The Mountain in the Clouds
Life of Moses
11/16/3; ed. 11.8.15
Introduction…When is the last time you really felt the presence of God? Or when you saw God’s power and glory at work? What were the circumstances? Can you think of some Old or New Testament stories or occasions when God’s glory was witnessed? What were the attending circumstances? What do you think is required to see God’s glory or for others to see God’s glory in you?
Pray for Insight…
Read Passage several times…
27 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.”
28 Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant –the Ten Commandments.
29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD.
Life of Moses
God’s Major Dos and Don’ts of Living Safely…
Introduction…Have you ever noticed how you become like, good or bad, those whom you hang with? Why is that? So what if you are hanging with someone that says or does something that you strongly disagree with? No way is this good. This is BAD! Do you speak up? Do you voice your opposition? Abruptly? What does that do to the party? Make you look like the bad guy? Or are you silent for fear of the mob turning on you, perhaps making fun of you or telling you to chill? Makes you think doesn’t it?
Repeatedly, I have had to watch most everyone that is successful at coming off drugs or addiction change friends and acquaintances. It just goes with the territory. At first we resist it, and then we have to learn the hard way. Why is this? Is it fear? Fear of rejection? Isn’t this instinctual—don’t we want to be accepted? But what about when things get out of hand. Do you think God was aware of this when he was telling the Israelites that if you want to dwell safely within your new borders, you are also going to have to have internal moral boundaries as well..?
While God chooses to forgive his Bride for her sin and reaffirms his promise to take her to and place her safely witihn her Promise Land, there are two important stipulations. One is negative, and one is positive. Both are meant to protect his bride from further dangerous Spiritual unfaithfulness: 1) the first has to do with those who don’t or will not worship Yahweh God within Israel’s Promise Land borders, and 2) the second has to do with respect to how Israel will preserve and sustain her active worship of her Spiritual Groom within their Lands. Continue reading
Life of Moses
Advocating for the Weaker
Orig. 11/2/3; ed. 10.25.15
Introduction…We talked about this last week, that is, why is intervention of one on behalf of another so important with God’s economy? Why does life so often require one person, who is stronger, standing up on behalf of someone who is weaker, younger or less mature?
It certainly seems true in life as well as with God. After all, Christ stands up for us before God. Is it because the nature or our existence requires protection of the weak, such as embryos, infants and children, as they mature? If there was not someone to stand up for them, they would more than likely die or be destroyed, but somehow God has placed within nature and man this instinct that for the most part we are to protect our young. Why is this? How do animals instinctively know to do this? Why does the lioness protect her cubs from non-family male lions? Why is this such a strong instinct within all of us? Where does this come from?
And how does this apply to helping others that are not just physiologically young, but young with respect to life skills or knowledge or even Spiritually young or immature or even rebellious or defiant?
Is there a time when advocating for another is wasted or useless endeavor? How does one know when this is the case? Continue reading
Excerpt from Sustainable Love® by Joseph M Cross
The New Testament contains a daring and dramatic rescue of God’s people. Via the supreme act of divine love, the covenant’s mediator, the Son of God, obediently and sacrificially offers himself as human-divine payment for the forgiveness of every human being on the planet’s sins for all-time. And at the same time, as God’s Son is offering his life as an atonement for sin, the Greatest Change Agent in history, the third person of the triune Godhead, God the Spirit, is also breathing upon the sons of man the truth and self-realization of their own sinful disobedience before a holy and perfect God, as well as, a desperate need for His divine help in obtaining sustainable relief and forgiveness from their sins, so that when they do hear the truth about the God the Son’s atonement for their sins, they now Spiritually trust his offer of forgiveness, become God’s eternal children and receive His Spirit.
Now, because these Spiritually-reborn children of God are forever safe within their Father’s love and mercy, they begin–along with many other Spiritual siblings, as well as, with the dynamic help and love of their Holy Tutor, the Spirit himself—to Spiritually grow up. And as they begin to Spiritually grow up, gradually, over time and via lots of sin-atoned-for trial and error mistakes, they also begin to take upon themselves their adoptive Father’s divine values, truths, thoughts, motivations and approach to loving or attracting others (John 13-17; 1 John; Romans 8; Col. 3; Eph. 5).
Thus, having the Spirit of God involved, intertwined and inspiring their new approach to living and decision-making, the newly-reborn child of God begins a renewed effort at learning how to loyally, insightfully and accountably love or be attracted to another human being. Because without the Spirit, man’s attempt at loving is nothing more than a cheap, fake, easily exposed and fragile imitation of heaven’s love. It’s NOT real love, not God’s love, not true love, not redeeming love and certainly NOT divine love. But with the Spirit of God, human love, over time, and via thousands upon thousands of daily interactions, can be, is and will be eventually transformed into something much more resembling the Godhead’s divine love, not only for each other, i.e. the Father and Son for one another, but their love for man himself.
And, in the end, this is mankind’s only hope against evil’s deadly and destructive terrors. In fact, I would make the case that the opposite of evil is not just good, but love—divine love, a love of the Spirit, a love or attracting that the Spirit of God births, teaches and inspires, a love like no other–Spiritual love. Thus Good or God’s greatest weapon against evil is in fact, in the end, divine love itself—the love the divine seeks to equip every child of God with in order that they might successful wage Spiritual warfare against evil, just as their Savior and God’s Son waged for our redemption from sin.
Introduction…Ever had someone like a friend, parent, grandparent, child, teacher, coach, pastor or perhaps even an attorney intervene or stand up on your behalf, especially when you really really needed it—like if no one stood up for you, you had no hope with respect to the matter in question?
Have you ever chosen to intervene or stand up for someone else’s behalf—a child, a grandchild, someone broke or destitute, someone whom, for whatever reason, you felt needed a second chance?
Ever cosigned a loan note for someone else? Did you offer to sign or were you asked to sign? How did it work out? Was it a good experience or did you feel used in the end?
Ever had your own mind changed because someone else decided to step in and intervene on another person’s behalf before you?
In the end, why does anyone standup for another? And does the intervener serve as a type of hero? Do all rescued people get it in the end? Do their lives or thanks reciprocate the act of kindness and generosity? And if they don’t, does that negate or invalidate the intervention?
Within this study, you are about to experience or witness one of the great acts of intervention of one party on behalf or another before another. The intervener will be Moses. The persons being intervened on behalf of will be the God’s unfaithful nation-bride, Israel, and the party whom the intervention is before? The divine Groom, Yahweh God. Notice how all three play their role within this crucial dramatic moment. Does anything you learn or experience here shape your thoughts and feelings on the act of choosing to intervene on another party’s behalf?
Finally, how might we intervene on others’ behalf before God? Continue reading
Have you ever experienced a major disappointment. Everything seemed wonderful. All seemed to be going wonderful, and then the surprise and shock of your life happens? You didn’t see it coming? How could it have gone so wrong? And why did it happen? Been there? Welcome to life. People can be fickle and evil is always, ever present. It would seem anyone who has ever attempted what he or she believed was a holy mission, whether it was raising a godly family or shepherding a church, has been sideswiped by evil and disappointment. But even in those moments and, perhaps even more so in those moments, God is just as real and alive. Perhaps in those seemingly ridiculously incongruent moments, like a blacksmith forging out a piece of metal, the Divine forges out his holy leadership—holy leadership that is desperately needed within broken, fallen humanity.
Fellowship at Cross Creek
Life of Moses
Alone with God…
10/5/3; ed. 9/20/15
Introduction…What does a good relationship truly cost? Are good relationships expensive? If so, why?
What about the costs associated with a royal wedding? Ever seen one? Why do nations and royals go to such lengths to get married? Do such weddings always work? Why or why not?
What about you? Do you have a costly, but deeply meaningful relationship? What did this relationship cost both parties? How has it been maintained over time?
As you study and observe this passage that for all intent purposes is a royal wedding of sorts, why do you think God goes to so much trouble, time and expense to not only bring his bride, Israel, to himself but to enter into a covenant with her? Why the big deal?
What about you and God? Has this been a costly relationship? If so, how so?
Introduction…How do you think God leads and protects us? How has he lead or perhaps directed or guided you? Do you have any experiential evidence of how God may have led or protected you? If you think or suspect God has perhaps a specific purpose for your life, what might it be?
Read Passage several times.
20 “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.
So is this the Angel of the Lord? Was the Angel of the Lord, the pre-incarnate (before flesh) Christ or second person of the Trinity? And if one does subscribe to a triune Godhead, is God the Father speaking to Moses and God the Son serving as his angel or messenger?
Why do I ask all this? Because in Judges 6 and the calling of Gideon, the Angel of the Lord and God seem to refer to the same person. It was also the Angel of the Lord who spoke to Moses from the burning bush years earlier [Ex. 3].
Seems to point out our need for Spiritual or heavenly or divine leadership and help along life’s way, and yet, just like Israel, we still sin and rebel against this Spiritual leadership.
Deut. 1:31 and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place.’ 32 But for all this, you did not trust the Lord your God, 33 who goes before you on your way, to seek out a place for you to encamp, in fire by night and cloud by day, to show you the way in which you should go.
Pillar of Fire…KAMCHATKA – With a pillar of fire stretching up into the clouds, this spectacular image captures the moment a volcano erupted in remote Russia. The stream of lava rose up to a kilometer above the summit of Klyuchevskoy, one of the active volcanoes on the Kamchatka peninsula in the east of the country. The volcano, which erupts around every two years, is one of the largest on-land active volcanoes, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It stands at 15,584 ft on the north end of a belt of 30 active volcanoes. The dramatic picture of Klyuchevskoy was captured by photographer Marc Szeglat on October 16 at a distance of approximately 9.5 miles from its concealed cone, as the volcano erupted for the first time in three years. The explosion triggered by the eruption could be heard from 20 miles away. In September 1994, an eruption caused disruption after it affected airline routes across the Pacific Ocean. The active nature of the volcano, which first began erupting in 1697, means it is still rarely a target for climbers. Continue reading