Exodus 1:7 Waxing Mighty

As I read this first chapter of Exodus (the departure) there are two themes that are suggested to my mind and which bring blessing to my heart. The first of them is introduced by the word multipliedwhich occurs three times. It was the multiplication of the children of Israel which both indicated the blessing of God and at the same time brought them into great trials and hardships. The new Pharaoh had no appreciation for Joseph who had passed off the scene nor did he remember all the blessings that his nation had experienced because of him. How quickly things changed and do for us sometimes as well. In favor one minute, out of favor the next. Loved and appreciated then suddenly ignored and forgotten. Aren't we glad knowing that our God is never like that!

God had said to Adam, be fruitful and multiply and that is exactly what was happening there in Egypt as 70 souls developed into a mighty host, so much so that the king feared them and sought to curtail their growth. The more he "afflicted them however, the more they multiplied and grew" (v.12). It is always exciting when God blesses and multiplies the seed sown and increases the fruits of righteousness (II Cor.9:10). In Acts the disciples, the churches and the Word of God all multiplied (6:7; 9:31 & 12:24).

I have a pastor friend in Canada who raised a large family. Brother Jones tells me he now has 50 grandchildren and I can tell that they are the joy of his heart. The extent of the fruits of righteousness this one couple will have produced will only be known in glory and I can hardly wait to hear that statistics from our Father records.

Two shining lights stand out and against the backdrop of Israel's later experience of bitterness and bondage in Egypt, and they provide the basis for our closing theme. We might call these two women Glisten and Glitter for this is the meaning of their names. They still shine from the pages of God's word for having done what they did and for their part in the multiplication process, God "made them houses." Again, we have to wait until we get to heaven to find out exactly what this implies but I just know that right now, they too, are having the time of their lives! Isn't it exciting to be a part of God's Eternal Purpose!

Exodus 2:3 Moses' Ark

Jochebed, Moses' mother was his father Amram's aunt (Amram's father's sister (6:20). She was a daughter of Levi (Num.26:59) and therefore, she was not only Moses' mother but was also his great aunt. There were certainly some interesting combinations back in those early days and since the race was young and its blood purer they were allowed.

Both Moses' father and mother are credited by the author of Hebrews to have been people of faith (11:23) and they displayed their faith by defying the king's command to destroy all male children by casting them into the river. Only able to conceal the child for three months, his mother made a basket, placed him in it and obeyed the letter of the law if not the spirit, putting the child in the river.

This act of Jochebed is a great picture of the principle of the cross as often portrayed by Old Testament saints. In accordance with her name she either gloried in Jehovah or sought to glorify Him by trusting Him to miraculously spare her son. The cross for our Lord was the place of death, so was the river for Moses. It could be said of him as it was of Isaac that his mother received him back from the dead "in a figure" (Heb.11:19). Rivers picture death and coming forth from them picture life. So it is in the symbolism of baptism at Jordan and Israel at Jordan with the stones left in the river (representing the nation's past) and the stone from the river erected as a monument on the far side picturing a new beginning in the land of promise. The death-life principle is surely seen here.

If one might skeptically question the posting of the watch, we hasten to remind such that the little sister's presence would make no difference if the royal guard had discovered the babe or some behemothic beast had suddenly appeared or if for that matter, the daughter of Pharaoh had been less kindly disposed. Watching what God will do is one thing, interfering with His work is quite another. Let go and let God!

Exodus 3:2 Bush Aglow

Where will God lead me today? I doubt it will be as exciting back here in the desert as it

was when I stopped by the well in Midian. Wow, seven women all looking for a husband and I with the pick of the lot. That was exciting for it was there I found my little sparrow (Strong's). It was certainly an exciting day when our little Gershom came along. I still feel like a stranger here, but I think I am safer here in this wilderness than back in Egypt with a murder rap hanging over my head. Hello, what's that bright light up ahead? Now what could have set that bush afire and look at that, all burning and not a leaf or a branch consumed. I guess there's something to talk about when I get back home today! Such may have been the musings of our man Moses.

God would have found Moses that day wherever he may have wandered as he worked for Jethro, his father-in-law. This was a red-letter day in the life of a little bush that would burn brightly in Israel. Holy Moses, a man that every Jew that ever lived knows and emulates. But is it the bush that is important, or is it the fire in the bush? Ian Thomas said it, "any old bush will do."

As Moses kicked off his sandals and stood barefooted on the ground that fairly tingled beneath him he must have had some sense of the majestic greatness of the One who introduced Himself in this spectacular fashion. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. How well Moses knew and loved their stories, and today his name would be added to that list. But who are you Lord? Who am I that I should serve you?

Tell them I AM hath sent you and as for who you are, it really isn't important, when they see what I can do with a little bush like you it won't be long before you will lead more than sheep across this desert and upon this mountain (v.12).

Exodus 4:22 "Israel is My Son"

When she was asked how she put up with her husband's snoring she answered wisely, I just remind myself that there are many widows that would love to hear that sweet music coming from the other side of their bed, now empty.

A blood husband or a dead one, Zipporah, take your choice! To her it was what we would call a big deal or much ado about nothing but apparently it was not so with God. So often it is female thing. Why do men get so hung up on integrity? Snatches of poetry are all I remember so often and I remember these lines from our literature book in high school. The scene is that of a woman pleading with her lover not to leave her to serve his country. His response, "I could not love thee half so much loved I not honor more."

I also remember the words of Dr. Woodbridge as he addressed a group of pastors. Warning about neo-evangelicalism with its Jesuit casuistry he said, "men, be theological statesmen."

Why was God so hard on Moses when it came to the matter of circumcising his son? He was about to kill Moses over his failure in this matter and obviously it was love for his wife and son that had brought him into such disfavor. Who likes to hear his child cry out in pain or his wife sound like "a continual dropping on a very rainy day" (Prov.27:15)? Lord, you can see which way the wind is blowing (v.16) pity me and let me off the hook.

God does have His reasons for everything He requires of us. One thing is consistency which may be more important than we realize. Israel is my son. He bears my mark. When I look upon him I see the greater Son whom I will call out of Egypt who will for all eternity bear the scars of His obedience. It is a little thing I ask of you but it represents a great deal. It is the sign of my covenant. It represents the flesh of a people that will frequently disobey me but I will look at that sign and remember that no matter what they do, "Israel is my Son."

Exodus 5:1 "Let My People Go"

Sometimes we might wonder if it is a good thing or not that God has chosen us and that we belong to Him. He called Israel "His people." Generally it would be concluded that belonging to the great Creator God who made the universe might be quite advantageous and it certainly was, that is, most of the time. The trouble is, this period in Israel's history was just not one of those times.

Oh yes, at first it was looking good. When Moses and Aaron showed the people the signs that God had given them to do before Pharaoh they were quite impressed for God was finally answering their prayers. But they were not prepared to face the fact that for awhile it was going to get worse before it got better!

One of the reasons Pharaoh did not want to let Israel go was because they represented the epitome of cheap labor and with this vast army of workers he was building his "treasure cities" (1:11). They had become slaves and were greatly afflicted, so much so that they cried in their anguish and their cry had risen to the ears of their real Master Who pitied them in their sorrow (2:23 & 3:7). But as we might say, this was the last straw, or the one that broke the camel's back, bricks without straw and if it did not cause the people to blame God directly, they certainly came down hard on Moses and Aaron (vv.20 & 21).

The psalmist wandered why the wicked flourish while the righteous suffered. Conditions like Israel experienced at this time are difficult especially when we can't figure out why things are going so wrong. Our hero is Job. He had the right attitude, at least part of the time (13:15) and of course there is Habakkak who couldn't understand God's ways as he watched from his tower (2:1) but who rejoiced anyway (3:17 &18). We are told to take up the cross and follow Christ if we would be His disciples (Luke 14:27). Might the way of the cross sometimes be hard for us to understand?

Exodus 6:2 "I am the Lord"

We are impressed as we read these early chapters of Exodus that God indeed has a plan and the time has come to execute it. The people, His people, need and want a Saviour, a deliverer. They are in great bondage, in veritable anguish of spirit (v.9) so much so that they are blind to the fact that one has been given them. (And they are still blind to their Saviour).

Moses laments that the people do not believe in him and how then can he claim to represent them when he makes his appeal to Pharaoh. But God keeps reassuring him by telling him who He is and what He plans to do. The revelation of God's names in Scripture is an interesting study. May I suggest the outlines and notes in the Old Scofield Reference Bible. If you have access to one you will find very helpful notes under Geneses 1:1; 2:4 etc. (under Elohim). There is an interesting summary under Malachi 3:18. If this is a new subject to you, pay particular attention to the differences in meaning demonstrated in the KJV text by use of small and large case letters, i.e. God; GOD; Lord; LORD.

As to why we have the statement in verse three about God not being known by the name Jehovah, the commentators offer various reasons. One is that a question mark should follow which changes the meaning completely. The explanation I like best is that the word LORD (Jehovah) was in use, but the redemptive nature of its meaning to Israel was just now being revealed. Think of Israel's redemption as a picture of ours. (Bondage = sin; Pharaoh = Satan; Egypt = world; Moses = the Lord Jesus; and later, blood of the lamb = Christ's blood etc.)

Note in closing the seven "I wills" of God in verses 6 - 8. They start and end with the statement "I am the LORD." This is what He intends to do and nothing will successfully stand in His way!

Exodus 7:13 As the Lord had Said

Have you ever heard about someone getting a piece of meat caught on their throat? Well, today I have some meat that may catch in yours. If so I pray that the Father may throw His arms around you and give you the most perfect Heimlich maneuver you could ever receive.

During the story of the 10 plagues visited upon Egypt the statement is made as many times that it was the Lord who hardened Pharaoh's heart. Have you studied the subject or even read it carefully at one sitting in order to hear what the Spirit saith rather than assuming a sentimental position on the matter or even believing what some sincere preacher may have said about it? I beg you, dear reader, do not jump to conclusions until you give the matter a great deal of thought and even a little prayer.

True, in 8:15 and 32 it says that Pharaoh hardened his own heart and that, of course, was involved in the process but let us not miss the point which starts back in 3:19 where the Lord tells Moses at the burning bush that He, the I Am, is sure that the king of Egypt will not let them go! It was not what He assumed Pharaoh would do but what Heknew He was going to do – among other things, cause Pharaoh's heart to become hardened through a particular process that He, knowing Pharaoh's heart, like He knows ours, knew would work to accomplish His plan. And that plan is really what this is all about!

Could Almighty God have broken this hard heart in total surrender to His will? Absolutely. Look what He did to the murderer Saul of Tarsus! He was working out His will then too.

It is Paul who tells us exactly what is going on here in this story, but here is where we might choke.

In Romans 9:17 - 23 we have the clear teaching if we will receive it. "God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy and whom he will he hardeneth" (v.18). God raised up Pharaoh for the purpose of showing His power and the timing was just right for Israel. He is the Sovereign of the universe!

Exodus 8:14 Heaps of Stinking Frogs

This is the chapter of the frogs, the lice and the flies. I think the Lord may have found it a bit humorous when the magicians of Egypt added to the frog population by their "enchantments" (v.7). I guess that the people of the land clapped their hands as their champions did their thing – big deal. Then too, when Moses offered Pharaoh a choice of when he would like the plague lifted, it seems funny to me that he said, "tomorrow." I should think he would have said, "the sooner the better."

At each new development God was manifesting His great power that men might know that there is none like Him. The magicians could call up the frogs but evidently their powers ended there for they could not reverse the process. Also, somewhere between the frogs and the lice they even lost their power to duplicate Moses' divine abilities. Thirdly, the wonders took on a new twist when the Lord put a division between the Israelites and the Egyptians allowing no flies across the border into Goshen (v.23).

At each of these plagues Pharaoh's heart grew more hardened. If he was hardening his own heart, it was because of the work Jehovah was doing that caused him to do so. To distinguish in some way between the question as to whether Pharaoh hardened his own heart or God hardened his heart is about as smart as looking at a frog and asking is this one of Moses' frogs or one of ours? Frogs is frogs! As to how the Lord did it, perhaps lying spirits from the Lord influenced him like in Micaiah's day (ll Chr. 18: 19 - 22), or it may have been through his dreams as in the days of Gideon (Judges 7:13). Perhaps the influence was brought about like that in I Kings 7:6, but God who directs guided missiles (I Kings 22:34) and fish to swallow coins at the right time can do anything He wishes. The important thing is that God did it and why.

Exodus 9:26 How Marvelous

Back in the previous chapter in verse 23 there was a wonderful promise given concerning God's people. He said that He would "put a division" between "my people and thy people." In the preceding verse He had said that in the day of the dog-fly He would sever the land of Goshen and there would be no flies in it. The Septuagint states this beautifully and it would be sad to miss it. It says, "I will distinguish marvelously in that day the land of Goshen on which my people dwell in which the dog-fly shall not be." It goes on to say "and I will put a difference between my people and thy people."

It is perhaps significant that we find a note in the center column reference of our KJV that the word "division" can also be translated redeem or redemption and is the same word that is used in Psalm 111:9 "He sent redemption unto His people."

Putting this all together we rejoice as God's people today that there is a marvelous distinction between us and "the Egyptians" of this world. It is because He has sent redemption to us in the sacrifice of our Lord on Calvary, and we now dwell in a place that is very near to His heart (the meaning of Goshen – drawing near). We might also add the thought of Psalm 90:10 where we are told that no plague will come nigh our dwelling.

Why do we treat this subject here? Because it is in our present chapter that we continue to see the blessing of being a separated people. In verse 6 "not one" little sheep died, in verse 11 it was only Egyptians that suffered with the boils and in verse 28 not one hailstone fell in Goshen.

Isn't it marvelous to be God's special people! I dolike that word. Here sing – "I Stand Amazed in the Presence."

Exodus 10:1 Signs and Wonders

I have just been reading on my computer a few thoughts by Pink in his work on Exodus, and before we leave this portion of the book, which we will soon be doing as we come to the importance of the final plague, the smiting of the first born in the next chapter and especially in chapter twelve, he has reminded me of a number of passages that should be mentioned.

Under his point eleven, The Plagues of Egypt Pink talks about the relationship of these to the various objects of worship in Egypt of which I shall select but two and leave the others for you to contemplate. The Nile river, sacred to the Egyptian, being turned into blood was a severe blow to them. The fourth plague was leveled at their trust in the Fly-god (Beelzebub) whom they reverenced. Thus did Jehovah demonstrate again and again that He was LORD! Numbers 33:4 states that He executed judgement "upon their gods."

The world shaking ramifications of what was happening in Egypt was not lost in its influence upon other nations as seen in 1 Samuel 4:8 (look up).

In Psalm 78:42-51 Asaph reiterates these signs and wonders and in Psalm 105:23-38 again we are treated to a rehearsal of these momentous events.

We owe it to Paul as he wrote to his son in the faith (II Tim.3:8) that the names of two of the Egyptian magicians are known to us. It is suggested by Gill that this knowledge is to be found among heathen writers such as Numenius, the philosopher who speaks of them.

Pink also gives at the end of this section a comparison of these 10 plagues with those which will fall upon the whole world during the tribulation. Boy, am I glad to be out of here by that time!

Exodus 11:1 He Will Let You Go!

Gill, a noted Hebrew scholar, says that the first three verses in our present chapter are a parenthesis placed there by the writer providing light on this last meeting between Pharaoh and Moses. He states that the opening words could be translated, "for the Lord had said ..." etc. This would mean that verse four is but a continuation from the verses at the end of chapter 10. Moses' speech thus ending in anger in verse eight and the words of the king in 12:30 being conveyed by messenger, he would not have seen his face again.

The last warning is given early on the fourteenth day of the month that at midnight the most terrible of all the judgements would fall upon Egypt. Many think that the words about Pharaoh's first born were spoken of one who already was sharing the throne with his father. Evidently the king himself was not the firstborn of his parents or he would have been slated to die in the plague rather than later at the Red Sea.

In spite of all that had transpired during this contest of wills, even the threat of such dire proportion did not succeed in breaking the king's determination to persevere. Such stubbornness is hard to imagine bordering probably on madness and no doubt directed by demonic influence all of which ultimately was under God's control.

"He will let you go" however, so Moses had been told and when He does "you shall not go empty." This God had told them as recorded back in 3:21 when He first had mentioned the spoiling of the Egyptians. Here it is mentioned again though the event would not come until 12:35&36.

What spoils do we bring out of Egypt?

Exodus 12:23 He Saw the Blood

"There was not a house (in Egypt) where there was not one dead." We are not told what happened in Goshen where the blood must be applied or death would visit them as well. Human nature being as it is, surely some children suffered there where parents neglected to follow the directions.

God had made a difference between Egyptian cattle and those of the children of Israel (9:6) during the grievous murrain. Could He not have done the same thing on this dread night? If locusts and flies could be kept away why not this midnight Visitor, surely He will make a distinction between our precious sons and daughters and those of our oppressors, we need not be concerned, (they might have thought).

But, if the smiting sword of Almighty God took away one single person in Goshen that night, we are not told. It is as if for once everyonebelieved the word and that He saw the blood, passing over everydwelling. It is hard to imagine but hopefully it was true.

Going back to that verse mentioned a few days back, 8:23, where the word "division" is used we are reminded that it is also translated "sign of redemption." In the redemptive process taking place in this initial passover, we mark the tremendous difference between the two entities involved. On the one hand, the cry "we be all dead men" which sounds Pauline, "in Adam all die" (I Cor.15:22) and on the other, complete deliverance on the basis of the shed blood of a lamb. God is both the destroyer and the deliverer just as the avenger of blood is also the kinsman redeemer in Israel. The first-born, redeemed, are His, later to be exchanged for the Levites (Num.3:45) who will serve the Lord.

Beloved, we are the church of the first-born (plural)(Heb. 12:23). We are not our own, we are bought with a price and we are to glorify God in these bodies of ours which are really His (possessive) (I Cor. 6:20). Lord, I am yours to do with as You wish. (Did You say this to Him?)

Exodus 13:15 My Children I Redeem

I have copied the following material from John Gill's work on Exodus. I found it interesting and I think you will also- and it will be a bit of a change from the usual routine.

.....but all the firstborn of my children I redeem; by paying five shekels apiece to the priest for them, as before observed; and this law continues to be observed with the Jews; the manner of which, as related by Leo Modena {i}, is as follows,

"Thirty days being expired after the birth of the child, they call a priest to them; that is to say, one that is descended of the stock of Aaron, whom the father of the child pleaseth; and so, many people being gathered together at the time appointed, the father of the child bringeth before the priest, in a bowl or basin, a good quantity of gold and silver, and then they give him the child into his arms; the priest then calling the mother of it before him, saith unto her, mistress, is this your son? she answereth, yes; then, replies he, have you never had any child before, either male or female, or have miscarried anyone? she saith unto him, no; then doth the priest say, this child is mine, as being the firstborn; then turning himself toward the father, he asketh him, whether he will redeem it or not? who answereth him, saying, see, here is gold and silver, take your own price; then saith the priest unto him, you will redeem it then? the father answereth, I will redeem it; it shall be so then, saith the priest, this child is mine as being the firstborn, as it is written, #Nu 18:16. I therefore take this in exchange, &c. and so he takes the sum of two French crowns, or thereabout, as he thinks good, and then delivers the child to his father and mother, and this day they make a feasting day."

This distinguished looking gentleman is the author of the hymn, Nor Silver Nor Gold, James M. Gray. I thought that while you are singing it you might like to look at him - he won't mind since he has been in Heaven since 1935. He was the president of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago from 1925 - 1934. I got this material from the website www.Cyber Hymnal which I recommend

Exodus 14:13 Stand Still

Before Pastor Carleton Helgerson went to glory he delighted in leading a men's chorus in Burlington, Massachusetts. It was our joy to have this fine group of men come to Bucksport to share their ministry with us and in their repertoire was a song about the Israelites marching thru the Red Sea. I have never heard the old song before or since but to the accompaniment of ancient marching instruments the scene was vividly portrayed in music and I thrill every time I think of it. It had a bit of humor in it as it depicted the fish in the walls of water watching in wonderment as the people marched thru.

There were lots of wonderful happenings that day! Coming from Lubec, Maine I know what a pea soup fog is like and it was something like that which kept the Egyptians away while Israel got a head start guided by a night light. I suppose this was the same Shekinah Glory as would accompany them throughout their entire journey, only both features were operative. Through it the Lord looked after His people and even the Egyptians recognized His presence as fighting against them as He took off their chariot wheels.

At God's command " the sea returned to his strength" (v.27) as Moses once more stretched out his hand over it drowning the entire host leaving their bodies strewn on the sea shore and true to the word of Moses Israel would never see the Egyptians again.

"Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord",... and what a deliverance the Lord gave them as He, that day, fought for His people.

Throughout the O.T. reference to it is made again and again as this event became the measure and watchword of God's great power. (Num. 21:; Josh.2:10 & 24:7; Neh.9:11; Ps.106:9 & 114:5; Isa.43:16; 50:2; 51:15; 63:12 and Nah.1:4)

Exodus 15:25 Only Believe

How do you like your steak? You will find this one done to your satisfaction I am sure. Can't you picture Miriam with her timbrel leading all the other women with theirs going out playing and singing, "Sing ye to the LORD for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and the rider hath he thrown into the sea." It even rhymes in English!

But, it is three days later about which I wish to write when the singing has turned to murmuring and the timbrels are silently cast aside. "Hungry and thirsty their souls fainted in them" as for three days " they wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way" (Psalm 107:4 & 5). It is the third day without water and they were desperate. We can imagine how happy they were to find water but then, how deep was their disappointment when they found it to be undrinkable.

The term "three days" should alert us. How often things begin to happen on the third day. Listen to the disciples on the Emmaus road for a clue "and besides all this, today is thethird day..." (Luke 24:21). For these last three days it had been Marah but that is past and God hath wrought the mightiest miracle of all.

In the Old Scofield Bible there is a wonderful note at this point in the Exodus text. The Lord showed Moses a tree (the cross) and when he cast it into the water it was sweetened. The principle is clear. The cross solves every problem. Dead people don't worry about bitter water. True disciples who understand Jesus' teaching (Mark 8:31 - 38) will find like Naomi of old that in following Him all bitterness is unbelief and though "weeping may endure for a night, joy cometh in the morning."

And oh, what a morning! Just out of sight, (theirs but not God's) lay Elim with its twelve wells of water and its seventy flourishing palms. Rest and refreshment and for us, as well as Cleopas and his companion, the joy of resurrection.

I wish we could stay longer by these waters, but we must go forward. (We might sing as we go Only Believe).

Exodus 16:4 "Bread from Heaven"

This whole chapter has to do with the subject of manna and speaks to us about the way our Lord has promised to supply our daily needs. What the Israelites needed most each day was food yet how could they be expected to find enough in the wilderness to provide the rations for such a great multitude of six hundred thousand men plus their women and children (12:37). Not only did they have all of their flocks and herds, but then too there were those other than Jews who had come along with them, the mixed multitude.

To meet this tremendous need God provided a daily miracle. Each morning He spread His table with a delicious food just outside their tent flaps and on the ground. But with this provision came a daily testing. It will always be there "for His mercies were new every morning" yet they would be tempted to gather enough for the morrow. When they did this they found it "bred worms and stank."

There was a wonderful quality (about which the apostle Paul spoke - II Cor.8:14) in that they found there was always exactly enough for everyone even as our stewardship in our local church will prove as we all do our part.

Miraculously too, they were being trained to understand the Lord's provision of a holy Sabbath. A special day was set aside for worship and it is clear that He it was Who made it so special. Is it a need today?

We must still trust God to supply our needs (Phil.4:19). Our greatest need is daily fellowship with our Lord Jesus Who is the Bread of heaven (John 6:51). Have you read the Scripture? As the sun rises higher the manna melts away.

Exodus 17:8 "Then Came Amalek"

This short chapter (16 verses) has two truly great themes, both considered typical by

fundamental expositors. Pink in his Exodus has a chapter on each and in the Old Scofield Reference Bible on pp.91&92 there are excellent notes. In I Corinthians 10:4 Paul confirms the Rock as a type of Christ speaking of it metaphorically, "and that rock was Christ."

Pink suggested that probably the reason why Amalek appears on the scene is to drive off the Israelites and take possession of the area, since water there was such a precious commodity (v.1). He also suggests that this experience of Israel here is a picture of salvation, the smitten rock a type of Christ being smitten for us that the water (Holy Spirit) may be available to the believer and, since Amalek is shortly introduced, the concept of the two natures of the believer is seen here in that as soon as the believer receives Christ a battle begins. Again, both expositors see Amalek as picturing the flesh especially since he was the grandson of Esau who sold his birthright for a mess of potage. This conflict is spoken of allegorically by Paul in Galations 4:20.

From my own study I will furnish a few more references which seem to corroborate the thought of Amalek being a type of the flesh in its evil sense. Study Deuteronomy 25:17-19 in relation to the last verse in this chapter. Saul was given the task of dealing with the Amalekites in I Samuel 15:2&3 and his failure is accentuated by the fact that it was an Amalekite that took Saul's crown (II Sam.1:10).

He will have our crown as well if we do not successfully resist him as did Joshua thru the aid of Moses' intercession. We have the option as believers in this dispensation to "utterly" defeat the old nature by reckoning ourselves to be dead to it and learning to walk in the spirit (Rom.6:2; Gal.5:16&24). Failure to do so will bring certain judgement (II Cor.5:10). Saul's failure to slay even the best of the flock fits Romans 7:18.

God hates the flesh and blotted it out of His sight forever at Calvary. Don't forget it! (Deut.25:19).

Exodus 18:1 Jethro

To his contemporaries George Washington was referred to as "his excellency" and this is what Jethro means according to the center column reference in my Bible. Possibly this is a title because he also had the name of Reuel (2:18) which means friend of God. Whatever his name, I like him and I think Moses liked him too!

Why Moses had sent his wife and sons away was probably because they "would be too great an encumbrance upon him in the discharge of his great work he had to do in Egypt," according to Gill. Anyway, I like the fact that Reuel brought them back to be with their husband and father. This may have been pre-arranged for all we know. One of his boys may have had a prophetic name, for "Eliezer" can be translated God will be my help or deliverance according to Matthew Henry, and it might have been with reference to this name that Moses told his father-in-law about how the Lord delivered them from Pharaoh (v.8).

I like the way Jethro rejoiced when he heard about the goodness of the Lord in the story Moses told him, and how he fellowshipped with the elders of Israel in offering sacrifice and eating with them along with Aaron and Moses.

Jethro sought to be a help to Moses when he saw how hard he was working – I liked that, and especially when he advised him to check out his plan with God first (v.23).

It seems to me that the description of the kind of leadership Jethro recommended (v.21) gives us an insight into the kind of man he was himself. The term able men is the same used of Gideon (mighty man of valor) or of Boaz (mighty man of wealth). These are the kind of men we need in our churches today, men that fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness. I like his standards!

Exodus 19:5 A Peculiar Treasure

This term is such a wonderful revelation of how Jehovah thinks of His people I decided to make a study of it to share at prayer meeting while our Pastor was away. The following is a copy of the initial work of just accumulating the verses on the subject. I thought that perhaps some of you might like to use it sometime, so just help yourself. Note especially the first and last references in the Old Testament which thrilled my heart and I know will do the same for you. (The numbers refer to Strong's Greek and Hebrew Lexicon included with Strong's Concordance and I have included an example of what may be found in the Greek Lexicon. This may make this a bit longer than usual but if you do not have these tools available to you, it will demonstrate their value.)


Ex 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be apeculiar treasure <05459> unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:

De 7:6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special<05459> people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

De 14:2 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar<05459> people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.

De 26:18 And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be hispeculiar <05459> people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments;

1Ch 29:3 Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine ownproper good <05459>, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house,

Ps 135:4 For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure<05459>.

Ec 2:8 I gathered me also silver and gold, and thepeculiar treasure <05459> of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.

Mal 3:17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels<05459>; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.


Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession<4047>, unto the praise of his glory.

1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain<4047> salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

2Th 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining<4047> of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Heb 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving<4047> of the soul.

1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar <4047> people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:


Ac 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hathpurchased <4046> with his own blood.

1Ti 3:13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase<4046> to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Greek Word - Purchase

4046 peripoieomai (I deleted the Greek letters and left the English Equivalent)

middle voice from 4012 and 4160; ; v

AV-purchase 2; 2

1) to make to remain over

2) to reserve, to leave or keep safe, lay by

3) to make to remain for one's self

4) to preserve for one's self

5)to get for one's self, purchase

4047 peripoiesis

from 4046; ; n f

AV-purchased possession 1, to obtain + 1519 1, obtaining 1, saving 1, peculiar + 1519 1; 5 (Note, these are the various English translations of the Greek word in the KJV, and the number shows how many times it was translated into that particular word - here - one each.)

1) a preserving, a preservation

2) possession, one's own property

3) an obtaining

Exodus 20:18 The Smoking Mountain

It may be of interest to my readers to have the following information. Each of the 10 commandments have the death penalty connected with one degree or another of infringement except the last one. Here is the list. First, Deut.17:2-7; second, Ex.32:27; third, Lev.24:16; fourth, Num.15:32-36; and Ex.31:15; fifth, Deut.21:20-21, Lev.20:9 and Ex.21:15; sixth, Lev.24:17; seventh, Lev.20:10; eighth, Ex.21:16; ninth, Deut.19:15-21.

As to the tenth commandment, we read in Col.3:5 that covetousness is idolatry which takes us back to the second and Exodus 32:27.

The law was given from Mt. Sinai to Israel and certainly everything about its being given on this day is awesome indeed and speaks eloquently of judgement. As Galations 3:21 says, the law was not given to produce life, but rather to convince every Israelite that he was a sinner deserving death. By the law was the knowledge of sin (Rom.3:20) and it was designed to produce guilt (3:19). In answer to the question why it was given, Paul makes it clear in Gal.3:19 and states categorically in 2:16 that no flesh is ever to be justified by it but that it's purpose was to be "our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ that we might be justified by faith" (3:24). It drove Israel to the ceremonial aspect of the law and to the sacrificial lamb.

Since all of our sin was placed upon the sinless Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary and Jehovah made Him to be, veritably, sin itself (II Cor. 5:21), the law exhausted upon Him its deadly sting, infusing (I Cor.15:56) with all its strength, its venom into His holy soul with the end result that it not only killed the Son of God but all of us with Him for we were in Him. So says II Cor. 5:14; I Peter 2:24; Rom.7:4; Gal.2:19; but especially Col.2:14. I tell you the truth and lie not, it will do your soul much good to read those verses! And oh, what a day when He broke the chains that bound Him in death and burst thru the gates of Hell which eagerly sought to grasp Him and hold Him fast, to rise in a victory that swallowed death, vanquishing it forever. And where does the holiness and righteousness of God's beautiful law find its divine fulfillment? Where else but in us who, walking in the Spirit, demonstrate its glory (Romans 8:4) in a Christ- filled life. To this wonder our Lord in heaven draws the attention of the principalities and powers there (Eph.3:10). "Christ in YOU, the hope of glory" (Col.1:27).

Exodus 21:5 "I Love My Master"

These laws show God's tender love for His people as He sought to cover all aspects of

their domestic relationships. When a case fell outside of these proscribed rules or needed clarification, the judges would be consulted (v.6 and v.22). We might assume that these judges were those appointed by Moses according to Jethro's advice (18:21&22) and of course, if matters were too difficult for them, they were referred to Moses (v.22) who then would take them one step further if need be, going directly to God (Num.15:32). The judges sat together at the gate of the town where they could readily be found as in the story of Ruth (4:2).

It is perhaps these kinds of scenarios that Paul had in mind when he chided the Corinthian believers for going to law one against another before unbelievers (I Cor.6:1-8). He pointed out that wise men should be sought out from among the saints who could judge between brethren.

His argument was most interesting for he appealed to them on the basis that since they (or we) would one day judge angels, yea and even the world, they ought to be worthy to judge matters pertaining to this life.

In both the Old Testament and the New there is an appeal to love. In the former, it is for love of Master and family that a man forgoes his freedom and in the latter, Paul calls upon us to suffer being defrauded rather than taking a brother to court.

A good rule of thumb when faced with interpersonal problems would be to read thoughtfully I Corinthians 13.

Exodus 22:27 "I am Gracious"

In this section 21 &ndash; 23:9 we have domestic regulations apparently right from God's mouth (21:1). As we have already noted there is a broad court of appeal. Over all, we are impressed with the minute details down to the occurrence of a servant's tooth being knocked out. These rules help to flesh out what our Lord Jesus expressed in the Gospels about our Father's care for His children. If I were to choose one phrase from the whole section it would be that found in this chapter, verse 27 "for I am gracious". This word is used 78 times in our KJV and only one other English word is more often translated from it than this word "gracious"(13) and that is "mercy" and merciful (12). It means to show favor, to be pitied, shown consideration and the best examples are seen in the contacts our Lord Jesus had as He moved among men.

Jehovah was Himself the final court of appeal as we note here. If the widow or fatherless child cry unto Him, He says, "I will sure hear their cry" and also when the shivering sleeper misses his night shirt! See Psalm 68:5 and Deut.10:18 as examples among many such references in Scripture to widows and orphans.

In a file I found a note that comes from the JFB commentary on this section. It states that the law which authorized retaliation was a civil one and was given to regulate the procedure of public magistrates in determining the amount of compensation in every case of injury but it did not encourage feelings of private revenge. Our Lord corrected the Jews on this (tooth for a tooth, etc) because they were taking it as a moral precept.

If you find some of these judgements a bit hard to understand, I recommend getting John Gill and reading his comments. He was an outstanding Hebraist and in a few concise words often clears up a problem text.

Exodus 23 Three Times

I find here at least three subjects that I would like to cover. First, there is mention of the

Sabbatical year or seventh year when Israel was to let the land rest. This also is mentioned in more detail in Lev.25:1 - 7, however I believe that is only stated here that, among other things, it was for the poor and for the beasts of the field (v.11).

Secondly, there were seven national feasts for Israel but we note that all males were required to come to only three of them. These are mentioned in verses 13-17. Interestingly there were three feasts at the time of Passover and those who attended one, would no doubt take in the other two, the feast of unleavened bread and the feast of first fruits (wave offering), right after the Passover.

The same was true of the big feast at the end of the year, the feast of ingathering which was introduced by the feast of trumpets and included the day of atonement. Again, if one were making a long trip to be in Jerusalem for the feast of tabernacles (another name for ingathering) he would be pretty apt to stay for the whole works.

This leaves the feast of Pentecost (harvest in v.16) which occurred fifty days after Passover as the second important feast of the year that all men were expected to attend. Of course it was more popular to be at Jerusalem during Passover at the beginning of the year (12:2) and later at the end of harvest to celebrate the feast of Tabernacles, but not so many would make it to this middle feast of Pentecost. That is why it specifically states that those who were there when the Holy Spirit was given were devout (Acts 2:5) and furthermore were those most likely to be ready to receive Peter's message.

The third and final subject involves the question of who is the Angel mentioned in verses 20 - 23. All of the major commentaries that I consulted (Gill, Poole, Clark, Trapp, etc.) agreed that it is a reference to the pre-incarnate Son of God &ndash; so also Hengstenberg in his 2 volume set entitled Christology of the O.T. This makes for a very interesting subject for contemplation. Be sure to include Joshua 5:13-15. (Numbers 20:16 and Isaiah 65:9).

Exodus 24:13 Jehoshua (Jehovah Saves)

Everytime Moses spoke to his understudy he must have been reminded of the great truth of the saving grace and power of his God, Jehovah. "Jehoshua pass me that frying pan. Jehoshua go next tent flap (door) and see if we can borrow a bit of salt from the Unobsky's. By the way Jehoshua, have you written down a record of your battle with Amalek?"etc, etc.

The first time we read about Joshua he is in that very battle and he must have been quite young since he is referred to in this chapter as Moses' minister. In fact, though he must have been there when Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu and the seventy elders of Israel saw the amazing revelation of the God of Israel with the superbly beautiful paving stones under His feet, nevertheless, he is not named as being present. Perhaps he was one of the elders though that seem unlikely.

The next time he is mentioned he is coming down from the mount with Moses when they heard the singing and dancing as the worship of the golden calf was in progress.

There is a very significant reference to Joshua in Exodus 33:11 where it is said of him that though Moses came and went between the camp and the temporary tabernacle of the congregation (v.7) yet he as Moses' servant and "a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle." Why? And why is this mentioned specifically?

I would sure like to have a young man like Joshua as my understudy, wouldn't you? No wonder he was so ready to be obedient later when the edge of the promised land was reached! God give us more young men like Jehoshua if he really was a man and not an angel. Perhaps some of them stay around though we are not aware even when they just pay us a visit. (Heb.13:2)

Exodus 25:2 With Willing Hearts

And now we know the " rest of the story." " What on earth are you people going to do with all the spoils that you carried away from Egypt?" Though they did not know it at this point, they were destined to spend the next thirty-eight years in the wilderness and what were they going to do with the gold, silver and onyx stones? On the other hand I can imagine that the red ram's skins were a bright addition to the inner recesses of one's badger skin tent held up by shittim wood tent posts and conversely down by pegs of the same. Oil lamps caused shadows to rise and fall against the tent walls and sweet incense almost made one forget the odor of mud and straw. It would have helped to overcome the cooking smells of onions, leeks and garlic but unfortunately those Egyptian flavors were, too, only a memory now.

"What is that you say, Moses is asking us to give up our treasured spoils, our rightful payment for the years of labor on Pharaoh's storehouse cities of justice (Pitham) and child of the sun (Ramses)(1:11). What is he going to do with these, our cherished possessions?"

"Wait til you see it! Oh, I forgot, you are never going to see it. You will only hear it described by the priests and Levites but wonder of wonders, it will be Jehovah's dwelling place for He, according to Moses, wishes to tabernacle among us and He has told Moses to ask us to bring Him offerings and to bring them with a willing heart."

The first article mentioned by God is the ark of the covenant to be overlaid with gold, covered with a golden mercy seat and overshadowed by cherubim also of beaten gold.

"Oh Lord Jesus, you are the mercy seat (propitiation - Rom.3:25). Would I withhold my Egyptian gold from you and have it later melted down to make a calf-god?"

Here sing &ndash; Take My Life and Let It Be &ndash; Frances R. Havergal. "...not a mite would I withhold..."

Exodus 26:30 "According to the Fashion"

From chapter 25 to the end of the book, the planning, construction and erecting of the tabernacle is the primary subject. Chapters 25-30 have to do with the instructions, "and thou shalt make," whereas 36-39 tell of the actual construction, "and he made." The important feature of this elaborate tent is the fact that Moses got the plans directly from God with the express command that it should be made exactly like the pattern shown to him "in the mount."

One really needs to go to the book of Hebrews to get the picture that there was to be an earthly tabernacle made like the heavenly one. I will give you the passages that speak of the contrast between the two (all from Hebrews).

The "worldly" (earthly) tabernacle (9:1) was to be an "example" and "shadow" (8:5), a figure (9:24) and a pattern (8:5 & 9:23) and was pitched by man (8:2). The heavenly one was actually the "true" (8:2) one and the "greater" and "more perfect" (9:11) one as it contained "heavenly things" (9:23) was in heaven itself (9:24), not made with hands (9:11) but pitched by the Lord (9:11).

This tent of meeting (Ex.29:34) was called the tabernacle of thecongregation 130 times and was to be placed in the very center of the camp where it would be the most accessible to all for it would be the place where each Israelite would endeavor to maintain fellowship with his God.

It was also called the tent of testimony or tabernacle of witness probably because it was a witness to the fact that Jehovah had tabernacled among them. They had to keep their eyes on it because when He moved, they were to move too!

It is interesting that when Stephen in Acts 7:44 quotes from verse 30 of our present chapter, speaking of the "fashion" of the tabernacle, he uses the Greek word for type and the same word is used by the author of Hebrews 8:5 where the English word patternis used by the translator. That the tabernacle is an Old Testament type or ensample there is no doubt. I think it pictures (among other things) the believer indwelt by the Holy Spirit. As such these bodies (temples) are to be places of worship and prayer. More on this later.

Exodus 27:1 The Brazen Alter

The tabernacle was primarily a place of worship. It was where a Holy God and a sinful people were able to meet together. They met only on the basis of the sacrificial death of substitutionary animals whose blood could not take sin away but could only cover it temporarily which is what the word atonement meant, only a covering. Once the cleansing blood flowed from the true Lamb, that word was never to appear in the Bible again! (You might think you have found it, but study will show that one instance to be a mistranslation and just one more problem for the KJV Only people.)

The worshipers came through a wide gate (v.16) with their various offerings (Lev.1 - 7). All blood sacrifices were made in the "court of the tabernacle" (v.9) in the end where the brazen altar and the laver stood. There they were met by a priest who would help them by holding the animal while the creature was slain, the worshiper's hands upon its head as if to express that his sins, as it were, would be transferred to his substitute which would next be placed upon the altar. The flames licking up what was not taken to be eaten by the priest would speak of God's acceptance. Even the eating was as significant then as our participation at communion is today.

"Thou shalt make an altar." This altar was the place of death and represents the cross where our Lamb died. As believer priests we must embrace it as He did if we would pass the curtain to the Holy Place where service and worship combined.

Are we so presumptuous as to think that there can ever be any worship acceptable to Him Who said "who so doth not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple," unless we are willing to be "living" sacrifices as in Romans 12:1?

Exodus 28:2 Garments of Glory and Beauty

There was a limit beyond which the common Israelite worshiper could only traverse in his imagination. Beyond the altar of brass (denoting judgement) only the priests could venture and as two of Aaron's sons later discovered even they must guard their prerogatives very carefully. And so, priests carried out their responsibilities in every detail acting on behalf of all the rest of the congregation who were, in effect, partakers of the benefits through those who vicariously represented them (I Cor.10:18).

So the priests had a great and solemn responsibility with life and death potentialities (v.43) and their garments bespoke their acceptance. Focus was primarily upon the high priest of which Aaron was the first and the Lord Jesus is the last. Later we learn that the high priest only went into the inner most part of the tabernacle, beyond the veil, once a year on the Day of Atonement. It was at this time that it was to be made manifest whether Israel was acceptable before the Lord. He carried the blood of atonement in his hands to be sprinkled on the lid of the Ark of the covenant as a propitiatory sacrifice (Rom.3:25), the cover being called the mercy seat.

The once a year aspect of this ceremony signified a one time event which was fulfilled by Christ's death. Verses that speak of His being our High Priest are: Heb.3:1; 5:10; 7:26; 9:11, 24 - 28 and 10:21.

The breastplate was breathtakingly beautiful with its deep colors, golden chains and 12 precious stones upon which were engraved the names of the tribes. These plus the two onyx stones on his shoulders represented our being carried upon Christ's shoulders and heart into the presence of Jehovah.

No on knows how the Urim and Thummin worked so my theory is as good as the next person's. Perhaps the letters in the tribal names lit up spelling out the message, with the stones on the right shoulder representing yes and the one on the left, no, or vice versa. What do you think?

Exodus 29:37 "An Altar Most Holy"

There are three altars in the tabernacle. The little golden altar that stood before the veil was called the incense altar and is dealt with in the next chapter (30). The ark of the covenant that was also overlaid with gold stood inside the Holy of Holies or the innermost room (25:10-22) and it was only visited once a year on the day of atonement and only by the high priest (Heb.9:7&8). The altar about which we read in this chapter was overlaid with brass and stood in the courtyard where it was to be visited daily by hundreds of worshipers who came confessing their sins, bringing a sin offering and often along with it a whole burnt offering as they dedicated themselves to Jehovah. We were introduced to this brazen altar back in 27:1-8. It is by this altar that we stand today to witness the consecration of the priests.

We are priests and one of our most cherished doctrines is that of the priesthood of the believer (I Peter 2:5), so what is happening here today is of utmost interest to us.

Washed (v.4; Titus 3:5; Heb.10:22; John 13:10), we are clean (except our feet and that will be seen to later).

Aaron and his sons place their hands on the head of the bullock (every animal pictures Jesus dying) which is a sin offering(v.14). In this act we see identification. The fat crackles, smokes and burns and God smells it, but does not savor it for it reminds Him of the exceeding sinfulness of sin which He hates while He loves the obedient heart that it also represents. He loves the sinner but hates the sin.

The first ram is offered for a burnt offering which corresponds to Rom.12:1 and smells sweet in God's nostrils. The moment it touches the altar it is holy (v.37) and we might add acceptable. This altar stands for the cross and certainly there can be no worship in the tabernacle without embracing all that it represents (Luke 14:27). What else do you see in this chapter, my fellow priests?

Exodus 30:7 The Sweet Spice of Prayer

David said "Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice" (Ps.141:2). What a special part of the tabernacle furnishings was this almost miniature altar. Eighteen inches square and 3 feet tall. It was situated close to the veil beyond which no man dare go, with one exception. There one drew as close to a Holy God as anyone could get. There one could commune with God. Luke tells us of Zachariah's experience (1:5-23). Here we get the flavor of vicarious temple worship (v.10). We are thankful that the veil is gone now and as believer priests we have immediate access to the throne of God where Jesus intercedes and our Father loves to meet with us (v.36).

Rev.8:3 associates incense with prayers in the very specific reference to "the golden altar before the throne." It is evident how precious are the prayers of the saints being retained in heaven in golden vials. Contributing further to the concept is the fact that the incense was of special formula and was to be used in no other way (v.32). Apparently, even the coals of fire used to ignite it were to be special as two of Aaron's sons later learned (Lev.10:1&2). I cannot now think of a verse to prove it, but I assume that the fire had to come from the brazen altar. The fire that ignites musical zest probably must originate there as well, one might conclude.

One thing for certain, folks would know where a priest had been if the odor lingered at all (like tobacco smoke).

We will speak of the laver when we reach chapter 38.

Exodus 31:2 "In the Shadow of God"

Let us come close to yon tent where smoke arises and the clanging of metals sounds out

over the barren land. We could hope for the sake of laborers under the sun that perhaps there might have been a few trees to give refreshing shade to the activities going forward there. At any rate, it is clear to see who directs these workmen as they melt and form vessels from brilliant gold, shining silver and rugged brass. There is Bezaleel of the tribe of Judah who, whether or not he stands beneath the shade of a palm tree as in Elim, is conscious of the meaning of the name given him by his father Uri, "In the shadow of God."

Clearly Jehovah had called him "with a good name" (Targums) and equipped him with wisdom and understanding for the task at hand, the making of all things necessary to the function of God's tabernacle.

Often thought of as a type of Christ, he also typifies those servants of the Lord who are called to serve in His house. Notice how often in the N.T. such are said to be filled with the Spirit and wisdom (Acts 6:3). These deacons were appointed to the business of the Lord.

Today the local assembly may be thought of as God's tabernacle. The tabernacle also pictures the individual believer. We need men (and women) of the quality of this man to serve. Would you offer yourself to be a leader, perhaps a teacher and would you study to know the Scriptures so as to be able to work up the vessels of gold and silver for the Master's use? Speak to Him about it today &ndash; you are not getting any younger!

Exodus 32:19 The Broken Commandments

There is so much going on in this chapter and it is such a familiar story, though certainly an unpleasant one, that we are apt to miss the truly most spectacular event of all. As far as we know, this event was seen only by Moses and for him it became a double feature. What I have in mind is the production of the tables of the law.

I suppose there might be those, who upon first reading it, would say that it doesn't compare with the miraculous appearance of a golden calf coming of the fire when Aaron cast in their ornaments. But on more careful examination we must conclude that "miracle" to be as true as was the heart of their glorious leader. What blasphemous fakery!

Up on Mount Sinai, however, where their true leader was representing their common interest a really spectacular event was taking place. The Sovereign God of the universe whose figurative signature is written on all His creative work was actually and personally writing out the ten commandments.

If the origin of the first set was as the second, these tablets upon which God was writing were stones hewed out by Moses (34:1) and probably he was a witness to the transcription. With something like a powerful laser beam emanating from the end of God's finger(31:18) on solid rock the words of the "ministration of death" (II Cor.3:7) were engraved. We who have worked with a wood burning tool or welding torch, careful not to touch the heated tip, can imagine what terrific energy was employed to burn these words into such a resistive medium.

Before Israel would see the handiwork of Jehovah, the originals would be smashed, the calf worshipers disciplined, the nation rescued by intercession and a duplicate set of tablets made ready for placement in the ark. In the days to follow, the stony hearts of the people would prove to be a far more resistant writing material ere the time would come when the epistle of God's love would be written by the Spirit on fleshy tables of the heart (3:3). (Yours and mine).

Exodus 33:16 A Marvelously Separated People

"So shall we be marvelously separated" or distinguished. So say some ancient writers for the word has that sense. Let us imagine, if we can, what it must have been like to have viewed this "cloudy pillar" as it stood in the door of this temporary tabernacle while Jehovah talked with Moses. No wonder the people "rose up and worshiped every man in his tent door."

Moses pleaded with God that He would not altar His original plan and send an insignificant angel along with them in their journey to the Promised Land. I say insignificant for we will remember that originally (23:20-23) the One who was to accompany them (Angel) was probably none other than the Lord Jesus (so Hengstenberg, Vol. I, pp 80-83, Christ in the Old Testament). Having been promised deity as an escort, nothing else would do.

In the exchange spoken of as a face to face encounter (v.11), God is said to have spoken unto Moses as "a man speaketh unto his friend." I think it must have been the tone of the conversation rather than the physical encounter seemingly implied in the words "face to face" for later in v.20 God tells Moses that no man shall see Him and live. Then follows this interesting narrative where Moses is placed in a cleft of the rock and is covered by His hand as He passes by.

Since the subject here revolves around the word "face," it should be noted that the word "presence" in verses fourteen and fifteen could as well been translated face since it very often was so done (390 times) that being true, the verse that said that the "Lord spake unto Moses face to face"could as well have been translated presence to presence.

We know what it is to have His presence though we will not actually see the face of Jesus until He comes for His Church. In the mean time we "see through a glass darkly" (I Cor.13:12) which may correspond in some ways to Moses seeing God's "back parts." Since the word face is translated "before"1137 times there may be a play on words here thinking of God's before parts and back parts. What can you make of that? I have written next to the words "back parts" in my Bible - Hisnon-consuming attributes - where I got it I do not know.

Exodus 34:26 And Why Not

I know that the Lord does not have to let us in on the reasons why He thinks as He does or

why He does what He does, but I hope that when we see Him He will indulge our curiosity. There are several things in this chapter that fall into this category and I must make a note somewhere to ask Him when I have opportunity to get a clear answer. On second thought maybe some of you already know the answers, or think you do. If so share them with me.

Number one: why did He not want the flocks and herds to feed before the mount upon which the Lord gave the second edition of the ten commandments?

Number two: why did He leave the Girgashites out of the list of nations He intended to drive out of the Promised Land before the Israelites? This was also the case in 33:2 but in Deut.7 He speaks of seven nations and includes them, also in Joshua 3:10 and 24:11.

And number three: why not seethe a kid in its mother's milk but even more interestingly, why is that subject abruptly interjected here?

Now, I believe that our God has a good reason for everything He does and I do not question any of these things, I only wonder why. I don't care a whip snap about the Girgashites, do you? But these animal questions intrigue me. Remember what Paul said about oxen in his question, "does God take care for oxen?" In this case he found an application in I Cor.9:9 & 10. Say, how is your church doing in caring for its pastor?

In closing, read again those wonderful words in verse six and seven looking back also to 33:19. Now there is something worth chewing on for a while! The subject of Moses' face was covered pretty well when we did II Cor.3.

Exodus 35:21 Hearts Stirred and Spirits Made Willing

The words willing and willingly in relation to offering unto the Lord are only found about twenty-five times in the Old Testament. This is surprising in itself, but what is more surprising is that one- fifth of those references are found in this chapter all in the form of the word willing. Nine of the references are seen in I Chr. 28 and 29 where it is mostly the word willingly and the occasion was much like this in our chapter today only it concerned the materials for the building of the temple whereas here it is regarding the tabernacle.

When a word or thought recurs in a chapter, it is safe to say, usually, that this is its theme. So, it would be appropriate for us to make this the theme of our devotional today. It is certainly a commendable attitude in God's people that we give unto the Lord with willing hearts.

First, however, let us examine our stewardship in general for I notice that pastors don't seem to preach on it often enough (in my opinion) especially when it is such a prominent subject throughout our Bible.

Do we give at least a tithe into our local church, that is one- tenth of our gross income? Come on now, be absolutely honest! Every Sunday without fail 1/10th goes into the offering plate when it comes by. And that is where we start. Israel was required to do that much as they brought these things into the storehouse besides all of the animals they brought for sacrifice. Should not we, under grace, do as much as was required under the law? No argument with this will hold water &ndash; but I'm preaching to the choir, I think. Are our children and youth taught to give from their own money? They should be!

Now, comes our key word, willingly. Let us cultivate the attitude of a willing heart praying earnestly that He, who knows our hearts, will enable us to cultivate the wonderful grace of giving portrayed in this chapter.

The secret, of course, is found in II Cor. 8:5.

Exodus 36:7 Too Much Stuff

Some guy back in Egypt must have had quite a pile of choice lumber out behind his house when it came time for the captors to pay off the slaves. Whether it came from one source or several, it is quite unlikely that it could be found growing in the wilderness. On the other hand, we know that nothing is impossible with our God. He could have had it all cut, planned and stacked behind a boulder...but I doubt it. When gotten ready for construction, there were 56 planks over two feet wide and fifteen feet long (depending on your view of the cubit) besides 15 bars designed to hold the walls in place and nine matching pillars. Now that's quite a stack even behind a house in Maine where 23 &ndash; 32 inch boards are quite scarce!

The point is, we sort of take all this building material for granted. If this acacia wood was prevalent in that area as some would say, cutting down a log big enough to get out of it such lumber by sawing it into planks must have been quite a chore.

There are those who have a typical meaning for everything in the tabernacle and knowing how intricately meticulous is our Heavenly Father, they are probably right.

The boards, I think, could speak of us as individual believers all hooked together by the bars, our humanity covered with the gold of God's righteousness and standing upright on silver sockets made from the redemption money representing Christ's finished work. I read somewhere that the bar that "shoots" thru the boards from one end to the other speaks of the Holy Spirit.

What is special, however, about this chapter is the fact that the people brought "more than enough for the service of the work." One would like to pastor that kind of a church for a little while where he had to restrain the people from bringing. All said and done, these Israelites had a lot of faults but stinginess just doesn't appear to be one of them.

Exodus 37:6 "And He Made the Mercy Seat of Pure Gold"

I counted 12 times that the words "and he made" are used in this chapter. From 36:11 throughout these next chapters this in the theme (contrast with "and thou shalt make" back in chapter 25:13 and following). God had said "make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them." He had given the instructions, called a gifted man, Bezaleel (35:30) and a company of wise-hearted men to serve as craftsmen and here in this chapter we have the actual construction of the furnishings of the interior of the tabernacle. There were four articles within the tent, the ark (v.1), the table (v.10), the candlestick (v.17) and the incense altar (v. 25). The final two articles of furniture were to be out in the courtyard. These are recorded as being made in our next chapter and are the brazen altar and the laver.

Thus is constituted the most detailed object lesson in the Bible (of which the temple was but a more permanent counterpart). As indicated above, it was to be God's place of dwelling in the very midst of their camp.

The articles were mobile having rings on them made to receive the poles for being carried. The furnishings within were covered with gold, those without, of brass.

Here it was Jehovah's wish to meet with His people. Here, represented by the priests, they would come to worship and serve. Today, we are His tabernacle, His dwelling place (Ps.90:1), His temple (II Cor.6:16), His house of prayer (Isa.56:7). He has indicated this meeting to be the center of our lives. The mercy seat is sprinkled by the atoning blood of His beloved Son, the veil is rent to receive all believer priests in mercy (gold) most precious. It is here He feeds us from His table, and enlightens us from His lampstand. It is here that He receives the sweet incense of prayer fellowship. No natural light in here, no strange fire of fleshly zeal, no smell of human sweat (linen has replaced the woolen garments), just peace and rest in the beauty of His holiness (Ps. 96:9). "Oh, how sweet to be there." (Mary vs Martha Lk.10:42).

Exodus 38:8 "The Laver of Brass"

There is a distinct reason why the furnishings of the court of the tabernacle were of brazen material rather than of gold. The gold perhaps among other things, spoke of the preciousness of God's presence, the great value of being able to come that close to the Sovereign God of the universe, the beauty of His holiness, a place where only the chosen might frequent. On the other hand it would seem that brass speaks of judgement in Scripture. Where Jesus is seen in a position of Judge in Revelation 1:14 - 17, His feet were described as being like brass. Then too, what happened in the courtyard relates primarily to that subject. The brazen altar was the place of death for every creature placed thereupon. In contrast we are urged to present our bodies a living sacrifice unto God in Rom.12:1. I believe this altar represents the cross, the place of death for our Lord Jesus. It was blood from this place that was used to purify "almost all things" ( Hebrews 9: 22 & 23) relative to that first testament. If every animal must die, if our Lord Jesus must die then it stands to reason that we too must die (take up the cross) as much as to be died for at this point in our worship of Jehovah as believer priests. It is safe to say that no one may be admitted to the place of worship that has not embraced this altar and all it represents. No uncrucified flesh may everbe reflected in the pure gold of the sanctuary.

Yet, how can the child of God be fed with the Bread of heaven if he go not in, how can anyone be enlightened as to the will of God if he go not in and how can one's petitions be sent heavenward to be stored in golden vials if he enter not this holy place of prayer? Can any service be acceptable that does not begin and have its roots in this golden throne room?

There is one more article. One made from polished brass mirrors. The blood sprinkled way leads one to this place of constant examination and cleansing prior to all worship and service. Clean hands that go with a pure heart (Ps.24:4) and clean feet washed by a loving Saviour (John 13:10) will keep us presentable for a golden encounter with our merciful and gracious Heavenly Father (Heb.4:16).

Exodus 39:1 "Service in the Holy Place"

We will look today at the High Priest's garb a bit more closely than we did in chapter twenty-eight though we will need to go back to pick up some details which are found there about these garments of glory and beauty.

From head to foot this fore- runner of our Lord Jesus was regaled in splendor. Upon the mitre he wore of crown of gold with the words engraved, "holiness to the Lord." Of course there would never be a Man more holy than He though it is the will of God that each believer be as He is ( I Peter 1:15 & 16). The Septuagint changes the to to of, stating it "holiness ofthe Lord." Aaron bore "the iniquity of the holy things which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts." When we present our bodies on the altar they become holy and acceptable because of the holiness of our High Priest (Ex.28:38 and Rom.12:1).

Upon his heart (28:29) were the names of the tribes graven upon the precious stones. Does this not speak of His precious jewels (Mal.3:17) which our Lord Jesus bears upon His heart in the Father's presence?

Ezekiel (44:17 & 18) tells us why the clothing must be linen instead of wool and reminds us that our service in God's throne room must not be sweaty with self-effort. May we learn the restful method of grace inherent in the identification truths of Paul's epistles, "for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."

Yes, we as believer-priests like Aaron's sons are also arrayed in garments of glory and beauty (28:40) and our primary place of ministry is in the holy place(41 - 43). As we come out from there to mingle with friends and loved ones, surely the fragrance of the incense will be upon us. The day is coming when we too will have a plate of gold upon our forehead and on it will be His name (Rev.22:4). "The quality goes in before the name goes on". Was that Motorola?

Do you know the hymn Accepted in the Beloved? Here is where it should be sung. A joyful noise is good enough!

Exodus 40:33 & 34 Finished and Filled

Have you noticed the development in the Pentateuch? In Genesis a man is chosen, he goes into Egypt and into bondage. He is delivered by the death of a substitute and the application of the blood of a lamb. Next, a plan unfolds as the law is introduced which is a ministration of death yet has a way to approach a holy God involving a sacrificial system. The book of Leviticus (Greek for relating to the priests) explains both the need for cleansing and the rules apply to worship as he makes his way through the wilderness to the promised land where he will have the potential of a victorious and peaceful existence.

The name of this man is Israel and he is a type and picture of the Christian who will see in all of these stories of the past a wonderful portrayal of his own pilgrim experience (I Cor.10:11).

Indeed we see beautiful stories of Jehovah's tender love and care. We see His plan of salvation unfold as a sacrificial lamb becomes the basis of our deliverance and of our approach to Him. We see a chosen priesthood officiating at a simple ceremony where the blood of the lamb is the ground of acceptance. In every levitical sacrifice we see our Savior portrayed and in every trespass an example of our own needs. The Jewish feasts provide an outline to the history of redemption and the experiences in the wilderness, examples for us to follow. Our heavenly Joshua leads us across Jordan to a place of victory and as kings we find we are enabled to reign in life while we await the coming of the King of kings, as foretold by the prophets.

In the midst of all of these shadows stands the tabernacle, now finished and filled. Somehow this also speaks to us of our Moses who finished the work so we His temple might be filled. May we be led by His Spirit.