Friday, March 24, 2017

THE VIEW FROM MY PORCH

 
 

 
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Sunday, March 12, 2017

A SIGN FOR MOSES

I suppose that I, too, would have stopped to investigate the strange sight. Moses, the Israelite who had fled Egypt for fear of his life, was watching the flocks of his Father-in-law in far-off Midian. As Moses walked near mount Horeb, he saw a bush that seemed to be burning, but it was not being consumed by the fire. As Moses approached the bush, he heard the voice of God speaking to him out of the midst of it.

“Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” (Exodus 3:10-12 ESV). 

This was the call of Moses by God to lead the Israelite nation out of their captivity in Egypt. So demanding and at times so frustrating would this task become, that there may have been moments later in the life of Moses when he wished he had never turned aside from his intended path to see a bush that was burning but not being consumed. Perhaps if he had known all that lie ahead of him he would have hesitated in obeying God even more than he did at the time.

Indeed, when God told him of his plan for Moses to stand before Pharaoh and to go to the Children of Israel to tell them that God had appointed him to bring them out of Egypt, Moses began to argue with God. It was a daunting task. Moses had tried it once before – forty years previous to that time.

Concerning that time forty years earlier, the first martyr Stephen would say of Moses, “He supposed that his brothers understood that God was giving them deliverance by his hand, but they did not understand” (Acts 7:25). Moses probably felt that if the Israelites did not accept him forty years ago, they certainly would not accept him now. 

What Had Happened in Egypt

Friday, March 10, 2017

ANTICIPATING THE DAY

 
 
You can get this book either by writing to me at my email address or by clicking this link:
As always, thanks for reading



 

 


Sunday, March 5, 2017

THE HARLOT

One would think that the writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews could have dispensed with the title “harlot” when referring to Rehab, a woman who had lived in the Old Testament days.
 
After all, when he wrote about “Rahab the harlot,” as he calls her, about seventeen hundred years had passed since she had practiced that trade. And she had done other things in her life– more noteworthy things. In fact, it was one of those other and more significant things about which the author writes:
 
"By faith, the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith, Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace" (Hebrews 11:30-31 NIV).
 
The spies of this verse are not the twelve spies that had been sent in to spy out the land shortly after the Israelites made their exodus out of Egypt. That occurrence had happened some forty years earlier. The spies referred to in this case were only two in number, and they went in specifically to spy out the city of Jericho, the same city that Joshua was contemplating when he met with the captain of the host of the Lord.

The Story of Rehab

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

ASH WEDNESDAY

If you are in the custom of watching the local evening news, on almost any given evening, you may see a story about some unfortunate family who had just suffered a devastating house fire. Perhaps even some of you have had this experience. As the reporter interviews the family, they are usually standing in front of what was once their home. In the background is the rubble of their building, and ashes. Many ashes.

Ashes are what is left after all that is useful is burned away. After the fire has consumed all that was worth consuming, it leaves the ashes. Ashes are the useless byproduct of disaster. Even the fire refuses these.

To our Ash Wednesday service I brought some ashes that I collected from our fireplace in our home. After the fire has gone out, there are the ashes that remain. These hold no value for me. No matter how many of these ashes that I collect, I could never heat our home with them. They are worthless to me.

Today we as a church are observing Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lent season in the church calendar. The Lent season is the time during the year that commemorates the forty days of fasting in the wilderness that Jesus accomplished before he endured the temptation of Satan.

The Celebration

The commemoration of Ash Wednesday and even the commemoration of Lent is not something that God has instructed us to do, but is purely a church tradition. Thus, like all human traditions, we need to be a little careful what meaning we put into it. If we are holding this service and observing Ash Wednesday out of some sense of duty or to fulfill a requirement, or simply because we have always done it, we are missing the point.

However, if we use these moments together to truly reflect on our relationship with God and with our fellow man, then our observance of Ash Wednesday and of the entire Lent season will be very meaningful.

I would like to give you two things pertaining to the image of the ashes to think about during this season of Lent.