Devotions

Author Archives: Isaiah Combs

A Cow?

Broken Tablets | Devotion 3: A Cow?
Isaiah Combs  

My parents were really busy people and still are. When my brothers and I were too young to watch ourselves, my parents would bring in a babysitter to watch us. I want to give a quick note and apologize to our babysitters. We are and were three very type A, rambunctious, and annoying kids.

My parents would leave us with these poor people, and we would go crazy. My Mom was great and ran a very tight ship. The three of us were very aware of what, where, and when we were supposed to do things. So we took full advantage that the babysitter was unaware of Mom’s strict rules and guidelines. We would basically do whatever we wanted to do and try and get away with the craziest things.

That is what is happening in Exodus 32:15-20. Moses was up on top of the mountain while the Israelites were camped at the base of the mountain. Moses was up there on top of the mountain speaking to God and getting the Ten Commandments. On his way back down, he hears a crazy sound. It was the sound of the Israelites worshiping a golden image (The idol was a cow made of gold. Why do we worship creation and not the creator?). They created it from the gold of their sons’ earrings. By the way, when I was a kid, I wanted earrings. So, I used this to convince my parents that boys in the Bible had earrings. It did not work.

This story is just like my Mom when she would get home from whatever she was doing. She would either see the devastation that we caused or our poor babysitter would tell her all the terrible things we had done while she was out. This is what Moses was feeling. He was furious, and he punished the Israelite by melting the golden cow down and making them drink it.

Just like the Israelites, when Moses was up on the mountain talking to God, we have a choice of who we are going to worship. On Sundays, when going to church and worship God, we have a choice. During the week, when we are away from everyone, we choose who we are worshiping. Is it your job, money, wife, kids, yourself, or God?

Who are you worshiping when no one is looking?

Rest

Ten Commandments | Devotion 3: Rest
Isaiah Combs

I struggle with resting. I am not talking about sleeping but resting. I enjoy napping, but with five kids that is not a given. When I finally lay my head down at night, I fall asleep with no problem.

I am talking about resting from work and the busyness of life. I love to be busy, and I love that I get to serve God with my life in full-time ministry. The work of the Lord is never done, and if you allow it to, it will consume you and your life.

Resting is important. Yes, work, kids, life, and fill in the blank are important. However, we as followers were called to rest. We can define our use of rest as a resetting, unwinding, getting perspective, spending time doing nothing, or hanging out with your family.

I struggle with resting, and I believe it is me not trusting God and telling Him He is not in control, and I need to work like a maniac to make up where He is lacking.

God created everything in six days, and on the seventh day, God rested (Genesis chapter one). God is purposeful in everything He does, and everything in the Bible was put there on purpose for a purpose. God rested on the seventh day. This means that we, as followers of Christ, should take time once a week to rest and give God the glory for the week.

Exodus 20:8-11 further supports my argument for a day of rest. God commanded the Israelites (His chosen people) to create a Sabbath, a day of rest that would honor God in accordance with the rest day God took on the seventh day after creation.

Exodus 20:8-11 says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days, the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

Some people make the argument that Sundays are the day that God wants us to rest. It can vary for each of us.

• God rested on the last day of the week, and that day is Saturday, not Sunday.
• He actually did not say what day to rest.
• My work week starts on Tuesday and goes through Sunday. Sunday is usually my hardest most stressful day. It is work for me.
• I take my Sabbath, or rest day, on Mondays.

Taking a rest day is hard, and if you want to implement this in your life, it is going to take real commitment. You may have to turn off your phone, get off social media, tell your boss you cannot, and actively choose not to plan things for your day of rest.

Arms Raised High

Raised Arms | Devotion 6: Arms Raised High
Isaiah Combs

The story of Moses, as told in the book of Exodus, is an awesome story of God’s power and love for His people. God used Moses as an instrument for His will to the people of Israel. I like to say that God has a plan and a purpose for our lives, and this is especially true in the life of Moses.

Moses was saved from genocide as a baby. He grew up in royalty. He killed a man and then fled to the wilderness to be a shepherd for 40 years. Then God sent him back to Egypt to deliver a message to the Pharaoh and used Moses to set the Israelites free from 400 years of slavery. He then was put in charge of millions of people who were now homeless and traveling across the wilderness on direction from God who is in the form of a cloud that they follow by day and a pillar of fire they follow by night. They followed God through the wilderness for 40 years. This is not even the full story of Moses. I recommend sitting down and reading Exodus and seeing all the awesome and crazy things that happened to and through Moses.

One of the awesome “God stories” that happened to Moses was when a guy named Amalek and his army decided to pick a fight with God’s people (never a good idea). God promised Moses and his people a victory only if Moses could hold up his staff, the same one he used to split the Red Sea, over his head. Could you imagine how tired Moses would have been to do that all day? I know I could not do it all day, and neither could Moses. So God sent Aaron and Hur to help him hold his arms up in the air. The Israelites won the battle against Amalek.

He then tells Moses to write this as a memorial or testimony to the next in charge of the Israelites, Joshua (Exodus 17:14-16). God wanted the leader and people of Israel to know that the promises of God are real, and sometimes what God wants you to do is going to be hard. It is going to take some effort and some strain. It might be like holding up a staff for a whole day. However, God will send you people to help you and hold your arms up for you. God has other people like Aaron and Hur. It is nothing that Moses did to win the battle with Amalek.

It was all God and His power. God will send you the help you need so you can finish your task.

Celebration, Food, and Freedom

Passover | Devotion 5: Celebration, Food, and Freedom
Isaiah Combs

Passover is not something that is celebrated outside of Jewish culture. However, every year around the Easter season, some Jewish people (Israelites) and people they invite come together and celebrate Passover for eight days.

Passover was implemented by God through Moses in Exodus chapter 12. So the fact that people are still celebrating it thousands of years later is awesome and speaks to the great heritage of the Jewish people. The reason why Passover is important to the Jewish culture is that they are celebrating and honoring God for the awesome things He did for them.

Specifically, they are celebrating being freed from Egyptian slavery. The Israelites were slaves in Egypt for 400 years. That is a crazy long time. Then God sent Moses with demands to Pharaoh the King of Egypt. Moses told Pharaoh to let God’s people leave. Pharaoh said “no” to God’s demands. God then sent ten plagues to torment Egypt. God sent frogs, gnats, locust, boils, hail, darkness, and flies. He turned their water to blood, killed their livestock, and killed all the firstborn males in Egypt.

During the last plague, the Spirit of God moved over all of Egypt. The only thing that protected the Israelite firstborn was blood. God told His people to sacrifice a lamb and wipe the blood on their doors (Exodus chapter 12). This is a clear picture of Jesus in the Old Testament. Jesus died for our sins, and because of that, we are washed in His blood and are saved from death. To help better understand the Old Testament, it is good to look for Jesus.

The last plague that happened to the Egyptians, the killing of the first born, is called the Passover. Whenever the Spirit of God saw blood on the doorpost, He “passed over” their firstborn. This was the straw that broke the camels back. Pharaoh finally gave in and let God’s people go. Passover is an eight-day celebration with a lot of food (What is a celebration without food?). It is a reminder of the Israelites being freed by God from slavery.

Romans 8:2 tells us, “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” We, too, should celebrate our freedom in Jesus Christ. We were saved by His blood. We are free.

Go!

Moses Challenges Pharaoh | Devotion 2: Go!
Isaiah Combs

“On the day when the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, the Lord said to Moses, ‘I am the Lord; tell Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say to you.’” Exodus 6:28-29

I do not know about you, but I believe the job given by God to Moses is a tough pill to swallow. Moses had basically run away from all his problems in Egypt and started a new life in the wilderness. Then God told him He wanted him to go back to Egypt. He not only wanted him to go back to Egypt but go and tell Pharaoh, the king of the land of Egypt, that God had a message for him that was going to change his economy in a big way.

God’s message given to Moses was to tell Pharaoh to let His people leave. The Jewish people were slaves of the Egyptian empire, and the economic catastrophe that would follow if the Jewish people were released would be a disaster of epic proportions. Of course, Pharaoh said no, and Moses’ life and the job got a lot harder.

God may have a plan for your life that may require drastic measures economically or locational. It may be hard and get harder. God told my wife and me to get out of the military after I had spent nine years of my life. It meant we would leave steady pay, retirement, and the comforts that we grew to love. Now, I would not change a thing. The path that God has taken my wife and me on has been incredible, and we are excited to see what He holds for us in the future.

God may have a plan for your life that may require drastic measures economically or locational. It may be hard and get harder. But just like Moses, God may want you to go to a place where you are uncomfortable or uncertain. God used Moses in a great way through it, and He has great plans for you as well.



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