Ex 29:42-46 concludes with a wonderful statement of God's purpose in bringing the people of Israel out of Egypt. Apparently it was so that He might be able to 'dwell among them'. This is an important focus. So often we focus on the phrase 'brought them out that he might bring them in'. There is truth in the statement although it needs another step in it; 'he brought them out to bring them to himself and then bring them in..' This concluding sentence of Exodus 29 is the key truth; I am the LORD their God, who brought them up out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them. I am the LORD their God.
Covenant points towards relationship and of a relationship that has a specific beginning. There can be no 'covenant' without a beginning, but beginnings have no guarantee of permanency unless there is a 'covenant'. In that the whole story of the Bible is about relationships, the way that they are created, broken and restored, it is a wonderful topic for consideration.
The Codex Sinaiticus is a Greek hand-written manuscript of the Old and New Testaments. It was written in the 4th century, in uncial letters. It came to the attention of scholars in the 19th century at the Greek Monastery of Mount Sinai, with further material discovered in the 20th century, and most of it is today in the British Library.
For many the whole area of Bible Texts and original manuscripts is just an unintelligible minefield. To help you understand more about the CS I recommend the following links:
Ron Bailey, a Bible Teacher, good friend of mine and brother in the Lord, has started a new blog called "Second Thoughts" which is really a place for him to dump his current thoughts and meditations... The blog is a place for thoughts that have stirred him and which might stir others.
For I will proclaim the name of the LORD; ascribe greatness to our God! The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he. (Deu 32:3-4 ESV)
For their rock is not as our Rock; our enemies are by themselves. (Deu 32:31 ESV)
God is our Rock... As our Rock he is our shelter... Those who don't know God they "are by themselves."
If God isn't your Rock then maybe you are trying to find shelter in something else. What are the "idols" of todays western culture? There are many for sure, but they include Alcohol, Drugs and Money. If you put your trust in these, if you try to shelter in these you will sink.
In ancient Israel a large Rock in the wilderness provided shelter from different hazards. As well as being the picture of something stable, constant and immovable, the Rock is also a practical shelter.
A shelter from the burning sun
When we shelter from the heat of the sun we can rest, we can rest before we move on, we can rest in the shade of the Rock. But the thing about shade is that it is only found near the object casting the shadow. In the same way we can only rest in the shade of the Rock if we come near to the Rock.
A shelter in the storm
There is none holy like the LORD; there is none besides you; there is no Rock like our God. (1Sa 2:2 ESV)
This is Hannah's testimony, having been through the storm of being childless she found shelter in the Rock.
Other times in our lives can be stormy. A rock provides shelter from the storm. From the wind and from the beating rain. Like sheltering from the sun, you can only shelter from the storm when you stay near the Rock.
A shelter from the attacks of the enemy
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; (2Co 4:8-9 ESV)
There are times in our lives when circumstances bring heat or storm but there are also times when the enemy attacks. In every attack we mustn't pretend the attack isn't happening, we must be blind to the reality, we may be "afflicted in every way" but we are "not crushed". The Rock provides refuge from the attack. He doesn't move and the enemy can't penetrate the shield of the Rock.
For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. (Psa 27:5 ESV)
Why do we search for other Rocks? God is our ever present Rock, constant, always available and always able to offer shelter.
The wonder of it all is that if we call him "he will lift me high upon a rock." I don't need to climb up there myself, I call, he lifts.
The hebrew word kheh'-sed is often translated as mercy in the King James Version of the Bible. For example in Psalm 23:
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORDH for ever. (Psalm 23:6)
But what does it mean?
Here are 6 verse which will you give you a feel for the meaning of the word:
Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die. (Gen 19:19 - ESV)
And Jehovah is with Joseph, and stretcheth out kindness unto him, and putteth his grace in the eyes of the chief of the round-house; (Gen 39:21 - YLT)
'The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.' (Num 14:18 - ESV)
I want your constant love, not your animal sacrifices. I would rather have my people know me than burn offerings to me. (Hos 6:6 - GNB)
And the spies saw a man coming out of the city, and they said to him, "Please show us the way into the city, and we will deal kindly with you." (Jdg 1:24 - ESV)
Solomon answered, "You always showed great love for my father David,your servant, and he was good, loyal, and honest in his relation with you. And you have continued to show him your great and constant love by giving him a son who today rules in his place. (1Ki 3:6 - GNB)
I haven't posted to this blog for at least a year mainly because I wanted to finish my Eschatology series (I think there should be another two posts or so) but I never got around to writing them and that stopped me from writing any other posts.
But I shall leave the Eschatology series now and start fresh with new content...