Feb. 18 – (Ex. 15-16) Chapter 15 contains Moses’ song to the Lord.  Can you imagine how joyful and amazed and encouraged Moses was at the crossing of the Red Sea and destruction of Pharaoh’s army?  I think of times when God has worked miracles in my life and how much it increased my trust and faith in Him.  Let’s write our own song to the Lord for a time when we felt as Moses must have felt.  We can take each sentence of Moses’ song and personalize it. 

            Oh, you guys!  As soon as God doesn’t immediately provide for an easy journey, you complain and want to go back to slavery. Can you relate? I can.  God took Israel out of Egypt but He will spend a life time getting Egypt out of the Israelites… and us!   

Feb. 19 – (Ex. 17-18) The people are still not happy. They are again complaining and quarreling with Moses.  Moses’ response is where we need to land everyday when we want to complain about our situations (Come on, you know you do.). His question: “Why do you test the Lord?” All things are filtered through His Hand. They are to grow us to be more like Him or show us where we are not.  Selah.

            Can you imagine being the only judge over thousands of people? Jethro heard from the Lord and counseled Moses.  Sometimes non-Christians have very wise things to say.  Let’s lay everything we hear before the Lord as to whether or not it is from Him.   

Feb. 20 – (Ex. 19-20) Mount Sinai…the place where we received rules for living. They are the plumb line for all of humanity to live by. They are also the rules that show us we need a Savior to obey. It is also by God’s grace that we aren’t destroyed when we don’t live by them.  Jesus came and died for our sins… the breaking of those rules. As we have asked Him to forgive us and save us, God sees us righteous even when we break a rule again.  Thank you, Jesus for your saving power!  

Feb. 21 – (Ex. 21-22) These chapters contain laws about slaves, restitution and social justice.  Exodus 21:32 caught my attention.  In the OT, this was the penalty paid by the owner of an ox that gored a slave to death. It was equivalent to about four months’ wages for a laborer. This meager sum suggests the low esteem in which both Judas and the chief priests held Jesus.  What can I say? Jesus’ life was priceless. 

Feb. 22 – (Ex. 23-24) God continues to remind Moses of the promised land of Canaan.  We know it is a promise to us as well.  Exodus 23:20-33 is one of the greatest promises found in the Bible. Though it was given to Israel through Moses, it is for us today. “I send My Angel before you, to keep you on the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared for you” (v.20). “The way” is the way of truth and of righteousness.  And the Angel of the Lord is Jesus Christ Himself, who keeps us in the way, in the life, in the resurrection, in the Truth.  The Truth will set us free, and Jesus will bring us into that place He has prepared for us. Let’s reread those verses and personally apply them. They are not just words to Israel a very long time ago!   

Feb. 23 – (Ex. 25-26) Let’s go back to the beginning of man’s existence for a moment. God created man to have an intimate relationship with Him. Until Adam and Eve sinned it was perfect. Sin changed all that. Their sin separated them from that intimate relationship and a process began where we are still working our way back to that kind of relationship originally meant with God. Through the Tabernacle, God is bringing man one step closer to the original plan. These are instructions to build a temporary abode (the Tabernacle) for God’s presence. Only one Priest could go into the Holy of Holies (and God’s presence) and only after many blood sacrifices were made.  It is important to study all aspects of this Tabernacle because it shows us God’s plan for redemption in Jesus, as well as ways of coming into His presence.

            These two chapters describe the items in the Holy of Holies (the Ark of the Covenant) as well as some items in the Holy Place (the Table of Show bread, the Golden Lampstand). The ark of the covenant was a box containing Aaron’s Rod, Manna, and the Ten Commandments.  The Mercy Seat covered the box with 2 cherubim facing each other. Disobedience to the commandments caused sin but above these commandments was the Mercy Seat where the High Priest would cover with lamb’s blood.  God’s manifest presence between the Cherubim and above the blood separated His presence from the sins of His people. Selah

            In the Holy Place, we see described here the Table of Bread. This represents the will of man. Bread is the symbol of strength (strength from the human soul is the will). Terry Law (How to Enter the Presence of God) described it this way: “Many people don’t know how to make decisions until emotions or intellect are fired up.  You may be made righteous by the blood…you may be cleansed by the Word…but if you don’t bring your will into submission each day of your life, you can’t fully come into the presence of God.” The Golden Candlestick represents the intellect. We need to deal with our mind by the power of our will (show bread) and bring it into submission.  Think of it this way: Natural light wasn’t enough to light up the Holy Place. Natural thinking isn’t adequate to understand God’s Ways.  We need to be illumined by the Spirit. A renewed mind is on fire and gives forth light.  

Feb. 24 – (Ex. 27-28) The bronze or brazen altar was the first piece (and biggest) in the Tabernacle complex.  It was the first piece you came to. Here animals were slain for the sins of the people who came and confessed their sin.  The sins were “laid” on the lamb and then the lamb was slain.  Not only were the sins forgiven but they were put away.  Of course, this shows us what Jesus did for us so that we can come into relationship with God again. My sin was put onto Jesus. He was killed with my sin on Him.  Jesus paid for my sin with His blood so that God sees me righteous through Jesus’ sacrifice, death and victory over sin!  Thank you, Jesus!