Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 41/260: Moses

Read Exodus 11-12; Hebrews 11:28

The Passover

The tenth plague levied against the wickedness of Egypt was the death of the firstborn—not only of the Egyptians, but of their servants and even of their animals. The Israelites could escape the destroyer that struck down the firstborn by following the instructions given by God through Moses. It was the blood of the sacrificed lamb on the doorposts and lintel of the houses that would cause the plague to pass over the dwelling places of the children of Israel.

Likewise today, it is the blood of the sacrificed Lamb of God that causes the plague of eternal destruction to pass over those who are in Christ. The Passover lamb was a type of Christ, as there is no salvation for anyone apart from His blood. Just as the Passover lamb was innocent and without blemish, so was Jesus. Just as the Passover lamb suffered for the guilty, so did Jesus. Just as the Passover lamb was submissive and uncomplaining in death, so was Jesus. There was not a bone broken in the Passover lamb; neither was there a bone broken in the Christ on the cross. There are so many similarities between the Passover lamb of Israel and the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

Moses faithfully relayed God’s instructions to the children of Israel to protect them from the plague to come. Thus the Hebrews writer said, “By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them” (Hebrews 11:28). Had Moses left any part of it unsaid, or the Israelites had left any part of it undone, they could not have been saved.

Likewise today, no part of the gospel can be left unsaid or undone. Just as Paul declared “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), and the local congregations to whom he ministered “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9), we must follow their example in this day and age.

May we all believe the words of Jesus, understanding that they are the very words by which we will be judged (John 12:48). May we repent of our sins, confess the name of Jesus, and humbly submit to His command to be baptized for the remission of sins! In so doing, we will come into contact with His saving blood and secure the hope of heaven.

The Enemy We Face (Ephesians 6:10-12)

The Enemy We Face

Ephesians 6:10-12

I. “Be strong in the Lord…” (Ephesians 6:10)

    A. “Be strong and of good courage” (Joshua 1:6, 7, 9, 16-18; 21:43-45)
    B. Strength comes from God and is found in Christ (Romans 8:1; James 4:7; Philippians 4:13, 19)

II. “Put on the whole armor of God…” (Ephesians 6:11)

    A. Spiritual armor (Romans 13:12-14; John 8:12; 2 Corinthians 6:3-7)
    B. “Wiles” = schemes, tricks

III. “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood…” (Ephesians 6:12)

    A. Do not underestimate the devil’s smarts (2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 4:2; 2 Timothy 3:7)
    B. Do not underestimate the devil’s strength (1 Peter 5:8)

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 40/260: Moses

Read Exodus 8-10

Do Not Harden Your Heart

Moses confronted Pharaoh numerous times, demanding that the people of God be released. At first, they were simply asking to go worship and make offerings to the Almighty. Time after time, Pharaoh hardened his heart and refused. The request shifted from a brief respite to a full release, but Pharaoh would not listen to Moses, the servant of the Lord.

The hardening of Pharaoh’s heart began before the plagues when his magicians deceived him into thinking they were as powerful as God (Exodus 7:11-13). It continued throughout the plagues, sent as punishments for his arrogant denial of God’s demands (Exodus 7:22; 8:15, 19, 32; 9:7, 12, 35; 10:20, 27).

He begged for relief from the plagues, and God repeatedly granted that relief. However, as soon as Pharaoh believed he was safe, he hardened his heart against the truth of God and denies the release of the Hebrews. Moses warned him, “But let Pharaoh not deal deceitfully anymore in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord” (Exodus 8:29). The Egyptian ruler would not listen to the warning.

He admitted in the midst of the seventh plague, “I have sinned this time” (Exodus 9:27). This time? But not before the previous six plagues? Pharaoh continued, “The Lord is righteous, and my people and I are wicked” (Exodus 9:27). He seemed to finally understand, but we learn very quickly that he had not truly learned his lesson. Moses records, “And when Pharaoh saw that the rain, the hail, and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet more; and he hardened his heart, he and his servants” (Exodus 9:34).

The more we sin and refuse to accept the truth of God’s Word, the harder our heart becomes and the more difficult it gets to repent and obey. Pharaoh can admit his sin, but he refuses to let that sin go. That’s exactly what happens to us. We recognize our shortcomings, but in our minds, it is easier to continue in a sinful behavior than to turn ourselves completely over to God’s grace and mercy.

Do not harden your heart like Pharaoh. Turn to God’s Word, discover His will, and obey His commands. Believe in Jesus, repent of your sins, confess His name, and be immersed to have your sins washed away.

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 39/260: Moses

Read Exodus 8:1-15

One More Night With The Frogs

The children of Israel were afflicted by their Egyptian masters, and God chose Moses to deliver the news to Pharaoh that His people should be freed. Pharaoh refused on multiple occasions, finally relenting after the tenth plague, but even then, the Egyptian ruler tried to recapture the people.

The second plague makes for a very interesting study. Moses warns Pharaoh that if he does not follow God, then He will “smite all your territory with frogs” (Exodus 8:2). We read in the Exodus account that these frogs were everywhere in the land – in every house, in every bedroom, on every bed, even in the kitchens, in the ovens, and in the kneading bowls. They could not escape these creatures!

One of the things that is puzzling is why Egypt’s magicians worked their so-called magic “and brought up frogs on the land of Egypt” (Exodus 8:7). Would it not make more sense to get rid of the frogs that were there, rather than bring more? The magicians’ actions betray their legitimacy. They were enchanting the people (and Pharaoh in particular) with trickery, not with actual magic.

Pharaoh has had enough and calls for Moses and Aaron and begs them to plead with God to take the frogs away. The king says he will “let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the Lord” (Exodus 8:8). Moses responds with a simple question: “When? When do you want the frogs to be taken away?” Pharaoh’s answer is dumbfounding.

“Tomorrow” (Exodus 8:10).

Why would Pharaoh want to spend one more night with these wretched, nasty, smelly nuisances? Why did he not jump on Moses’ question and scream, “Now! Please tell God to take these pests away now!”? Why did he choose to spend one more night with the frogs?

Think about it for a moment, though. Do we ever spend one more night with the frogs? We know what the Scriptures say about sin. It is poisonous. It is dangerous. It is spiritually fatal. And God offers to wash our iniquities all away, to remove sin from us, to re-establish a relationship that was severed. When shall we be cleansed? Tomorrow? Are we spending one more night with our frogs?

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 38/260: Moses and Aaron

Read Exodus 7

Just As The Lord Commanded

How important is precision when it comes to obedience? When a child is asked to do the laundry, will mom be happy if he washes his clothes but does not dry them and put them away? Partial obedience is not true obedience, is it?

Three times in Exodus 7, we read that Moses and Aaron fully obeyed what God commanded, doing things “just as the Lord commanded” (7:6, 10, 20). What if their obedience had not been full?

Think back to Noah in Genesis 6. What if he had used materials other than the gopherwood the Lord commanded? What if the ark had measured three cubits too long or two cubits too short? What if Noah had not obeyed “just as the Lord commanded”?

People get in trouble when they only partially obey God. What happened to Lot’s wife? God told Lot and his family to leave their home, saying, “Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain” (Genesis 19:17). Lot and his family fled, but his wife did not obey “just as the Lord commanded.” Genesis 19:26, “But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”

In the Lord’s parable of the sower, Jesus tells of some “who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away” (Luke 8:13). Partial obedience. Convenient obedience. Not precise obedience. Precise obedience is shown in “those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15).

It is not always easy to obey the Lord fully and precisely, but that is exactly what He desires of us. We must seek His authority in all that we say and do! Read the inspired words of Paul very carefully: “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17).

Are you seeking the Lord’s will in “whatever you do”? Are you faithfully obeying His commands with precision, “just as the Lord commanded”?

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 37/260: Moses

Read Exodus 3:1-4:17

No Excuses

God had a job for Moses, but did you notice how many excuses he used to try to get out of his responsibility? God called his attention to the suffering of the Hebrew slaves and said that He had selected Moses to be the one to bring them out of Egypt. Rather than feeling honored, though, Moses claimed he wasn’t worthy to go before Pharaoh.

God reassures His servant that He would be with him, but Moses was not satisfied with that. He complained that he didn’t know enough about God to answer the questions of the Israelites. God answered that excuse, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:14).

Moses then grumbled that the Israelites would not believe him. Again, God rejected that excuse and promised to perform signs through Moses to encourage belief. Moses was still looking for a way out, though, and said, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since you have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue” (Exodus 4:10). Surely God would not send a man who had trouble speaking on such an important mission, right? Think again! “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say” (Exodus 4:11-12).

For every excuse Moses offered, God had a response. Finally, Moses pleaded for God to just send somebody else. Basically, he told God, “I don’t want to do it!” The Lord’s patience had reached its limit and “the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses” (Exodus 4:14).

How do you respond when you discover a command of God that you have not yet obeyed? Do you offer up excuses like Moses, or do you obey without delay? The Scriptures say, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

God wants to save you, but His patience has limits. Do not provoke the wrath of God when it comes to your soul. Obey what He commands!

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 36/260: Jochebed

Read Exodus 1:1-2:10; 6:20; Hebrews 11:23

A Mother’s Love

Imagine a governmental decree stating that all male infants were to be put to death by throwing them into the river. If you were an expecting parent, how much anxiety would you feel at the mention of such a law?

This is not a made-up story. It really happened. The population of the Hebrew nation in Egypt was so large that the Pharaoh feared their size. This was a different Pharaoh than the one who trusted Joseph in the book of Genesis. This new Pharaoh issued this command to the Hebrew people: “Every son who is born you shall cast into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive” (Exodus 1:22).

There was a woman named Jochebed who married Amram, and she had two sons: Aaron and Moses. When she bore Moses, she was able to keep him hidden for three months, but it became more and more difficult. The Hebrews writer reveals that Moses’ parents possessed such a faith that “they were not afraid of the king’s command” (Hebrews 11:23).

Jochebed made a small basket and put Moses in it, and put him among the reeds in the riverbank. His sister stood watch as Pharaoh’s daughter found the child and had compassion upon him.

Moses’ sister suggested that she employ one of the Hebrew women to nurse the child for her, and Jochebed was hired for the task. Moses received the education of his people from his biological father and mother, and an Egyptian education as he was seen by Pharaoh’s daughter as her own son.

Is your faith so strong that you could resist the government’s demands, knowing that death surely awaited you if you were caught in defiance? Would your love be strong enough for your child that you would sacrifice your own for the slightest chance that he might live? Many would answer yes to these questions, yet in our society today we see so many that are leading their children to eternal punishment by neglecting to instill God’s spiritual instructions in them.

The Proverbs have much to say about the proper spiritual training of a child. Paul commended the upbringing of the young evangelist Timothy, thanking God for Timothy’s grandmother and mother who ensured that “from childhood you (Timothy) have known the Holy Scriptures” (2 Timothy 3:15). What are you teaching your children?

They Did Not Cease (Acts 5:17-42)

They Did Not Cease Acts 5:17-42

Acts 5:17-42

I. The apostles go back to prison

    A. Arrested for preaching (Acts 5:17-18)
    B. Miraculously released to continue preaching “the words of this life” (Acts 5:19-20; John 6:66-68)

II. Continued boldness

    A. Swift obedience (Acts 5:21a; 16:32-33)
    B. Jewish reaction (Acts 5:21b-28; Matthew 27:22-25)
    C. The apostles refuse to back down (Acts 5:29-32; Deuteronomy 21:22-23)

III. The council’s decision

    A. They “plotted to kill them” (Acts 5:33)
    B. Gamaliel’s advice (Acts 5:34-39; Jude 3)

IV. The apostles’ response

    A. Rejoiced at suffering (Acts 5:40-41; Matthew 5:10-12)
    B. “They did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ” (Acts 5:42)

I Am the Bread of Life (John 6)

I Am the Bread of Life John 6

John 6

I. Physical vs. spiritual

    A. They were not interested in Him as the Messiah (John 6:26-27)
    B. The work of God is that you believe in Him whom He sent (John 6:28-29; Hebrews 11:6)

II. Jesus’ works vs. Moses’ works

    A. They wanted physical bread (John 6:30-33; Nehemiah 9:15)
    B. Jesus challenged a higher focus, a deeper discipleship, an active faith (John 6:34-40)

III. The rejection of the Jews

    A. Offended at the suggestion of eternal existence (John 6:41-42)
    B. Jesus required 24/7 spiritual devotion (John 6:43-59)
    C. “This is a hard saying”…too hard for some (John 6:60-66)
    D. There is no alternative to Jesus (John 6:67-69)

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 35/260: Joseph

Read Genesis 45:1-8; 50:15-21

The Providence of God

Joseph, over time, recognized God’s hand working in his life. He may not have always understood it as the events of life often seemed to be working against him. Sold into slavery as a teenager. Falsely accused and imprisoned. Forgotten by the chief baker for two years. Yet, in time, God lifted Joseph up because he remained humble and committed to the one true God of heaven.

His brothers were “dismayed in his presence” when he first revealed his true identity to them (Genesis 45:3). Seventeen years later, after their father Jacob died, Joseph’s brothers were still dismayed. “When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, ‘Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him’” (Genesis 50:15).

Their fear upset Joseph, who had shown them kindness over the past seventeen years. “And Joseph wept when they spoke to him” (Genesis 50:17). He did not act as a tyrant or a vengeful ruler. Even though he was grieved by their words, still “he comforted them and spoke kindly to them” (Genesis 50:21). Why? Because he knew that God had used all the events of his life for the betterment of the world.

We often struggle to see the good in our difficulties. Perhaps God is preparing us to help someone else through the same troubles later in life. Perhaps God is placing people in our lives who need comfort and kindness. If we don’t accept those challenges to help, who will?

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Keep in mind two very important things about this verse. First, it does not say that all things are good, but rather all things (including bad things) work together for good. Second, this is not a universal truth for everyone. It is for “those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

God grants the opportunity for salvation, for being among “the called,” to everyone. Do you love God? Do you keep His commandments? Read John 14:15 and 1 John 5:3. If you try to find loopholes to avoid obedience, then do you really love God? Do what you need to do to be right in His sight. Believe in the Christ, repent of your sins, confess your belief, and be baptized to have your sins washed away.

But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. (Acts 8:12)