Friday, December 18, 2015
Read Exodus chapter 20. The first commandment is basically “I am Adonai your God” (The Hebrew word here is
which you could pronounce as Yahweh or Jehovah though there's no "j" sound in Hebrew, but Jews replace this sacred name by saying Adonai or HaShem). If you started reading at verse 1 of chapter 20 then you know that God “spoke” all these words: the commandments. He starts with this implicit fact that He is our God.
“You shall not have other gods before me.” Literally, it says “before my face”, implying forever and everywhere, since God is omnipresent and eternal.
“You shall not take the name of Adonai your God in vain.” This commandment prohibits the voicing of the Lord’s name in an empty or useless way. Did you read that? Do not say “oh my God”! It has become a habit for too many people and it breaks my heart when I hear anyone and especially small children repeating this phrase.
“Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.” Set it apart. The Sabbath should be special. Heed God’s word, after all He spends several verses on this one command explaining that you should not work on the Sabbath.
“Honor your father and your mother.” Now the commands switch from being about our relationship with God to being about our relationship with others. Notice that this command to honor your parents continues with a blessing for you if you obey. Read verse 12 and see what you will get if you honor your father and your mother.
“You shall not murder.” If your translation says “kill” it is wrong. That is too broad a word. The actual Hebrew implies illegal killing only, hence murder. This commandment does not prohibit justified killing or killing in war.
“You shall not commit adultery.” Could that be any clearer?
“You shall not steal.” Stealing implies a lack of trust that God will supply all of our needs.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” This commandment is implicit in our lives if we live by the truth.
“You shall not covet” and this goes on to list the things that you shall not covet: your neighbor’s house, wife, servants, ox, donkey, or anything he owns. To covet is to have a selfish desire or even lust.The commandments are given in Deuteronomy 5 as well.
Friday, December 11, 2015
The book of Exodus gets its name from the exodus that occurred, but the Hebrew name is based on the first word of this book, Sh’mot, which means names. Look at your Bible and see how the book starts with the names of the sons of Israel. This book was written by Moses and records the redemption out of Egyptian bondage.
Other major themes are the giving of the Law and the provisions of sacrifice and priesthood. You could divide the book into three sections:
1st, Israel in Egypt and under bondage for 400 years;
2nd, moving from the Red Sea to Sinai and God making the covenant with Israel through the Ten Commandments;
3rd, Israel at Sinai and the construction and consecration of the Tabernacle, the house of the Lord.
Exodus teaches that redemption is essential to a relationship with the most Holy God. Even a redeemed people cannot have fellowship with Him unless they are constantly cleansed and purified from corruption, defilement, and transgressions (sin).
Let’s look specifically at The Plagues. (See chapters 7 through 11.) There are nine plagues before the horrible 10th plague that culminated in the Passover. The plagues were 1) Blood in the Nile, 2) Frogs, 3) Gnats, 4) Flies, 5) Death of Livestock, 6) Boils, 7) Hail, 8) Locusts and 9) Darkness. Let’s take them in groups of three since they seem to cluster nicely that way. The first three were distressing and uncomfortable, but relatively minor compared to what was next. The second set of three were a bit more painful for the Egyptians and very destructive. The last three were dreadful. The plagues are an answer to Pharaoh’s question. Look at Exodus 5: 1-2:
1 Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the wilderness.’”
2 Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD and I will not let Israel go.”
“Who is the LORD?” he asks. Well, the Lord God Almighty is going to make the answer pretty clear.
Friday, December 4, 2015
As I understand it, the scientists' Big Bang Theory begins with everything being as small as a pea and then blowing up. The universe expanded at a specific rate of expansion so that it is now 1,000,000,000,000 times larger. That huge number with 12 zeroes is actually one million squared. Scientists also say that the Big Bang happened about 15 and 3/4 billion years ago. Whoa, too many years ago for me to fathom, but I'll accept it because ...
... because the Big Bang Theory coordinates with Scripture in the following way:
God created things on the (literal) 6 days as described in Genesis. Yes, I can believe that, too. 6 days, 24 hours each. But, at the scientific rate of expansion of the universe that first day is now seen from our perspective as 8 billion years long. The second day, with a little less time to expand, is now 4 billion years long, the third day is 2 billion, fourth day 1 billion, fifth day one half billion and sixth day one quarter billion. See how that worked out? And it totals up to [drum roll] 15 and 3/4 billion years.
So, if you had trouble with those numbers then think of a radio wave message being sent out into outer space at the rate of one per day as the universe expands. The following graphic may help.