Friday, January 31, 2014

A New Sanctuary

O. T. #219  "A New Sanctuary"
Jan. 31, 2014
Exodus 25-Part 1
And let them make Me a sanctuary: that I may dwell among them.  Exodus 25:8


Our church is still in the process of building a new sanctuary. The shell is up, and now the inside is taking shape. Our goal is to  prepare it as a place in which God is pleased to dwell with His people, our congregation. A place set apart for His glory, where He is praised, worshiped, honored.  I pray that He will walk among us as we worship there, convicting, leading, calling out His children for His glory. Also, only God's Word is preached and taught. Today's chapter speaks about a tabernacle. Do you know what that is?

We read back in Genesis where God walked with His people (Gen. 3:8; 5:22, 24; 6:9; 17:1). However, in Exodus, God said that He wanted to dwell with His people (Ex. 25:8; 29:49). Although, later when Israel sinned, the glory departed (1 Sam. 4:34-38).

The first of several dwellings in which God blessed with His glorious presence was built by Moses (Ex.40:34-38). It was called a sanctuary. A sanctuary is a consecrated thing or place; a holy place; a hallowed part (Strong's Concordance) Consecrated means to dedicate to a sacred purpose or service(Webster's Dictionary) We will get into the details of it later.

The second dwelling place was the temple of Solomon (1 Kings 8:10-11). The Prophet Ezekiel saw that glory depart (Ez. 8:4; 9:3; 10:4,18).

Do we respect our sanctuary, church building, as a place where God dwells? Is it different from other buildings, set apart. How is our attitude when we enter the sanctuary? Is it one of worship and praise to our God?


In the New Testament, we find God's glory returned to earth in the Person of Jesus Christ, His Son (John 1:14 where dwelt means tabernacle). Men nailed Jesus to the cross at that time.

God's people today are the temple of God:
  • universally (Eph. 2:20-22),
  • locally (1 Cor. 3:16),
  • individually (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
We will  one day see the kingdom temple where God's glory dwells (Ez. 43:1-5). We will be in His presence eternally (Rev. 21:22).
[Resource: Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament]

Are we living like our God dwells within us? Are we led by the Holy Spirit in things we say, do, where we go? Is our body the temple of God?

Spurgeon said, "Faith is sometimes assisted by Experience and Experience sees His glory."

John 1:14 assures us: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.

Is the Word, Jesus Christ who lived in the flesh, among us now? Have we experienced His glorious grace and truth today? Are we looking for Him in our life? In the lives of others? He is there!
It is so incomprehensible for me to think that a Holy God would love us so much that He would stoop to become a man, then die for us sinners.
Glory to the Risen Savior!


Surrender my body and soul to be the temple of God.

Make my life, a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true.
With thanksgiving, I'll be your living sanctuary, for You.
(Unknown source to me)

Walk and talk with Jesus along this road of life.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Written in Stone

O. T. #218  "Written in Stone"
Jan. 30, 2014
Exodus 24-Part 3
And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.  Exodus 24:12


Have you heard the old saying "It is written in stone?" That means there is no changing something. It is a done deal. It may refer to the date of an event or a rule for children, which will not be changed.
When my husband made a decision for the kids to follow, as they grew up, there was no changing his mind. It was made up and that was that, on a particular issue. They knew that had to follow it.
Back in chapter 20, God told Moses the Ten Commandments. Now God is giving Him them written in stone, on stone tablets. (By the way, this is the first time it is mentioned that the form of the law was written on stone.)

Verse 12 is the first of two 40-day trips to Sinai (chapter 34). This was the time when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments written in stone. There was no changing them. Israel had rules to live by and that was that. Joshua set out with Moses to climb Mt. Sinai, following God's instructions.
Moses told the other 73 men to wait there for the two to return. He left Aaron and Hur in charge of solving disputes.

There were some other incidences where things occurred for 40 days and 40 nights:
  • how long it rained while Noah and all were in the Ark;
  • the number of days Jesus was fasting in the wilderness and tempted by the devil;
  • after His resurrection, Jesus appeared to men for 40 days;

(Abraham told  his servant to stay and they would return; he and Isaac went to worship on a mountain, while God required the sacrifice of Abraham's son.)

Then, after six days, Moses went on up into a cloud to converse with God for forty days. God's glory appeared in the form of fire to the Israelites back at the bottom of the mountain. (In chapter 32, we will discuss what they did during that lapse of time.)


Actually, I consider it good to have some things written in stone, never changing. The Ten Commandments are a stability and guide for us. Love God and love others. That is that.

Hebrews 13:8 NIV says, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  He never changes. His love, mercy, and faithfulness is always the same towards us. He could not love me more today and less tomorrow. Take God at His Word. He keeps His promises. We must have faith to believe them.

How about us, when we give our word, do we keep it, as though it is written in stone?


Love God and love others.

Read God's Word daily and apply it to my life.

Walk by faith.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mountains to Climb

O. T. #217  "Mountains to Climb"
Jan. 28, 2014
Exodus 24-Part 2
And He said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off.  Exodus 24:1


There have been a few mountains that I have climbed. Mostly it was in a car on the road. but oh the view when you finally reach the top. It is like none other.
Do you ever go to the mountain of God, spiritually speaking? Perhaps you have experienced the difficult ascension as I have. It's hard to climb over those steep rocks of sin, hang onto the edge of encouragement so I don't fall off or give up, lonely and alone, battered, scared, and torn from words that have cut my heart out. When I reach the peak, I don't stand, but I fall on my face before Him, seeing how filthy my heart is and knowing that only Jesus can cleanse it. It's a place where I rise above my problems because I laid them at the feet of Jesus, rising with the Holy Spirit lifting me up to walk on stormy seas and through the fire. It's a place where peace, love, and joy like no other is found. Then I am ready to go down and meet the world and life's challenges.
When I reach the peak, I can see what is happening below. Then I am able to help others come up and experience the same things.

Are you ready to go to the mountain with Moses the fifth time, to receive the tables of stone? He isn't alone as he ascends. Aaron and his sons Nadab, Abihu, Joshua, and 70 elders of Israel are with Moses this time. There is a total of 75 men.

Twice the Word says they saw the God of Israel. What did they see?

Falwell describes it as a Christophany, appearance of Christ, accompanied by such glory, splendor, and brightness that the figure was enshrouded in magnificence that primarily shielded Him from their view.

Under His feet was opaque blue, precious sapphire stone, which was used much in Mesopotamia and Egypt at that time. (MacArthur)

Do we see Jesus in His Word? Are we looking for Him in our life and circumstances? Do others see Him in us?

(Were these men supposed to be intercessors for the people? After seeing Jesus, how could they worship a golden calf!????)


What did these 75 men do on the mountain with a holy Savior?
They ate and drank in God's presence. (verse 11)
They were to worship God. (verse 1)

Guzik says that God did this because He wanted a sense of fellowship with these leaders of Israel.

Isn't it just like guys to eat? They do like their meals, snacks, and food.
Do we hunger and thirst after righteousness like mentioned in the Sermon on the Mount? If we do, then we will be filled.(Matt. 5:6)
The pure in heart will see God. (Matt. 5:8)
Is our food to do the will of our Father, like Jesus?
Man is not to live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God. (Matt. 4:4)
I want a hunger for His Word and a thirsting for His Spirit. How about you brothers and sisters?


Climb the mountains to be with Jesus.

Dine with Jesus as He feeds me spiritual food for my soul.

Drink from the Living Water.

Bring others to His table.

Monday, January 27, 2014


O. T. #216  "Reading"
Jan. 28, 2013
Exodus 24-Part 1
Moses wrote down everything the LORD had said.  Exodus 24:4


I remember learning to read in the first grade. It was a skill that I struggled to master. I don't recall being excited about it, though. In fact, my teacher gave me homework for Mom to help me practice my reading. I didn't go to kindergarten because I was sin in bed for six months recuperating. That probably caused me to be slower at learning the letters and sounds. Finally, I was able to learn it. What a world of words is available to us through the written language. Little did I know that fifty years later I would be writing a Bible study which is read throughout the world.
Isn't it wonderful that God has not only given us His Word, but He has given us languages? Shall we see what Moses' words have to say to us?

Finally, we made it through chapter 23 and all those laws which God gave to Moses for the Israelites.
What did Moses do with the Word of God, now that he had it?
  • Moses wrote down everything the Lord had said, all the words. (verse 4)
  • Moses read it to the people. (verse 7)
It was important enough that it wasn't to be felt up to human recollection and creative nature of memory. God's word had to be written down.  (Guzik)

The Book of the Covenant contained not only this detailed enlargement of the Decalogue (20:22-23:33), but also the Ten Commandments themselves (20:1-17) and the preliminary abbreviated presentation of the treaty (19:3-6).

Aren't you glad that we have the written Word of God?
2 Timothy 3:16 says, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

When God's Word is heard, it is to be responded to.

How do we respond when we hear about our sins, or things we need to correct in our life?
Do we lay it aside and go on our merry way? Or do we take it seriously and make changes?


God made a covenant with His chosen nation of Israel. He expected them to make a covenant with Him, also.

How did the people respond to the Word?
  • With one voice, they said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do. (verse 3)
  • They offered a peace offering of an oxen to the Lord. (verse 5)
  •  After they heard the Book of the Covenant, the people said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient. (verse 7)
Moses sprinkled the blood of the covenant on the people.
Believers are sprinkled by the blood of Christ in a spiritual sense and are committed to obey His will (1 Peter 1:2) (Wiersbe)

MacArthur says that the sprinkling of the blood officially sealed the treaty with blood.

Are we committed to a life of obedience to Jesus? What a blessed life that is!

David Guzik gives us some things to consider:
The covenant was made in the context of sacrifice. Sacrifice admits our own sin and failing before God, and addressing that need through the death of a substitute. Our covenant with God is based on His Word, His terms, not our own words or terms. God would not negotiate His covenant with Israel nor force it upon them. They must freely respond. Covenant is made with an application of blood. Blood represents life of a being. (Matt. 26:28; Heb. 13:20-21)

We have a new covenant involving the blood that Jesus Christ shed for our sins. Sweet one, have you accepted this sacrifice and asked Him to forgive you of your sins? You can today.


Daily read God's Word.

Believe God's Word is written to me.

Obey the Word of God when I hear it.

Offer myself as a sacrifice unto God.

Yellow Jacket Stings

O. T. #215  "Yellow Jacket Stings"
Jan. 27, 2014
Exodus 23-Part 6
And I will send....     Exodus 23:28


When our son was about 12 years old, he and his neighbor friend were playing near a pond. They surprisingly encountered yellow jackets. The two boys must have been near the insects' nest. Can you imagine the terror of those guys as they run away, as fast as their legs would carry them? Our son was stung several times in this incident. One place was on his eyebrow. By the time he ran home, his eye was swelling. Being new in the area, we did not have a family doctor at that time, so we drove him an hour away to a walk in clinic. Needless to say, his eye was swollen shut upon arrival. He got a shot and we headed home. Obviously, our son is highly allergic to insect stings. The next day he was better. (Even today he has to be aware of wasps and such.)
Did you know that God told the Israelites that that He would use an insect to drive out their enemies? Want to know what kind? Read on.

Israel's ownership of the new land where their nation would eventually settle down, that is the Promised Land, was by God's grace. Their enjoyment of the land depended upon their faithfulness to and faith in God. Come to think about it, they walked forty years with God. Grant it, sometimes their heart was not as close to Him as it should have been.

Previously, we talked about the "If you will," the "I will" between God and the Israelites. Now God gives more promises:
  • He would send fear before them, as they are traveling through and conquering the Promised Land. Fear is more than just being afraid. In Strong's Concordance, fear means horror, terror, terrible. A couple of million people would be moving, with their army marching, through these heathens' lands. These nations would hear about the wonderful miracles which God had performed for the Israelites, the people He loved. They would hear about the mighty power that their God had-part the ten plagues upon Egypt, parting of the Red Sea and killing of the Egyptian army, the Jordan River parted (comes later). These -ite people would be terrified to have Israel come into their land. 
  • He would confuse every nation they would encounter. Their enemies would turn their back and run when Israel confronted them. Are you pumped? Let's go conquer! 
  • He would bring hornets to drive out the Hivites, Canaanites, and Hittites before Israel. These stinging creatures prepared the way for Israel (Joshua 24:12).
  • He wasn't going to do this in one year, so the land would not be desolate and animals would multiply in it.
  • He would establish Israel's boundaries  from the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea.
Probably, Israel wanted God to wipe out their enemies all at one time, but He didn't do it that way. One at a time, little by little, one tribe at a time, is how He did it. He wanted to grow their faith step-by-step.
Aren't we that way? We are experience several problems or trials at the same time in our life, have faith in God to remove them all at once, but He may not choose to do it that way. Do we question Him? Friends, God wants us to grow in faith and obedience, a little at a time. We want the easy way out, but He wants to teach us.


In turn, what were the Israelites to do?
  • Israel was told to not make a covenant with those people, nor with their gods. (verse 32)
  • These heathens were not allowed to live in Israel's land because they would cause Israel to sin against God by worshiping their gods.
As it turned out later, Israel did make a covenant with some of the people of the land (Joshua 9:1-27). This shows us that there is no one who can keep the law perfectly.

God is not an indulgent, spoiling father, pouring out on His children resources, blessings, and gifts they are not ready to receive or be responsible with. We have been granted every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ; but will only possess what we will partner with Him in faith and obedience to receive.  (Guzik)

Does God have to sting us spiritually in order to get us moving for Him or to Him?
Are we walking by faith one step at a time?


Love God above all others.

Walk by faith.

Be patient as He works in my heart and life.

Keep on praising Jesus!

Friday, January 24, 2014

An Angel

O. T. #214  "An Angel"
Jan. 24, 2014
Exodus 23-Part 5
Behold, I will send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.  Exodus 23:20


Skip down to verse 20 and we read about the Angel that God was sending before Israel.

This is the specific Angel of the LORD, Jesus appearing in the Old Testament, before His incarnation in Bethlehem, who often speaks directly as the LORD. The name Yahweh is in Jesus. His name is literally Yah-shua. Jesus was with Israel in all their wilderness experience. (Guzik)

What was Jesus the angel going to do?
  • go ahead of Israel (verse 20);
  • guard them along the way;
  • bring them to the place God had prepared;
  • He would not forgive their rebellion, since God's name was in Him.
  • If Israel obeyed Jesus, then God would be an enemy to their enemy to their enemies and oppose those who oppose them.
  • He would wipe out all the -ites, which were possessing their Promised Land, conquering them for Israel.
  • God will bless their food and water.
  • God would take away sickness from among them.
  • He would not let any of their women miscarry or be barren in the land.
  • He would give them a full life span.
What blessings!!!

What were the Israelites told to do?
  • pay attention to Him;
  • listen to what He says;
  • not rebel against Him;
  • not bow down before the pagan gods or worship them, nor follow their practices;
  • Demolish their idols and break their sacred stones to pieces;
  • Worship the LORD your God. 
Under the New Covenant, we operate on a different principle. Though there are inevitable consequences of sin and God's loving correction for disobedience, we are blessed in Jesus, and not because we have been obedient (Eph. 1:3).  (Guzik)

It would not be Israel's military skill and power that took over the Promised Land, but Almighty God Himself. Most of the time, they didn't even have to fight. God did it for them when they followed His instructions by faith.

If we worship God only and obey His Word and Spirit, will we be blessed, also? Aren't we journeying toward our Promised Land of heaven? He has gone to prepare us a place. (John 14) Do we follow His instructions by faith?


Next we read about the laws regarding Israel's sacrifice and firstfruits offering.
The instructions include:
  • A blood sacrifice to the Lord God was to be separate from a yeast bread sacrifice. Leaven or yeast, was a symbol of sin and corruption.  Atoning blood could never be offered with leavened bread. (verse 18a)
  • The sacrificial fat was not to be kept until morning. They were to give all of the sacrifice at once and not save it until later. The best portion of the sacrificial animal was the fat. (verse 18b)
  • A young kid goat was not to be boiled in its mother's milk. This strange sounding command was so the Israelites did not imitate a common pagan fertility ritual. 
  • Israel was being prevented from copying pagan idolatrous ritualism. (MacArthur)
  • God wanted His people to be different and give Him alone the glory for their harvest.          (Jews will not eat cheeseburgers, which combines the meat and milk of the cow. Guzik)
Jesus is our blood sacrifice in payment for our sins. Have you accepted this gift of salvation, free to us? If not, then you will pay for your sins when you reach eternity, friend. Please consider it.


Thank Jesus for His sacrifice for my sins-giving of His life.

Praise Him for His love!

Be a faithful follower of Jesus.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sports, Games, or Movies

O. T. #213  "Sports, Games, or Movies"
Jan. 23, 2014
Exodus 23-Part 4
Three times a year the men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord.  Exodus 23:17


As a woman, I like to get together with my girlfriends and share, talk, laugh, cry. Of course, that's what we do best, right? Aren't men the same way? Oh, they may have a gathering on the lake fishing in a boat, in the woods hunting, on the golf course, or in the man cave, but they are conversing, don't kid yourself. Whether it is sports, games, or movies, they share their feelings with each other in the course of things. God wants us to converse with Him. He set aside three times for men to do this. Shall we take a closer look?

Friends, here we are, continuing with the laws which God gave Moses to convey to His chosen nation of Israel. Keep in mind, they are still in the desert, camped around Mt. Sinai. I wonder if these laws were given ahead of time, for the time they would be in the Promised Land to implement them.
Anyway, after working hard in the fields, gathering the harvests, the men, only the men, were to take and give offerings to God, the One who made the crops grow, as a worshipful time.

In Malachi 3:8-10, God said, Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

How faithful are we to give our tithes and offerings to God? He is always faithful to us. What is the attitude we have about it? He hasn't failed me yet, dear one.

Paul told the Ephesians in 5:2, and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor.

Does Jesus not deserve our all faithfulness?


Yesterday, we discussed the three festivals, which were celebrations, and a time when offerings were to be given to Israel's God. After harvest, only the men, were to take offerings to the Tabernacle, which was later located in Jerusalem, celebrate these three holidays-The Feast of the Unleavened bread, the Feast of Harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering. At the beginning of the seventh month, trumpets sounded; on the tenth day was the solemn fast; on the fifteenth they began to dwell in booths.

What a good Master we serve, Who has made it our duty to rejoice before Him! Israel was not to come empty-handed; so we must not come to worship God empty-hearted. Our souls must be filled with holy desires toward God, and dedications of ourselves to Him, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.  (Matthew Henry)

Do I encourage my man to spend time with the Lord, with friends? Doesn't he need spiritual renewal, too?


Set aside time each day to worship my Savior.

Put aside money for my tithes and offerings.

Offer myself to the Lord for His purposes and glory.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


O.T. #212 "Sevens"
Jan. 22, 2014
Exodus 23-Part 3
Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest...Exodus 23:12


These people, the Israelites, were wondering and living in a desert. It would be another forty years before they conquered the Promised Land, where they could farm. However, God was giving them explicit instructions ahead of time.

The worship of God and the working of the land (which belonged to God) were bound together. Israel's religious festivals were tied to the agricultural year in a series of sevens. (See Lev. 23).
We can see how God showed His care for the health of man, beast, and the land.
What were the directions concerning the sevens?
  • The 7th day was the Sabbath. It was a day of rest for their household, slaves, ox, donkeys, and strangers. The Israelites were to work six days and rest on the seventh day, as God did during the creation. The Sabbath was to be kept holy, as a day of worship. This was the fourth commandment.
  • The 7th year was the Sabbatical Year. The land was to rest, unplowed and unused, one year after being used six years. Not only did this year of resting the land benefit the people for better crops, it was also free food, which was left behind, for the poor people and the wild animals.(verse 11) They were to do the same with their vineyard and olive grove. The Israelites were to cultivate 6/7 of their land at any one time, practicing a method of crop rotation. (When Israel failed to obey this law, the land rested during their exile in Babylon, Leviticus 26:32-35 tells us.)
  • The 7th month opened with the Feast of Trumpets, with the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles (Booths).
Do we rest on the Lord's Day as Christians, believers and followers in Jesus Christ? Is it a day set aside for worship and rest? Do our farmers let their land rest from its growing crops or grasses?


Now, what does the New Testament have to say about these sevens? (We know that the numeral 7 stands for perfection.)

Passover speaks of the death of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. (Ex. 12, John 1:29); the Feast of First fruits is a type of His resurrection (1 Cor. 15:23); and the Feast of Tabernacles reminds us of His coming again and the future kingdom of joy and fullness (Zec. 14:16-21).

Jesus is our type of Passover Lamb, who died shedding His blood in our place so we would not have to pay for our sins. Such love! Christ is the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep (1 Cor. 15:20). He is returning to gather and take His chosen ones to heaven and for a future kingdom.

Liberty Bible Commentary explains that these special feasts were:
1. Unleavened Bread (Passover in April)
          2. Feast of Harvest (Pentecost in May)

          3. Feast of Ingathering (Tabernacle in October). Deuteronomy 16:1-17 and Leviticus 23
               explains them further.

These feasts had a purpose for the Israelites. They represented what Jesus, their Messiah and our Savior, would do and be.
Are we thankful that God's judgment will  pass over us when He sees the blood of Jesus covering our sins? Do we thank God for all He provides for us? Do we worship a Risen Savior? Are we allowing Him to live in our hearts, in and through our lives? Are we looking forward to the day of His return?

[Resources: David Guzik's Commentary on the Bible, Wiersbe's Expostory Outlines on the Old Testament]


What do I need to let go of in order for Jesus to have control of my life?

Trust Jesus and thank Him in advance for the good that will come in my journey of life.

Seek Him daily.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


O. T. #212  "Judgments"
Jan. 21, 2014
Exodus 23-Part 2
Keep thee far from a false matter. Exodus 23:7a


Whether it is serving on a jury or helping two friends mend their differences when feelings are hurt, I need discernment from God as to how to best handle the situation. I need instructions as to how to handle myself, also. What should or should not influence my judgments? When a friend has been hacked on the internet and their post is bad language and inappropriate material under their name, how do I react? Do I believe that it was not their doing, but a revengeful person trying to hurt their witness? Do I do nothing or try to help?

Dispensing justice is the topic of the first nine verses of chapter 23. God was teaching His newly formed nation of Israel how to establish their relationship with Him, with others, and their judicial system. Their judicial system depended on just laws, honest judges, and faithful witnesses. Although God's laws were just, they could be misinterpreted by an unjust judge, or a lying witness giving false testimony, as in our day.                    

There are some things which are not supposed to influence our judgment (whether serving on a jury or in everyday life):
  • numbers-We are not to spread false reports, follow a crowd that gives a wrong testimony, perverts justice, nor show favoritism. (verse 2)
  • money-We are not to side with the poor man in his lawsuit because of his situation, nor to deny him justice because he is poor; do not accept a bribe, for it binds us to those who see and twist the words of the righteousness. (verses 3 ,6, 8)
  • personal feelings- Keep your feelings toward a person out of the situation, so you can have clear judgment. An example is given of your enemy's animal found wandering off, then return it to them; help your enemy that is having a difficult situation. (verses 4-5)
  • social status-Do not oppress an alien, a stranger, since Israel themselves were strangers in Egypt. Oppress, in Hebrew is the word lachats (law-khats'), which means distress, afflict, force, holdfast.
  • false testimony-Do not have anything to do with a false charge. Also, do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for God will not acquit the guilty.
[Resource: Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament]

Here we see the protection of equitable and impartial justice for all.
The attitude of impartiality was to include the helping of another with his animals, regardless of whether he was friend or foe. If no help was given, his livelihood could very well be adversely affected, which was a situation that others in the community could not allow to happen. (McArthur)

It sounds like sound advice given to us so we can give sound judgment and truth prevails. Just don't be influenced by outside things. Ask the Lord to reveal the truth of the situation and the solution.


What does the New Testament say about these?

In Matthew 5:44, Jesus told us to Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:24d, You cannot serve God and money.

1 Corinthians 15:33 where Paul tells us, do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits.

We are not to show partiality to the poor or rich.
Are we like the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-37?

Paul instructed in his letter, 1 Timothy 5:21, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.  (NIV)

Do I prefer some and show partiality; biased and show favoritism?

Do I run with the crowd, even though they may circulate a false report or gossip?

The inventor and receiver of false and slanderous reports, are almost equally criminal. (Clarke)

Since the issue is a false report, it is proper to ask-and demand-proof from the person bringing the report, and proof as required in the Bible-from two or three witnesses. (Guzik)


Pray for discernment in situations.

Let go of prejudices, favoritism.

Do what is right according to the Bible.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Spiritual Orphans

O. T. #211  "Spiritual Orphans"
Jan. 20, 2014
Exodus 22-Part 2

...For I am gracious.  Exodus 22:27c


A preacher brought a very informative message at a meeting I attended this past weekend. He talked about meeting the needs of the children who are spiritual orphans. They were described as children whose parents or family do not attend church. Therefore, these children have no one to train them, supervise them, lead them to faith in Jesus. Everything is unfamiliar to these children. We people who grew up in church automatically know where our class is located, how to find books in the Bible, what is and is not appropriate behavior and dress for services. Are we willing to give up some of our time and energy to help? They may even need a snack to sustain them between classes or a ride to worship. (Perhaps they need shoes or a coat.) Can we as mature adults help meet those needs of children who are spiritual orphans? The preacher informed us that as a child, he was a spiritual orphan. His church helped train him in spiritual matters as he grew up. They even provided monetarily his way to camps, college, and seminary. What a way to invest! Shall we look around and adopt a spiritual orphan? After all, I was one, too.

In our key verse, God says that He is gracious. Webster Dictionary defines gracious as kindly, charming. Grace is a divine favor, elegance of manner or movement. Are we gracious to others, too?

After Israel received the Law of God through the Ten Commandments, Moses explained and applied that Law to various aspects of human life. So far in chapter 21, we have discussed the caring for servants, compensating personal injuries, and protecting personal property.

In the rest of the chapter we will see how we are to respect humanity and not exploit them:
  • The Virgin-Verses 16-17 concern the virgin who has been enticed by a man and violated. she is not pledged to be married. How is this to be handled? The man can marry the girl. If her father prohibits this, the wicked enticer is to give a heavy payment for his actions, bride-price.  The girl was free to marry later, but may suffer rejection (Deut. 22: 23-24; 24:1). (Do we hold accountable the actions of men today?)
  • A witch-Verse 18 is clear that the witch, wizard, sorceress was to  not be allowed to live in their camp. The nations surrounding Israel worshiped gods, which were under the demonic powers. Today we have occults that allow Satan to deceive, work, and destroy lives. (Lev. 19:31; 20:27; Deut. 18:9-12)
  • Bestiality-Verse 19 prohibits sexual relations with an animal. It is another sin punishable by death. These practices were a part of heathen worship of idols. Human sexuality is a precious gift from God and has guidelines, under marriage of a man and a woman. (Lev. 20:15-16; Deut. 27:21) Sacrificing to any god is prohibited by verse 20. Only the Lord God is to be given sacrifices. (Lev. 17:7, Joshua 7:2)
  • Mistreating a stranger, taking advantage of a widow or orphan is not acceptable (verses 21-22). God will kill those who do. (verse 24)
  • Loaning money to the poor-It was a loaned as a favor, without paying interest(verse 25). (Do we take advantage of the poor and needy in our business?)
  • A cloak taken as collateral, verse 25, was to be returned by sundown, to keep him warm at night.
  • Blaspheming God or a ruler of their people is prohibited (verse 28). this teaches respect for men in authority. The word gods (elohim in Hebrew) sometimes refers to human leaders, judges, or those who are mighty. (Falwell)
  • No delay in offering to God what is required (verses 29-30) and refraining from using what is forbidden. Give God their firstborn son for His service.
  • Be holy people (verse 31). Israel was to have a set-apart lifestyle impacting every area of life. (MacArthur)
  • Flesh torn of beasts was unclean, having been killed by another animal. Insects and not properly drained blood made the meat unclean. (verse 31)
[Resource: Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament]
So many rules, yet they were for the Israelites' own protection. How do we treat other people? do we take advantage of others? Or do we give special privileges to the elite?


What does the New Testament have to say concerning these matters?
  • Love God. (Mark 12:30)
  • Love your neighbor. (Mark 12:31)
  • Treat others like you want to be treated.
  • Love your enemy. (Matt. 5:44)
  • Take care of widows and orphans. (1 Timothy 5)
  • Be careful not to value money more than it should be. (1 Tim. 6:10)
  • Give and it will be given unto you. (Luke 6:38)
Are our actions reflecting these principles as a Christian?


Turn from being selfish and self-centered.

Love God and love others.

Have a lifestyle that is set apart from the world and unto Christ.

Be gracious and kind to others today.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Am I Stealing?

O. T. #210 "Am I Stealing?"
Jan. 17, 2014
Exodus 22-Part 1
Thou shalt not steal.  Exodus 20:15


If I withhold good from someone, am I stealing from them? If I think of a compliment to say and do not say it, is it stealing from them? If I do not provide what I can when another is in need, am I stealing? Do I steal parking places from others? Do I take a pen from a business? Do I take away another's confidence when criticizing? If I don't call and check on the sick? Am I stealing from others without considering it as such?

We have already studied the commandment that tells us to not steal.  In verses 1-15, we see further details of the Law given to Moses by God. This section involves the protecting of personal property. In each case, it is preceded by if.

The principle established in each was that proper restitution was to be made whenever someone caused loss to another's property. (Falwell)

These specific instances of property loss or damage and restitution dealt with:
  • various kinds of thievery (paid back 4 or 5 times the amount stolen-compensate victims);
  • the thief killed in the act at night wasn't murdered, but during the day it was homicide;
  • property damage caused by animals and restitution (owners have a right to protect property);
  • property lost due to a fire;
  • loss of property entrusted to others.
Judges could derive principles that would help them decide cases that Moses did not explain in detail.

A man's word was taken as true unless proven otherwise. The oath of the Lord and between both parties, one denying stolen the other's goods, then the owner is to accept it as truth.  (Guzik)

Is our word truth?


It is better to not sue a brother in the world's courts, to just accept being wronged or cheated by another. (1 Cor. 6:1-8)
Is Paul saying that forgiveness and love is the better way for a Christian to act?

In Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus tells us to lay up treasures in heaven and not on earth, which can decay, rust, or be stolen, but to have our treasures in heaven where such does not happen. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Do we steal time from our employer, take away another's witness with gossip,

Am I a forgiving person that honors Jesus? Do I treat others like I want them to treat me?


Be content with and grateful for what I have.

Teach others that it is wrong to steal by example.

Don't take from others, but give to them.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

An Eye or a Cheek

O. T. #209  "An Eye or a Cheek"
Jan. 16, 2014
Exodus 21-Part 2
He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.  Exodus 21:12


I have never murdered someone. However, I have talked bad about them, killing their witness. Chances are, I turned my cheek and did this when they upset me. How about you? Do we want to find out what the Word says about revenge, (an eye taken and an eye rightfully sought as payment) or not taking revenge (turn the other cheek when hit on one cheek, not returning evil)?

God makes a distinction between deliberate murder and accidental death or manslaughter (verses 12-13). During Israel's time, the cities of refuge were provided for the protection of the person who accidentally killed someone (Num. 35:6). They were established since there were no police in that day, and a slain person's family could feel obligated to avenge the death of their loved one. The cities of refuge provided protection of the innocent until the case was investigated. (Wiersbe)


To take the life of a murderer is not a violation of "Thou shalt not kill" but is clearly commanded of God. Any nation that refuses to carry out the death penalty is inviting trouble from the Almighty.  (Falwell)

Compensation for personal injuries is covered in verses 12-36.
What is included?
  • murder (verses 12-15)
  • kidnapping (verse 16)
  • cursing one's parents (verse 17)
  • causing the death of a pregnant woman and/or her fetus (verses 22-23)
  • trafficking in demonism (22:18)
  • practicing bestiality (22:19).
The basis for capital punishment is God's covenant with Noah (Gen. 9:1-6) and the fact that man is created in the image of God. It is God who gives life and only He has the right to take it away or authorize it to be taken (Rom. 13).  (Wiersbe)

Did you notice that God held the owner of an animal responsible for what it did to others (verses 28-36), if the owner already knew that the animal was dangerous?

Verses 22-23 are the basic to the pro-life position on abortion, for they indicate that the aborting of a fetus was equivalent to the murdering of the child. The guilty party was punished as a murderer if the mother or the unborn child, or both, died. (Also see Ps. 139:13-16).

Verses 24-25 are used often, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
This lex talionis, or law of retaliation, actually limited the amount of retribution that could be sought for any offense. (Falwell)

what did Jesus say about this verse? In Matthew 5:39 He said, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
He talks further about loving your neighbor, blessing them, doing good to them, and praying for them.

Do we turn the other cheek? Or do we punch them with words?


Let go of the mean act and don't stoop to their level.

Forgive and love in spite of  another's ways toward me.

Love them to Jesus. (easier said than done)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

An Apron

O.T. #208  "An Apron"
Jan. 15, 2014
Exodus 21-Part 1
For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.  1 Corinthians 7:22


When my granddaughter helps me with baking in the kitchen, she has me tie an apron around her. She often chooses the pretty purple apron which my great aunt gave me as a child. This lovely lady spent time doing a special handwork on it. It is a special heirloom. I need to tell her about it the next time we make cookies. To me, an apron was a sign of servant hood.

Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament summarizes chapters 21-23 of Exodus:
Having given Israel the Law of God in the Ten Commandments, Moses then explained and applied that Law to various aspects of human life. Wherever there is law, there must be interpretation and application: otherwise the law is impractical and not at all helpful. In the beginning, it was the priests who taught and applied the Law in Israel; but in later years, it was the scribes and rabbis who became the professional teachers of the Law. Unfortunately, their interpretations became as authoritative as the original Law, and it was this error that Jesus exposed through His teachings, especially the Sermon on the Mount (Mattt. 5-7).
Wiersbe gives seven main points that Moses gives us:
  1. Caring for Servants (21:1-11)
  2. Compensating Personal Injuries
  3. Protecting Personal Property
  4. Respecting Humanity
  5. Dispensing Justice
  6. Celebrating Holy Times
  7. Conquering the Promised Land 
John MacArthur describes these Scriptures as a detailed enlargement of the Decalogue, the framework for judging and resolving civil disputes in Israel. Later in a special ceremony, God entitled these precepts "The Book of the Covenant" (24:7).

Can you imagine the job of recording all this which God gave to Moses? What a responsibility!

Will we take them seriously, using them as an aide in our Christian walk?


The first precept is: Caring for Servants (21:1-11).

What can we learn from this Wiersbe:
  • Although the Jews were allowed to buy and sell servants, they were not allowed to treat them as slaves.
  • There were times that people sold themselves or family members into service because of their poverty (Lev. 25:39; Deut. 15:12).
  • Their service was limited to only six years, and then they were freed.
  • If the servant wanted to stay with their master, the servant's ear was marked and they stayed  the rest of the servant's life. (Deut. 15:17, Ps. 40:6)
  • Special protection was given to female servants to prevent masters from abusing them and depriving them of their rights. 
A servant (ebed) is defined as a doer, tiller, slave, in Young's Concordance.

What does the New Testament have to say about us as the servant of Jesus?
  • He is not above his lord. (Matt. 9:24) Nor is the disciple above his master.
  • He is working until his master returns. (Matt. 24:46)
  • The good and faithful servant who is faithful in a few things will be rewarded being made a ruler over many things. (Matt. 25:21)
  • A watching servant will be served. (Luke 12:37)
  • Paul called us either servants to sin, which leads to death, or we are servants of righteousness. (Romans 6:16)
  • We are Christ's servant. (1 Cor. 7:22)
  • Servants are to obey their masters as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men. Eph. 6:5-7)
  • Jesus said in John 13:14, If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
  • We will be told, as in Revelation 19:5 tells us, Praise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great.

Do we come before our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, each morning and ask Him what His agenda for our day is? Is our heart willing to obey His command before we find out what it is?


Let go of yesterday and live in today.

Serve Jesus; serve others.

Have a servant's attitude today, putting on my apron.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


O. T. #207  "Over-Exposure"
Jan. 14, 2014
Exodus 20-Part 14
And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.  Exodus 20:25-26


Do I watch how I sit in the choir while I wear a dress? Am I aware of any inappropriate over-exposure of my body? (Too low a cut top exposes when bending over or crossing legs in a short skirt can reveal too much.) Our choir is up on a platform higher than the congregation. Even a person kneeling and praying below the edge of the platform should not have an inappropriate view up a woman's dress. Things to consider.
God is reminding His children against image worship. At this point, He had only spoken to them, by voice, and led them by a cloud and fire. The people were forbidden to make any representations of God out of gold or silver, nor any idols of worship as such. God is a Spirit and we worship Him with our spirit.

While ye think by them to assist your devotion, ye will really corrupt it, and put a cheat upon yourselves. (Matthew Henry)

The giving of the law begins with keeping the heart pure in worship. I our worship can be corrupted, it eventually touches every other area of our lives for evil.  (Guzik)

Keep inn mind that the Israelites spent over 400 years surrounded by idol worship in Egypt. They had to guard their hearts against such tendencies.

Do we guard our hearts against allowing or making things more important than worshiping our God?
House cleaning, cooking a big Sunday meal for our family, rest for ourselves, hobbies, time spent with the family, catching up on things at work, these can all pull us away from our time of worship. Even if we are sitting in a service, we must guard our minds from wondering off on these things to be done.


Here are directions for making altars of worship for the Israelites to please God. It was meant for occasional altars in the wilderness, before the tabernacle was erected, and afterward upon special emergencies for present use (such as Gideon, Manoah, Samuel, and other used).

As they were inclined to make offerings (burnt and peace offerings of sheep and oxen) to God upon the altars, there were guidelines established for them to follow:
  • an altar of natural stones piled up, kept as they were in the rough, not hewn stone, (gaziyth in Hebrew, pronounced gaw-zeeth') referred to something cut; dressed stone; (Strong's Concordance)
  • if they lifted a tool upon the stone to chisel a design, it was then polluted;
  • the beauty of holiness needs no paint;
  • their altars were to be made very low (verse 26) so that they might not go up steps to them;
  • were designed to offer one beast at a time upon the altar (in comparison to the large one in Solomon's temple).  (Matthew Henry)
The stone of the altar was must not be carved with figures and ornaments that might lead to superstition. There were to be no steps leading up to the altar. It was a precaution taken for the sake of decency, in consequence of the loose, wide, flowing garments of the priests.  (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown)

The latter part of verse 24, God says in places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.

Now, people are encouraged to pray everywhere; wherever God's people meet in His name to worship Him, He will be in the midst of them; He will honor them with His presence, and reward them with the gifts of His grace, there He will come unto them and will bless them, and we need not desire for the beautifying of our solemn assemblies. (Henry)

Since God looks at the heart and not the sacrifice, how is the attitude of our hearts?


Keep the altar of my heart unpolluted.

Worship God in spirit and in truth.

Watch how I am dressed during worship service.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Stray or Stay

O. T. #206  "Stray or Stay"
Jan. 13, 2014
Exodus 20-Part 13
And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.
Exodus 20:21


Living on a farm with cattle, I think that I have seen it all. Nope. This week calves strayed from their  assigned field, where they had bales of hay were available to eat at anytime, and went through a fence into a snow covered field. Why do they stray instead of staying in the best of conditions? Well, aren't I the same way? God provides all I need and my heart strays away from Him, after things.

It took three weeks to cover only ten of God's commandments to Israel and to us. Ten Commandments. Can we say all ten by rote memory or by heart?
We know they are grouped into two categories-the vertical, which is humanity's relationship with God (verses 2-11) and the horizontal, which is humanity's relationship to the community (verse 12-17). They cover true theology, true worship, reverence for God's name, the Sabbath, family honor, life, marriage, property, truth, and virtue. [Reference: The MacArthur Bible Handbook]

God is requiring that we love Him exclusively as the Only True Living God. Jesus Christ is not only HIs Son, but His is God manifested in the flesh as a human. He provided our salvation and right relationship with God by taking our place in payment for our sins. He became the sacrificial Lamb of God. His resurrection proved that He is not only a man, but is God. He is a living Savior, our Mediator, sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for us.

Now that is something to shout about!

In looking back over these commands, I summarize them in this manner:
  • Love and worship no other gods nor idols, God alone.
  • Reverence God's name as a holy name above all other names.
  • Set aside the Lord's Day for worship, set apart from other days of work.
  • Honor our parents. In so doing we honor God.
  • Preserve life by not killing people.
  • Honor our marriage vows and spouse by not committing adultery, lusting after another.
  • Be content with what things you have, thus do not steal from another.
  • Tell the truth about our neighbors, not lying about them.
  • Be thankful for what we have, by not coveting what our neighbor has.
I hope that I did not do them an injustice, but put them in high esteem in modern language that we can understand.


The people were so afraid of these proceedings that they requested Moses be God's spokesman, rather than having God speak directly to them. (Falwell)

The people saw it, removed themselves, and stood afar off. Do we know people who are too afraid to approach God? Are we willing to intercede/pray for them to Jesus? (I'm not talking about salvation. The individual has to come to Jesus on their own.)

Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Bible has this to say in verse 18-21: 
Knowing the terror of the Lord, we may be persuaded to live in His fear. Let us rest satisfied with the instructions given us by the Scriptures and the ministry, for if we believe not them, neither should we be persuaded though God should speak to us in thunder and lightning.
Ever since Adam fled, upon hearing God's voice in the garden, sinful man could not bear either to speak to God, or hear from Him immediately.
We must always have in our minds a reverence of God's majesty, a dread of His displeasure, and an obedient regard to His sovereign authority over us; this fear will quicken us to our duty, and make us circumspect in our walking, thus stand in awe, and sin not, Ps. 4:4.

The Israelites knew that God was holy and they were not. The giving of the Law showed them and shows us how far man falls short of God's glory. We sin and cannot keep the Law perfectly. Isaiah (Is. 6:1-5) felt undone before God and John fell as a dead man before the Lord (Rev. 1:17).
We desire a mediator, someone to act as a go-between with us and God. Jesus is the only One who qualifies (1Tim. 2:5) and can come before a perfect God.

Fear can keep us from sin for a while, but like the Israelites who after 40 days danced before a golden calf, we too stray. Our motivation to serving God should be love, though it is better to obey out of fear than not at all. Do we stay or stray?

Friday, January 10, 2014

I Am Just a Little Peanut

O. T. #205  "I Am Just a Little Peanut"
Jan. 10, 2014
Exodus 20-Part 12
When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear.  Exodus 20:18  NIV


How do I react to thunder and lightning? It frightens me, I must admit. I unplug everything in the house. I go from window to window, watching the storm. I count to see how far away or close it is. Maybe I am not the only one. How about you? Perhaps it is the end result, a dead tree that was struck, an electrical outlet stopped working, that shows me I am but a little peanut in the scope of the universe, in comparison to Almighty God's power.
We finished the ten laws God gave, by which the Israelites were to live. Can you imagine standing there, experiencing this? Why did this happen?

The purpose of the law was not to give us a standard we could achieve, and then be counted righteous before God. The purpose of the law was first to show us God's perfect standard, and second, to show how it is impossible for any of us to obey that standard. (Gal 3:22-25; Matt.5:17-48) It reveals God's character, exposes our sin, and prepares us to come to Jesus. Jesus fulfilled the law for us, so we could obey it in Him (Rom. 8:4). (Guzik)

My obedience is not legal, but inspired by love and empowered by God's Holy Spirit. (Redpath)

We can't keep all ten commands, so by breaking one, we have broken them all.

What did Jesus teach about the law?
  • He didn't come to destroy it, but to fulfill it (Matt. 5:17).
  • Doing and teaching the law is important until the end of time (Matt. 5:19).
  • to be saved, we must have a righteousness that exceeds the scrupulous law-keeping of the Scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 5:20).
  • The law must be kept in its full spirit and intent, not in its letter only (Matt. 5:21-47).
  • There is only one man who has lived like this: Jesus Christ. (Guzik)
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believed. (Rom. 3:21-22)

It is only the blood of Jesus that washes away the sins of our heart and makes us right before God. Have you trusted in Him as your Savior to do this, my friend?


Reading verse 18, what caused the people to be afraid when Moses received the Ten Commandments?
  • thunderings and lightnings,
  • noise of the trumpet,
  • the mountain smoking,
The people trembled and stood afar off.
The people fearfully withdrew from the cluster of phenomena accompanying this theophany, this appearance of God on the mountain. this instinctively placed Moses in the position of mediator between them and God, because such was the gap between them and their holy God that they feared they were not fit to live in His presence (Verse 19). (MacArthur)

Romans 3:23-25 states, For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.

In verse 28, Paul says, Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

This leads us to Ephesians 2:8-10: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. 

How are we walking, living? Is it by faith in Jesus or by works?
Keep in mind that being free from the Law does not mean being free to sin-liberty is not license. Grace means that God works in us to fulfill His perfect will.  (Wiersbe)


Keep a reverence, respect, and honor for God and His Word.

Obey what He tells me to do.

Walk with Jesus daily, living in grace.

Love God and love others.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Shook Up Over Not Being Blown Up

O. T. #204  "Shook Up Over Not Being Blown Up"
Jan. 9, 2014
Exodus 20-Part 11
Thou shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Exodus 20:17


God definitely has a purpose for my life and my husband's life. We didn't get blown to smithereens. Not blown up. No Kablooy. After we returned from his getting a skin cancer cut out on his face yesterday in freezing rain, my husband unlocked the front door and turned on the light. Propane had filled the house. He told me to stay out while he opened the doors and windows. It was horrible. (At the time something is happening, I try to stay calm and think. It is afterwards that I fall apart.) What happened earlier was the wall furnace was fixed, but we knew if the electricity went off, the gas would continue to flow without it kicking on. I didn't think about it when leaving yesterday morning. My thoughts were focused on getting rid of the cancer.
It was back to heating the house with the fireplace again. I could do that. I had done that in negative temperatures. So I spent the rest of the day getting ready for the taxes in March. Please excuse me for not writing yesterday. I was too shook up over not being blown up.

This morning I read Ephesians 3:20 from yesterday's devotion: Not to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.
Yes, I should have read it yesterday when I needed it. It was waiting on me.

My God is able and does exceedingly abundantly above, even when we don't ask, He is in control.

I am working on being thankful in everything. I know there are people in the north that have experienced worse than I have this winter.


Getting back to the tenth and last commandment, David Guzik had this to say:
All the first nine commands focus more on things we do; the tenth deals straight with the heart and its desires. Literally, the word for covet here means to pant after. covetousness can be expressed like this: the eyes look upon an object, the mind admires it, the will goes over to it, and the body moves in to possess it. Just because you have not taken the final step does not mean you are not in the process of coveting right now.     Covetousness can be expressed towards all sorts of things; it is the itch to have and to possess what someone else has. It speaks of a dissatisfaction with what we have, and a jealously towards those who have something "better."

Jesus warned us against covetousness in Luke 12:15-Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the tings he possesses.

We are instructed in Hebrews 13:5, Let your conduct be without covetousness, be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

Paul warns us, in Ephesians 5:5, For this you know that no...covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

How is my attitude? Is it one of thankfulness for what God has given me or do I grumble and complain, wanting what others have?

Thank You Lord Jesus for this old house You have provided us to live in. Thank you for water, electricity, and wood heat.

Most of all, thank You for life and breath and salvation.


Be content with what I have.

Praise, give thanks, and honor my Savior.

Tell of His wonderful deeds.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Truth or Lies

O. T. #203  "Truth or Lies"
Jan. 7, 2014
Exodus 20-Part 10
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Exodus 20:16


This is a new year in which we live, one lying before us, fresh. How will I live during this year?
Have I started out this year telling the truth or lies? Am I known by words of truth?

Bearing false witness is another term for lying. God desires truth in the inward part, which will be reflected in our outward speech (Ps. 51:6; Jer. 17:9; Matt. 15:19)  (Falwell)

We can break this ninth commandment through slander, talebearing, creating false impressions, by silence, by questioning the motives behind someone's actions, or even by flattery.
These are further explained by Redpath:
  • Slander is a lie invented and spread with intent to do harm. The man guilty of slander ruins a reputation which may never be regained, and causes lifelong suffering.
  • Talebearing is repeating a report about a person without careful investigation. To repeat a story which brings discredit and dishonor to another person without making sure of the facts, is breaking this commandment.
  • Inappropriate silence is when someone utters a falsity about another and a third person is present who knows that statement to be untrue but, for reasons of fear or being disliked, remains quiet, that third person is as guilty of breaking this law as if he had told a lie.
All of these sinful ways begin with a though in the mind and a plan in the heart, which develops into a lie spoken or unspoken truth.
Am I watching my thoughts and my words, my plans, and my heart?


In Colossians 3:9, Paul tells us to Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds.

How very strange that we have ever come to think that Christian maturity is shown by the ability to speak our minds, whereas it is really expressed in controlling our tongues. (Redpath)

Are we glad that a tape recording of our words this week is not available for the public?

Jesus was the victim of false witness (Mark 14:57). Satan is always there to encourage a lie (John 8:44; Acts 5:3).

The chief priests and council of 71 Sanhedrin and Pharisees sought truthful witnesses to testify against Jesus, but they could find none. So they said Jesus blasphemed when He said He was the Christ, the Son of the Blessed (verses 61-62).

In Paul's letter to the Ephesians, he told them and us, in chapter 4, to:
  • put off our old person, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
  • be renewed in the spirit of our mind;
  • put on the new person, created in righteousness and true holiness after God;
  • put away lying, and speak truth with your neighbor.

Do not tell a lie against another.

Watch my words so they are truth.

Speak up when a lie is being told and I know otherwise.

Surrender my all to Jesus.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Am I Stealing?

O. T. #202   "Am I Stealing?" 
Jan. 6, 2014
Exodus 20-Part 9
Thou shalt not steal.  Exodus 20:15


How is my time spent? Am I stealing from others? Do I selfishly spend time on the computer instead of with family? Am I encouraging others with calls, notes, words, gifts, deeds of kindness? Am I withholding from my Lord Jesus, a part of my heart, a part of my life? Do I steal what is not mine-time, forgiveness, love, relationships? So, is it stealing when I hold onto something selfishly and don't give to others? Am I stealing?

The word steal in Hebrew is ganab (gaw-nab') refers to thieve; to deceive; carry away; secretly bring.

Any dishonest acquiring of another's goods or assets greatly disturbs the right to ownership of private property, which is an important principle for societal stability. Stealing seriously questions God's unquestionable ability to properly provide for His people.  (MacArthur)

There are characters in the Word who stole:
  • Rachel stole her father's idols (Gen. 31:19;
  • Jacob stole away from Laban by not telling him that he was running away (Gen. 31:20);
  • After the Battle of Jericho, Achan stole silver and gold, which were to be put into the treasury of the Lord (Joshua 6:19, 7:25). Achan and his family were destroyed.
  • Absolom stole the hearts of the men of Israel, so they joined his army against King David. (2 Sam. 15:6)
  • Prophets stole the Word of the Lord, so He was against them (Jer. 23:30).
So items were not the only things stolen. Of course, the Lord sees all and know all.
Is there something that we have which we should not have?

Not only can personal property and possessions be taken from others which are not rightfully ours, but we can steal from God, also. 
How do we rob God?
  • We fail to honor God with our finances, withholding what is His due (Mal. 3:8-10); we withhold partial tithes and offerings; we do not pay them at all; or we do not bring them into the house of God as we should 
  • by refusing to give Him ourselves for obedience and His service, because He bought us and owns us (1 Peter 1:18-19, 1 Cor. 6:20). (Falwell and Guzik)
Are we robbing God or others?


What does the New Testament have to say about stealing?
Ephesians 4:28 says Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.

Jesus told us to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven, not on earth, where thieves do not break through nor steal (Matt. 6:19-21).
The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus came to give us abundant life (John 10:10).

There are some contemporary applications of things we can steal. Perhaps we do not stop to consider it stealing:
  • a person's character by spreading gossip or telling lies about one;
  • harming another's witness; criticizing their good;
  • by taking one's identity away; or stealing using their identity;
  • stealing time in our workplace, stretching coffee breaks and lunch hours, or coming in late at work;
  • violating copyright laws;
  • by not honoring, encouraging, or showing kindness or love to others when we have the opportunity. (To know to do good and not do it, it is sin.);
  • withholding ourselves from the Lord; living for self and not for Jesus.
Maybe this is a different approach to the topic and will stir our thinking. Probably there are other examples that can be added to the list.
Are we giving our all to the Lord Jesus?


Surrender all to Jesus.

Be thankful and content with what things I have.

Do not take from others nor withhold good from others.

Give my heart to the Lord, not things.

Friday, January 3, 2014

No More Bedroom Scenes

O.T.#201  "No More Bedroom Scenes"
Jan. 3, 2014
Exodus 20-Part 8
Thou shalt not commit adultery.  Exodus 20:14


We need to be careful in what we are watching and listening to so our minds are not drifting into the wrong things. Even advertisements are revealing flesh. Last night we were going to watch a movie about Christ and five minutes into it there were naked people on the beach. Good night, why are they perverting good things? We changed that station. I think we have seen all the Walton shows, but at least they are clean. Bring back the morally good shows. In my book, they don't have to have a bedroom scene to be a good show. (What is done in the bed is private.)

This is the first mention of adultery in the Word, even though the patriarchs had more than one wife, especially Jacob.

In Strong's Concordance, adultery (naaph/ naw-af') referred it to a woman that breaketh wedlock.

When people are unfaithful to their marriage vows, we usually think they had sexual relations outside of marriage. Is a workaholic spouse considered guilty of adultery in the sense of neglecting their spouse?

Jesus can forgive any sin, if we only confess it ask for it. I realize that can be the easy part, and it's the forgiving the unfaithful spouse that presents the challenge or asking their forgiveness.


Murder (verse 13) and marital infidelity, though seemingly only referring to outward acts, are in actually based on far higher principles, as Jesus later set forth clearly in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:21-22,; 27-29).  (Falwell)

Applicable to both men and women, this command protected the sacredness of the marriage relationship. God had instituted marriage at the creation of man and woman (Gen. 2:24) and had blessed it as the means of filling the earth (Gen. 1:28). The penalty for infidelity in the marital relationship was death (Lev. 20:10). Adultery was also referred to as "a great sin"(Gen. 20:9) and a "great wickedness and sin against God" (Gen 39:9; Matt. 5:27; James 2:11).  (MacArthur)

In Galatians 5:19, Paul lists the works of the flesh as adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness.

Our chastity should be as dear to us as our lives, and we should be as much afraid of that which defiles the body as of that which destroys it.  (Matthew Henry)

We are living in a world that is governed by the flesh. Young adults and youth consider it entertainment when they have sex with another. They need to be taught and warned of this sin. Are we standing up against it in our families and neighbors?

But more than the act itself, Jesus carefully explained the heart of this commandment. It prohibits us from looking at a woman to lust for her, where we commit adultery in our heart or mind, yet may not have the courage or opportunity to do the act. We aren't innocent just because we didn't have the opportunity to sin the way we really wanted to.  (Guzik)

As women, we need to watch what we wear so it isn't provocative; watch our words and acts around others.


Don't let myself get into a compromising situation.

Keep my mind and heart focused on Christ.

Turn the television station when a revealing is not appropriate.

Be an example to the young girls as to how a Christian woman should dress and act.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Love Vs. Murder

O.T. #200  "Love Vs. Murder"
Jan. 2, 2014
Exodus 20-Part 7
Thou shalt not kill.  Exodus 20:13


Murder seems to be ramped now days. We hear of shootings in our schools, in the workplace, even on the street. That seems to be the main topics in the newspapers and on television. Where is the love and forgiveness? Even in my neighborhood, a wife shot her husband to death because she didn't want a divorce. Does that make sense? Now their four children do not have a father and will not have a mother because of her incarceration.

In the Hebrew, kill is the word ratsach (raw-tsakh'), which means to dash in pieces; kill a human being, especially to murder; put to death; slay.

The Israelites practiced capital punishment and engaged in many wars. This commandment applies to unjustified killing, such as murder.

Some wonder how God can approve both capital punishment (Ex. 19:12) and this probation of murder. The simple answer is that in Hebrew as well as English, there is a distinction between to kill and to murder. As opposed to killing, murder is the taking of life without legal justification (execution after due process) or moral justification (killing in defense).  (David Guzik's Commentary on the Bible)

I realize that this is a controversial subject, but the Word is clear-do not intentionally kill someone.


What did Jesus say? In Matthew 5:21-22, (NIV) He said, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

It is a matter of the heart. We are not to hate someone.

We can wish someone dead in our hearts, yet never have the "courage" to commit the deed. Someone may not kill from a lack of courage or initiative, though his or her heart is filled with hatred. (Guzik)

In 1 John, we are told many times to love our brethren. We need to keep check on our heart.
They killed the prophets and our Lord Jesus, and thought they were doing the right thing. Even Paul had the early Christians killed, but they were all in the wrong.

Luke 6:37c instructs us to Forgive and you will be forgiven.
We are told to love our enemy in Luke 6:27; to bless them that curse us in Matt. 5:44.

Today we debate if euthanasia, abortion, and suicide is okay. Biblically, it is not. What is our society coming to?


Don't harbor ill feelings in my heart; forgive.

Watch my attitudes toward others.

Love, love, love.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What I Did and Didn't do in 2013

January 1, 2014

Happy New Year dear friends!

Instead of New Years resolutions, I am looking back at what I did and didn't do in 2013.

Last year I did:
  • Thank God for bringing my husband through heart surgery (oblation) and giving my sister in law back to us.
  • Traveled to the Dominican Republic and taught children about Jesus.
  • Served on the executive board of my state WMU (Woman's Missionary Union).
  • Taught children in VBS class about Jesus.
  • Shared the gospel with others, verbally and through writing.
  • Played with my granddaughter and talked with other grandchildren.
  • Became a skilled fire maker in our fireplace.
  • Sang a solo at church and sang in the choir Christmas cantata.
  • Exercised on my treadmill.
  • Served on the new sanctuary committee.
  • Took note of interruptions in my life as Divine interruptions.
  • Overcame walking pneumonia and adjusting to asthma.
  • Encouraged loved ones with cancer- my sister, sister in law, and youth director.
  • Prayed for our missionaries.
  • Gained 10 pounds of the 20 I had lost. Ugh!
  • Baked banana bread and passed out to our deacons' families.
  • Enjoyed our family reunion on my husband's side.
  • Memorized some of Romans 8.
Last year, I did not:
  • Make my bucket list.
  • Travel to Alaska nor Hawaii.
  • Send out Christmas cards to all my family and friends.
  • Hold and kiss our new grandson.
  • Paint our house.
  • Write a book.
  • Loose those 5-10 added pounds.
  • Clean out our storage building.
  • Have a family reunion on my side of the family.
  • Memorize enough Scripture.
  • Be better organized.
Do I want  any do-overs concerning last year? Hurtful words spoken, words not spoken, spending more time with my aged aunts, serving the Lord more, memorizing all of Romans 8.

How about you friends? Tell us about your accomplishments.

Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)

In His love,

*Back to Exodus 20 tomorrow. Don't miss it.