Bible Readers

With Pastor Dave Roussel

Month: January 2018 (Page 1 of 6)

Baptism

February 1 – Today’s Readings – Exodus 13-15 and Psalms 31

In Chapter 14 of Exodus, we find one of the best illustrations of Baptism in all of Scripture. 1 Corinthians 10:1-2 tells us, “Our forefathers – all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.” This is a direct reference to Moses in Exodus yet Paul calls it “Baptism”. The reason for this is that the truths about Baptism are clearly seen in this historic event:
Israel was living captive in ancient Egypt and this slavery is a type or symbol of the darkness we found ourselves in before Jesus rescued us.
God’s desire was, and still is, to set people free from the kingdom of darkness.
Once Israel was delivered from Egypt and was on the way, the Egyptians chased them. This speaks of a further deliverance (Baptism)needed before we are truly free from Satan’s tyranny.
God’s “way out” was through the waters of Baptism (the Red Sea)
Satan’s forces and all sin’s dominion followed Israel into Baptism but they were buried there in a watery grave. The truth here is that when you obey the Lord and are baptized, there is a separation that takes place. God makes your hearts soft and writes His law there. Sin no longer has dominion over you and you have become a citizen of a new kingdom.
On the other side of the Red Sea, there was great victory and celebration but also a desert place and trials to face. We really should not be surprised at trials that may follow baptism. After all wasn’t Jesus led into the desert, and tempted by the Devil right after His Baptism?
Without Baptism there would not have been a “setting free” for Israel. Baptism was part of the salvation package.
We need to commemorate our Baptism and remember it as a pivotal event in our lives. The first thing Israel did after their “Baptism” was to hold a great worship service – a great deliverance had taken place. We won’t fully appreciate our baptism till we get to heaven and see our deliverer face to face! Remember this however – Even though this nation had been “saved” from slavery, this did not mean that sin was out of the picture because these people ( and we too) did sin and had to repent over and over again.

As we read through the Old Testament we must continually remind ourselves that it is full of New Testament symbolism. Who would have thought that we could find the doctrine of Baptism in the middle of Israel’s Exodus from Egypt?

By the way, if you haven’t been baptized, now would be a great time to do it!

Questions:

1. What are some other illustrations of what Baptism is like in a Christian’s life?

2. What areas of your life were left behind when you were baptized. What do you do with the sin you still struggle with?

Another Clear Picture Of Jesus

January 31 – Today’s Readings – Exodus 10-12

Today I want to spend some moments reflecting on Chapter 12 of Exodus. What we find here is the Jewish “Passover” at its inception. Israel was about to be “saved” from the Death Angel, but the only way of escape was to take a precious “pet” lamb, and shed it’s blood. This blood was to be applied on the sides and top of the doorway of the house. One lamb per household was to be used and all family members were to stay in the house, eating the lamb they had become so attached to. Just imagining this scene and the deep emotions the family must have felt brings a queasy feeling to the pit of my stomach. This was an innocent, playful animal which had probably been named by the children, and may even have snuggled in bed with them at night. He was already part of the family – close and personal to each one who ate the meal.

Here’s the kicker – God In The Flesh (Jesus) is our Passover Lamb. His execution was unfair and unjust. He was executed as a common criminal, yet He was the most precious, innocent, wonderful human being who ever lived. No wonder His disciples were so filled with grief when He willingly offered up His body for them. His blood was shed because the consequences of sin was separation from God. Though this is incomprehensible through the “natural mind”, the death of Jesus was the “only way” for us. You see, in the spiritual realm, there are spiritual laws – one of them states, “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) Sin is the very essence of separation from God and spiritual death. Genesis 2:17 reads, “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” When Adam and Eve disobeyed the only command God had ever given them, they set in motion a spiritual whirlwind of death on all of creation.

Here then is the most wonderful parallel to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross in the entire Bible. We find that the Passover Lamb’s blood was shed to save Israel from sin and certain death. We see that the Whole Lamb (not just the parts they preferred ) had to be eaten and become part of them. We know that the Passover was very much a household event and that within that spiritual house there was spiritual protection. Those who “ate” the Lamb were God’s people, either by birth or adoption. The Lamb became the great dividing line – the line of salvation.

To those who “ate His body and drank His blood”, God granted adoption as sons and daughters. No wonder John the Baptist prophesied, “behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”. (John 1:29) No wonder Jesus said, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life within you”. (John 6:53)

Questions:

1. Are there any “parts” of the Lamb of God that you have so far refused to consume?

2. Please comment on what “the Passover” means to you.

God “Speaks” To A Godless Nation

January 30 – Today’s Readings – Exodus 7-9 and Psalms 30

Plagues! Wow this is really intense. Did you ever wonder why all this stuff was happening in Egypt?

Yes, yes – I know – God wanted to deliver His people – but aside from that, I think God wanted to speak to Egypt (and the then-know world as well). He was also ready to pass judgement on all the nations living in the land of Palestine. Think about it. How was the Lord going to get the attention of the Egyptians and give them a revelation that was an all-powerful and all-knowing “Living God” was able to set people free?

He first had to confront their “gods”, bring down their economy and radically alter the sinful culture that epitomized this super-power. Most scholars believe that Egypt was one of the strongest nations on earth at the time of the Exodus. They were self-sufficient, proud and very powerful. God literally set it up so that all Egyptians from the greatest to the least would see the glory of God and come to a knowledge of God.

So – though God had a plan for Israel, He also had a plan to reveal Himself to Egypt – so that all the nations would hear of the miracles that had taken place at the hands of Aaron and Moses.

He still confronts people and nations with hard hearts and lets them know that there is a God to be reckoned with. In our day and hour, God usually reveals Himself through His loving servants – but I’ve know people who were “smacked with a two by four” so that God could get their attention. We often believe that everything is about us. We interpret all the happenings around us as though God is doing something for us alone. Ponder this – half the World lives in near-complete economic disaster and all we can think about is whether we will purchase a Kia or a Ford! Perhaps God uses things like hard economic times to get people to quit relying only on their own wisdom. Maybe He uses “hard times” to draw individuals to Himself. This is not to say that God creates hard times only that He uses opportunities including hard times to reach a people with love and grace. I don’t know about you, but I would gladly suffer hard times if it meant that lost souls would be drawn to God because of it. Wouldn’t it be nice if we became so sensitive to God’s voice that we would respond the instant He speaks? There is no need for us to be “confronted” by the Lordthe way Egypt was if we have our spiritual ears open. May we be guided by the slightest glance of His eye today! I don’t want to have any “plague” experiences because of the hardness of my heart.

Questions:

1. Has God ever used a “difficult thing” to get your attention? Tell us about it!

2. Give an example of how “hard times” have drawn you closer to God.

If God Is With You – –

January 29 – Today’s Readings – Exodus 4-6 and Psalms 28

Welcome to Exodus!

Most scholars agree that the nation of Israel was in Egypt for generations. They had “evolved” from the status of favoured people under Joseph, to one of captivity and slavery after Joseph passed off the scene. Scholars tend to agree that by the time of their “deliverance” at the hands of Moses and Aaron, they had multiplied to as many as 4 million people. The description of their “Exodus” contains a lot of encouragement for readers of this book but it should also be understood as a “type” or “parable” of our salvation – of God calling us from the dominion of darkness and bringing us into the kingdom of His dear Son (Colossians 1:13). This account paints a clear picture of how Jesus confronted the Devil and, through mighty deeds, set us free from the slavery of sin. As you read this book, keep this allegory in mind and you will be blessed as you discover the parallels.

I find it fascinating that no matter what the Egyptians threw at God’s people, they multiplied and prospered – so much so that the Egyptians were in dread of Israel. On the one hand Israel was groaning under the load of hardship and slave labor and at the same time, the Egyptians could plainly see that God was with them. The tougher things got for Israel the more they began to cry out for deliverance.

The grand theme of this book is that God heard their cry, and in His sovereign timing, sent a deliverer to bring them out of slavery. The deliverer, Moses, had a vision from God (perhaps encouraged by his mother) at a young age that this Exodus was going to happen. He even tried to make it happen outside of the timing of God, but ended up in the desert for forty years – a direct result of his mistake.

Can we learn something from all of this? Well, for starters – it really doesn’t matter which “captivity” we find ourselves in, if God is with us we can prosper anywhere – but we have already learned this lesson this from Joseph’s life. I also think that the Lord is on the lookout for people who are “groaning” to be set free. We all need to come to a point in life where we are ready for a deliverance or a revival from God but we also should be on the lookout for others who groan in their sin, wanting deliverance and change so that we can join ourselves to them. Finally, we need to be patient when we feel that a certain issue needs to be resolved immediately. God seems to have His own deliverance schedule and His timing is always sovereign. To me, this means that God keeps some things secret or keeps His people on a “need to know” basis. Get used to it – there are some answers that can only be found on the other side of death’s door.

Questions:

1. What spiritual place did the Israelites come to before God sent deliverance?

2. What are some of the secrets God will reveal only when we get to heaven?

It’s a Parable – An Allegory

January 28 – Today’s Readings – Exodus 1-3 and Psalms 28

Welcome to Exodus!

Most scholars agree that the nation of Israel was in Egypt for generations. They had “evolved” from the status of favoured people under Joseph, to one of captivity and slavery after Joseph passed off the scene. Scholars tend to agree that by the time of their “deliverance” at the hands of Moses and Aaron, they had multiplied to as many as 4 million people. The description of their “Exodus” contains a lot of encouragement for readers of this book but it should also be understood as a “type” or “parable” of our salvation – of God calling us from the dominion of darkness and bringing us into the kingdom of His dear Son (Colossians 1:13). This account paints a clear picture of how Jesus confronted the Devil and, through mighty deeds, set us free from the slavery of sin. As you read this book, keep this allegory in mind and you will be blessed as you discover the parallels.

I find it fascinating that no matter what the Egyptians threw at God’s people, they multiplied and prospered – so much so that the Egyptians were in dread of Israel. On the one hand Israel was groaning under the load of hardship and slave labor and at the same time, the Egyptians could plainly see that God was with them. The tougher things got for Israel the more they began to cry out for deliverance.

The grand theme of this book is that God heard their cry, and in His sovereign timing, sent a deliverer to bring them out of slavery. The deliverer, Moses, had a vision from God (perhaps encouraged by his mother) at a young age that this Exodus was going to happen. He even tried to make it happen outside of the timing of God, but ended up in the desert for forty years – a direct result of his mistake.

Can we learn something from all of this? Well, for starters – it really doesn’t matter which “captivity” we find ourselves in, if God is with us we can prosper anywhere – but we have already learned this lesson this from Joseph’s life. I also think that the Lord is on the lookout for people who are “groaning” to be set free. We all need to come to a point in life where we are ready for a deliverance or a revival from God but we also should be on the lookout for others who groan in their sin, wanting deliverance and change so that we can join ourselves to them. Finally, we need to be patient when we feel that a certain issue needs to be resolved immediately. God seems to have His own deliverance schedule and His timing is always sovereign. To me, this means that God keeps some things secret or keeps His people on a “need to know” basis. Get used to it – there are some answers that can only be found on the other side of death’s door.

Questions:

1. What spiritual place did the Israelites come to before God sent deliverance?

2. What are some of the secrets God will reveal only when we get to heaven?

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