Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
In the event that you’re only reading one side of this discussion, you should know that Mr. Mattes has received my letter of apology and has graciously forgiven me for my sinful response to his post. You can read his response here. I believe this restores our fellowship. Praise the Lord. I’m glad that’s over.
I pray that the discussions can continue in a spirit of gracious brotherhood, with cool heads, and warm hearts. We should be able to discuss things that are important to us without lopping one another’s heads off as we go. We are Christians after all. And when we do over react, as I did, we should have the humility to react in the way that Christ reacted when he was misunderstood and mistreated.
Thank you, Mr. Mattes, for your graciousness towards me. And thank you to Jesus for truly being Lord of lords and King of kings. To him belongs the glory. Amen.
Dear Mr. Mattes,
This morning I spent considerable time trying to figure out what caused you to be so incensed about my letter to your pastor. So I went back over my letter to your pastor and discovered a few things that alarmed me and for which I need to apologize to you for and ask your forgiveness:
First, I had no intention of trying to be anonymous or deceptive in writing to your pastor. I assumed that my e-mail signature had been automatically affixed to the letter to him. When I re-read it this morning and found that only my name was included; not my church or blog address—which is my normal signature—I could see how it appeared that I was trying to be sneaky or at least deceptive. I know as well as the next guy that my name could be googled and my “cover” blown, but never-the-less I apologize for making it appear that I was trying to be deceptive. Please forgive me.
Second, as an example of not thinking very carefully about the ramifications of what you are doing, I wrote my letter and subsequent post without thinking about how it would affect my friend and pastor Douglas Wilson. Pastor Wilson did not know about my letter until it had already been sent and posted. Not only did he not know about it but he certainly did not ask me to get involved in the discussion at all. He had the situation well in hand until I got all fired up and stuck my nose into it and now without me, he’s still doing very well. I have already apologized to him for making his life a little bit rougher and now I apologize to you for causing you to think my involvement was some sort of conspiracy or gang attack against you or your “side.” I did not have that in mind at all when I wrote, nor do I have it in mind now. Please forgive me for leading you in the wrong direction and for leading you to think worse of Pastor Wilson than you ought.
Third, I spent 4 years in the Navy and saw many instances of officers and senior enlisted men bullying junior enlisted men in the same way you described in your recounting of the incident with the enlisted man you were trying to help. I automatically connected my experience in the Navy with your actions and jumped to a different conclusion than the one you were trying to make. After reading the explanation of your first post—the one with brackets—I can see that I misunderstood your situation. Upon reflection, I can see that my conclusion makes no sense in the overall context of what you were trying to do with Louisiana Presbytery. I was wrong. Please forgive me.
Fourth, there has been some discussion about whether I said anything about going after you with the Air Force or the Pentagon. I don’t remember saying or writing anything about that. I don’t think that ever entered my mind. If, I did say anything like that you need to know that I had and have no intention of doing anything with regard to your job. That would be worse than reprehensible. Also, if I did say anything like that (in the heat of the battle, such as it was), I apologize and ask you to please forgive me.
One more thing on this point, when I wrote the letter to your pastor I did not ask him to remove you from office, only that he look into your behavior on the web, and if it turned out that you were in sin that you be rebuked.
Finally, I think most of this could have been avoided if I had called you on the phone and discussed it with you before I had written anything. Most of the concerns expressed in my letter, many of which I still have, could have been expressed better had I simply given you a call or written you a private letter. So, brother, I apologize for discussing this on the web at all and especially for not talking to you before my opinion of what you were trying to do went public (or to your pastor for that matter). Please forgive me.
If you can think of anything else I might need to ask your forgiveness for, I’d be happy to consider it and if I agree with you, to humbly ask. My guess is that unless we get this whole thing patched up, God will make us spend eternity next door to each other. I wouldn’t mind, if we were buds, but as it stands now, it wouldn’t be a very fun thing.
I pray that your ministry both in the Air Force and in your church would flourish with all the grace that is be supplied by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am your humbled brother in Christ,
Thursday, December 06, 2007
What is the context?
v. 1—Who was Jethro?
What is a priest of Midan? Israel is friendly to those non-Israelites who are friendly to them. Num. 10:29-31; Jud. 1:16, 4:11; cf. Num 25:17-18
What made him want to come to Moses in the wilderness?
How did he hear all this news?
v. 2—who was Jethro to Moses?
Who was Zipporah?
When did Moses send her home? What was going on when he sent her home?
v. 3, 4—Who went home with her?
What were their names? Why were they named that? First time younger son is named.
v. 5—Where was Moses camped at this time?
How far from Jethro must they have been?
v. 6, 7—What happened when Jethro let Moses know he was on his way? Notice that Moses is humble toward Jethro. He holds nothing back in his greeting of Jethro.
No mention here of the family. Num. 12:1 not certain that the Cushite woman is Zipporah.
v. 8, 9—What kinds of things did the two men talk about?
What was Jethro’s response to all the things that had happened to Moses and the Israelites?
v. 10—What did Jethro say as he rejoiced?
What word did he use for Lord?
v. 11—What made Jethro think God was above all the other gods? Psa 145:4-7
See the different translations.
v. 12—Besides writing a new song, what did Jethro do when he heard about the wonderful things God had done for the people?
Was he supposed to be bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices? Burnt offerings symbolize complete and total dedication to the God of the sacrifice. Bringing sacrifices is not the same thing as offering sacrifices.
Who else came to eat with him?
Is there any significance to Aaron’s coming for dinner?
v. 13—What happened the next day?
What was Moses doing with the people? Teaching and judging.
For how long did he judge between the people?
v. 14—What was Jethro’s response when he saw what was going on?
v. 15, 16—Why was Moses doing what he was doing?
Why did the people come to Moses?
v. 17, 18—Why did Jethro think this was a problem?
v. 19, 20—What is Moses supposed to do? Teach literally is “warn 2 Chron 19:10. Show is literally to “make them to know.” The Hebrew idiom that views life as a journey along a path or road.
v. 21-23—What was Moses supposed to do after he taught the people the basics of God’s laws and statutes?
What were the qualifications supposed to be? Why those? Fear God Psa 111:10; pro. 8:13; Psa 147:11. Trustworthy men, dishonest gain (won’t take bribes) Psa 119:36; Isa 56:11.
How many people were they to oversee?
How was their oversight to relate to Moses oversight?
Why did Jethro think this arrangement would help Moses?
What did Jethro think God would think of this arrangement?
v. 24-26—What did Moses do in response to Jethro’s idea? Listened and did. Deut 1:9, 13
v. 27—Why don’t we hear much about or from Jethro after this?
The first government of Israel was suggested by a non-Jew.
Friday, November 30, 2007
First, this was not written with an irenic spirit, so I took it off.
Second, I took this one off too because after reading the letter I realized that my normal signature was not actually on the letter and could easily have led to the notion that I was trying to be sneaky. I wasn't, but I can completely understand how it might have been taken that way.
Third, my request to the pastor of this elder was supposed to be a private letter. The thing I regret and the reason I took my posts of this blog was because my putting them on the blog made the whole issue public. For that I am very sorry.
Finally, I am indeed a ministering elder at Christ Church, Moscow, Idaho. I don’t often feel qualified to be in the company of such a solid and godly bunch of men, but I’m very grateful to God for allowing me to be numbered among them. I’ve known Doug Wilson for around 35 years (we met in the Navy) and for that I’m more than grateful. I know God is sovereign and our relationship has been one of those areas of my life that has more than proved it to me. As far as my duties here at Christ Church I am happily Pastor Wilson’s executive assistant (My responsabilities include teaching, counseling, administrating, and a bunch of other things that free Pastor Wilson to do the things he does with more freedom.). I am also the administrator of Greyfriars’ Hall Ministerial Training School as well as one of the instructors. As for training and experience: I have a BA in Philosophy from the University of Idaho, and an MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and I’ve been in "full time Christian ministry" for close to 30 years. Yep, that makes me old, really old. I am very sorry that I inadvertently involved Pastor Wilson in this.
So, to summarize: I took the posts off the web because I had originally intended my letter to be between the elder’s pastor and myself. It was not intended to be official between my church and his; simply me to him, asking him to check into the behavior of one of his elders. I also told him, when I apologized to him for putting the letter on the web, that I wouldn’t put anything else on the web. I had already published my second post in response to a couple of comments and private e-mails, but upon reflection, thought taking them both off would be the more honorable way to go.
I hope this helps.
Friday, November 16, 2007
This morning I listened to Ron Paul explaining that inflation is an unjust tax on the people because the government prints more money and thus makes it less valuable, but in the process it causes more money to be put into the government coffers and it doesn't become less valuable until after the government has hold of it. And thus the weights are being manipulated to show a profit for those who print the money.
I wonder if our government is a delight to the Lord?
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
And they come to you as people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear what you say but they will not do it; for with their mouths they express devotion; their heart is set on their gain. And behold, you are to them like one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument, for they hear what you say, but they will not do it. When this comes- and come it will!- then they will know that a prophet has been among them.
Study questions for Exodus 17
What is the context of this chapter?
More testing in the wilderness. Internal: grumbling. External: Amalekites.
Probably the second month: Ex. 19:1
v. 1—Where were the people staying at this point?
Where did they move to?
How did they get there? Num. 33:12-14 could be that they went from place to place instead of parts of the people moving in sections.
Rephidim was their last stop before Sinai (Ex. 19:1-2; Num. 33:15)
What was the story on the water?
v. 2—What did the people do about the shortage of water?
What did they demand of Moses?
How was Moses supposed to give them water?
What did Moses say to the people?
How was what they were saying a test of the Lord? Mat. 4:5-7
v. 3—Did Moses answer satisfy the people? 2 Cor. 5:7
What would have made them happy?
What did they do that makes you think they weren’t happy with Moses answer?
Have you heard their pleas before?
What was their problem?
Where should they have turned in their desires for water?
What have they forgotten?
Who did they see as the source of the problems?
What did they see as the source of the solutions? 2 Cor. 4:17
How do we know they should have asked God for water?
How can they ever enjoy the Promised Land in the way they ought, if they can’t trust God the way they need to?
v. 4—What did Moses do in response to the people’s grumbling?
What did he say?
What was his attitude toward God?
v. 5—What did God tell Moses to do? Move forward rather than back
Why did he take the elders with him?
v. 6—Where were they going?
Where was the rock?
Where was Horeb?
What was Moses to do with the rock?
What will happen when Moses strikes the rock?
What will the people do with the water that comes out?
And what did Moses do? Psa 78:15-16; 1 Cor. 10:4
Who was watching?
v. 7—What did they call that place from then on?
Why did they call it that?
How was their complaining a test of the Lord?
In less than 6 months they had witnessed 10 plagues, the pillar of cloud and fire, the opening and shutting of the red sea, the miraculous sweetening of the water, manna and birds from the sky; and their real question comes down to: “Is the Lord among us or not?”
Deut. 33:8; Psa 95:8-9 tells us how to view the Israelites at this point in their history. They were continually hardening their hearts, not softening them. They continued to consistently turn from God’s provision to their own devices. They did not trust God, they did not look for solutions, they only complained and whined.
They could not, would not accept the fact that God was God and they were not. They were no different than the Egyptians. But God chose them out of all the people of the earth to be his blessed one. They did not understand what it meant to be the people of God. God’s people. The beloved of God the almighty, creator of heaven and earth. And here he was providing simple things like food and water in the dry dessert.
v. 8—Who was Amalek? Gen 36:12-16; Gen 14:7
What did Amalek do? Deut. 25:17-19
Why would the Amalekites be attacking the whole nation be a problem?
Israelites were tired, Amalekites were distant relatives and should have known about the promise of blessing to the offspring of Abraham (Gen. 12:3) Again, no faith. They did not believe God. They did not trust him for their future blessing and provision.
Where did the attack take place?
Where is Rephidim?
v. 9—Who was Joshua? Num 13:8, 16; 14:6; Ex. 24:13 Possibly around 45 years old.
Why does the text not tell us who these people are?
What did Moses tell Joshua to do?
What is the significance of Moses standing on top of the hill with is staff? 1 Sam. 19:20
What did the staff have to do with the battle? God and man doing the work. Sovereignty and responsibility.
v. 10—What did Joshua do with what Moses told him?
Who was Hur? Ex. 24:14 Josephus says Hur was Miriam’s husband.
What did Moses, Aaron and Hur do?
v. 11—What happened when Moses raised his hand? Ps 63:4
What happened when his hand came down?
v. 12—What happened to Moses during the battle? Ex. 9:22-23; 10:12-13; 14:6
What did they do to help Moses because he was so tired?
Why was he so tired?
How long did they hold his hands up? “Hands remained steady” translates “his hands were faithfulness.”
“The whole narrative…conclusively shows that God’s designed to teach
v. 13—When did
v. 14—What did the Lord say to Moses? Ex 24:4, 7; 34:27; Num 33:1-2; Deut 31:9, 24
What is a memorial?
Who was he supposed to tell about the events?
What happened to Amalek? “Blotted out” meant that in the same way that ink was rubbed out of a skin by repeated rubbing, so too the nation would slowly be eradicated from the earth.
When will this happen? Deut 25:17-19; Psa. 83:4, 7; 1 Sam. 15; 2 Sam. 1:1-8:12; possibly Est. 9:7-10
v. 15—What did Moses do after chatting with Joshua?
What is an altar?
What did he call the name of the altar? Banner in Hebrew means “’to be high,’ ‘raised,’ ‘conspicuous.’ The allusion would be to lifting up the staff as a standard and a testimony to his power. The victory, then was the Lord’s, just as the ware had been his. There was no such thing as a ‘holy war’ in the OT, but there were “wars of Yahweh.” (Kaiser, p. 409).
v. 16—Why did he name it that?
See the different translations.
Notice that the Israelites didn’t argue of grumble here. It might have been because of the way the Amalekites attacked them and their emotion carried them to war. But it might have also been because they were reacting correctly to the command of God.
Take also Moses as an example of service to the people of God – Col. 1:29 – and the way the leader needs help from the people to serve most effectively. Cf. Eph. 6:18
Contrast the way two Gentile nations treat the apple of God’s eye—cf. the next chapter.
Study questions for Exodus 16
What is the context of this chapter with regard to what has gone before?
v. 1—Who left on this leg of the trip? Whole congregation might mean that they left in groups and came together at Sin or it might be emphasizing the fact that the whole nation had become one people.
How long did they stay at Elim?
Where did they go from there?
What kind of place was Sin?
When did they go there in relation to their trip out of
When had they left
v. 2—What did the people think about going away from the palm trees and the springs into the dessert?
v. 3—What did the people say when the grumbled against Moses and Aaron?
I guess they were hungry?
What happened to their memories?
What about the fact that they were enslaved under terrible hardships?
They still had slave mentalities. They thought everyone should take care of them and if it didn’t happen they were ready to go back to what they remembered as a great situation.
But this goes a lot further than the fact that they were literally slaves. People who have never been real slaves have a slave mentality. This is why when things don’t go our way we run to things that enslave us instead of running to the Lord of Glory. This is because we are meant to be slaves, or at least submissive in every way. But not to sinful things. We were created to serve the living God and this means that we must trust him in every situation in which he places us. We have slave mentalities because we were created to be servants. 2 Peter 2:19
v. 4—What is God going to do in response to all the complaining?
What does he mean by rain? Rain points to abundance. Psalm 78:24; Neh. 9:15
Won’t it touch the ground?
How will raining bread on the people test them with regard to their following the law of God?
How much were they to gather every day? Why?
What does “walk” in my law mean?
v. 5—How much of this bread will there be on the 6th day?
What were they to do with it? Num. 11:8
Why did God do it this way? Gen 2:2-3
v. 6—What did Moses and Aaron do with this information?
When will they know it was the Lord who brought them out of the
How would they know in the evening when the bread wasn’t going to come until the morning?
v. 7—How would they see the glory of the Lord in this? God would provide for their needs and they could trust him to care for them in the little things as well as in the large. If he can provide for your eternal salvation, he can provide for your daily needs.
What prompted the Lord to give them this bread?
The text up to this point has said that the people were grumbling against Moses and Aaron, why does Moses say they are grumbling against the Lord?
Why does Moses say, “what are we that you grumble against us”?
v. 8—What does verse 8 have to do with what went before? Kaiser, quoting Cassuto, explains that the second “Moses said” means that he is about to explain further what he just said (p. 402)
Moses is pointing out to the people that they aren’t about to be in trouble with him, but with God. It was God almighty they were grumbling against, not Moses and Aaron.
v. 9—What did Moses say to Aaron?
v. 10—What happened as soon as Aaron told the people to gather together?
What was in the cloud?
What had previously been in the cloud?
What does it Glory of the Lord mean? Ex. 24:15-17
v. 11-12—what is the point of God’s appearing to them this way? Ex. 7:4-5; Ezekiel
Why does God tell Moses to say something he’s just told him to say to the people?
It intensifies and makes sure that the people know that Moses is not just snowing them. They were grumbling against Moses, but it was really God they were grumbling against. This way of doing it makes it very clear that Moses is not in charge here, God is and the people need to know that if they are going to be a people they need to realize that the Lord is God, not them. Remember that slave mentality again.
v. 13—What happened that very night?
Quail migrate during that time of year, normally. When they get to the area where
There seems to be some link between the dew and the manna that came after the dew dried up. We aren’t sure what the link is, however.
v. 14—What was left after the dew dried up?
What was it?
v. 15—What did the people think it was?
What did Moses say it was?
Where did it come from?
Do you think the people would have asked these kinds of questions if it was a normally occurring food?
“What” in Hebrew is ‘man’ this is where the name “manna” comes from. They didn’t know what it was so they called it “what:” manna (cf. v. 31).
v. 16—What were the people to do with the stuff? Each person is “per skull” in Hebrew. And it is related to the word used for
How much were they to take per person per day? An Omer is approximately 2quarts/liters. It is a measurement of volume, not weight. The point being that God abundantly provided for every person in the camp.
What does 2 Cor. 8:15 have to do with this passage?
v. 17, 18—How did the people respond to the command/test?
Why does it mention that some gathered a lot and some a little?
Calvin thought that everyone put what they’d gathered into a heap and then divided up the heap to apportion it to each person as they had need. 2 Cor. 8:13-14. I guess Paul thought so too. That’s funny.
And at the end of the day, what was the result of their first afternoon’s gathering?
v. 19—What did Moses tell them to do with the leftover manna?
v. 20—So what did the people do?
Why did this happen?
Constant reliance, consistent reliance, trust, faith, belief, God is God, we are not. 16:4
How did the people do with the test?
v. 21—What did the people do every day after that?
What happened to the manna that was left on the ground?
How many parts to this particular test? (1) Gather as much as you need (an omer), (2) Prepare and eat what you are allotted every day, (3) Gather it in the morning.
v. 22—What happened on the 6th day?
How much did they gather on the 6th day?
What did the leaders do with regard to Moses? Why did they go to him?
v. 23—what did Moses say to the leaders?
Who told them to do what follows?
Why is it important to know that God told them to do this?
What did the Lord say was to happen the next day?
What is a Sabbath? First occurrence of the word in the Bible. Gen 2:2-3
What is the difference between a “holy” Sabbath and regular Sabbath?
What would happen different on the Sabbath than on every other day?
What were the people to do with all the left over manna? Cook it as they liked.
The importance of the Sabbath is being outlined and implemented without giving any hardship for the people. In fact, all they have to do is sit back and watch God work. And rejoice in God’s work on their behalf.
v. 24—What did the people do with all the left over manna?
What was the result? Did the food go bad as it had before? Why not?
v. 25—What did Moses tell the people to do with the bread they had on the Sabbath day?
Would the people find the manna in the fields that day?
v. 26—How many days would they have to gather the food?
What would happen the 7th day?
Why did they call the 7th day a Sabbath?
Rest from what?
What was the point? God gave them their life, their food, their provisions for everything. It was a gracious act on God’s part. Where all the other people are scrounging around trying to impress and please their gods, the Israelites simply let go of their lives and trust God to be God.
v. 27—What did the people do on the 7th day despite all that God had said about their food?
How much food did they find?
Why did they look for food on that day?
What does it tell us about their opinion of what God had told them about preparation, trust, belief, obedience?
v. 28—What did God think about their behavior? The ‘you’ is plural.
Why did God direct his comment to Moses? How had Moses disobeyed God?
v. 29—Who gave the people the Sabbath? Why does the text say that the Sabbath was “given”?
What were the people supposed to do on the Sabbath?
Why was it considered a gift?
What is the difference between a gift and a command? Mark 2:27
Was it a command, law, gospel?
What weren’t they supposed to do on the 7th day?
v. 30—What were the people to do on the 7th day?
v. 31—What did the house of
Why does the text call them the House of Israel?
What did the manna look like?
How did it taste? Num. 11:7-9
v. 32—What did the Lord command?
How do we know?
What were they to do with the omer of manna?
Why would/should others see what God provided for the people?
Was it important to remember?
How long were they to remember it?
v. 33—What did Moses tell Aaron to do with the jar of manna? Heb. 9:4
What did it mean to place it before the Lord?
Why place it there?
What is the miracle here?
v. 34—What did Aaron do with the jar of manna?
What is a testimony?
Why did he put it before the testimony? Ex. 25:22; 26:33; 30:6
v. 35—How long did the people eat manna? Josh 5:10-12
Who is speaking now?
What caused them to stop eating the manna?
Where were they when the manna stopped showing up?
Why did God stop it then?
v. 36—How much is an omer?
What is an ephah?
Why did the author put it in here?
Being a Christian—a person of God—is not about knowing about God, having a lot of really great information, or of receiving benefits and blessings from the Lord. It is that, but it includes self discipline and obedience so that we, because of a relationship with God, please him and make him happy to say that he knows us. Gal. 6:7-8.
The Grumbling of the Israelites shows that they really haven’t let go of their former lives as slaves. They still trust what they can see instead of crying out to God and trusting him for their provision. They are still not free even though they are out of
But God was happy to supply all their needs according to his good pleasure. Psa 81:10
Study questions for Exodus 15
Context: What’s been going on in the book so far? Historically? Theologically?
v. 1—What did everyone do as a result of the
Who were they singing to?
Where did they learn the song?
Where they singing in 4 part harmony?
Why are they singing to the Lord? For…
What had he done that was glorious? Ex. 15:7, 8; Isa 2:10
The point is that God is creator and he is still in charge of his creation.
There are two things to keep in mind throughout and for our own lives: Who is God? and what has God done to the enemies?
v. 2—What does it mean that the Lord is my strength? Where does strength come from? Isa 45:24
What does it mean that the Lord is my song? Psa 21:1, 13 God is the reason for the song, and thus for those who love him and recognize all that he is and does in their lives, he has become the song itself.
What had their strength and song become for them?
What does salvation mean?
Who is God to them?
Who was God to their fathers? 3:6
Why have they all of a sudden changed their tune towards God?
v. 3—What is the Lord?
What does it mean that he is a man of war? Valiant warrior
What is his name? What does this mean?
v. 4, 5—What did God do with Pharaoh and his army? Psa 136:15
Where did his chosen officers end up?
v. 6—Notice the switch to direct address of God.
What about God is glorious in power?
What does that mean?
Why do they refer to his right hand? Psa 60:5
What does God’s right hand do to enemies? What does shattered mean? The power of the enemy has been completely broken. The people now have the temptation of thinking they are “all that” because God did something for them. Or worse that they somehow did it themselves.
v. 7—How does God overthrow his adversaries?
What is fury? What happens when God sends (unleashed 5:1) out his fury?
What is stubble? Rapid and total removal.
v. 8—Why did the water pile up? How did it stay up?
Why didn’t the people fall over when they ran into the blast of air?
What happened to the water that was in the sea?
What happened to the deeps? What does this verse mean?
v. 9—What did the enemy say?
What were the Egyptians going to do with the Israelites?
What were they going to do with all the stuff?
How much were they going to get?
What were they going to do with the sword?
v. 10—You would have thought the stopping of the wind was what killed the Egyptians. What actually killed them?
v. 11—Where did all this historical reconstruction take the Israelites in their song?
Where does all historical recounting take the story teller when he understands how things really happen?
Who is like Yahweh among the gods? 1Co. 8:5-6 CF. KJV
What does this statement mean?
What does majestic in holiness mean?
What does awesome mean?
What showed God’s awesomeness? Psa 82:6
There is a shift in this verse from telling what God’s done to worshipping him. It is like they built themselves up and finally burst out in praise and adoration (
v. 12—What happened when God stretched out his right hand?
Didn’t they say that already?
“earth may refer to the grave” 1 Sam. 28:13, Isa. 29:4.
Vss. 13-18—Look forward to the future. It is either that the song was written later or refer to future events as if they had already happened because God was in charge and would do whatever he wanted to do. And don’t forget the Miriam is a prophetess. She may have spilled the beans about what was to come.
v. 13—Why did God do this for his people? Love that doesn’t fail or give up—refers to total commitment.
What does it mean that God redeemed his people?
How did God pay for the people in this context?
How did the people get to where they are at this point in their history?
v. 14, 15—What do the people around the area think about all of this?
How did they find out? Josh 2:10-11
How long has it been since the event in the sea took place?
What affect did the news have on the surrounding people? Psa 55:4; Num. 20:14-21; Num. 22:2
Who were the people who knew about these events?
v. 16—What is the result of this news on all the people in the area?
Why are they afraid? Why so afraid? Psa 48:6, Jer 6:24
What are the people of the land doing while the Israelites travel through their land?
Why are they not bothering the Israelites at all?
What does it mean that God has purchased the people? Deut. 32:6; Prov. 8:22; Psa 74:2
v. 17—Where is God going to take them? Psa. 80: 8-12
What mountain are they talking about?
What do they mean by “abode”?
What is a sanctuary? Psa 68:9-10; 78:54
What sanctuary are they referring to?
This is not a description of the land so much as a theological description of the Land God has in glory. A sort of theological description of the land.
v. 18—How does the song end?
Why does it end with the Lord reigning forever and ever?
v. 19—what prompted the song?
v. 20—What did Miriam do?
Who was Miriam? Where have we read about her before? Exo 2:4; Num. 12:2
Who all went out singing and dancing with her?
v. 21—How does her song differ from Moses’? Who did she sing her song to? The men
The song looks back on the wonderful and awesome works of God that they have just experienced. It also looks forward to the glorious future in relationship with the God of creation as their God and they as his people. It looks forward with confidence and awe, Praise and worship. They know that the God who did so much for them in delivering them from the Egyptians will never leave them nor forsake them. Rom 8:31-32.
v. 22—What happened after the worship service was finished? Moses led (lit. caused them to journey).
Where did they go from the
Do you have Shur on your map? Shur may refer to a mountain range.
How long did they go without water?
v. 23—Where is Marah? Num. 33:8
What initially happened when they got to Marah?
What was wrong with the water?
Why did they call the place Marah?
What does bitterness have to do with the name Marah?
v. 24—What was the people’s response to the bitter water?
Was grumbling a good thing in those days? Grumbling arises from an attitude of dissatisfaction with one’s lot and an inability to do anything about it. Mackay, p. 279.
What does their grumbling say about what they think about God, who he is, what kind of power he has, what good his promises are? 1 Cor. 10:10
Why, after all they had gone through, do you suppose they were grumbling now?
Have you ever seen this pattern in your life? Salvationàlife filled with testing, trials, trauma (all meant to prepare them for glory)àglory?
v. 25-26—What was Moses’ response to the grumbling people? Have we seen this response before? 8:12; 14:15
What should your response be to grumbling people?
What did God do in response to the prayers of Moses?
What did God do for the people at Marah?
What does a log have to do with it? Showed him a piece of wood or log actually means taught him or instructed him about the wood.
Have we seen anywhere else in the Bible where a piece of wood saves the people?
What was the statute and the rule? What is the difference?
In what way was all of this a test?
How will the people know what the will of the Lord is?
How will they hear the voice of the Lord?
Does any of this have anything to do with us?
How will we hear the voice of the Lord?
After they had heard the voice of the Lord what were they supposed to do?
What was the blessing to be if the people walked with God?
What were the cursings going to be if they didn’t?
Why does God say that he is their healer? Jehovah-Rophe Psa 103:2-3
v. 27—Where did the people go from Marah? 70 miles south
What just happened at Marah?
Was 70 palm trees enough? Elim means large trees
What is the point of the palm trees?
Study Questions for Exodus 14
v. 1—How talked to whom?
v. 2—What is Moses to tell the people to do?
Where are they to go?
v. 3—What will Pharaoh think when he sees the people going back and toward the sea?
How will he know what they are doing?
v. 4—What will God do to Pharaoh’s heart?
Why do you suppose he is going to do that?
How will God get glory by hardening Pharaoh’s heart?
And what did the people do?
Army = Strength, might, efficiency, wealth. Different word than we’ve had before.
v. 5—How did the Pharaoh find out that the people had moved?
What had been the take on what they were doing?
What happened when the Israelites changed directions?
Why does the text say they “fled”?
How did the thinking of the Egyptians change?
v. 6—What did they do as reaction to their change of mind?
Army = people, am.
Where did he get the horses? 9:20
v. 7—How many people did they take to bring the Israelites back to
v. 8—How can we tell that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart? Besides that the text says he did?
What attitude did the Israelites have? Boldly, triumphantly, exultantly, victoriously
Literally a high hand = Num. 33:3; Deut 32:27; Micah 5:9; Psa. 89:13
v. 9—What was the result of the army of
Where were the people encamped when the Egyptians showed up?
Why didn’t the Egyptians just round them all up and take them back?
v. 10—When did the Israelites realize that the Egyptian army was coming after them?
What was their reaction to learning about this information?
What did they do in response to their feelings of fear? Did they discuss their feelings?
v. 11—Why, if is says the cried out to the Lord, did they say it to Moses?
What did they say to Moses about the situation?
What are their main concerns?
It is interesting that even though they were terrified they still cried out to the Lordà Psa. 34:17; 107:6
Egypt was full of tombs, they focused a lot on and the preparation for .
v. 12—What did they claim they had wanted to do while they were still in
Did the text say anywhere that they didn’t want to leave
Why didn’t God leave them to do what they had wanted to do all along?
Which would be better to serve the Egyptians or to die in the wilderness all alone?
Is there a third choice?
Stress shows your true god, allegiances, What you do when confronted with stress or depression shows, reveals your true relationship to God and to sin.
v. 13—What did Moses say to the people? “Oh, yeah, you’re right. So sorry, won’t happen again.”
How can a guy command someone to “fear not”?
How can a feeling be changed like that?
What are the people supposed to do other than fear?
What does it mean to “stand firm”?
Besides not fearing and standing firm, what are they to do?
What does “salvation” mean in this context? Deliverance cf. niv Gen 49:18
What did Moses say about the Egyptians they are seeing all lined up against them?
v. 14—Who is going to fight off all those charging Egyptians in the strongest and largest army in the world?
How is God going to fight against the Egyptians?
What are the Israelites supposed to do to help in the battle? But you don’t understand, they are huge, there’s a lot of them, no one has ever been able to beat them in a battle, we’ve tried for years to rid ourselves of those guys…
Just stand and watch quietly.
In the nations of the whole earth their gods are said to fight for them. War was a sacred undertaking (cf. Islam today). Num. 21:14; 1 Sam 17:45; Zeph. 3:17
v. 15—What did the Lord say to Moses?
Why did he ask about why they are crying to him? Who else would they cry to? The ‘You’ is singular.
I guess they didn’t need to fear.
What did he tell the Israelites to do?
Remember where they are? What is in front of them? Where will they end up if they go forward?
v. 16—What does God tell Moses to do with his staff?
How was he supposed to divide the sea?
How much sea was going to be divided?
How were they supposed to go across through all that mud?
What actually parted the sea?
Prob. 3:20; psa. 65:7; 89:9
v. 17—What was God going to do to the Egyptians? What would the result of their hardening be?
What will God get by the Egyptians following the Israelites into the dry sea bed?
How will God get this glory?
What is the difference between the soft hearted Israelites and the hard hearted Egyptians? Both went across the dry sea bed? One did it out of respect and obedience, the other out of defiance and hatred for God and his desires.
v. 18—What would be the result with regard to the Egyptians?
How was God going to get glory over the Pharaoh and the armies?
v. 19—What happened when the people went to the
What did it mean that the pillar of cloud went behind them?
v. 20—Besides behind them where did the cloud go?
What does it mean by darkness? Obscurity, the Egyptians couldn’t see anything—fog
What happened at night?
v. 21—What did Moses do?
What did God do?
What did the people do?
How did God separate the water from the water? Have we ever seen the water being separated before? Gen. 1:4
What do you think it looked like?
v. 22—What did the people do once the water was separated?
What about the mud?
v. 23—What did the Egyptian army do?
How far behind were they? How do you know?
v. 24—What did God do when the Egyptian army went into the sea bed?
What did he do about their entry?
What happened on a personal level from the perspective of the army? Do you think they said something like, “Hey, I’m panicked. I think I’ll attack my fellow soldier.”?
For why they panicked see Psa 77:17-18 and of course the next verse.
v. 25—What clogged their wheels?
What was the result of their clogged wheels?
What did the Egyptians do as a result of their chariots being bogged down?
Who got the glory for their new problems?
Who was fighting against them on behalf of
v. 26—What did God tell Moses to do?
What was the result of closing the waters back together?
Was that a good thing?
Who was really in control here?
v. 27—What did Moses do in response to God’s command?
If you had been there, would you have ever, in your wildest imagination ever questioned God or disobeyed him instantly?
What happened when the see closed?
When did this happen? Psa 46:5; Psa 30:5; Isa 58:8; Luke 24:1
v. 28—How many Egyptians made it out of the water?
v. 29—What happened to the Israelites?
Why do you suppose they mention it all again?
v. 30—What did the Lord do that day?
How did the Israelites know that it wasn’t just all a dream?
v. 31—What happened when the Israelites saw what God did to the Egyptians?
What did God use against the Egyptians to beat them?
What does it mean to “fear God”? Same word as 14:10
What does it mean to believe in him?
What does Moses have to do with it all?
Servant of the Lord—Josh 1:1-2; David-2 Sam. 3:18; Elijah-2:kings 9:36; Jesus-Isa. 42:1-7
Study Questions for Exodus 13
What has been going on so far in the book? Chapter?
V. 1—When did what follows happen?
Probably during the first day, or during the first phase of the trip. It was meant to encourage the people and to help them remember who had brought them to this place in the dessert and why. They were supposed to have the right spirit and heart for the trip and grow in their understanding of who God was and what he had done for them.
v. 2—What does ‘consecrate’ mean? Set apart as holy, special, for a particular purpose. Exo. 3:5
Who were the Israelites supposed to consecrate?
What is a ‘firstborn’? Deut 21:15-17
To whom were they to consecrate them?
Was this to apply to only people? Who or what else?
Why were they to consecrate the firstborn? Num. 3:41; 18:15-17
V. 3—What are the people to remember?
What is their time in
How did the Lord bring them out? What did he use to bring them out?
How shall they remember that day?
What does food have to do with it all?
v. 4—In what month are they going to go out of
v. 5—Where is God taking the Israelites? The ‘you’ shifts from singular to plural here.
Should the people have known that they would be moving into these lands? Why? Gen 12:7
What flows in this land? What does this mean?
What are they to do when they get into this “promised” land?
v. 6—For how long should they make this observation?
How should they observe this special time?
What shall they do at the end of the week?
What does it meant that “the feast shall be to the Lord”?
v. 7—What does God seem to think about leaven during this week?
Why does God seem to have such an antipathy toward leaven? What does leaven represent?
How pervasive is the ban on leaven?
What does this say about the bread they made after the feast?
v. 8—Who are they to tell the story?
Why doesn’t it mention daughters?
What are they to tell their sons?
v. 9—What is to become a sign?
What is a sign?
What is a memorial? Matt 23:5; Prov. 6:21; Deut. 11:18
What does it all have to do with the Law?
What is the Law?
How does the sign in their hand bring the Law to their mouth? It is meant to remind them all the time that they belong to God and have a responsibility to serve him alone.
How did God bring
Why does he keep saying all of this over and over?
v. 10—Why is the ‘therefore’ in verse 10?
For how long shall the Israelites keep this memorial?
v. 11, 12—What are the people supposed to do when they get into the land of the Canaanites?
Who do all the first borns belong to? Why is that? God gave them everything they own. Giving back the first fruits goes back to Gen. 4 and is a recognition that God owns it all.
Who do everyone else belong to?
v. 13—How are the people supposed to consecrate the first born donkeys? Donkeys stand for all unclean animals and were beasts of burden.
What does redeem mean?
What about your first born ostrich, dog, or cat?
What are you to do if you don’t accept God’s provision for redemption for your donkey?
What about people? What should you do with your sons? Num 18:16; Luke 2:23
v. 14—What should a father say when his son asks why we’re doing this funny thing?
v. 15—What happened when Pharaoh ignored God’s entreaties and threats?
The of all the children in
What all did the Lord kill in the
v. 16—What is the ‘it’ in verse 16?
What shall it signify?
Nothing was more certain to boost their faith than the fact that the discussion is based on a ‘when’ not an ‘if’ (p. 239, Mackay).
Verses 17-22 Numbers 33:1-49 fuller description of the trip
v. 17—Who were the Philistines and where did they live? Gen. 21:32-34
Why didn’t God take them through the land of the Philistines?
Why would they change their minds more readily going that route than the other one?
v. 18—Which way did God take the Israelites?
What kind of land was it?
Which direction was it?
What is the
How were the people prepared?
Why would he equip them for battle?
How does the family situation fit into “equipped for battle”?
v. 19—What did the people take with them besides their belongings?
Why did they take Joseph’s bones? Jacob’s bones Gen 49:29-32; Josh. 24:32
What was the promise given by Joseph?
Did God visit them?
v. 20—Where did they go from and to in their next move?
How long did it take?
v. 21—How did they know where to go, or when to stop?
What does it mean that the Lord went before then “in” a pillar of cloud?
What does the New Testament say about this pillar? 1
What went before them at night? Probably only one pillar. God was in it so it probably shone at night and the shine was diminished by the sunshine during the day. Lam. 3:44; Ex. 3:2; 19:18; 24:17
Did they travel day and night?
When did they sleep?
v. 22—For how long did the pillars stay with the people on their journey?
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
“Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.”
—3 John 11
Life is imitation—
- children, what they see their parents doing
- students, the way their peers talk
- wiser (?) students, the mannerisms of their teachers
- citizens, the actions of governments
- many people, the lifestyles and clothing choices of famous actors and musicians
Imitation is a principle built in to life. But you must choose what to imitate. Imitate evil—you will be molded into the image of evil. Imitate God—you will be renewed in His image (love, light, holiness, wisdom, strength, goodness).
God calls us to imitate Him as His dearly loved children, but too often we have imitated the evil examples of those around us. Is your imitation directed to greater love for God and love for your neighbor, or only to self-promotion?
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Praise the LORD!
Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commandments!
His offspring will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever.
Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
who conducts his affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever.
He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm,
trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
He has distributed freely;
he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn is exalted in honor.
The wicked man sees it and is angry;
he gnashes his teeth and melts away;
the desire of the wicked will perish!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I'm writing you because you could surely help me with a Christian question.
I'm most interested in knowing what is the sound biblical stance on three quite specific questions:
1. Should men touch women other than close relatives? I'm thinking in casual or friendly hugs and things like that, but not only.
2. Should men stay alone with women other than close relatives?
3. Should men be close friends with women other than close relatives?
Do you know some good books which deals with them?
Thank you very much for your time and attention and best wishes for you and your loved ones,
I'd suggest reading some books on marriage, for example, Reforming Marriage (My Life for Yours would also be good) by Douglas Wilson is a good one. While you're reading notice all the things that husbands should do for their wives that promote good physical relationships. Also, read your Bible with a view to how God treats and thinks about
Then, with all this in mind ask yourself what God would think if you were to treat someone who is not your wife in the way you're thinking about treating the in front of you. Another way to think about it is to think about how you would like another man treating your wife in the way you're thinking of treating this in front of you.
Another tack is to think about how you would like other guys to treat your sister. This is a little more subjective than the others, in a way, but it is also more Biblical. The bible tells us to treat the young women like sisters in all purity (1 Tim. 5:2). So, would you kiss on your sister? You might hug her, but what kinds of thoughts would be sneaking through your mind as you did it? Do you hug the women at church with the same purity of mind that you have when you hug your sister?
In all of this don't fool yourself. I know many many men and women who think they can have a "platonic" relationship with a woman who is not their wife. They are fooling themselves and playing with fire in a way that will eventually hurt someone if it hasn't already.
So, to answer your questions:
1. In general it is not good for a man to touch women, who are not direct family members, in any way other than to shake their hands; and that is sometimes a problem. There might be cultural differences that make it okay in Spain, but here in the United States it is rare for a young man to be able to hug a young woman and not notice in a particular way that she is warm and soft and it goes on from their. So it is much safer to keep your hands to yourself.
2. You should not stay alone with someone who is not a close relative. If you wouldn't want your wife to stay alone with some other man, don't you do it with someone else's wife (or future wife). Also, if you want to spend time alone with your future wife (whether she knows it or not), you will destroy your relationship with her if you do anything that is not completely honorable and pure.
3. Men should not be close friends with women who are not in their immediate family. It just isn't a good thing and almost always leads to some heart-break or worse.
I hope this helps.
Some of you might wonder what it looks like here in
A fellow over here asked me if I would participate in an online debate about church discipline a few weeks ago and I said I would. For the next few entries, I’ll be putting up his questions and my answers, just in case they might encourage you.
9) In the discussion on the issue of membership you had mentioned that the primary right of members was the election of elders and leaders. What would be the position of a CREC church towards a regularly attending non-member woman? Would she be allowed to attend perhaps for years without her husband?
First, you need to know that I am not an official spokesperson for the CREC. Any comments I make here should be considered representative of Christ Church of Moscow. The CREC churches are independent enough to have pretty varied ideas on some of the opinions that I've expressed here. In this area, however, I would venture to say that I am being pretty representative of CREC views.
The answer to your first question here is that she would be treated in the same way as any other regularly attending non-member. We would love her and minister to her in any way we could.
The answer to the second part would depend on the situation. I can imagine situations when a woman could attend for years without her husband attending too.
The only time we would force any person to stop attending our church is if she/he were in open rebellion against God. And this might include her rebelling against her husband and not attending church with him.
Praise the LORD!
I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright,
in the congregation.
Great are the works of the LORD,
studied by all who delight in them.
Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the LORD is gracious and merciful.
He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
A fellow over here asked me if I would participate in an online debate about church discipline a few weeks ago and I said I would. For the next few entries, I’ll be putting up his questions and my answers, just in case they might encourage you.
8) Most believe that in the bible both Jesus and Paul placed an obligation to follow God above the obligation to home for both men and woman. Do you agree with that assessment? For example in looking at the lives of many of the female saints, they disobeyed husbands, fathers and secular rulers in their desire to carry out what they saw as God's plans. [These two sentences split off in first response] Do you agree that woman can be called in this way? And if so how is that compatible with the view of membership as presented?
I would agree with the first part. Jesus said, "If anyone comes to me and does not his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters-- yes, even his own life-- he cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:26). So if the question is do I obey God or man, the answer is always, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.
The problem in the second part comes when you ask, what is God's will for my life or for the life of the wife in a family. The clear things of God are the ground for, and the lens through which we look at the unclear and subjective things claiming to be the will of God. The Scriptures are clear that the wife should submit to her husband (1 Pet. 3:1-6). The Bible says nothing about a man's wife going off to a convent or to start a TV ministry. Those might be nice things to do, but they are not as clear or obvious as how wife is to relate to her husband. If the husband is not trying to get his wife to sin, what he says fits under the authority of the specific passages on how a wife lives with her husband. So if Mr. Smith tells his wife that he wants her to stay at home and teach their children how to love God and serve him forever but she wants to go and be a muckety muck at the local hardware store, she will be in sin if she leaves the home to muck about; even if she claims that it is God's will. It is not God's will to go against what God has clearly laid out in his word. It is God's will to do what God specifically says, which in this case is to do what her husband has said.
[See note above]Do you agree that woman can be called in this way? And if so how is that compatible with the view of membership as presented?
I've lost you here too. Called in what way? To do what? And what does this have to do with membership?
These two sentences were part of the above. So the question is can a woman be called to server god in a way that would necessitate her disobedience to a husband a father or a secular leader? What it has to do with membership is that membership in the church is contingent on female obedience. So if you were agreeing that a woman could be called in this way, the membership rules could end up excommunicating a woman for obeying God's calls. Conversely if you had stated that a woman cannot be called in this way then the question asked what about the female saints who did disobey were they really not saints?
God's gifts never give a woman a reason to sin by not being respectful or submissive to her husband or the leaders in the church that God has placed over them. There have been, and currently are, many women who are living in sin because they have stepped into the holes in their lives left by husbands and male leaders who have abdicated their God given roles. But while the men's lack of leadership is sin, this is not a valid reason for women to jump onto the band wagon and join in the sinning.
When men lead in a godly, loving, and consistent way the women don't see any need to take up the reins and lead. So the answer to women leading isn't yelling at the women, it is yelling at the men. Men need to suck it up and gird up their loins and be godly, biblical men.
There are at least two problems with women filling the void left by their abdicating men: First, they are in sin when they usurp the leadership roles of their men (as I've mentioned above) and second, their jumping into the void almost certainly seals the fate of their men ever taking up the mantle of leadership. Once women get into leadership, men will not lead anymore (if they ever did in the first place). They may not be man enough to lead in the ways God has commanded, but they are man enough not to let their women lead. So, when they abdicate and the women jump in, the men back off and never come back.
So what is the answer? If the men won't lead, the women need to follow 1 Peter 3:1-6 and let the lights go out, the garbage pile up, the water run, etc. Don't take up his slack. Don't fulfill those things in the home that are his responsibility. Go on doing what God has called you to do and make sure that you pay special attention that part in 1 Peter 3 where it says "without a word." This means not a sign of discontent, not a word, not a glare, not a folded arms "hmmph", not a rolled eye, not a burnt toast. Without a word means let your glowing, godly life shine on your disobedient husband or church leader. Continue to look for ways to respect them and be their greatest , even if the house is sitting in darkness because he forgot to pay the electric bill. Let the Holy Spirit of God work on him. And you are not the Holy Spirit of God.
If you try to fix the situation or the man, you will fail at every turn and you will be going directly against the command of God and that is sin.
Someone will point to churches that women pastors and make mention that there are men on their boards, but I have never seen or heard of a church where women are pastors where the men were worth much as men. They might argue with me about that in front of their women leaders, but they wouldn't in private. A man who is being led by his wife has really checked out of the family; he's off watching TV, or off playing with the boys, or out hunting, or into some sort of vial sin. Its just the way God made men and women.
To answer your last question, a woman in leadership over men is not necessarily reprobate. She might be, but she might also simply be a confused and sinful believer.
I hope this helps.