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Monday, January 28, 2008

Exodus 5:22-7:25; Matthew 18:21-19:12; Psalm 23:1-6; Proverbs 5:22-23 (New Living Translation)

Old Testament text

1. Moses returns to God complaining that his mission was not a success. Or is his question really, "What other methods should I use to get this done?"

2.The vindication of God's name is the main theme of the plagues.

3. Moses is now to demand unconditional release, not just a 3 day religious holiday.

4. God begins His reply to Moses by identifying Himself with the name that conveys His full power...Yahweh. To know that He is Yahweh means to experience or witness His power.

5. Yahweh is the same God who, under the name of El Shaddai, made a covenant with Israel's ancestors, and He now intends to fulfill that covenant.

6. "I will take you to be My people, and I will be your God. This refers to the covenant that will be established at Mount Sinai. This speaks to the intended intimate relationship between God and Israel...."And you shall know that I, the Lord, am your God."

7. The pedigree of Moses and Aaron. This begins with the descendant's of Jacob's first two sons, but only for the sake of showing the place of his third son, Levi, the ancestor of Moses and Aaron. Levi's descendants are listed in detail, particularly Aaron and his immediate successors as high priest. The rest are omitted.

8. Troop by troop. The Israelites would not leave Egypt as fleeing slaves but as an army marching to the promised land in military formation.

9. "The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord." God's "signs and marvels" will answer Pharaoh's contemptuous declaration that he "does not know the Lord."

10 Since Pharaoh's magicians are able to duplicate the first marvel, he is unimpressed. The magicians use "their spells", conventional magic; while Aaron works silently, relying not on his own power, but on the power of the Lord. The Lord's superior power is demonstrated when Aaron's serpent overcomes those of the magicians.

11. The first of 10 plagues. The plague of blood.

- Pharaoh is told what the coming events will show. The Nile river is affected by this plague. The Nile river is the deified source of Egypt's life. The magicians again can duplicate this...so the Pharaoh is once again unimpressed.

12. What is our lesson as we continue with the Pharaoh? The kingdom of Yahweh is invading the kingdom of the Pharaoh. One God invading the territory of another "god." The Pharaoh is in control, and will not relinquish that control without a fight. Isn't that how we are as we struggle to keep our hands on the controls, rather than letting God...

New Testament text

13. Parable of the unforgiving debtor

- We are seen as servants. Christ, our King has forgiven us a great debt. As servants to such a loving and patient King, we are now called on to have patience and compassion with our fellow believers. Failure to have such patience and to extend such forgiveness will cut us off from our experience of God's forgiveness. This is not because God is unwilling to forgive. It is because forgiveness is like a coin. It has two sides...you cannot have the "heads" (receive forgiveness) without the "tails" (extend forgiveness).

-Faith does not give us an elevated status. We are servants, subject to the will of God. And, we are to treat our fellow servants as God treats us.

14. The Pharisees, followers of the way of the Law, approach Jesus about divorce. The Pharisees, like the disciples, missed the point. Jesus had been teaching about greatness, and had shown that true greatness is to restore the straying lamb, to exercise patience, and to be ever-ready to forgive.

Psalm 23

15. The psalmist here claims relation to God, as his shepherd. He recounts the kind things God has done for him as his shepherd.


16. Your own sin will bind you over to the judgment of God; there is no need for prison or chains...

See you next post...

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