The Finger of God

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Is God a man? Is He made like a man? Does He have physical characteristics like a man?

Did He really write the Ten Commandments with His finger?

Exodus 31:18 When He had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God.

Moses wrote most of the laws as spoken by God.

Moses had been on Mount Sinai for forty days. God had given him instructions regarding the tabernacle, the priests, and the rules of conduct for the nation of Israel.

Moses received the Ten Commandments from God.

Moses also received the Ten Commandments from God. These ten laws were not written down by Moses. According to scripture they were written by God in stone then given to Moses.

Is Exodus 31:18 just symbolic and not to be taken literally?

  • According to Strong’s Concordance
  • The word ‘finger’ is translated from the Hebrew word meaning the forefinger.
  • The word ‘written’ is translated from the Hebrew word meaning ‘to write.”
  • The word ‘God’ is translated from the Hebrew word meaning God.
  • The word ‘gave’ is translated from the Hebrew word meaning ‘to give.’

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God, the Book, the Blood, and Us

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Four young people. Enjoying pizza and beer. Socializing. Married (I saw their rings). Just enjoying each other’s company. Laughing. Talking.

They probably didn’t realize they were in a covenant relationship with each other.

Really? Aren’t covenant relationships legal and formal and spoken or written?

A covenant is an agreement or a pledge between people or in the Bible between men and God.

Whether we are aware or not, almost all our social relationships have unspoken and assumed covenants. We assume our friends will treat us courteously and with respect. We assume dinner out with friends won’t end with a fist fight in the parking lot. We trust our friends will honor the marriage vows we made to our spouses.

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Personal Responsibility

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As he entered Panera Bread I noticed he had a slight limp. He was probably 80 years old. Maybe 85. I imagined him being a Korea War veteran. It was easy to see him as having owned an auto parts store or perhaps he had been a supervisor in a factory.

I had no idea who he was, but for some unknown reason he looked trustworthy. I’m sure he lived his life being personally responsible for everything he did.

Where does personal responsibility come from? A quick answer would be one generation passes it on to the next. But where did it originate?

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Exodus 20 – Identity Crisis

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“…and I am out with lanterns, looking for myself.” — Emily Dickinson

Exodus 20 records God giving to Moses the Ten Commandments.

There first four commandments define our ideal relationship with God.

  • You shall have no other gods before me
  • You shall not make for yourself an idol
  • You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God
  • Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy

The last six commandments define our ideal relationship with each other.

  • Honor your father and your mother
  • You shall not murder
  • You shall not commit adultery
  • You shall not steal
  • You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor
  • You shall not covet

You may have heard we Christians are no longer under the law, meaning our relationship with God does not depend on following the laws communicated to Moses from God.

Which of the Ten Commandments are you not required to follow?  Continue reading

Exodus 19 – Clean Garments

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How do we approach our holy God? Is just showing up all that’s required? Is there some kind of ritual we need to go through?

As Exodus 19 begins, the Israelites were in month three of their escape from Egypt. They were learning, albeit slowly for some, to depend on God. Now they were going to learn a new lesson about their God.

He is holy.

Because He is holy He expects and is worthy of obedience.

All scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible.

‘Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine;

and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel. – Exodus 19:5-6

Moses spoke God’s words to the Israelites, and they responded.

All the people answered together and said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do!” And Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD. – Exodus 19:8

So far, so good.

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Exodus 18 – Delegation Not Incineration

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“The thing that you are doing is not good.”

The relationship between a man and his father-in-law can be great or it can be terrible. Moses evidently had a strong relationship with his father-in-law, Jethro, since Jethro pointed out to Moses an activity that just wasn’t right.

Jethro was a priest of Midian. The Midianites descended from Abraham but did not worship the God of the Israelites. Before he returned to Egypt to lead God’s people to freedom, Moses spent 40 years working with Jethro, so they knew each other well.

Jethro brought the wife of Moses and their two sons to Moses while he was leading the Israelites on their journey to the Promised Land.  He was awed by what God had done and acknowledged there was no other god greater that the God of Israel.

“Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the gods; indeed, it was proven when they dealt proudly against the people.” – Exodus 18:11

During his visit, Jethro noticed Moses judging the people from morning until night. It was not a good thing, and Jethro told Moses so.

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