James 1:1-8 How is your faith, people of God? Is it strong enough to stand in the temptations which are around you now and which will strengthen as we get closer to the end of time? If you feel a weakness in this area (and we all do from time to time), then follow the advice of verse 6. Ask God for the wisdom necessary to stand in these evil days. But ask believing that God will give it to you. When you do that, you have the confidence that God will give you all the wisdom and faith that you need to stand in these evil days. Remember, however, to wait patiently for God’s answer, for all things come in God’s time and not our own. Sing or read Psalter 202.
James 1:9-15 Are you enduring temptation, people of God? This is part of James’ message to us in these verses. We read that God tries His people by using Satan’s temptations. We must see that enduring temptations will establish us in the faith and enable us to walk close to our God. We have the blessed word that God will call us blessed, that is, happy, as we endure the temptations set before us in this world. We also have the assurance of the reward of the crown of life which will be given to us in heaven. As we walk through this world of sin and evil let us look at every temptation as an opportunity to please our God as we walk in His way. Sing or read Psalter 156.
James 1:16-21 Enduring temptation is an active work on our part. Two days ago we looked at the idea that we need faith from the only wise God in order to do so. Yesterday we saw that enduring temptation has a great reward. Today we must see how we endure temptation. We must follow the example of Christ as He answered Satan with the word, “It is written.” Do you do that, young people? Can you do that? Saying it is written means that you know the Scriptures. Have you learned them well enough so that you can face any temptation with an appropriate passage from the Bible? Are you able to put God’s Word into action so that it is more than mere head knowledge? By God’s grace let us receive the Word that can save our souls. Sing or read Psalter 325.
James 1:22-27 Is your religion pure? Do people say of you, “There goes a true child of God”? That is the admonition of the last two verses of today’s passage. We must not merely know God’s Word; every word we speak, and every action we take must show our religion. Do you show your love for the neighbor by helping those who are in distress? Are there those lonely ones who you do not comfort with a visit and God’s Word? Do you show your love for God with your actions in and among the world? Do you give the enemies of the church the opportunity to blaspheme by your conduct? Enduring temptation and living a Christian walk means that we exhibit pure religion. Are we? Sing or read Psalter 25.
Exodus 2:1-10 What wonderful parents Moses had! Here we read that two parents realizing that their son was a gift from God – as all covenant children are – risked their lives in order to protect him. And then when this was no longer possible they placed their trust in God to save him even as they placed him in the very river where he might have been drowned. Are you thankful for God-fearing parents, young people? Do you show this by obeying them in all things? Being a parent is an awesome responsibility. It is not something to be taken lightly. Carrying it out like Moses’ parents did has its rewards. Sing or read Psalter 278.
Hebrews 11:23-27 Moses did not fear the wrath of the king but endured! Could we do that? Moses had been reared in a covenant home for much less time than most of us. But he had learned well what was important in this life. He used the lessons learned at his parents’ knees to guide him in this decision. Even after years of schooling in the best schools of Egypt, he made the choice for God. Most of us have covenant education for much of our lives. Are we able to make the same choice? Do we make the same choice daily? Do we examine our decisions to see if they are God-glorifying, or do we see if they are convenient for us? The reproaches of Christ are great riches; why do we want the pleasures of this life? Sing or read Psalter 352.
Exodus 3:1-12 Unknowingly Moses was learning how to be a shepherd of God’s people in the desert when God appeared to him and sent him to do the task. He did it in the way of the burning bush. After seeing this miracle and hearing his task, Moses became afraid and asked the question, “Who am I?” Moses did not feel that he was qualified for the work. We, too, are given daunting tasks by our heavenly Father. We, too, are made fit for the work. We must go forward in faith and do what God has for us. Young people, as you seek your life’s work, remember Moses and know that God will be with you. Sing or read Psalter 213 especially stanzas 1-4.
Exodus 5:15-23 Moses was not instantly gratified when he told Pharaoh to let God’s people go. Moses obviously expected a different answer than the one he got. He also expected the people to be more patient than they were. He goes to Jehovah and asks, “Why is this happening?” Moses and we need to learn how to wait upon Jehovah. We may want things in this life to work out much more smoothly than they do. Often our best efforts seem to end in disaster. We must always remember that God’s ways and times are best. Let us pray daily for the grace to wait upon Jehovah. Sing or read Psalter 33.
Exodus 6:1-8 “I have remembered my covenant.” What glorious words for us to read today. Children and young people, these are words which give to your parents great hope. These are words which you will treasure as well in the years to come. Your parents have sacrificed much for this covenant. By God’s grace, you will as well. God sees our distress in this world; and just when we think there is no help for us, He comes to us in remembrance of His covenant. Israel of old only had this idea in types and shadows. We know this covenant has been fulfilled in the precious blood of the Lamb. Embrace the covenant, people of God, and live lives enriched by it. Sing or read Psalter 243 especially stanzas 1-3.
Exodus 7:14-25 After a time of proving Israel’s faith, God began to show Pharaoh and all of Egypt who he was. He began with their god and source of their life, the Nile River. The river was poisoned so that they could not drink it and the fish that it sustained were killed. With one action Egypt was shown that their gods were no gods at all. God is sovereign, and that is our comfort as we live in the Egypt of today. We may think that the wicked will triumph, but we must believe in our God. Pharaoh’s heart was unchanged because he had the stony heart of a reprobate man. But this plague was the beginning of deliverance for Israel. Sing or read Psalter 308.
Exodus 10:21-29 After eight plagues Pharaoh would not let Israel go. His heart became harder and harder. God was readying him for the final stroke. He was readying him so that at the right time he would let Israel go. Consider the ninth plague. God caused a thick darkness to cover the land of Egypt. This darkness had never been seen before. It was the darkness that covered the earth before God said, “Let there be light.” It was the darkness that was felt at the cross for three hours. It is the darkness felt by all those who do not believe that Jesus is the light of the world. This darkness was not felt in the land of Goshen where Israel lived. There was the line of the antithesis between Israel and Egypt – between the typical elect and the typical reprobate. Pharaoh had to endure that darkness, and he still said, “I will not let Israel go.” Such is the heart of the reprobate; from that hardness deliver us, O God. Sing or read Psalter 262.
Exodus 11:1-10 One last plague God would bring upon Egypt. One more time would He show them His power and His wrath. God would kill every firstborn in Egypt. From the lowest slave unto Pharaoh’s house cries of anguish would issue forth as they felt God’s hand yet again. Even after the previous nine plagues the announcement of this stroke brought no softening of Pharaoh’s heart. Why, we might ask? Simply as Paul puts it in Romans, that God may show His power to the reprobate. Pharaoh is responsible for His actions, but yet they are in the hand of the sovereign God. We must bow before our God and bless His name even when we see His hand around us. Sing or read Psalter 289 especially stanzas 12-15.
Exodus 12:1-13 With a mighty stroke God delivers Israel from Egypt. But He also gave them a wonderful sign. For in that lamb and its blood He provided them with the picture of the Christ Who would take away the sin of the world. Israel was commanded to celebrate the Passover every year until the Lamb of God was sacrificed. In order to fulfill all things Jesus ate the Passover feast just before He was sacrificed. We no longer celebrate the Passover because we are redeemed by the Lamb. Let that be our joy daily as we pray and as we live. Sing or read Psalter 290 especially stanzas 1-5.
Exodus 13:17-22 As Moses began the enormous task of leading Israel, he was comforted that it was God Who led them. First of all the path that God chose was one that fitted the task. Israel had to learn how to be the people of God and they could not do that by fighting the Philistines. They had to learn what it was like to fight first. God also gave them the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire as a huge sign of encouragement. During the day they could see in the cloud of God’s presence. Then during the night the fire would serve notice that God was with them. We have His Word to lead us day and night. Let us let it serve as our comfort and encouragement. Sing or read Psalter 292.
Exodus 15:1-11 Most of us know the history of Israel’s passage through the Red Sea. We know of Pharaoh’s foolish decision, and the destruction God sent to his army and him. Moses celebrated Israel’s victory with the inspired song found in today’s passage. Here we read of God’s power and sovereignty. Here we read that we have no reason to fear what evil men may do unto us for our God is almighty. We must always sing with Moses and Israel, “Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” Sing or read Psalter 221.
Exodus 16:1-10 Bread and quail from heaven? Have you ever heard anything so ridiculous? That was what Israel heard when they complained to Moses about going without food. Here they had just been delivered very miraculously less than two months before, and now they doubt the power of God. But God was gracious to them and sent them manna and quail. He was gracious to us as well, as that manna was a picture of the heavenly manna Christ Jesus. As we consider these Old Testament passages we must see that there is a message for us the church of the new dispensation. Christ is the manna sent from heaven; let us complain no longer. Sing or read Psalter 289 especially stanzas 16-19.
Exodus 17:8-16 Once again God tested and proved Israel. He brought Amelek to fight against them. But He also gave them Moses, a capable and wise leader. He was also preparing Joshua to take his place as a type of Christ. They fought the battle learning more and more that they must place their trust in Jehovah. Do we learn this lesson as we go through life? Do we see in our trials and tribulations that in God we must trust at all times? Moses celebrated the victory with an altar named Jehovah My Banner. Is Jehovah our banner in our fights against Satan and his hosts? Young people, do you fly Jehovah’s banner as you go through life? Sing or read Psalter 200.
Exodus 19:1-9 Israel had come to Mount Sinai. Once again God prepared to teach them and Moses that He was God. For Moses this was the answer to a promise that God had made to him. At the burning bush God had promised to bring Moses back to this place, and now here he was. In these verses we have the words of a covenant God Who bears His peculiar people on eagle’s wings. We see that God had made us elect and has shown us the way of salvation. The people responded to God’s words by saying that they would obey. Is that our response? Sing or read Psalter 91.
Exodus 24:1-8 After hearing the Ten Commandments, Moses directs the people in worship of Jehovah. They build an altar and sacrifice burnt offerings before the Lord. Then Moses takes blood and sprinkles it on the people as a sign of the covenant. We no longer need the blood of bulls and goats because our High Priest has given of Himself for us. We must give the sacrifice of our praise when we worship. We need to give good works in thankfulness for the great salvation that has been wrought for us. We need this because this is the command of God and is our expression of thanksgiving. Are we truly thankful? Sing or read Psalter 109.
Exodus 24:9-18 In these verses we see a blessing upon Moses and other elders of Israel. They were able to commune with God in a most blessed way. No, they did not see God face to face, but they came to experience His glory in a way that we will not have until we go to heaven. Then they ate a meal in His presence. Do you wish for this experience, people of God? Do we truly long for the day that we enter heaven and can enjoy the communion of saints in its most perfect way? This earth is not our home; we are only pilgrims here. Let us pray earnestly, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus.” Let us live lives in which we wait for the return of our Savior. Sing or read Psalter 203.
Exodus 25:1-9 The call went out to the children of Israel to bring offerings so that a house for God to dwell in on this earth could be constructed. We read in Exodus 36 that the people responded willingly to this call. In fact, they had to be told not to bring any more. Is that our response to calls for the service of Jehovah’s kingdom? Are we willing to give of the wealth that God has given us in order to worship Him? Are we thankful for the great sacrifice that Christ has made for us? Our offerings must be expressions of thankfulness for all that Christ has done. Therefore we are never finished giving because His work was limitless on our behalf. Sing or read Psalter 137, especially stanzas 1, 4, and 6.
Exodus 32:7-14 God looked down from Mount Sinai and saw the horrible evils in which the people of Israel were engaging. His anger was kindled because He is a holy God and abhors sin. Moses however, as a type of Christ, interceded for the people of God. He became their mediator, and assuaged the wrath of God toward the people. We, too, daily are in danger of being swallowed up by God’s wrath. Our sins daily would cause His holy anger to consume us if it were not for our mediator Christ Who sits at God’s right hand making continual intercession for us. Daily we must pray to God that He will forgive our sins through the blood of Christ. Sing or read Psalter 143.
Exodus 32:25-35 As Moses came down the mountain, he saw the terrible evils committed by the children of Israel. He broke the law as a sign of God’s law being broken. He took the golden calf and ground it up and made the people drink the bitter mixture he made. But he was not done. He had to rid the church of those who did not belong. He made the cry, “Who is on the Lord’s side?” Would we answer that call? Would we be ready to defend the faith even among those whom we know well, or would we want to continue in the sins that please our flesh? Are you on the Lord’s side? If you are, take up the Word and fight for His honor and glory. Sing or read Psalter 36 especially stanzas 1-3.
Exodus 39:32-43 The preceding chapters give an account of the work of the building of the tabernacle. We read of the cheerful giving of the people, and also of the craftsmanship of those appointed by God to this task. Then Moses inspects the work. He finds that it is done as the Lord commanded it, and he blesses them. How about us? If someone inspected our work before the mirror of God’s law, would the reflection be perfect? Our work is ever before the face of God; let it not be found wanting. Even today, as we in the United States give thanks for what God has given us, we realize that we must show thankfulness by our works daily. Sing or read Psalter 374 especially stanzas 1, 2, 4, and 5.
Leviticus 1:1-9 The book of Leviticus is sometimes called the book of the law. In this book Moses, by God’s command, orders the life and worship of the people of Israel. Some of these laws are civil; others are ceremonial. They all had a purpose; that purpose was to lead the people to Christ. In these days of lawlessness, we would do well to pay heed to the Old Testament laws, for in them we can find principles to guide our daily life. Even though the sacrifices have been fulfilled in Christ, we daily live a life of gratitude which can be guided by these laws. Sing or read Psalter 40.
Leviticus 10:8-15 In the preceding verses of this chapter two men were destroyed by fire for not worshipping God as He commanded. In these verses Moses gives strict instructions to Aaron and his sons in the way of worship. The principles laid down here should serve for our instruction as we prepare to go to God’s house to worship. How will we worship tomorrow? Will it be as God has commanded in His word? Or will we as mere men decide how God is to be worshipped? Will we in our personal worship make the preaching of the Word the central part of the service, or will we let other aspects become more important, including getting out “on time”? Worship is important to the child of God. Let us remember to worship “in spirit and in truth.” Sing or read Psalter 349.
Leviticus 13:1-8 The laws concerning leprosy are very instructive to us today. Even though leprosy is almost unknown to us we must always remember that it is the disease ordained by God as a sign of sin. Just as leprosy rots away the body so sin rots away the soul. Just as leprosy starts out small but grows and grows, so also a little sin can grow and consume the whole body. The teaching concerning leprosy also instructed one who was healed. That person had to bring to the tabernacle or temple a thank offering. We, too, when we become healed from sin must bring our offering of thanksgiving to God. We must do this daily as we reap the benefits of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Sing or read Psalter 311.
Numbers 11:1-9 After the giving of all the laws and ordering the camp of Israel, Moses led the people away from Mount Sinai toward Canaan. Not very far away from Sinai the people began to complain about the manna. This complaining began outside the camp but soon spread into the Israelite nation. They began to lust after the luxuries of Egypt. Are we any better? Do we sometimes complain about the place God has given us and wish that we had more of the world’s goods? Are we unhappy about our stations and callings in this life and do we forget the true import of praying “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”? Israel fell into this sin, and Israel was punished even as they ate the quail that God sent them. Let us be instructed by this account and be satisfied with whatever good things God chooses to give us. Sing or read Psalter 100.
Numbers 14:1-10 Do you desire heaven? Are you willing to leave the things of this life to go there? Are you willing to go through the troubles of this life to get there? Are you looking forward to the persecution that awaits the church before Christ returns? Israel had been told that Canaan was a land flowing with milk and honey. But they had also been told that there were adversaries awaiting them. Instead of trusting in God they once again began to murmur and complain. They would not even listen to the good words of Joshua and Caleb. The Bible gives us good words about heaven. Are we willing to listen? Sing or read Psalter 365.
Numbers 14:26-39 Even after the words of Joshua and Caleb the people continued to complain. Once again Moses had to act as mediator between God and the people. Once again God remembered His promises and did not utterly destroy the nation. But He did bring chastisement for their sins. For their complaining, not one, save Joshua and Caleb, would enter the land. Faithful Joshua and Caleb were rewarded for their obedience. Let that be the lesson to us and let us obey at all times the Word of the Lord. Sing or read Psalter 265.