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Exodus 15:19-20 1
19 When Pharaoh’s horses, chariots and horsemen went into the sea, the Lord brought the waters of the sea back over them, but the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground. 20 Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing.

gadgetsgimmicsBackground

The Book of Exodus, chapter 15 gives us a holy song, the most ancient we know of. It is a song, to the honor of God, to exalt his name, and celebrate his praise, and his only. It is a song not in the least to magnify any man, is it to magnify only God only. So as we look at our two verses our joy will come through God’s the final destruction of the enemies of the church.

God is doing wonders, things out of the common course of nature; wondrous to those in whose favor He has acted, who are also unworthy, so much so that they had no reason to expect them. There were wonders of power and wonders of grace; and God was to be humbly adored.

Biblical Truth

The account that tells about Moses as a baby does not name Moses’ sister. But she was a responsible girl when the princess rescued Moses from the river (Exodus 2:7). When Moses was at Pharaoh’s court, they probably referred to her as Aaron’s sister. Miriam said that she had spoken God’s message too (Numbers 12:2). The timbrel is a small drum, a ‘tambourine’. It was the women who usually sang and danced when the Israelites were happy. On this day, they gave honor to that special occasion because God had defeated their enemies, and delivered them safely across the Red Sea.

Items for Discussion

  • Why would the defeat of an enemy through the course of nature be so much more impactful to the people of Israel?
  • How many different providential events can you think of that would have impacted the ability of the Israelites to look back and see their enemy’s destruction?
  • Can any of them be credited to luck or circumstances?
  • How do we celebrate today when given an example of God’s power and grace?
  • Why do you think that something as dramatic as their physical salvation by God did not permanently alter the Israelites attitudes about their God?

 

Ephesians 1:22-23
22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Background

The apostle Paul wrote this letter when he was in a prison in Rome, about 61 years after the birth of Christ. Ephesus was a busy port and the center of much trade. The temple of the goddess (female god) Diana (or Artemis) was there. The business people sold models of Diana’s temple but Paul’s preaching affected their trade and caused confusion and trouble in the city (Acts 19:23-41).

Paul wrote the letter to encourage the personal faith of the Christians. It gives teaching, prayers and great praises to God. It is about God’s Son, Jesus Christ. He came to our world in order to put right all the things that had gone wrong. Paul makes clear that Christ is the head of the church and will work out His purposes in and by the church.

Chapter one is about unity. There is no unity in a world without Christ. One person is against another person. Nations fight each other. Jews and Gentiles are against each other. There is a battle between evil and good. There is a battle between God and Satan. Because most people in the world do not know Christ, we do not have unity. Unity must begin inside the church. Then it should be for all people everywhere. Then it should be with everything that God has made. This unity is for the entire world and for all ages.

Biblical Truth 2

Originally, God told man to rule over all things. When Adam sinned, people lost the power to rule. Christ now rules over everything but he gives us back that power we lost. How, you might ask?

There are two powers that men cannot control. One power is death and the other power is Satan. Jesus Christ won the battle over both. He did this by his death and resurrection. He can rescue us from both death and Satan. God raised Jesus from dead, yes, but God also raised him to new life where there is no more death. This new life lasts for eternity. Afterwards, God gave Christ dominion over every power that exists. Jesus rules in heaven as king. He rules over all people. He rules over all nations. He rules over all spirits, both good and evil.

The church is the body of Christ. The church consists of his people (Christians). Most importantly, Jesus is the head of His church. And what is our job? The job of the church is to explain Jesus to the world. To do this, the church needs to be fully empowered by the Holy Spirit. We don’t need gadgets or gimmicks. They only break. The underlying power of Christ is the only way to overcome those things mankind cannot do, death and evil.

Items for Discussion

  • Is there anything God can do to prove to mankind that He exists?
  • Is there anything that man can do to prove that God does not exist?
  • So what are the plausible explanations as to why people believe in God?
  • If the only role of the Church is to spread the message of Christ, what has the Church done right and where has the Church gone wrong?

Discussion Challenge

  • If the Church is the body of Christ, how do you make it more effective in its service to Christ?

Notes:

  1. NIV New International Version Translations
  2. http://www.easyenglish.info/bible-commentary/eph-lbw.htm
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