Monthly Archives: August 2011

Exodus 23:1-3 — Following the crowd

I have a vague memory of something that happened when I was a kid.  For some reason, some kids were teasing me about something, I can’t remember what.  And I remember one of my friend’s response.  He kind of went … Continue reading

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Exodus 21:12-22:15 — The seriousness of sin

As I look through these laws, they seem to be a running commentary on the ten commandments, namely, “Do not murder,” and “Do not steal,” and “Honor your father and mother.”  You get the idea from reading through these, that … Continue reading

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Exodus 21:1-11 — Service out of love

And so we come to the laws of the Israelite society.  I can’t really say I’ve been looking forward to getting to this part of Exodus.  I have no desire to give a verse by verse commentary on the cultural … Continue reading

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Exodus 20:17 — Getting to the heart of things

We arrive at the final command of the ten commandments, and it’s unique among the ten because of one thing.  It’s the only one that deals with the inner thoughts of the heart.  With the other nine, it’s dealing with … Continue reading

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Exodus 20:16 — Words that destroy

We’ve seen so far in the ten commandments two things we are not to do to the people around us.  We are not to take their lives, and we are not to take their property.  The third is not to … Continue reading

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Exodus 20:15 — Stolen property

When I was a kid, our family was a victim of house theft.  I don’t recall anything of major value being taken from our house.  Someone came through one of our windows, snuck in while we were away, and took … Continue reading

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Exodus 20:14 — Breaking what shouldn’t be broken

God loathes adultery. We live in a world where it’s almost taken as a matter of course.  We see it on TV dramas.  We see it in movies.  We read about it in books.  We see it in gossip magazines, … Continue reading

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Exodus 20:13 — The value of human life

You shall not murder. Probably the most well-known of the ten commandments.  Even among non-Christians.  If you were to poll non-Christians and Christians about the ten commandments, I’d guess this would be the one that would rank number one as … Continue reading

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Exodus 20:12 — A vital relationship

It’s interesting to me the human relationship that God chose to address first and foremost in the ten commandments, the relationship between parents and their children.  He said, “Honor your father and your mother.”  And as Paul mentioned in Ephesians … Continue reading

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Exodus 20:8-11 — A true Sabbath

A couple of weeks ago, a friend asked me why Christians still follow most of the ten commandments, but don’t follow the fourth, to keep the Sabbath day. There are a couple of answers to this.  One is that in … Continue reading

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Exodus 20:7 — A God who is to be honored

Here in Japan, one phrase that many Japanese seem to know, even the high school students who barely speak a word of English, is “Oh my God.”  They almost never say it in the right context or with the right … Continue reading

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Exodus 20:5-6 — The DNA of sin

After my daughter was born, many people started telling me that she looks like me.  I guess we have the same eyebrows and same nose (or so I’m told), but I think she has my wife’s mouth.  A friend told … Continue reading

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Exodus 20:4-5 — The God who cannot be shaped

In the first command God gave, he revealed himself as the God who stands alone.  There is no God besides him, and he will not accept people worshiping any “gods” besides him. In the second command, God reveals something else … Continue reading

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Exodus 20:3 — A God who stands alone

Who is this God? Back when Moses asked Pharaoh to let the people go to worship God in the desert, Pharaoh asked “Who is this Yahweh?  Why should I listen to him?” Though thousands of years have passed since Pharaoh … Continue reading

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Exodus 20:1-2 — Not arbitrary.

And so we start one of the most famous passages in the Bible:  The ten commandments.  I kind of flirted with the idea of just giving a brief overview of them, but decided they were important enough to give a … Continue reading

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Exodus 19:9-25; 20:18-21 — Kept at a distance

Why did Jesus have to die?  Was it really necessary in order to have a relationship with God? I think we get a big clue to that as we look at the relationship between God and Israel in these passages.  … Continue reading

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Exodus 19:1-8 — A treasured possession, a kingdom of priests, a holy nation

God made a pretty awesome covenant with the people of Israel.  After pulling them out of Egypt and bringing them to himself, he now promised to make them his own treasured possession, a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. … Continue reading

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Exodus 18 — A teachable heart

I was talking to a friend recently, and since I had just celebrated my latest birthday, we were talking a bit about the changes that come with the years.  One thing I mentioned was that I know a lot less … Continue reading

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Exodus 17:8-16 — No need to fight alone

Israel faced their first battle in the desert against the Amalekites.  Apparently, at a time when the Israelites were tired and worn out from traveling in the desert, the Amalekites were killing all the weak ones who were lagging behind … Continue reading

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Exodus 17:1-7 — Pictures of Christ

And the complaining continues.  Not long after complaining about no food, now the Israelites start complaining about no water. But God uses the situation to give a beautiful picture of Christ and his work in our lives.  In I Corinthians … Continue reading

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Exodus 16 — “Will you trust me?”

I would’ve hated to be Moses, trying to lead the people of Israel.  For one thing, they had short memories.  For another, they had ears that apparently didn’t hear very well. Once again, the Israelites were grumbling against God and … Continue reading

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Exodus 15:22-27 — Bitterness, healing, and obedience

As I mentioned in my last blog, it’s amazing how quickly praise can turn into grumbling.  The Israelites were only three days away from the Red Sea when they started complaining about a lack of water.  You’d think that after … Continue reading

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Exodus 15:1-21 — Who God is

Either Moses and Miriam were really talented song writers, or God gave them the song on the spot, or there was a bit of time between the victory over the Egyptians and the singing of the song. At any rate, … Continue reading

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Exodus 14 — Stand firm. Go forward.

It strikes me that Pharaoh probably never intended to let the Israelites leave Egypt.  Up until then, all Moses had ever asked was that they be allowed to go and worship God in the desert.  And when Pharaoh finally gave … Continue reading

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Exodus 13:17-22 — God’s leading

I think this one will be short and sweet today.  There are three things that strike me about God’s leading in this passage. First, he never leads us into situations greater than we can handle.  It says in verse 17, … Continue reading

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Exodus 13:1-16 — Remember

One of my favorite movies of all time is Star Trek — The Wrath of Khan.  In the climatic scene, Spock goes down to the engineering section, and needs to go into a room flooded with radiation to get the … Continue reading

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Exodus 12 — A new start

Lots of symbolism in this chapter.  One of the most striking to me is the creation of a new calendar.  For the Israelites, their deliverance from Egypt was to be the start of their yearly calendar.  It was as if … Continue reading

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Exodus 7-11 — Stubbornness and Pride

It’s really amazing looking at these chapters to see just how stubborn Pharaoh was.  Maybe there was some excuse for the first three miracles as his own magicians were able to produce a counterfeit to Moses’ miracles.  But after that, … Continue reading

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Exodus 7-10 — Counterfeit

Let the games begin! After Pharaoh threw down the gauntlet by rejecting God’s word, and persecuting the Israelites even more, God started to give signs of who he really was to Pharaoh, that he is truly God above all. First, … Continue reading

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Exodus 5-6 — I did what you told me to! Now look what happened!

Well, Moses couldn’t say God didn’t warn him.  God told him that Pharaoh would be hard-hearted and wouldn’t listen to Moses.   But that sure didn’t stop Moses from complaining. Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh, and didn’t even ask him … Continue reading

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Exodus 4:24-26 — No small thing

I kind of debated writing about this passage or not.  It’s one of those “uncomfortable” passages in the Bible, as well as being a passage that seems to come out of nowhere. One moment Moses is being told to go … Continue reading

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