Well, Sisters, we started with Blessed Endings from Broken Beginnings, and we are moving to Power, Purity, and Perseverance! As we begin Exodus, we see that in the last 400 years the descendants of Abraham have grown from 70 people to a nation of 3 million! Wow! God followed through on His covenant to expand Abraham’s family… except they are SLAVES in the very land that saved them so many years ago. Pharaoh is so concerned with the vastness of God’s people that he decides to kill every Hebrew baby boy, but God gifts one mother with amazing courage and a plan. Baby Moses wound up in Pharaoh’s household being trained in the ways of royalty. God not only orchestrated Moses’ survival from the murderous Pharaoh; he arranged for him to receive a royal education that gave him the “inside scoop” on dealing with his ungodly grandfather when he is later called to free his people. Moses learns exactly how the powerful Pharaoh thinks and rules. Watch the details. God goes to an amazing amount of detail to bring His people out of Egypt to the promised land – much like the incredible detail God put into His creation, the flood, and Abraham’s covenant. Power struggle? Only in the mind of Pharaoh! God’s power is never a match for the enemy. The enemy doesn’t fight fair – and he is a formidable foe – BUT GOD….
After the plagues, Passover, the crossing of the Red Sea, and manna from heaven, (whew – don’t miss these exciting chapters!), Moses gets a front-row ticket on Mt. Sinai to meet God. God graciously provides instructions for living in relationship with Him. The 10 Commandments and chapters that follow are actually God’s blueprint for living a pure and holy life. God spoke in thunder and lightning and gave Moses, Aaron, and 70 elders all the laws to help them live in relationship with Him and each other. These folks had just witnessed several miracles of – wait for it – BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS! You’d think living holy and pure would be something they’d desire? Obeying the God who saved them out of 400 years of slavery into freedom – wouldn’t you strive to do as He asked?
So, God went to great detail to set out how to build His dwelling place, the furniture, and even clothes the priests would wear to honor Him in their offerings to keep their lives holy and pure. The people’s response was anything but pure. Sadly, even though Aaron had heard the thunder and had seen the smoke of God on the mountain, he didn’t persist in purity and, with the crowd, created a calf made from the gold/plunder they brought from Egypt. They worshiped this golden calf and threw a party.
The real story in this chapter is the perseverance of a Holy God who loved His people so much, He set aside His righteous wrath and persisted in giving Moses the information needed to construct the Ark of the Covenant – the very place that He would inhabit to allow His Glory to dwell among the people. Moses persevered in overseeing every single part of the plan for building the ark, the lampstands, and curtains to the exact specifications God gave. This time the people brought more gold than was needed to create the splendor of the Tent of Meeting. The people CHOSE to follow God and listen to His voice. Exodus 39:32-42 lists the many physical pieces that God commanded to be built. The Israelites now accepted God’s plan, worked together, and could see with their own eyes the fruition of their work. Moses inspected the work – and when he saw they had done it correctly, he blessed them. Moses persevered in telling God that He had made the right choice in bringing His people out of Egypt and God persisted in His quest for having a relationship with those same people. His people. The creation of His hands from the day He formed Adam.
How will you see the Power, Purity, and Perseverance play out in your life this month as you read Exodus? The struggles haven’t changed. God is still God and humans and sin still exist – BUT – clinging to the ONE who never changes, whether it’s a miracle only you can see or a tangible construct that many may witness, will make a remarkable, life-giving difference in your life.
Happy journey…….Kay Payton
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