February 1: God’s Ideas: More than Good
Exodus 1–3; John 1:1–18; Song of Solomon 1:1–4
It’s exciting to see ideas take shape and then become reality. Even more exciting, though, is when God’s ideas take form. The Bible shows us these events repeatedly. As the reader, we’re given glimpses into what God is really doing—events the characters are unaware of. Or we have a hint all along that God is up to something unexpected, and that He will make good out of the evil that’s happening.
The story of Moses is like this. God’s people are terribly oppressed, but they are many (Exod 1). And we all know there is power in numbers. When baby Moses comes along, we’re ready for something amazing to happen. It will be from this unassuming moment that God will do the least expected (Exod 2:1–10): He will help those on the underside of power. Our suspicion is confirmed when Moses is willing to kill for justice (Exod 2:11–12). Moses flees, and then God hears Israel’s complaints about the pain they’re enduring (Exod 2:23–25). He answers their cry by calling Moses (Exod 3:1–22). Moses is hesitant because he can’t speak well, but God will (as we thought) use this unexpected turn of events (Exod 4:10–17).
Like Moses’ story, we see behind the veil at the beginning of John’s Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word … And the Word became flesh and took up residence among us, and we saw his glory … For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:1, 14, 17). God gave Moses His law, and He gave Moses the opportunity to guide His people from oppression to the wilderness and almost to freedom. But He gave Jesus grace and truth.
And that’s the message of the testaments: from cry to freedom cry, from calling upon God to salvation, and from merely men guided by God, to God in a man guiding men. Our love for God should be every bit as great—and far greater—than the love shown by the chorus of people in Song of Solomon. We must say about our God, like they say about people, “Let us be joyful and let us rejoice in you; let us extol your love more than wine. Rightly do they love you!” (Song 1:4).
We are called to see God’s work in our everyday life. We must recognize His story. He’s involved. Are we?
Are you worshiping God with your entire being—seeing His workings in your everyday life?
JOHN D. BARRY
- Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt (every man and his household came thither with Jacob) Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. So all the souls, that came out of the loins of Jacob were seenty souls: Joseph was in Egypt already. Now Joseph died and all his brethren, and that whole generation. And the children of Israel brought forth fruit and increased in abundance, and were multiplied, and were exceeding mighty, so that the land was full of them. Then there rose up a new King in Egypt, who knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are greater, and mightier than we. Come, let us work wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that if there be war, they join themselves also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and get them out of the land. Therefore did they set taskmasters over them, to keep them under with burdens: and they built the cities Pithom and Raamses for the treasures of Pharaoh. But the more they vexed them, the more they multiplied and grew: therefore they were more grieved against the children of Israel. Wherefore the Egyptians by cruelty caused the children of Israel to serve. Thus they made them weary of their lives by sore labor in clay and in brick, and in all work in the field, with all manner of bondage, which they laid upon them most cruelly. Moreover the King of Egypt commanded the midwives of the Hebrew women (of which the one’s name was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah) And said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the women of the Hebrews, and see them on their stools, if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then let her live. Notwithstanding the midwives feared God, and did not as the King of Egypt commanded them, but preserved alive the men children. Then the King of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done thus, and have preserved alive the men children? And the midwives answered Pharaoah, Because the Hebrew women are not as the women of Egpt: for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come at them. God therefore prospered the midwives, adn the people multiplied, and were very mighty. And because the midwives feared God, therefore he made them houses. Then Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every man-child that is born, cast ye into the river, but reserve every man-child alive. Then there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. And the woman conceived and bare a son: and when she saw that he was fair, she hid him three months. But when she could no longer hide him, she took for him an ark made of reed, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and laid the child therein, and put it among the bulrushes by the river’s brink. Now his sister stood afar off, to wit what would come of him. Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash her in the river, and her maidens walked by the river’s side: and when she saw the ark among the bulrushes, she sent her maid to fetch it.Then she opened it, and saw it was a child, and behold, the babe wept: so she had compassion on it, and said, This is one of the Hebrews’ children. Then said his sister unto Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call unto thee a nurse of the Hebrew women to nurse thee the child? And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. So the maid went and called the child’s mother. To who Pharaoh’s daughter said, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will reward thee. Then the woman took the child, and nursed him. Now the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he was as her son, and she called his name Moses, because, said she, I drew him out of water. And in those days, when Moses was grown, he went forth unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: also he saw an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew one of his brethren. And he looked round about, and when he saw no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. Again he came forth the second day, and behold two Hebrews strove: and he said unto him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? And he answered, Who made thee a man of authority, and a judge over us? Thinkest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? Then Moses feared and said, Certainly this thing is known. Now Pharaoh heard this matter,and sought to slay Moses: threfore Moses fled from Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian, and he sat down by a well. And the Priest of Midian had seven daughters, which came and drew water, and filled the troughs, for to water their father’s sheep. Then the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses rose up, and defended them, and watered their sheep. And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How are ye come so soon today? And they said, A manof Egypt delivered us from the hand of the shepherds, adn also drew us water enough, and watered the sheep. Then he said unto this daughters, And where is he? why have ye so left teh man? call him that he may eat bread. And Moses agreed to dwell withthe man: who gave unto Moses Zipporah his daughter: And she bare a son, whose name he called Gershom: for he said, I have been a strnager in a strange land. Then in process of time, the King of Egypt died, and the children of Israel sighed for the bondage and cried: and their cry fo the bondae came up unto God. Then God heard their moan, and God remembered his covenant with Abrah ,Isaac, and Jacob. So God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respec tunto them. When Moses kept the sheep of Jethro his father-in-law, Priest of Midian, and drove the flock to the back side of the desert, and came to the Mountain of God, Horeb, Then the Angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush, and he looked, and behold, a bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. Therefore Moses said, I will turn aside now, and see this great sight, why the bush burneth not. And when the Lord saw that he named aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses, And he answered, I am here. Then he said, Come not hither, put thy shoes off thy feet: for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses hid his face: for he was afraid to look upon God.Then the Lord said, I have surely seen the trouble of my people, which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry, because of their taskmasters: for I know their sorrows. Therefore I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them out of that land and large, into a land that floweth with milk and honey, even into the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, adn the Jebusites. And now lo, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me, and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring my people children of Israel out of Egypt. But Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt? And he answered, Certainly I will be with thee: and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee, After that thou hast brought the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain. Then Moses said unto God, Behold, when I shall come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you: if they say unto me, What is his Name? what shall I say unto them? And God answered Moses, I AM THAT I AM. Also he said, thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God spake further unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob hath sent me unto you: this is my Name forever, and this is my memorial unto all ages. Go and gather the Elders of Israel together, and thou shalt say unto them, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob appeared unto me, and said, i have surely remembered you, and that which is done to you in Egypt. Therefore I did say, I will bring you out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, adn the Perizzites, and the Hivites,a dn the Jebusites, unto a land that floweth with milk and honey. Then shall they obey my voice, and thou and the Elders of Israel shall go unto the King of Egypt, and say unto him, The Lord God of the Hebrews hath met with us: we pray thee now therefore, let us go three days’ journey in the wilderness, that we may sacrifice unto the Lord our God. But I know, that the King of Egypt will not let you go, but by strong hand. Therefore will I stretch out mine hand and smite Egypt with all my wonders, which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that shall he let you go. And I will make this people to be favored of the Egyptians: so that when ye go, ye shall not go empty. For every woman shall ask of her neighbor, and of her that soujourneth in her house, jewels of silver and of gold and raiment, and ye shall put them on your sons, and on your daughters, and shall spoil the Egyptians. Exodus 1–3
- In the beginning was that Word, and that Word was with God, and that Word was God. This same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by it, and without it was nothing made that was made. In it was life, and that life was the light of men. And that light shineth in the wilderness, and the darkeness comprehendeth it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This same came for a witness to bear witness of that light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that light, but was sent to bear witness of that light. This was that true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him: and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. Bt as many as received him, to them he gave perrogative to be the sons of God, even to them that believe in his Name. Which are born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And that Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we saw the glory thereof, as the glory of the only begotten son of the Father) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him ,and cried, saying, This was he of whom I said, He that cometh after me, was before me: for he was better than I. And of his fullness have all we receied, and grace for grace.For the Law was given Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time: that only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. John 1:1–18
- Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wise. Because of the savor of thy good ointments, thy name is as an ointment poured out: therefore the virgins love thee. Draw me: we will run after thee: the King hath brought me into his chambers: we will rejoice and be glad in thee: we will remember thy love more than wine: the righteous do love thee. I am black, O daughters of Jerusalem, but comely, as the tents of Kedar, and as the curtains of Solomon. Song of Solomon 1:1–4