Chronological Bible Reading – February 14 – Our Tent of Meeting

Today’s Reading: Exodus 30-38

The Tent of Meeting

I am almost certain that I write about this passage every year as I come to it.  It is so rich with truth for us that we must be reminded regularly of the lessons learned from Moses’ Tent of Meeting.

Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, a good distance from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting… – Exodus 33:7a (NASB)

Thus the Lord used to speak with Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend.  When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent. – Exodus 33:11 (NASB)

What an incredible reality that the God of all Creation can and will speak to us and we can meet with Him and speak to Him as a man speaks with his friend.  This meeting was very limited in the Old Testament.  However, through Jesus Christ, all have access to God through faith.

How often we neglect so great a privilege.  In light of this reality, when we stop and consider the things we allow to keep us from meeting with God on a regular basis, we should be ashamed.  However, when we come to our senses and return to meet with Him, His grace means we will not face condemnation from Him.  His love for us never fails. He is always waiting for us to come to our senses and answer His call to us to meet with Him.  May we never get over the reality that we can meet and fellowship intimately with the Sovereign God of the Universe.

Ponder this truth and examine where you are in your commitment to Him.  Where you see deficiency, repent and find the grace given through Jesus Christ that strengthens you to return to a place of close fellowship with your Heavenly Father.

Moses’ Pattern for Prayer

Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight… – Exodus 33:13 (NASB)

The (Moses) said to (God), “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. – Exodus 33:15 (NASB)

What a model for prayer we see with Moses as he meets with God.  The cry of his prayer is two-fold:

  1. Let me know You.
  2. Lead me by Your presence.

This should be a pattern and part of our prayer life on a daily basis.  To know God is our heart’s cry.  To be led by Him results in a life well lived for His Kingdom purposes.  It is in knowing Him that we find the strength to walk the path He sets before us.  The beauty is that the Christian life is not powered only by a distant encounter with God from our past, but by the moment-by-moment reality of His presence and power at work in and through us by His Spirit.  This reality exists because of the Gospel.  It is because of what Jesus has done and the grace that is given through faith in Him that we know our great God and walk with Him.

May this truth fill our hearts, and stir us to enjoy the intimate fellowship with Him that Jesus came to provide.

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

Chronological Bible Reading – February 3 – The Reminder We All Need

Today’s Reading: Exodus 4:18-7:13, 1 Chronicles 6:1-4

I am the LORD!

Here in the beginning of Moses’ tenure as leader of the Israelites, we continually see the phrase, “I am the LORD!” Moses is still very reluctant to answer the call that God has issued. He will lead this people out of slavery, but in this early stage, Moses cannot see how it is possible.  He is viewing this monumental task through the lens of his own abilities.  According to his strength, Moses is correct in his assessment.  He will NEVER lead this people out on his own.

So, over and over again, God reminds Moses who will do this work.  “I am the LORD” is the tag given to every action and the answer to all his doubts.  Moses doesn’t get it just yet, but very soon he will understand and walk in faith with this truth.

It is the same for us.  As we see the commands of God set before us, and the life He has called us to live, it is clear we cannot do it alone.  Just as the impossibility of delivering the Israelites from Egypt causes Moses to rely fully on God, so the high calling of a life lived for Christ causes us to rely on God’s power working through us.

Don’t cower in the face of the impossible.  See it as an opportunity to see the LORD work in and through your life.   This is the joy and adventure found in pursuing Christ, and it begins with the constant reminder…I am the LORD!

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

Chronological Bible Reading – February 2 – The End of Ourselves

Today’s Reading: Exodus 1:1-4:17

The circumstances by which God would first deliver Moses and then prepare him for the call on his life are beautiful examples of God’s sovereignty, power, and plan.  Exodus begins with Joseph dead and the Israelites have multiplied greatly.  There is a new Pharaoh who doesn’t know the history of Joseph and is fearful of the vast number of these foreign Israelite people.  He forces them into slavery and hard labor.  He puts statutes in place to reduce the number of Israelites.  Namely, he commands the killing of all male Israelite children when they are born.

God has a plan to deliver His people and to display His majesty to the Egyptian people. It begins with a baby boy being born.  Moses is born, hidden by his mother, discovered by Pharaoh’s daughter and raised as a prince in Egypt.  When he is grown he sees himself as a potential deliverer for his people. He kills an Egyptian, the first sign of his self-sufficiency.

God knows in order to use Moses for the task of delivering His people, he will have to be humbled.  In Exodus 3:1, we see a prime example of this humbling process at its best.  By this point, Moses has gone from a prince in Egypt to a shepherd of a flock he doesn’t even own.  He is being broken of all self-sufficiency and pride.  However, in the midst of this time, God appears to Moses and gives him the call of delivering the people from slavery.  His response, “Who am I?” is exactly what God is looking for in him.  Moses knows he cannot do such a great task.

God has a broken vessel that He can use in Moses.  It is through broken and humble men and women that God can accomplish the most for His glory!  Don’t miss this.  We all want God to use us for great things.  The key to this is to come to the end of ourselves.  When we are empty of all self-sufficiency and pride, we are positioned to be used of God for purposes beyond our abilities.  Our lives will be predictable and mediocre when lived according to our strength and abilities.  But when we yield ourselves to be used by the God of all creation, our lives will be marked by things that can only be explained in terms of God’s power at work in us, and that is a life well lived.

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

Meet with Your Father and Friend

Exodus 33:11 – Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent. (ESV)

Moses, as the leader of the Jewish nation, would construct a tent just outside the camp and call it the Tent of Meeting. He would erect the tent, and spend time there meeting with God “face to face, as a man speaks to his friend”.

This is such a beautiful picture for each of us to reflect upon today. Here we have the God of the Universe meeting with a man and speaking with him as His friend. I have read this hundreds of times, and each time I read it, it still strikes me as incredible.

But, here is what is even more incredible. By God’s grace through our faith in the sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can be reconciled to God. (2 Cor. 5:18, Rom. 5:10) As a result of this reconciliation, we become children of God (1 John 3:1) and as His children, we enjoy the privilege of having free access to our Heavenly Father. We are free to talk with Him and meet with Him “as a man speaking with his friend”. We don’t have to erect some special tent or make a special trip. Talk with Him right where you are, because He is there! This gives me great comfort.

As awesome as Exodus 33’s description of the Tent of Meeting can be, by God’s grace we can experience something even greater!

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

Starting Now, I’m Looking Out for THE ONE!

Often, we find ourselves facing difficulties, and almost always, our immediate response is asking God to remove the hardship.  Exodus 32 and the story of Israel and the golden calf paints a picture of the heart of Moses that should help us understand that instead of “looking out for number one” we should be looking out for THE ONE! Continue reading

The Breaking of a Man

The Early Life of Moses (Exodus 2-4)

As I have been reading Exodus for the last few days, it is clear that God had a tremendous plan for the life of Moses. However, there was a great deal of breaking that needed to take place to prepare Moses for the work ahead.

The familiar life of Moses begins with him being born and hidden from Pharaoh’s plan to destroy all the Hebrew boys who were born. However, after a time, it become difficult for him to be hidden and therefore he is placed in a basket and set in the Nile river. There, he is discovered by Pharaoh’s daughter the princess of Egypt. He is brought into the palace, cared for by his own mother as a nurse, and then continues his life as an adopted prince of Egypt. As you read this, you may be thinking, “Where is this breaking you are talking about Andy?” It is about to become very clear! Continue reading