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Exodus 19





BY: Jeremy Witt

You may have some place for you that is spiritually special.  For me, Falls Creek is that.  I surrendered my life to “whatever God wants” there as a sophomore in high school, and felt God’s call to ministry there as a      sophomore in college.  As a student, many of my spiritual high points were found at Falls Creek.  For the      Israelites, Mount Sinai is one of these places.  Moses met God here in a burning bush.  Elijah heard God’s whisper here.  It is here that God gave the people His Law and how God wanted them to live their lives.  It is here where God reaffirmed His covenant with Israel.  It is at Mount Sinai that God shared with the people why He freed them from slavery and what their purpose would be to the world.  Read verses 4-6. 

Since this is a devotion, let me encourage you to think about places that you heard the LORD.  Write them down and maybe even on the inside of your Bible.  Share these with your family.  Remind yourself of what the LORD has done.  Reminding ourselves what the LORD has done and where God did it is a great reminder for us when we lose focus or get “lost in the things of this world.”

Let’s go back to the Scriptures.  Verses 5-6 is the conditional promise of God to the nation of Israel.  If they would follow Him, they would be blessed.  This is clarified later in Scripture, but God’s intent was to use Israel, not because of anything they did, but because of His love and mercy, God chose to use them in a special way.  Just like us, God doesn’t need us, but He chooses to us if we will follow His ways and obey. 

Verse 7 is where Moses tells the elders/leaders of the 12 tribes of Israel what God has said.  In verse 8, the    elders/leaders say that they will obey everything that the LORD commands.  This begins the covenant           relationship with the nation of Israel.  Verse 9 stands out to me because it was so the people would hear God but also so that they would trust/believe Moses.  Every leader needs to feel this trust/belief from his people in order to lead well. 

In verses 10-25 God gives Moses instructions on what the people need to do in order to prepare to hear from the LORD.  God is beginning to teach the people of Israel how to be pure and holy or set apart to become the priests of God.  This is so critical for us today to understand.  God always intended for the people of Israel to be the priests to the nations.  This way God would show the world Himself through the Hebrew people.  God would impact the nations through this small group of people who were different from the rest of the world.  This is where the Law comes in, so that they would know how to be different.  It is really easy for us to get caught up in some of these guidelines that God gave them, but if we will remember one of the purposes of the Law was to help the people to be pure and holy for God’s use.  They dressed differently, they ate differently, they worked differently, and they worshipped differently.  Remember back in Genesis 18:18 where God said “all the nations would be blessed” through Abraham’s descendents.  The Law was given to the people to help them see God and to understand Him better, but also to help the nations to know Him through the nation of   Israel.  So how does that apply to us today?  Go read 1Peter 2:9.  Christ followers are to “royal priests” and we are to be holy and to impact the nations for Christ today.

The problem is that people disobeyed and corrupted God’s plan.  They will wander in the wilderness for their sin, and ultimately will lose their nation for their sin.  Yet God who is rich in love and mercy, will bring them back, just like God offers for each one of us when we sin.  The nation of Israel is a great picture of God’s love, grace, and mercy.

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Exodus 18





BY: Jeremy Witt

As I gain more life experience, I am more convinced that I need help from those with even more life experience than myself.  When I was younger, I thought I knew everything so I would not ask for help, but today I realize I need it more now than ever.  I see this idea of needing help happening in the life of Moses in our chapter.  Jethro or Reuel (Exodus 2:18) is Moses’ father-in-law, and Moses had worked for him after he left Egypt.  (Read Exodus 2:16,18; 3:1.)  Jethro had taught Moses how to shepherd and many more things in the 40 years of his time with his wife’s family.  Jethro was someone that Moses listened to, and we see evidence of this in verse 24. 

Before we move to this section, notice that Zipporah, Moses wife and his children are not with Moses in verses 2-4.  Moses had sent them away to be with her family.  As a husband and father, I see Moses protecting his  family from the unknown.  Maybe Moses did this because of all the “griping and complaining” that he was   listening to from the people or possibly as when the Amalekites attacked Israel (Exodus 17:8-16).  We do not know when exactly this happened, but we know that they were not with him the entire time.

Read verses  9-11.  We see Jethro hear what God has been doing from Moses, and he is delighted.  Verse 11 we see Jethro proclaim that he now “knows that the LORD is greater than all the gods.”  Sharing with our family about Jesus can be one of the most difficult things for a believer to do.  We see hear that Moses shared what God was doing, and Moses had a significant impact on him.  Maybe this is for you to remember to be faithful and share with someone specifically in your family. 

In verses 13-26, we are introduced to some of the issues that Moses, and for those leading any group of people, have to deal with.  (Verse 13)  We see Moses trying to handle everything on his own for the people.  His heart is right in what he is doing, but his methods are lacking as his father-in-law points out in verses 14-20.  One     person cannot do it alone despite what we tell ourselves.  Moses was a hard worker and felt the weight of being the representative to God for the people.  I can tell you that this weight is beyond any words.  What he needed was to hear the wisdom from his father-in-law in how to be more effective.  Delegation is hard to do if you are a Type A personality.  Delegation is hard if you are Obsessive Compulsive (OCD) as well.  Delegation requires good people and trust, which is why Jethro suggested “select capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes” (verse 21)

Sometimes we need someone to speak truth into us.  Sometimes it requires someone important to us for us to listen.  In Moses’ case, this was Jethro.  He had spoken into his life and was trusted by Moses.  Maybe there are some people whose life you could speak truth and wisdom into.  Maybe you could be the Jethro in their lives.  It is also possible that someone may soon be speaking truth and wisdom into yours.  Remember this truth if  someone tries to help you become more effective.

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