Names: Intro to Moses

 

After recently seeing the movie Exodus in theaters.  I realized that I have filmed several videos on this topic.  As I was compiling them, I realized, this video was filmed, yet never published.   I hope you enjoy this look at the early part of Exodus filmed in Iraq.   With various scenes from where I was stationed.  I am putting together a set of videos filmed on the Story of Moses.  (More on this later).

As the book of Genesis transitions to Exodus, we are introduced several names.

This video highlights two Egyptian midwives, “Shiphrah and Puah” and a baby found in the river named “Moses.”

What is God doing and what can we learn as we begin the book of Exodus? 

 

What’s So Good about Good Friday

What’s so good about “Good Friday?” after all it’s the depiction   of the worst death a man can endure.  For the Roman soldiers were experts in humiliating and torturing their victims and this particular Friday the condemned had already suffered numerous beatings.   So what’s so good about seeing a bloodied, tortured, mutilated, and naked body hanging on a cross on Friday morning?  Furthermore, why would the victim who seemed to have all the power at His disposal months prior is allowing Himself to be treated this way?

In order for us to understand this scenario we need to go to the beginning of time and comprehend what let Him to this point in time. 

God creates man and woman and they were perfect.  Their relationship with each other and God was amazing.  Notice how the Bible describes them:  “The man and his wife were both naked, but they were not ashamed.” (Genesis 2:25)  Naked, with no sin, no shame, no problems!  But unfortunately disobedience births sin which results in brokenness between all the parties involved; Man, Woman, and God are now alienated.  Genesis 3:9-11 describes this terrible situation in this manner:  9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 The man replied, “I heard you moving about in the orchard, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.” 11 And the Lord God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”  For the first time in the creation story we see man ashamed of being naked.  Interesting to note that God makes mention to the nakedness that man and woman feel.   Disobedience has now caused two things to occur which God never intended for man to feel, ashamed and fearful.

So how does God bring a solution to this epic problem that man has put himself in?  God created us to be in communion with Him, in other words, He created us for Himself and now we are separated due to sin.  Our first father Adam failed miserably and because of his failure we are all destined to die.  What would be the plan?  2 Cor. 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.  The plan was a simple but yet complex.  The first Adam failed so there was a need to send a second Adam that will deliver the world from their sins and reconcile them back to God.  The complexity of it all is that it would have to be the Son of God since only The Creator can save the created.  1 Cor. 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

The apostle Paul sums it up well when he writes:

6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 (For rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person perhaps someone might possibly dare to die.) 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous by his blood, we will be saved through him from God’s wrath. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by his life? 11 Not only this, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation.  (Romans 5:6-11)

So what’s so good about “Good Friday?”  In one word, RECONCILIATION!   Jesus while hanging on the cross was reconciling the world to himself.   While the first Adam hid naked and ashamed from his sin Jesus, the second Adam, showed the world that he is not afraid to hang naked and be ashamed for our sins.  He loves us so much that “He would rather go to hell for you than go to heaven without you.” – Max Lucado.  It’s all about relationship.  God desires to finish what he started in creation and through Jesus we are now reconciled and made anew in Him.  So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.  1 Cor. 15:45

THANK YOU JESUS FOR OVERCOMING FEAR, SHAME, AND GIVING US A NEW LIFE IN YOU. 

THANK YOU FOR MAKING AND ORDINARY FRIDAY INTO A  GOOD FRIDAY!

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Stinky Fruit

Proverbs 10:31-32

Do you know people who just “spill their guts” when they get around others? After a few minutes they have told you deep dark secrets you didn’t even want to know! These people have poor boundaries. They haven’t learned what pieces of information about their lives are for public consumption and what should be kept for a small circle of close friends.

If you learn to listen well, people can’t help but tell you their story. Even if they want to hide, they will tell you what is going on in their lives. Even their silence tells you something about them.

So why did I tell you this fact? Our verses today contrast what a wise and a foolish person say. Jesus summarized this by saying “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34) What is there comes out. What we have taken in spills out when pressure is applied.

The righteous person has eaten lots of wisdom. The wisdom has taken root and grown. The wisdom has matured the person, and when they speak fruit comes out. Their life produces a crop of wisdom fruit.

I love landscaping. You can cut off the new growth from a shrub, plant it in the right soil, keep it moist and you will have hundreds of little shrubs in no time. Or you take the seeds and plant them and up come more shrubs. There is a whole science to this process, and when it works it is fantastic! You break up the soil, add the right mixture of compost, plant the shrub, mulch it to preserve the moisture and stop the weeds, and after a few years the abundance of growth is explosive.

The shrubs do what God designed them to do. They grow and produce their fruit. The same thing happens with us. When we put in wisdom, out comes fruit. Wisdom trains the mouth. It puts a filter on what gets said to whom.

Not so those who have ignored wisdom. Their mouth puts forth perverse words and ideas. Their fruit is rotten and stinky. Their words and ideas are twisted by their rejection of God’s wisdom. God says “turn right” and they have chosen to “turn left.” So everything they say comes out a bit crooked.

Are you taking in wisdom and allowing it to take root and grow?

Grumpy

Proverbs 10:27-30

In an age with an increased focus on the costs of healthcare, our verse might sound like a solution. But we are a pill culture. If you go to the doctor, they will give you a pill as the solution. So if we could put the LORD in a pill, our society might take it!

As we read verse 27, we must remember that this is a general principle, not an absolute rule. Some wicked people live long lives. Some righteous people die young. But as a general rule, following the LORD will lengthen our lives. Studies have shown this. And it makes sense. If we don’t abuse alcohol, chances are we will die younger. If we have areas lacking discipline, it does shorten our life.

I have found that people who love the LORD are happier. Guess what, studies have shown the same thing! The outcome of obedience is joy. When we do what we know we should do, the inner conflicts subside. Contentment takes over. The struggle and strife resolve. And obedience is a healthy choice.

But the wicked don’t have this. I am sure you know some people who seem to get increasingly bitter as they get older. The older they get, the more people want to avoid being with them. Like the movie Grumpy Old Men, even the grumpiest can have moments of likeability. We often excuse their grumpiness, putting up with the rough edges and rotten core.

I don’t mind that people think I use God as a crutch. I am a cripple! My moral compass is broken. My ability to stay upright is set on “fall” mode. But thanks be to God who leads me in triumph! Because of what He has done, I now have the ability to choose to do the right thing with the right motive at the right time. I can be obedient.

The wicked are not so fortunate. They are stuck on “fall” mode. They may occasionally stumble on a correct outcome, but their motive isn’t the glory of God. In fact, if they knew they would bring glory to God by the choice, many of them would choose some other alternative out of rebellion.

Campfire

Proverbs 10:26

Growing up around camp fires, I learned to always try to sit upwind rather than downwind. On nights when the wind was gentle, the smoke would often shift without much notice catching us and stinging our eyes. Squinting helped, but nothing really took away the sting. But event the sting didn’t stop us from sitting around and poking, cooking marsh mellows and listening to the crackle.

We all have someone in our lives who gets lots of eye-rolls when they let us down again. They just can’t seem to rise to any challenge, even when given many chances to do so. They consistently fail to carry out even the most fundamental tasks. Their word is worthless. They promise, but never come through on their word.

We notice this most when we have “given them one more chance” one more time. We trusted them again in hopes that “this time will be different,” but it wasn’t. And they don’t really get how much it hurts us when they let us down. We really want them to succeed. In fact, we probably want it more than they do! Maybe that is part of the problem. We want their success more than they want it. We have more invested in them than they have invested in themselves. We care more than they care.

Our text tells us it is like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes. Neither of these experiences is pleasant. Each has its own pain. Once we have been hit by either feeling, we try to avoid it in the future. The burning is something you want to avoid.

So what is our text trying to tell us? Is it saying that we should not extend grace to those who let us down, the sluggards in our lives? I think it is telling us two things.

First, expect the disappointment if you extend grace. Don’t let it take you by surprise. One way of doing this is to not expect anything in return. Instead of lending money, give it freely without any obligation. If it is given this way, when it isn’t returned, you had no expectation of the return so you are not disappointed.

Second, and perhaps a more painful lesson is that you might have to let them fall. Rescuing them has not worked. If you don’t want the pain if disappointment, don’t extend the help. Give the grace of natural consequences. Let them experience the pain of their laziness. Don’t listen to their guilt-trips and emotional manipulation.

Ketchup Packet

Proverbs 10:18-21

Have you ever stepped on a ketchup packet from a fast food restaurant? Splat! Out comes the contents in all their glory. You can’t really predict exactly how that ketchup is going come out, what pattern it will make. You know your foot is going down, but after that it is a mystery.

Our texts today talk about what we say with several different word pictures. As we read we can see the contrast between the righteous and the fool, a constant theme here in Proverbs.

Verses 18 and 19 bring to mind the small child with mommy’s makeup all over her face. “Did you get into mommy’s makeup?” “No.” Do you know who did?” And on goes the story. She begins to weave a tale that gets more and more unbelievable with every spin. And all the while, the evidence is right on her face.

Hatred can’t be hidden forever. It will squirt out at an unplanned moment. It often takes the form of slander, saying negative things about the other person in order to color their reputation. And the more words that get spoken, the more the sin is multiplied. Lies lead to more lies. It is better to just shut up and accept the consequences.

In contrast to these lies, the righteous speak words that have great value, a value that will last. You can bank on the words of a righteous person. They won’t change their story over time. Don’t you hate it when you count on someone’s word and then they let you down!

A righteous person nurtures those around them. Their words build up those who hear. This is in contrast to the drain that liars bring everywhere they go. Since you can’t trust what they say, you have to constantly make alternative plans, making up for their deficiency. This is especially true in the lives of addicts and abusers. Their lives become disappointment after disappointment. Little league games, concerts, birthdays, anniversaries, groceries, rent, utilities. Their word means nothing. It has no value.

Now, before you quit life, God has the power to redeem our lives. He paid the price so that we could truly start over and get it right this time. Today we can be honest with our words. But it will take the power of God to break the habit of lying. If you could do it yourself, you would have done it years ago. Ask for His help, and then step out and tell the truth each time you are tempted to lie. Pray that He will open your eyes to the lie before it exits your mouth.

Choice Theory

Proverbs 10:17

We are all leaders. Some of us lead many people, some just a few, but we are all leading. Anyone who is a parent, or who was parented knows this. Kids do what their parents do, good or bad. The first time your kid swears it hits you: they learned that from listening to me. Their facial expressions, the way they eat and talk, they learn it from you, if you are around.

Being a good leader requires doing the right thing, learning from mistakes and doing it consistently. This part of learning from mistakes falls under the heading of discipline. We all know kids who were disciplined, but they didn’t change their behavior. They repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Perhaps we are that kid. Perhaps we are that adult! Discipline should be measured so that the pain fits the crime, both in content and in severity. If they didn’t clean their room, cleaning should be the discipline. All other fun activities are taken away until the cleaning gets done, and done to standard.

When we learn from discipline we are choosing life. The quality of life is determined by our choices. And the life that matters is not the physical beating of our hearts and brain waves, but a connection to the eternal God. This life lasts beyond physical death. In fact, it is the only thing that matters.

When we ignore discipline’s lessons, we choose to separate ourselves from God and from others.

What choice are you making when discipline comes?