Exodus 3-4

I liked what Bethany wrote yesterday about embracing the “whys” and the “how comes” that will develop while reading this story. Like, why does God talk Moses into the job and then almost kill him the next day? Why does brushing his feet with mutilated foreskin save the day? This is weird (and gross), and was not mentioned in Sunday school class. 

My Bible commentary noted that Moses’ son was not circumcised, which directly opposes one of the conditions of God’s covenant. Under Old Testament law, this removed you and your family from God’s blessings. 

I am cautious to speculate too much on God’s intentions, but I wonder if he is establishing himself here. 

Moses was consumed with fear and worry about how well he’ll pull off this thing, if he’ll get the words out right and what everyone will think of him. But I believe God is insisting that Moses’ most important task is obeying him. 

Reflect on what work God has given you. Is he pushing you towards the front lines of something? 

Check your heart first. Are you, above all else, obeying God? Thankfully, Jesus has fulfilled the Old Testament laws and comes alongside us in our failures. But we are still called to obedience. 

Whatever you have your hands in, even if it’s good, hard work for the gospel, we need to have obedient hearts. We can’t live with glaring, obvious rebellions and expect this to go unnoticed. God is gracious, and uses the most imperfect underdogs to partner with him in his work. But take note of the tone he is setting here! Blatantly disobeying God is more dangerous to Moses than facing a stubborn leader like Pharaoh. 
-Carly 

Exodus 1-2

Welcome to Exodus! Here’s the Bible Project Overview of the first 18 chapters.

Exodus is the second book in the Torah.

  1. Genesis 
  2. Exodus
  3. Leviticus 
  4. Numbers
  5. Deuteronomy 

These form one piece of literature called the Torah, or The Law. It was mostly written by Moses during his time in the wilderness, as God spoke to him and framed Israel’s corporate identity and purposes. 

Exodus is a compelling story, rich with multifaceted meanings and applications, so don’t be afraid to ask the “what’s” and the “whys”. 

The first two chapters are Moses’ origin story. He was born at a perilous time, and there are many parallels/foreshadows of Jesus’ birth: Born under an evil ruler, mass baby boy deaths at the time of his birth, which he is spared from, raised by a father not his own, etc.

This chapter ends with Moses living as “a foreigner in a foreign land” and this passage, which introduces all that will happen next:

“During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.” (2:23-25)

The Exodus is a widely accepted historical event, but it is also rich with imagery and foreshadowing. Consider what you find your soul groaning about, today. Consider the concern of the LORD. He is not passive about His children. He hears them, comes for them, and sets them free. 

Do you feel lost in a hopeless situation? Bring it to the LORD today.

-Bethany 

Jonah 

Jonah and the whale. This story is odd, and reads like a story from a children’s book. A cautionary tale, warning us of the consequences of disobeying and running from God. 

Some people find comfort in telling themselves that it’s a parable, or that certain aspects are written hyperbole and not to be taken as true. Folklore.

I’m comfortable believing every word. It does not undo anything in my faith to believe that God is sovereign over every living thing, controls the crashing waves of the ocean and that he makes big gestures to teach us something. Honestly, the hardest part of this story for me to believe is that God forgives the unforgivable. 

Wherever you land on this whale of a tale (couldn’t resist), there are great things to learn about God. Here are a few I noticed:

-God uses our sin for good. After admitting that he was running away from the Lord, and offering himself to go overboard, the seas calm. “The sailors were awestruck by the Lord’s great power and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him.” 1:16 Even when we are impacting other people with our sin, God is capable of using it for his glory. 

-Read 2:5-7 for an accurate description of how it feels when you give yourself over to disobeying God. Let’s learn from this. 

God is greatly merciful to our repentance. Nothing about Nineveh seems redeemable. Yet because of the drastic, earnest repentance they showed (even the animals joined in!), God forgave them. 

God is as equally merciful to our enemies. Recently, my favorite preaching pastor taught through this book. At the end of it, he posed the question who is your Nineveh? Who do you not want God to forgive? Two people come to my mind waaaay too easily. (You can hear the sermon on Jonah here, it’s great.) 

Bitterness and withholding forgiveness is not the gospel. God’s forgiveness and mercy are extended to everyone. We are not to make our own selections on who is deserving of this, because absolutely no one is. 

Has God tried to send you somewhere? 

More likely, maybe he’s telling you to stay put. You desire to be sent out somewhere, find another people group to share the gospel with, but he has you right where he wants you. Don’t run from where he has you.  
-Carly 



Proverbs 31

I didn’t want to breeze past this gem on our way to considering how to be the ultimate woman:

“Open your mouth for the mute, For the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.” (8-9)

Yesterday two men were killed, in Portland, for standing up for women being bullied on the MAX train. As the world becomes increasingly racist and violent, we must not grow weary of defending the rights of the afflicted. This is a Biblical mandate. 

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” –Edmund Burke

And speaking of that Proverbs 31 woman:

“She extends her hand to the poor, And she stretches out her hands to the needy.” (20)

She works hard and cares for everyone. I think this chapter really captures what we are capable of when we fear the LORD. Women are industrious. 

Of course, do not take this as a way to be down on yourself if you don’t measure up. That is truly not the point. Ask God how He would describe your full potential. It doesn’t have to be real estate and sowing scarlet. 

I think something I’m especially struck by is how trustworthy this woman is to her husband. She probably doesn’t expose his shortcomings to her gal pals. She probably keeps all his secrets. That’s awesome. I want to be the best at keeping my husbands secrets and remaining trustworthy. I want him to know I believe in him. 

Us gals are the perfect help mates. We can help men reach their full potentials OR we can make them wish they lived on the corner of the roof. They are responsible for themselves, but some of it is up to us.

As a single gal, I can still scoop up a lot of principles here. I can champion the best in people, be hospitable and take care of the poor. Women represent the nurturing side of God. We are His image bearers. That is glorious! 

What stuck out to you today?

-Bethany 

Proverbs 29-30

I have authority issues. Who doesn’t, right? I tend to perform, or desperately try to win over, whoever is in charge of me. However, if they fail me, I often switch to resenting them. Quickly. 

I want to be perfectly led, unconditionally loved and regularly praised by my flawless leader. This is not available in a human leader, yet sometimes I expect it. It pains me that God allows man to lead man. But what if they fail me? Make the wrong choice? Lead with pride? They will, and they have. 

When mankind fails me, he is glorified. My relationship with God has been deeply strengthened by people’s weakness. And I pray that when I have failed those I’ve led, Gods grace covered them. (I wince when I  think back on 19 year-old-me in ministry leadership.) 

Your spouse, pastor, boss, mentor or idol will eventually fail you. This is why we’re urged not to put our trust in man alone, but in the Perfect Leader: 

“Many seek the ruler’s favor, but justice comes from the Lord.” Proverbs 29:26

Who do you seek ultimate safety, provision, justice, favor and identity from? 

When your relationship, or the legal system, church system or your family unit fails you, how do you respond? 

Hurt? A little violated that such pillars of society have failed you? That’s normal, and okay. How does it impact your trust in God? 

Let’s bend our lives around the ruler we can always rely on. The leader who Moses followed across the Red Sea, the God Daniel trusted as he landed at the bottom of the lions den, the Jesus who pulled Peter onto the surface of the ocean to stand, the God who goes up to heaven and comes back, holds the wind in his fists and wraps the ocean in his cloak. (30:4) 

What’s his name? And his son’s name? (30:5) 

Jesus. The Great I am! The perfect leader, pastor, political leader and family member we will ever have. 
-Carly 

Proverbs 27-28

This one struck me today:

“The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, But the righteous are bold as a lion.” (28:1)

Last week I learned a bit more about Eastern worldview and engaging Muslims in conversations about Jesus. One thing the teacher pointed out was how bold Easterners can be. They will declare something with conviction, even if they don’t have all the facts. Truth for them is power and beauty. For the West, it’s facts and physical science. 

Many Muslims discredit Western Christianity on the tendency that when forcibly confronted about it, we shrink back because, “uh I just, I don’t know, I have faith?” “What are you doing in my country?” “Um, nothing?! I’m a tourist!”

Let’s talk about righteousness and assurance of salvation. After the beautifully, glorious first half of Ephesians where Paul sets our identity squarely in Christ, I flip to the end, finding the Full Armor of God: 

Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the SHEILD OF FAITH with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”‭‭ (Ephesians‬ ‭6:14-20‬)

The Helmet of Salvation protects your mind. It is a lifesaver, along with the Breastplate of Righteousness. These protect your vital organs.

Our Salvation is only from Christ defeating death, living a perfect life and giving us HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. This is what’s TRUE and holding us together like a belt. 

Our enemy throws flaming arrows of accusations and disqualifications based on our own record of unrighteousness and lack of understanding. Yeah, we’d be screwed if we were trusting in those things. Paul pleads with us, “No! Stand firm!” It all depends of Christ, so we can be bold as lions!

The wicked scamper away like cockroaches. They don’t need to be chased to run. That’s not us anymore! We have been given the righteousness of Christ, and He doesn’t run away ever.

Let’s put on the this armor today.

-Bethany

Proverbs 25-26

“If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads, and the Lord will reward you.” 25:1

I quite like this verse. It gave me a lot to think about as my family weaved through the roads of Wyoming on our road trip this morning. 

I set my Bible down and asked myself who are my enemies? A name or two came to mind (including whoever stole my favorite, perfectly-worn-in sweatshirt in college, by the way, the grudge is strong). But the actual definition of an enemy is someone who hates you. It doesn’t mention a mutual distain. 

As embassadors of the gospel, image bearers of God, are we suppose to have enemies? No. Are we going to? Absolutely. Every godly person in the Bible had someone hunting them down or at least loathing them. Jesus, David, Steven, Paul, Joseph, John the Baptist, countless others!

Here’s how I’m reflecting on this text: 

1. Identifying who my enemies are. Who hates me? Is it for good, godly reasons or something I need to repent for? 

2. Is there anyone I’m an enemy to? Is there someone who I despise? A person from the past, or maybe a vague enemy I’ve never even met? Time to check my heart. 

3. How can I live out this verse? What does it tangibly look like to meet my enemy’s needs and smother them in genuine love until they’re panged with regret?

The Christian life leaves no room for pride, revenge or self-preservation. We are advocated, defended and protected by Jesus, the Prince of Peace, God-with-us. You won’t always be liked. But with him, you will always be loved. 


-Carly