Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bible Reading Challenge - Week 5 Day 2 Exodus 17-21

Our reading challenge for the day is Exodus 17-21. I'll hit a few highlights. You make comments too and fill in the gaps. What strikes you as specially significant?

Exodus 17 - God gives the people of Israel water to drink, not a small amount of water for that many people. He also gives the Israelites victory over the Amalekites. See how God uses physical means to accomplish his will. Sometimes the means which God uses don't seem to make sense to us. But they are his means nonetheless.

Exodus 18 - The pattern implemented by Moses at the suggestion of Jethro is one which we find to this day in Church, business, and politics. The leader has trained and respected assistants who are leaders in their own right. These people bear some of the burdens of leadership but always report to their leader. There is a place in the Church for training up elders from within the body, people who are biblically qualified for the tasks presented to elders in Scripture, who will engage in the work of the ministry as they are able.

Exodus 19-21 - See how God's presence is fearful? We do not dare approach the living God on our own terms. Yet he comes to us in ways that we can approach, through servants like Moses, who bring his words of mercy. The commandments - notice they are not numbered in the Bible - show God's desire for our good, but at the same time serve to condemn us, as we realize we cannot keep them before our Lord. He goes on in chapter 21 to give various social commands which show his desire that we show mercy and kindness to one another. There are many safeguards against being killed in a civil situation, representing a remarkable change from the customs recorded in other Ancient Near Eastern civilizations.

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