Devotion in war time – 18 October 2023


“But I know that the king of Egypt will not permit you to go, except under compulsion. ‘So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let you go. I will grant this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be that when you go, you will not go empty-handed. But every woman shall ask of her neighbor and the woman who lives in her house, articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and you will put them on your sons and daughters. Thus you will plunder the Egyptians'” (Exod 3:19-22). September 11 2001, a date with no particular significance, became a permanent sacred memorial day in America’s national calendar. October 7 2023 is, on so many levels, a day which will ever be a day in Israel’s calendar associated with America’s 9/11. But it is absolutely essential to point out that October 7 2023 was already a day marked with special significance in Israel’s calendar for nearly 3,500 years! The 21st of Tishrei 5784 (October 7 2023) was also the final day of Succoth, a day when Jewish people around the world celebrate the giving of the Torah (Deut 31:10-11; Neh 8:18). As providence would have it, on the same day Israel faced yet another horrific national tragedy, we were also gathered around the Torah scroll, physically embracing and celebrating the gift of God’s eternal word. Look again at Exodus 3:19-22. Therein, God makes a very detailed promise to Moses about Israel’s future deliverance. And in Exodus 12:35-36, everything God promised comes true down to the finest of details: “Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, for they had requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.” As painful as the 21st of Tishrei 5784 has now become in our modern calendar, let us never forget that the 21st of Tishrei is also a day in our calendar when we have been holding onto God’s irrevocable promises for the entire history of our people! And just as God fulfilled all his promises to Moses nearly 3,500 years ago, so he will do it again! “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Num 23:19). “In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us” (Heb 6:17-18).

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Main picture: Moses crossing the red sea

Getting to know those who came before us: How to Study a Biblical Character

The goal of this article is to give some guidance to those interested in focusing on a certain character from the Bible, and in understanding what is written about him and what lessons the biblical text wants to teach us through its description, or descriptions, of this character. An in-depth look into the life of a biblical character could be for our enjoyment, and beyond this what we learn from these characters can challenge us, instruct us, and guide us on a personal level…

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