Gods and Goddesses 101

Welcome back to Time in the Word. If you missed last week’s devotional, you can catch that here. Today we begin with Moses and Aaron’s initial visit to Pharaoh. You could consider it an official meet and greet. Though no one exchanged business cards or traded pleasantries, God is setting the stage for his power to be displayed. Today we get to dive into Gods and Goddesses 101.

Turn with me in your Bible to Exodus 5 and 6. If you are reading this digitally, you can get the scripture here. BE SURE to check out the goodies linked below. There are articles to read and helpful PDFs to print out and mull over. Enjoy!

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Ready or Not: Moses vs. Pharaoh and the Egyptian gods

Welcome back to Time in the Word. Today we finally arrive in Egypt with Moses, and it’s about time! Moses gave God many reasons why he shouldn’t be the one to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

God certainly displayed his grace and patience with Moses. Ready or not, you’re going to represent me, and I will show all of Egypt who the ONE TRUE GOD IS!

Before we arrive in Egypt, I left out some important details pertaining to Moses’ journey. Last week Moses was told to go back to Egypt. To go and meet with the Israelite elders. Should the elders question Moses about who sent him, he is to say ‘I AM’ has sent him. If they require a sign, he is to show them the Staff sign, the Leprous Arm sign, and then the Nile turning to blood sign.

Catching you up on what we skipped

Here are a few things we skipped:

  1. Moses told God he wasn’t good at speaking. God said that he created Moses and that he, GOD, would help him speak and then told Moses to get to Egypt. Moses didn’t like God’s response, so he told God to find somebody else. God got VERY angry with Moses. God told Moses that his brother Aaron could speak well and that Moses should feed Aaron the words, and God would speak through both of them. Take your staff and go!- I can’t help but think Moses missed something by arguing his being “less than” for the job God had for him.-M
  2. Moses says goodbye to Jethro and takes his wife and boys back to Egypt. On the way, God meets Moses and is about to kill him. Zipporah, his wife, immediately senses God’s attack on Moses is because he hasn’t circumcised one of his boys. Zipporah circumcises the boy and isn’t too happy about it.- It’d be fun to come back to this later.-M
  3. God reveals the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart. And tells Moses to warn Pharaoh if he doesn’t let Israel, God’s firstborn, go worship in the wilderness, God will take the life of Pharaoh’s firstborn son.
  4. The Lord tells Aaron to meet Moses in the wilderness. Moses shares with Aaron all that God has revealed. As well as what to say and the signs Moses is to perform.

Egypt! Let the games begin

After arriving, Aaron and Moses meet with the elders, and Aaron shares everything that Moses had said. Moses also performed the signs. The elder’s believed what was said and told. Moses and Aaron get an audience with Pharaoh. They ask that the Israelites be allowed to leave for their Festival in the wilderness.

Pharaoh is pretty cocky and unimpressed. He said, “Who is the Lord and why should I obey him…?”. Things are about to get pretty uncomfortable for Moses and Pharaoh has no idea what is coming his way.

Thank you for joining me here, today, in Time in the Word. Come back next week when Moses finds out leadership can be a lonely place.

intentional boasting

Intentionally Boast in the Cross

boasting in the Cross of Jesus Christ
all images in this post are provided by Gerd Altmann at Pixabay & edited by Mandy Farmer

But as for me, I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world has been crucified to me through the cross, and I to the world.

Galatians 6:14 csb

Who Wrote This to Whom?

Leon Morris wrote, “Galatians is a passionate letter, the outpouring of the soul of a preacher on fire for his Lord and deeply committed to bringing his hearers to an understanding of what saving faith is.” It was written to the Churches of Galatia. It is believed that this was about 15 years following Paul’s conversion on the Road to Damascus but before the council in Jerusalem. (since it was not mentioned in the letter) ‘Galatia’ covered the territory settled by the Gauls.” There is debate about whether the letter was written to northern or southern Galatia because Paul visited them both; however, it’s a moot point because this letter has much to say to all Christians.

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God Gives Moses the Game Plan and the Outcome

Welcome back to Time in the Word. Today we are quickly picking up where we left off last week. In case you missed last week’s devotional, you can get that here. Turn with me in your Bibles to Exodus 3:16- Exodus 4:1-29. You can find a digital link here. Moses started giving God his excuses for not being qualified to lead the Israelites out of Israel. God has ignored the excuses, and as we will see, God gives Moses the game plan along with the outcome. Has God ever given you a plan and the outcome of that plan?

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Moses: I AM and I Can’t Do This

Welcome back to Time in the Word. This week we find a “chink in Moses’ armor” and listen to God mow down Moses’ excuses. God also shares with Moses his name; I AM. Please join me and turn to Exodus 3:11-22 in your Bibles, or you can digitally read the scripture here.

Way back a few weeks

If you’ve missed previous devotional episodes, you can catch them right here:

  1. https://www.mandyandmichele.com/the-making-of-moses-god-speaks-through-the-burning-bush-part-two/
  2. https://www.mandyandmichele.com/the-making-of-moses-god-speaks-through-the-burning-bush/
  3. https://www.mandyandmichele.com/the-making-of-moses-the-desert-years/
  4. https://www.mandyandmichele.com/the-making-of-moses-egyptian-to-hebrew/
  5. https://www.mandyandmichele.com/the-making-of-moses/

Fear is a liar

Fear is the biggest factor that holds us back from accomplishing God-sized challenges. We fear we can’t accomplish what God has asked of us. Fear we won’t have the skills necessary. We need the who, what, when, where, and why’s answered before we even accept the challenge.

God doesn’t assign us fear. Fear comes from Satan. When God presents us with a challenge and we feel fearful, we need to stop and address each fear. Maybe fear is a good indicator that we are on the right track? We need God to help us because Satan will do anything to stop us.

Excuses, excuses

Standing barefoot before a burning bush with God speaking forth, Moses begins to give God excuse #1:

  • “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh (1) and bring the Israelites out of Egypt (2)?”

God’s response: “I will be with you. And this will be a sign to you that it is I who have sent you…”

Did you see that? God completely ignored the “Why are you sending me?” and “What skills do I have to lead the Israelites out?” God said “Go! I am sending you”, and that should have been good enough. God tested Moses by giving him that command back in verse 10. Then when Moses objected and aired those objections, God used them as a way of teasing out Moses’ excuses. It’s almost as if God wanted Moses to hear himself give the excuses. God is so sneaky! “Mmm hmm. Oh sure. I see. Do go on…”

Wouldn’t it have been interesting to watch the Holy flames as Moses dithered on? Did they become more intense as Moses made his excuses? Perhaps we should be wary of sharing our excuses when God calls upon us?

Moses gives God excuse #2:

  • “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

God’s response: “I AM WHO I AM… I AM has sent you.” And then God adds, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord,[d] the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you. This is my name forever, the name you shall call me, from generation to generation.”

This time God gives Moses a direct answer to his question- I AM. God links the heritage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to seal the deal. And he tells Moses, “I AM” will be God’s name forever.

I think that God used the heritage statement for two reasons. The first reason was to remind Moses he was a Hebrew, and that Hebrew heritage was precious. The second reason was to remind the Israelites they still had the promise God gave Abraham. God had not forgotten them during their 400-year enslavement.

Thank you, for joining me here, today in Time in the Word. Join me next week as we finish up Moses’ excuses and God gives Moses signs and wonders to perform.

Messenger of God - Jeremiah

Messenger of God – Jeremiah, Me, You

My Word of the Year is Intentional. As I began looking for a verse that I might claim, I kept finding verses where messengers of God said, “But as for me…” I thought, “These people are intentional in their lives. I want that”. So we will start looking at these scriptures. I have some friends helping me out and they are already stepping on my toes.” So here we go… Introducing Deborah Rutherford.

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The Making of Moses: God Speaks Through the Burning Bush

Welcome back to Time in the Word. Almost there! The Making of Moses: The Desert Years, gave us great insight into God preparing Moses for the tasks ahead. Have you given thought to any “desert years” in your life? What did they prepare you for? What did you learn? Today we move with Moses through his “desert schooling”. We will listen in on God speaking to Moses through the burning bush and other conversations!

Join me by turning in your Bible to Exodus 3. Click here for a digital version. This is an exciting time for Moses. He probably doesn’t see it that way. Your 40s can come with a pretty jaded very of life. There he is, tending his flock, and he catches sight of a crazy sight. A bush on fire. WHAT!?

A burning bush? This I have to see

There is a great deal of insight to unpack in the burning bush, which may take two posts! Bear with me as I share them.

Moses has caught sight of a burning bush. With his curiosity piqued, he walks over to the bush. This gives us a clue that a “burning bush” wasn’t a common occurrence. God revealed several things to Moses by using a burning bush:

  1. Through the fire, God revealed his HOLINESS.
  2. The burning bush represented his GLORY.
  3. God showed his CARE for the Israelites.
  4. A NAME representative of who God was, was given to Moses by God himself.
  5. He gave revelation of GRACE and the CROSS.

God is Holy

God is a Holy God and he revealed his holiness through the fire. The fire represents refinement and purification, which are actions of God’s holiness. This holiness (his standard) makes God distinct from all other gods.

His holiness was made evident by asking Moses to remove his sandals. The ground Moses was standing on was HOLY. Everything God touches responds to his holiness.

Moses was to remove his sandals as an act of reverence toward God. The removal of Moses’ sandals also offers us another clue of what Moses represented; the Law. We can’t reach heaven by the Law. We are imperfect people. No amount of rule-following, good “deeds” done, can EVER make up for our sinfulness.

With planet earth as Satan’s home, he seeks to mar any representation of God and his goodness, along with the plan to destroy God’s best creation, his people.

Satan was able to steal dominion over the earth away from man through deceit. A consequence of Adam and Eve’s sin of pride as well. I guess we all need to take note of how damaging pride really is!

Friends, my word meter is beeping at me. I’ll have to stop here. We’ll pick up next week to continue speaking about God’s holiness represented in the burning bush and many others as well. Till next week. Thank you for joining me here today, in Time in the Word.

The Making of Moses: The Desert Years

Welcome back to Time in the Word. Not only is Moses on a journey, but we are too! Maybe, like a little kid, you’ve asked yourself, “Are we there yet?”. The Making of Moses: The Desert Years will give us some great insight into how God prepares us to do the tasks he has before us.

As we age, we become more and more aware that God never sends us to do His work without proper preparation. I can testify to His prep work. Some of which were years back to prepare me for some things right now. You often don’t realize it till something jogs your memory, and then you have an “Aha!” moment. God showing up in tangible things makes my heart skip a beat.

Turn in your Bible to Exodus 2:15-25. I have also linked the scripture digitally right here.

Run Forest! Run!

Not to make light of Moses’ bad judgment, by using a line from the movie “Forest Gump” but running is indeed what Moses needed to do. Last week’s devotional focus had us watching Moses growing up Egyptian but with knowledge of his Hebrew heritage. Then we witnessed him commit murder as he felt there would be no one who would fairly judge what went on between the task-master and the slave.

For murdering an Egyptian, Pharaoh tried to kill Moses and Moses ran for his life. This run led him into the desert country of Midian, which is south of Judah. Here, he wanders to a well (wells seem to be a great place to find a wife for Bible folks) and meets his future wife, Zipporah. Zipporah is the daughter of Jethro, a Priest of Midian. Jethro is chief of a large tribe of people, which incidentally is a distant cousin of Moses.

Moses saves the day for Jethro’s seven daughters, who have taken on the tending of Jethro’s flock. Sounds like the girls had trouble with certain other shepherds who brought their flocks to the same well. These shepherds like to take advantage of the girls by letting them draw water for Jethro’s sheep and then push out Jethro’s sheep, and bring in their own sheep to drink from the troughs. What’s a girl to do? Go home and cry to your dad about it?

Family Man

Moses hit it off with Jethro and lived with Jethro’s family for a period of time before being given Zipporah as his wife. So began Moses’ new life with a wife, soon to follow- two boys, his own tent, and a flock of sheep. All the while Mt. Sinai (Horeb), the mount of God, surrounded him.

For forty years Moses learned the ways of a shepherd tending sheep. Moses had no idea God was developing shepherding skills that soon would transfer over to the shepherding of the Israelites out of Egypt. Can you find a desert in your life where God developed skills to prepare you for something else?

God never sends us out without giving us the proper training! Till next week, when Moses encounters the burning bush and God asks Moses to return to Egypt to lead his people out of bondage. Thanks for joining me here in Time in the Word.

The Making of Moses: Egyptian to Hebrew

Welcome back to Time in the Word! Turn with me in your Bibles to Exodus 2:11- 23. If you are joining us digitally, I have enclosed the link for the scripture reference here. We are making steady progress in our study of The Making of Moses: Egyptian to Hebrew. God prepares Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

Moses has had 38 years to study Egyptian culture, religion, and an Egyptian education. Moses sees himself as an Egyptian. Additionally, we can safely assume Moses is aware of his Hebrew heritage. God continues to weave his perfect plan as Moses grows from a boy to a man.

Hebrew living as on Egyptian

My curiosity piqued. I ask, “When did Moses know he was Hebrew?” This would be an awesome question to have a definite answer to. Here, we are given a “tip-off” in Exodus 4:14 (ahead of where we are reading today):

Exodus 4:14 -New International Version

14 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you.

-BibleGateway.com

Perhaps following Moses’ weaning and placement in Pharaoh’s house, Moses was allowed to maintain some family relationship? The Bible is not clear. It is obvious that Moses was aware he was Hebrew and he knew his birth family members by name. God can make a way when there seems to be no way.

If you were a fan of the 1956 movie “The Ten Commandments” by Cecil B Demille, the movie has several points which run contrary to the Bible. In “The Ten Commandments”, Moses is made aware of his Hebrew heritage through Nefreteri. Memnet, Moses’ old nurse-maid who drew him from the Nile, “spilled the beans” to Nefreteri by showing Moses’ Hebrew swaddling cloth.

Bithia, Moses’ Egyptian mother, is confronted with the “whole adoption scandal” going public to Ramses and rushes off to talk with Moses’ birth-mother, Yocheved. Bithia urges Yocheved to deny being Moses’ mother. But we know that plotline is the stuff of great movies and soap operas.

Check out this interesting article, “11 Things the “Ten Commandments Movie Got Wrong” here.

The Torah and Moses’s Crime of Murder

Part of our research on this passage leads us to the Jewish Torah. This article, which I am linking right here, has some interesting insights into what happened with Moses murdering the Egyptian taskmaster and subsequently fleeing for his life.

The article speaks of Moses “looking this way and that”, meaning he looked for someone to judge what happened between the Hebrew slave and the Egyptian taskmaster but found no one who would judge fairly. Unfortunately, Moses took matters into his own hands and avenged his fellow Hebrew. Jewish scholars felt Moses was keeping with the law of Genesis 9:6. Another tip Moses was well versed in his Jewish heritage.

Genesis 9:6 -New International Version

“Whoever sheds human blood,
    by humans shall their blood be shed;
for in the image of God
    has God made mankind.

-BibleGateway

Murder now sets the stage for life-altering changes in the journey of our Hebrew-Egyptian Moses. He wasn’t ready to lead his people out of slavery- yet. It would take another forty years to train him for such as task.

Thank you for joining me here in Time in the Word. Join me next week as we watch Moses transformed by the tending of sheep in the land of Midian. We are getting closer to The Ten Plagues!