Exodus 16-18

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It is Saturday night as I write this entry for the blog.  My husband and I watched “Schindler’s List” this evening.  Although I have seen this movie several times, I have to tell you that tonight it spoke so very loudly to me (maybe it is because this is my 2nd year of reading the Bible chronologically and God has revealed things to my heart that I never before knew).  First it reinforced just how much we all need Jesus Christ.  Each of us is capable of the worst and it is ONLY Jesus Christ that keeps makes the difference.  In the movie once Schindler’s eyes were opened he keeps asking the Commandant for “his people” for his factory.  This character  played by Ralph Fiennes then replied to Schindler with: “Who are you Moses?”  Schindler saved over 1000 Jews from being murdered (THINK of how many Jewish descendants came from that 1000!!)  The character Ben Kingsley played told Schindler at the end of the movie: “Whoever saves one life, saves the entire world.”  Also in the movie, Schindler’s list became known as “the list IS life.”  It so reminded me of the confirmation we have as believers that our names are written in the lamb’s book of life… eternal life!!  WHEW!!!  God tells the Israelites in today’s read to do things (such as the Passover, a container of manna, Feast of Unleavened Bread, etc) so future generations would remember and KNOW HIM.  Over 6 million Jews were murdered in the holocaust.  Over 55 million babies have been aborted in our country since 1973.  Genocide happens in our world daily due to racial, political, or cultural hate.  My point???…. ONE man was used by God to make a difference during the holocaust…. ONE man (Moses) was used by God to DELIVER HIS people out of Egypt…. One man, yet God, JESUS CHRIST came to DELIVER EACH person who will humble him/herself, believe that He is God, died and rose from the dead,  and ask HIM in his/her heart…. You are ONE person… who God has a special purpose for, and through this purpose YOU will make a huge impact on those around you.  I encourage you to LISTEN to HIS still small voice and DO what HE has called you to do, it may be as “simple” as sharing what God had done/is doing in your life… the way Moses did with Jethro 🙂

WHAT a READ!!!  You KNOW I had a song running through my head and here it is:  it is called “How Great is Our God” by Hillsong

Chapter 16 — I have NO idea how far of a walk it was between Elim (where there were 12 springs of water and several palms) to the Desert of Sin (not a good sign just through the name of their new place.   🙂 ) I am sure their expectations were high after enjoying the refreshing Elim. They prepared for the Passover from Egypt on the “14th day of the first month (Nisan/Abib) Exod 12:6.   Exodus 12:29 states: at midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn of Egypt.  Then “during the night” (Exodus 12:31) which would have been the 15th day of Nisan/Abib, “Pharaoh summoned” Moses and Aaron and tells him to LEAVE!!  And, they began their departure of Egypt immediately.  Now we are told “in the fifteenth day of the second month (Iyyar/Ziv) AFTER they came out of Egypt they began to GRUMBLE while in the desert. So it has been about one month since they departed out of Egypt.  This is the SECOND time they have grumbled and remember…. We are not talking about a few people grumbling… we are talking about 2-3 MILLION… poor Moses!!  GRUMBLING — what is it?  It is murmuring, complaining, and the best description of what it really is “to show one’s self to be stubborn, obstinate, remaining persistent for the wrong reasons”.  OUCH!!!  I don’t even care to think how many times I’ve done that!!  Not ONLY were they grumbling about no water (and I am not pointing fingers because I like a lot of water myself) but they believed they would have been better off left in Egypt where they had lots of food and water ….. ummmmmm …. well that was two good things they had out of the MANY bad things that were there!!   I am reminded of Lot’s wife and family being told “not to look back” … and look what happened to her.  ALL of the Israelites were looking back!! 

In verse 4 GOD WILL TEST them by adversity in order to prove/test their faith…. To see if they will walk in HIS law.  In Exodus 17:2, 7 you will see a contrast in the use of “testing” where MEN are tempting God when they DOUBT HIS POWER AND HELP.  Eye opener!!!!

Moses tells the Israelites their murmurings are NOT toward him but GOD!!!  Rut Row!!!  Yet, “I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD” which means Jehovah Elohiym (The Supreme God, the TRINITY) heard their murmurings/grumblings/complaining yet HE PROVIDED for them.  It rained bread from heaven.  This reminded me of THE BREAD OF LIFE = JESUS.  And they SAW the GLORY OF GOD!! 

God commanded His people to take ONLY what they needed and eat all they took, to leave NO left overs.  He also told them on the 6th day to take a double portion for the Sabboth because they were to rest on the Sabbath.  BAD BOYS ….. some people tried to save food during the 5 days of gathering  and it rotted and smelled.  Some people tried to gather food on the Sabbath …. Either way… you’ve got disobedience!!  God ONLY made TWO requests of them at this point and “many” of the people refused to follow.  (I’m SURE NOTHING any of us can relate to!!)  Taking ONLY what they needed for the day and/or for the Sabbath reminds me of the Lord’s Prayer…. “Give us THIS day our DAILY BREAD”.  And it also reminds me that Jesus Christ is now our BREAD OF LIFE… OUR DAILY BREAD!!!

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. ” Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this bread.” Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty”.

We close Chapter 16 with Aaron being told to lay up a pot of manna for ALL generations to see.  THIS pot/jar of manna will eventually be placed into the ARK of the Covenant.  I KNOW.. we aren’t there yet… so if you don’t know what I am referring to….. we’ll get there soon 🙂  The Israelites ate manna for 40 YEARS during their wilderness journey.

Chapter 17 – WHOOPS….. here we go again…. The Israelites begin GRUMBLING again (third time so far).  The phrase used in verse 2 in the NIV is “they quarreled with Moses.”  In the KJV the phrase used in verse 2 is “the people did chide with Moses…”  GUESS WHAT it means (either word)… complained so we are back to the same meaning of stubborn, obstinate, persistent on the wrong things. 

Verse 7 (as referenced above) in the use of the word test/prove we see “they tempted the LORD saying “is The Lord among us or not?”  The men/people are testing the Lord when they are doubting HIS power and help.  WOW!!  They were not TRUSTING God at all!!  Things weren’t working the way they expected so they complained!!  God heard them, and provided for them.  God has Moses take his staff and hit the rock ONCE and water came out from the rock for the people (must have been one heck of a spring under that rock!! 🙂 )  Moses obeyed EXACTLY what God told him to do. 

Verse 8 Amalek fought with Israel in Rephidim.  Amalek was a son of ESAU, Esau was the brother of Jacob/Israel twin sons of Isaac.  Esau had his birthright stolen as well as his blessing by Jacob.  Ding… ding…ding… ringing any bells.  The hate we see in the Middle East today goes WAY back!!!!  In case you want to review the descendants of Esau it is in Genesis 36:12.  We noted Amalek, the son of Eliphaz (friend of Job) and his concubine.  Joshua is introduced here.  The Amalekites were one of the most ruthless barbaric people of the day.  They were known for stealing the old, weak and young Israelites and raping and torturing them.  They were awful awful people.

Moses asked Joshua (his servant) to choose the men to fight the Amalekites and he obeyed.  Joshua in Hebrew is “Jehoshua” which means “Jehovah is salvation.”   As the battle rages, each time Moses keeps his arms lifted the Israelites win and each time he puts his arms down… they lose!!  Moses does not ask for help but the people notice and HELP him.  The put a rock under him for him to sit on and two people hold up his arms (one on each side).  This speaks about two things to me.  First, know that our church leaders could use lifting up … look for ways you might be able to do that (even a kind word).  Second, I believe this event prepares Moses to hear what Jethro has to say.  Once the war is over and the Amalekites have been beaten, Moses makes an altar for the Lord and calls it “Jehovah Nissi” which means Jehovah is my banner. 

Chapter 18 –Moses has come so far.  He is not perfect, but he certainly has been faithful.  He has simply done what God presented before him.  Chapter 17 ends with people helping Moses keep his hands raised so the Israelites win the battle.  Now, Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law unexpectedly comes to visit him.  Jethro and Moses greet each other with great respect, and spend a lot of time discussing how God DELIVERED HIS people out of Egypt.  Jethro spends some time observing all that Moses does on a daily basis and offers him some great advice — DELEGATE or you will wear yourself out. 

It amazes me how God will use and send ANY one (not just His children) to help us, teach us, move us in the right direction.  Jethro was a Midianite.  Midian was a son of Abraham and Keturah after Sarah died.  Although Jethro is a priest in the Midianites, they are part of the Arab nation.  Jethro and Moses loved each other and Jethro was concerned for Moses’ wellbeing.  Jethro helped Moses reorganize his priorities and remind him that he was placed in a position of leading and teaching his people.  Therefore, it might be helpful for him to find a team of faithful, honest, dependable people who could become the judges of the nation and only bring serious infractions to him.  Abraham’s life  must have had an impact on Jethro because Jethro REJOICED for God’s deliverance.  He BLESSED the Lord who delivered them.  He said “I know the LORD is greater than ALL gods.”  And, Jethro makes burnt offering and sacrifices for GOD!!! 

Hebrews 11 has 10 verses dedicated to Moses and the faith he exhibited… if you have a chance read over those verses.

Do you see any similarities between Jesus and Moses??  Consider the following:

  • Moses was the MEDIATOR of a temporal and conditional covenant.  Jesus mediates an eternal and unconditional covenant (for all who CHOOSE HIM to be their Lord and Savior).
  • Both Moses and Jesus Christ provided REDEMPTION
  • Both were PROPHETS to people.
  • Moses is a precursor to the life of Jesus Christ and we can see through Moses how God has worked his plan of REDEMPTION throughout all of history.

Have a wonderful Sunday!!

Sharing HIS love,

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