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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
(412)822-7255
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January 23, 2007

Exodus 16-18

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Following Scripture Verses


Exodus
Chapter 16
  1. And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.
  2. And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:
  3. And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
  4. Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.
  5. And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.
  6. And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel, At even, then ye shall know that the LORD hath brought you out from the land of Egypt:
  7. And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the LORD; for that he heareth your murmurings against the LORD: and what are we, that ye murmur against us?
  8. And Moses said, This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.
  9. And Moses spake unto Aaron, Say unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, Come near before the LORD: for he hath heard your murmurings.
  10. And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.
  11. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
  12. I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God.
  13. And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host.
  14. And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.
  15. And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.
  16. This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents.
  17. And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less.
  18. And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.
  19. And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning.
  20. Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.
  21. And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted.
  22. And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.
  23. And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
  24. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.
  25. And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field.
  26. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
  27. And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.
  28. And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?
  29. See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.
  30. So the people rested on the seventh day.
  31. And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.
  32. And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commandeth, Fill an omer of it to be kept for your generations; that they may see the bread wherewith I have fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt.
  33. And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept for your generations.
  34. As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept.
  35. And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.
  36. Now an omer is the tenth part of an ephah.


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Exodus
Chapter 17
  1. And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink.
  2. Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD?
  3. And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?
  4. And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.
  5. And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go.
  6. Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
  7. And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?
  8. Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.
  9. And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.
  10. So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
  11. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
  12. But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
  13. And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
  14. And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.
  15. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi:
  16. For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.


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Exodus
Chapter 18
  1. When Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father in law, heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel his people, and that the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt;
  2. Then Jethro, Moses' father in law, took Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her back,
  3. And her two sons; of which the name of the one was Gershom; for he said, I have been an alien in a strange land:
  4. And the name of the other was Eliezer; for the God of my father, said he, was mine help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh:
  5. And Jethro, Moses' father in law, came with his sons and his wife unto Moses into the wilderness, where he encamped at the mount of God:
  6. And he said unto Moses, I thy father in law Jethro am come unto thee, and thy wife, and her two sons with her.
  7. And Moses went out to meet his father in law, and did obeisance, and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare; and they came into the tent.
  8. And Moses told his father in law all that the LORD had done unto Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake, and all the travail that had come upon them by the way, and how the LORD delivered them.
  9. And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the LORD had done to Israel, whom he had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians.
  10. And Jethro said, Blessed be the LORD, who hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh, who hath delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians.
  11. Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them.
  12. And Jethro, Moses' father in law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God: and Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses' father in law before God.
  13. And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.
  14. And when Moses' father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?
  15. And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God:
  16. When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws.
  17. And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good.
  18. Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.
  19. Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God:
  20. And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.
  21. Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:
  22. And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.
  23. If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.
  24. So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said.
  25. And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
  26. And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.
  27. And Moses let his father in law depart; and he went his way into his own land.


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Thought for the day:
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 There are two events in this passage that relate to spiritual leadership. Even though Moses was not a "pastor" in the official sense of the term, he was placed by God in a position of spiritual leadership over God's people, so there are at least some similarities between his situation and the ones confronting the local church. Not only do these verses challenge me as a pastor, but I hope that they are a challenge to each of you as you determine whether or not you are or can be a help to your spiritual leader.

 The first section deals with Israel's battle against the forces of the Amalekites. The Bible tells us in Exodus 17:10 that Moses sent Joshua out to lead the troops, and that he went up to the top of a hill to watch. This tells me first of all that the leader does not have to do all the "fighting" himself. Spiritual warfare is the responsibility of every believer, and it is the church as a whole against which the gates of Hell can not prevail. Moses is not simply an idle bystander, however. He has a special job to do, and only he can do it. Verse 11 tells us that when Moses held his hands up in the air, the Israelites prevailed. When his hands came down, the Amalekites got the advantage. Therefore, Moses had to keep his hands raised at all times in order to secure the victory. If you have ever tried to hold your hands up, you know that it can only be done for so long before they get tired and the blood drains out of them. In verse 12 we find that this happened to Moses; he was undoubtedly tired and sore, and he could no longer hold up his hands. To the rescue came Aaron and Hur. They sat Moses on a rock, and they held up his hands until the battle was over. Note a couple items here. First of all, Aaron and Hur did not hold up their own hands - that was not their place. God did not ask them to usurp Moses' authority, nor did He promise to bless Israel if their hands were lifted. Sometimes there are things that only the leader can do, but sometimes the leader needs help getting them done. Secondly, Aaron and Hur gave of themselves voluntarily - there is no evidence that Moses asked for help. They simply saw a need and attempted to solve it. Third, I believe that it was very uncomfortable for both Aaron and Hur as they held up Moses hands. There is no evidence that they received any help, or that anyone else held up their hands. They did it until the sun went down, so I imagine they were quite exhausted when the battle was over. Yet they made the necessary sacrifices to see that the leader got the job done that God had called him to do. Great victories will be won by God's people collectively when the leader gets where he is supposed to be, does what he is supposed to do regardless of the difficulty (just because his hands were being held up doesn't mean that he wasn't still in great pain), and when others jump in and pay the price to give him the assistance that he needs.

 The second passage is found in chapter 18:13-25. Here Moses is busy counseling the people and ministering to them. In fact, the Bible says that he was at it the entire day ( 13). Moses' father-in-law Jethro asks him why he is doing this, and Moses responds that the people need him to advise and instruct them in the teachings of the Lord. Jethro tells him that he is going to wear himself out, and the people with him, because he doesn't have time to do it all by himself. His advice is for Moses to be the leader, and to be the one who receives the direction from God, but to find men who will take over some of these responsibilities for him. However, not any man will do. These assistants must be

"able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness" (21).
Those in spiritual leadership need to learn to turn responsibilities over to others. However, they must have people following them who have the proper Biblical qualifications. They need to have ability, fear God, know and practice the Scriptures, and demand purity of heart from themselves and others. If there are no men like this, then the leader has no one to provide assistance, and both he and the ministry will fail.

 For those of us in leadership: are we following the example of Moses? For those who are not yet in leadership: are you following the example of Aaron and Hur? Do you have the Biblical character necessary to be one who could be called upon to help an over-burdened leader? We must be what we should be, for our ministries and the work of Christ depend on it.

Mark Montgomery

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