A Healthy Reverence Towards God
Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape candidates sit on logs while they prepare goat meat during the Familiarization phase of SERE training. The 10-day familiarization training takes place in the Callispell National Forest and teaches candidates the basics of survival in the wilderness. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Emerald Ralston)

A Healthy Reverence Towards God

He got up early the next morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 Then he sent young Israelite men, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as fellowship offerings to the Lord. 6 Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and the other half he splashed against the altar. 7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.”

8 Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.” Exodus 24:5-8

At this point, Moses had spoken with the Lord God Almighty numerous times. It would be easy for Moses to get careless about his relationship and treat it like any other relationship.

I recall many years ago I was in Survival School training. Officers and enlisted were paired together to do what we had to do to survive in the outdoors. We were on a first name basis with those who we were partnered with. In the field we were casual, but among other people it was more formal. I had forgotten that informal code of conduct, and I called my buddy by his first name when we were with a lot of other people. I had forgotten where I was and who I was with. He took me aside and gently rebuked me because I had slightly embarrassed him.

Moses never adopted a careless attitude towards God.

God was God, and Moses wasn’t.

So, even as Moses prepared yet again to speak with God, he made the appropriate preparations.

Do we take God as seriously as we should?

Do we revere Him as the Creator of the Universe?

Do we respect Him enough to come to Him often?

Only you and I can answer those questions honestly.

If we need to alter our behavior towards Him, now is the time to do that.

Continue Reading A Healthy Reverence Towards God

Moses, Aaron and 72 Elders

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. You are to worship at a distance, 2 but Moses alone is to approach the Lord; the others must not come near. And the people may not come up with him.”

3 When Moses went and told the people all the Lord’s words and laws, they responded with one voice, “Everything the Lord has said we will do.” 4 Moses then wrote down everything the Lord had said. Exodus 24:1-4

This time a total of 74 people went up on the mountain, but still Moses would get the best seat in the house!

It’s apparent that Moses broadcase more laws to the people when he went down again. Even though the people said they would do what the Lord asked, history tells us a very different story. They probably believed it at the time, but they would later break most if not all of the laws the Lord laid down.

Seventy-four people would now experience the Glory of God up close. We wonder what it would be like to be Moses, and then Aaron, and now these other 72. What would it be like to be chosen to actually get a chance to go up the mountain?

Hallelujah, we can experience the glory of God every day if we choose. We have access to God the Father through the Son of God. We no longer have to wonder what it’s like; we can know firsthand.

The only question remains, why don’t we experience it?

Continue Reading Moses, Aaron and 72 Elders

Their Enemies are Confused

20 “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him. 22 If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you. 23 My angel will go ahead of you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites, and I will wipe them out. 24 Do not bow down before their gods or worship them or follow their practices. You must demolish them and break their sacred stones to pieces. 25 Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, 26 and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.

27 “I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run. 28 I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way. 29 But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.

31 “I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the desert to the Euphrates River. I will give into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out before you. 32 Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods. 33 Do not let them live in your land or they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you.” Exodus 23:20-33

More than 3000 years after this was written, the nation of Israel is still plagued by its enemies.

Their minds are obviously confused because they can’t accept that Israel just might do things right. Two significant things come to mind. South Africa had a shortage of clean water, so Israel offered to help them build desalination plants. South Africa as you may recall is surrounded by water. This nation should not be having a water shortage. Government officials refused to accept the assistance, so their fresh water levels were dangerously low for months last summer.

Their hatred of all things Jewish is causing the country to suffer greatly.

The second event is that Israel is very close to a vaccine for the coronavirus epidemic. I haven’t heard the complaints yet, but it’s only a matter of time before governments refuse to buy the solution from Israel.

For a tiny nation, Israel has been very blessed with wisdom and knowledge that they are more than willing to share with the world.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure.” Psalm 122:6

Continue Reading Their Enemies are Confused

Of Celebrations and Festivals

14 “Three times a year you are to celebrate a festival to me.

15 “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread; for seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Aviv, for in that month you came out of Egypt.

“No one is to appear before me empty-handed.

16 “Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field.

“Celebrate the Festival of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in your crops from the field.

17 “Three times a year all the men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord.

18 “Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast.

“The fat of my festival offerings must not be kept until morning.

19 “Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the Lord your God.

“Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk. Exodus 23:14-19

Three Festivals.come alongside the Sabbath day of rest.

They were times when the entire commmunity would leave their hard work to come together to celebrate.

God knows that some have a tendency to overwork. It’s true now and it was true then. So, the Lord is forcing them again to take a break from what they were doing.

He’s forcing them to celebrate God’s goodness to them.

  • Unleavened bread would remind them of what they escaped;
  • Harvest would remind them to sacrifice their firstfruits;
  • and Ingathering would remind them of the Lord’s bounty.

Even though we don’t celebrate these three festivals today as Christians, we can certainly appreciate them.

Most churches and Believers celebrate communion regularly to remember what He’s done, so we do stop and reminded ourselves of its importance. It’s not as flashy and celebratory as one of their Festivals probably was, but gives us time to reflect.

Continue Reading Of Celebrations and Festivals

On Keeping the Sabbath

10 “For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, 11 but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what is left. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.

12 “Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and so that the slave born in your household and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed.

13 “Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips. Exodus 23:10-13

Keeping the Sabbath or setting aside one day of doing nothing was very important then for the Hebrews and for Jews today.

We’ve overcomplicated it. When preachers have to work on Sundays, it’s hard to teach that you shouldn’t work on Sundays.

The preachers I know take at least a day off during the week. One even takes off Tuesday since Monday is a “down” day for him. He wants to be up so he spends a better day with his family on Tuesday.

Of course we are no longer under the law as Believers, but God was very intentional about including this day off each week.

The Western world is spoiled in that we are often given two days off each week, but we’re so busy during those days off that we need a day off just to rest up from our two days off.

What would it look like to just turn off the TV, Internet, and all non-essential electronics for one day a week? Go cold turkey for a day a week

Could you do it?

If not, we have a problem. If yes, then why haven’t we done it? We all sense it would be a great thing for us to do, so why not?

Continue Reading On Keeping the Sabbath