Whewwww! I’m so glad to finally have some clarity on how to deal with my neighbor who stole my ox, aren’t you????? That being said, I’m not sure if that is the only point of this text.
We have to start by remembering what we are reading, who it was written to and why. We are reading the Holy Bible, one Metanarrative made up of smaller narratives to tell one over arching story. We are reading Exodus, one of those smaller narratives. This particular part of that smaller narrative was written to instruct the Israelites about how to live as God’s chosen people. God says in chapter 19, verse 5-8 of this smaller narrative what these regulations are meant to do. He says
5 Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. 6 And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’ This is the message you must give to the people of Israel.”
7 So Moses returned from the mountain and called together the elders of the people and told them everything the Lord had commanded him. 8 And all the people responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has commanded.” So Moses brought the people’s answer back to the Lord.
What we are reading are the things that the Israelites have to obey. These are the things they say they will do.
Also do you remember the plagues and how they struck at the heart of the Egyptian world view? Well I believe that these regulations did the same thing. I don’t think these are random hard to obey regulations. I think that these regulations set up the Israelites to be a culture that is completely counter to the ones that will surround them. So read these regulations and keep this in mind; if God was telling them not to do something we can bet that the “something” was going on. Why would God tell us not to do something if no one was doing it already? They are also principles of protection for the Israelites. They protect woman, slaves and the Israelites livelihood (animals, and not as pets, as food and sacrifices).
Matthew 24: 1-28
Clutch your pearls, we are jumping into the end times. Do you remember how we said that the bible is full of prophecy and that in order for it to be real both parts of it, the near prophecy and the far prophecy, had to be true. Well we can take this to the bank because the “these buildings will be completely demolished” happened in 70 AD. So the rest of this we can count as true. Pastor Doug always says prepared people are not scared people. So don’t be scared of the end, be prepared.
Books and books and super smart people all debate over the timing of events that are laid out Daniel and Revelation. (Its all about opening seals, and the blowing of trumpets) Lets just stick to the surface, and deal with Daniel and Revelation when we get there. I will tell you this, you will in fact be prepared and not scared by the time you are done with them.
In response to the disciples question Jesus tells them what to look for as the signal for his return and the end of the world. (breathe, its ok.)
Many will come saying they are the Messiah and lead people astray.
Wars, Famine, and Earthquakes will be the beginning birth pangs.
Disciples will be arrested, persecuted and killed. Hated all over the world.
False Prophets deceiving many.
Sin will be rampant, love will grow cold.
The reason for all these things is that the world will wake up and know the end is coming. I don’t want to be Captain Obvious here but do you read that list and think, “Ummmm, check, check, check, check and check.” My friend Liz said one time, “God is doing all these earthquakes and hurricanes to scare people so they will believe in Him, it is Him being merciful.” I totally agree. Time to wake up folks.
From the early signs we move into the time that Daniel spoke about. It will get so bad on earth that Jesus compares it to vultures circling over a dead carcass. When there are vultures circling, that is when His return is near. Not to leave you hanging, but that is where it ends today. Tune in tomorrow for the next installment!
Psalms 29: 1-11
This is such a good reminder as we dip our toe into the end times. No matter what happens God is still King forever. His voice created everything. He rules over everything. Gravity is gravity because God says so. The Lord is our strength.
Proverbs 7: 6-23 This stuck me today because I am afraid that woman today think that they have to behave like a seductive woman to get a man. (In doubt? look at FB, Insta or Snaps) The problem is that seductive woman are never celebrated by the Lord. Using the body HE gave you to trap a man is wrong. You are worth so much more than your body. You were created to be more than a guys sex toy. There are two traps in this Proverb the one for the guy, where he gets lured away by the seductive woman, and the one where a woman gets lured into thinking she is only worth what her body can catch. They are both lies.
On that cheery note, have a great day! Here is a picture of Chip Gaines the Corgi, to brighten your day. He says, “You think your life is hard? Try being the blog writing buddy!”
Tyndale House Publishers. Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2013. Print.