Posts Tagged ‘Freedom’


Deuteronomy 10 (NLT) “At that time the LORD said to me, ‘Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones. Also make a wooden Ark—a sacred chest to store them in. Come up to me on the mountain, and I will write on the tablets the same words that were on the ones you smashed. Then place the tablets in the Ark.’… “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the LORD your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul. And you must always obey the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good… “For the LORD your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. You must fear the LORD your God and worship him and cling to him. Your oaths must be in his name alone. He alone is your God, the only one who is worthy of your praise, the one who has done these mighty miracles that you have seen with your own eyes. When your ancestors went down into Egypt, there were only seventy of them. But now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky!

After falling so many times as a nation, it is amazing that God still wants to bless Israel with Himself. Is there more to this than meets the eye? (more…)


Deuteronomy 7 (NLT) “When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are about to enter and occupy, he will clear away many nations ahead of you: the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. These seven nations are greater and more numerous than you. When the LORD your God hands these nations over to you and you conquer them, you must completely destroy them. Make no treaties with them and show them no mercy. You must not intermarry with them… For you are a holy people, who belong to the LORD your God. Of all the people on earth, the LORD your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure. “The LORD did not set his heart on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! Rather, it was simply that the LORD loves you, and he was keeping the oath he had sworn to your ancestors… He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands. But he does not hesitate to punish and destroy those who reject him. Therefore, you must obey all these commands, decrees, and regulations I am giving you today… Perhaps you will think to yourselves, ‘How can we ever conquer these nations that are so much more powerful than we are?’ But don’t be afraid of them! Just remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all the land of Egypt. Remember the great terrors the LORD your God sent against them… “No, do not be afraid of those nations, for the LORD your God is among you, and he is a great and awesome God. The LORD your God will drive those nations out ahead of you little by little. You will not clear them away all at once, otherwise the wild animals would multiply too quickly for you. But the LORD your God will hand them over to you. He will throw them into complete confusion until they are destroyed. He will put their kings in your power, and you will erase their names from the face of the earth. No one will be able to stand against you, and you will destroy them all.

Death and destruction seem to be a big part of God’s instructions to His chosen people. How is that evidence of a loving God and how different are we from any other religion that terrorizes non-believers? (more…)


Leviticus 25:1-7,10,54-55 The LORD said to Moses at Mount Sinai, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the LORD. For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest. Whatever the land yields during the sabbath year will be food for you—for yourself, your male and female servants, and the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you, as well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land. Whatever the land produces may be eaten… Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan… “‘Even if someone is not redeemed in any of these ways, they and their children are to be released in the Year of Jubilee, for the Israelites belong to me as servants. They are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

Many aspects of life in those Mosaic times are very odd to us and we find them hard to understand or accept. Slavery is one such concept and keeps us wondering how a God of love would permit such things.

In this long and exhaustive chapter on the year of jubilee, what could be relevant to us in today’s time and how does this draw us closer to God? (more…)


Leviticus 22:1-3,9,14,31-33 The LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons to treat with respect the sacred offerings the Israelites consecrate to me, so they will not profane my holy name. I am the LORD. “Say to them: ‘For the generations to come, if any of your descendants is ceremonially unclean and yet comes near the sacred offerings that the Israelites consecrate to the LORD, that person must be cut off from my presence. I am the LORD… “‘The priests are to perform my service in such a way that they do not become guilty and die for treating it with contempt. I am the LORD, who makes them holy… “‘Anyone who eats a sacred offering by mistake must make restitution to the priest for the offering and add a fifth of the value to it… “Keep my commands and follow them. I am the LORD. Do not profane my holy name, for I must be acknowledged as holy by the Israelites. I am the LORD, who made you holy and who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the LORD.”

It seems the priests and their families were setup for disaster considering all the restrictions God has placed upon them.

There are more don’ts than dos and the question that comes to mind again is what is God saying and why? (more…)


Leviticus 19:1-2,4,9-10,19,31-32,36-37 (ESV) And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy… Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the LORD your God… “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God… “You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your cattle breed with a different kind… “Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the LORD your God. “You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the LORD… You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. And you shall observe all my statutes and all my rules, and do them: I am the LORD.”

What a treasure trove of good advice this chapter is and I never appreciated it till I reached this point in my journey across the Bible.

The challenge however is to be able to draw something specific from it and once again I wish I could split this chapter into many devotionals but God wants me to keep at His work.

What today are the key thoughts God has given us and how can we apply it into our lives? (more…)


Leviticus 15:1-2,16,19,25,31 The LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When any man has a discharge from his body, his discharge is unclean… “If a man has an emission of semen, he shall bathe his whole body in water and be unclean until the evening… “When a woman has a discharge, and the discharge in her body is blood, she shall be in her menstrual impurity for seven days, and whoever touches her shall be unclean until the evening… “If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, not at the time of her menstrual impurity, or if she has a discharge beyond the time of her impurity, all the days of the discharge she shall continue in uncleanness. As in the days of her impurity, she shall be unclean… “Thus you shall keep the people of Israel separate from their uncleanness, lest they die in their uncleanness by defiling my tabernacle that is in their midst.”

After leprosy, we now move into an area of greater discomfort and one that makes us wonder why. Considering a person unclean for a bodily discharge seems rather harsh and makes one wonder if it was because of a lack of education or awareness.

Is there anything relevant relating bodily discharges to uncleanness and how does it apply to our lives today? (more…)


Exodus 29:1a,9b,15-16,35,38-39,44-46 “This is what you are to do to consecrate them, so they may serve me as priests… Then tie sashes on Aaron and his sons. The priesthood is theirs by a lasting ordinance. In this way you shall ordain Aaron and his sons… “Take one of the rams, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on its head. Slaughter it and take the blood and sprinkle it against the altar on all sides… Slaughter it, take some of its blood and put it on the lobes of the right ears of Aaron and his sons, on the thumbs of their right hands, and on the big toes of their right feet. Then sprinkle blood against the altar on all sides… “Do for Aaron and his sons everything I have commanded you, taking seven days to ordain them… “This is what you are to offer on the altar regularly each day: two lambs a year old. Offer one in the morning and the other at twilight… “So I will consecrate the Tent of Meeting and the altar and will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. They will know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God.

As I read today’s chapter, I was left squirming about all the blood and gore stipulated by God as an offering to Him and kept wondering why, why? Animal rights have obviously had a lasting impact on me and therefore I see all this sacrifice in a different light from the people of Moses’ age.

Having said that however, I do know that God does not simply ask for these sacrifices without perfect reason and therefore I hope you join me in asking God to speak through this chapter into our lives today. (more…)


Exodus 21:1-2,12,15,23-25,35 “These are the laws you are to set before them: “If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything… “Anyone who strikes a man and kills him shall surely be put to death… “Anyone who attacks his father or his mother must be put to death… But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise… “If a man’s bull injures the bull of another and it dies, they are to sell the live one and divide both the money and the dead animal equally.

A bizarre set of laws that certainly confound logic but I am sure they were valid for the time they were revealed when there was no law and morality had no meaning among the nation of Israel who were wandering in the desert.

It seems like God did not condemn slavery and that any wrong action could simply be excused by a payment! What relevance do these laws have for us today in our Christian walk of faith? (more…)


Exodus 20:1-3,18,22-26 And God spoke all these words: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me… When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance… Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven: Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold. “‘Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you. If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it. And do not go up to my altar on steps, lest your nakedness be exposed on it.’

Finally God establishes His laws to the Israelites that give them a clear understanding of what is and is not acceptable in His sight. Until now, they operated under the duress of the Egyptian Kings and did not appreciate their freedom enough.

God sure knows how to make a point as was evident in the fear of the Israelites who saw the physical threat to life when God spoke. Is that God’s message to us today? (more…)


Exodus 13:3,8-12,15,17-18 Then Moses said to the people, “Commemorate this day, the day you came out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, because the LORD brought you out of it with a mighty hand. Eat nothing containing yeast… On that day tell your son, ‘I do this because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that this law of the LORD is to be on your lips. For the LORD brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand. You must keep this ordinance at the appointed time year after year. “After the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites and gives it to you, as he promised on oath to you and your ancestors, you are to give over to the LORD the first offspring of every womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock belong to the LORD… ‘When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the LORD killed the firstborn of both people and animals in Egypt. This is why I sacrifice to the LORD the first male offspring of every womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons’… When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.

The start of an annual memorial to God’s goodness to the Israelites is a gist of this chapter and it is beautiful to see how the Israelites chose to thank God for His goodness as they embarked on their journey that would take forty years.

Forty years for a journey that should have only taken them 2 weeks sounds a bit much by any standard but clearly God had a purpose and in that we can celebrate today.

So far we have seen that God hears the pains of His people, intervenes for them at a time that He considers proper, redeems in a way that can only be credited to Him as glory, delivers on His promise without fail, brings out witnesses to sing His glory, desires praise from the lips of those He redeems and works in and through the situation to touch the lives of everyone who witnesses His mighty works!

We now see that God goes even further to pave the way for the Israelites and walks with them every step of the way by being a pillar of pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.

Is that not amazing reassurance that God is in it for the long haul, not just the moment? Is it not evidence that God purposes a life long relationship, not just a passing acquaintance with us?

What also stood out to me in this passage was what God revealed as His purpose in the killing of the Egyptian firstborn. Clearly God did kill to simply seek revenge but there was a bigger reason, one that only God could purpose.

The killing of the Egyptian firstborn served as a sacrifice for the blood payment of the Israelites and in much the same way the Israelites were to dedicate their firstborn to God to redeem their own.

Today we are spared of blood sacrifices because of Jesus’ own blood shed on the cross as a sacrificial lamb and that sacrifice was enough for all people from that time until the Lord’s much anticipated return.

However, God clearly wants us to never forget His goodness to us and to submit to Him the first fruits of what He blesses us with. Whether it be our time, our wealth, our strength or anything that God has blessed us with.

We clearly are a people who do not deserve God’s goodness but He chose to love us because we are His own creation and sacrificed His own son for us that we might have a relationship with Him that lasts an eternity.

If you are not a member of God’s family yet and want to be one, call on Jesus to be your Lord and Savior now and give your brokenness to Him so that He can clean and transform you into His likeness for His glory.

If you are one saved by the grace of this great God, forget not to commemorate His goodness to you and sacrifice to Him the first fruits of all that He has blessed you with in gratefulness.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Hebrews 9:15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

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