Showing posts from August, 2012

The Ten Commandments | Exodus 20

Welcome to  Real Life . I love God’s Word (the Bible). I get to know him as I read his Word. It's also full of wisdom and practical  Real Life  advice.  Thirty-five hundred years ago, before the first scrolls of Scripture were written, [1] God himself wrote on tablets of stone [2] and handed them to Moses on Mount Sinai. Those words are known as “The Ten Commandments.” As the Children of Israel journeyed from Egypt to the Promised Land, God not only directed their physical path, but he also sought to direct their spiritual path. He began by teaching them what NOT to do. Some behaviors are harmful to us and those around us. God calls those negative behaviors sin. The commandments are a loving Father's warning, “Don’t touch the fire or you’ll get burned.” Many have heard of “The Ten Commandments.” But, the actual commands are no longer commonly known. They’ve fallen out of popularity, just as calling anything sinful has fallen out of popularity. However, sin is

The LORD Will Fight For You | Exodus 14

Welcome to Real Life . There’s a time to stop running from my problems. There’s even a time to stop fighting them. My enemy can be much too powerful to conquer. That’s when it’s time to be still and let God fight for me. The Israelites have left Egypt and begun their journey through the desert to the Promised Land. [1] God Himself is leading them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. (How cool is that?) He directs them to set up camp at the edge of the Red Sea. Back in Egypt, Pharaoh receives the report that the Israelites are wandering around lost in the desert. He and his officials begin to reconsider, “ What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and lost their services! ” [2] The leaders of Egypt devise a new plan. They will send all their horses and chariots, horsemen and troops to pursue Israel, take them captive, and lead them back to Egypt. (How quickly they have forgotten the plagues – see last week’s blog .) Back at the Red Sea camp, som

The Passover Lamb | Bending a Stubborn Heart

Welcome to  Real Life . I can be pretty stubborn. Some days, I’m even proud of it. Could that stubbornness end up hurting me … and others?  Egypt has been pounded by supernatural plagues: water turned to blood, frogs, gnats, flies, livestock perish, nasty boils, hail, and locusts. Then, the land is encompassed by a darkness so deep it can be felt. Only the Children of Israel are spared from the devastation.  Still, Pharaoh stubbornly refuses to let God’s people go. After the plague of darkness, he warns Moses, “Don’t come before me again or you’ll die.”  Moses replies, “Just as you say.” [1]   From Pharaoh’s own words, God sends one last plague - a plague of death. It will touch each Egyptian family deeply and personally. All the king’s wealth and power will not insulate him from feeling the pain of this plague. At midnight, every firstborn son will die.  God’s people are told to get ready. Pack their bags. Prepare one final meal in this land of pyramids: the Passover lamb. Th

I AM THE LORD | Exodus 5-6

Welcome to  Real Life . It (real life) doesn’t always progress according to my schedule. Early failures often leave me feeling totally defeated. But, could those failures be a part of God’s larger plan?  Moses is discouraged. He obeyed God. He gave Pharaoh God’s message, “ Let my people go .” Pharaoh pretty much laughed in his face, “ Who is the LORD? I don’t know the LORD and I will not let Israel go. ” [1]  Failure.  "Let my people go." Worse yet, because of Moses’ request, Pharaoh punishes the Israelites. He believes this request was born of the Israelite’s laziness. Therefore he increases their already heavy workload. The new order: gather your own straw. Produce the same quota of bricks, but you’ll be given no straw. A slave’s life is hard enough. Moses just made it worse. He stirred up trouble with Pharaoh. The Israelites curse Moses, “ May the Lord look upon you and judge you! You have made us a stench to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword i

Moses, Reluctant Servant (Lord, Please Send Someone Else)

Welcome to  Real Life . I picture Moses [1]  as a strong man of immense faith standing up to Pharaoh and leading the Israelites out of Egypt. That’s why I love this verse:  But Moses said, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.” [2] Let me explain. The Israeli people are growing in strength and number during their sojourn in Egypt. [3]  This frightens Pharaoh. In order to control them, he forces the Israelites into slavery. He also proclaims an edict: every male infant born to Hebrew parents is to be killed. So Moses should have died on the day of his birth. Instead, God has other plans. This son of slaves is adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter. He grows up in the palace. Yet, Moses retains an affinity for his people. So that when he witnesses an Egyptian mistreating an Israelite, Moses kills the Egyptian. Fearing Pharaoh’s reprisal, he flees Egypt and lands in Midian. There, Moses leaves behind the stress of the big city and begins a peaceful new life as a country shepherd.  Ho