Who is Willing *Ex. 35:4-5; 20-29

Exodus 35:4-5, 20-29
Who is willing
The question is posed
Free will is exposed
Do you want to bring
To the Lord an offering
Who is willing

God spoke what needed to be done through His servant Moses. God then gave His people free choice by saying: whoever is willing can bring material offerings or skills and abilities as an offering to the Lord God in order to fulfill God’s purpose.
God is kind – He’s the One who gives wealth, talents, skills, knowledge and abilities to people. The people are to use these gifts to benefit others.

Selfless Love *Ex. 33:7-23

Exodus 33:7-23
This is a wonderful ending to a chapter that started out so sad. Because of the extreme sinful behavior of God’s people, God didn’t even want to see them or be with them. The people mourned and repented when they heard God’s words about them.
Moses again intercedes on behalf of the people. God answers Moses with a yes; His Presence will go with the people throughout the rest of their journey.
Moses, realizing the magnitude of his responsibility of being a leader of a multitude of people, asked God to teach him God’s ways, that His favor would be with them, and to remember the people are God’s chosen. God was pleased with Moses selfless response and agreed to go with them throughout their journey.
We, too, can intercede on behalf of others. God is please when we do so. We can make a huge difference in people’s lives when we look outside ourselves and ask God’s blessings over them.
We are all on a journey, which eventually comes to an end here on earth. How we go through this journey is what really matters. God’s example of selfless love by giving us Jesus Christ His one and only Son is powerful and benefits all who take hold of it. Jesus, Himself, also is an example of selfless love. He gave up everything to become human only to give up His life for the salvation of all mankind. Wow!!! What selfless love – nothing can match that or even come close.

God’s Mercy *Ex. 32

Exodus 32
This is a very sad chapter in one way, but it also shows God’s mercy, patience, kindness, power, and might. It also teaches us several things. There are 4 major points that pop out for us to glean from:
1) Patience in waiting
2) Peer pressure; going along with the crowd
3) Taking responsibility for one’s own actions; not blaming others for our own behavior
4) Intercession; praying to Yahweh on behalf of someone else

Point 1: First, this is a time of waiting on God – to be patient when “things” don’t look or seem as they should be. Yes, a time of waiting; not being able to have or get what is wanted soon. Because of impatience, sin was rampant and ran rapidly throughout the whole community.
Note: Unfortunately, we are no different. They were impatient; couldn’t wait and had to have their own way. We, too, want our way and we want it right now, so we don’t wait.
Lord, God of Israel keep us from judging Your people. Instead open our eyes to see the truth. Speak to each one of us and show us what we need to learn from this example in Your Word. There are different types of people in this chapter. Show us Lord which group do we (each one of us) fit into.
It didn’t take long for the people to forget what God did for them through Moses. God delivered them from Egyptian slavery, bondage, and oppression by using Moses. He parted the Red Sea making a way, where there was no way, leading them to safety. Here they are. The people at this time knew of God, but they didn’t really know God.
Their impatience lead others to sin gravely before Yahweh.
Lord, keep us from being impatient and causing others to sin. Open our eyes to see the value of waiting patiently. Thank You Lord for Your kindness, patience, and forgiveness. Strengthen us against sin, so that we will do what’s right in Your eyes and not sin before You. Thank You Lord.  Amen.
Point 2: Peer pressure: vs. 1-6. Notice in verse 1 that not one or two men went to Aaron, but Scripture says, “The people gathered around Aaron.” Just think: being pressured by one person is hard enough and two people is even harder. But how much more difficult it is to avoid peer pressure when you are surrounded by a group of people who are not happy and want their own way. It feels intimidating and overpowering to say the least.
Lord, it’s easy to see the Hebrews’ sin. It’s easy to see the sin in others, but it’s not so easy to see my own sin. Where am I giving into peer pressure when I shouldn’t? Show me, Lord, where I need to change. Lead me into repentance that I may not sin against Thee. Thank you that Your Holy Word: “If we confess our sins He (God) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sin and lead us in the way everlasting.” 1 John 1:9   Also, Psalm 103:10-12  “As far as the East is from the West, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
Lord, You speak a lot about sin and forgiveness throughout the whole Bible. Thank you for Your love, patience with us, and forgiveness. Wash us clean and lead us in the way everlasting. Amen.
Point 3: Blaming others for my own actions; not taking responsibility for what I say or what I do. It’s somebody else’s fault. We hear this all the time. Do we say this? Do we think this? Really, we need to see things as they really are and not make excuses for our behavior. Excuses, excuses, excuses. It’s the blame game. Knowing we’ve done wrong, but not wanting to admit it. Accountability – taking responsibility for my own words and actions and not blaming others.
Look at vs. 21-25. Moses is confronting Aaron saying, “What did you do! You led the people into great sin!” Aaron immediately blames the people. It’s their fault. He takes no responsibility whatsoever for any wrong doing/sin.
In fact, Aaron does the opposite by first blaming the people and then blaming the fire for producing the idol; “it just came out.” Aaron not only collected the gold from the people, had the gold melted down, he then fashioned the gold to become a golden calf idol. If that was not bad enough, Aaron then proceeded to build an altar, where the people began worship, sacrifice, and revelry to this golden statue calling it their god who delivered them from Egypt’s slavery, bondage, and oppression.
Lord, may we be a people, Your people, who do not shirk responsibility. May we be a people who admit our wrong doing and take responsibility for our own actions and not blame others or things for our own behavior. Thank You.
Point 4: Intercession vs. 11-14 & 31-34. Not once, but twice Moses intercedes for the people of God. The first time, God warns Moses about what He is going to do to the people because of their great sin. Moses immediately intercedes for them, not because the people deserve anything, but because of God’s promise – mercy and grace.
God always gives warnings before He is about to punish people for their sins. (We see this throughout the Bible; over and over again.) God gives warnings for a reason. God’s desire is that none should perish, but He gave us freewill. However, when we pray for others we can make a difference in their lives by interceding for them. There is power in praying to the Most High God – Yahweh. He is full of love, grace, and mercy. Who do you think put the desire to pray for others on your heart?  Was it not God?
Note: God always answers prayers with either a yes, no, or wait. God always hears; God is always listening whether we realize it or not.
When Moses actually sees the sins of the people, he is appalled and first confronts Aaron. Next, Moses confronts the people by giving them a choice. Either they chose the Lord and serve Him alone, or not. But they had to choose. They could not worship both. The choice was theirs to make. Once the choice had been made, Moses then went back to God and pleaded for their forgiveness of sin. Moses pleaded for God’s mercy and God granted it.
Sin should never be taken lightly. There are consequences. Sin is a serious matter. Why do you think Jesus died on the cross and became our atoning Sacrifice? As Scripture says in Romans 6:23 “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.” Thank You Lord!
Lord, like Moses, may we intercede on the behalf of other people when they need it. And may we be selfless and concerned only with following and pleasing You.
To conclude, there are 4 major points
1) Patience in waiting – impatience bring disaster
2) Peer pressure; going along with the crowd brings disaster
3) Taking responsibility for one’s own actions; not blaming others for our own behavior is the right thing to do; all else is sin
4) Intercession; praying to Yahweh on behalf of someone else will make a difference and can save lives

Talents & Abilities *Ex.31:1-6

Exodus 31:1-6
God is a giver. All things come from God. Skills, talents, and abilities are gifts from God. We think we are so good at….. But, it is really God who gets the credit for what we have and what we are able to do/accomplish.
Jesus even told a parable about talents in the New Testament. Three men were given different amounts of talents. After some time, they had to give an account for what they were given. Two of the men used their talents wisely, however the third man just buried his talent in the ground – not using it at all. There are consequences for what we do with what God gives us, as seen in
Matthew 25:16-30
What has God given to you? What is your talent? If you know what it is, then are you using it for His glory? If you don’t know what your talent is or if you are unsure- Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you shall find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7
God gives. God gave. God wants us to know Him and the gifts, talents, and abilities that He has given to each one of us.

Offering Benefits *Ex. 25:1-1

Exodus 25:1-9
God told Moses to go to the people and collect an offering. The offering was for God. The offering was voluntary, however if the people chose to give an offering to God only certain items were wanted. Notice how God used a man to collect the offerings for God. Then God used him to do God’s work. God loves His people so much that He wants to dwell among them, hence God is collecting an offering through Moses to benefit His people. God did not need their offerings, but wanted them to take part in what He was doing for the good of the community. God wanted to tabernacle amongst His people, and He wanted them to have a part in His plan.
Could this also have been a test from God to see what the people’s reaction would be? Could this have been a test to see if the people place God first in their lives? Each person, had the option to give or not; it was a voluntary offering.
Today, if you hear God’s voice harden not your heart.
We are always asking God for something. And we want it right away. We don’t like waiting and we don’t like no for an answer. How do you react when God asks you for something? Do you do it?
How do you think God feels when you sacrifice for Him or give a free-will offering to  His Name?
How do you feel when someone blesses you for no other reason than to make you happy?
Our aim should be to please God in all we do and with our mind, mouth, and money.

Waiting Patiently *Ex. 24:1-18

Exodus 24:1-18
God called these 75 men to worship Him. They also offered God sacrifices. Right after this, God spoke to Moses. Then the 74 men, plus Moses, not only saw God, but they ate and drank in the Presence of the Lord God. Wow! – all because of one man’s obedience.
There is power in worshiping and giving to God a sacrifice, an offering. God called Moses and 74 other men out from amongst the entire community. Out of the 74, God called Moses alone. Because Moses did as God instructed him to do, God called him alone to go higher; a more intimate relationship would develop between God and Moses.
We, too, can have a more intimate relationship with the Lord God. The choice is ours to make.
Why not bring
Yahweh an offering
An offering from your heart
This is a good place to start
Begin with thanks and praise
Worship to Him now raise
Give a sacrifice that is best
You will definitely be blessed
Just you wait patiently and see
Gracious and merciful is He
Note: when God called Moses, Moses did exactly what God asked him to do. Moses did it right away, but then he had to wait patiently, alone for 6 more days before God spoke to him again. On the 7th day God spoke.
We live in a culture of instant gratification. If it doesn’t feel good or if we just plain don’t like it, we don’t or won’t do it. Waiting patiently is not in our vocabulary. We want it (whatever it is) and we want it now; not wanting to wait. But the Bible says: Good things will come to those who patiently wait upon the Lord God.
Patience in waiting on God is the key. It is the key that opens a door to God’s blessings.
Good thing Moses was patient. The things Moses saw and experienced with God none of the others had. Moses walked and talked regularly with God. He was a friend of God. Moses is the only one recorded in the Holy Scriptures that had to put a veil over his face because of God’s glory (light) that radiated out from his face. See:
Exodus 34:29-34
A great verse to end with:
Hebrews 13:7 13:7

God’s Promises *Ex. 23:20-32

Exodus 23:20-32
Talk about an awesome promise! This is the best; nothing can compare to this! All God’s people need to do is trust God. They need to follow God and worship Him alone;  not follow any other religions or bow down before any other god.
God is very specific. This relationship between God and His people is exclusive. His people are not to have anything to do with praying to or worshiping any other god, idol, or statue. God’s chosen people are to bring Yahweh tithes, offerings, worship, and prayers. They are only to bow down before the One true God – the God of Israel. If God’s people do this, then God promises to:
   *Guard His people along their way
   *Bring them to the place He has prepared for them
   *Be an enemy to their enemies
   *Oppose all who opposes God’s people
   *Bring them into the Promised Land
   *Bless their food and water
   *Take away sickness
   *No miscarriages
   *No barrenness
   *Have a full life span
   *Go ahead of them giving protection
   *Causing terror and confusion in enemy’s camp, so they turn and run
   *Clear their way
   *Establish borders in their God-given land
So if we, God’s people, obey God by following Jesus and worship no other, then God will most definitely protect, provide, and bless abundantly. We, too, can share in the promised blessings. Who wouldn’t want this blessing! 
Lord, God of Israel, thank you for Your Word, which is trustworthy. Thank You for Your promises, which are reliable.  Teach us Your Word, open our understanding that Your light would eliminate the truth. Amen.