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Tag Archives: Moses

The Transfiguration

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. 2And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. 3Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” 6When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. 7But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” 8And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. (Matthew 17:1-8, NRSV)

Jesus was made to be whiter than white! And when it happened there were 2 others with him, and Peter, James, and John knew it was Moses and Elijah. I wonder how did they know?

Sometimes in pictures, Moses has the tablets for the commandments and Elijah has what looks like a book. But how does this identify them?

Did they have name tags on that said, “Hello my name is: Moses” or Elijah?

And why did Peter go all crazy and start talking about tents and how good it is that the three of them are there?

Can you imagine what you would have done if Jesus took you up the mountain and all of a sudden he started glowing and 2 other people just appeared?

I would start babbling too!

Get up and do not be afraid! Yeah right. We just saw you dazzling and 2 people who are dead. And we are just supposed to go on like nothing happened? But that is what happens in God’s kingdom, and we are to share what we have been given. So go and share the love Jesus gave to you.

 

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The God of Your Father

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. 3Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” 4When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. (Exodus 3:1-6, NRSV)

What would you do if you saw a Bush burning but it wasn’t being consumed?

And then as you got closer to it you heard a voice calling your name from it?

I would probably run away screaming and not continue closer and take my shoes off. I would be scared.

But Moses approaches and listens to God’s calling.

But we are all actually called to the Bush. To remove our shoes and to walk on the holy ground that God has placed before us.

Sometimes God has to go to the extreme to get our attention and make sure we are listening.

Are you ready to walk on holy ground and listen to God?

 

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The Death of Moses

Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho, and the Lord showed him the whole land: Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the Negeb, and the Plain—that is, the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees—as far as Zoar. The Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.” Then Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab, at the Lord’s command. He was buried in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor, but no one knows his burial place to this day. Moses was one hundred twenty years old when he died; his sight was unimpaired and his vigor had not abated. The Israelites wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; then the period of mourning for Moses was ended. Joshua son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, because Moses had laid his hands on him; and the Israelites obeyed him, doing as the Lord had commanded Moses. Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. He was unequaled for all the signs and wonders that the Lord sent him to perform in the land of Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants and his entire land, and for all the mighty deeds and all the terrifying displays of power that Moses performed in the sight of all Israel. (Deuteronomy 34:1-12, NRSV)

This is a passage that helps all remember that even when we follow God and do what He calls us to do, through the good and the bad, we still may not get what we want.

You see Moses wanted to see and be in the promised land, but he only got to see it. He led the people out of Egypt and through the wilderness. And God took him up a mountain and showed him the promised land, but would not let him go in.

Even following God and doing everything He wants us to may lead us places we do not want to go and do things we don’t want to do. And even if we fall God around the wilderness we may not get what we want. But the thing we will always have is God with us, and that is better than anything we could ever think was good for us.

 

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Israel Arrives at Sinai

On the third new moon after the Israelites had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day, they came into the wilderness of Sinai. They had journeyed from Rephidim, entered the wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness; Israel camped there in front of the mountain. Then Moses went up to God; the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the Israelites: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites.” So Moses came, summoned the elders of the people, and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. The people all answered as one: “Everything that the Lord has spoken we will do.” Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord. Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, in order that the people may hear when I speak with you and so trust you ever after.” When Moses had told the words of the people to the Lord, the Lord said to Moses: “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and prepare for the third day, because on the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. You shall set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Be careful not to go up the mountain or to touch the edge of it. Any who touch the mountain shall be put to death. No hand shall touch them, but they shall be stoned or shot with arrows; whether animal or human being, they shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they may go up on the mountain.” So Moses went down from the mountain to the people. He consecrated the people, and they washed their clothes. And he said to the people, “Prepare for the third day; do not go near a woman.” On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, as well as a thick cloud on the mountain, and a blast of a trumpet so loud that all the people who were in the camp trembled. Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God. They took their stand at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the Lord had descended upon it in fire; the smoke went up like the smoke of a kiln, while the whole mountain shook violently. As the blast of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses would speak and God would answer him in thunder. When the Lord descended upon Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain, the Lord summoned Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people not to break through to the Lord to look; otherwise many of them will perish. Even the priests who approach the Lord must consecrate themselves or the Lord will break out against them.” Moses said to the Lord, “The people are not permitted to come up to Mount Sinai; for you yourself warned us, saying, ‘Set limits around the mountain and keep it holy.’“ The Lord said to him, “Go down, and come up bringing Aaron with you; but do not let either the priests or the people break through to come up to the Lord; otherwise he will break out against them.” So Moses went down to the people and told them. (Exodus 19:1-25, NRSV)

The Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai and Moses went up the mountain to be with God.

No one could touch the mountain or they would die. God is so holy we cannot be near Him or look upon Him without dying. So God set up some guidelines for helping the people stay ok. But the people were still wanting to come through so God sent Moses down to warn them.

Isn’t that how we all are? We want things the way we want them. So we only follow when it meets our needs. How do we not listen to God to go after what we think we want?

 

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“Let My People Go”

Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, so that they may celebrate a festival to me in the wilderness.’“ But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should heed him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and I will not let Israel go.” Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has revealed himself to us; let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to the Lord our God, or he will fall upon us with pestilence or sword.” But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their work? Get to your labors!” Pharaoh continued, “Now they are more numerous than the people of the land and yet you want them to stop working!” That same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people, as well as their supervisors, “You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as before; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But you shall require of them the same quantity of bricks as they have made previously; do not diminish it, for they are lazy; that is why they cry, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.’ Let heavier work be laid on them; then they will labor at it and pay no attention to deceptive words.” (Exodus 5:1-9, NRSV)

It seems like God’s plan didn’t work so well. Moses and Aaron went to Pharoh and told him that God said, “Let my people go.” And Pharoh said no and take away their straw. Make them get their own straw now for the bricks they make and oh yea the brick quota does not decrease.

So now they Israelites are worked harder, not able to worship God.

Have you ever been in a situation like this where you thought that things were going to turn around and they got worse?

I wonder if Moses and Aaron really thought that Pharoh was going to let the Israelites go.

Do you wonder about how things are going to work? And does that actually help the situation?

 

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Amalek Attacks Israel and is Defeated

Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some men for us and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; so his hands were steady until the sunset. And Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the sword. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this as a reminder in a book and recite it in the hearing of Joshua: I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” And Moses built an altar and called it, The Lord is my banner. He said, “A hand upon the banner of the Lord! The Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” (Exodus 17:8-16, NRSV)

So as long as Mose’s staff was in the air the Israelites would prevail. Can you imagine holding a staff up all day?

Seems like a small task but in reality, it wasn’t. Moses needed Arron and Hur to help him hold his hands up.

You see Joshua needed Moses and Moses needed Aaron and Hur. None of us can do this on our own.

We all need to help each other and be there when God calls us to be.

 

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The Council at Jerusalem

Then certain individuals came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to discuss this question with the apostles and the elders. So they were sent on their way by the church, and as they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, they reported the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the believers. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. But some believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and said, “It is necessary for them to be circumcised and ordered to keep the law of Moses.” The apostles and the elders met together to consider this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “My brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that I should be the one through whom the Gentiles would hear the message of the good news and become believers. And God, who knows the human heart, testified to them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us; and in cleansing their hearts by faith he has made no distinction between them and us. Now therefore why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.” (Acts 15:1-11, NRSV)

Did you hear what Paul said about the Law of Moses? He told the leaders of the church in Jerusalem that is was a yoke that they or their ancestors were unable to bear. That means that none of us have kept this so why are we expecting these Greek who know nothing of our past to do that?

Why do we place standards on people when God has accepted them as they are?

You see we want new believers to know what we know and act like we do. We have a hard time accepting that God has brought them as God brought us, as we are. Change happens instantly but also takes time. You see God changes the heart when the new believer realizes that God loves them, but their life may not change completely as quick as their heart did. That takes time, and to place the burdens of a life they have not lived on them at the very onset and a life that not even believers followed! Grace is what saves us, not doing the right things at the right time.

Don’t place a yoke on someone you yourself do not bear and bear it rightly.

 

 

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