Tag Archives: Moses

Lame Excuses

Since the dawn of time man has proclaimed lame excuses for his downfalls and sin against God. Adam blamed the woman God had given him for causing him to sin by eating the forbidden fruit. Eve blamed the serpent for tricking her into being the first to partake of the fruit (Genesis 3:1-13). Moses’ brother, Aaron, blamed the fire for producing the golden calf idol when Moses’ return from Mt. Sinai seemed to be delayed (Exodus 32:1-24). Even King Saul had his share of lame excuses in attempting to blame others for his disobedience.

As King Saul’s patience waned in waiting for Samuel’s arrival in Gilgal, Saul went ahead and took it upon himself to offer the burnt offering for God’s blessing and protection before going into battle against the Philistines, something only a priest could do. Upon Samuel’s arrival as the giving of the offering concluded, Samuel asked Saul, “What hast thou done?” Saul’s defense in disobeying God’s explicit command clearly given in His Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai were numerous: 1) The people were scattered from me;  2) You didn’t come at the appointed time;  3) the Philistines are gathering against me; and, the lamest of all,  4) I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.” (1 Samuel 10:8; 13:8-12)

Saul’s lame excuse concerning the burnt offering did not prove to be his last, for on the occasion of battling the Amalekites for which he was commanded to destroy both life and property for their coming against the Children of Israel in the wilderness, Saul returned from battle with “the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good.” He had also spared the life of their king, Agag, whom he had taken as prisoner. Saul’s lame excuse to Samuel this time was But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.” It is then Samuel replied, “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.”

For Saul’s lame excuses and continuing disobedience, God’s judgment was rendered against him. Samuel’s pronouncement from God against Saul was “Because thou hast rejected the Word of the LORD, He hath also rejected thee from being king.” It was then Samuel was sent to the sons of Jesse to anoint David the next king of Israel. (I Samuel 15; 16:1-16)

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The True ROCK

In the closing days of Moses’ life God commanded Moses to write a song for Israel, a song that “When many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness.” God had shared with both Moses and Joshua the direction, contrary to His commands, the Children of Israel would go once they entered the Promised Land, eventually succumbing to the idol worship they would encounter. “Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the Children of Israel.” (Deuteronomy 31-32)

Moses began the song by declaring the God who had brought them out of bondage in Egypt into the glorious light of The Promised Land, “HE is The Rock, His work is perfect… Just and right is He.” Upon recounting God’s leading from the time of Adam to the present, Moses then included in his song a time when they would “forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation… Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.”

The song continued that because of their turning away from God a foolish nation would arise, provoking them to anger, and the Children of Israel would be able to put to flight a thousand of the enemy by one man, and ten thousand by two, made possible only “except their Rock [the Children of Israel’s] had sold them, and The LORD had shut them up? For their rock is not as Our Rock… For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter. Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.”

 In the closing lines of the Song of Moses the Children of Israel would learn was to be sung, “The LORD shall judge His people… And He shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted… Let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.” In full assurance it is then proclaimed, “See now that I, even I, am HE, and there is NO god with me.” The Rock of man’s salvation is none other than God Himself… “Upon This ROCK I will build My Church; and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it,” (Matthew 16:16-18).

No Other Gods

As the Children of Israel prepared to enter the Promised Land, Moses gave them final instructions in possessing the land and faithfully obeying God’s commands who was giving them the land. The Book of Deuteronomy is a record of Moses’ final words to those he had led from Egypt, through the wilderness, and on to their final destination. With Moses’ prohibition from entering the land flowing with milk and honey due to his disobedience of God’s command to speak to the rock to receive water, upon which Moses “smote the rock twice” in anger during the wilderness wandering (Numbers 20:7-13), his words to them were filled with great significance concerning the seriousness of obeying God’s Word.

God’s command to the Children of Israel entering the Promised Land after crossing the Jordan River was to destroy all the inhabitants that were occupied there: the Hitties, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; “Seven nations greater and mightier than thou… For they will turn away thy son from following Me, that they may serve other gods. The Israelites were to “destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire,” all of which pertained to the idol worship that permeated the land (Deuteronomy 7).

The very first commandment given by God on Mt. Sinai forty years earlier had been, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me,” (Exodus 20:3-5). The commandment included not to make any graven image, bow down to them, nor serve them. The Promised Land they were about to enter was polluted with idolatrous images which were bowed down to and served by those who resided there. God’s judgment was about to be poured out upon those who dwelt there by His Chosen People in destroying the idol worship that God forbids.

Much is written in the Book of Deuteronomy concerning not following other gods, in addition to the Book of Exodus where God further commands, “Make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth,” (Exodus 23:13). In Deuteronomy 13 the Children of Israel were admonished, “If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones… Because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you,” (Deuteronomy 13:6-10).

“Thou shalt have no other gods before Me”

God’s Instructions to His Children

As the Children of Israel wandered in the wilderness, God spoke to Moses concerning His statutes and judgments they were to obey once they entered the Promised Land in order to receive His blessings. God spelled out for them what they should eat (Leviticus 11), how to curb the spread of leprosy (Leviticus 13-14), the importance of personal hygiene (Leviticus 15), and how to conduct themselves in the new land they would inherit (Leviticus 19).

God’s words to Moses to speak to the Children of Israel included the familiar “Ye shall not steal;” “Neither lie one to another;” “Neither shalt thou profane the Name of thy God,” (Leviticus 19:11-12). The LORD further related to Moses the Children of Israel were not to turn to idols (v.4), they were to give their offerings to Him of their own free will (v.5), pay those they hired (v.13), and were not to be talebearers (v.16). They were also not to eat anything with the blood, use enchantments, nor observe times of supposedly good days or bad days for human activity (v.26).

In order to “Be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy,” (v.2), God instructed Moses to “not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind,” (v.19). From the days of Creation each animal was designed by God to reproduce after its kind. The mixing of different animals to produce a new type of animal was forbidden by God. The same applied to different seeds being “mingled” together to form a new type of plant, or a garment made of an alternative type of fabric that combined linen with wool. In order to keep the strains pure, God instructed Moses to admonish the Children of Israel to abstain from any attempts at these practices, which were part of idol worship taking place in the land they would inherit.

Included in the idol worship of the Canaanites was the rounding of the corners of their heads and marring the corners of their beards, cutting themselves to mourn the dead, and printing marks upon themselves. God forbade the Children of Israel to participate in any form of idol worship, for “I am the LORD” (vs.27-28).

God’s instructions to the Children of Israel to “keep all My statutes, and all My judgments, and do them,” was to cause them not to be spewed out of the land as was happening to those He was removing for them to occupy the land. God said, Ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.” The inheritance of the Children of Israel of the land flowing with milk and honey for which God laid out strict instructions was for His people to know, “I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people… I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be Mine,” (Leviticus 20:22-26).

Darkness

“The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.”  Genesis 1:2

“That there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.”  Exodus 10:21-22

Darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.”  Isaiah 60:2

“Give glory to the LORD your God, before He cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, He turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.”  Jeremiah 13:16

“All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the LORD God.”  Ezekiel 32:8

“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come.”  Joel 2:31

“Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?”  Amos 5:20

“That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness.”   Zephaniah 1:15

“Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  Matthew 25:30

“They that were crucified with Him reviled Him. And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.”  Mark 15:32-33

Be ready…

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye…

JESUS will come.

Matthew 24:44;  1 Corinthians 15:52

Thou Shalt Not Raise a False Report

In Exodus 20 of the Holy Scriptures is listed what is referred to as “The Ten Commandments.” These commandments given to Moses from God on Mt. Sinai include, “Thou shalt not kill;” “Thou shalt not steal;” “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” The list of commandments does not end with the ten most familiar commandments of the chapter, but continue on throughout the rest of the Book of Exodus, the Books of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, containing over 600 laws in all given by God to be obeyed.

As The LORD continued giving Moses in detail HIS LAW that was to be followed in addition to the Ten Commandments, in the very first verse of Exodus 23 is written, “Thou shalt not raise a false report.” A true witness among the people is what must be maintained to have a civil society for mankind to live in peace and experience the blessings of God. The verse goes on to say, “Put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.” It is Satan who is the father of lies and false reports, and those who follow him do his bidding (John 8:44). The Apostle Paul wrote of those who are deceitful, “Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips,” (Romans 3:13).

Just a few verses following the command, “Thou shalt not raise a false report,” God admonished Moses in the giving of His Law that the people were to “Keep thee far from a false matter,” (Exodus 23:7). Whenever and wherever a falsehood rears its ugly head, God commands man to distance himself from it and not to become a part of it. It is Satan’s desire to deceive the people through falsehoods; it is God’s desire to bring eternal salvation and right living to the people through the TRUTH of His Word (John 17:17).

DELIVERANCE

As Moses stood before the burning bush located on the backside of the desert near Mt. Horeb in the Sinai Peninsula, he was told by God the cries of His people under bondage in Egypt had reached His ear. He had seen their affliction; He knew of their sorrows. God told Moses He observed the oppression the Children of Israel were under and He was come to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptian Pharaoh and their cruel taskmasters, and bring them into a land that flowed with milk and honey (Exodus 3).

A millennia later the Jewish people who were living in exile in Persia under King Ahasuerus during the Babylonian Captivity found themselves decreed to be destroyed throughout the entire province by the hand of wicked Haman on the thirteenth day of the month Adar (March). The Persian people were to rise up and destroy “all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day.” The cry of God’s people once again reached His ear and deliverance was orchestrated by the hand of God through the efforts of Queen Esther and her cousin, Mordecai, by a subsequent decree issued in King Ahasuerus’ name allowing the Jews to defend themselves on that fateful day (Esther 3:8-4:3; 8:1-9:22).

The deliverance of God’s people from both the Egyptians and the Persians caused great rejoicing as evidenced by Moses’ song of praise to God in Exodus 15 and the celebration of the Feast of Purim which continues to this day found in Esther chapter nine. But both of those events were temporary deliverances, for each and every person longs for a permanent deliverance and a peace that endures. As Mordecai sent letters to every village and town “both nigh and far” establishing the days of rejoicing to be observed yearly, the LORD promises “Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near,” (Isaiah 57:18-19). The Apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Ephesus in Asia Minor of Christ being our Peace, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ… that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross… came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh,” (Ephesians 2:13-18). Christ has become our eternal Deliverance through the shedding of His blood for our sin, “For in Him we live, and move, and have our being,” (Acts 17:28).