October 6: Jesus and Moses

Read Deuteronomy 18:9-22

Even there on that east bank of the Jordan, the Promised Land laying before their very eyes, God gave His children glimpses of Jesus Christ, His Son Whom He’d send for their redemption and saving.

God refers to Moses as a “type” of Jesus several times throughout the Bible. It means, the story God gave Moses typifies, points to, the story of Jesus Christ the Messiah. So when Moses told the people of Israel that God would raise up a prophet like himself, He tipped His hand for all to hear the truth that He had a rescue plan even back then.

In the MacArthur ESV Study Bible, John MacArthur points out six ways Moses’ life typified Jesus. They are as follows:

  1. Moses’s life as a baby boy was spared from the carnage of a tyrant king whose power-hungry life led to infanticide. Remember Exodus 2 when Pharaoh’s daughter found Moses in a basket in the Nile after his mother hid him in the reeds? Compare that with King Herod’s rage in Matthew 2 when he heard about the king of the Jews being born in Bethlehem.
  2. Both Moses and Jesus gave up a royal lifestyle for the good of God’s people. Moses gave up the right to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. Jesus gave up His rights as the Lord of Heaven and Earth.
  3. Moses’ words in Numbers 27:17 foreshadowed Jesus’ assessment when he referred to the children of Israel as sheep that have no shepherd. Both had deep compassion for God’s people.
  4. Just as Moses stood before God on behalf of His people and begged His forgiveness and mercy, so Jesus Christ stood in our place before God’s judgement so that you and I could know His mercy and grace and live real life in Him. In fact, the author of Hebrews says Jesus always lives to make intercession for (those who draw near to God through Him).
  5. Both Jesus and Moses spoke with God face to face. Moses on Mt. Sinai. Jesus, God Himself had come from the Father, communed with Him throughout His time on earth and then returned to Him when He ascended into heaven.
  6. While Moses mediated God’s covenant of the Law with Israel, Jesus Christ mediated the new covenant. The one that lets you and me have a relationship with Him through His blood.

Even then, God had a plan to make a way for you and me to know Him, to be saved from the Law He knew we could not keep. That way has always been, will always be, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

brw

October 4: Joseph Foreshadows Jesus

Read Genesis 41:1-57

The land of Egypt was the center of the earth. All eyes turned there.

But chapter 41 is only a small portion of a larger installment that spans from Genesis chapter 37 to chapter 50. It is the story of twelve brothers…the sons of Jacob. Prophetic dreams made it clear that one of the brothers, Joseph, was to have an important, dominant role among them. His jealous brothers sold him to merchants who carried him off to Egypt.

And here in Genesis chapter 41, Joseph interprets dreams which depict years of abundant harvest followed by years of famine. Joseph, this descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, was given the responsibility of helping Egypt prepare for the famine.

As a result of Joseph’s preparation, Egypt became the center of the earth. Apparently the other peoples on the earth had not been given the same divine foresight of the coming famine. It seems that they did not have their storehouses filled with food in anticipation of widespread hunger. Word spread quickly that Egypt was the Wal-Mart of the world. In a small microcosmic way, the promise extended to Abraham was being realized. The nations were blessed through one of his descendants.

News of the food supplies even spread to the rest of Abraham’s descendants…Joseph’s brothers…the very ones who had sold him into slavery. Their eyes also turned to Egypt. There, they encountered Joseph…first of all without realizing who it was. Through a series of unusual requests and responses, the brothers experienced reconciliation. In fact, Joseph’s father, brothers, and their families eventually uprooted from their land and settled in the land of the pyramids.

God rescued His people from famine and starvation. He used one of His own, Joseph, in order to bring it about. In fact, Joseph’s actions resulted in the feeding of countless thousands around the world.

Another glimpse of Jesus Christ, Joseph is but a foreshadowing of One who does much more than save people by satisfying their temporal hunger for food. Jesus satisfies the deepest longings of the heart…and He saves those who express repentant faith in Him from the eternal ramifications of sin.

sbk

October 3: Jesus and Isaac

Read Genesis 22:1-19

God’s story included unbelievable tests along the way.

Did God really ask what I think He did? As if reminding Abraham of the incredible value that Isaac had, He told this dad what we today can neither fathom nor expect to hear,

Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there… (Gen. 22:2)

It was a test. Was Abraham’s trust in God implicit? I mean think about a couple of key questions that went unanswered.

1. “Who in his right mind would ask a father to sacrifice his son?”

2. “Just exactly how are you going to fulfill your promise of a nation through Isaac if he is no longer in the picture?”

We have no evidence that God provided an answer to question #2 in advance. By faith, however, Abraham drew his own conclusion. Isaac had been the product of a miraculous birth. Beyond the age of childbearing, God had allowed Abraham and Sarah to conceive. Surely God could bring about a miracle at Isaac’s death…a resurrection. Thankfully, that wasn’t necessary.

God provided a goat in Isaac’s place. That’s significant. God has a way of providing for those who obey Him by faith. There is a mountain, Mt. Moriah, whose name reminds us of that…and a goatskin that gives testimony to that.

As to question #1? Who in their right mind would ask a father to sacrifice his son? The same One, who as a Father, would later allow His own Son to be sacrificed. Motivated by extreme love for people like you and me, our Heavenly Father, gave His Son Jesus.

Abraham’s story was a foreshadowing of another Father/Son sacrifice…God’s miraculous provision for us. But though this sacrifice wasn’t interrupted in the final seconds, it ended miraculously. It ended in resurrection…the same outcome Abraham had anticipated for Isaac (Heb. 11:17-19)!

Abraham passed the test. He expressed confidence in God’s plan in spite of the unusual divine request. God’s plan to make a great nation through Isaac was not foiled. And God tipped His hand, allowed us a glimpse of Jesus, as He foreshadowed a day when He as a loving Father would allow His own Son to be sacrificed.

sbk

Correction for today’s “Love and the Law”

Dear Reader,

Thanks for your commitment to growing in Christ by spending daily time in the Scriptures!

I noticed early this morning (and several of you noticed it to) that I grabbed the wrong graphic of the 10 Commandments. Below you will find what I intended to include. Thanks for your commitment to Every Day with God!

In Christ,

steve

Ten commandments

October 21: 1,000 Years and Beyond

Read Revelation 20:1-15

Perhaps you remember New Year’s Eve, 1999. It was the celebration of a significant turn of the calendar into a new millennium. People sure made that New Year seem significant . . . Y2K scare and all. It represented the start of a new thousand year period. One thousand years is a long time . . . but it is not yet eternity!

One thousand years represents the time frame during which Jesus will reign here on earth after His return at the revelation. Though that is a long time, it represents another important part of His story and man’s rescue. Consider what happens during that time.

At the beginning of that time, Satan will be bound and thrown into the Abyss. After years and years of wielding his influence, he will be powerless, unable to deceive the nations!

This will be unlike any other time period since the fall of man with unprecedented peace and visible righteousness on the earth as Christ rules with an iron scepter (Rev. 19:15). But, this is not yet eternity.

At the beginning of that thousand-year period, judgments will take place. Those living at the end of the Tribulation (Matt. 25) and those martyred for Christ during the Tribulation will be judged. The unredeemed will be cast from His presence, while others (especially martyrs) will have opportunity to reign with Jesus.

This millennium experience will also be unparalleled in nature as wolf, lamb, leopard, goat, calf, and bear will live together in harmony instead of predator/prey relationships. Even children will be able to play with cobras and vipers. That certainly doesn’t happen today!

At the end of that thousand-year period, Satan will be released. It is amazing to read how his deception will find a quick following of multitudes. But this uprising will be easily squelched by God, and Satan himself will be eternally eliminated from the picture.

If you know Christ, you will have returned with Him and will be part of the glory of those thousand years. That’s something to celebrate! It is a very true and absolutely real hope! But what about your neighbors? Can they celebrate this hope with you? Does your friend on the other side of town know the real hope of Jesus Christ, the One who conquered death on her behalf?

This weekend, Grace Church will celebrate our hope in a special way! Why not invite your friend, your neighbor, your co-worker to join us for this Welcome Weekend so they can be there — for 1,000 years and for eternity?

sbk

October 20: 1000 Years

Read Zechariah 14:1-21

As Zechariah closes with more “on that day” prophesies, he draws our attention to the centrality of Jerusalem and to the Lord, who will personally come to this city and reign as King. This prophecy was not fulfilled in Christ’s first coming. It is still ahead and will be fully experienced at His second coming at the end of a seven-year period which is often called the “tribulation.”

What do we know about this future reign of Jesus?

It will be global. Verse 9 tells us that “He will be King over the whole earth.” That is difficult to fathom. During our lifetime, we have only been familiar with a world that includes multiple countries, many governments, and countless leaders. We anticipate, however, a day in which Christ will be the one and only ruler over all the earth.

All opposition will be squelched. At the beginning of His millennial reign, Satan will be bound and unable to exert his influence in this world (Rev. 20:1-6). Meanwhile, any who contest the reign of the King will experience the force of His iron scepter (Rev. 19:15).

It will be a time of economic, social, and physical blessing. Unlike our present time, justice will be the rule. By God’s grace, inadequacies of food and income will not be widespread like they are today (Joel 2:21-27).

Creation will experience transformation. Geographical locations like the Mount of Olives will be different, as indicated in verses 4 and 5. Even animals will relate to one another differently as predator and prey will no longer have their current instincts (Is. 11:6; 65:25).

While all of this may sound like eternity, in reality, it will last 1,000 years. Revelation 20 gives us this time frame. While this period does represent a long time, there is a terminus.

Don’t worry. Even though that thousand year period will come to an end, the following era of human experience will be an unending period of sinless, painless life in the presence of God, with a new heaven and a new earth. It will be a time where things are better even than what will be experienced in the Millennium.

sbk

October 19: Soul Cleansing

Read Zechariah 13:1-9

There is something so refreshing about a shower after a few hours of yard or garden work on a hot, humid summer day. Letting the soap and water cleanse your body of the sweat, dirt, and grass that clings to your body is a good feeling.

But while physical cleansing can be a pleasant experience, soul cleansing is often painful. It is that experience that Zechariah describes as he prophesies of future days for Jerusalem and the nation of Israel (v. 1,). Although the thoughts shared here are specific for that nation, there are some parallels for those of us in the church.

What does that cleansing look like? In the process of soul cleansing, what can we anticipate?

1. The removal of idols (v. 2). I’m guessing that most people you know do not have stone or wooden images in their homes . . . images that represent unseen deities. Meanwhile, it is a very possible that there are those objects or priorities that we allow to compete for the position that God alone wants to fill. Remove those from your life.

2. The elimination of false prophets (vv. 3-6). The prophets indicated here were not speaking words that God revealed. Instead, whether out of ignorance or out of an attempt at personal gain, they presented teaching inconsistent with God’s. With all of the technological advancements, many voices and messages have access to your ear. Are their some you need to eliminate?

3. A reduction in number (vv. 7-9a). Zechariah describes only one-third who survive the cleansing process. Although it is unclear whether this third represents the only true people of faith or not, the New Testament tells us that there are people who claim a commitment to Christ but don’t really have one (Matt. 7:22, 23). Would you make the cut as a genuine follower of Christ? First John 5:11-13 can help you know.

4. Faithfulness through testing (v. 9b). Refining and testing require challenges and adversity. According to Romans 5 and James 1, those experiences will characterize the lives of believers. Are you allowing those kinds of experiences to enable you to come to reflect the person of Jesus in your life?

Embrace the process of soul cleansing today!

sbk

October 18: Someday

Read Zechariah 12:1-14

A few years ago over Memorial Day weekend, our family got away for a few days with family in Kentucky. In the midst of an upscale housing development spread across rolling hills, we noticed a beautiful home surrounded by acres of green grass and a white wooden fence. Inside the fence were horses. There was a sign at the edge of the road identifying the owners, the Huffman’s. But, in larger letters yet, was the name they had ascribed to their horse farm. The sign read:

Someday.

My guess is the owners had always dreamed of the day when they would have a property like that. For years, they had spoken of “Someday when . . .”And now, they are living their “Someday.”

The last three chapters of Zechariah depict a “Someday” for Jerusalem and the nation of Israel. Actually, the repeated phrase in these chapters is “on that day.” Sixteen times over these three chapters, the Lord draws our attention to “that day.”

The description is not one of a large house, green grass, grazing horses, and a white fence. Instead, it is of a day when God’s chosen people would no longer be the underdog. They would be able to withstand and even be victorious over her enemy nations. It was a day when Jerusalem would be an “immovable rock.” How these words must have caused the readers in Zechariah’s day to dream of “that day” . . . to speak of “someday.”

The average “Every Day With God” reader is not a blood descendant of the nation of Israel that has experienced immeasurable adversity over the centuries. Meanwhile, most every one of us has experienced opposition and challenges. Just when you thought you were on the upswing, something new came along and beat you back down. Be encouraged. You can dream of a “someday.” But only if you, like the nation of Israel, look on the Lord with faith-filled, repentant contrition (vv. 10-13). You see, “He was pierced [crucified] for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed”(Is. 53:5). Recognizing what Christ did for you causes you to repent . . . but it also enables you to dream.

Someday.

sbk

October 17: At What Price?

Read Zechariah 11:1-17

What is the Savior worth to you? I’m sure you agree that it is impossible to attach a monetary value to Him.

According to 1 Peter 1:18, 19, the value of His blood is greater than that of silver or gold. And in Matthew 13, His Kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a piece of valuable land. It’s like a pearl worthy of all of your.

Following Him caused some to leave fishing nets and families or would have required that others sell all. Surely, His value is infinite. No price is too high, no sacrifice too great.

In this interesting interplay of past, present, and future kings (shepherds) of Israel in today’s reading, Zechariah was eventually invited to play the part of the coming Messiah.  When asked about His wages, the answer given was thirty pieces of silver (v. 12). My guess is you recognize the prophetic New Testament parallel as the price that Judas would accept for betraying Christ into the hands of the soldiers and authorities.

Before we spend a moment on that thought, let’s consider another Old Testament parallel. You see, thirty pieces of silver was the price a slave owner was paid as compensation and settlement if his slave was gored by another person’s ox (Ex. 21:32). Thirty pieces of silver . . . that’s what a slave was worth.

As Jesus was betrayed, then, Judas saw thirty pieces of silver in his own pocket as having greater value than Jesus in His life. Those wanting the Savior dead were willing to pay the going price for an unfortunate slave. How disappointing that people in Christ’s day drew such conclusions.

The value we ascribe to Him is not so easily measured with monetary value. The price tag we attach is less discernible.

Still, it can be observed. It becomes clear in terms of priority and sacrifice. How much priority do you give to worshiping Him? Growing in intimacy with Him? Serving Him? What are you willing/unwilling to sacrifice when it comes to getting together with God’s people? In order to see others come to Him? In order to see His fame grow around the world?

At some point, does the price become high enough that you sell out?

sbk

October 16: Family Reunion

Read Zechariah 10:1-12

“It is so good to see you!”

“Timmy, is that you? I can’t believe how much you have grown!”

“How was your year?”

“I can’t wait to eat some of Aunt Sarah’s gooseberry pie!”

“I’m stuffed!”

“Are you going to play in the generational softball game this afternoon?”

Those are just a few of the lines you might hear at a good ole’ family reunion. Those are good times. It is true, some of the family members are a bit eccentric. Still, it is great to see them.

They gather from all over the state, country, or even the world in order to descend on one location, spend time together, and eat food . . . too much of it. They have a similar heritage, a common ancestry. Though the tales they swap have grown in incredulity with the passing of time, finding listeners is no problem for they all have a claim in the story. After all, they are family.

Aren’t family gatherings great?

Zechariah depicts that kind of gathering in the last half of the tenth chapter. Jews . . . those with a common lineage traced back to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob . . . those with a common faith in the one true God were to be reunited. Although punished through exile and scattered over years, they were to be brought back to their homeland as a testimony to God’s faithfulness and in fulfillment to His promise.

That kind of joyful gathering is a recurring theme of Scripture and experience of God’s people.

  • He restored them to their homeland after more than 400 years in Egypt and the journey of the Exodus.
  • He brought them back in waves after the Assyrian and Babylonian exiles.
  • He restored the Jews to their homeland more recently and miraculously in 1948.
  • He will gather His followers through resurrection and rapture at His return in the air.
  • He will unite His people as He establishes a kingdom where Christ is King and His followers are His subjects for 1000 years.

It is in those last two that we as followers of Christ will participate. Out of a world where we are like foreigners, from a context of adversity and opposition, we too will be gathered to participate in family reunions like none we have experienced. Anticipate it with joy!

sbk