June 4 – His and Kept Through Obedience


“‘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 (NASB)

These words were given by God to Moses with instruction to speak them to the children of Israel. This is just before He gave them the Ten Commandments. God explains how important to Him it was for His people to obey His word. God identifies Israel with three titles, “My own possession,” “a kingdom of priests,” and “a holy nation.” contingent upon their being an obedient and covenant-keeping people. God was of course speaking to the people of Israel whom he had lead out of slavery in Egypt. Let’s notice the divine claim “for all the earth is Mine,” in the middle of the titles, and had to be understood as dismissing all other claims by so-called other gods of the nations. He said He would consider them His own possession if they would obey Him and keep His covenant. We know that a promise like this can be expanded to include all who have responded to God’s invitation and have, through faith believing, become part of His family. Yes, God is looking for us, His people today to obey Him fully. It is a wonderful promise to know that God treasures us as we follow His covenant fully.

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 November 3 – Absolute, Abounding, Almighty Love

“The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” – Exodus 34:6 (ESV) 

God’s heart: It’s infinite in love and faithfulness, isn’t it? We’re promised that God’s love is steadfast. That it’s permanent too. So, no need to worry or fear that we will lose our connection to it. A mountain spring that might be headwaters of a great river is at the beginning only a stream bubbling up as it fills a small depression and then overflows, running downhill. We could watch a long time waiting for the source to run out but it probably won’t. Behind the spring is a mountain full of limitless pure fresh water waiting to spring out. God’s love is like that, if you can imagine it. In Hawaii  Kilauea seems to be nearly an endless series of eruptions since 1790 with increasing, decreasing, and increasing lava flows but always active to some degree. The most recent massive eruption was in 1983. God’s promise of mercy and grace and his promise of patience and love can be trusted to be far more abounding than either a mountain spring or furious volcano. God’s faithfulness will never be exhausted and even if we conceive of the others possibly ending someday, God’s promise never will, it’s not possible.

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October 12 Who/What God Is

“The LORD descended in the cloud and stood there with him as he called upon the name of the LORD. Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;” – Exodus 34:5-6 (NASB)

While we are not expected to have experiences with God in the manner that Moses did, we find in these verses from Exodus a promise for us from God. He came down to Moses who had ascended to the top of the mountain. On this particular occasion God came down in a glorious cloud. This was what is called a theophany—a visible manifestation of the invisible God. God had appeared to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-9), so he appeared again on the mountain. The Bible says almost nothing about God’s appearance. Moses wanted to see God, but rather than telling us what he saw, the Bible tells us what Moses heard: The Prophet heard the promises which defined God’s character. Our LORD God is, compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness, truth and faithfulness, Verse 7 goes on; God maintains love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Each of these characters also define names of our LORD. For God’s name stands for his entire being. It is his nature. It is who He is—the God of creation and redemption, who made and saves His people.

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Source: Philip Graham Ryken and R. Kent Hughes, Exodus: Saved for God’s Glory, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2005), 1040–1041.

September 8 – The Name Is Important

“And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “This is what you shall say to the sons of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” ” – Exodus 3:14 (NASB)

Our verse today is from a conversation God had with Moses. Moses, divinely protected from death when he was born had an amazing upbringing being trained up in the house of Pharaoh’s daughter in Egypt. The best education and training possible in the day. But he had fled from Egypt after defending one of his own people and killing an Egyptian oppressor. After 40 years in the wilderness Moses thinks he is safe but God comes and tells him to return to Egypt. You are to confront Pharaoh and lead the people out of Egypt and slavery. Moses is reluctant for several reasons and asks who he should tell his people has sent him. God reveals His name to Moses. A name that declares that He is eternally present. He has always been, He is now and He will always be. This is also a promise of God’s eternal presence with His people. He is present to help us, comfort us, guide us, and so much more. His presence never leaves us, and He will always be with us. That is the greatest comfort we can ever find, and we learn it from the very name of God: I AM.

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July 7 – Fear That Deters Sin


“Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.”” – Exodus 20:20 (NASB)

Like the promise of ‘hope’ that does not disappoint, we are more used to a ‘hope’ that lets us down. Our hope more of a wish than a sure hope in God’s promises. There is a fear that we know and think of it as a terrible and unwanted emotion. The people of Israel, at the base of Mount Sinai are receiving the Law of God, specifically the Ten Commandments. Having seen the thunder and lightning and the sounds of the trumpet and fire from the mountain top, they are deathly afraid of God and fear He is going to kill them. Moses instructs them to not respond to the phenomena with fear, they were also told to have proper fear, it’s healthy, it’s being in awe and reverence of God. Such fear deterrers sin. God’s intention is that his power and holiness stimulate fear in us, not to drive us from Him, but to drive us to Him. Fearing God means, first, fearing to abandon him as our great security and satisfaction. Romans 11:20 instructs us to stand strong through faith so that we will avoid pride and fear falling to unbelief instead.

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May 6 – Marvelous R & R


“And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.’” Exodus 33:14 (NIV)

Does it make a difference for us to know that God is with us through difficult hours? I believe it certainly does, just as it did in the time of Moses when God gave him this promise. God had just reviewed His instructions to Moses, telling him to lead the people of Israel from Sinai to the Promised Land. Typical of Moses, he was again in a self-made quandary. Even though God had led the new nation of Israel out of Egypt with marvelous manifestations of His loving care and provision, and even though God had relented and provided whatever Moses and the people complained for, Moses was frequently disturbed by challenges God put in their path. In spite of God’s promise “I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites…” Moses asked who was going with him. The Lord assured him that He Himself would go with him. Then He added that He would give them rest by bringing them to the land after their wanderings. We, too, can have confidence when we remember that God is with us. It’s a rest we can experience when we trust Him.

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March 21 – I AM the Promise


“God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” – Ex 3:14. (ESV)


Moses was confused. He was tending the sheep and goats in the wilderness for his father-in-law. It had been 40 years since he fled from Egypt and his favored position. On Mt. Horeb he comes across a bush on fire but not consumed by the fire. He approaches to investigate. God calls out his name, “Moses, Moses”. So much to learn here but our promise today is one God made his Name. He is sending Moses back to Egypt with a massive job to do. Moses lacks confidence. He knows names are important so he asks God who he is to say sent him on this mission. Who he will tell the Israelites, has sent him to lead them out of Egypt when they ask what God’s name is. Moses asks “They’ll want to know under what authority I have come back.” God tells Moses His name. “Say…I AM who I AM has sent me to you.” It is the verb “to be” and spelled out in Hebrew as “Yahweh.” It is a name that is a promise. God is and always has been. In English Bibles we use ‘The LORD.’ Older versions use Jehovah.*

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* * *

*The making of the name Jehovah.

There was no name ‘Yehowah’ or ‘Jehovah’ at the time God met with Moses in the wilderness. His name was I AM which in Hebrew becomes the four consonant name YHWH and when pronounced, it needed vowel sounds to voice it as Yahweh. Hebrew often did not use vowels for certain words but had pronunciations and when written out vowels were used. When God gave the Children of Israel the Ten Commandments, the third commandment was “You shall not take the name of YHWH your God in vain for YHWH will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.” The Jews over time were so concerned with possibly slipping up and accidently saying the name YHWH in vain they refused to ever say it or even write it. It was overly cautious because infractions of the law required so much in sacrifices and vows to wipe their slate clean. Forgiveness for sins required proper and fitting sacrifices as well as behaviors.

The Masoretes were a group of Jewish scribes who were guardians of the written law and helped preserve the text of the Old Testament Scriptures. They eventually developed notes on the text based on Jewish traditions. The word Masorete comes from the ancient Hebrew word for “bond,” used to refer to the Jews’ obligation to keep covenant with God. Masoretes, who from about the 6th to the 10th century worked to reproduce the original text of the Hebrew Bible, replaced the vowels of the name YHWH with the vowel signs of the Hebrew words Adonai translated “Lord” or Elohim translated “God”. Thus, the artificial name Jehovah (YeHoWaH) came into being. Although Christian scholars after the Renaissance and Reformation periods used the term Jehovah for YHWH, in the 19th and 20th centuries biblical scholars again began to use the form Yahweh. Early Christian writers, such as Clement of Alexandria in the 2nd century, had used a form like Yahweh, and this pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton was never really lost. Other Greek transcriptions also indicated that YHWH should be pronounced Yahweh.