Monday, 10 February 2014

10 February 2014 Exodus 19; 20 Psalms 73 Mark 6 Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

Exodus 19:
We reminded of God's sustaining strength and might in v4 (expanded in Deut 32:11-12, Ps 57:1), and His loving tenderness, this for a purpose.

As we have laid out in Exodus 19:5:
"Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, THEN ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine".

As outlined to natural Israel so to the exhortation is there for us as Spiritual Israel:
1. Hear and obey God's voice (word)
2. And keep (Heb = samar - to lit hedge about, protect, guard)

If we do this "THEN" we by God's grace become a special treasure unto Him, for His purpose.

The Heb "peculiar treasure" is last used in the Old Testament in Mal 3:17 and shows the reward to those who obey God and seek to develop His character:

"And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my JEWELS; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him".

Who?

v16
"Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name"

Our minds are also taken to that wonderful vision John was shown of New Jerusalem in the Apocalypse:

"And her light was like unto a stone most precious..."
"The foundations of the wall were garnished with all manner of precious stones"

May we be a people who have been called out of the death and darkness of Egypt for God's purpose, who seek to hear and obey His voice, and speak to one another daily of these wonderful things as we await the day and who think upon the purpose of His name.



“MY TREASURED POSSESSION”

This was the great promise the people made to Moses when they “encamped before the mountain (of the LORD)” [Exodus 19:2] It was 2 months since they left Egypt. God instructs Moses to tell the people. “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians … Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples , for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” [Exodus 19:4-6]. What an awesome promise!

What God, through his power, had done to the Egyptians, which they had witnessed, beginning with the plagues; this should have filled them with overwhelming awe as to the nature and power of the one and only God - their God. They readily said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do” [Exodus 19:8]. The presence of the Lord is in this mountain, “there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast so that all the people in the camp trembled” [Exodus 19:16] The mountain “was wrapped in smoke because the LORD descended on it in fire” [Exodus 19:18] What an utterly awesome experience! “The people were afraid and trembled … Moses said … do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear (awe) of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” [Exodus 20:20]

In a sense the people had been baptised before they came to the mountain. Paul makes this point. “I want you to know, brothers that our fathers … were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea” [1 Corinthians 10:1,2] The writer to the Hebrews takes up this example of an awesome encounter with God and invites baptised believers in Christ to contemplate the contrast. “for you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them … But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels … to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant.” [Hebrews 12:18,22,24]

How clear is our spiritual vision? Is it clearer than those with Moses? We all have God’s word, the Bible in our hands, they didn’t. Are we in awe of the God we serve, or plan to serve, appreciating his wondrous grace and mercy? Our lives must show how much we realize this.
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- DC


Thought for the Day

10 February 2014

"Jesus said, “Continue in my word” ... He shows approval only to steady growth and progress in the knowledge of his word and patient continuance in that narrow path which he has laid down for us ... Continuing in the word requires diligent study of the Scriptures. Without that study we fail, and still more do we fail if we refuse to subject our lives to the teachings of those Scriptures. Mere intellectual knowledge of the truth without sincere subjection to it, will only condemn us in the end."

- A. L. Cole
The Victorious Life (1962)