“The power is not in the argument of the messenger, but in the message.”
“For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” I Corinthians 2:2
“Conversion comes solely through the gospel in all of its simplicity, not because of craftily formed arguments and logic. Proclaim the gospel from a posture of inadequacy and dependence. Don’t try to impress people through technique.You will not bring people to conversion by satisfying the needs of reason. They come because the Holy Spirit has transformed their hearts.” Walter A. Henrichsen (“Walt”)
Thoughts From The Diary of A Desperate Man” by Walter A. Henrichsen (“Walt”)
Freedom Or Security
“…all our fathers were under the cloud…” I Corinthians 10:1
Security resides in restriction. They are almost never separated. The security you feel riding on a train is related to the train staying on the tracks. Yet people demand autonomy and insist on security.
You can visualize the frustration among the Israelites during the Exodus. When the cloud moved, the people moved, and when the cloud stopped, the people stopped. God’s presence was in the cloud and the nation was secure as long as it remained under the cloud. The cloud stops and you unpack your belongings, setting up your tent. The next day the cloud moves and you quickly repack. Mid day the cloud stops, and the next morning again moves. In frustration you say, “Next time it stops I am not going to unpack.” So it stops, you refuse to unpack and it doesn’t move for a month. So you unpack, finishing just as the cloud decides to again move.
Where the doud goes, you go. If the cloud travels in cirdes, so do you. Through it God may lead you in the opposite direction from the Promised Land. You don’t want to follow His leadership. So you face a decision: Do you want the freedom to do and go where you want, or do you want the security of God’s presence? You cannot have both. Jesus said, “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be.” 33 The servant of Jesus Christ follows Him, ministering with Him where He is. Only under the cloud is he
33 John 12:26
Exodus 7-8 Matthew 15:1-20 (New King James Version)
Moses Before Pharaoh
7 So the Lord said to Moses: “See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet. 2 You shall speak all that I command you. And Aaron your brother shall tell Pharaoh to send the children of Israel out of his land. 3 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. 4 But Pharaoh will not heed you, so that I may lay My hand on Egypt and bring My [a]armies and My people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. 5 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them.”
6 Then Moses and Aaron did so; just as the Lord commanded them, so they did. 7 And Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three years old when they spoke to Pharaoh.
Aaron’s Miraculous Rod
8 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 9 “When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying, ‘Show a miracle for yourselves,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and cast it before Pharaoh, and let it become a serpent.’ ” 10 So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh, and they did so, just as the Lord commanded. And Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
11 But Pharaoh also called the wise men and the [b]sorcerers; so the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their [c]enchantments. 12 For every man threw down his rod, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods. 13 And Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the Lord had said.
The First Plague: Waters Become Blood
14 So the Lord said to Moses: “Pharaoh’s heart is hard; he refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning, when he goes out to the water, and you shall stand by the river’s bank to meet him; and the rod which was turned to a serpent you shall take in your hand. 16 And you shall say to him, ‘The Lord God of the Hebrews has sent me to you, saying, “Let My people go, that they may [d]serve Me in the wilderness”; but indeed, until now you would not hear! 17 Thus says the Lord: “By this you shall know that I am the Lord. Behold, I will strike the waters which are in the river with the rod that is in my hand, and they shall be turned to blood. 18 And the fish that are in the river shall die, the river shall stink, and the Egyptians will loathe[e] to drink the water of the river.” ’ ”
19 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their streams, over their rivers, over their ponds, and over all their pools of water, that they may become blood. And there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in buckets of wood and pitchers of stone.’ ” 20 And Moses and Aaron did so, just as the Lord commanded. So he lifted up the rod and struck the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants. And all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. 21 The fish that were in the river died, the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink the water of the river. So there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.
22 Then the magicians of Egypt did so with their [f]enchantments; and Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the Lord had said. 23 And Pharaoh turned and went into his house. Neither was his heart moved by this. 24 So all the Egyptians dug all around the river for water to drink, because they could not drink the water of the river. 25 And seven days passed after the Lord had struck the river.
The Second Plague: Frogs
8 And the Lord spoke to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. 2 But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all your territory with frogs. 3 So the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into your house, into your bedroom, on your bed, into the houses of your servants, on your people, into your ovens, and into your kneading bowls. 4 And the frogs shall come up on you, on your people, and on all your servants.” ’ ”
5 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up on the land of Egypt.’ ” 6 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. 7 And the magicians did so with their [g]enchantments, and brought up frogs on the land of Egypt.
8 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, “Entreat[h] the Lord that He may take away the frogs from me and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the Lord.”
9 And Moses said to Pharaoh, “Accept the honor of saying when I shall intercede for you, for your servants, and for your people, to destroy the frogs from you and your houses, that they may remain in the river only.”
10 So he said, “Tomorrow.” And he said, “Let it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God. 11 And the frogs shall depart from you, from your houses, from your servants, and from your people. They shall remain in the river only.”
12 Then Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh. And Moses cried out to the Lord concerning the frogs which He had brought against Pharaoh. 13 So the Lord did according to the word of Moses. And the frogs died out of the houses, out of the courtyards, and out of the fields. 14 They gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not heed them, as the Lord had said.
The Third Plague: Lice
16 So the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your rod, and strike the dust of the land, so that it may become [i]lice throughout all the land of Egypt.’ ” 17 And they did so. For Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod and struck the dust of the earth, and it became lice on man and beast. All the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt.
18 Now the magicians so worked with their [j]enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not. So there were lice on man and beast. 19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the[k] finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, just as the Lord had said.
The Fourth Plague: Flies
20 And the Lord said to Moses, “Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh as he comes out to the water. Then say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. 21 Or else, if you will not let My people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and your servants, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they stand. 22 And in that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there, in order that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the land. 23 I will [l]make a difference between My people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall be.” ’ ” 24 And the Lord did so. Thick swarms of flies came into the house of Pharaoh, into his servants’ houses, and into all the land of Egypt. The land was corrupted because of the swarms of flies.
25 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God in the land.”
26 And Moses said, “It is not right to do so, for we would be sacrificing the abomination of the Egyptians to the Lord our God. If we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, then will they not [m]stone us? 27 We will go three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as He will command us.”
28 So Pharaoh said, “I will let you go, that you may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only you shall not go very far away. Intercede for me.”
29 Then Moses said, “Indeed I am going out from you, and I will entreat the Lord, that the swarms of flies may depart tomorrow from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people. But let Pharaoh not deal deceitfully anymore in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.”
30 So Moses went out from Pharaoh and entreated the Lord. 31 And the Lord did according to the word of Moses; He removed the swarms of fliesfrom Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people. Not one remained. 32 But Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also; neither would he let the people go.
- Exodus 7:4 hosts
- Exodus 7:11 soothsayers
- Exodus 7:11 secret arts
- Exodus 7:16 worship
- Exodus 7:18 be weary of drinking
- Exodus 7:22 secret arts
- Exodus 8:7 secret arts
- Exodus 8:8 Pray to, Make supplication to
- Exodus 8:16 gnats
- Exodus 8:18 secret arts
- Exodus 8:19 An act of God
- Exodus 8:23 Lit. set a ransom, Ex. 9:4; 11:7
- Exodus 8:26 Put us to death by stoning
Defilement Comes from Within
15 Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, 2 “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”
3 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 5 But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— 6 then he need not honor his father [a]or mother.’ Thus you have made the [b]commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
‘These people [c]draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”
10 When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”
12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”
13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”
15 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.”
16 So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”
- Matthew 15:6 NU omits or mother
- Matthew 15:6 NU word
- Matthew 15:8 NU omits draw near to Me with their mouth, And
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