The beginning of 2009, I was led to study the Bible in a new way (to me). I have been writing down the Scriptures (starting at the Genesis 1), Word for Word, and studying as the Lord leads and time allows. This has been such a MAJOR blessing to me! God has revealed so many new, interesting and exciting things from His Word, that I always want to share. I haven't had time to blog, sooo ... I am going to attempt to marry blogging with my morning study. I hope I can, in some way, impart my blessings to you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Exodus 19:1-18 ~ Rephidim to Sinai

This was to be the 7th, and final, campsite for the Israelites, on their way to the Promised Land! According to Numbers 10:11, they camped there for 11 months. That probably seemed liked a LONG time to the people. We too sometimes get uncomfortable, restless and impatient for God to move, don't we? I sure do! Have you also noticed that time seems to move especially slow, right before a breakthrough??!!

Moving forward ... We pick up at Exodus 19 (bold/color emphasis is mine)

1 In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.

2 For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.

~ Again, at the very feet of God! What an unimaginable experience! Many say that mount Sinai's rectangular shape looks like a pulpit. Mt. Sinai also is called Mt. Horeb in the Scriptures, which means thorny, interesting ....

3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him from out of the mountain, saying, thus shall you say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;

~ Notice: God called Moses from out of the mountain that he was hiking up! Lord, please help us remember that You are in our mountains; that You have called us to come up to meet You there! AWESOME ... mmm mmm! Different perspective, at least for me, to think on. Much good fodder here! If we could focus on God and what He wants to say to us from our mountains, wouldn't it make our journeys be more purposeful? NOTE: there is a LOT more here!

4 You have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto Myself.

~ Here the Lord pointed out to the children, to what extremes He had gone to take care of them. Oh what loving memorials and testimonies we have and what blessed assurances! Hmm, sounds like a good title for a song! hee hee ...

~ Whisked away by God, carried on His 'wings' and then tucked under them! Wow! An eagle will swoop down under its fledgling who has gotten itself in trouble, or lean down against it and that baby will hop on and hang on for dear life. The parent will take a few long strides, flap those huge, powerful wings and soar upward into the sky. He, or she, will bring that baby back to the safety of the nest, where it will be under the watchful eye of its parents! What an awesome analogy!

~ Awww .... this also reminds me of a little banty hen that we used to have. She wanted to 'mother' the world. She would gather any egg or chick, of any size and industriously tuck them snugly in her nest. Then she would rustle and fluff, and stretch her wings as far as they would go, until they were over and around those eggs and/or babies. Then she pulled them all in, close to her heart. She snuggled them into her warm soft downy feathers and clucked and cooed to them. She literally covered them with her love. Sound familiar?

~ How much more so does our Father with us???!!!

5 Now therefore,if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine:

~ Oh, don't we so want to do that, with all of our wanting??? However, try as we may, we can't do good enough! "None is righteous, no not one ... " Thank God, our relationship with Him is not based on works anymore!

~ But, through the blood of Jesus, the LORD sees us as His treasure!!! A "peculiar" treasure, granted, but a treasure nonetheless. :) Out of all of His people, He treasures us, above them all!!!! Wow! Remember this and remind each another, especially when it feels as if someone is devaluing us or we begin to feel 'down' on ourselves.
~ Random thought: There was (is?) a band named 'See Through Red.' LOVE that name! I am SO thankful for, and SO count on, our Father seeing us through Jesus' Red.

6 And you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak unto the children of Israel.

~ What an incredible commission, honor, and responsibility!

7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.

~ Moses must have written all the Lord's words down, so he could pass them on to the people.
Blessings await the faithful and obedient!
God > Moses > people > Moses > God! Complete, oh yesss!
8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.
9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.

10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes,

11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.

~ Whoa! Jesus had a 'few' significant 3rd days also, didn't He?

12 And you shall set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that you go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever touches the mount shall be surely put to death:

~ Pass/fail ... Obedience testing of a most extreme kind!

13 There shall not a hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet (shofar) sounds long, they shall come up to the mountain.
~ Click here to listen to the call to assembly (Tekieh Gadol) with a shofar (ram's horn):
~ The Tekieh is a single blast, rising at the end. It is a call to worship and praise. (Psalm 150 v3)
"The Tekieh Gadol (Gadol means great, or high) is a very long held and loud Tekieh. This is the sound like that which the LORD sounded on Sinai. Jewish tradition says that God took the two horns of the ram that was sacrificed instead of Isaac on Mount Moriah and that he blew one on Sinai, but He will blow the other to announce the coming of Messiah. That means this is the sound of the "Last Trumpet"."
~ We all need to be familiar with this sound, so we will recognize it. Our redemption draws nigh! I seriously believe it!
14 And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.

15 And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.
~ I can only imagine the intense sense of expectancy, knowing that the LORD was coming down to talk them! And how the chatter must have been flowing at the huge "wash-in."

16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.
What an indescribable event! I think the artist of the above picture captured it beautifully. When I find out who it is, I will surely credit him/her. At that time, I may add a surprise, as well. It must have been quite a sight and sound experience ... way bigger than this picture or even IMAX!!!
17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.

18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
Oh LORD, please give us ears to hear Your call and Your Words.
Thank You, that we can come boldly to Your mountain and into Your Holy Place.
Wash us, sanctify us, let us just fall at Your feet.
As we seek You, please give us the Words that You have for us to do and keep,
as well as those for us to speak to the others in our "encampment."
Also, thank You for allowing us to bring their words to You.
I am overwhelmed LORD by Your incredible LOVE for us
and the Power and Majesty of Your Presence!
We love You Father, please help us to show it!

I am blessed every day with some new revelation of God's Word.
I will be sharing my measure of manna with all who come to my "tent."
Please, let me know if you have been blessed by the way it was prepared for you this day.

PS: Most of the photos on my sites are my own. I am honored to share God's works. If you want to use one or more, please credit the photos and notify me. Thank you. God bless you.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Exodus 18:13-27 Delegation: God's Best for All

Jethro, Moses' father-in-law (priest of Midian), came to visit him after the battle with the Amalekites. He brought with him Zipporah, Moses' wife (Jethro's daughter) and their two sons, Gershom and Eliezer. After a night of praise and recounting God's miracles, the family and all the elders of Israel broke sacrificial bread together in Jethro's tent. The following morning:

We pick up at Exodus 18: (bold emphasis is my own)

13 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.

~With such a large population, there was bound to be a sizeable number of issues that needed to be settled! And we complain about the lines at the Post Office!!! (Sorry, personal Seriously though, the people were, at least, seeking God's will at that point.

14 And when Moses' father-in-law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that you do to the people? why do you sit yourself alone, and all the people stand by you from morning unto even?

15 And Moses said unto his father-in-law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God:

16 When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and His laws.

Picture of Moses Judging Cases: Courtesy of

~I must interject here, that this is the basis for the theory that this chapter may be parenthetical. It appears that God had not yet given Moses His statutes and laws until Exodus19.

17 And Moses' father-in-law said unto him, The thing that you do is not good.
18 You will surely wear away, both you, and this people that is with you: for this thing is too heavy for you; you are not able to perform it yourself alone.

~WHOA, how many times in our lives have we needed to hear these wise words!!! A Jethro intervention - oh yeah! Moses was using his energy unwisely. *gasp!* Sound familiar to anyone, besides me?! Jethro who was experienced as a priest and a shepherd, taught Moses how to delegate - so he could concentrate on the Word of God.

~I am also impressed that God says that the people will wear away as surely as the person that has taken on too big of a burden. It is not good for any of them! I never thought of that before! I am sure that Moses thought he was doing this for the people, not to them. How easily we are mislead!

~ Am I taking on too much? Am I trying to do it all alone? Am I wearing myself out? And the people around me? *gulp* Well, Jethro had very wise advice:

19 Hearken now unto my voice, I will give you counsel, and God shall be with you: Be you for the people to God-ward, that you may bring the causes unto God:

~First step in delegation: pray for the people. Delegation will not work, if God is not in it; His will and no other/agenda.

20 And you shall teach them ordinances and laws, and shall show them the way (another piece of the "way" study to come) wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.

~Teach them/Show them - Moses was to teach the leaders and the people God's foundation principles, show them how to apply those principles and lead them by example.

21 Moreover you shall provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:

~Next step in delegation: choose men (or women) that:
Are able
Fear God
Are of truth
Hate covetousness

22 And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto you, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for yourself, and they shall bear the burden with you.

~Jethro and Moses, here, established the Supreme Court and the lower courts. Ironic, isn't it, that currently the Supreme Court wants to abolish God from their system, when GOD is the One Who set it up in the first place???!!!

23 If you shall do this thing, and God command you so, then you shall be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.

24 So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father-in-law, and did all that he had said.

~Follow Godly counsel
Hearken to your elders, teachers and mentors.
Listen, discern, learn, and act!

25 And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.

~Interesting that Moses chose his leaders from all of Israel, not just those close to him. He actually scouted his talent. Muy bien!

26 And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.

~God's principle of delegation works on all levels; from our families, churches, jobs, the military, to heads of nations and heads of world organizations.

27 And Moses let his father-in-law depart; and he went his way into his own land.

~I am sure that that was not an easy parting, on either side! Bittersweet, at best. The new legal system was in place and obviously working well. Moses was, by now, comfortable and confident enough in his new role, that he could let Jethro return to his family. Jethro must have felt the same.

~This is that "letting go time" that can be very difficult, for both sides. That getting "kicked out of the nest" time is not easy for the fledgling nor the parent. It requires taking that step (confidence) and then letting go (trust) for both.

~Important principles of delegation:
Pray for the people/situation

Seek God's will first and foremost
Only move on His say so
Follow the principles that He has in place

Scout for leaders, not just those close
Choose able, honest, God-fearing, non-covetous people to handle the smaller matters
Share the burdens
Bring the harder causes to God
Then, we will be able to endure (whew! sometimes, it doesn't feel like it) and to
concentrate on God's Words
And all the people will leave and live in peace (win, win)
When the job is finished, the lessons learned, and
When it is time: Be confident, let go and trust God!
I do wonder: Did Zipp and the boys go back home with Jethro too? Zipporah was never mentioned again by name in the Bible! Hmmmmm.... NOTE: Dig deeper here.
RECOMMENDED READING: The Tyranny of the Urgent based on Exodus 18. Practical advice to help avoid "burnout."

Almighty and Gracious God, our Deliverer, Provider, Counselor and Helper.
We LOVE you and praise You and lift Your Name high above all things!
Thank You for Your Living Word that is the same yesterday, today and forever!
Thank You for caring about each small and great matter.
May we take Jethro's counsel to heart and apply it our own lives.
Help us to learn from Moses, who got so caught up in the lives of Your people.
Sometimes, we feel overburdened and burnt out.
Oh Gracious God, forgive us and teach us.
Show us who to delegate to and how, according to Your will.
Help us, please, to remember that
You called us to do something,
not everything.
I am blessed every day with some new revelation of God's Word.
I will be sharing my measure of manna with all who come to my "tent."
Please, let me know if you have been blessed by the way it was prepared for you this day.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

CORRECTED: Exodus 18:1-12 ALL that GOD has done!

MAJOR CORRECTION: Please accept my humble apologies, I misread the number of Israelites thought to be a part of the Exodus. The consensus is 600,000-plus, NOT the 6 million that I previously wrote. Which is still more people than most metropolitan cities, the logistics were still HUGE - and - 600,000 is still WAY more than I used to picture, but quite a LOT less than 6 million! PLEASE tell me, if you ever notice that I have ANY facts wrong. Thank you.
After the victory over the Amalekites, the Israelites must have been pretty-well spent! I am sure they were exhilarated after the win, yet exhausted as well. Then, as He still does now, our Awesome, Wonderful, Merciful, and Loving God sent comfort, refreshment and provision to go on! This is a Chapter of God's Glory and of rejoicing and blessing!!!! Blessed be His Name!!!!

We pick up at Exodus 18: (bold lettering is my own emphasis)

1 When Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel His people, and that the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt;

~First of all, until this year, I did not remember that Jethro was a priest ... and of Midian at that! Not-so-small detail, yet we generally hear little about him. Well, it seems that news traveled fast, even if by camel! I imagine that just about everyone must have heard about the extreme acts of God *understatement* in Egypt, then the massive exodus of 600,000-plus people, PLUS all the outrageous miracles of God in the desert!

2 Then Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took Zipporah (bird), Moses' wife, after he had sent her back,

~Perhaps, Moses thought they would be better off with the family? NOTE: deeper treasure here: did he send them back before, or during the stuff going on in Egypt, or as they left, or ???

3 And her two sons; of which the name of the one was Gershom (stranger); for he said, I have been an alien in a strange land:

~Oh boy, don't we all know that feeling!!!?? The older I get, the more I REALLY feel like an alien, from another planet! I remember feeling similarly as a teenager. Maybe, that is when we get one of our first clues: that we are just sojourners here, our REAL LAND is in heaven! Our precious Nation is indeed becoming as a STRANGE land as well, and getting more so all the time! NOTE: reserve for another soapbox speech!

~Jethro was SO impressed with the LORD, that he, evidently, thought it time to bring Moses' wife and kids to see him. Or perhaps he "knew" that Moses would need fresh wisdom ... and perhaps, Zipporah and the boys tagged along?

4 And the name of the other was Eliezer (God my Helper); for the God of my father, said He was my Help and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh:

~Was this a foreshadowing of the Holy Spirit, Who was to come?

5 And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife unto Moses into the wilderness, where he encamped at the mount of God:

~A perfect place to encamp, for sure, at the feet of God!!!! NOTE: another whole lesson there. I am so impressed by the size of this encampment! WAY bigger than most of today's metropolitan cities! WOW! Again, I am AWEstruck at the immensity of this undertaking! My daughter and I were just discussing how we "naturally" picture maybe a few hundred people in the Exodus or maybe even few thousand - certainly not the approximately 600,000 or more!!!! Whoa!

6 And he said unto Moses, I your father-in-law Jethro am come unto you, and your wife, and her two sons with her.

~HER 2 sons??? (I know, it was the tradition) This reunion with his family, who knew, loved and trusted him, probably really lifted Moses up! Especially, after being so long with ALL the others who murmured against him, accused and blamed him all the time, and disobeyed the rules whenever he took his eyes off of them! YIKES, I hope I am not like that .... probably am :( Oh man .....

7 And Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and did obeisance, and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare; and they came into the tent.
Click on picture to enlarge.
~What joy, comfort, and relief for Moses! I can only slightly relate: after all the planning and preparing for my daughter's wedding; when I walked up the drive to the rehearsal and saw our pastor and his wife there with the love of Christ, big smiles and open arms; I completely just crumbled. I was SO glad to see them! Just seeing them effected such a release of tension and gave me much needed reassurance and peace.

8 And Moses told his father-in-law all that the LORD had done unto Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake, and all the travail that had come upon them by the way, and how the LORD delivered them.

~What a testimony THAT was!!! Notice also that the travail came upon them "BY the WAY." NOTE: Study of "ways" reserved for future post.

9 And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the LORD had done to Israel, whom He had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians.

~And don't we also rejoice each time we hear of God blessing his people??!! How precious is HE??? Oh, it is so humbling to meditate on God's goodness!

10 And Jethro said, BLESSED be the LORD, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh, who has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians.

11 Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly, He was above them.

~Though already a priest, Jethro must have really been blown away by these first-hand accounts! Funny, like us when we experience a mighty move of God or the closeness of His Presence...we never cease to be amazed at the power and goodness and just the awesomeness of our GOD! He just becomes more and more real to us! That is why we HAVE to share, to tell everyone!

12 And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God: and Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses' father-in-law before God.

~Have you noticed that the Lord mentions the words "father-in-law" a LOT here??? 6 times in the first 8 verses alone! Usually, when the Lord repeats something a lot, it is to draw special attention to that thing. Any enlightenment on this??? Please share with us!!!

Oh Father, God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses,
we too rejoice for all the goodness You did for the Israelites
and for all the goodness You do for us, as well!
Please forgive us for the sins we have committed against You,
especially for our lack of trust and for our times of disobedience.
Oh, let us learn from Your Word, and from the examples You have given us!
You are SO good to us always;
there is nothing we have or could do to deserve it! Abba Father,
we LOVE You soooo much!!!!
ALL glory and honor belongs to YOU!!!! Amen.

I am blessed every day with some new revelation of God's Word. I will be sharing my measure of manna with all who come to my "tent." Please, let me know if you have been blessed by the way it was prepared for you this day.