miracles were part of the establishing the division or distinctiveness of God's people.  God had spoken that salvation would require the death of the firstborn son.  Then a three day journey into the wilderness before the worshiping could happen.

Reminds me of another Firstborn Son who performed many signs and wonders - which did not bring salvation.   Like the earlier works, these incredible events served as a way of culling out those who were God's people from those whose hearts were hardened.  Similarly, it was the death of the Firstborn Son which was required to establish salvation.  So, too, a three day journey of sorts before the celebration could begin.  

Father, I praise You.  I thank You that You desire to make Your people distinctive, Your work is to draw them from the world and to You.  I praise You for Your wisdom in the wonders and the wildernesses.  I praise You that worship and jubilee in Your Name follow those three day journeys into the wildernesses of the unknown.  I praise You that You teach us to walk in freedom, You draw us to worship You apart from this present darkness.  Strengthen me for the days of Your splendors and for the peregrinations leading to praise and adoration.  I praise You that there is no condemnation in You. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Exodus 8

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh as he goes to the river and say to him, ‘This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me.

Eighty years earlier, a princess went down to the river and encountered the babe to be named Moses.  Four hundred years of slavery, 80 years of one man's life and it seems that it was about people being set free and worshiping their God.  His ways are not my ways, His timing is not my timing; but He is always right in all He does.  Lord, please grant me vision and patience for Your good works.  May I be useful to You in Your plans - liberty and worship.

Father, I don't understand why the magicians tried to duplicate Your miracles.  It seems to me that the more useful thing would be to try to undo them, that they might look better to Pharaoh.  I know that You allowed them some amount of success in replicating what You had done through Your men; but why on earth would they want to add more bugs to a plague?  Is it because the world does not have holy sight; they can only try to be like what they witness You to do?  Lord, help me to never fall for the sloppy seconds that come from man.  Holy Spirit, please help me to not be deceived by the smoke and mirrors of this dark world.  Renew my appetite for You, Lord Jesus; for Your work, for Your heart, for Your plan.  And may I bring You glory.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Exodus 7

What an odd scenario; to have an audience with the Pharaoh and to whisper to your brother what the King of the Universe has told you and let your sibling relay it to the king.  This just strikes me as ridiculous.  Wonder what impact it had on Pharaoh.  Lord, help me to be very careful to not seek help when You have not instructed me to receive it.

Secondly, the Lord is warning again that the Pharaoh and the Egyptians will struggle in believing and responding rightly to what God is saying through Moses and  Aaron.  Moses, in his dialogues with God appears to struggle, too.  How hard it must be for the world and those in my circle of influence to believe when I can resist the Sovereign Lord as well as Moses did?  Father, I know I don't have perfect faith or even much at all; but I don't ever want my defiance, my bucking Your excellent authority, my demurring or even a misgiving to hinder another.  I know You use all things for Your glory; but I want to give You good things.  Please help me to speak when You say speak, wait when You say wait and go when You say go.  Lord, may I do all of these things in an appropriate, faithful and loving response to You  ... the first time.  I desire to delight in You, even in the difficulties.  May You be praised.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Exodus 6

These were the names of the sons of Levi according to their records: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. Levi lived 137 years. ...  The sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. Kohath lived 133 years. ... These were the clans of Levi according to their records.  Amram married his father’s sister Jochebed, who bore him Aaron and Moses. Amram lived 137 years.

Levi to Kohath to Amram to Moses, four generations.  Just like He said.

God's records are so complete and specific.  Thank You Father for Your amazing attention to all of the details.  Thank You for pointing this out, that even in the midst of slavery and extremely harsh circumstance, records were being kept; because every generation matters.   People in every generation matter.  People matter.  May I pay the right kind of attention to the right kind of details, to the praise of Your Name.

Now, what's up with Hebron? The others have a family trail here in Exodus; but he doesn't until Numbers 26.  Lord, I praise You for Your mysterious ways.  I love how You keep my interest and make me wonder.  May I always be captivated by You, Your ways and Your Word.