October 6, 2011

Today you should read: Exodus 3

I’ve seen some out-of-the-ordinary things in my life. I’m sure you have too, but in case you haven’t, I encourage you to “people-watch” at an amusement park one day. Kings Island or Cedar Point will suffice, and I bet that what you’ll experience will carry some serious shock value.

Regardless (or irregardless — our beloved pastor’s favorite word) of what you’ve seen or experienced, you’ve probably got nothing on Moses’ experience in Exodus 3… the burning bush.

Only it wasn’t on fire.

Wait — it was.

But it wasn’t affected by the fire.

Oh yeah — the bush is talking too.

“What’s wrong with me? Am I hallucinating? What did I eat last night? Did someone slip something into my Matzo loaf?” These are the questions that must have been going through his head. Then, the Lord reveals Himself and let’s him know that this encounter is so serious that the ground he’s standing on is even holy. While that can be a puzzling part of the story for us, check out this note on “holy ground” that helped make sense of this for me:

The instructions to Moses are followed by a reason that emphasizes the place where he is standing. The very ordinariness of the location helps make the point that it is holy ground, not because of any special properties of the place but only because of God’s presence. This is representative of a theme in Exodus: God is holy, and he is the one who makes or declares places and people to be holy—and each is properly understood or treated as holy only in its relation to God. The instructions given to Moses here at the burning bush are also given to his successor Joshua when he meets the “commander of the army of the Lord” as Israel is preparing to take Jericho. ESV Study Bible

This encounter with God was powerful. It was one of the defining moments in the life of Moses. Many of us have had powerful moments in our walk with Christ that have defined us and maybe even governed the trajectory of our life and our goals. Since we as believers have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, these moments may happen with some regularity.

Today, as a response to our reading, I want our comments section below to be dedicated to sharing some of our powerful encounters with the Lord. We may not be Moses, but the God of the universe has met with us just like He met with Moses. If you can’t think of something recently, tell us about your salvation testimony. Wherever you were on that day, and whatever you were doing in that moment, I am pretty sure you were standing on the holy ground of Christ’s cross.

Posted by: Todd Thomas

October 5, 2011

Today you should read: Exodus 2:15-25

A God who hears and remembers…

What a great passage today! It really sets the scene for what is to come. And without giving too much away, we know that Moses has no idea what he is in for — he is about to embark on the journey of a lifetime!

In this chapter, we see Moses flee from Egypt out of fear because he had committed murder. Moses lived in and knew the culture in Egypt but was forced to flee. After helping some women by the well, he was invited to stay by his future father-in-law, Reuel (who later we know as Jethro).

Now, during the time that all of this was happening, Moses had no idea that God was about to respond to the cries of His people in Egypt. We see in verses 23-25 that God REMEMBERED His covenant and HEARD the cry of his people. Through this, God was about to glorify Himself in a way that would be remembered forever. Through this, God kept true to His promise and was merciful to His people. That’s where I want to land today.

Today’s “Walk-a-Way”

There are so many principles in just these 3 verses (23-25). To measure the implications of this paragraph is impossible because with these 3 verses, God changes history. All of this is because He heard the cry of His people and He remembered His covenant.

Think about this for a second: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob’s descendants (the people of Israel) were no longer known for their slavery, rather they were known for the covenant that represented them before God (v 24). Do you see it? The same is true for us! In Christ, we are no longer known for our slavery, rather, we are known and represented by the covenant that represents us. What an incredible and gracious truth!

What we see here is that God hears Israel. He hears His people and He answers them because he remembers His covenant with them. This does not only show us what kind of God we serve, but it gives us reason to pray. If you are in Christ, when you pray and cry out like Israel (God’s chosen people) did, God hears you and He answers because He remembers and acknowledges the covenant He has made with you through Christ.

This should cause you to pray always without ceasing (2 Thess. 5:17)!

You now have a standing before the Lord and, based on the merit of this covenant, He will hear and remember. Believe this, let this be your only merit, and trust God as the One who hears and remembers. Ask big things and cry out to God. How foolish would be for us to not take full advantage of this amazing privilege?

Church, we must pray! Do you have confidence that God will hear you? Do you truly believe this? If you are not constantly in prayer, hopefully today’s reading will encourage you to change. God hears you, and He remembers His covenant with you.

Posted by: Sam Cirrincione

October 4, 2011

Today you should read: Exodus 2:1-14

In Exodus 2 you see the providence of God all over the place again! God seems to be teaching CPC this lesson. He is in charge and He has it all under control, and boy do we need to remember this! So much to think about with the needs for additional building space, our Richmond campus to continue to grow, needs for more staff and finances…

I love verse 2… Moses mom saw that he was special. Moses had the hand of God on him from the beginning. God chooses who He will use. God raises up and God puts down. Maybe you have a child that you see God’s hand on — cherish that and develop it. I have seen this in my own children.

Next, I think about the choice that Moses sister, Miriam had to make. She risked her life to go against the command of the pharaoh and try and save her brother. She courageously hid Moses, and negotiated with pharaoh’s daughter. Life is all about choices, and the choices we make build on one another. Good choices produce good results while poor choices produce poor results (Galatians 6:7 and 2 Corinthians 9:6).

Verse 8 says… “So the girl went and called the baby’s mother.” How cool! Even though Moses mother hid him to protect him, she got the privilege of nursing him and undoubtedly instilling values into him. God is so good! Even in the little things!!

The boy grows up, learning to be a somebody in pharaoh’s house. But God’s hand was on him. He didn’t understand it – and he didn’t exactly use it correctly when killing an Egyptian – but God was preparing him to deliver His people. Sometimes it takes some developing to see God’s anointing fully expressed. Don’t be discouraged if you have to wait to see that in your children or in those around you. God’s at work! (Philippians 1:6)

Then we find Moses in the seminary of the desert… learning the lessons that he would need to fulfill the mission God had for him.

40 years in pharaoh’s house learning to be a SOMEBODY
40 years in the desert learning to be a NOBODY
40 years being a SOMEBODY for God
= the 120 years of Moses’ life

Verses 24-25 say, “God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.”

Now is the time… and Moses’ mission is about to take shape.

Posted by: Tim Parsons

October 3, 2011

Today you should read: Exodus 1

Context:

Let’s take just a minute to draw our attention back to Genesis 3:15:

“I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”

In the curse of the serpant we see a forshadowing of the future of man. There will be emnity or hatred between the followers of Yahweh and those who are of Satan. However, from the same curse comes a promise from the Lord. A savior will come from the seed of the woman (man) who will crush the head of the serpent (Satan). The seed of the serpent is identified by those who oppose God and/or the people who follow God. We see a good example of this in Matthew 3:7, when John the Baptist identified the pharisees as a brood of vipers because of their opposition to the coming of Jesus.

In Genesis 15, we see the promised seed of the woman being passed to Abraham when God gives him a son that will become a great nation. This results in his grandson, Jacob, being named Israel and his offspring multiplying into tribes and nations. Ultimately this promise of a savior will be fulfilled in Christ who comes out of the nation of Israel but as Paul Harvey would say that is the “rest of the story”.

Our passage today begins where Genesis ended with Israel living and prospering in Egypt. Israel is growing exceedingly strong in Egypt and we see God’s pledge to Abraham coming to pass (v.7). They are becoming so numerous that they’re all throughout the land of Egypt, but their welcome had begun to run out. There is a new Pharaoh who did not know Joseph nor care about him; all he knew is that the Israelites were becoming strong. To a king who is worried about his kingdom, he becomes threatened by the possiblity of Israel rising up against him (v.10).

So what is his answer? To seek the Lord’s will and bless the people of Israel according to promise of God? Absolutely not. He did what anyone does who is seeking to protect his kingdom and his power: he opposed them. By oppressing them he figured that he would be able to control them (v.11-14), but slavery wasn’t enough. Pharaoh wanted to stop their multipication all together by having the midwives kill the male children thus taking away their strength.

No matter how much Pharaoh (seed of the serpent) opposed the people of God (seed of the woman), God always fought on behalf of the people. In this case God used the midwives who feared him to preserve his people.

Now what does this matter to us? We are talking about nations and kings and a conflict between seeds that started all the way back in Genesis – that surely doesn’t matter to us, right? Wrong! The war between the people of God and Satan that raged in Exodus is raging just as ferociously today. Ask yourself what side you are fighting on.

In the case of Pharaoh, it was his desire to serve himself that caused him to oppose the people of God, and that same sinful spirit is in each of us. To be a seed of the serpent does not mean that we are actively worshiping Satan, but our sin naturally makes us opposed God. To be of God means that we been redeemed by Christ; we must have a new heart that is given through a relationship in Christ. It was Abrahams faith in God that made him righteous, his faith in a coming redeemer through his seed (Romans 4:1-16).

Even Peter needed to be rebuked by Jesus for this in Matthew 16:23:

“But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

Question:

Is your heart for God or for yourself? The answer will tell you which side of the conflict you are on.

Posted by: Chad Wiles