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No Other Gods Before Me
After displaying His power through the thunderings, lightning, thick cloud and the blowing of the trumpet, God then spoke to all Israel. According to Exodus 5-22, He spoke words that all of the people could hear which filled them with fear and caused them to beg Moses to act as their mediator. First, He declared a reason why they should listen to Him. He had purchased them from slavery in Egypt. He had redeemed them to give them a law. There is a popular doctrine that says once God redeems you, you don't need the law, but that is not the example that God gives to us. The law is for a redeemed people and here He is giving it verbally, and about to write it on tablets of stone, and God, starting at Pentecost, now writes it on the tablet of the heart. The primary use of the law is still for God's redeemed people. He then gives the first commandment that we should have no other God's before Him. In a sense, this is a summary of the rest of the laws. It is also what Jesus declares is the greatest law when He says it is love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul and all of your strength. We should be taking stock of our lives and asking ourselves, what do we put before God-
Choose Men Who Fear God
After considering last week the relationship between Moses and Jethro, his father-in-law, from chapter 18, this week we are going to consider the advice that Jethro gave Moses. Jethro had come into the camp with Moses' wife and children, but starting the next morning Moses was back to work. Moses instructed people on the application of the law from morning to evening everyday and there was always a line of people waiting to see Moses. Jethro went to Moses and asked what this was all about. Moses responded that they were coming to him to inquire of God, so Jethro advised him that he was going to wear himself out as well as the people. Having to wait on Moses all of the time would become wearying. Jethro not only pointed out the problem, but he also advised how to fix it. Appoint rulers over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Jethro gave him specific advice about what those leaders should look like, which is very applicable today. We should also remember that this was in choosing among unbelievers since only Caleb, Joshua and Moses were faithful in that generation.
After Israel defeated the Amalekites, Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, brought Zipporah, Moses' wife, and his two sons to the camp of the Israelites. We find out from him that the story of what God did to Egypt has already become known outside of Egypt. We see Moses paying great respect toward his father-in-law and clearly has a good relationship with him. Jethro, upon hearing the details of what God had done to Egypt and what He had done for Israel since they crossed the Red Sea, blessed the name of the Lord and rejoiced. While the Israelites kept ignoring what God had done when they get in trouble even though He had delivered them and instead blame Moses for their troubles. Jethro responded to what God had done by saying clearly Jehovah is more powerful than any other power. God judged them according to their pride, so Jethro made offerings. Are we like the Israelites that expect a physical explanation of all things or are we faithful and see the hand of God in all things-
This week we come to another important picture. Because God is sovereign over all things, He doesn't need to just speak parables. He makes people enact things that are essentially parables, so that throughout time there are vivid descriptions to remind us of how God acts. This weeks passage starts with telling how the Amalekites attacked the Israelites after they received the water from the rock. Moses sent Joshua to fight the Amalekites. The Israelites had victory as long as Moses held up his arms holding his rod, but when the strength in his arms started to fail, Aaron and Hur held up his arms and then Joshua would have victory again. The battle went throughout the whole day, but when darkness fell, the Amalekites were defeated. On Sunday, we will discuss the picture of the church having victory when the law is held up by the church and the state and how we get defeated when we do not. This passage is especially important for us to remember as we live in an age where the visible church pushes antinomianism -no rules, relationship- and is being defeated on every side. God has told us how Christ will be victorious. Are we volunteers to do His will-
Water Will Come Out of the Rock
After receiving the manna from heaven, they then continued to head to Mt. Sinai where they run out of water. Of course, because of their unbelief, they didn't remember all of the times that God had saved them and instead blamed Moses again for wanting to kill them, because they were dying of thirst. It was bad enough that when Moses went to God, he said that they were about to stone him, but again God rescued them. In Chapter 15 when they ran out of water, God gave the picture of making what was death into life as a picture of the gospel. In this week's passage, God gave them the picture of the living water, as yet another picture of Christ. We know this from 1 Corinthians 10 that the rock that Moses struck was Christ. It was the picture of the law striking Christ which caused the living water to flow. The elders witnessed it, but the water flowed out to all the people of Israel, just as our elders, i.e. the apostles, witnessed the striking of Christ, but the living waters flowed to all of Israel, i.e. the church. As we consider the suffering that the people went through in order for God to give them the picture of the gospel, it is important that we understand these pictures because God Gave them as ways for us to remember what God has done for us.
Dan Horn - Exposition of Exodus