Saturday, December 13, 2014

Exodus 33:7-40:1-38 - The Life of Moses

(My BSF Notes)

Since my PC has been down and I have not been able to post weekly, I am trying to catch up so I am combining lesson 12 and 13.  Then I should be on track for the next lesson.  However lesson 14 will not be posted until after the first of the year.  BSF takes a Christmas break and we will not return to class until January 2015.  So enjoy your Christmas and have a blessed holiday.

                               Exodus 33:7-34:1-35 – Lesson 12

Exodus 33:7-17 – God’s Presence

In the last lesson we learned that God was not willing to live among the Israelites since they had disobeyed and worshiped the golden calf.  They had lost that privilege.  Moses set up a temporary tent until a more permanent one could be built.  This Tent of Meeting was outside the camp where he could go and worship God.  The people stood at their tents and paid attention and watched Moses when he went into the tent.  Each time Moses went into the tent the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance.  When they saw this, they bowed down and worship.  This showed the people were sorry for their disobedience of worshiping the golden calf and they repented.

“The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.”Ex. 33:11.  God spoke directly to Moses probably not actually face to face, because the Bible says that no one can see God’s face and live (Ex. 33:20).  It was more mouth to mouth, maybe feeling His presence and even seeing the form of the Lord.  Moses made an appointment with God regularly.  God wanted a relationship with Him as He does with us.  He wants us to make an appointment with Him and keep it.  You make hair appointments and you wouldn’t dare miss them, would you?  So don’t miss your appointments with God.  Set aside a time and a place and keep your appointment.

Moses yearned to know more of who God was.  He asked God to teach him God’s ways so he could please God (Ex. 33:13).  Moses said if He would go with them everyone would know that He was pleased with Moses and the Israelites.  Moses wanted him and the people to be distinguished from other peoples of the earth (Ex. 33:16).  Then the Lord said He would do all the Moses asked. 

Do you know God?  To know God we must listen to Him, study our Bible, and stay on our knees in prayer.
Will you commit to spend with time with God daily?  Pray out loud and hear yourself worship Him.
Will you ask God to partner with you?
Does your character distinguish you from those who do not know God?

Principle:  A believer’s greatest need is the awareness and leading of God’s presence.

Exodus 33:18-34:28 – God’s Glory

Moses got what he asked for and now he’s wanting more.  He said show me your glory.  The more you know about God the more you want to know.  God gives Moses something better.  The Lord then revealed Himself to Moses.  He showed Moses His goodness by passing by him and protecting Moses by hiding him in the cleft of a rock as He passed by.

Then the Lord told Moses to chisel out 2 stone tables like the first ones and write on them the same words.  God then revealed His attributes to Moses, “The Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.  Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.”Ex. 34:6-7.

What does it mean to punish children to the third and fourth generation?  It means that there are consequences to general sin.  An example of this is when a parent is arrested for murder or theft and serves time in prison.  Their children suffer.  They are deprived of their fathers love and companionship.

Moses bowed down and worshiped God and asked forgiveness for him and the people and to take them as His inheritance.  Then God renewed His covenant with the people.  This reminded them of their faith and renewed their confidence for now God would be with them again.  This covenant is known as the Ten Commandments.

Principle:  God reveals His character and glory through His Word.

Exodus 34:29-35 – God’s Radiance

Moses was there on the mountain for 40 days and nights writing all the things the Lord had told him.  When he came down from the mountain with the tablets, his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.  Some of God’s radiance was passed onto him.  The people were afraid when they saw him.  Then he called to them and gave them the commands of the Lord.

They had a glimpse of God’s power.  The golden calf did not show any change, but God’s power showed on Moses face.

Principle:  God’s glory is reflected in believers who seek His presence.

Do others see God’s character in you?

This lesson teaches us about God’s character.  He is loving and merciful.  He is a forgiving God and is always ready to forgive when we ask Him.  He wants to reveal Himself to us.  He wants us to see His glory.


                              Exodus 35-40 – Lesson 13

Exodus 35-40:16 – God’s Instructions

Moses received instruction for the work of the tabernacle.  The first command of God given before the people began their work was to work 6 days and rest on the 7th, the Sabbath.  God wanted the people to set aside a day to worship Him.  He wants us to worship Him, not only on Sunday, but every day of the week and in everything we do. 

The people supplied all the materials needed for the tabernacle.  God said if they were willing to bring offerings of gold, silver, bronze, blue, purple, scarlet yarn and fine line, etc. (Ex. 35:4-9).  They had so much offered that Moses had to tell them to stop bringing anymore. (Ex. 36:5-7).  They gave joyfully and out of gratitude.  “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” - 2 Cor. 9:7

Are you a cheerful giver?

Principle:  God’s forgiveness changes duty into joyful obedience.

The Lord chose Bezalel and Oholiab and filled them with His Spirit and with skills, abilities, and knowledge in all kinds of crafts.  He also filled Oholiab with the ability to teach others.  The Lord also filled others who were willing with skills.  Every person had a part to play in building the tabernacle.

This is a good lesson for us.  God gives each one of us skills and abilities and He wants us to not waste them, but use them.  When He calls, He also equips.  God uses all kinds of people to do His work.  If you think you are not sure just what your abilities are, ask God to show them to you.  Then ask Him to show you how to put them to work for Him.

How do you use the skills and talents God has given you?

God repeats the details from Exodus 25-31.  He does this to show the importance of the tabernacle.  The tabernacle is the picture of Jesus’ work to come.  He repeats the phrase “as the Lord commanded”.  This phrase is repeated 8 times in these verses.  The people had been ungrateful and disobedient by making the golden calf, but now their hearts were willing and they did what the Lord commanded and so Moses blessed them.  Blessing always follows obedience. 

In what ways do you do as the Lord commands?

Exodus 40:17-33 – Moses’ Inspection

Moses inspected the work and blessed the people, because they did just as the Lord commanded.  It must be done His way to receive a blessing.  It had to be done exactly His way for Him to dwell with them.  They didn’t understand it, but Heb 8:5 says - “They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven.  This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle; ‘See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.’”.

They were set it up on the first day of the first month in the second year.  This was the anniversary of the Passover, when the Israelites were delivered from slavery in Egypt.  God told Moses to set up the Ark of Testimony first.  This was where God would dwell.  God was fulfilling His plan.  This is a picture of God’s design for salvation.  We don’t get that from Exodus, but from Heb. 8-10.

What do you need to change to do just as God commands?

Principle:  God’s biggest work is done in the hearts of people.

He wants to dwell in your heart.  You are His tabernacle.

Exodus 40:34-38 – God’s Dwelling

When the tabernacle was fully assembled, the cloud covered it and was filled with the glory of the Lord.  Moses could not enter the tabernacle, because God was so majestic and powerful that no man could enter.  God kept His promise.  He promised He would dwell among them and He did just that.  Pentecost is equivalent of this event.  There at Pentecost the Holy Spirit filled the early Christians.  The Holy Spirit fills Christians today.  “Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your fins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”Acts 2:38.

Has God given you the Holy Spirit?

We don’t have the cloud of glory, but we have something better.  We have the Holy Spirit.  God gives His Holy Spirit to each one who is His child through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit is the very presence of God.  He indwells in us.  He guides and protects us.  He is God’s voice.  He gives us wisdom and understanding.  He is God’s gracious gift to us.

The Lord promised to guide and protect them and He did just that.  When the cloud was lifted the people could travel and when it did not lift they did not move.  “So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel during all their t ravels.” Ex. 40:38.  The cloud protected them from the harsh desert conditions.  It protected them for their enemies by shielding them as they traveled.  We need to Holy Spirit for our protection.

The tabernacle points to the work of Jesus.  Jesus is our Moses, our salvation.  Jesus is our mediator before the Father.  Jesus is the lamb that was sacrificed for our sins.  Jesus is our way out of Egypt.  Jesus is our bread in the wilderness.  Jesus is the light on the lampstand bringing light to a dark world.  Jesus is the basin of our cleansing that cleanses us from our sins.  Jesus is our great High Priest interceding for us to the Father.  Jesus is the blood on the mercy seat, the atonement that reconciles us to God.

God entered the finished work of the tabernacle.  When God sees the work of Jesus, His presence enters us through the Holy Spirit.  We are His tabernacle, the place when God is dwelling.

Principle:  The Holy Spirit lives in us and glorifies God through us.

What changes do you need to make to prepare your tabernacle?

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Exodus 25-31; 32–33:6 – Lesson 10-11

These two lessons are combined, because my PC died a couple of weeks ago and I could not get my posts done in time so I am combining these lessons.  To see the specific instructions for the Ark of the Covenant, please see Exodus 25-31.  I am sorry to be so late in getting them done for you.  If it wasn't for my wonderful son getting my PC fixed, I would not be posting at all.  I will probably combine the next two lessons as well.  I hope this has not caused anyone any inconvenience.  Thanks for being patient with me. 

Last time we learned God calls us to apply the principles of His laws to our life.

Exodus 25-31 – Lesson 10

Exodus 25-27 – The Ark of the Covenant

God gave instructions on gifts He was to receive.  The people were to give as their heart prompted them.  He gave specific instructions as to how the Ark of the Covenant was to be made down to the smallest detail.  He gave specific instructions for the furniture within the Holy Place as well as the Tabernacle that was to be built for the ark and everything else was built around the ark.  This was to be the dwelling place for God so he could be among the people.  God said to make the Tabernacle exactly as He had said.

The entire chapter 26 gives instructions for making the Tabernacle.  Chapter 27 concerns the courtyard where the Tabernacle stood.  The Tabernacle had 2 rooms, the Most Holy Place and the Holy Place with a curtain separating the rooms.  This curtain showed that sinful people could not approach God.  In the outside courtyard was the altar of the burnt offerings – a reminder that every approach to God required a blood atonement.  God said to make these exactly as He had said.

The tabernacle furnishings point to the life and work of Jesus Christ:
The table with the bread of the Presence - a description of Jesus Himself as the bread of life.
The golden lampstand – Jesus said He was the light of the world.
Inner curtain or veil – When Jesus died, the veil was torn from top to bottom giving us access to God.
Altar of burnt offering – Jesus was our perfect sacrifice, the lamb without blemish.

Why was it important to make the Tabernacle exactly as God said?  It’s His sanctuary; His dwelling place and it need to be done exactly as He said.

Exodus 28-30 – The Priests

God even gave instruction to the clothing of the priests.  The priests were also to be consecrated.   Moses consecrated and ordained Aaron and his sons as priests.  There was to be an altar of incense and a basin for washing.  Every time to priest entered the Holy Place, they were required to wash their hands and feet.  If they did not, they would die.  They needed to be cleansed from their sins to serve God.  Believers today are to be cleansed from sin.  We need to confess our sins and He will forgive us and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Exodus 31 – The Sabbath

God’s final instructions to Moses were to observe the Sabbath.  Moses had spent 40 days and 40 nights upon the mountain.  When he came down, he had God’s instructions and the 10 Commandments written by God on 2 stone tablets.


Exodus 32 – 33:6 - lesson 11

In lesson 10 we learned God chooses and prepares His servants for special service.

Exodus 32:1-6 – Aaron’s Compromise

Moses spent 40 days and 40 nights on the mountain with God and while he was gone the people became impatient and wondered what happen to him.  They went to Aaron and asked him to make them a god who will go before them.  Then Aaron told them to take the gold earrings they were wearing and bring them to him.  He then took the gold and cast an idol in the shape of a calf.  Aaron built an altar in front of the calf and said tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.  The next day they sacrificed burnt offerings on the idol and ate and drank and indulged in revelry. (Exodus 32:1-6).

Moses left Aaron in charge.  He was to shepherd the people in the ways of God, not break His commandments!  What was Aaron thinking?  He gave in to the people instead of standing up to them and guiding them in the right way.  He was a people pleaser.  We sometimes misuse the gifts God has given us by being people pleasers.  We put our desires first and the things of the world before God.  It might be our job or our kids or even our ministry.

How are you being a people pleaser?
Do you misuse the gifts God has given you?

The Israelites needed a god.  They were not focused on the1 true God.  They were ungrateful for what Moses and God had done for them by bring them out of slavery.  They needed a leader so they went to Aaron.  They became impatient and didn’t wait on Moses to return.  The problem probably started with a little grumbling by 1 or 2 people, then grew into a mob.   They need faith to know God was working, but they desired results and settle and compromised.

Aaron did not have boldness to do the right thing.  He compromised.  He didn’t go to God, but made the decision as to what to do himself.  Aaron made this idol for the people.  These are the same people that said they would do everything God said.  They broke the 1st and 2nd commandment.

Principle:  Our Daily choices turn us toward God or away from God.

On what are you making decisions?
Do you ask God to help and guide you in making decisions?

Exodus 32:7-14 – Moses’ Compassion

The Lord told Moses what the people were doing.  God called them “your” people, whom “you” brought up out of Egypt.   He said they had become corrupt and were quick to turn away from His commandments.  He called them stiff-necked people and told Moses to leave Him alone so His anger may not burn against them and destroy them.  God said, “I will make you into a great nation.” – Ex. 32:10.  Moses could have been tempted by what God said, but he did not.  He said to the Lord, “Why should your anger burn against your people, who you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand?  Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’?  Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people.” Ex. 32:11-12.  Then Moses reminded God of His promises to Abraham, Isaac, Israel and their descendants.  The Lord responded by relenting and did not bring disaster on them.

Moses’ intercession changed God’s mine.  Moses is concerned about God’s reputation and reminds Him of His promises.  God was making a record that sin has consequences.  If we do not recognize our sin, when we don’t know what we are saved from.  The Bible says the wages of sin is death and the price has to be paid.  God never changes, but here He shows us that prayer really does matter.  He’s teaching us to pray. 

Principle:  Intercession based on God’s character is powerful in accomplishing God’s plan.

When you pray are you acknowledging His character?

We are to worry less and pray more.  God wants us to pray.  Moses interceded for the people and God listened and relented.  So prayer does matter!

Exodus 32:15-33:6 – Israel’s Consequences

So Moses went down the mountain with the 2 tablets from God.  “The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.”Ex. 32:16.   There Moses found the people dancing.  He became enraged and threw down the tablets and broke them.  He took the calf burned it, ground it into powder, scattered it on the water and made them drink it.  By breaking the tablets, it showed the people that they had broken God’s laws.  By destroying the calf, it showed that this god had no power.  It could not even save itself from 1 man.

Moses confronted Aaron.  Aaron was left in charge and he was to shepherd the people in Moses absence.  Moses said to Aaron, “What did these people do to you, that you led them into such great sin?” Ex. 32:21.  Aaron made several excuses.  He blamed the people saying they were proned to evil and that he threw their gold jewelry into the fire and a calf came out.  He blamed the people and the fire, but not himself.  The people were out of control.  They were running wild and had become a laughingstock to their enemies.

What excuses do you make for your sin?
Do you blame others or your circumstances?
What idols do you make?
Will you reject whatever you know to be wrong?

Moses called to the people to come to him if they are for the Lord.  All the Levites rallied to him.  Then they were to take their sword and kill those who were against God.  They did as he said and about 3,000 died.  The Levites who were faithful to the Lord were set apart and blessed.  It all started with a little grumbling and ended in 3,000 deaths.  Sin was serious and requires serious consequences.

Moses tired to repair the peoples’ relationship with the Lord.  He went to God and offered his own salvation for the peoples’ sin.  He offered to die as a substitute for the people.  He was motivated by his love for them.  He asked God to spare them and block his name from the His book.  This is not the Lamb’s Book of Life talked about in Revelation.  It is the book of the living.  God said no, but He would still send His angel to go before them, but this time He said He will not go.  When the time comes, he will punish them for their sin. (Ex. 32:33-34)

When the people heard that God would not go with them, they mourned.  In other words, they repented.

Do you mourn because of your sin and your distance from God?

God sent Jesus, the perfect sacrifice to die for us.  Sin separates us from God, but through Jesus we can have a relationship with Him.  Jesus is our mediator.  God accepted Jesus sacrifice for us.  Jesus is the only adequate substitute for sinners.

Principle:  God allows sin’s consequences to bring us to repentance and restoration.

How have you allowed Jesus to atone for your sins?
For whom do you intercede? 

He wants us to pray for others, to plead for the lost and intercede for sinners.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Exodus 21-24 - The Life of Moses

Last week we learned the purpose of the law is to show God's character and awaken our own sinfulness.

Exodus 21-23:19 - The Book of the Covenant

God gave the 10 Commandments which is the moral law.  Now He is giving Moses the civil law for the nation of Israel.  Another name given for the civil law is the Book of the Covenant.  The people needed specific laws because they had been slaves for years and without any freedom.  They needed to know how to act and what to do in all kinds of situations.  God had to be very specific for them to live as His holy people.

Ex. 21:1-11:  Laws concerning Hebrew servants -

Slavery was not what it is today.  A poor person who owed a debt and unable to repay the debt it might put himself into slavery in order to be able to repay his debt.  God gave this law to regulate the slave institution that was in place.  There was to be no permanent servants.  After 6 years slaves were to be set free and the master was to provide the servant with possession to start a new life.  There was respect shown to the slave' family.  A wife could go with him when he was freed.  Also the slave had the right to choose to be a permanent slave suggesting that slavery was not always a bad thing.  If a daughter was sold to another servant, she was to have food, clothing, etc.  This law shows dignity for people and the value of families.

The Bible says we were slaves to sin and poor in spirit.  But through Jesus "You have been set free from and have become slaves to righteousness." - Rom 6:18.

Ex. 21:12-36:  Laws concerning personal injuries  -

These laws include a distinction between murder and manslaughter.  There is no distinction between classes of society even if they were slaves.  There were also laws concerning neglect of animals.

God values life.  Capital punishment is not murder.  It is judicial not personal.

Ex. 22:1-15: Laws relating to personal property  -

There is a distinction between losses that are done without malicious intent and losses that are involve negligence, theft or dishonesty.

Ex. 22:16-32: Laws concerning sexual and civic morality -

These concern the seduction of a virgin, sorcery, sexual relations with animals, worship of other gods, taking advantage of people, blasphemy, offerings, the firstborn, not eating meant of animals killed by other animals.  The most important verse is "You are to be my holy people" - Ex. 22:31.

Ex. 23:1-9:  Laws concerning justice and mercy -

These laws concern justice in the courts.

Ex. 23:10-19:  Sabbath laws and festivals -

Here there are laws concerning the Sabbath.  They were to work 6 days and rest on the 7th.  However they were to work the land for 6 years and rest the land on the 7th year.  All were in order that they and the land would be refreshed.

They were also to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which marked their exodus from Egypt.  They were to celebrate the Feast of Harvest.  They were to celebrate the Feast of the Ingathering, which is called the Succoth today.

God wants a relationship with us and wants us to apply the principles of His laws to our lives.  We are not to gossip, lie, be dishonest, go along with the crowd when we know what they are doing is wrong, be neglectful, and not murder.  We are to show respect to people, protect their rights, and keep the Sabbath. 

Do you respect the rights of others?
How do you spend your Sabbath?
In what ways are you resting on your idea of judgment rather than Gods?
How will you apply His principles to your life?
God calls us to apply the principles of His laws to our life.
Right relationships with others are based on a right relationship with God.

Ex. 23:20-33 - God's Angel Will Prepare the Way

Here God says He will send an angel ahead of them to guard them.  This angel is the preincarnate Jesus.  If they listen and do what the angel says, do not make a covenant with the people of the land, and do not let them live in their land, God promised several things for Israel.  He says "I will" 11 times.

"I will be an enemy to your enemy."
"My angel will go ahead of them and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites, and I will wipe them out."
"I will take away sickness."
"I will give you a full life."
"I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter."
"I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run."
"I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way."
"I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate."
"Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land."
"I will establish your borders."
"I will hand over to you the people who live in the land and you will drive them out before you."

God said little by little He would drive their enemies out of the land.  He was developing them.  In the process they would develop a dependence on Him.  They are to make no comprises with the people of the land. 

We have the promise of eternal life without death and sickness.  We are not to comprise with the world, but stand firm in His truth and in His promises.

God was patient and took wise care of Israel.  He would give them protection against their enemies by confusing them and driving them out.  God helps us battle spiritual enemies, too.  Take your struggles to Him and He will give you strength and comfort in your situation.

Where do you comprise?
What is keeping you from total obedience to Christ?

God conforms us to the character of Christ as we take hold of His promises and obey His laws.
Obedience is the pathway to blessing.

Exodus 24 - God Confirms His Covenant
God called Moses to come up to the mountain and told Moses to give the people the laws.  Moses obeyed and told the people what the Lord had said.  They again said they would do everything the Lord said.  Then Moses wrote down all the Lord said.

The people wanted to obey and they meant it when they said they would.  God knew they could not as we will find out later.  None of us can keep the law perfectly.

Are you willing to do everything God has commanded you to do?
With what fear will you trust God's protection?

Moses then built an altar to God and set up 12 pillars representing the 12 tribes of Israel.  There they offered burnt offerings and sacrifices.  Moses took the blood and said, "This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words." - Ex. 24:8.  Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and 70 elders went up and saw the God of Israel.  There they ate, drank and heard His voice.

I am sure they did not actually see God's face.  The Bible says in Ex.33:20 "No one may see me and live".  They probably received a personal revelation beyond anything any of them had ever encountered or could ever imagine and was beyond description.

Moses was the mediator of the old covenant.  Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant and He is the only way to God.  Jesus said, "This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." - Matt. 26:28.

God told Moses to come back up the mountain and He will give him tablets of stone with the law and the commands on them.  So Moses with Joshua up the mountain.  He told the elders to wait here until they returned.  "When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai.  For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud.  To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain.  Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain.  And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights." - Ex. 24:15-18.

D0 you long to have a great experience as Moses and the elders had on the mountain?
Have you entered a covenant relationship with God?
Do you rejoice in His glory?
The blood of Christ cleanses us from sin and makes it possible to obey.
God calls us to live governed by His law, but Jesus covers us by grace.

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Exodus 19-20 - The Life of Moses

Last week we learned that God provides cares for us despite our complaints and heals our bitterness.

Exodus 19 - Moses Prepares the People

Three months after the Israelites left Egypt, they entered the Desert of Sinai and camped in front of the mountain.  Moses went up the mountain where the Lord spoke to him.  He was to tell the people that they had seen for themselves what God had done and how He had carried them on eagles' wings and brought them to Himself.  If they fully obeyed Him and kept His covenant, they would be God's treasured possession, they would be a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.

What does it mean, "I carried you on eagles' wings?"  God protected them like a mother eagle protects her young.  They were carried out of danger showing He cares and guards them and for us.  He hovers over us all the time like a mother eagle constantly protects her young.  He drew them to Himself.  His ultimate purpose is to draw us to Himself.  We need His strength to lift us up.  He gives a conditional covenant.  He gives His blessings, but along with that He gives responsibilities.

God recounted His love for them and how He rescued them.  Now Moses was to prepare them to receive His Law, the 10 Commandments.  Moses went back to the people and told them what God had said and they agreed to do everything the Lord said.  They meant what they said, but God knew they would not be able to keep all His commandments.  He knows that we cannot keep all His commandments so He sent Jesus.

How hove you responded to God's blessings?

God said He would bring a dense cloud to the people so they would hear Him talking with Moses and put their trust in him.  The Lord told Moses to consecrate the people.  They were to wash their clothes and be ready by the 3rd day, because that's when He would come down in the sight of the people.  The people were not to go up the mountain or even touch the foot of it or they would die.  Only when the trumpet sounded a long blast could they go up the mountain.  So Moses did just as the Lord said.

Washing of clothes is only an outward sign, but on the inside their hearts needed to be clean.  It showed the people the holiness of God and their own need for holiness.  It was a matter of denying self and focusing on God.  We can prepare ourselves for His presence by dealing with jealousy, prejudice, etc.  Confess it so you can have a relationship with Him.  Get rid of anything that keeps you from focusing on God.

On the  3rd day the mountain was covered with smoke because the Lord descended on it in fire.  There was a trumpet that grew louder and louder.  Moses went up the mountain and God said for him to go down and warn the people to not force their way through to see Him or they would perish.  Even the priests must consecrate themselves.  God put limits around the mountain because it was set apart as holy.

He warns them several times not to go up or touch the mountain.  Now, because of Jesus we can approach Him without fear.  We learn that God is holy and we are to be in awe of Him.  He also calls us to be holy.  "But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written:  'Be holy, because I am holy.'" - 1 Peter 1:15-16.  God has made a provision for sinful people to come into His presence.  Because of His love for us, He sent His son, Jesus, to die for us while we were still sinners.  Now we are not held guilty.  He gives us His grace.

How are you prepared to hear from God?
What things do you need to do to be able to hear Him?
How do you live differently based on Scripture?

Principle:  God calls us to live in a way that demonstrates His holy character to an unholy world.

We are to live differently than the rest of the world.  We are His royal priesthood.  He calls us to be obedient, but salvation is not based on obedience.  Salvation is based on our belief in Jesus Christ.

What area are you blending in with the world?
Do your words reflect God's holiness?

Exodus 20:1-17 - God Gives the 1o Commandments

Then God spoke the Law to Moses.  We call this the 10 commandments.  God is the God that redeemed them and He is the one who sets the standards.

The 1st 4 commandments apply to the people's relationship with God.  They either give a warning or a promise.

#1  "You shall have no other gods before me." - Ex. 20:3. 

God demands our exclusive worship with only Him.  We are to put God first in our thoughts, our relationships, our work, our leisure, and every part of our lives.

#2  "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything....You shall not bow down to them or worship them..." - Ex. 20:4-6. 

Images dishonor God.  They mislead and can be harmful.  Nothing is all of creations can adequately represent the glory of God.

#3  "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God..." - Ex. 20:7.

The name of God represents the nature of God.  Jesus taught us how to pray in the Lord's Prayer by saying, "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name." - Matt. 6:9.  Hallow means to set apart as holy.  When we misuse God's name we are dishonoring Him.  There are many names for God: Yahweh, The Word, The True Bread, The Good Shepherd, The Lamb of God, Creator, Our Comforter, Redeemer, Savior, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, A Living Stone, High Priest, and the list goes on.

Today there are many people who misuse the name of the Lord.  Almost every TV show, movie, commercial, your acquaintances say, "O my god!"  It is common language and a bad, bad habit.  I  cringe every time I hear someone say that.  Don't they know they are misusing God's holy name? 

#4  "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy..." - Ex. 20:8-11. 

God created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th day.  He wants us to rest on the 7th day, too.  We work had all week and we need a day to be refreshed and remember God and how He has provided for us.  We are to remember Him and worship Him and Him alone.  We are to set aside a day whether it be Sunday or Saturday or whatever and make it different from all the other days of the week.  We are to worship God.

The last 6 commandments apply to relationships with other people.

#5  "Honor your father and your mother..." - Ex. 20:12.

This command tells us that family is important.  If the family is strong, then the culture is strong.  Do you honor your parents with your conversations?  There is no age limit for honoring parents.

#6  "You shall not murder." - Ex. 20:13.

This not only means do not kill, but also has another meaning.  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, "Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.  But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.” - Matt. 5:21-22.  Words can damage others.  Gossip, slander, showing jealousy, etc. are words of murder.

#7  "You shall not commit adultery." - Ex. 20:14.

Today sex is glamorized.  It is portrayed as normal to live together without marriage.  Sex scenes are all you see on TV and in movies.  We as Christians should not bow to this standard.  We are to hold the standards of the Bible.  We cannot do it alone.  We need to admit our weaknesses and keep our focus on Jesus.  Be careful what you read and watch.

#8  "You shall not steal." - Ex. 20:15.  Do you take credit for what someone else has done?  Do you cheat on your taxes?  Do you steal from your employer by wasting time or not giving your best?

#9  "You shall not give false testimony...." - Ex. 20:16.  This includes all forms of slander, gossip, and any distortions of the truth.  Do you sometimes stretch the truth?  Even a partial truth is a lie.

#10 "You shall not covet..." - Ex. 20:17.  We are to be satisfied with what we have.  Today the world is obsessed with materialism.  It's not wrong to want to improve your situation in life, but it is wrong to want something simply because another person has it.  Coveting always leads to other sins.

Principle:  Obedience to God's commands is always the best choice.

Exodus 20:18-26 - God Gives Sacrifice Instructions

When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet, they were afraid.  They no longer wanted to hear from God.  They recognized they were a mess and were afraid.  Moses feared and moved.  He focused on God.  The people feared and it paralyzed them.

God told Moses to tell the people to not make any gods alongside Him or any gods of silver or gold.  They were to make an altar for God and offer sacrifices.  They were not to make it with dressed stone.  If they had done that, it would probably take away their focus on God and put their focus on the altar itself or the one who carved it.

Principle:  God's commands reveal our need for Jesus Christ as Savior.

The purpose of the law is to show us God's character and awaken our own sinfulness.  We cannot keep all the commandments, but through the blood of Jesus we are held sinless and not guilty.  Sin requires a sacrifice and the penalty for sin is death.  Jesus is our sacrifice.  His life death, and resurrection made those who believe in Him righteous in the sight of God.  Righteousness comes only through faith in the One and only perfect sacrifice, Jesus.  He is our Savior.

What is your response to Jesus?
Will you allow your holy fear draw you near to Him?
Will you fear God enough not to sin even when no one is looking?

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