Scripture: Exodus 20:4-6 4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands[a] of those who love me and keep my commandments”
Observations: In today’s reading of Exodus, God Provided water from a rock at Massah and Meribah, so named because of the quarreling of the people of Israel and because they tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?” That took a lot of courage! He just crushed the Egyptians under great volumes of water. But don’t we sometimes say the same? Moses’s father-in-law gave him guidelines on how to handle disputes. Our government today still resembles the outline he set up. Then the people came to Mount Sinai. I got to walk to the top of Mt. Sinai when I was in Egypt. Quite a hike and quite a sunrise, but now I understand that they believe that might not have been the right Mt. Sinai. Now people believe it is the Mount Sinai in Saudi Arabia. I’m not sure if they really had good maps back in those days, so not sure where Rephidim is located? Then God gave the people the ten commandments.
Application: Sometimes when I read this commandment I feel ashamed. We have all kinds of carved images of angels, and saints, and crosses. There are all types of depictions of Satan even. Then for sure we can’t bow down to them and serve them, which most of us don’t do and wouldn’t think of doing like they did in the past. This idea of God being jealous is so often misunderstood. His jealousy is like that of a lover, jealous that his beloved is off running around on him. Those who hate him will naturally spread that hate from one generation to the next. That is being seen today as we see families not sharing the gospel with their children. But the part that I want to make sure we all see is the last verse. ‘showing STEADFAST love to those who love me and keep my commandments. I often hear people say that the God of the Old Testament was mean. No. He was a God of love then, just as He is a God of love now. The thing is…we need to love Him, and keep His commandments. Throughout the generations, not many can say they have been faithful to do that.
Prayer: Father, almighty, Lord of heaven and earth, creator – sustainer – Banner over us, thank you for the law because knowing it, we know how to love you – obey it. Thank you for your steadfast love. Thank you for sustaining us in these evil times. I pray Lord, that more will come to know you and understand your nature. I pray this in the Precious Name of Jesus Christ.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Exodus 21-22; Psalm 12; Acts 4
Scripture: Acts 2:46-47: “And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
Observation: In Exodus, God parted the sea so the Israelites could cross on dry land, and then closed the waters on top of the Egyptians who were chasing them. Surely they realized after watching such a sight that our God is God of all! Moses and the people sang a song of praise to the Lord. Bitter waters were made sweet at Marah and the Lord started providing daily bread in the form of Manna, which lasted until they entered the Promised Land. In Acts 2, Holy Spirit came as a great wind, and in the forms of tongues of fire. Peter preached his first sermon, and three thousand souls were added to their number in one day (wish I could preach like that).
Application: One thing the early church enjoyed was unified fellowship. Notice it says they had favor with all the people? Earlier it said they had all things in common. I crave that. I wish it were possible for everyone to live in such harmony. I believe what is missing is what we have here in Acts 2. Everyone was filled with Holy Spirit. Everyone devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, communion and prayer. Because of this, they were blessed with signs and wonders. Can we get to that point again? I believe we can.
Prayer: Holy God, we praise your name! Lord of all, we bow before thee. All the earth thy glory proclaim! Father, I do pray for unity in the “Church”. I pray that we can all be so full of the fruits of the Spirit, that just coming together we will be filled with awe and wonder! Lord, I praise you, and I love you, and I look forward to the day when we can all work and worship and fellowship in one accord.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Exodus 17-20; Acts 3