Tag Archives: successes

Exodus 18 – Perspective

Isn’t it nice to have an outside perspective sometimes.  We look at our own situation time and time again.  We see the same problems the same ways.  We walk through the same doors and fall into the same traps.  It’s so easy to get caught up in our own way of doing things that we lose track of the idea that there may be another, better solution.  We also get so used to seeing the same blessings that we fail to see them as blessings.  We see our successes in light of our situation and lose track of how amazing they can be sometimes.

Moses had started to get into some of these kinds of ruts.  He was hearing the same people complaining about the same problems while doing the same things over and over.  Then along came Jethro, his father-in-law, bringing Moses wife and two sons, and they saw it all anew.  They heard the stories for the first time.  They learned about the situation and saw all the blessings that God was doing for the people off Israel, and they were amazed.  Jethro was the priest of Midian.  He was a man of experience and wisdom, and yet he said, “Now I know that the LORD (YHWH) is greater than all the gods.  Indeed, it was proven when they dealt proudly against the people.”  He saw how God had treated those who stood proudly against His people, and Jethro, the priest of Midian, knew that there was no God like YHWH.

In response Jethro took a burnt offering and sacrifice to the LORD.  He prepared it as a meal and invited the leaders of Israel to eat a meal together before God.  He served in his role as a priest, yet he also set a precedent for the leaders; one of fellowshipping together before the LORD.  Don’t you love a good perspective!?

The chapter finishes with Moses sitting before the people judging them.  They came to him with their conflicts and problems, and he judged between the people.  As i was reading this, it reminded me of the incident in chapter 2 “He (Moses) went out the next day, and behold, two Hebrews were fighting with each other; and he said to the offender, ‘Why are you striking your companion?’  But he said, ‘Who made you a prince or a judge over us? Are you intending to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?’ Then Moses was afraid and said, ‘Surely the matter has become known.’”  So Moses has become the judge that he had tried to be.  He went from poser to the man of the hour; yet ironically, it was too much.

Jethro to the rescue!  He tells Moses that this is too much work for him alone; that he needs to abdicate the work to others.  To those who hate injustice so that it does not become too much of a burden.  Do we pursue an outside perspective for our lives?

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Exodus 15 – Honor

I will sing to the LORD (YHWH) for He is highly exalted; the horse and its rider He has hurled in the sea…”  So begins the song of the MEN of Israel.  YHWH has done something amazing, and what is the response?  The MEN of Israel begin to sing and celebrate the wonders of God.  Why is that so different from today?  Why is it that instead of being the first to honor God, the men are usually the last?  Why is it that men are so hesitant to give glory to the One to whom it is due?  It has been in our nature to lead; that’s how we were created.  We were also created to bring YHWH honor and to show the glory of God.  Yet here we are.  Men are more likely to follow in worshiping God than we are to lead.  Men are less likely to honor God in how we express ourselves, yet we are responsible for leading in that.  Why is that, and how can we change it?

When the men worshiped, what did they do and say?  Moses and the men of Israel described God’s glory and His actions.  They expressed what YHWH did and how He did it.  The worship of men involved describing God, who He is and what He has done “The LORD (YHWH) is a warrior;  The LORD (YHWH) is His name.  Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea;“.  The worship of men is about action and work “Your right hand, O LORD (YHWH), is majestic in power, Your right hand, O LORD (YHWH), shatters the enemy.  And in the greatness of Your excellence You overthrow those who rise up against You;“.  It is also about character and person; “In Your lovingkindness You have led the people whom You have redeemed; In Your strength You have guided them to Your holy habitation.

Is this how we worship today?  Do we celebrate who God is, or how He makes us feel when we feel His presence?  Is our worship about events and what God is doing in our lives, or is it about love and our emotions towards Him?  Are we honoring and glorifying YHWH, or are we just singing songs?

One of the beautiful things about the Israelites in the old testament, and something that has been lost in our culture is this idea of truly celebrating the milestones and successes in our lives.  When was the last time any of us really, truly celebrated a real success in our lives.  When was the last time God did something amazing in your life and you had a party to celebrate it?  I know i can’t remember the last time i did anything like that.  Aside from graduating from high-school and getting married, i can’t remember anything that YHWH has done that we have celebrated (besides the anniversary of days of birth and marriage).  We seem to have lost the ability to truly Honor God for the things He has done.  What can we do to change that?

I also wanted to note here that this is the first time that we see the LORD described as YHWH-Rapha, the LORD our Healer.  So far, the Israelites have seen a God of destruction.  He was a God who destroyed the Egyptians in order to free the sons of Israel from their enemies.  He brought plagues, destruction, and death.  Here they begin to see God as a God who heals (the waters of Marah).  Thus He is also the God of life.  It is a step in a different direction… but i’m out of time, so i can’t go into it more.

Rev. John Camiolo

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Filed under Application, Bible, Content, Exodus, Old Testament, Person, Purpose, Torah