Welcome to my online blog for our Vineyard Life Journal!
This forum IS NOT for debate or to correct each other, but to share our insights and observations. (Actually, I will be keeping a pretty tight rein on the comments section, and I will have the ability to block trolls, spammers or those who just want to stir the pot.)
Before you comment or read what I have posted, read today’s passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… (If you read mine first, it may taint what you think.)
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Introduction to Life Journal CLICK HERE.
Click here for today’s reading: Exodus 17,18,19,20; Acts 3
Here is my SOAP for today, Saturday, January 27, 2018
Exodus 17, water from the Rock, and the war with the Amalekites
Aaron was Moses’ brother. According to tradition (not stated in the Bible), Hur may have been Moses’ brother-in-law (Miriam’s husband). These two men were supporting Moses. They strengthened Moses to stand in the gap in prayer on behalf of his army. His being there, his determination in prayer strengthened the troops.
Exodus 18 Moses’ father-in-law visits him and gives him some practical advice about leadership and structure.
Exodus 19 Moses ascends Mount Sinai and speaks with God. God gives him instructions for the people to meet with him.
(Spoiler alert: Moses goes up Mount Sinai a second time in Exodus 24 “The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone with the law and commandments I have written for their instruction.” 13 Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God.” Chapter 32 is when he comes down from the mountain to witness their idolatry and corruption (a sinful celebration broke out, under Aaron’s leadership… before the golden calf. It only took 40 days…)
The Ten Commandments
- You shall have no other gods before Me.
- You shall make no idols.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
- Keep the Sabbath day holy.
- Honor your father and your mother.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet.
God reiterates no other gods or idols… 20:22-23, “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven: 23 DO NOT make any gods to be alongside me; DO NOT make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.
Acts 3 Peter heals a man who was lame, a beggar. Peter addresses another crowd, preaching about Jesus.
Practical provision (water). Difficulties along the way (a battle). Day to day ops… developing a leadership structure. Sounds like normal life to me…
God is AGAIN making himself known IN VERY DRAMATIC fashion… Smoke, lightning, thunder, allowing the people to see and hear His voice…
Exodus 20:20 “Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”
So much to draw from in today’s reading, as it is for most days… (and I haven’t even read Acts 3 yet!) So much practical wisdom about trusting the Lord, about leadership (Jethro, how TO lead, Aaron, how NOT to lead.)
I’d like to think I am somehow exempt from (even the possibility) turning away from God as the Israelites did, just 40 days after receiving God’s commands in such dramatic fashion… But I know I am not. None of us are. Even Moses’ most trusted companion, his brother-in-law failed him, miserably. Note to self. Makes me think of what Jesus said to his disciples in the garden,
“Watch and pray that you do not fall into temptation.”
The bottom line: It’s possible to have “seen for ourselves” (just as the Israelites did, just as many people who saw Jesus’ miracles, and turn away, even deny him, as Peter did…
Lord make my arms strong for the task to which you have called me. Surround me with trusted friends to hold my arms up when I am failing…