2/21/14

From Steve Singleton... Does God want people to obey the Law of Moses even today?


Does God want people to obey the Law of Moses even today?

The short answer is no: God intends for everyone in the world to submit to Christ under the New Covenant, which does not include the Law of Moses, though it shares with the Law of Moses fundamental moral values because both are based on the unchanging character of God Himself (compare Leviticus 19:1-2 with Matthew 5:48 and Luke 6:36). To go deeper than the surface, we have to look at what Jeremiah, Jesus, Paul, and the author of Hebrews say about the old and new covenants.

Predicted change of covenants

About 600 years before Christ, the prophet Jeremiah predicted the new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34). He said the new covenant would be different than the old (specified as the one God made with the houses of Israel and Judah when he brought them out of Egypt–definitely referring to the Mosaic Covenant). This time, the laws would be written on the people’s hearts, all of them would know the LORD, and He would completely forgive them. The New Testament book of Hebrews says this is the covenant that Christ introduced (Hebrews 8:7-13 and 10:15-18, on which more is said below).

According to the Hebrew Scriptures (what Christians call the Old Testament), the Law of Moses constituted the covenant God made with the Israelites. Its moral code, priesthood, festivals and other special days, and sacrificial system were all designed for the Hebrew nation. Essential to the covenant the Israelites made with God was their agreement to obey the stipulations of the Law of Moses and to become the objects of its blessings if they obeyed and its curses if they disobeyed. As originally delivered, no other nation was called upon or expected to keep the Law of Moses. According to Jewish tradition, the rest of the nations of the world were still under the covenant God made with Noah.

Jesus’ teaching about the Law of Moses

His mission in fulfilling the Law seems to have three parts. First, He calls on His disciples to keep the Law even more strictly than the Pharisees and teachers of the law, the most scrupulous religious observers of His time (Matthew 5:20). In the verses that follow (the rest of the Sermon on the Mount: Matthew 5:21-7:27), Jesus reveals what He means: giving to God the obedience of one’s heart, not just one’s actions. Fulfilling the Law then, in this first sense, means explaining it in its fullest meaning. Jesus taught the Law of Moses, but He also kept it perfectly. He fulfilled it, not only by giving its full meaning, but by obeying it fully Himself. In this way qualifying to become our perfect sin offering (see John 8:29, 46; Acts 10:38; Hebrews 3:2,6; 4:15; 1 Peter 1:19; 2:22; 1 John 2:2). This leads us to the third part: when God accepts Christ as our substitute, His righteousness becomes ours (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21), which includes His perfect obedience of the Law. Because He stands in our place before the throne of God, we who have fully committed ourselves to Him–heart, mind, soul, and strength–are regarded as fully obedient under the Law (Romans 8:3-4; 13:10).

At the Last Supper, Jesus tells his apostles that wine represents the blood He is about to shed. In Mark 14:24, He calls it “the blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.” (Matthew 26:28 adds “for the forgiveness of sins,” and Luke’s wording is “the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:20; compare 1 Corinthians 11:25). This statement of Jesus is an obvious reference back to the moment when Moses said, “This is the blood of the covenant” (Exodus. 24:8) during a ceremony confirming the Mosaic Covenant. Jesus says His own blood is what institutes and confirms the New Covenant.

God led the apostles to a new understanding

After this, Christians start evangelizing the Gentiles (Acts 11:19-21), especially Saul of Tarsus (later called Paul) and his coworker Barnabas (Acts 13 – 14) on what is known as the First Missionary Journey. Their success among the pagans causes some Jewish Christians to demand that all of the Gentile converts be circumcised and required to keep the Law of Moses. Paul and Barnabas deny that this be required, and the debate becomes so heated that a conference is called of the apostles and Jerusalem elders (Acts 15:1-18). The conference confirms the teaching of Paul and Barnabas, requiring only that Gentile converts observe a few rules that will make their fellowship with Jewish believers less contentious (Acts 15:19-31).

Accepting uncircumcised Gentiles into the fellowship of the redeemed, however, was a fundamental departure from the Mosaic Covenant, which required circumcision on pain of excommunication (continuing what had been instituted in the covenant with Abraham, Genesis 17:13-14; see Exodus 12:48-49, Leviticus 12:3, and Joshua 5:2-8). During the period reflected in the second half of the Book of Acts, a transition of the covenants was taking place, in which practice was lagging behind teaching. The New Covenant had begun, but many were still clinging to the Old.

Paul’s teaching about the Law of Moses

In Galatians, perhaps the earliest of Paul’s letters (c. 50 CE), Paul says the law was our “pedagogue to lead us to Christ” (Galatians 3:24). In Greek culture, the pedagogue was a family slave assigned the task of getting the child to and from school each day. He was also expected to impart practical moral principles that would help the child mature. Paul says the Law had for us a similar function: preparing us for the coming of the Messiah. In the next verse, Paul adds, “Now that faith [this is, the object of our faith] has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law” (Galatians 3:25). In this metaphor, Paul pictures the relationship between the Law and the Christ as a cooperative one. The Law performs its function, accomplishes its goal, and then steps aside.

Paul wrote First Corinthians in about 55 CE. In chapter 9 he describes his willingness to be “all things to all men” for the sake of saving some of them. In particular, he says, “To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law” (verses 20 and 21).

Paul wrote Romans around the year 57 CE. In chapter 7, verses 1-6, Paul pictures the Christian as a woman and the Law as her husband. The couple fails to have any children, and after the husband’s death, the widow marries a new husband, who symbolizes Christ. With her new husband, the woman has a baby, which apparently represents a righteous heart and life (the “fruit to God” of verse 4). Paul does not directly say that the Law has died, only that she is bound to her husband as long as he is alive and is released from her ties to him when he dies. He then speaks of her release but carefully avoids saying that the Law has died, only that she died to the Law.

Paul wrote Ephesians in about the year 63 CE, some six years after Romans. In chapter 2, Paul just comes out and says that Christ united Jew and Gentile by destroying the “barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations” (2:14-15). As a result, Jews and Gentiles connected to Christ are “fellow citizens” and “co-members of God’s household,” built together as a new temple for God “in which God lives by His Spirit” (2:19-22). The verb translated “abolishing” (katerge ) means “to do away with, use up, render ineffective.”

Hebrews on the Change of Covenants

This prediction of the disappearance of the covenant of Moses found fulfillment when the Jewish nation rebelled against Rome in the war of 67-73 CE. (You can read about this war in the detailed, eye-witness account, The Jewish War by Flavius Josephus.) The Jewish nation lost its temple and its priesthood in that war. Afterwards, it was impossible to keep the Law of Moses. The covenant curses for the nation’s disobedience, as recorded in Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26, came true.

Some scholars argue that the Law of Moses continues to be valid as far as its moral code is concerned even though its temple, priesthood, and sacrificial system has ceased to exist. But there is no biblical basis for cutting up the Mosaic Covenant, throwing part of it away while trying to keep the rest of it on life support. In fact, James 2:10-11 argues for the integrity of the whole law and against attempts to keep only part of it (see also Galatians 5:3).

Yet the New Covenant is not a law in the same sense in which the Mosaic Covenant was. Paul says, “we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code” (Romans 7:6). We have freedom in Christ to walk in His footsteps, to follow His example, to imitate His priorities, His perspectives, His heart. His love inspires us, His power humbles us, and His sacrifice makes us pure. We strive to be obedient to Him, not just to a rule-book. Our obedience is the measure of our loyalty and love to Him (John 14:15).

Want to go deeper?

Recommended for purchase:

Paul F. M. Zahl. Grace in Practice: A Theology of Everyday Life. (2007). — Applies the principles of the gospel to every facet of life, from the individual’s relationship to society at large.

Daniel Fuller. Gospel and Law: Contrast or Continuum? (1990). — Seeks to demonstrate the continuity between the Law and the gospel on the valid assumption that God has always dealt with human beings on the basis of His grace inspiring their faith, and faithfulness. This assumption, however, does not deny that the Law is finished as something binding on the believer.

Steve C. Singleton. Multi-Index to the Law of Moses (2007). — Did you ever want to study what the Law of Moses says on a topic, but you weren’t sure where to find it? Now you can with this multi-index of the Torah. Index 1 features major topics including Preamble, Worship, Physical Purity, Business Dealings & Politics, and Morality, with numerous sub-topics. Index 2 is an alphabetical listing of each command, according to keywords. Index 3 lists all of the commands in the order they occur in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Index 4 lists the 613 commandments, first compiled by RAMBAM (Maimonides): 248 positive commands and 365 negative commands. This final list ends with a glossary of technical terms. This multi-index provides the resources for a thorough study of the Law of Moses, or the basis for a quick check on any topic.

Roger D. Campbell.Should Christians follow the Law of Moses, the New Testament, or BOTH?” — This is a very helpful essay, though I would change references to “the Old Law” to read simply, “The Law.” Calling the Law of Moses “the Old Law” implies the gospel is “the New Law.” At best, we are comparing apples with oranges. The gospel is not a code of regulations like the Mosaic Law was.

Martin Luther & Others. The Law and the Gospel: A Reformation Sampler – It is good to study what great thinkers of the past had to say about the Law, even though we don’t feel obligated because of their greatness to accept whatever they say without thinking it through for ourselves.

From Jim McGuiggan... 1 Peter 3.21

1 Peter 3.21

A reader wonders about some things in 1 Peter 3:21. This is a difficult text to get to the bottom of. Scholars differ widely on the passage and phrases within the passage so the rest of us need to be modest in our speech. Modest, but not speechless.

What does he mean when he says, "Baptism saves you"?

Whatever he means by it, he said it! In some real sense baptism is related to salvation in a functional way. Peter doesn’t say, "Baptism symbolically saves you." That would be to say that baptism doesn’t save you, it merely symbolises the fact that you have been saved. To say, "baptism symbolises the fact that you have been saved" makes sense; but it isn’t what Peter said. Had Peter said, "Faith saves you by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead" we wouldn’t hesitate to say that faith functions in a saving way. (Some of us speak as if we’re scared witless by water baptism.) What he did say was, "Baptism saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." We mustn’t be afraid of the doctrine of baptismal regeneration or self-salvation and so empty Peter’s words of their obvious meaning. Peter never believed that the mere application of water (a little or a lot) gave life with God to anyone! When we’re done explaining his words that "Baptism saves you" it’s important that we allow him to attribute to baptism some saving function. Baptism saves people! (How it functions in a saving way is for further discussion.)

What does he mean when he says, "Not the putting away the filth of the flesh"?

Peter told his readers what baptism did—it saved them by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Before he tells them in what way baptism saves, Peter tells them what it does not do. Baptism doesn’t save by "putting off the filth of the flesh."

1. He could mean that baptism isn’t meant to remove physical dirt from the body. We could imagine him saying that simply to underscore the importance of baptism’s function. It would be as if he said, "You understand, baptism is no mere bath in water after a dirty day’s work." If a young man walked into a jeweller’s shop to buy a diamond ring for his soon-to-be wife and was taken back by the price the jeweller might say, "Yes, it’s expensive but this isn’t a piece of glass."

2. Or he might mean that baptism is not merely ceremonial, a Jewish-type purification rite that makes a person "clean". Certain washings, within the OT covenant, were required on different occasions when "sinners" needed to be cleansed. You see a lot of that in Leviticus. Peter might be distinguishing NT baptism from OT washings that purified the flesh. 

3. He might mean what Oscar Brooks took him to mean. Brooks thought it meant something like, "Baptism saves you, but I don’t mean it takes away your tendency to sin or that it removes your sinful desires."

4. He might mean that baptism doesn’t have a place in the taking away of sins (it doesn’t purify a person from the moral filth of the sinful nature or past deeds).

My guess is he has none of these in mind (though I think 2 is related to what he has in mind). I think he’s saying that baptism saves you but not by making you right with God
within the parameters of the flesh.

He’s writing to Jews whose past (as a nation) was based on their fleshly relationship with Abraham. That Abrahamic family (through Jacob) had consistently violated the covenant and polluted itself (they recapitulated the ante-deluvian behaviour). Fleshly Israel ceased to be covenanted according to the flesh because they persistently self-polluted. The flesh had failed and there was no curing of it—it had to be put to death. Some might have thought that baptism saved them by wiping that national filth away (as if it were another Jewish washing) and renewing their covenanted status as the fleshly elect. Baptism, on the view I'm suggesting, doesn’t cleanse "the flesh" and make it acceptable—only death and resurrection takes care of the problem; it’s a new birth to a new inheritance.

In fact baptism signals the end of that phase of relating to God ("the end of all flesh"—Genesis 6:12-18 and here 3:19-21 and compare Romans 6:1-11 and 7:4-6 and 10:4, which have their own particular agenda but add point here). Baptism doesn’t relate to setting Jews right by curing the Mosaic violation as if baptism were a part of the Jewish covenant structure that supported the flesh—compare Hebrews 10:19-29. Baptism doesn’t relate to being born a Jew, it relates to being born again by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3-4). It doesn’t save you by bringing you back to God within Mosaic parameters (as part of the fulfilment of Malachi 4 and John the Baptist’s ministry). It doesn’t ensure that we as Jews relate to God in the same old way.
Receiving this as plausible might lead us then to think of Christ being put to death in (the realm of) the flesh and made alive in (the realm of) the spirit. The "flesh" days are gone (Romans 10:1-4). If we grant that Peter is writing to Jews I think it sharpens the point. Christ didn’t purify the flesh he slew it in his dying and salvation in Christ occurs in being raised in and with him (think of 2 Corinthians 5:15-17 in this connection).

Baptism into Christ corresponds to the ancient scenario in which only a remnant was saved when the flesh was destroyed. Peter insisted in Acts 3:22-26 that Jews who reject the Messiah are cut off from among the people. Baptism (in its full richness) is like the Red Sea crossing (1 Corinthians 10:1) or the crossing of the Jordan into the inheritance (as recently, N.T Wright). After the water which ended all flesh is life beyond death, for a remnant in Noah’s day. After the water of New Covenant baptism, which is the end of the flesh (since in baptism they took on them the name of the exalted Christ), is resurrection life through Jesus Christ. As it was with Jesus (life in the flesh ended and life in spirit began) so it is with all those Jewish people that have accessed his death, there is the end of the flesh and resurrection life in the realm of the spirit through Christ’s resurrection. In Noah’s day flesh ended (and with it the old world—2 Peter 2:5) and they came out of the ark into a new world in a new beginning (see Genesis 1 creation language used in Genesis 9:1-3 and compare here, 3:22). So death (in Christ) to the realm of the flesh means entering into a new creation, the realm of the spirit (2 Corinthians 5:15-17).
It’s true of course that "flesh" has universal application but if Peter is writing to Jews (as I believe he is) the notion of "flesh" has that added specific use that we see in places like Romans and Galatians that focuses on Israel.
What does he mean when he says, "The pledge of a good conscience"? (NIV)

I believe that Peter wrote his book to Jews that had embraced Jesus Christ as God’s Christ and not to Gentiles (as the scholarly consensus claims). These were Jews that lived outside Palestine.

Though there are difficulties in understanding just what the Hebrew writer meant, he did claim that there was that aspect of the Mosaic Covenant that didn’t reach down to the conscience of the worshippers (9:13-14, and see 10:1-2) though their "flesh" was purified. In contrast, he says, through Christ’s blood their consciences were purified from dead works to enable them to serve the living God. So OT sacrifices in some sense purified "the flesh" (my guess is that that’s a shorthand way of describing Israel’s relationship to God that is grounded in their physical relationship to Abraham). The whole sacrificial system was God’s gift to fleshly Israel (Romans 9:3-5) and by it they were marked out as God’s elect. Christ’s sacrifice (required by Israel’s sin since they consistently violated the old covenant—Hebrew 8:6-13) brought them to God at a different level on a different basis and in so doing delivered them from what were now "dead works". That is, adherence to the law that availed nothing or clinging to the violated covenant which could only pronounce their death. In addition the Hebrew writer speaks of consciences cleansed and bodies washed with pure water (10:21-22). The nation as a national entity (not every individual—far from it) had walked away from God. But now they could return to God in a new way, apart from the old sacrifices, offering to God a commitment that rose out of a pure conscience, submitting to baptism that is the taking on the name of Christ and all that that involves. They had been born again to a living hope by the resurrection of Christ out from the dead but they endured suffering and would face more. When critics challenged them to give the grounds for such a hope they were to give an "answer" (defence) that rose out of an honest and upright life (lived in the sight of God—compare 2:19). They are to give a responsive defence/answer directed to their critics concerning their hope (which comes to them from God via the resurrection of Christ—3:16 and 1:3). And they give a responsive pledge to God in baptism to the offer of hope that comes via the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In so doing they are saved by the virtue in (the death and) the resurrection of Christ. The lexical studies don’t end the dispute about the word rendered "pledge" in the NIV so in the end the student must draw his or her conclusion on the basis of what he or she thinks Peter means by the word he uses.  

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.

From Mark Copeland... Finis And Farewell (Titus 3:12-15)

                         "THE EPISTLE TO TITUS"

                      Finis And Farewell (3:12-15)

INTRODUCTION

1. We began our study of the epistle to Titus by noticing that Paul...
   a. Left him in Crete (a large island in the Mediterranean Sea - Ti 1:5
   b. Charged him to "set in order the things that are lacking" - Tit 1:5

2. Making our way through the epistle, we saw that this involved...
   a. Appointing elders in every city, according to qualifications given
      - Tit 1:5-16
   b. Speaking things proper for sound doctrine, such as the conduct of
      members - Tit 2:1-10
   c. Reminding brethren of God's grace, and how heirs of grace should
      act - Tit 2:11-3:11

3. We now come to the conclusion of Paul's epistle, which includes some...
   a. Final messages for Titus - Tit 3:12-14
   b. Farewell greetings for Titus and those with him - Tit 3:15

[In this "Finis And Farewell" by the apostle Paul, we are first
introduced to several individuals, and reminded of our duty related to
good works...]

I. FINAL MESSAGES

   A. REGARDING ARTEMAS AND TYCHICUS...
      1. Artemas may be coming to Titus - Tit 3:12
         a. Not mentioned elsewhere in the Scriptures
         b. One of the seventy disciples and bishop of Lystra, according
            to Dorotheus (Bibl. Maxima (Lugd. 1677), III, 429) - ISBE
      2. Tychicus may come instead - Tit 3:12
         a. A Christian from Asia (Turkey), mentioned four times
            elsewhere in the Scriptures
         b. Traveled with Paul during the end of his third journey - Ac 20:4
         c. Sent to Ephesus and Colosse with information on Paul's
            welfare - Ep 6:21-22; Col 4:7-8
         d. Sent to Ephesus near the end of Paul's life - 2Ti 4:12
         e. Truly "a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow
            servant in the Lord" - Col 4:7
      3. Upon either man's arrival, Titus was to be diligent in coming
         to Nicopolis - Tit 3:12
         a. In western Greece, only a few miles north of modern Prevesa
         b. To meet Paul there, where he had decided to winter
      -- It was men like this who helped apostles like Paul to
         accomplish so much!

   B. REGARDING ZENAS AND APOLLOS...
      1. Zenas, the lawyer - Tit 3:13
         a. Possibly a Jewish scribe learned in Hebrew law prior to his
            conversion
         b. Or perhaps a Roman jurist
      2. Apollos, the orator - Tit 3:13
         a. An eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures - Ac 18:24-26
         b. Taught the way of God more accurately by Aquila and
            Priscilla - Ac 18:26
         c. Who greatly helped the brethren in Achaia (Corinth) - Ac 18:
            27-28; 19:1
         d. Who was improperly idolized by brethren in Corinth - 1Co 1:
            10-13; 3:3-9; 4:6; 16:12
      3. Titus was to send them on their journey - Tit 3:13
         a. With haste, lacking nothing
         b. With hospitality commended by the apostles - Ro 15:24; 1Co 16:11; 3Jn 6-8
      -- It was hospitality like this that helped spread Christianity so
         quickly!

   C. REGARDING GOOD WORKS...
      1. Once again Paul mentions the importance of "good works" - Ti 3:14
         a. To meet urgent needs
         b. That they may not be unfruitful - cf. Jn 15:1-2
      2. "Our people" (Christians) must "learn to maintain good works"
         a. The word for "learn" is manthanetosan
         b. It is present active imperative; i.e., keep on learning how
            - Robertson's Word Pictures
      3. Working our way back through this epistle, we learn that
         Christians should:
         a. Learn to maintain good works - Tit 3:14
         b. Be careful to maintain good works - Tit 3:8
         c. Be ready for every good work - Tit 3:1
         d. Be zealous for good works - Tit 2:14
         e. Be a pattern of good works - Tit 2:7
      4. Otherwise, we might like some become "disqualified for every
         good work" - Tit 1:16
      -- Are we willing to learn to maintain good works in our service
         to Christ?

[With his final messages to Titus complete, Paul concludes his epistle with...]

II. FAREWELL GREETINGS

   A. TO TITUS...
      1. Sent by all who were with Paul - Tit 3:15
      2. None are mentioned by name, unlike that found elsewhere - e.g.,
         Ro 16:21-24
      3. Perhaps Titus knew who they were, so no mention was necessary
      -- Titus enjoyed a fellowship that extended beyond his association
         with Paul

   B. TO OTHERS...
      1. "Those who love us in the faith" - Tit 3:15
      2. Christians who loved Paul and those with him
      -- Paul enjoyed a fellowship that extended beyond his association
         with Titus

   C. "GRACE BE WITH YOU ALL"...
      1. This epistle was not designed for Titus only, but for the
         saints at Crete - Gill
      2  "Grace" properly means "favor" - Barnes
      3. It closes the Epistles as a sufficient summary of all the
         blessings that can be wished Christian readers - ISBE
      -- Certainly appropriate, in an epistle which spoke eloquently of
         God's grace - Tit 2:11; 3:7

CONCLUSION

1. Thus ends Paul's epistle to Titus...
   a. A short, simple letter, but one filled with counsel related to a
      minister's work
   b. Made poignant when remembering Paul's circumstances (his own
      ministry was nearing its end)

2. May all who read this epistle take it to heart...
   a. Setting in order whatever things may be lacking in our own
      congregations
   b. Speaking things proper for sound doctrine, avoiding foolish
      disputes
   c. Being careful to maintain good works, remembering that we are
      heirs of grace

If we do so, then Paul's closing benediction will apply to us as well:

                     "Grace be with you all. Amen."

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading February 21






Bible Reading  

February 21

The World English Bible



Feb. 21
Exodus 2

Exo 2:1 A man of the house of Levi went and took a daughter of Levi as his wife.
Exo 2:2 The woman conceived, and bore a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months.
Exo 2:3 When she could no longer hide him, she took a papyrus basket for him, and coated it with tar and with pitch. She put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river's bank.
Exo 2:4 His sister stood far off, to see what would be done to him.
Exo 2:5 Pharaoh's daughter came down to bathe at the river. Her maidens walked along by the riverside. She saw the basket among the reeds, and sent her handmaid to get it.
Exo 2:6 She opened it, and saw the child, and behold, the baby cried. She had compassion on him, and said, "This is one of the Hebrews' children."
Exo 2:7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, "Should I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?"
Exo 2:8 Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go." The maiden went and called the child's mother.
Exo 2:9 Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child away, and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages." The woman took the child, and nursed it.
Exo 2:10 The child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, and said, "Because I drew him out of the water."
Exo 2:11 It happened in those days, when Moses had grown up, that he went out to his brothers, and looked at their burdens. He saw an Egyptian striking a Hebrew, one of his brothers.
Exo 2:12 He looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no one, he killed the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.
Exo 2:13 He went out the second day, and behold, two men of the Hebrews were fighting with each other. He said to him who did the wrong, "Why do you strike your fellow?"
Exo 2:14 He said, "Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you plan to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian?" Moses was afraid, and said, "Surely this thing is known."
Exo 2:15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and lived in the land of Midian, and he sat down by a well.
Exo 2:16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters. They came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock.
Exo 2:17 The shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.
Exo 2:18 When they came to Reuel, their father, he said, "How is it that you have returned so early today?"
Exo 2:19 They said, "An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and moreover he drew water for us, and watered the flock."
Exo 2:20 He said to his daughters, "Where is he? Why is it that you have left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread."
Exo 2:21 Moses was content to dwell with the man. He gave Moses Zipporah, his daughter.
Exo 2:22 She bore a son, and he named him Gershom, for he said, "I have lived as a foreigner in a foreign land."
Exo 2:23 It happened in the course of those many days, that the king of Egypt died, and the children of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up to God because of the bondage.
Exo 2:24 God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
Exo 2:25 God saw the children of Israel, and God was concerned about them.





From Gary... The GOD that sees....


Occasionally, you will see those "God says" signs by the side of the road.  I like them because I have always found them to just say little kernels of truth; and then I wind up thinking about them for hours.  This is one such sign. "I saw that" is not a direct quote from any passage of the Scripture that I know about, but it is true.  Consider the story of Hagar...


Genesis, Chapter 16
1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, bore him no children. She had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.  2 Sarai said to Abram, “See now, Yahweh has restrained me from bearing. Please go in to my handmaid. It may be that I will obtain children by her.” Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.  3 Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her handmaid, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to Abram her husband to be his wife.  4 He went in to Hagar, and she conceived. When she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.  5 Sarai said to Abram, “This wrong is your fault. I gave my handmaid into your bosom, and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes. Yahweh judge between me and you.” 

  6  But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your maid is in your hand. Do to her whatever is good in your eyes.” Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her face. 

  7  Yahweh’s angel found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain on the way to Shur.  8 He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s handmaid, where did you come from? Where are you going?” 

She said, “I am fleeing from the face of my mistress Sarai.” 

  9  Yahweh’s angel said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hands.”  10 Yahweh’s angel said to her, “I will greatly multiply your seed, that they will not be numbered for multitude.”  11 Yahweh’s angel said to her, “Behold, you are with child, and will bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because Yahweh has heard your affliction.  12 He will be like a wild donkey among men. His hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him. He will live opposite all of his brothers.” 

  13  She called the name of Yahweh who spoke to her, “You are a God who sees,” for she said, “Have I even stayed alive after seeing him?”

Also, if you have some extra time on your hands, you might like to read Psalm 139; it actually says more about the topic than this passage does.  

Hagar was a servant, but she became the wife of Abram and the mother of a great people.  Quite a step up for her!!!   Her problems led to an encounter with God AND a BLESSING!!!  Sometimes that's what it takes to get to know God better- problems!!!  I know this from personal experience and so I say "let whatever problems may come my way, let them begin now- so I can become even closer to the ruler of all the HEAVENS".  God sees, God understands, God cares and God WILL HELP IN TIME OF NEED!!!  Remember this last sentence, you may need it someday!!!  Maybe even today!!!!!!!