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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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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Rocking That Water – Exodus 17

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Ever been so thirsty even warm water tastes good? Ice water would be nice, but when you’re really thirsty you need just good old plain water. You can take those first few gulps just thankful it’s wet. The temperature isn’t an issue.

Exodus 17 provides us with another example of God’s provision in spite of His people’s complaining.

All scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible.

But the people thirsted there for water; and they grumbled against Moses and said, “Why, now, have you brought us up from Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” – Exodus 17:3

Where were the cries of trusting in God? They’ve experienced it before. They were enslaved, and God let them walk out of Egypt. Their lives were in danger, and God protected them. In chapter 16 they were hungry. Did God let them waste away? No, they weren’t even close to starving.

Now they were thirsty. They grumbled and complained to Moses. He petitioned God.

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Potentate Pot Luck

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They were oppressed in Egypt. God freed them. They were trapped at the Red Sea. God provided a way. They were pursued by the Egyptian army. God protected them.

In Exodus chapter 15, the Israelites celebrated what God had done from them.

Now in chapter 16, they grumbled against Moses and Aaron.

All scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible.

The sons of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the LORDS hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” – Exodus 16:3

Would God do all that He had done for His people then let them starve to death in the wilderness? It was possible. It’s not always obvious how God orchestrates circumstances to bring about His desired result.

But He didn’t let them starve.

He sent quail and manna. They ate their fill.

The Israelites had to daily gather the manna for that day’s needs and twice as much on the day before the Sabbath. Why not just give them a week’s worth. Wouldn’t that be more efficient?

Remember the words of Jesus in what we call the Lord’s Prayer?

“Give us this day our daily bread.”

Our dependence of God must be daily. For forty years God’s people received their daily bread from Him. They could grumble or complain or just be silent. It didn’t change a thing. The manna was there six days a week.

They should have been thankful. Many probably were. What about us? Do we expect more than our daily bread from God? Each day is a gift. Each day’s bread, whether it be food or health or protection or grace, is a gift.

Dependence on someone or something doesn’t fit too well in our culture. We have independence drilled into us from early childhood. We are expected to learn to fend for ourselves. We are expected to provide for ourselves. Our culture says it’s up to us to make our way through this life.

God has a different plan. He expects us to depend on Him for our daily needs. He expects us to go to Him each day for forgiveness, help, and direction.

Do you ask Him for your daily bread?

Click on “A Walk Through Exodus” on the menu bar for more posts in this series.

Attempted Recapture

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Pharaoh opened the door of 400 years of bondage, and God’s “fugitives” bolted.

Pharaoh’s nickname could have been Mr. Change-my-mind. Every confrontation with God lead to a temporary surrender followed by an “I don’t think so.” Here we are in chapter 14 of the book of Exodus, and Pharaoh once again decides the decision to free the Israelites may not have been the best course of action.

The conversation may have gone something like this.

Egyptians: “Hey, boss, who exactly is going to do all that hard labor those Hebrews did for us?”

Pharaoh: “Hmm, good question. OK, let’s round ‘em up and bring ‘em back.”

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Joseph Goes Home

 

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Did you ever have one of those days when everything took forever? A long stop light. An extended meeting. A slow line at the checkout. Maybe you’re having a life like that. Maybe you’ve been waiting on something for weeks or months or years.

Maybe you’ve lost hope.

One lesson Exodus 13 teaches us is that sometimes God’s plans take time to unfold as He intends.

All scripture references are from The New American Standard Bible.

Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones up from here.” – Genesis 50:25

Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones from here with you.” – Exodus 13:19.

Joseph’s story began in Genesis 37 and ended in Joshua 24. Over 400 years passed between those chapters. As long as that seems, it reflects the details of God’s plans for His people.

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