Last week, the Hebrew people were in the desert complaining about what God was doing and learning that God provides. Today, we make the leap from Exodus to 1 Samuel. A lot in the life of the people of God happens in those 6 books between Exodus and 1 Samuel.
The Hebrew people conquer the Promised Land of Canaan which God had promised in the covenant to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The nation of Israel was established and the Hebrew people became the Israelites. God told them they would be different than surrounding nations because He would be there God and only ruler.
As time went on, the people wanted a ruler so God appointed judges who were mediators and military leaders. There was the great judges Deborah and Gideon. Still, the people wanted to be more like surrounding nations and have a king. They begged God for a king but God resisted and they persisted. God said, “fine, but this won’t end well.” Continue reading
We’re only jumping ahead 12 chapters from last week to this week. The Hebrew people who are the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have been freed from slavery in Egypt and are heading for the Promised Land. The Bible calls this group of people the Israelites, but I’d rather call them the Hebrew people at this point in the story. This people won’t truly become Israelites until the nation of Israel is established and we’re a long way from there, 3 books of the Bible away.
Last week, Moses was prepared to go to the Pharaoh and tell him, “God said, ‘let my people go.’” Pharoah is finally convinced to let the people go after enduring God’s plagues. Can anyone name the plagues?
The Lord tells the Hebrew people to prepare to flee. They have the first Passover meal saving no leftovers. They are packed up with just what they can carry and their sandals are laced up and tied. They head out when the Pharaoh says, “Go.”
The people head for the sea to cross through Egypt and head toward the land God promised to their forefathers. Pharaoh has second thoughts about letting all his slaves go free so he sends his army after them to capture them and bring them back. Moses parted the sea for the Hebrew people to pass through on dry ground. The water closed behind them and swallowed the Pharaoh’s men leaving them to do the dead man’s float. Continue reading
Here are some ideas for worship at home on this 4th Sunday of Advent.
1) Light a candle. On the 4th Sunday of Advent, we light the 4th candle on the wreath which is the Love candle. Read this as you light the candle.
The Candle of Love
L: Jeremiah 31: 1 – 6 – 1 At that time, says the Lord, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people. 2 The LORD proclaims: The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness. As Israel searched for a place of rest, 3 the LORD appeared to them from a distance: I have loved you with a love that lasts forever. And so with unfailing love, I have drawn you to myself. 4 Again, I will build you up, and you will be rebuilt, virgin Israel. Again, you will play your tambourines and dance with joy. 5 Again, you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria; farmers will plant and then enjoy the harvests. 6 The time will come when the watchmen shout from the highlands of Ephraim: “Get ready! We’re going up to Zion to the LORD our God!”
The prophet Jeremiah prophesies the Lord will appear to the people. “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people,” said the Lord.
A: Emerging God, Accept us as your people and reveal yourself to us. Choose us to be built up. Amen.
L: We light the candle called Love to show God’s unfailing love. Play your tambourines and dance with joy as you wait. Continue reading