Advent: Something Is on the Horizon

The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon the likes of which we have never seen before… .What is possible is to not see it, to miss it, to turn just as it brushes past you. And you begin to grasp what it was you missed, like Moses in the cleft of the rock, watching God’s [back] fade in the distance.

So stay.

Sit.

Linger.

Tarry.

Ponder.

Wait.

Behold.

Wonder.

There will be time enough for running. For rushing. For worrying. For pushing.

For now, stay.

Wait.

Something is on the horizon.

– Jan L. Richardson

Women of the Word: Ministering Women In the Tent of Meeting

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After leaving Egypt, the Israelites took part in the construction of God’s sanctuary, also called the tent of meeting, while they sojourned in the desert. So dedicated were the Israelites to the sanctuary that they contributed more than was needed for its construction. They gave so much that the craftsmen in charge of construction told Moses, “The people bring much more than enough for doing the work that the Lord has commanded us to do.” Moses then had to tell the people, “Stop! Do not do anything more for the contribution for the sanctuary.”

The book of Exodus gives a very detailed account concerning the construction of the temple and the men who were involved in its work. But men weren’t the only ones involved; women and children were involved, as well. Exodus 38:8, in particular, reads:

He [a craftsman named Bezalel] made the basin of bronze and its stand of bronze, from the mirrors of the ministering women who ministered in the entrance of the tent of meeting.

From the verse above we see that these women not only ministered in the tent of meeting, but they also assisted in its construction by allowing the bronze basins to be made out of their mirrors. Continue reading

Women of the Word: Midian Women

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The Midianites were enemies of Israel, and in Numbers 11 God tells Moses to carry out His vengeance on them. So twelve thousand Israelite men go to battle against the Midianites. They kill every single Midianite man. They burn all the towns of the Midianites. But the women and children, they keep alive, claiming them and all other plunder for themselves. Numbers 31:9 reads:

The Israelites captured the Midianite women and children and took all the Midianite herds, flocks and goods as plunder.

When the Israelites return to their camp, however, they meet Moses who is angry that the women have been kept alive. This is because in an earlier event, the Midian women had followed the advice of the wicked prophet Balaam and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord. So, Moses commands the Israelites to kill all the Midian boys and kill every Midian woman who was not a virgin. All other women and girls could be spared. Numbers 31:15-18 reads:

“Have you allowed all the women to live?” he [Moses] asked them. “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the Lord’s people. Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.”

This must have been a very sad day – one that was filled with the shedding of blood and tears. One moment, these Midian women were living their lives, some of them with husbands and children. And then the next day, they had everything ripped from them – their homes, their fathers, their husbands, their brothers, their sons; and some of them even had their own lives ended. Continue reading

Women of the Word: Zipporah

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Even though she lived in the land of Midian with her father and six sisters, Zipporah was a woman of Ethiopian descent. In Numbers 12:1 we read that Moses was criticized by his siblings, Aaron and Miriam, for marrying Zipporah. Here is something we can learn from this incident:

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Women of the Word: Reuel’s Seven Daughters

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In Exodus chapter 2, we read of seven sisters who are at a desert well trying to get water. These sisters were the daughters of Reuel, priest of Midian. Unfortunately for them, some mean shepherds were also at the well hindering the seven sisters from getting what they had come for. Luckily for them, Moses (who was on the run after killing an Egyptian) happened to be sitting by the well, too.

Kind soul that he was, when he saw how the sisters were being treated he stood up and gave them a helping hand. When the sisters arrived back home, they told their father about Moses. Reuel promptly told his daughters to return to the well and invite Moses to dinner. This is how Moses came to marry one of the daughters, Zipporah. We’ll talk about Zipporah in a later post, but for now here are two lessons we can learn from all seven sisters.

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Women of the Word: Pharaoh’s Daughter

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Along with Jochebed and Miriam, God used Pharaoh’s daughter to help preserve the life of Moses. Moses was later called by God to lead His people from slavery in Egypt and to the edge of the Promised Land. Even though her father wanted all the Hebrew baby boys to be killed, Pharaoh’s daughter knew this command was wrong. Exodus 2:6 says “she had compassion on him (Moses).” Read her whole story in Exodus 2:5-10. She is also mentioned in Acts 7:21-22 and Hebrews 11:24-28.

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Women of the Word: Jochebed (Moses’ Mother)

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We all know the story of how God used Moses to free His people from slavery in Egypt and lead them to the Promised Land; but if it was not for the faith and courage of his brave mother, Jochebed, Moses would have been murdered by Pharaoh’s army when he was just a newborn. Along with being Moses’ mother, Jochebed was also the mother of his brother, Aaron, and their sister, Miriam. Even though her appearance in the Bible is short, her story can be found in Exodus chapter 2. Her name is first mentioned in Exodus 6:20 and again in Numbers 26:59.

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