January 23, 2015

Exodus 6-8 - God said to Moses, “Now you’ll know what I’ll do to Pharaoh”...and continued to reassure him, “I am God”... Therefore, tell the Israelites, “I am God.  I will bring you out from under the cruel labor of Egypt.  I will rescue you from slavery.  I will redeem you, intervening with great acts of judgment...I AM GOD!” 

But when Moses delivered this message to the Israelites, they didn’t even hear him--they were that beaten down in spirit by the harsh slave conditions....

Moses answered God when instructed to go and speak to Pharaoh, “Look -- the Israelites won’t even listen to me.  How do you expect Pharaoh to?  And besides, I stutter.”  But God again laid out the facts to Moses and Aaron...and he again commanded them to lead the Israelites out of the land of Egypt.

The family tree of Moses - Levi was the 3rd son of Jacob and Leah, Kohath was the middle son of Levi with Amram being the firstborn of Kohath.  Amram married his aunt, Jochebed, and she had Aaron & Moses...This is the Aaron and Moses whom God ordered:  “Bring the Israelites out of the land of Egypt clan by clan”...

Moses again questioned why Pharaoh would listen to him while using his stuttering as an excuse...God told Moses, “Look at me.  I’ll make you as a god to Pharaoh and your brother Aaron will be your prophet.  You are to speak everything I command you, and your brother Aaron will tell it to Pharaoh...The Egyptians will realize that I am God when I step in and take the Israelites out of their country.  Moses and Aaron did exactly what God commanded:  Moses was 80 and Aaron 83 when they spoke to Pharaoh.

When Moses and Aaron spoke to Pharaoh and he ordered them to prove themselves, Aaron threw down Moses staff which turned into a snake.  Pharaoh called in his wise men and sorcerers.  The magicians of Egypt did the same thing though Moses‘ staff swallowed up all of their staffs.  Yet Pharaoh was as stubborn as ever--he wouldn’t listen to them, just as God had said.  So God instructed Moses to turn the Nile into blood which resulted in a stink as the fish died...But the magicians of Egypt did the same thing so Pharaoh still remained stubborn.  He wouldn’t listen to what God had said.  Then God ordered Moses and Aaron to send frogs throughout the land...but again the magicians did the same thing--they also produced frogs...Pharaoh called in Moses and Aaron and said, “Pray to God to rid us of these frogs.  I’ll release the people so that they can make sacrifices and worship God.”  So Moses agreed to rid Egypt of the frogs the next day by praying to God about the frogs.  God responded to Moses‘ prayer...

But when Pharaoh saw that he had some breathing room, he got stubborn again and wouldn’t listen to Moses and Aaron.  Just as God had said.  So God instructed Aaron to wave his staff over the land and produced gnats.  The magicians tried to produce gnats with their incantations but this time they couldn’t do it...The magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is God’s doing.”  But Pharaoh was stubborn and wouldn’t listen.  Just as God had said.  God then told Moses to confront Pharaoh that a swarm of flies would be next throughout Egypt, with the exception of Goshen, if he did not release the Israelites.  And God did just that.  

Pharaoh called in Moses and Aaron and said, “Go ahead.  Sacrifice to your God--but do it here in this country.”  Moses said, “That would not be wise.  What we sacrifice to our God would give great offense to Egyptians...Let us go three days‘ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to our God, just as he instructed us.”  Pharaoh said,  “All right, I’ll release you to go and sacrifice to your God in the wilderness.  Only don’t go too far.  Now pray for me.”...Moses left and prayed to God.  God did what Moses asked and got rid of the flies...But Pharaoh became stubborn once again and wouldn’t release the people.   

 

John 13:18 - 13:38 - “I’m not including all of you in this.  I know precisely whom I’ve selected, so as not to interfere with the Scriptures...I’m telling you all this ahead of time so that when it happens you will believe that I am who I say I am”...

After he said these things, Jesus became visibly upset and he told them why.  “One of you is going to betray me.”  The disciples looked around at one another wondering who on earth he was talking about.  Peter motioned for John to ask Jesus whom he was talking about since he was the closest to him.  Jesus said, “The one to whom I give this crust of bread after I dip it.”  Then he dipped the crust and gave it to Judas...As soon as the bread was in his hand, Satan entered him.  “What you must do, “ Jesus said, “do.  Do it and get it over with.”  ...Judas, with the piece of bread, left.

 Jesus then said, Now the Son of Man is seen for who he is, and God seen for who he is in him...Let me give you a new command:  Love one another, in the same way I loved you, you love one another.  This is how everyone will recognize you are my disciples--when they see the love you have for each other.”   

Peter asked, “Master, just where are you going?”  Jesus answered, “You can’t now follow me where I’m going.  You will follow later.”  “Master,” Peter said, “why can’t I follow now?  I’ll lay down my life for you!”  “Really?  You’ll lay down your life for me?  The truth is that before the rooster crows, you’ll deny me three times.”