Exodus 1-3, Psalms 24, Matthew 10:21-42, Acts 15:22-41
Exodus 4-6, Psalms 25, Matthew 11:1-19, Acts 16:1-15
The first thing that caught my attention in these readings appears in Exodus 3:11-14.
Moses: Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?
God: Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.
If I’m reading this correctly, the sign will be given after Moses accomplishes his mission, which leads me to ask if this is a precedent; that is, does God sometimes give confirmation of His will to us after we obey?
Moses: When I go to the people and tell them the God of their fathers has sent me, they may ask, “What is His name?” What shall I tell them?
God: I AM WHO I AM. Thus you shall say to them, “I AM has sent me to you.”
Long ago someone posed a question to me: what is God’s purpose? Because I didn’t know, I asked several pastors and other wise men, but only one responded with an answer that satisfied me. In case you want to ponder the question yourself, I will reveal that particular answer* at the end.
Exodus 4:21 made me pose a question of my own: why did God harden Pharaoh’s heart? God’s action stands in contrast to what He did for Lydia in Acts 16:14. “The Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.” We know from James and others in the Bible that God does not play favorites, so how can we reconcile these truths?
Psalm 25 jumped out at me because it contains the words of Unto Thee, O Lord, a song we used to sing where one led and the others responded. Without even trying, we memorized the first seven verses as we sang, and they are still with us to this day.
Matthew 10:29-31 caught my attention because only God keep tracks of us in such impressive detail, which is even more remarkable considering that the number of hairs on ours heads changes daily!
John the Baptist sends a message asking Jesus if he was the Expected One, or “shall we look for someone else?” Jesus answers (Matthew 11:3) by quoting Isaiah 35:5. “The blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” Amen.
*What is God’s purpose?
He doesn’t need one in the same way we do. His existence is enough,
for He says, “I AM.”