I think I’ve had enough…

It’s been almost two years since I decided to let my hair go back to its natural state.

I hate to say it, but I’m done.

When I let it go natural, it was mainly because I thought it would be cheaper and less expensive to maintain. I was wrong. My hair does not have the texture that would allow me to be able to do things such as this:

Those are called “bantu knots”.

Or this:

That is a technique called a “straw set”.

And my natural hair, no matter how much I wash and blow dry, will not do this:

Everyone knows what a good ol’ fashioned ‘fro looks like 🙂

I have tried all of those techniques plus some, and the end result is always the same. Limp, scraggly ugly wavy-curls that fall within an hour or so, or, even worse, this:

Ugly natural hair

Natural hair

No matter how many expensive shampoos, conditioners, leave in treatments, and recipes I get off Pinterest and try on my own, my hair turns out awful. I am done with it. The entire time my hair has been natural, I have rarely felt good about my appearance. In the Black community we have discussions on whether it is preferable to have natural hair or chemically treated hair. I have maintained that healthy hair that aides a positive self-esteem is more important. Damaged hair doesn’t look good, permed or not, and whether or not a Black woman has permed hair or natural hair, our struggles and successes remain the same. Hair type ought not divide us. I truly wish my natural hair had worked out for me, because I love those styles above. But my hair is very fine and does not hold styles or the moisture needed to maintain those styles well.

Borrow Jayden's hair

Borrow Jayden’s hair

borrow jaydens hair 2

He does like to be called Samson, you know… Samson the Nazirite from the Bible who was not to cut his hair. That is Jayden’s inspiration… that and his father. My husband has long hair too.

My son has a day and a half of school left, and will begin his summer break. He got the exciting news today that he got the teacher he wanted for fourth grade, a teacher he had previously who I also wanted him to have. He brought home a Bridge book that he has to do over the summer in order to make sure he doesn’t lose too much of the concepts, skills and knowledge he learned as a third grader. Layla, who wants to be like her big brother to a certain extent, had begged my husband for a little workbook of her own–she specifically requested “pink homework”–so he found her something close: A little light purple preschool workbook so she can get ready for school too. I love that my kids love to learn and will do everything in my power to make sure that their enthusiasm for learning remains high. Part of me thinks that they have the same unquenchable desire to learn as yours truly, and if so, it’ll be smooth sailing for me and my husband–we won’t have to twist their arms to get them to do their work and excel (fingers crossed).

Anyone who is a parent or takes care of children knows that it is an exhausting job, but rewarding. Whenever I hear of parents mistreating their children, a part of me takes it personally. The kids never asked to be brought into the world. Whether they were an “accident” or not, everyone knows that sex can result in a kid and if it does, they deserve to be taken care of. I suppose that is why the story involving Mitchelle Blair has been so fascinating to me.

The story of Mitchelle Blair occurred here in Michigan. We heard about it before it went national, and as it unfolds the details get more horrendous. This woman killed two of her four children and kept their bodies in a deep freezer before being discovered several months ago. Since the discovery, we have had the opportunity to hear details about the children’s lives that are absolutely bone-chilling. This woman terrorized her children, and their fathers were complete failures.

http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2015/06/a_look_inside_the_apartment_wh.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3015269/Autopsies-Mitchelle-Blair-s-children-Detroit-freezer-beaten-death.html

I have been bothered about this case from day one. I know we all love our fathers but let’s admit… Mama holds a special, dear place in our hearts. If, on this cold, mean earth we have no one else to love us, we know that Mama is going to love us. And for those of us who were fortunate who have a stand-up Dad in our lives, we look to our dads for love AND PROTECTION.

These kids didn’t have either of those.

I can only imagine how scared those babies were every day of their lives, in what should have been the sanctity of their home, with the love and guidance and protection of what should have been loving parents. Of course I am appalled at the actions of the mother who killed the kids that she carried, but the dads are no better. These kids had been abused for years. There is no way a father who was in his children’s lives could have been oblivious to this. They were absentee fathers and they are partially responsible. I was sickened as I watched court proceedings and saw one of the fathers going to sleep as the medical examiner detailed the injuries his son had to his genitals, which apparently had been BURNED.

Mitchelle Blair appears to be mentally unstable and I do not see how anyone who tortures and kills her own kids in such a manner could ever be released into society. And I hope the fathers do not have any more children.

This is the world we live in. It’s a mean, dark place sometimes. Our only light is with God through his Son Jesus Christ. I couldn’t begin to imagine going through this light without God. Wherein would my hope lie????

Now that I am done discussing the worldly stuff–and thank you for letting me get those things off my chest–on to the important stuff. Back to Exodus!! Whenever my heart gets heavy thinking of the ways of the world, the Bible lifts me right back up. And although the Bible has some heavy stuff in it, it reminds me that there is nothing new under the sun. Just like God was in control when the people in Biblical times were warring against other nations, enslaving each other, lying, deceiving,and worshiping other gods, God is the same as he was then and is STILL in control. We as Christians know his plan and believe in it, and that gives us hope. I fervently believe Jesus Christ will come again!

In Exodus chapter 22, God is still in the process of giving the Israelites (through Moses) the laws that will guide them as a nation (brief recap–the nation of Israel was comprised of twelve tribes, each tribe a descendant of one of the twelve sons of Jacob: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Gad, Asher, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan and Naphtali. The initial plan was to have the entire nation of Israel stand as a priestly nation that would be an example of Godly living to the rest of the world. When that plan failed, God went with plan B and established the tribe of Levi to be the priestly tribe). The nation is camped at Mt. Sinai, Moses has received the 10 Commandments as well as laws governing slavery, and here we are.

Again: Just because God provides a law about something doesn’t mean that he is giving it the thumbs up. He has to guide sinful behavior. Chapter 22 includes guidance about personal property and social responsibility.

In this instance, God is referring to theft. A person who steals and ox or sheep and either slaughters or sells it has to pay the owner back five cattle per ox and four sheep per sheep. If a thief is caught breaking in at night and is struck with a fatal blow, the defender has committed no crime. However, if the same scenario occurs in the daytime, the defender is considered guilty of bloodshed. Anyone who steals has to make restitution, but if they have nothing with which to repay, they themselves are to be sold to make restitution. If a stolen animal is found alive in a thief’s possession, whether it is an ox, donkey or sheep, the thief has to pay back double.

God really wanted people to be responsible when it came to their livestock. Chapter 22 continues as follows: For those whose animals graze in someone else’s field, the owner of the offending animal has to make restitution for the damaged field or vineyard using the best of their own field or vineyard. If a fire broke out and spreads into thornbushes in a manner that shocks of grain or even the whole field is damaged, the one who started the fire is required to make restitution.

If a person gave another individual silver or goods for safekeeping and those were then stolen from that neighbor’s house, the thief, if caught, would have to pay back double. But if the thief is not found, the owner of the house who had been put in charge of the silver or goods must appear before the judges to determine if the owner had actually taken the person’s property. If a case arises where two people claim ownership of the same property, be it an ox, donkey, sheep, garment, or anything else, both people had to appear before the judges. The one who was found guilty would have to pay the other person double.

Similar rules are given for an instance in which one person entrusts another with his animals. If a person gave a donkey, ox, sheep or other animal to a neighbor for safekeeping and it does, is injured, or taken away (animal-napped??), the issue was to be settled by the person that had been in charge of the property swearing an oath to the Lord that they did not harm the other person’s property. Interestingly, the Scripture states that “The owner is to accept this, and no restitution is required” (Exo. 22:11b). Can you imagine this happening today? I almost laughed when I read this, because there is no way people these days are going to take someone’s word for it, even if an oath was sworn to the Lord. Not with people using the name of God so lightly. I cannot imagine in our corrupt Godless world that  someone saying “I promise in the name of the Lord I did not take your property)” would automatically wipe their slate clean in the eyes of the offended party. It would be nice to  just take people’s word for it, but that idea is foreign these days. A lot of people will easily swear an oath to God because they don’t believe he exists anyway.

In those situations, what can we do as Christians? I can think of being lied to on more than one occasion by other Christians. As I have mentioned before, I am the site coordinator at our church for the Moody Bible Institute courses that are offered there. When our attendance was low and the classes were facing the threat of being cancelled, a woman from my own church came to me and said she really wanted to attend, but her finances were tight. My dear, sweet husband agreed to pay for the woman’s course–$60 that he gave this woman, a retired schoolteacher with a husband who had retired from Ford as an engineer or something–and she claimed she would pay us back as soon as she could. It has been years–this woman has since gone on to get a new car and a new house and never paid us back. Neither of us made any mention of it. She can deal with that on her own. God has continually blessed us anyway–we are making a good living and eventually the class participation at Moody grew on its own. -Shrugs-

So I guess it is safe to say that if a person takes an oath to the Lord and doesn’t take it seriously, we as Christians, and them as Israelites, are always expected to let God handle our battles. Let God convict the believer who wrongs another believer. And even if someone stiffs us, our rewards and blessings for doing what is right come from the Lord.

But back to Exodus and the issue of an animal that has been entrusted to a neighbor. If an animal is stolen from a neighbor, the neighbor is required to make restitution to the owner. If the animal was torn to pieces by a wild animal, the neighbor has to present the pieces as evidence to the owner and no restitution is required. Finally, if one borrows an animal from their neighbor and the animal is injured or died while it is in the neighbor’s possession, the neighbor must make restitution. But if the owner was present when the animal is injured or died, the borrower does not have to pay. However, it the animal was hired, the money paid for the hire will be used to cover the loss.

That leads us to social responsibility. These are pretty self-explanatory, but I must admit they appear to be randomly laid out. Of course there is an understandable reason why each of these was given to the Israelite, but I just wondered why they jumped from a rule about a man seducing a virgin to putting a sorceress to death (not that it matters, it’s just one of those things that comes to my odd mind).

“If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife. If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins” (Exo. 22:16-17).

Can you imagine this in today’s landscape? Illicit sex was looked down upon. People were expected to remain pure. I wonder what the STD or out-of-wedlock birth rates would be if men were still required to marry the young lady he sleeps with?

I have seen several arguments about sex in the lives of Christians. One of them, that I must admit that I think is absurd, is that Christians ought to have sex only for reproduction. YIKES. I wouldn’t mind hearing from other Christians on this issue, but I must wholeheartedly disagree. I don’t see where God put the kibosh on sex as a pleasurable experience as long as it is done with your spouse, and only with your spouse. If another person is brought into the bedroom, that constitutes adultery. We also have to control our minds so as to not entertain lustful thoughts or fantasies about anyone other than our spouse.

That is not to say that other attractive individuals may not catch our eye. I personally am not attracted to other men. I know that may seem like an absurd statement. It may be hard to believe for most. But it is the truth–I have not seen a single man that turns my head since I have been with my husband. I find him attractive on all levels, not just in terms of his physical beauty, but also in terms of his intellect and how he wears his manhood. I suppose that is why it is easy for me to look past other guys–I am only deeply attracted to people I know very well, and as my husband, he is the only man I know well. I have not asked him if he is attracted to other women in terms of noticing a beautiful woman–I don’t really care because I don’t believe he would cheat on me–but I am fully aware that the world is full of beautiful women. Maybe he looks, I don’t know. Hopefully a look doesn’t lead to a lustful thought.

(Snickering–I think I am a permissive wife, in that I would not be offended by my husband thinking another woman is pretty (God is capable of all kinds of beauty), but if we were ever in a situation like that above–where I caught him checking out another woman–admittedly I would be teed off).

But I digress.

“Do not allow a sorceress to live” (22:18).

Do people think this is harsh? Remember this is exactly what God has delivered Israel from, in a sense. The people are still spiritual babes who can easily be mislead. God is trying to establish them as a HOLY nation of priests. Surely a sorceress in the group would be a deterrent.

“Anyone who has sexual relations with an animal is to be put to death” (22:19).

So… it baffles me that God had to prohibit this. This was one where it seems common sense would be enough for people to know better than to have sex with animals. But yet, God knows the depravity of man. He would not have said this if he did not have to. There is nothing new under the sun. People have been doing out-of-order stuff for centuries.

“Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the Lord must be destroyed” (22:20).

Sin is like cancer. If you leave it unchecked, undoubtedly it will spread. We will definitely see more of this the further we get into the Bible: That if the sin of idol worship is left to its own devices, soon other Israelites would adopt the same practices. The best example is when the Israelites fail to completely remove the pagan nations from their Promised Land. Before they know it, they are involved in some of their pagan practices.

“Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt” (22:21).

Although the Israelites are not to forget from whence they came, and are expected to treat foreigners among them well, they are also to execute caution when it came to people who did not worship God. Since Israel was supposed to be setting an example, the expectation was that they would not be converted to the ways of any foreigners among them, but that instead, foreigners would follow their example. Unfortunately, the Israelites did not set the right example, and in later books they suffered for it.

“Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless” (22:22-24).

God has no appreciation for those who prey on the vulnerable. Widows and fatherless individuals were definitely economically vulnerable.

“If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest” (22:25).

WOW. Can you imagine this? School loans with no interest? Home loans with no interest? Credit cards with no interest? HAH! I only laugh because I thought of it in the context of today’s society and our love of capitalism here in America. People are content to get rich on the backs of the less fortunate.

I will refrain from railing against capitalism and interest rates in terms of businesses and organizations because that would be a post that could go on forever. For Christians, we should not charge interest to people if we loan them money. Our goal in loaning money should be to help out, while interest is charged for the sole reasons of making sure the lender profits (some also say that it is a risk management move). If God has blessed us so that we can be a blessing to others, and we have the money to loan, we should do so cheerfully (not stupidly, mind you). My personal thinking is that unless we have large amounts of money that we can stand to lose, that Christians should not lend large sums of money, because if the person fails to pay it back, the relationship between the lender and borrower may change for the worse. Take the instance with my husband and I and the sixty dollars we “loaned” to our church member. Yes, she was wrong not to pay it back when she said it would, but in the end it didn’t hurt us financially. If it had been a large amount that she failed to repay, and we would have fallen behind on our bills for instance, then yes, we would have been angry with her.

“If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, return it by sunset, because that cloak is the only covering your neighbor has. What else can they sleep in? When they cry out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate” (22:26-27).

A cloak then was the equivalent of a little black wrap dress today. It was multi-faceted, multi-purpose. People wore their cloaks as protection from the elements, used them as blankets, and used them to sit on. This is why God talked about people needing their cloaks for sleeping. It was not like today, where we have several coats or jackets to suit each season and multiple decorative comforters and bedding. Cloaks had to be made. Imagine that process–procuring the cloth and then making it to fit.

Chapter 22 concludes with the following (22:28-31):

“Do not blaspheme God or curse the ruler of your people. Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats. You must give me the firstborn of your sons. Do the same with your cattle and your sheep. Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but give them to me on the eighth day. You are to be my holy people. So do not eat the meat torn by wild beasts; throw it to the dogs”.

The firstborn son of Israelites, at this time, were to have special priestly responsibilities in terms of serving God. Since the entire nation was to be priestly, having the firstborn son be set aside for priestly service would ensure that there was representation from all twelve tribes. However, after the sin of worshiping the golden calf, this responsibility was handed over to Aaron and his descendants. Recall that Aaron (and Moses his brother) were of the Levite tribe.

Chapter 23 laws cover issues of justice, the Sabbath, and three annual festivals, leading up to chapter 24, where the Israelites confirm the covenant with the Lord.

The people are prohibited from spreading false reports, nor were people permitted to help a person who was guilty of a crime by being a malicious witness. Even early on, God was acknowledging the power of the tongue. Look how much damage can be done just by saying the wrong thing, spreading the wrong gossip, slandering someone. Of course we should tell the truth in criminal matters inside a courtroom, but we also have to be mindful of what we say in our everyday lives. Words can destroy a person.

God also tells the Israelites not to follow the crowd in wrongdoing, and not to pervert justice in courts by providing testimony that sides with the crowd. God tells his people not to show favoritism to poor people in a lawsuit. I found that to be kind of interesting, because our justice system…or should I say injustice system…unfairly stacks the cards against poor people. Regardless of a person’s social standing, the Israelites were expected to be fair and impartial in court matters. The same should go for today, but it is not.

All in all, God wants his people to be honest in their dealings. If someone was to come across an enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, they were expected to return it. If an Israelite saw the donkey of someone they hated that had fallen down under its load, they were expected to help the person aide the donkey. God tells his people not to deny justice to poor people in terms of potential lawsuits, and have nothing to do with false charges. Definitely, the Israelites were not expected to put innocent or honest people to death. God says, “For I will not acquit the guilty” (23:7b). Also in terms of court justice, the people are not to accept bribes. Finally, God again repeats that the Israelites are not to oppress foreigners.

Next, we see God again referring to the magic number of completion, seven, in terms of harvesting crops and the Sabbath. For six years the Israelites are to work the fields, but during the seventh year they are to allow the land to rest. During this time the poor will be able to get the unused produce, as well as the animals. The same is required of the Israelites for their olive groves and vineyards. For six days the Israelites are allowed to work, but on the seventh day they are to refrain from working, in order that they and their animals, slaves and any foreigners residing in the land may be refreshed. (This is an example of how foreigners were expected to follow the Israelites. It was expected that foreigners practiced the Sabbath). To conclude this section, God reminds the Israelites to be mindful to do what he has told them to do, and refrain from invoking the names of any other gods.

Chapter 23 ends with the implementation of three annual festivals. These festivals are for God. I think of revivals when I read this passage of Scripture. Of course, our minds are to be stayed on God all throughout the year, but at revivals we gather together in exuberant celebration of God and renewal of our spiritual selves. Revivals involve good, Bible-based preaching, joyful praise in the form of song and personal testimony, and fellowship that usually involves breaking bread together. During revivals we joyfully remember and celebrate everything God has done for us and who he is. I imagine these festivals had the same purpose–to allow the nation to join together to commemorate with joyful celebration all that God had done for them.

The first festival was the Festival of Unleavened Bread, which harkened to the time they were leaving Egypt and ate a hasty meal of meat, bitter herbs and unleavened bread (see Exodus 12). For seven days they are to eat bread without yeast, and no one is allowed to appear before the Lord empty-handed. This festival is to take place during the month of Aviv, which corresponds to our month of March, right around the spring equinox. Notice that although God expects everyone to have something to present to him, he doesn’t say what. Or, more appropriately, he doesn’t say how much. Can that be applied to today? Possibly. There are people who firmly believe Christians should tithe one-tenth of their income. Tithing is discussed many times in the Bible, more often in the Old Testament. I don’t think we should limit ourselves to just one-tenth, although that can be a good beginning measuring rod. Our attitude when we give is more important than how much we give. Jesus looked upon the poor widow who gave two coins, which equaled approximately one cent, very fondly. We have to give cheerfully, knowing that what we give is God’s anyway, that he has just appointed us stewards of some to see if we will be responsible with more, and with the understanding that what we give goes toward furthering God’s kingdom. God loves a cheerful giver. Basically, I am not against the concept of tithing one-tenth, but I am saying that it does not appear that Christians are commanded to give one-tenth of their income. We should give to the church as our heart sees fit, and the New Testament Scriptures definitely allude to this. For example, the very Scripture I just mentioned in its entirety is from 2nd Corinthians 9:7: “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”. For people with higher incomes, giving ten percent will not begrudge them, but for someone who doesn’t make much money, ten percent may be a financial hardship that they do out of obligation instead of love for God. God doesn’t want that from us.

The second festival is that of the Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops the people sow in their fields. Lastly, there is the Festival of the Ingathering. This occurs at the end of the year, when the people gather their crops from the field. Three times each year, the Israelite men–it specifically says men–are to appear before the Lord. The people are prohibited from offering the blood of a sacrifice to the Lord along with anything that contains yeast (yeast is often symbolic of sin in the Bible). The fat of the food from those festivals is not to be kept overnight, and the people are to bring the best of the firstfruits of their soil to the Lord. Finally, God instructs the Israelites not to cook a young goat in its mother’s milk. Admittedly, this last part confused me a bit, because I wondered about its significance. It is not a huge deal, but it seems kind of random. God goes from discussing festivals to cooking a goat. In my very humble opinion–disagree if you wish, and if you have other insight I would LOVE to know–my assumption is that God is protective of the parent relationship no matter what the species. Let’s just say that a mother goat processes information like a human. How damaging and kind of unethical and inhumane–I know the application of humanity does not necessarily apply to animals, but go with me here–is it for a baby goat to be cooked in its mother’s milk? Slap in the face? And kind of creepy and weird? Although man has dominion over animals, we are not to treat them cruelly.

At the conclusion of this chapter God informs the Israelites that he has sent an angel ahead of them for guidance to the place he has prepared for them. He commands the Israelites to pay attention to his angel and listen to what he says. They are not to rebel against him, for if they do, the angel will not forgive their rebellion “since my name is in him” (23:21). Basically, rebelling against the angel would be the equivalent of rebelling against God, since the angel was God’s agent. Forgiveness is given by God, not angels. If the Israelites only listened to God and did what he told them to do, he would go up against the people that opposed them. The angel would lead the people into the land that was currently occupied by the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites, and God would wipe them out. God tells his people not to bow down to their pagan gods or worship them or follow their practices. Instead, they have to demolish them and break their idols to pieces. If the Israelites would only worship God, he would bless them with food and water and take sickness from among them. None of them would miscarry or be barren in their new land. They would have a full life span.

Mind you, the initial plan for man has been destroyed and sin has entered the world. Had it not been for Adam and Eve, man would have lived a long, sickness-free life, with God providing all of our needs. Look at how the Israelites could have had a snippet of what Adam experienced before sin led to the decay of man and the earth.

God reveals the rest of his Promised Land plan for the Israelites. If they were obedient, God would handle their enemy nations for them, throwing them into confusion and sending hornets to drive them out. He would do it in increments so that the land would not be left desolate for the Israelites. The borders of the land would extend from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the desert to the Euphrates river (the exact size of Canaan is something I am interested in finding out. Apparently, Canaan corresponds to current-day Lebanaon, Syria, Israel, and Jordan, so we’re not talking about a small strip of land here). Unfortunately, the Israelites mess up this opportunity when they do not heed the following, which is found at the end of chapter 23:

I will give into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out before you. Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods.  Do not let them live in your land or they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you” (23:31b-33). As is seen in later books, the Israelites fail to completely remove the pagan nations from their land, and just as God says here, the worship of their gods becomes a snare. Very unfortunate. These people could have had it made in the shade.

Now the time has come to confirm the covenant. Chapter 24 begins with the Lord instructing Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu (Aaron’s first two sons) and seventy elders of Israel to approach him. The others are allowed to worship at a distance–only Moses can get near the Lord. The people are forbidden from approaching the Lord. Moses repeats the Lord’s words, and they respond: “Everything the Lord has said, we will do” (24:3). Moses then proceeds to write down everything the Lord has told him. The next morning Moses gets up and builds an altar at the foot of the mountain with twelve stones, one stone per tribe. Fellowship offerings are given to the Lord. Moses takes half the blood from the offerings and splashes it against the altar; the remaining half is put into bowls. Then he took the Book of the Covenant (what he just wrote down) and read it to the people. They again agree to abide by what is written. Moses sprinkles the blood from the bowls on the people and says, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words” (24:8).

A wonderful event takes place for Moses, Aaron, his two sons Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel. They get the chance to go up and see the God of Israel. The Scripture says that “Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky” (24:10). Lapis lazuli was a precious stone. What they saw might have been similar in appearance to a sidewalk or platform made of this:

Pretty, isn’t it?

That is what not is truly beautiful about this event. The Scripture goes on to state that these men had the opportunity to actually dine with God. God did not raise his hand against them. Can you imagine?? Being in that close presence with the Almighty? With the Creator? It is even more fascinating when I consider the future of Nadab and Abihu (SPOILER ALERT), who, despite having been a part of this glorious event, died in Leviticus after offering up an unauthorized fire to the Lord.

The Lord then tells Moses to come up the the mountain, where he will receive tablets made of stone on which the laws and commandments will be written. Along with Joshua his aide (our first mention of Joshua, who will eventually take over leadership of Israel from Moses), Moses goes up the mountain of God. He leaves the people in the hands of Aaron and Hur. Moses ascends the mountain, and a cloud covers it. The glory of the Lord settles upon the cloud. The cloud covering hangs over the mountain for six days, and on the seventh day (magical number seven again) the Lord called to Moses from the cloud. From the vantage point of the Israelites, the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain (imagine that!). Moses goes in, and stays there to receive the laws forty days and forty nights (another favorite number of the Lord).

(That is a picture of Mt. Sinai that I love… I would like to visit. At the base of the mountain is a monastery).

Again, this post is longer than I planned it to be, but I also did not intend on going on a tangent about Mitchelle Blair or my hair. Now it is late, and thank God both my kids are asleep. I can get ready for tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll get some sleep… but probably not (sigh).

Ah well. Whatever time I spend not sleeping, I can spend studying my Word. There’s never a bad time to crack open the Bible. You can never get enough Bible.

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