As the people of God in Exodus 20 heard the law of God, we are told that they responded in fear. Verses 18-19 tell us, “Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lighting and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off and said to Moses, ‘You speak to us, but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.'” The people are seeing and hearing all of these things and these sounds after hearing the law of God spoken by God Himself, and in that law they are given a greater view of His character and His holiness.
The holiness of God really underscores the entirety of the book of Exodus, and as the people of God are brought face to face as it were with His holy law, they recognize that they cannot stand. They need someone to be a Mediator for them–they need someone to speak to God for them and someone to speak God’s Word to them. They need someone to be their intercessor.
Moses is set apart by God as the mediator for God’s people, but he is far from a perfect mediator. He himself is stained by sin, and he cannot atone for the sins of the people. But Moses points us to a greater Mediator–to our Savior Jesus Christ. He is the One who made intercession for His people in John 17. He is the One who offered up Himself as a sacrifice for guilty sinners by bearing their sin and its curse for them. He is the One who even now ever lives to intercede for His people.
As we see our own violations of God’s law, the hope we need is found in Jesus our Mediator. Join us for worship this Lord’s Day at River City Reformed as we consider these truths together. We meet at 9 AM at 9820 West Markham St. (the sanctuary of Faith United Methodist Church). For more information, click here, or contact us. You can also watch our service on YouTube with a link posted to our Facebook page.
Lying is pervasive in our world. It is often downplayed because it is said that everyone does it. Along with this, gossip and slander are largely considered to be acceptable in our world, and they can far too easily creep into the church as well.
But the ninth commandment forbids lying, gossip and slander while commending truth telling. The commandment says, “‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”
When we rightly consider this commandment and all that it has to say, we are rebuked because we realize that we have fallen short. And yet, the Gospel hope is that the Son of God who is true, who never lied yet died in the place of liars, of gossips, of slanderers and revilers. There is hope to found in Him, even for those who have transgressed this, the ninth commandment.
It would be quite a scene to see a judge take the place of a guilty party in a courtroom, yet this is what we see in Exodus 17:1-7. The people of God now camp at Rephidim at the Lord’s command. He is the One who has led them there, and the people have already seen the Lord provide for their needs in miraculous ways. In Exodus 15, in spite of the grumbling of the people, He made the bitter water sweet for them so that they could drink it. In Exodus 16, also in spite of the grumbling of the people, He gave them bread from heaven so that they might be nourished and have something to eat. Now, in Exodus 17 they come to a desert land in which there is no water, but instead of trusting the Lord to provide for them again, they grumble against Him.
We ought to make no mistake–to grumble against the Lord’s plans is to rebel against God Himself. The people were in essence seeking to be the judge of God’s character and accusing not only Moses, but the Lord of injustice. This was a serious thing. Yet, once again, the Lord shows grace and mercy to His grumbling people. He tells Moses to take the staff and go before the people. This staff is the staff that was used in judgment against the Egyptians as the Lord sent plagues upon them and ultimately defeated them at the Red Sea. This is a staff that represents judgment.
We might expect that the Lord would use this staff against His people for their grumbling, but that is not what the Lord does. Instead, He tells Moses, “Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” Not only will the Lord provide for the needs of His people again, but the rock will be stricken instead of them. Paul elaborates on this in 1 Corinthians 10:4 when he says, “and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.” The striking of the rock in the wilderness points us to our Savior who would be the Rock stricken in the place of His people, dying as a substitute for them. In Him, His people receive living water. Join us for worship this Lord’s Day at The Commons at St. Andrews Church in Little Rock as we consider these truths together. For directions, click here, or contact us for more information. You can also watch on FacebookLive@RiverCityARP or on YouTube.
Often times momentous occasions are marked by song. Many events throughout history are commemorated by songs that were written by people who were present or by those reflecting upon those events. In Exodus 15:1-21, Moses and the people of God sing as they reflect on what God has just done in miraculously delivering the people of God at the crossing of the Red Sea.
We may wonder why it is we sing in church. As we look at this song, we realize that God’s character and all that He has done undergird its content. This is what biblical worship is and where biblical worship leads. Biblical worship is reflective of who God is and of His mighty deeds, and it drives us more and more to consider who God is and what He has done. Often in our world, worship can become about us and our preferences, and this is not only a problem out there–we ought to ask ourselves if we tend to slip into this way of thinking. Passages such as this one serve as a needed corrective and should be a formative influence upon us with regard to praise and worship.
We will speak about much of the content of this song more fully this Lord’s Day evening, but one of the truths we can begin to consider now is that Moses is quite clear that the salvation of God’s people has been all of His work of grace and deliverance. It had nothing to do with what they had achieved, but it had everything to do with God and His purposes. Moses was confident that God had accomplished their deliverance. As a Christian, you have the confidence that your redemption has been accomplished in the work of Christ, and because of this, your soul will never be destroyed.
Few things are more difficult than Moving Day. In Exodus 13, Israel is on the move. To prepare them to travel God gives three things – a plan, a promise, and his presence. All to make it easier for them to follow. Things we also need as we follow Christ. Join us as we examine the departure of Israel from Egypt in Exodus 13:17-22. And as we consider some critical truths about following God when he brings us to our own Moving Day.