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August 2019

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Exodus 5:22-7:25

We are a people of comfort and status quo. No matter how miserable we are in a comfortable place, we find comfort in our misery. I believe the plagues and Pharaoh’s stubbornness were needed to challenge the Egyptians’ gods but also to set up both Egypt and Israel to disengage from each other. Israel had to become a stench in the nostrils of Egypt and Israel needed to become reacquainted with the power of their God. God was making sure bridges were being burned.

Being oppressed and or being in slavery destroys self-initiative because a hopelessness sets in and then one develops a sick heart (Proverbs 13:12). When your heart is sick, blood circulation is hindered and the “body” doesn’t “act” the way it is suppose to. So, not only was it necessary to bring Egypt to her knees, Israel had to move from the mindset of a slave to one of freedom. Freedom isn’t free and requires a purchase price of responsible mind. But freedom means you become aware of your value to yourself, to others and most definitely your value to God.

Moving from welfare/dole, being enslaved or dependent on the government requires one to believe that there are gifts, talents, and abilities inside that can make one sufficient. Many times that means one has to get in touch with God to discover the gift God has placed within and how to use that gift in the market place. I know about moving from welfare to work and what it takes to cross that divide, courage. However, usually, that courage comes by way of crises.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Moses - Clay on Potter's Wheel

A summary I posted last year when I was out a few days - it might help those who missed the firxt few days of Exodus.
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Moses had two influences in his pre=adult life:
1) His mother. It can be argued that she did not turn Moses back over to Pharaoh's daughter until he was past terrible two's :). Vs.10 the child grew....
2) The predominate influence was the court of the most advanced civilization at that time in the World . Moses would have the best education and physical training as befitting a prince of the court (adopted or not). Josephus cites Moses as a brilliant military commander, eloquent orator, and very wise. It makes sense if you think about it.

Moses knew he nad a connection with the Jewish people. Vs.11

THE PROBLEM: God was going to redeem Israel His way and for His Glory, and His way was not to have Moses lead a revolt. Moses had a mixture of the world and Hebrew in him, and was not dependant upon God.

Moses needed to be humbled. As a clay vase - Moses was a vase consisting of mostly Egyptian and a little Hebrew, and perhaps a smattering of God. As stated in Job, when the vase is imperfect the potter smashes it down and starts over building it into the intended vase.
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Was Moses humbled? After forty years in Midian he was shepherding his father-in-law's herd - not his own. Shepherding was a despised profession in Egypt. Moses was out in the boonies. A far cry from his upbringing in Egypt.

It is now time for the potter (God) to start building Moses up. Moses had sunken low. He tried to get out of God's task of being His emissary to the Pharaoh. I believe Moses even lied when saying he had a speech impediment. God is patient. He knew Moses state, and reassured Moses and prodded Moses as needed for the task.

Perhaps Ramona was right that the murder charge hung on Moses' mind? Or perhaps Moses was broken and lacked self-confidence (my viewpoint). Is anything impossible for God? We can watch as the chapters unfold as Moses grows in his faith by his dependance on the Lord.

How does Moses change over time - long range project study :)


Exodus 6:6-8

[NOTE: Take these verses and show an elder in your church God's plan for our redemption outlined in Exodus. Most will have never thought about it before, if they have you have a good person running your church. Don't be snippy - share in a loving way.]

God's Way and for His Glory:
His overall plan for redeeming Israel (and us). The Picture of Redemption

6 "Therefore, say to the Israelites: 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. 7 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.' "
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Begins and ends with the Lord. A lot of "I will's" - seven in fact which is a number for completeness. This is the complete plan. Don't see Moses, you, or I mentioned.

From the believer's perspective inserting what it means for us in the place of OT symbols. Really only a few changes.

1)I will bring you out from under the burden of the World.
2) I will free you from being slaves to sin.
3) I will redeem you (save you)
4)I will make you mine (believer)
5)I will be your Father and you will know I am Lord.
6)I will bring you to heaven.
7) I will make you co-heir to heaven.

Book-ended by God. I am the Lord.

So who is in charge and will carry out this plan? God. You have his word as he bookended the statement with his name.

Exodus 7

Hardening of Pharaoh's Heart

Every year I get objections regarding the hardening of Pharaoh's heart. 'It is not fair, God is playing dirty, if that is your God you can have Him, just another example of the spiteful God of the Old Testament.

So let's look at this issue: What is going on?

Exodus 9:16 and Romans 9:17 say the saqme thing:
"For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."

http://www.carm.org/diff/Rom9_17.htm

So, God raised up Pharaoh to be Pharaoh of Egypt. God made sure this guy came to power. Why this guy?

Spiritually: Egypt represents the world, and Pharaoh represents satan.

In real world: this guy came to power; considered himself a god, and would be damned if he was going to let the God of his slaves tell the most powerful ruler on earth what to do and when to do it through Moses. Pharaoh's heart was already pre-disposed to be stubborn, prideful, and full of self.

Does God have the right to use such evil non-believing people? Absolutely. God is sovereign and in an imperfect world will use what satan means for evil to be good in the end for God's people.

I have always maintained this whole creation to Revelation thing is about God's Glory. His Glory (all His Characteristics) will be on display and maximized. More on that is a later post this year.

Satan means for Israelites to stay in Egypt. If they stay they can never fulfill prophecy in Promised Land, and satan wins - as satan discredits God's Word. Pharaoh is satan's tool. God lets the two of them hang themselves in this series of plagues.

How does this play out????
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First plague

Interestingly there are three Hebrew words used for "harden": qashah, chazaq, and kabed. Why three and when are they used????

God initially tells Moses He will harden (qashah) Phaqraoh's heart (7:3).

After the rod/snake demonstration Pharaoh's heart is hardened (chazaq)-(7:13). This is a growing into hardness from a predisposed condition. God allows Pharaoh to be Pharaoh.

God says Pharaoh's heart is non-responsive/unyielding (kabed). (7:14). This is the odd comment, because it indicates that if Pharaoh had responded to this demonstration of God's power, perhaps things may have played out differently. [Note: Satan is incapable of responding to God - so to his servant - so the stage is set for the first plague.]

Bloody Nile - attacks the god of the Nile - Hapi. the water was considered the life-blood of Osiris. To turn it into blood was a direct affront to Egyptians.

Again Pharaoh's heart was hardened (chazaq) (7:22), and again it grew out of a predisposed condition. So God again allows Pharaoh to be Pharoah, and satan to have his way.

Let's keep track of how the Hebrew words for harden are used as we go along in the readings on the plagues......


Matthew 18

A few notes:
1) I have heard "seventy times seven" is a Jewish saying for "infinity". Peter thought he was being magnaminous by saying seven times as Rabbinical law says forgive a man "three times".

2) Judicial forgiveness is at the cross and one's acceptance of Jesus Christ as your Lord AND Savior. That is not what is going on in this parable as Jesus is speaking to believers (disciples).

Temporal punishment is what happens when we sin and God uses his "rod" to discipline us here on earth to bring us back into fellowship.

"The inquisitors merely represent the means by which God puts you under the stress, difficulty, and pressure of chastening until you confess your sin...I think what the parable is saying is plain and simple: The sinner will satisfy God, paying what can be paid, when he is broken in repentance and contrite in heart, stepping into the sphere of obedience. At that point, fellowship is restored." - John MacArthur
http://www.biblebb.com/files/mac/2335.htm

As believers when we realize the enormous debt (sins) God has forgiven us, and we have a regenerated heart - we should forgive the transgressions done unto us. Often I pray to God that if I have not totally forgiven someone to please work in my heart - increase my compassion, and lead me to a point of forgiveness.

3) Moses did not give the command for divorces. Moses permitted divorces because that is what the people wanted (free will). Divorces for any reason was never God's way.

Some are born eunuchs, some are made eunuchs, and some figuratively have become eunuch's for the kingdom's sake. If someone is not in that category - then they should be praying for a partner in marriage. (My interpretationof this passage.)

2 And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.

I was devestated when I went thru my divorce - always believing that God would save and heal my marriage.

During the divorce process I was taking down our Christmas tree and it fell and broke a beautiful cactus plant I treasured. The Lord taught me thru that cactus that my divorce was like the cactus. It always bore the scar of the fall but the fall caused the cactus to produce many little cactus. I have always bore the scar of my divorce; however, because I've submitted to God and walked in His ways, I've continued to bear fruit for His kingdom. God even opened the door for me to go into full-time ministry.

I use to let my past life and divorce bother me and I would be filled with regret. One day the Lord spoke to me, "Debbie, it was a part of my plan." Not that God causes divorce but that God can use our lives (no matter the past) to bring glory to Him when we surrender to His purposes. Thank you, Lord, for your mercy. Thank you, Lord, for using my past with all it's scars, to bring glory to you.

Romans 8:28. Haiti,Beautiful Christian people killed,in vain? Does God have a purpose? I believe he does even in this horrible tragedy. The video from yesterday and the sufferings of the Israelites really seemed to relate? Did it touch anyone else this way?

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