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Jer 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.


Feb. 29, 2006                             Let God Lead


Exo 19:1 In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.


a bush; enmity; Of Sin (the moon god), called also Horeb, thorny).

Horeb means dry place.

Exo 19:3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;

Exo 19:4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.

Exo 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:

Exo 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

God called Moses to come up to him, so they could commune together. He had something specific he wanted to reveal to the people, and he wanted to come and make himself known to them, for them to become better acquainted with him. He wanted all the people to know him, not just Moses. He reminds them how he delivered them from the bondage and slavery of Egypt. How he has led them where they are and brought them to this dry place, and given them water, and food, and sustained them totally by his power. They were in the wilderness. There were no fountains, or rivers, they were unable to provide food for themselves. God had done so much for these people. He delivered them miraculously with his strong power. He led them, going before them in the cloud, day and night...watching over every single one of them, with love in his heart for this people.

When he says in verse 5 if ye will obey my voice and keep my covenant, ask yourself this: if you are not spending time in his presence, if you are not giving him quality time, getting alone with God, how can you know his voice, much less obey it? How can you keep his covenant if you are not getting into his word, and finding out what his covenant is? To keep something means to guard from injury, observe, preserve, to hold on to and not lose or part with, to keep in memory, mind or heart. To practice, do or perform, to obey, not neglect or violate.

One thing I have and am still learning is you can't lightly read over the Word of God and expect to profit from it. Timothy is warned by Paul to study to show thyself approved in 2Ti_2:15

If you aren't in this Book on a regular and frequent basis, daily is the best, if you aren't digging in and asking the Lord "to open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law" (Psa 119:18) then you won't be keeping his covenant, you will be willfully ignorant of it, by choice. Whether it be on purpose, or you make excuses, you still choose to be willfully ignorant of the treasures contained in the Word of God, but also the judgments. There are untold riches to mined in the Word of God. There are warnings that will make you wise and keep you safe from destruction, if they are heeded by the reader. These next few chapters in Exodus are heartbreaking. God has redeemed these people out of love, keeping his word to their forefathers. He has done so much for them. He has such big plans for them, such good things for them. He has a wonderful land waiting on them, with plenty of provision, where everything is set up and done, all they have to do is conquer by HIS power and move in and set up housekeeping.

He says in verse 6, ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests-he wants them all to commune with him, to get to know him. Not just Moses and Aaron. He's extending an invitation here. He is telling them they need to prepare to meet him, and hear him talk to them.

We must take into consideration two things, and keep them in mind as we read on:

The carnal mind is enmity against God-as it's written in Rom_8:7.

The flesh does not want anything to do with God. Flesh-when you hear that term in the Bible, what it means is "self". Our own selfish desire to run our own life, do things our own way-even though we all lack the wisdom to do so, apart from God. There isn't one human being alive who has directed their own life that can say they haven't made mistakes. That don't have regrets. That wish they could live their lives over, knowing what they know now. How many times have you heard that said? Apart from the direction and counsel of God, people make one mistake after another-because they don't know the future, they can't read other people's minds, and they make bad decisions, because they don't have all the information required to make a solid decision most of the time. God knows everything about everything. That is why his people must listen to and obey his word, his voice.

In verse 8, the people said they would listen and obey what God said. I'm sure they thought they could. God wanted them to hear him speak to Moses so they would believe. Instead it caused them to cower in fear. They were given directions by Moses, to sanctify themselves, and wash their clothes and be ready. To sanctify is to cleanse, purify, or make holy; to separate, set apart for sacred use alone by God, to prepare for divine service and for partaking of holy things.

So how do we sanctify ourselves? In as much as we can sanctify ourselves, we are to separate ourselves from the temptations and pleasures of this world, and focus entirely on God. That means turn off the TV, the Computer, the music, and get alone with God. Seek God. Immerse yourself in his Word, and let it wash you (Eph_5:26) Pray. Believers are sanctified by the Word of God and prayer. Obedience to the word of God will automatically set you apart from the worldly crowd. You won't talk like they do, look like they do, act like they do. You won't live like they do or partake of things that are ungodly. You won't be able to sit in front of the tv and watch programs where God's commandments are being broken right and left, and the name of Christ and God is being cursed. If you love him, you will keep his commandments. You will not want to hurt him with disobedience or neglect. (Joh_14:15) If you love him, you will not dress or act in such a way that you bring shame to his name and draw the wrong kind of attention to yourself-whether you have a tee shirt on with vulgar language on it, whether your clothes are less than modest, or whether you are dressed "fit to kill" looking good and drawing attention to flesh, rather than to the Lord you say you serve. These are things he will teach his people if they will listen and give him time and space. I know he did me. I was very vain when he saved me. I had a certain look, that got attention, and I loved to be admired for it. Wow, it didn't him long to shine the light on that-call it what it was-pride in any form is unacceptable to the Lord. And he did work a miracle and change that in this vessel. This is his temple, it's supposed to glorify and promote him, and his ways, his word, not my own selfish desires and agenda. I'm not my own anymore, I've been bought with a price, the precious blood of the Lamb of God who suffered so greatly, with such love for humanity. Oh, God help me not sin against that precious love for which I have never deserved. God help me not to sin against the awesome light you have given me.

When I look at the scriptures in Exo_19:12-13, I am not sure about the boundaries God set around the mountain. I know he is a holy God, he's pure, not mixed with anything or anyone else. And you can't approach him casually, without some preparation. What they were doing physically, washing their clothes, setting themselves apart, not being intimate with their spouses in these three days, illustrates how we must examine our hearts, and lives, and if we have sinned when we approach God, that has to be dealt with first. We have to repent in sincerity, hating our sin, and trusting God to give us the power to overcome it. Scripture says in Rom_6:14 that sin shall not have dominion over you. He wouldn't have said that if he was not going to give you power and desire to resist sin. The closer you get to God the less appealing the things of this world are. We can trust that he wants us to come to him. He wants us to talk to and with him. He wants to make himself known to his people. There are two things that come to mind as I read on through verses 15-20. Here God comes down with thundering and lightnings, and the mountain is shaking. The trumpet is blowing, the noise is tremendous. The sight must have been awesome. These people got intimidated and were terrified. Remember what Paul said?

Heb 12:18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,

Heb 12:19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:

Heb 12:20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:

Heb 12:21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)

Even Moses was afraid. But he had faith. He trusted that God would not hurt him. He had to have that trust or he could never have gone up to that mountain to face the Lord. He had to have a desire for more of God to obey his word and come up. His flesh surely must have been wanting to run the other way. He was afraid of the sight of God on the mountain. But he had that faith that would not let him enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, but caused him to choose to suffer with God's people. (Heb_11:24-27)

God gave them his commandments. Moses barely had time to relate them to the people, and they were begging, after retreating from where they were, they moved away from the Lord. They begged Moses, you talk to us but we don't want to hear God. His voice scares us almost to death. He had just given them these beautiful commandments. And if you look at them, they were designed by Almighty God to teach the people how to serve and honor him in the first few and the last few how they should love and honor one another. They were laws that if kept, would bring health, peace and prosperity to God's people.

Consider this: where people are taking care of their bodies, and not indulging in destructive habits such as smoking, drugs, or sex with multiple partners, of course, that body is going to be healthy, and much cleaner inside than someone who is doing all those things or some of those things. Consider someone who feasts on the Word of God, filling their heart and mind with good things, their conversation and life will be vastly different from someone who sets and feasts on porn, violent movies, where there is lots of cursing, and killing. Certain behaviors and lifestyles, obviously, impact our physical health, our mental health, and our spiritual health. Good or bad. You've heard the term "you are what you eat." It's true. Spiritually and physically speaking.

What are his commandments? Acknowledge me for who I am, I'm God. I saved you and no one else could have. Don't put me in second place in your life. I deserve first. Don't worship idols, or serve them. They won't profit you, and it's spiritual adultery to give your heart to the things of this world instead of the One who loves you and gave you his Best. He's jealous when his people neglect or ignore him in favor of something inferior-for he is matchless. Nothing compares to HIM. Everything is inferior to him. Don't lightly use his name. Don't take his name, as you belong to him when you worship him with your mouth but your heart is far from him.


Mar 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

He gives us 6 days to work, and take care of buisness. Can we not devote the 7th day renewing our minds, and hearts, by immersing ourselves in his word, spending time with him, getting to know him, and setting other things aside? We need him every day. We need to set apart time for HIM everyday. But the 7th day is to be set apart for him exclusively. And it is to our benefit to do this. We will find ourselves strengthened, ready to face the week ahead, having been fortified by the time we spend with God.

I have gotten to the place that on Sundays, although I go to the nursing home to visit my grandmother, before heading off to church, but when it comes to people who have birthday parties for their kids, or family reunions, or things like that, something inside of me is loathe to get involved in activities like that on Sundays. My heart longs to just find peace and quiet and settle down and keep this commandment. God teach me how. Make the way. It's hard when you have children to find this kind of quiet time. More and more, it seems I can only find it early in the morning before they get up and late in the evening after everyone is asleep. I pray God help me be more consistent. Because just like Israel's flesh rebelled in fear at the sight of God quaking and shaking the mountain with his very presence, my flesh doesn't like getting up early to read the Bible and pray before I start my day. I have to have discipline-which I need more of.
And something else just occurred to me as I was typing that-if Mount Sinai quaked and shook with the presence of God, consider what I found out about this mountain: It stands about 7500 feet tall. That's pretty high up. It's steep, too. It ascends practically straight up, not really a gently sloping mountain. It would be hard to climb. Tourists have the convenience of stone steps carved into the mountain a few hundred years ago by a monk. Using the 3700 steps, it takes about 3 to 4 hours to get to the top. Can you imagine being in front of a towering mountain like this, and seeing thunder and lightning and dark clouds, and hearing the voice of God? Seeing the effects of his presence shake a mountain this huge? I can sympathize with their fear-but he tells us over and over again in the Bible to fear not, fret not. And if his presence shook this mountain, what are the problems in our lives? They might look like giant mountains, or giants to us, but to the Almighty God, they are as grasshoppers. Let us as his people, seek his face, hunger for his still small voice in our ears saying this is the way walk ye in it (
Isa_30:21). As the scripture says, it truly is not in man to direct his own steps.

Jer 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

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