Commandments

Exodus 18 brought these thoughts to mind.

The Israelites had escaped from Egypt, crossed the Red Sea, and defeated Amalak so far. There were probably more than 1.5 million people at that point. (The Word tells us there were 600,000 men, not counting women and children.)

Moses was doing all of the judgings himself when his father-in-law came to him and advised him to make some changes. I’m sure Moses talked to God and his advisers (see Genesis 18:12) about it, too. The plan was, there would be men in charge who knew the 10 Commandments well and would judge in hierarchies of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens.

It was so simple.

But then, would it be perfect again? Probably not! Since the fall men and women have gotten progressively farther and farther away from His Word. I wish I could shout it to the multitudes. God’s Word and God’s Law matter!

Can I get an amen?!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Brick Builders Illustrated Bible For Children – Review

I have just spent a delightful two hours reading through God’s story.  As the Word always has and always will, this version of the Bible speaks the simple, yet profound, truth in the language of children.

Storytelling is the favored method of Bible writers to point the way to the truth, particularly in the New Testament in the many parables used by Jesus.  In this collection of Old and New Testament stories, by Emily Dammer, the same thing is accomplished in the language of children.

I’m sure young children will love this ‘Bible’.  The illustrations, by Antony Evans, use brick-like figures to illustrate each story.  Each page colorful and eye-catching.

The building blocks at the end of each chapter give life applications in children’s language.  For instance, in the story of Moses God keeps His promises and He will keep you safe are the takeaways.

All in all, I enjoyed reading Brick Builders and can imagine parents and children reading the stories to one another over and over.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

3 Who Parted The Waters

Interesting!  Amazing! Provoking!  Every one of these adjectives describes my Bible reading.  How about yours?  Do you read the Word for study only or, like me, do you take the time to just read it for the pure joy of it.  Don’t get me wrong, I do study the Word!  But every morning, with coffee in hand, I simply read it, asking God to let me see something new and amazing each time.  He honors that request almost every day and today was no exception.

2 Kings 2

We all know that Moses parted the waters at the Red Sea, and stopped the rivers on the journey to the Promised Land.  Did you know there are others?  I found two in 2 Kings Chapter 2.

Elijah was trying to get away from Elisha because he knew he was about to be taken to the LORD.  First, he told Elisha to stay where he was because God had an errand for him in Bethel.   Elisha wasn’t having any of that.  He knew what was about to happen and he wasn’t leaving.  Then Elijah said God had an errand for him in Jericho.  Same thing happened, so they traveled together.  Finally, Elijah said God has an errand for me at the Jordan.  Elisha is not about to let him out of his sight.  When they get to the Jordan, Elijah hits the water with his cloak and it parts allowing them to cross on dry ground.  When they reach the other side Elijah is taken to Heaven in a whirlwind, his cloak falls to the ground.  Elisha, having already asked to be like Elijah, uses the cloak to part the waters again and return to the other side.  As I said, interesting, amazing, and thought provoking.

Transfiguration by Alexandr Ivanov, 1824

Transfiguration by Alexandr Ivanov, 1824

Here’s another interesting connection.  (I love it when the Old and New Testaments connect!)  At the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-13) Jesus met both Elijah and Moses.  Isn’t it interesting that the One who walked on water and the ones who parted the waters were great friends  and needed to talk to one another while Jesus was this side of heaven?

Keep on keeping on!

Heavenly Father, put a great desire in all of us to know more and more of  You!  As David said, Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.  Make it so for all of us Lord!

A Satisfied Spirit Fears Not

No Fear

Throughout scripture we are told not to be afraid.  Why is that?  God knew, when He put Adam and Eve out of the garden, that fear would be a part of everyday life.  So then what do we fear?  For me,  it’s something will happen to someone I love when they are not near me.  Or, there won’t be enough money for everything we need.  Or, not enough time for what I need to get done.  Or, someone will not like how I look.

We fear because we are worriers, we are anxious about the unknown.  I know that God has me in his constant protection, that He is caring for me personally, yet I still give in to wandering thoughts about what will happen if?…

It’s interesting to me that when the Bible talks about fear it is connected to a specific cause.  God told Joshua not to fear when he took over after Moses.  He simply said,  “Take courage, fear not, I was with Moses and I will be with you!”  The angel, messenger from God, said to Jesus’ mother, “Fear not”, you are blessed and highly favored.  God is with you!”  The angels at the tomb told the two Marys not to fear.  (Mark 16)  In Acts 18:9 Paul is told not to fear but to speak out.

I’m told the only way to conquer my fear is to face it.  Perhaps so but the Word says I don’t have to face it alone.  God is always with me and with Him all the the Angel Armies of Heaven.  Why would I fear with that at my Protector’s disposal?

Whom Shall I Fear by Chris Tomlin

Heavenly Father I know You are always with me, always by my side.  Grant me peace in the knowledge that I need fear no evil.  Give me strength to stand and speak for You.  I beseech You in the Precious Name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior.  Make it so!

Holy vs. Common

Rosary Worship

Have you ever noticed that sometimes God puts valuable information in sometimes obscure parts of the Bible?  That nuggets of wisdom are sometimes hiding in the shadows of other information?  We’ll be lighting the shadows in today’s post and looking at Leviticus 10:8-11.

During the time God was giving the law to Moses He spoke to Aaron, his brother, once in a while too.  In this portion of Scripture He tells Aaron and his sons to distinguish between holy and common.  God uses the possibility of to much ‘wine or other fermented drink’ as an example of the kinds of worldly issues that can be brought into the arena of worship.  Basically, He’s giving the First Commandment again…You shall have no other gods before Me!

I want us to particularly look at the idea of holy and common, and what that means in our walk with the Lord.  Let’s start by defining the words:

Holy      The Hebrew word is qodesh and means a holy or sacred thing or place.   It refers to being sanctified which is being set apart for a specific purpose.  The Miriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as – exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness; devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity.

Common    The Hebrew word is hol and means not holy, ordinary.  Webster defines it as belonging to or being shared by two or more individuals or things or by all members of a group; falling below ordinary standards, second rate.

With the realization that these commands were given regarding the Holy Place and the use of it and its contents, there are a couple of concepts here that I think apply to my (and perhaps your) personal walk.  First, what is God’s, is God’s.  It is set aside for His purposes, it is holy.  It does not become the object of our worship.  What might this include?  Objects, robes, vestments, furniture, art, buildings, and more that have been given/set aside for His use.  I think sermons, music, lessons, VBS, Sunday School and many other activities of the church are also to be perceived as Holy.

What does it mean to distinguish between the holy and the common?  A synonym for common is ordinary.  He was telling the Priests to be aware of the ordinary invading the holy.  He wanted His place of worship to be holy, sanctified, set aside (as different) from the ordinary.  For me this means maintaining a worshipful atmosphere in the Church/Tabernacle/Cathedral that is all about God and not about the world around.  It means the things of worship are for God.

So…..What is the focus of your/my worship?  Are we bringing so much of the ordinary and common into the Temple that we no longer worship the One and Only?  Have we made the environment of worship so sterile that there is nothing of God in His Temple?  Does God even know the place is set aside for Him?

A musical moment of Holiness – What Do I Know of Holy

Heavenly Father I worship You!  Give me the ability to use the Temple as You intended.  Help me keep out the ordinary and embrace the Holy.  Oh, Lord, You are the Great High Priest!  Cause my worship to be all and totally about You.  Make it so!

The picture at the beginning of this post and following are of the Rosary Cathedral in Toledo, OH.  The first time I was there was with the Toledo Symphony Chorale in singing the Bruckner 9th Symphony w/voices.  It took my breath away then and still does.  God’s presence was so visible.  I am in awe of what God allows man to do so He can be praised and worshiped   Don’t get me wrong,  I worship indoors, outdoors, and all the places in between, but I believe that are places that God has set aside from the ordinary to give us a glimpse of His great glory.

Rosary Exterior

Exterior of the Rosary Cathedral in Toledo OH.

Rosary CathedralThe sanctuary in the evening without worshipers.

Rosary OrganThe Pipe Organ located in upper balcony at the rear of the church.

Rosary AltarThe main altar area.