Friday, August 31, 2012

Fri.’s Devo - Manna

Read Ex. 16:12 - 36 True to God’s promise he sent the quails at night and dew that turned to manna in the morning. Quails are a symbol of sluggishness because of how slowly they fly due to their weight. This seemed to exemplify the Israelites. God wanted them to soar with him but instead they were weighty with themselves. Throughout their wilderness wanderings God would feed them, water them and provide for everything they needed. Their only job was to follow the cloud and the fire. They were given simple commands to learn to follow God’s commandments but had a hard time with the smallest of requests. I wonder if it would have been hard to only take the amount of manna you needed and just leave the rest hoping it would come back the next day. Apparently so because some of them did this very thing and the manna rotted overnight and had worms. When they gathered twice they needed on the 6th day it remained good till the 7th day. Some didn’t take Moses serious and when the 7th day came they went out to gather manna and there was none. God was serious about teaching them to obey. And they seemed to be bound to do it their way. They had to learn to rest on the sabbath day. Then God told Moses to measure out an omer of manna and put it away for all the generations ahead to see it. So it supernaturally didn’t rot or turn to worms. This manna was a melt-in-your-mouth wafer. This manna was a picture of Jesus, the living Word of God that God sent from heaven to earth to bring us life. John 6: 32-35 says, “Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. Lord, help us to submit to your commands and learn to follow your voice. Thank you for fresh manna everyday!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thurs.’s Devo - In the Wilderness of Sin

Read Ex. 16:1-12 It has been a month since God miraculously delivered them from Egypt and now they have entered the wilderness of Sin which is between Elim (mighty ones) and Sinai (thorns). True to the name, Israel sinned against the Lord and complained that there was no food and that Moses brought them here to kill them. When they complained they always brought up how good they had it in Egypt. How quickly they forgot the bondage and oppression they were under. It was familiar and this was not. It is easy to get complacent in our pit because it requires energy and change to get out. God had an answer to their problem. God has no problems - just solutions. God was going to rain down flesh and bread from heaven. The flesh would come in the evening and the bread in the morning. This would show them that God was hearing them and providing for them. The test was this: they could only gather enough for one day except on the 6th day where they had to gather twice as much so they would have it for the 7th day when God didn’t send rain. This manna represents Jesus’ manifested presence. We are living in the 6th day (the 6,000th year) and God is raining down his presence in the most real way for those who will go out and bring it in. God is giving us revelation knowledge that previous generations did not have. With the strength it gives us, we will be prepared for what comes in the 7th day (the next 7,000 years, other wise known as Millennium). I don’t understand it all, I just know that to whom much is given, much will be required. Lord, help us to live looking forward to what you are going to do, presently to what you are doing now, and retrospectly to what you have done in the past. Help us to keep our eyes off the flesh that always comes in the night seasons.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wed.’s Devo - From Bitter to Sweet

Ex. 15:1-27 The children of Israel have been miraculously delivered and seen their enemy once and for all destroyed. It is time to celebrate and Moses has a song in his heart. This prayer is a “must read out loud” prayer. It holds such power. No doubt the children of Israel were made to memorize it so they would not forget what God did for them. Miriam and all the women found their tambourines and danced. Everyone rejoiced until 3 days later when there was no water, then in Marah the water was bitter. The people complained to Moses and Moses cried out to God. This was a test for the people and they failed. God told Moses to throw a tree into the waters and the waters were made drinkable and sweet. Then he told them if they would follow his voice and obey him then he would not put on them the curses he put on the Egyptians and they would walk in healing. Just as he healed the waters, he would heal them. To prove it, he lead them to Elim which means “mighty ones” and there were 12 wells there and 30 palm trees - an oasis in the desert. So he not only gave them plenty of water, but shade and dates. God always gives us a place to rest after a battle even if and especially if we failed and missed the mark. God is very patient and loving. That tree was a picture of Jesus. Life is bitter until we throw Jesus into our lives and let him turn our bitterness to sweetness. We are also given the promise of divine healing and blessings instead of curses if we enter into God’s promised land for us and allow him to plant us in his Sanctuary. To do this we hide his Word in our hearts and take it at face value, believing all of it. We practice God’s presence throughout our day and listen for his voice. It is possible to have the same relationship that Moses had with God, where he walked with him daily and heard his voice. Lord, we desire to walk with you as Adam did in the garden. Increase our desire for you and allow us to hear your softest whispers.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tues.’s Devo - Through the Red Sea

Read Ex. 14:15-31 I love God’s response to Moses when he gets a little anxious: “why are you crying out to me just do what I said and go forward.” Then he tells him how: just lift up your rod and stretch it toward the sea and the people will walk on dry land. Pharaoh will follow and I will finish them off. I would love to have that much direction. Moses was a true prophet and God says in his Word that he never does anything he doesn’t first tell his prophets he is going to do. Next, the angel of the Lord went from in front them to behind them and stood as a pillar of cloud so that they Egyptians couldn’t see what the Israelites were doing. Moses stretched out his hand over the waters and the Lord caused a strong east wind to blow over the sea all night parting the waters and drying the land. They crossed the sea with the waters as a wall on either side and the pillar of cloud behind them, and the Egyptians behind the cloud. That took faith! In the morning, God started messing with the Egyptian army and their chariot wheels started just falling off. They realized that they were fighting a force stronger than them. They were fighting Almighty God and losing. By that time, Moses’s people had all made it safely on the other side. God told Moses to stretch forth his hand and when he did the invisible wall that held the waters broke and the waters came crashing down on the Egyptians and drowned all of them. When Israel saw this, they feared God and Moses (for a while). Lord, you make a way where there seems no way. Glory to your Name!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mon.’s Devo - One last Battle With the Pharaoh

Read Ex. 13:21-14:14 The Lord went before them as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. God revealed his glory to his people all through their wilderness journey. If they ever doubted God they could just go outside and see his glory. He was their shelter from the heat and light through the night. How spectacular this sight must have been….at first. But as the spectacular grew familiar, they lost their awe of God’s glory and became complacent. How true. If we are only motivated by what God does instead of who God is we too can become bored and lose our hope. God led them to Pi-hahiroth which means mouth of God’s wrath or mouth of caves. It was between Migdol (a tower) and the sea, over against Baal-zephon (lord of the north). God wanted it to look to Pharaoh like they were fenced in and his for the taking. God wanted to pour out his wrath on Pharaoh and his demonic fortress that had ruled over the north. God hardened Pharoah’s heart to follow them. So he took 600 men and followed after them. When the children of Israel heard and saw this army of chariots streaming towards them, they cried out to God and complained to Moses which seems to be their stance throughout their journey. Moses had learned early to listen to God and not the people. (Leadership 101) He encouraged his people not to fear because they were about to see the salvation of the Lord. How many miracles did it take for the children of Israel to believe? We are just like them, we are surrounded by the hand of God. Everything around us, nature, speaks of God’s miraculous power. Life is a miracle. Our bodies are miracles. And if that isn’t enough, God intervenes in our lives with such power and signs of his answers to our prayers, and his gentle wispers in our ears. And yet, when the enemy comes like a storm, we sometimes falter and wonder if God is there. Well, he is always! Lord, we are so moved by your presence in our lives. Give us the faith of Moses to believe your word over all the circumstances of life.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fri.’s Devo - The First Born

Read Ex. 13:11-20 The first born were the family priests and got double the inheritance. They were saved by an act of grace from the doom of all the other first born of Egypt. Remember, God did not spare his firstborn, Jesus, but gave him up to save all the firstborn of the world. The firstborn is a picture of all of us. We are born first of the natural (from the womb). We are saved spiritually when we are second born - born again by the blood of the Lamb. The first born had to be sanctified to be the priests of the family. Their sanctification stood for their salvation. We are all called to be priests and to share in a double inheritance. Verse 16 speaks of keeping the remembrance of God’s deliverance as a token for the forehead and on their hands. This was so they would always see it in their minds and act on it with their hands. They took this more literal later and actually wore scripture rolled in a box and wrapped around their head and around their arm called phylacteries. God wasn’t talking about a literal wearing as much as he was talking about a spiritual wearing. We are always to “wear” the Word in our hearts and before our spiritual eye so that it can flow from our hands. God knows our level of faith and he knew their level of faith, so he graciously led them the long way and not through the Philistine land. They were not ready for a war. God knows when we are ready to fight and win. So God led them to the Read sea where He could fight for them. They emptied Joseph’s tomb and carried his bones with them just as God emptied Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb where Jesus was laid and took him to the Promised Land of heaven. The first place they went was Succoth which is Hebrew for booths. It is also the name of the last feast: Feast of Succoth, or Feast of Tabernacles. Feast of Tablernacles is where they make a booth and spend the night in it gazing through the branches on the roof to heaven. It is to remind them that their home was not here on this earth, but in heaven. This is a picture of the underground called death, where people went until Jesus came and released them. From this place of refuge, God led them to Etham which means “with them”. That was God’s promise: to tabernacle with them. That is God’s promise with us to tabernacle with us. Lord, thank you for your abiding presence in our lives. May we wear your Word always before us and allow it to flow from our hands.

Tribute to my mother: Jean Wise

Insert: Wednesday night I came home from supper with Dave to a message on my answering machine. My brother had been trying to reach me all day on the phone I washed in the washing machine. He was calling to tell me that our mother had had a heart attack that morning and died. I was shocked and devastated. She had just come to visit me 3 weeks before and she was doing so well. She had fallen when she got home and was staying in a nursing home to rehabilitate. That morning at the exact time she was leaving this earth I had a dream. I was in a softball game. I asked my position and the pitcher told me “first base”. I realized I didn’t have a glove and told them but they didn’t respond and started the game. When there was a play at first, they would roll the ball to me. We made several plays that way and I was amazed at their kindness. In the last play the second baseman rolled the ball to me and it went past me. I went after it and found myself crawling through sand. It was very tiring and difficult to do. The ball had rolled into a sand pit and I crawled in after it. When I got the ball I was too weak to throw it back into the game. I crawled with the ball up to these rocks on the side of the pit and positioned my self to stand. I noticed that the rocks were wet. I had one foot on one rock and the other on another rock. I was holding on to a rock and had the ball in the other hand. I was stuck and didn’t have the strength to move….I just wanted to go to sleep, I was so very sleepy. I knew that if I did, I would die. I fell asleep. I know this is a dream of what my mother was going through at the time. She had gotten old and couldn’t play the game of life like she used to. Everything had to be modified for her (rolling the ball). She was getting tired and no longer had the strength to play the game of life anymore so she climbed up on her rock, Jesus, and went to sleep. She felt no pain… only peace and blessed rest. My dream continued and I was back at the ballpark in the game. They were taking a break so I told the pitcher that I was going home to get my glove. Mother woke up in heaven. She is now ready to join the game with all her equipment. She has joined the crowd of witnesses that are cheering us on. My mother was a true woman of the faith. She lived to see the kingdom of God advanced. She walked out her faith everyday. Her life was full of physical pain and suffering, but her heart was full of joy and strength. She is my number one hero and mentor. I will miss her tremendously and just pray that my life will be as affective as hers was to the kingdom.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thurs.’s Devo - Salvation

Ex. 13:1-10 God told the children of Israel to sanctify their first born sons and animals. God seems to have a respect for animals as if they have a soul, which I believe they do. God sanctified (set him apart for sacred use) his firstborn, Jesus, and gave him up this day. The calendar month was Abib which means “green, tender, a young ear of grain”. It was the barley harvest. All the feasts center around the agriculture. Spiritually this is the harvest of souls for salvation. They come in green and tender and must be matured for the great harvest at Tabernacles. The spiritual month was Nisan which is the month of flowers. What a picture of salvation. This was God’s first encounter with his covenant people. Now he is going to lead them into a land full of enemies and give it to them. Isn’t that what God does to us when we get saved. He doesn’t take us to heaven, he takes us back into the world where the enemy is and he tells us to take the land for him. When the left they entered into unleavened bread for 7 days. This was a picture of our whole life after salvation. We live sinless before God. Jesus blood atones for us daily. If we really believe this we can live in this provision. When we mess up we get right back up and walk without shame. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus because they walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made us free from the law of sin and death. (Ro. 8:1,2) They were to keep this feast year after year as a memorial of what God did for them and still does for us. Lord, may we always live in Unleavened Bread with Passover fresh in our hearts.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wed.’s Devo - Our Passover Lamb

Read Ex. 12:21-51 God gave them these feasts as “moeds” which is Hebrew for appointments. They were also “nikras” which is Hebrew for rehearsal. They were to observe these feasts every year as a dress rehearsal because one day he would appoint a day for the real event. Passover was the rehearsal for Jesus’ death. Jesus died on Passover. Unleavened bread was the next day when Jesus was buried under the earth. He had no yeast, no sin and hadn’t risen yet. On first fruits, Jesus rose. We will talk about first fruits later. God has certain appointments with man all through history, but when they happen, the majority miss it completely. Only a remnant is given revelation and understand. The death angel kills all who don’t have the blood applied to the doorpost of their houses just as death kills all who don’t have the blood of Jesus applied to the doorpost of their hearts. Death has no sting to those that are in Christ. This plague was the last straw. The Pharaoh was so distraught he threw them out of his land. The Israelites left so quickly the dough didn’t have time to rise in their bowls. They asked their neighbors for jewels and clothes, and the Egyptian gladly gave it to them because they had such a fear of God. They left with the riches of Egypt. They had been in Egypt exactly 430 years. This is one of the most celebrated times in Israel today. Verse 43 says that no stranger could eat the Passover meal just as only followers of Jesus can participate in the blessings of salvation. But verse 48 says that if a stranger walks with you and is circumcised, then he can eat the passover meal. In other words, a person who is not a Jew can be saved if he has accepted Jesus as his Messiah. (This is our verse as Gentiles.) Verse 46 says that the bone could not be broken. The only way to roast a lamb without breaking its bone was to put him on a spit that resembled a cross and spread his arms apart just as Jesus died. Passover was the day that God brought the children of Israel out of bondage just as it is the day that God brings us out of bondage to sin when we accept his son as our Lord. Jesus, thank you for being our Passover Lamb!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tues.’s Devo - Unleavened Bread

Read Ex. 12:13-20 God starts laying out his feasts. There will be 7. Unleavened bread is the first. They were to abstained from eating anything with leaven in it for 7 days. On the first day they had to remove any leaven from the house. Leaven is a picture of sin. When you put leaven in a mixture it makes it expand and that is what happens when you add a little sin to your life - it gets bigger and bigger. To choose to disobey cost you your life. The first and last day of the observance would be a holy time of meeting together. They were also to not work during this time. These seven days are to represent the span of mankind. If you want to live eternally then you abstain from sin and observe the Lord. Sin is to willfully disobey God. People who eat of this day after day are not going to spend eternity with God whether they walked an aisle as a child or not. Salvation is a process that we live in, learning more about him everyday. It does not mean that we don’t make mistakes or fall down, it just means that our heart is set towards him. They were not to work during this time because salvation is God’s work in us. Our job is to rest in Him and allow him to work through us. Our striving is not pleasing to God. I think this is one of the hardest thing for us to grasp esp. since we live in a hard-working society where worth is put on what we accomplish. God wants us to work hard at our physical jobs, not at getting more perfect spiritually. The only way to fight our sin nature is to put on God’s nature, not to do godly works - that was what the law was all about. God gave us the law to show us that we cannot win with will power, only with Holy Spirit power. When we behold God in his splendor, we become what we behold. Sin no longer has a hold on our hearts. This is what unleavened bread was all about - letting God change their hearts and purify their walk. Lord, remind us not to strive to be holy, but to draw near to you and let your holiness rub off on us.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mon.’s Devo - The Passover Explained

I wanted to go into detail about the passover today. Jesus is our passover lamb. Everything that they did to their lambs was a picture of what Jesus would go through on the cross to cover us with his blood and give us life. The lamb was without blemish - Jesus was sinless. The lamb was a male of the first year - Jesus was a young man in the prime of life. The lamb was taken on the 10th and examined until the 14th - Jesus was taken on the 10th and examined by the government till the 14th. The lamb was killed and his blood applied to the sides of the door and the top of the lintel. It was applied from a basin with a hyssop branch and they were told not to go back outside so the basin sat under the doorposts. Rev. tells us that Jesus is the door. Everywhere the blood was applied on the door was where Jesus bleed: his hands, his head from the crown of thorns, and his feet where the basin sat. The lamb had to be totally consumed that night. Jesus was totally consumed on the cross. The lamb had to be roasted by fire - Jesus was roasted by the fire of judgment for our sin. They must eat the lamb with bitter herbs which represented their sin. They were to eat it with their loins girded, shoes on their feet and staff in their hand. This was to indicate that they were leaving a land of bondage and headed for the promised land. We are to enter salvation with the mindset that this is no longer our home. We once knew bondage to sin and our past, but through the blood of Jesus, we have been set free and are on our way to the kingdom of God. This blood was to save them from the death angel that was coming to steal and kill the inheritance of the Egyptians. The blood of Jesus covers us and gives us the right to all of our inheritance in God. This would become a national feast that they were to practice every year… because one day all their rehearsals will pay off and it will be showtime! The sad thing is that when the real came, they were so caught up in the ritual they missed it. Lord, help us to keep the cross always before us. Thank you for covering our sins and giving us access to your kingdom here on earth.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fri.’s Devo - The Lord’s Passover

Read Ex. 12:2-12 Finally, Moses reaches the end of his waiting and after this last plague they will be leaving. He was told to tell the people to ask their neighbors for their gold and silver jewelry. God gave them favor in the eyes of their neighbors and they gave up their jewelry. Then God gave Moses the details of the last plague. He is going to go out at midnight and kill all the firstborn of Egypt from the greatest to the least. This will be the crowning blow since the firstborn were the heirs of the inheritance. None of the children of Israel will be touched. Then God began to instruct Moses on his principles. He told him that this month (which was really the 7th month) will be the first month of the year to them in God’s new cycle. God was trying to teach them about being born again so he was giving them a new birthday. The Jewish people would have a natural calendar that starts with Tishri and a spiritual calendar that starts with Nissan. If we are born again we have two birthdays: a natural one and a spiritual one. Then God painted a picture of salvation. On the 10th day of the month they were to take an unblemished lamb one year old and set him aside. They were to keep him till the 14th then all Israel were to kill their lamb that evening and smear its blood on the side posts and the upper door post of the houses. They were to eat the flesh that night, roasted with fire, and unleavened bread and bitter herbs. They were to completely consume it and if they had any left over they had to consume it with fire the next day. They were to eat it quickly with their traveling cloths on and their staff in their hand. This is the Lord’s passover. That same night the Lord will pass through the land of Egypt and kill all the firstborn but when he sees the blood on the doorposts he will pass over that house. Lord, how amazing are your ways! Help us to trust them especially when we don’t understand them.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thurs.’s Devo - Darkness

Read Ex. 10:16-11:1 Pharaoh is getting better at his repenting. This time he not only acknowledges his sin, but asks for forgiveness. Too bad it is only words to get relief and not a heart change. Moses did pray to God for Pharaoh and God blew the locusts away, but hardened Pharaoh’s heart again. Then the Lord told Moses to stretch forth his hand toward heaven and there would be darkness over the land of Egypt that could be felt. The meaning of the word “darkness” means literally darkness, but figuratively, misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness. I think this darkness brought fear and evil. It lasted for three days. There was light where the children of Israel lived. In Egypt, all life stopped and no one left their houses. Pharaoh called for Moses and skipped over the repentance part and went straight to “go”. His only stipulation was that they had to leave their animals in Egypt, but they could take their children. This was pointless since the animals were the sacrifice. Moses tried to explain this to the Pharaoh but to no avail. Pharaoh got so mad he told Moses he didn’t want to see him again and if he did Moses would die. Moses told him he was right… he would never see his face again. Darkness was the 9th plague and the grand finale was coming up. God told Moses that after this next plague Pharaoh would throw him and all their belongings out of Egypt. God told Moses to set his people free and it has been a long process. God is never in a hurry and works through patient endurance. His plan is always for the good of his people. Lord, I thank you that we are your people, called by your name, that through us you might show yourself mighty in this earth. Help us to have patient endurance.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wed.’s Devo - Hail and Locusts

Read Ex. 9:27-10:15 Pharaoh thinks he is ready to let Israel go so he sends for Moses so Moses can pray that the hail be taken away. For the first time, Pharaoh admits he has sinned and that the Lord is righteous. He even says that his people are wicked. He seems to be getting the point. I wonder if this is why he didn’t have to wait till the next day to be relieved. Moses said as soon as he left the city he would pray and the hail would cease. Even after Pharoah’s confession, Moses knows that his heart is not really changed. The hail had destroyed their flax and barley that were almost ready to be harvested, but they still had their wheat and rye crops that were yet to come. Moses did as he promised and prayed for the hail to stop, but when it did Pharaoh hardened his heart again and he refused to let them go. God sent Moses again to Pharaoh. He had hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that he might continue to judge them of their sins and so it would be an example to the grandchildren of Israel of what God did in Egypt to evil. Moses told Pharaoh that if he didn’t let his people go, God would send locusts to cover the earth. They will eat every crop that is left and every tree. They will fill their houses and cover everything. Then they left. Pharaoh’s servants pleaded with Pharaoh to just give him what he asked before Egypt is totally ruined. So Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and asked them who they intended on taking with them. Moses said everyone which made the Pharaoh mad. He told them that only the men could go because he didn’t trust them. Then he told them to get out. Moses did, but then he stretched out his hand toward the land of Egypt and God brought an east wind all night and when morning arrived they found that the east wind had brought the locusts. They did exactly what Moses said they would do. Lord, You are our Strength and our Redeemer. We trust in you always. May we always be on your side fighting with you.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tues’s Devo - The Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Plagues

Read Ex. 9:1-26 The fifth plague was on the cattle. The Egyptian cattle were dying of a “grievous murrain” and the Israelite cattle were healthy. One year when I was studying these plagues I realized that these plagues coincided with what God created on the days of creation. On day 1 God created the heavens and the earth and brooded over the waters. The first plague was on the waters. On day 2 God divided the waters and created dry land. The second plague was frogs that came out of the water. On the third day of creation God created the plants that grew from the ground. The third plague God touched the ground and the dust became gnats. On the forth day God created the sun, moon, and stars to rule the sky. The forth plague brought flies that ruled the sky. (Satan is called “Lord of the flies - Beelzebub”). The fifth plague was to the cattle which is what God created on the fifth day. When Pharaoh still refused to let them god, God sent boils on the people as the sixth plague. On the sixth day, God created man. The boils were so bad, the magicians could not come to work. After this God told Moses to go back to Pharaoh and tell him if he didn’t let them go he would sent all his plagues upon Egypt and eventually kill them all. He reminded Moses that this was the purpose he was called to: to declare God’s name to the whole earth. God used Egypt as an example to all the earth of his power just as he used Israel to show his love to all the earth. The next day God would send hail - the greatest hailstorm in history so they better gather their cattle and family under shelter or they would die. Those of the Egyptians who feared God’s wrath heeded the warning. This was the seventh plague. On the seventh day of creation God rested because he looked on what he had created and was satisfied. On this seventh plague, he looked out on creation and was not satisfied so he sent a message from heaven - hail. This was no ordinary hail - it was mixed with fire. This is a picture of the last day of earth when God will destroy the whole earth with fire. Once again, the land of Goshen had no hail. Lord, thank you that you always provide a resting place for your children, free from the fray of life. Help us to find shelter in the shadow of your wings.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mon.’s Devo - The Third Plague - Lice ; The Forth Plague - Flies

Read Ex. 8:16-32 The Lord told Moses to tell Aaron to stretch forth his rod and all the dust became lice. Many commentators think these were mosquitoes with a bite. Can you imagine? All the dust! The magicians tried but couldn’t because they had lost their power in the last plague. They concluded that this was the finger of God. Want to chase a rabbit? I was asking God what Jesus wrote in the sand when the woman was caught in adultery. I looked up every scripture where it mentioned the “finger of God” and it always had to do with judgment. Jeremiah 17:13 says that those who depart from God will have their names written in the earth. I believe that Jesus wrote their names in the sand starting from the oldest to the youngest. Because Jesus had no way of knowing their names except for a word of knowledge, it was a miracle and they, who memorized all the scripture would remember this verse. Back today’s scripture. Once again, Pharaoh’s heart was hardened. God told Moses to get up early in the morning and go to the palace because the Pharaoh will be going to get some water. Tell him that if he won’t let my people go I’m going to send swarms of flies. They were still dealing with the lice and now they were going to have flies also. Some think these could be beetles, roaches, or flies that could destroy clothes, books, and could bite. They worshipped the fly and the beetle so once again, their own gods were becoming a pain. Only on this plague, it will not extend to the land of Goshen. God is going to make a separation between Pharaoh’s people and God’s people. God did the next day and it says the land was corrupted by the swarms of flies. This time Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and told him they could go and sacrifice in his land. He was trying to compromise God’s will and still be in control. Moses told him that their sacrifices would offend the Egyptians so they needed to travel 3 days into the wilderness and sacrifice. He finally agreed if they would stay close. So Moses went and asked the Lord to take away the flies and he did. But the Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and he refused to let them go. Lord, I thank you that I am on your side… or you are on mine. Either way, we are covered with your wings and live in your blessings, not your curses.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fri.’s Devo - Frogs Everywhere!

Read Ex. 8:1-15 God told Moses to go back to Pharaoh and demand they be set free. If he refuses then God is going to bring frogs up from the rivers and they will consume the land. The Pharaoh must have said no because God had Aaron stretch forth his rod and frogs popped out of every river,stream, and pond. They covered the land. The magicians could do the same thing with their powers but they couldn’t make them go away. It is interesting to me that the things God brought upon Egypt seemed to be the same things the sorcerers practiced in their black magic. They worshiped frogs so now God was giving them their fill of their gods. If frogs were sacred, then it was probably not permitted to kill one. How disgusting to reach for the flour and get a frog instead! Pharaoh didn’t take long till he was seeking Moses out and asking him to take the frogs away… actually, he told him to destroy the sacred frogs! Then he told them they could go sacrifice. Moses told him that tomorrow the frogs would be gone back to the rivers and it would prove that there is no other god like the Lord God. The next day the frogs were dead. They gathered dead frogs by the heaps and the whole land stunk! That’s what God thought about that false god! But after it was all over Pharaoh hardened his heart and wouldn’t let the people go. Sometimes we have to fight through many obstacles to get our prayers answered but it is for a greater reason. God kept hardening Pharaoh’s heart because he wanted to judge all their gods. Before it is over he will have addressed all the issues of their hearts. If we want our hearts totally turned toward God, then God will test us till we are swept clean of all the gods we have amassed. It is not fun for the time, but the end is worth it. In Rev. 16:12-14 the sixth angel poured out his vial on the Euphrates River and it was dried up. Three unclean spirits like frogs came out of the mouth of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. They stood for the spirits of devils, working, miracles, which went forth to gather the kingdoms of the earth to battle. That is what these frogs represented - demonic miracles. After this plague, the sorcerers couldn’t reproduce any of God’s miracles. Lord, search our hearts and see if there be any wicked thing in us. Create in us a clean heart and renew a right spirit within us.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thurs.’s Devo - Water to Blood

Read Ex. 7:15-25 Everywhere Moses went he took his rod. His rod represented God’s arm. When Moses extended his rod, God was extending his arm and power went out. God has given us the Word of God which is our rod and our sword. Today God told Moses to take his rod and strike the water and the water would be turned to blood. All the fish in the river would die and it would stink which will make the Egyptians disgusted to drink it. Not only in the Nile River but also in their streams, rivers, pools and in their wooden vessels and in their stone vessels. In other words, all water turned to blood. Moses did this in front of the Pharaoh and, not to be outdone: the Egyptian sorcerers, Jannes and Jambres (2 Tim. 3:8) mimicked the same feat on a smaller scale. They just couldn’t turn the blood back to water. Once again Pharaoh hardened his heart and went back to his palace. The Egyptians had to dig around the water to try to find water to drink. This went on for a week. So the first plague was aimed at their national god - the Nile. Each trial addressed a different god that the Egyptian people worshipped. How disgusting and humbling it must have been to let their god afflict them like this. This affected their comfort zone in a big way. I can’t imagine how that would affect us if we had no water to drink, shower with, water our yards, etc. We complain when they ask us to watch how much water we use in the summer. God did this so that it would affect every single person in the province so all could see the glory of God and choose to repent. When Jesus came he turned the water to wine! In Revelation 16:2-6 God sent 7 angels down to earth to judge it. The second angel poured out his vial in the sea and it became blood and it killed everything in the sea. The third angel poured the contents of her vial in the rivers and fountains of waters and they became blood. In the 6th verse it tell why. They had killed the saints and prophets and now they were having to drink their blood. So I wonder if the blood the Egyptians were having to drink was the blood of all the Hebrews they had killed through the ages. Lord, how thankful we are that we don’t have to drink the blood of our sins, we just have to apply yours. Cover us with your blood and give us refreshing water to drink from your words.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wed.’s Devo - The Prophets Meet the False Prophets

Read Ex. 6:26- 7:14 God called Moses to speak to the Pharaoh for him and say whatever God told him to say. Moses’ argument was that he was not righteous enough that God would use him. (How many of us have felt that emotion?) I’m sure Moses was not expecting God’s response. He told him that He had made Moses like a god to Pharaoh and Aaron a prophet. God would tell Moses, Moses would tell Aaron, and Aaron would tell the Pharaoh what he was to do. That is some power! Then he goes on to tell the rest: God is going to harden Pharaoh’s heart and God is going to do signs and wonders in his land. Not only is God going to harden Pharaoh’s heart but he isn’t going to listen to what Moses has to say so God will have to judge the land. And when he does, the Egyptians will know that He is the Lord. I wish I had that clear of direction about my life! God spelled it out for them so that they would be able to obey. Moses was 80 years old and Aaron was 83 when they began speaking to Pharaoh. The number 80 means that they had acceptedly put off the flesh to the point that God could use them. Aaron was 83 so the three means that he conformed to the destiny God had for him. God had given Moses a miraculous sign to use and he told him exactly when to use it. So when Moses and Aaron went before Pharaoh and showed him their sign Pharaoh was not impressed. He brought in his wise men and sorcerers and they could do the same thing with their rod only Aaron’s rod ate up all of their rods. This only made the Pharaoh madder and more determined not to let them go. But notice, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. This showdown was between the devil and God and God had come to Egypt through Moses and Aaron to totally destroy all of his works. The first was the wise men and sorcerers - the false prophets. Before it was over, God had challenged every one of their gods and won. Ever wonder why God has given you the gifts he has? I’m sure Moses wondered why he gave him the sign of the rod turning to a serpent. Apparently that was one of their tricks they used to show their power to the people. The fact that Aaron’s rod ate all theirs was a picture of what was about to happen in their whole land. Lord, help us to be thankful that you have made us the way you made us with the gifts you have given us. They are for your glory alone.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tues.’s Devo - Aaron - The Bringer of Light

Ex. 6:23-25 I want to slow down and look at the names of Aaron’s family. Aaron means “light-bringer”. His wife’s name was Elisheba when means “God of the oath” who was the daughter of Amminadab meaning “people of liberality”. Her sister was Naashon which means “enchanter”. Their children’s names were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar meaning “liberal”, “worshipper of the Father”, “God is helper”, and “coast of the palm tree”. Moses was a type of Jesus. He stood for the law and Jesus was the word that became flesh. Aaron was a type of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the one who brings light to the Word and sets the people free. He like an enchanter knows the future. He sets us free to worship and is our helper. He is our refreshing like the palm tree. In the Holy Land, the date palm is abundant and majestic. It “is described as flourishing" (Ps 92: 12), tall and "upright" (Jer 10: 5. Its branches are a symbol of victory (Rev 7: 9. “They can rise 40 or 50, at times even 80 feet. They were used in the Feast of Tabernacles and spread before Jesus as he entered Jerusalem to be crucified. The Holy Spirit is always the forerunner of what God is doing. He goes ahead and prepares the way. That is what Aaron did for Moses. He was already in place in Egypt with ties to the leaders of both the Egptian and the Israelites. In the earthly priesthood their was always leaven and corruption. Aaron’s son, Eliezar had a son who married Putiel which means “contempt of God” They had a baby named Phinehas meaning “mouth of a serpent”. As helpful and faithful as Aaron was to Moses he would one day build a golden calf that would bring a curse of the people and cost many lives. It would take a serpent on a pole to heal them.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mon.’s Devo - The Priesthood

Read Ex. 6:14-22 It has been almost 300 years since Jacob birthed his 12 tribes so his sons and their sons have come and gone yet we have a list of some of their genealogies again. I can’t tell if God is speaking these names or whether Moses just added this when he wrote the book but either way is pretty impressive. After reading this several times I noticed that they only gave the genealogies of 3 tribes: Reuben, Simeon, and Levi. I explained earlier that the names of the tribes told the history of the earth so I think this is where they were in history. He breezed through Rueben and Simeon, but when it came to Levi he went into explicit detail because that was where they were in history. Moses came from that tribe. Notice that Levi and Amram lived exactly a hundred and thirty and seven years. This means that the fruit of their lives were tested and they conformed perfectly to the destiny the Lord had created them for. Kohath lived one hundred thirty and three years which means the fruit of his life was one of conformity to what his fathers had taught him. I wonder if his life wasn’t cut a few years short because he like his name was waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promise to come and didn’t see it in his life-time. Moses great-great grandfather was Levi which means “joined”. Moses’ grandfather’s name was Kohath which means “obedient and waiting”. Moses’ father’s name was Amram which means “high people” or “exalted”. Amram married his aunt, Jochebed whose name means “Jehovah-gloried”. The Levites were to be joined to God and be his priests to the people. They had to learn to be totally obedient to God and their job was to wait on God and serve him in his temple and to assist the people in their worship to God. They were to be an exalted people who didn’t pay taxes and were supported by the people and most of all by God. There was no temple yet and their were no sacrifices to be made but they were being prepared in their hearts none the less. Moses and Aaron’s lives were to be lives totally poured out to God and the people. They exemplified to all what priests should look like. I don’t have time or space to go through all the names and their meanings but they explain the path to the priesthood. Lord, we are all called to be sons and priests unto you. May we learn from Moses and Aaron what that looks like. Open our eyes to see.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fri.’s Devo - God is Jehovah

Read Ex. 6:1-13 At the end of yesterday’s reading Moses went to God after being rejected by Pharaoh and his own people and asked him why he would sent him to such evil people. Moses thought he was sent to be the deliverer, not the curse. All he had gotten his people was harder bondage. But, God wasn’t discouraged at all. Today he tells Moses that now he is going to move. I bet Moses thought it was about time. Then God went on to tell Moses who he was. He was the god who had appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob and to them his name was God Almighty. But to Moses he is appearing as JEHOVAH. This name means "the unchanging, eternal, self- existent God," the "I am that I am," a covenant- keeping God. Later this word was considered so holy that no one would say it, only the High Priest on the Day of Atonement. Then he goes on to tell him his over-all plan: 1. give them the land of Canaan 2. bring them out of Egyptian bondage 3. make them his people and be their God Moses took this information to the children of Israel, but they couldn’t hear him because they were being so oppressed. Then the Lord told Moses to go back to the Pharaoh and tell him to let Israel go out of his land. Moses asked God how Pharaoh is suppose to hear him if his own people didn’t. Then God spoke to Moses and Aaron and gave a charge to them, the children of Israel, and to Pharaoh, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt. This unchanging God didn’t have a plan B. His plan was going to happen. Lord, thank you for your unchanging nature. You don’t give up on us or your purpose on the earth…and that is to dwell in a people and work through them to bring about your kingdom on this earth. Open our eyes to see this when we are surrounded by oppression that wants to distract us from you.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thurs.’s Devo - Things Get Worse

Read Ex. 5:1-23 Moses and Aaron go together to tell the Pharaoh that he needs to let all his slaves free to go into the wilderness and hold a feast to their god. I imagine that would be like a total stranger walking up to a sheriff and telling him he needed to let all his inmates free to leave the state for a party. Pharaoh wanted to know who this god was that he was suppose to obey since he didn’t know him and wasn’t about to let Israel go. Moses told him he was the God of the Hebrews and that he had met with them and if they didn’t go and sacrifice to him he would bring pestilence or the sword. I’m sure this was the craziest thing this Pharaoh had heard in his reign. He told them to get back to work and since Moses and Aaron took the people away from their work, he added more work to their load. He instructed the task masters to stop supplying them with straw but to make the Hebrews gather their own and their quotas for the day would stay the same. This ought to stop their silly notions of leaving to go to the wilderness and worship their god. When the people had to gather their own material to make bricks, they couldn’t keep up with their quotas so their own Hebrew officers were beaten. They went to complain to Pharaoh. He gave them no mercy and kept their quotas the same. These officers happened to run into Moses and Aaron as they were leaving their meeting with the Pharaoh and they blamed them for all their woes. Poor Moses! He cried out to God for some answers. Moses and Aaron obeyed God and did everything he told them to do and it got them no where just as God said it would. It is one thing to read in the Bible that you will have trials and tribulations and another thing to have them. It is easy to have faith when you don’t need it. But the test comes when you do. Everything we go through is to purify us and prepare us for the next test. We grow this way. Moses is being tried to be a leader who will obey no matter what the response from the people. Before it is all over he will have a face of flint, set on God. Lord, help us to resolve to have faith no matter what comes our way, knowing that you are in control and all things will work for our good if we are trusting you.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wed.’s Devo - Gershom’s Circumcision

Read Ex. 4:24-31 Circumcision was the sign that God chose to brand his people. He told Abraham in Gen 17 that they were to circumcise the flesh of every boy when he is 8 days old. This is to be a sign of the covenant that God made with the descendants of Abraham. If a son didn’t get circumcised his soul would be cut off from his people because he had broken the covenant. Apparently, Moses had not done this so God met them on their journey to kill Moses. It makes me wonder if Moses and Zipporah might have disagreed about circumcising Gershom so Moses had not done it. If so, she caught on how important it was really quick and grabbed a sharp stone and circumcised Gershom and threw the foreskin at Moses’ feet declaring, “a bloody husband you are, because of the circumcision.” (If that was the way it went down, it shows that even patriarchs have bumps in their marriage!) God appeared to Aaron and told him to go into the wilderness and meet Moses. Supernaturally led by God, he ran into Moses at the mount of God and kissed him. This would be the same place that Moses would one day rebuke Aaron for making the golden calf. It has been years since they have seen each other. Moses shows Aaron his new miraculous powers and tells him God’s plan. Aaron believed God had sent him so he went and gathered all the elders together and Moses performed his miracles once again. All the people believed that God had heard their cries and was answering their plea and they worshipped God. Today, they believed Moses… but what about tomorrow? Lord, help us to realize the importance of following your law. Your law is perfect in every way.