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Posts tagged ‘The Exodus’

Israel on alert as locusts hit neighboring Egypt.


JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel is on a locust alert as swarms of the destructive bugs descend on neighboring Egypt ahead of the Passover holiday.

Israel’s Agriculture Ministry set up an emergency hotline Monday and is asking Israelis to be vigilant in reporting locust sightings to prevent an outbreak.

Locusts have a devastating effect on agriculture by quickly stripping crops.

Swarms of locusts have descended on Egypt, raising fears they could spread to Israel.

The locust alert comes ahead of the Passover festival, which recounts the biblical story of the Jewish exodus from Egypt. According to the Bible, a plague of locusts was one of 10 plagues God imposed on Egyptians for enslaving and abusing ancient Hebrews.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By IAN DEITCH | Associated Press

Use Your Stick.


And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord. —Leviticus 27:32

Exodus 14 tells the story of how Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt.

They came to the Red Sea, the mountains were on either side and the Egyptians were pursuing. Moses cried out to God, “What are we going to do?”

God said, “What have I put in your hand?” When Moses replied, “Just a stick,” God responded by saying, “Use it!”

It was no ordinary stick that God had put in Moses’ hand.

It was anointed.

Anything anointed of God has miracle-working power.

Many of you are hemmed in with credit cards on one side, car payments on the other and the bank pursuing—but you have a stick.

God says, “Use your stick.

Sow the ten dollars of the one hundred dollars you made this week that I have sanctified for your deliverance from financial bondage.”

Use what you have for the Lord.

It may not be much, but it will be enough.

Little is much in His hands.

Whatever the Lord has put into your hand, use it for Him.

Lord, I commit myself to using whatever
You give me for Your purposes and glory
in Jesus’ name. Amen.

By ROD PARSLEY.

Are You Taking God For Granted?.


 “Then the Lord’s anger was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him dead because of this. So Uzzah died right there beside the Ark of God.” 2 Samuel 6:7

My wife and I have been married for sixteen years. But, to my own embarrassment, there have been times when I have taken her for granted.

There have been times when I have become so familiar with her that I have been insensitive to her needs and wants.

Just as it is not healthy to take our spouses for granted, David would say, it is not healthy to take God for granted.
In 2 Samuel 6:1-15 David desired to unite the nation spiritually, so he went to retrieve the ark of God from Kiriath Jearim, where it had been for over twenty-five years.

They transported the ark on a new cart. It was classy and convenient.

As they transported the ark, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah, reached out, with good intentions, to stabilize the ark.

When he touched it, God’s judgment broke out against him and he died. So, David became angry at and afraid of God, and he decided to abandon the mission.

Could it be that God responded with such drastic measures because David took Him for granted by either ignoring God’s standards or failing to inquire of God as to how he should transport the ark (Exodus 25:14).

He assumed he knew and that God would approve. With this failure, David had begun to trifle with God’s holiness.

This dramatic episode reminds us of several truths.

1) We must do God’s work God’s way to secure God’s blessings. This narrative reveals how God feels about us placing our preferences ahead of his purposes.

2) Obedience to God’s specific will is more important than good intentions. Coming close to doing God’s will is not enough.

Let’s pay close attention to our relationship with God, lest privilege become presumption. May we approach him with awe and according to his revealed will!

Read Isaiah 6:1-8; Exodus 3:1-6 and meditate and answer the following questions.

1. In what ways have you trifled with God’s holiness?
2. What do you need to change in order to approach God with a greater sense of awe and reverence?
3. How have you seen your obedience lead to blessings and freedom?

Scripture Of The Day: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” – Isaiah 6:3 (NIV)

By Pastor Marvin Williams.

The Daughters’ Inheritance


little girlGod gives His girls equality—and has commissioned them to take territory for His kingdom.

Most Israelites who traveled through the Sinai desert with Moses probably knew about the daughters of Zelophehad. While other women hid inside tents and covered themselves head to foot with heavy veils, these girls—Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah—defied the patriarchal system of their day and earned a special place in biblical history.

We rarely hear sermons about Zelophehad’s daughters today, even though they are mentioned in the Bible five times (see Num. 26:33; 27:1-7; 36:1-12; 1 Chr. 7:15; Josh. 17:1-6). Maybe this is because many church leaders simply don’t want to empower women or are afraid to. But it is time we unlocked these women’s secret for a new generation.

God’s daughters must understand who they are, how their heavenly Father views them, and what He has commissioned them to do in His kingdom. The daughters’ portion must be claimed.

You may have been told that women have only second-class status in the church, or that your role is limited because of your gender. You may have even been told that women are less valuable to God, or less useful. But the Bible contradicts this view.

In fact, the Old Testament contains several accounts of daughters who were empowered and given their full inheritance—in an age when boys were preferred over girls, and women had no civil rights. The stories of these daughters are recorded in Scripture so that you, too, will muster the courage to claim your inheritance.

FIVE PIONEER WOMEN

At a time when most women in Israel lived like prisoners in polygamous households, the daughters of Zelophehad must have spent lots of time outside their tent. They were curious. They had a zest for life. And they refused to be confined by the limitations of their culture.

Why did they think differently from other women of that era? My theory is that their parents offered these girls overwhelming validation and encouragement. Zelophehad, who had no sons, must have decided after his first daughter was born that he was content to raise a houseful of women. He recognized their value. He was generous with his affection and instilled in his daughters a powerful sense of personal destiny.

Zelophehad probably showered his daughters with gifts, held them in his lap after dinner and told them stories about the exodus from Egypt while he tucked them into bed. They knew their daddy loved them, and his affirmation nurtured a sense of empowerment.

I can imagine these playful girls dancing and singing next to their father’s goat pens as they did their chores. Their ankle bracelets jingling as they skipped past the tents in Manasseh’s encampment.

Neighbors might have even complained about all the giggling that came from Zelophehad’s household. They may have shouted to Zelophehad’s wife, “Tell those girls to be quiet!”

But these girls were not easily silenced. They were God-ordained troublemakers. They would soon make history.

As the girls blossomed into women, their confidence grew. They must have started talking among themselves about the problems with patriarchy, finally asking the most forbidden questions: “Why don’t the women have any privileges around here? Why can’t women own land? Why can’t we get an inheritance when we cross the Jordan?”

The Bible tells us that after Zelophehad’s death, his daughters went to Moses and made a daring proposal: “‘Why should the name of our father be withdrawn from among his family because he had no son? Give us a possession among our father’s brothers'” (Num. 27:4, NASB).

We can’t even begin to imagine how bold and audacious this request was. Women in Israel did not ask for rights. Yet the daughters of Zelophehad risked their reputations by approaching the leader of their nation and asking for something revolutionary.

What is most remarkable is that Moses took their request seriously and sought God about it. Most church leaders who restrict women’s involvement in ministry don’t pray about this issue at all. They simply consult their denominational policies and traditions and decree, “No women in the pulpit. Women can’t teach men. Women can’t lead anything.” Then they reinstate man-made rules that quench the Holy Spirit.

But Moses asked God, and God had a surprising reply: “‘The daughters of Zelophehad are right in their statements. You shall surely give them a hereditary possession among their father’s brothers, and you shall transfer the inheritance of their father to them'” (Num. 27:7).

In that moment, God contradicted centuries of prejudice and wrong-headed tradition. He made it clear that in His kingdom, women are not afterthoughts or appendages. They have equal value with men and full rights to His benefits.

A DAUGHTER’S DOUBLE PORTION

Hidden in another Old Testament book is the story of Achsah, the daughter of Caleb (see Josh. 15:16-19). Like Zelophehad’s daughters, this daring young woman also claimed territory in the land of Canaan.

Can you imagine what it would have been like to grow up in the household of Caleb, one of Israel’s champions of faith? The giants who ruled Canaan did not intimidate this man—and I suspect he imparted that same fearlessness to this young girl.

The Bible tells us that when Caleb inherited his territory in the land of Judah, his daughter approached him with a bold proposal: She asked him for land in a day when women were not considered worthy of owning anything.

But the story does not stop there. Achsah said to her father: “‘Give me a blessing; since you have given me the land of the Negev, give me also springs of water'” (v. 19). Caleb, not one to deny his little girl anything, gave her “the upper and the lower springs.”

Achsah had spunk. She wasn’t satisfied with the status quo. Not only did she ask for land, she asked for more! She pressed forward until she got the water necessary to turn the dry desert into a garden.

Why is this obscure passage included in the Scriptures? I believe the Holy Spirit has woven a subtle theme throughout the Bible, pointing to the fact that redeemed women who have been set free from the curse of sin will inherit the kingdom. They will not live on the sidelines while men partake of heaven’s blessings. They will not be penalized from full participation in the church simply because of gender.

Today, God is calling women of faith to arise and claim land for Him. He is looking for women who have a giant-killing mentality. Dare I say it? He is looking for women with an apostolic spirit—women whose burden for souls weighs so heavy that they cannot rest until the whole earth has been filled with His glory.

God wants women who are not content to simply work in the nursery and lead women’s luncheons. (Nothing against the nursery, but the church has lost so much of its power by limiting women’s gifts to domestic functions.) It is time for women to shake loose from the trappings of religious culture and step into their full potential.

Women can still work in the nursery or the kitchen (as can men, since all of us are called to be servants). But they can also plant churches, disciple new believers, counsel the addicted, heal the sick, perform miracles, cast out devils, own and run successful businesses, feed the poor, hold political office and transform nations for Christ. There is so much territory to be claimed.

Perhaps you did not know you could ask for nations. Perhaps you did not realize that God has a role for you to play in the evangelization of the world. As you get to know the Father more intimately, you will come to understand that He is eager to give you more when you are willing to ask for it.

A Beautiful Company of Women There is yet a third Old Testament reference to daughters who claimed their inheritance. They are the daughters of Job—Jemimah, Keziah and Keren-happuch—who are described as the most beautiful women in the land (see Job 42:12-15).

Job must have had special affection for these girls. After all, he had lost all 10 of his original children years earlier when a storm destroyed his house. When God restored Job’s fortunes, and gave him double for all that had been taken from him, Job had 10 more children. It is interesting to note that the Bible says Job had seven sons and three daughters—and then it provides the names of the girls only.

Then Job 42:15 says: “In all the land no women were found so fair as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them inheritance among their brothers.”

Why are only the daughters’ names mentioned? Why is there a reference to the girls’ beauty? And why are we told that they were given an inheritance?

Again, the Holy Spirit is showing us God’s heart for women. Although men have abused, marginalized and oppressed women—even in the church—God will have the last word on this subject. This passage in Job, one of the oldest books of the Bible, offers a glimpse into the last days. It signifies a day when women who are empowered by the Holy Spirit will be fully restored to their place of spiritual authority.

Like Job, human beings were stripped of their dignity and spiritual power because of sin. But when Jesus Christ purchased redemption at Calvary, His blood not only paid the full price for our transgressions, it also broke the power of shame, guilt and oppression off of women. It made them beautiful again, and restored to them the right to their spiritual inheritance.

Do you know that the Lord sees you as beautiful? Perhaps your self-image has been marred by life’s disappointments and tragedies.

Many women struggle to find their identity in Christ because of sexual molestation, domestic abuse or the shame of abortion or fornication. Don’t let the mistakes of the past or the wounds inflicted by people stop you from gaining your inheritance. God calls you beautiful. He can take your filthy rags and give you a new wardrobe—one of righteousness and purity. Regardless of the pain of your past, He has a glorious future planned for you.

CLAIM YOUR PORTION

God has placed a passion in my heart to see women take their full place in the church and society. Perhaps that’s because I have four daughters of my own.

As soon as my first daughter, Margaret, was born 25 years ago, I realized that girls are special. So my wife and I kept having more. Meredith was born in 1987. Gloria arrived two years later. Charlotte came along in 1992. Four girls in seven years!

I tell people that I have been drowning in a sea of estrogen since the day we brought that first baby girl into our home. But I have no regrets. I know that the Father does not look at girls as inferior.

He did not make them to serve as appendages to men. He created women with unique callings that must be released in full potential.

Most of my income today is being spent on my daughters’ college education, and more probably will be spent on their weddings. I could never deny my daughters any good gift. How much more is the Father willing to lavish His blessings, spiritual gifts and empowering grace on His girls?

Although you may have experienced gender prejudice, this tragic attitude does not reflect the Father’s heart for you. He longs to give you the kingdom.

By J. Lee Grady.

Passover: A Time for Spiritual Cleansings.


During the last several weeks, the regular weekly reading of the Torah was accompanied by a series of special readings, starting with Parshat Shekalim that announces the annual obligation to pay the ritual half shekel tax for the maintenance of the Temple.
In so doing, these readings proclaim that this year’s holy season of Passover has begun.

In practical terms, in every Jewish home, this is the time to clean house. Chametz, or leavening, permitted throughout the year, suddenly becomes a thing of dread-forbidden in any quantity.

At an increasing pace, culminating on the night before Passover, Jewish households search out even the smallest speck of Chametz and cast it out.

This week, a neighbor removed the seats and mats from his car, practically to the rocker panels, thoroughly cleaning all traces of cookies, chips, and cake left by his children to and from school.

Most of us, however, wait until after Purim. Purim provides an opportunity to get rid of lots of Chametz-cakes, cookies, pasta, cereal, whiskey-anything with aleavening agent has got to go.

We even give it away to our neighbors as “gifts of food”. This is a perfect time for a celebration because, at least in my house, after Purim it all gets tossed.

The dietary restriction on eating leavened products extends beyond “bread” per se, and attaches to the active ingredient, the leavening agent referred to as Chametz.

Often defined as a souring or fermenting ingredient in food, Chametz is permitted throughout the year in everything. From noon on the day before Passover begins, continuing for the next seven days, Chametz becomes forbidden.

Moreover, the prohibition of Chametz is not just with respect to food items but with anything with which Chametz has come in contact.

Pots, pans, utensils, shelves, storage bins, computer keyboards, clothing, and any location where family members are likely to take food made with leavening requires thorough cleaning.

Spiritual Cleansing

From a spiritual perspective, this period of time before the Holy Festival of Passover, a time of preparation, is itself sacred .

Holy times demand some sort of spiritual separation from everyday work and play. To demarcate the approach of sacred space and time, it is necessary to prepare our households as well as our selves.

Perhaps this is the reason that Chametz is invested with so much meaning and interpretation. More than simply a thing, Chametz is a process. At the surface level, Chametz is the process of fermentation when moisture comes in contact with grain and grain products.

It is a souring agent that has many wonderful properties: one causes bread to rise and another improves the flavor of that combination of flour, water, oil, and salt.

Yet, Chametz is also associated with craving and excess. During sacred time and space, the goal is to pull back from personal desires and drives and focus on the spiritual side of existence.

While fermentation creates wine, too much produces vinegar-in Hebrew, the lengthening of the vowel “a” transforms Chametz to Chometz-vinegar.

My wife’s view is that adding Chametz to bread causes it to swell symbolic of pride, an ingredient in daily life that a little goes a long way. In small doses, pride manifests as self esteem; too much pride becomes arrogance-a souring agent in any social setting.

During Passover, however, through eating the Bread of Affliction, we learn from the poor, who are without pride, in order to acquire a taste for humility.

Separation from Idol Worship

Underlying all of the explanations for the Passover process there remains one central question: Why do we celebrate the Passover? Rabbi Yeshayahu Horowitz, the author of the book The Two Tablets of the Covenant, directs our attention to Exodus 34: 17-18.

You shall make for yourself no molten gods. The Feast of Unleavened Bread shall you keep. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, in the time of the month Aviv; for in the month Aviv you came out from Egypt.

That pretty much covers it. Keep the Feast of Unleavened bread for seven days in the spring to remember the Exodus because I, God, told you to do so. Clear? But, why is the prohibition of molten idols included with the observance of Passover? What is the association between idol worship and Chametz?

Return to God

At the core of Jewish life is the centrality of God. It is the first of the Ten Sayings.

I am the Lord your God, who have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of servitude. You shall have no other gods before me. [Exodus 20: 2-3]

Anything that stands between God and each of us represents a barrier to our relationship with God. The very act of creating or molding things, actions, ideas, even our emotions into focal points that absorb our attention away from the Divine Presence is idol worship pure and simple.

Among the reasons for the Exodus was, and still remains, our separation from idols and false gods.

When the quest for the material things in life, such as position, tenure, or fame, absorbs us so completely that we no longer see our way to God’s gift of life, then we have created an idol as vile as the Golden Calf.

It is that taste, not of the forbidden, but of excess, that is the message of this season. Just as we can make things holy, like Shabbat, we make things horrific.

The choice is ours. Turn away or return to God’s way. How do we do this? Well, we can start by casting out Chametz and watching with what we seek to fill our mouths.

By Rabbi Daniel Jackson.

Here Am I:


We must shut ourselves off from the world and give Him our full attention.

And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses.

And he said, Here am I. Exodus 3:4

When Moses came alone to the mountain of God and encountered a bush that burned but was not consumed, he did not leave to research burning bushes nor did he try to locate someone to question who had experienced the same phenomenon.

He did not ask other people what they thought God wanted to tell him.

Moses turned his focus toward the bush.

Because Moses had his eyes fixed on God and his ears open to God’s voice, God called out to him.

God is continually calling us to turn aside and listen to His voice.

He is never silent, but we cannot hear Him over the television, the tape player, or our own voices.

We must shut ourselves off from the world and give Him our full attention.

James 4:8 says, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.

” Take time for God.

Seek Him in His Word.

Like Moses, fix your eyes on God, open your ears to His voice and say, “Here am I.”

Jesus, I long to say to You, “Here am I.”
Visit me with Your presence.

Rapture my soul with joy.

Be my most intimate friend. Amen.

By ROD PARSLEY.

Book of Exodus.


Introduction to the Book of Exodus

Book of Exodus:

The book of Exodus details God‘s call to the people of Israel to get up and leave their position of slavery in Egypt. Exodus records more miracles of God than any other book in the Old Testament. God rescues and delivers his people as he guides them into the unfamiliar desert. There God institutes his system of laws, gives instruction in worship and establishes his people as the nation of Israel. Exodus is a book of tremendous spiritual significance.

Author of the Book of Exodus:

Moses.

Date Written:

1450-1410 B.C.

Written To:

The people of Israel and the people of God for all generations to come.

Landscape of the Book of Exodus:

Exodus begins in Egypt where the people of God have been living in slavery to Pharaoh. As God delivers the Israelites, they move into the desert by way of the Red Sea and eventually come to Mount Sinai in the Sinai Peninsula

Themes in the Book of Exodus:

There are several significant themes in the book of Exodus. Israel’s slavery is a picture of man’s slavery to sin. Ultimately only through God’s divine guidance and leadership can we escape our slavery to sin. However, God also directed the people through the godly leadership of Moses. Typically God also leads us into freedom through wise leadership and through his word.The people of Israel had been crying out to God for deliverance. He was concerned about their suffering and he rescued them. Yet Moses and the people had to exercise courage to obey and follow God.

Once free and living in the desert, the people complained and began to yearn for the familiar days of Egypt. Often the unfamiliar freedom that comes when we follow and obey God, feels uncomfortable and even painful at first. If we trust God he will lead us into our promised land.

The institution of the law and the Ten Commandments in Exodus reveals the emphasis and importance of choice and responsibility in God’s kingdom. God blesses obedience and punishes disobedience.

Key Characters in the Book of Exodus:

Moses, Aaron, Miriam, Pharaoh, Pharaoh’s daughter, Jethro, Joshua.

Key Verses:

    Exodus 3:7-10
    The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey … And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” (NIV)
    Exodus 3:14-15
    God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ “God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God ofAbraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation. (NIV)
    Exodus 4:10-11
    Moses said to the LORD, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”The LORD said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? (NIV)

Outline of the Book of Exodus:

  • Israel Enslaved in Egypt – Exodus 1:1-22
  • God Chooses Moses – Exodus 2:1-4:31
  • God Sends Moses to Pharaoh – Exodus 5:1-7:13
  • The Plagues – Exodus 7:14-11:10
  • The Passover – Exodus 12:1-30
  • The Exodus from Egypt – Exodus 12:31-13:16
  • Crossing the Red Sea – Exodus 13:17-15:21
  • Complaining in the Desert – Exodus 15:22-18:27
  • The Ten Commandments and the Giving of the Law – Exodus 19:1-24:18
  • The Tabernacle Instructions – Exodus 25:1-31:18
  • Breaking the Law – Exodus 32:1-34:35
  • Tabernacle Construction – Exodus 35:1-40:38

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