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The story of the one female judge confirms that God can use men and women to accomplish His will. It also highlights some of the differences between how men judged and Deborah. Deborah was a prophetess who didn’t go to people and tell them what God said, but rather sat in one place and people came to inquire of God from her. Also she did not lead the nation in battle, but did go with the commander Barak at his urging. And a woman ultimately killed the king, Sisera, who oppressed them.
It’s been a long couple of weeks. First without my computer and workstation, second setting up my new computer to start working on it.
Unfortunately for me my computer decided to fry and die on Thursday last week. After three days of work recovering my data, I finally recovered everything, Yea! But it will be a couple of weeks until I get my new computer. Until then I’m working on my small laptop, the key word there is small, as in small keyboard, small screen, and small form factor. That was great when I carried it around and surfed the net, read my books, etc. not so good for a work station though. Have a blessed week, I’ll get caught up soon.
Sorry folks, the combination through the weekend of feeling sick (terrible headaches) and busy with work has prevented me from posting since Friday. Anyway, I hope most of you have been able to keep up with the reading in the Daily Bible. I know reading the laws pertaining to the Nation of Israel can be tedious reading at times, like reading through IRS code or legal writings, but remember that is exactly what the law of Moses did for their nation. It was their tax code and legal system in one very short document when compared to our laws, which have become so large no one person can know them all.
Look for the principles behind the laws, why did God want them to act in certain ways and not others. The law of Moses is called a witness to the righteousness of God in Romans 3:21. Christians are called to learn the righteousness of God and walk in it (2 Tim 3:16-17). The law of Moses’ teaches us about God and his righteousness, even when we don’t understand or know why He commanded certain things hopefully we can see what God was trying to teach Israel about right and wrong.
In today’s reading I was constantly reminded of the unchangeable message of God. He loved the Israelites; He loves us. He gave them laws so they will fear the Lord and have a long life; though we are saved by grace, we are to obey His will so we will have eternal life. They were to teach their children the law; we teach our children, too, but also our spiritual children (thinking of Paul with his ‘sons’ Timothy and Titus; and Titus 2 where older women teach the younger women). God provided ready-made houses and land for them entering into Canaan; He is preparing mansions/rooms for us in heaven. As the wilderness journey was to humble and test the Israelites of their faithfulness, our journey here on earth will test us and should humble us to trust in God. And as they lived under God’s covenant of love, we do, too, as we love Him and keep His commands.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Now the Levites are counted. But the counting is different. Whereas the tribes of Israel counted men who could serve in the army, Levi counts all the males from 1 month and older. The total is 22,000. That number is much smaller than every other tribe in Israel even when they don’t count children 19 and below. The next closest was Manasseh at 32,200, but if we added Ephraim and Manasseh together, the adult children of Joseph is 72,700. In their culture the lack of fertility in Levi compared to his brothers would be seen as a curse, and yet they receive the blessing and grace of God to approach the Tabernacle of God for his brothers.
The scriptures compare the number of Levites with the number of firstborn males and the difference is 273. That is a little over 1% difference. Even though the difference is very small God does not say “close enough”. The extra 273 firstborn in Israel have to be redeemed, or ought back from God. God is serious when He says something is His. That reminds me how important we become to God when he comes and makes His home with us. Something Jesus promised to those who believe in His name.
This passage (Exodus 5-8) is the beginning of the completion of God’s promise to Abraham back in Genesis 15:12-16. Abraham’s descendents will be slaves and mistreated by a nation. God will punish that nation and the Israelites will leave it with great possessions. I remember that the Israelites are hearing this history (and promises made and kept) as they are in the wilderness, free and away from Egypt.
In Exodus 5, Moses requests 3 days from Pharoah for the Israelites to go worship God. Pharaoh says no, thinking they must be lazy. Unfortunately for him, Pharoah ends up losing his whole workforce because of his stubbornness.
6:1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.” God says this right after the people are discouraged for their ‘laziness.’ Not only will God show His mighty hand to Pharoah – He will also be showing it to the Israelites. They also will learn that God is stronger than man.
I thought of Romans 1:18-25 as I read God hardening Pharoah’s heart. Pharoah was a prideful, stubborn man (as seen in the beginning of chapter 5 and throughout the plague chapters). And with all the demonstrations of God’s power, he just didn’t want to believe (Romans 6:21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened). So God “gave them up to uncleanness”(v 24). With all the evidence of God’s power (10 plagues plus the signs Moses showed him in the beginning), God’s attributes were not invisible to Pharoah – but he just refused to believe. He was a VERY stubborn (hardened) man.