January 22, 2015

Exodus 3-5 - Moses was shepherding and came to the mountain of God, Horeb.  The angel of God appeared to him in flames of fire blazing out of a bush...The bush was blazing away but it didn’t burn up... God said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”  Moses hid his face, afraid to look at God...”it is time for you to go back; I’m sending you to Pharaoh to bring the People of Israel out of Egypt.”  

Moses answered God, “But why me?  What makes you think that I could ever go to Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt?”  “I’ll be with you...and this will be the proof that I am the one who sent you;  when you have brought my people out of Egypt, you will worship God right here at this very mountain.”  

Then Moses said to God...”What do I tell them.”  God said to Moses, “I -AM-WHO-I-AM.  Tell the People of Israel, “I-AM sent me to you....Now be on your way.  Gather the leaders of Israel...believe me, they will listen to you.  Then you and the leaders of Israel will go to the king and say to him, ‘God, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us.  Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness where we will worship God, our God.  I know that the king of Egypt won’t let you go unless forced to, so I’ll intervene and hit Egypt where it hurts, oh, my miracles will send them reeling!--after which they will be glad to send you off....’” 

Moses objected, “They won’t trust me.  They won’t listen to a word I say....God provided Moses with two signs of being God’s messenger - his staff to a snake and his hand turning leprous in his pocket... “So if they don’t trust you and aren’t convinced by these signs, take some water out of the NIle and pour  it out on the dry land where the water will turn into blood. 

Moses raised another objection: “Master, please, I don’t talk well.  I’ve never been good with words, neither before nor after you spoke to me.  I stutter and stammer.  God said, “And who do you think made the human mouth?...Isn’t it I, God?  So get going.  I’ll be right there with you--with your mouth!  I’ll be right there to teach you what to say.”  Moses said, “Oh, Master, please!  Send somebody else!”  

God got angry with Moses; “Don’t you have a brother, Aaron?  He’s good with words.  I know he is.  He speaks very well...I’ll be right there with you as you speak and with him as he speaks, teaching you step by step... He’ll act as your mouth, but you’ll decide what comes out of it.” 

Moses went back to Reuel (Jethro) and informed him he needed to go back to Egypt...Jethro said  “Go.  And peace be with you.”  God said to Moses in Midian:  “Go.  Return to Egypt.  All the men who wanted to kill you are dead.”  So Moses took his wife and sons for the return trip to Egypt.  He had a firm grip on the staff of God.

On the journey back, they camped for the night.  God met Moses and would have killed him but Zipporah took a flint knife and cut off her sons‘ foreskin, and touched Moses‘ member with it.  She said, “Oh, You’re a bridegroom of blood to me!”  Then God let him go.  She used the phrase “bridegroom of blood” because of the circumcision.

God spoke to Aaron.  Go and meet Moses in the wilderness.  He went and met him on the mountain of God and kissed him....So Moses and Aaron proceeded to round up the leaders of Israel.  Aaron told them everything that God had told Moses and demonstrated the wonders before the people.  And the people trusted and listened believingly that God was concerned with what was going on with the Israelites and knew all about their affliction.  They bowed low and they worshiped.

After that Moses and Aaron approached Pharaoh...Pharaoh said, “And who is God that I should listen to him and send Israel off?  I know nothing of this so-called God and I’m certainly not going to send Israel off.”  Moses and Aaron said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us.  Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness so we can worship our God lest he strikes us with disease or death.”  

But Pharaoh denied them this “holiday” and ordered the Israelites back to work along with making their work more difficult by not providing them with supplies while increasing the demand on what they produced...The slave-drivers were merciless...The Israelite foremen whom the slave-drivers appointed were beaten and badgered while being called lazy when they presented their case...The Israelite foremen saw that they were in a bad way having to go back and tell their workers...As they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them and  stated, “May God see what you’ve done and judge you-  you’ve made us stink before Pharaoh and put a weapon in his hand that’s going to kill us!” 

Moses went back to God and said, “My master, why are you treating this people so badly?”  And why did you ever send me?...Things have only gotten worse for this people.  And rescue?  Does this look like a rescue to you?”   

John 13:1-13:17 - Just before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that the time had come to leave this world to go to his Father,  Having loved his companions dearly, he continued to love them right to the end...

Jesus knew that the Father had put him in complete charge of everything, that he came from God and was on his way back to God...So he got up from the supper table, set aside his robe and put on an apron.  Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron.  When he got to Simon Peter, Peter said, “Master, you wash my feet?”  Jesus said, “You don’t understand now what I’m doing, but it will be clear enough to you later...If I don’t wash you, you can’t be part of what I am doing...My concern, you understand, is holiness, not hygiene.  So now you’re clean.  But not every one of you... 

Do you understand what I have done to you?  You address me as Teacher and Master and rightly so.  That is what I am.  So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet you must now wash each other’s feet.  I’ve laid down a pattern for you.  What I’ve done, you do...A servant is not ranked above the Master, an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer.  If you understand what I am telling you, act like it ---and live a blessed life.