Read Exodus chapters 17-20
It's Day 17 of our 90 Day Adventure through the Bible and Egypt is now in the rear-view mirror. We've
come a long way in these 17 days. We've followed the story from Adam and Eve through Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Generations upon generations are behind us now as we follow the family of God toward the promised land.
Even though Egypt is in the rear-view mirror, many keep looking back, longing for life in Egypt. It makes you wonder how bad things were in the wilderness to make the people long to be slaves again!?? Another character in our reading too looked back and longed for what was before but she was turned to a pillar of salt.
When times become difficult do you too "look back"? I know I do. I long for perceived easier times, longer days, and less responsibility. It's at those times I'm not counting my blessings. The Lord was leading His people to the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to something far, far better than the slavery of Egypt but they still weren't trusting Him. Taking Israel out of Egypt was the easy part. He'll spend many years working to take Egypt out of Israel. He's spending many years working to take my past sins out of me!
If we learn nothing else from the book of Exodus we should learn the power of intercessory prayer. Moses is the ultimate intercessor of the Old Testament. He stands between the people and the Lord. When the people complain and cry out, he goes to the Lord on their behalf. When a battle rages, as we read today, he intercedes with prayer. As I read that passage of Moses sitting on the rock, arms extend with the help of Joshua and Hur, I saw a Christ-like image, I saw a new Moses, arms outstretched, interceding on our behalf before the Father!
Moses is not only an intercessor and leader but he must also act as judge, again a prefigurement of Jesus. His father-in-law suggests that Moses delegate the less serious acts of judgment to others he appoints. This model is one that carries even unto today in our Church and society.
In our reading today we are also introduced to the Ten Commandments. I have long been fascinated by these commandments. Having read them over and over for many years I still cannot imagine that they are from anyone but the Lord. Man certainly would not have made these particular commandments. At least, I know I wouldn't! These commandments transcend man's sinful nature and act as guides for a peaceful life and happy existence. No one breaks the commandments, we only break ourselves upon the commandments. From this day in the book of Exodus throughout the history of mankind and into the future, transgressing these commandments only brings heartache and misery.
The first three commandments deal with how we should approach the Lord. The remaining seven deal with how we should treat our fellow man. Jesus condenses them to two, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." (Luke 10:27)
We'll spend the rest of our Adventure learning these commandments as the story continues to unfold. We will see how following these commandments brings blessings while breaking them brings suffering. Let's pray that you and I learn from these lessons how to inscribe Luke 10:27 upon our hearts!
For day 18 read Exodus chapters 21-24
How to get better at prayer.
- Set a prayer appointment - Set a time on your calendar each day to meet and speak with God.
- Slowly increase your prayer time. - Don't jump in with an hour right from the get-go. Build up your "tolerance" so to speak.
- Commit - to praying and slowly increasing your prayer time for 30 days. Mark off the days on your calendar. If you miss a day, jump right back in, don't give up.
- Pray - praying is talking to God, it's spending time with your attention focused on Him. I enjoy spending time with my children regardless of their level of development. God is the same way. Spend time praying as best you can. Use formal prayers if you want or simply speak in conversation. Don't forget to listen
- Journal - Our newly revised 4 Simple Steps to Better Scripture Meditations: Guide, Workbook, and Journal walks you through 4 easy steps that will help you go deeper in your prayer life. It includes 31 days of workbook and journal pages too!
- Read other good books about how to pray better - Prayer Primer, Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer, Time for God, The Spiritual Life: A Comprehensive Guide to Catholics Seeking Salvation
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