Posts Tagged ‘In the wilderness’

Exodus 33:12-23 Pleadings

God put him somewhere safe and protected him until he could share something special!

Moses intercedes again on behalf of the people. And he uses God’s own words as his ammunition.

God was so angry with the children of Israel that He wanted to wipe them out over their searching after another God. Moses stepped up and pleaded on their behalf. God relented but that didn’t end the issue. There was still punishment due for this egregious sin. The first part of that punishment came at Moses’ hands and the Levites. Then God stepped in with a plague, of which we have no specifics. But the greatest “punishment”/consequence was God refusing to accompany Israel on its journey.

God would send His angel to lead the people and even to drive their enemy out but He said He wouldn’t go with them. He was separating, distancing, Himself from them. THEIR sin put the first brick in the dividing wall and God’s anger put the final pieces in.

Thinking about God’s withdrawal brings to mind the fears of the people that started this whole scenario. The people were afraid they no longer had God with them because Moses was gone. That prompted them to go searching for another god who would take care of Read more »

Exodus 33:1-6 Broken

Israel’s behavior was a direct blow to God’s heart

God is still hurt and angry at Israel’s behavior but He is faithful even when man is not. He will keep His promise to Abraham but there need to be some changes along the way.

When I first started thinking about today’s reading I was angry with Israel for being so prideful. The main reason I was thinking them prideful was because God told them to take off their “ornaments.” I’m assuming this was jewelry. God’s direction spoke to me of humbling the people but I wonder if I’m attributing my cultural ways to this story.

In the American culture, wearing jewels is a status symbol. A lot of people think the more jewels you have the wealthier or more important you are. If Israel had this same attitude then stripping them of their “ornaments” would be humbling them. Read more »

Exodus 32:1-35 Out of the Fire

Israel’s god met the REAL God and only ONE was left after that.

God is concluding His time and instructions with Moses. Meanwhile, down in the camp BIG trouble is brewing and Aaron is in the thick of it.

God and Moses have spent a wonderful time together on the top of Mt. Sinai. Joshua has been in attendance throughout as Moses’ scribe and helper. But it is time to rejoin the camp and bring back God’s words to His people.

This is not the place our story starts though. It starts in the camp way below the presence of God. I want to say it starts with boredom or fear but I really don’t know that for sure. Let’s look at the scene and try to figure out where things went off track.

We are not told how many days Moses and Joshua were up on the mountain but we do know what transpired just before they left. The people had gathered around the mountain, at God’s command, and He demonstrated His presence to each of them in an unmistakable way. He also asked for and received a commitment from the people that they would serve Him only. Moses brought many of the leaders partway up the mountain where they experienced God in an even more personal way. And then Moses was called the rest of the way up to meet personally with God. Read more »

Exodus 20:22-26 Altar Laws

Handmade gifts are FILLED with love! That same love is what God wants poured into where me meet Him.

God is beginning to flesh out His outline. The first issue He addresses is the place He and His people will meet together; the altar.

The altar God is calling for is a simple on. One made with the person’s own hands. One that can be made anywhere at anytime. It is a personal one made from a personal heart’s desire to honor the Lord.

A little bit later God will give Moses instructions for a corporate altar. One that is used by all the people together, but today’s instructions apply to the individual specifically. Read more »

Exodus 17:1-7 Hard Water

Moses obeyed and God provided enough water for ALL, including the animals.

The children of Israel are thirsty again. But instead of trusting in the Lord and asking His provision they “grumbled” at Moses again.

When Israel faced a water shortage before, I was gracious and empathized with their need for water. Water is STILL necessary for life and I understand their need for it. But they didn’t draw on ALL the experiences where God came through for them before. Or did they?

Each time they faced trouble they griped and complained until Moses interceded for them. Then God would move on their behalf. Maybe that is how they thought things would continue to work. They didn’t have to do any of the “trusting” or “faith work” themselves. All they had to do was pester the one with the connections to get their needs met. Bad parenting maybe? Or hard hearted and hard headed people? Read more »