Mon, 20/05/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

I often hear it said that if you join a local church, you haven't just joined a branch of the church, or a part of the church. You are a member of the church. Each local church is the church. At the same time, the church throughout the world is one.

One thought just struck me that makes this clearer.

In the book of Exodus, the people are told how to build a tabernacle, a tent in which God can live. One of the pieces of furniture in that tabernacle is a golden lampstand. It symbolises that God lives amongst his people.

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Manna-eating worms

Tue, 16/12/2014 - 12:39 -- James Oakley

I owe to my friend John Goulding the following observation:

In Jonah 4, God provided a plant to shield Jonah from the heat. The verb "to provide" is a key-word in Jonah - it's מָנָה (manah). The worm that ate the manah / the provided plant was a תּוֹלָע (tola`). That's not a common word in the Old Testament (39x). 27 of those are in the book of Exodus, where the usual meaning is (by metonymy) the purple die made from a particular type of worm. But one is Exodus 16:20.

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The covenant in my blood

Thu, 06/02/2014 - 13:04 -- James Oakley

Two very important things happen in Exodus chapter 24. Both are designed to encourage the people of Israel that God is serious about having them as his people.

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The Ultimate Plan

Tue, 04/02/2014 - 12:55 -- James Oakley

Exodus chapter 19 is a very important chapter.

Many of us know well the story of the Passover, the Exodus and the crossing of the Red Sea.

Exodus 19 tells us where this was heading - the ultimate plan. God says, in verse 4, "I brought you to myself". God brought them out of Egypt, so that they could gather around God's presence at Mount Sinai.

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The Sea

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 15:33 -- James Oakley

This morning, at our 8 am service, we had two readings. They weren't picked because they belonged together. We had Exodus 14 because we've resting the whole Bible as a church and this is where we've got to in the Old Testament. We had Matthew 8 because this is the BCP gospel reading for the 4th Sunday after Epiphany.

Yet they shed some very interesting light on each other.

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Structure of Exodus 32-34

Wed, 04/08/2010 - 13:00 -- James Oakley

I find Motyer's proposed structure of Exodus 32-34 more convincing at some points than at others, but it definitely contains some useful observations about how the section as a whole is working:

A1      Moses doubted (32:1-6)
      B1      Covenant under threat. Moses’ intercession (32:7-14)
            C1      The broken tablets (32:15-19)

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Heaven in space and time

Wed, 21/07/2010 - 12:12 -- James Oakley

“It is most fitting that the Sabbath be the sign of this covenant. Israel, as we have noted, is a new creation. This is a new people of God, whom he intends to use to undo the work of the first man. Also, the tabernacle is a microcosm of the created order, a parcel of edenic splendour established amid the chaos of the world. The Sabbath is not just a reminder of the original creation in Genesis 1 and 2, but a reminder of God’s re-creation of the cosmos in the tabernacle.”

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Negative Commandments?

Sat, 10/07/2010 - 09:41 -- James Oakley

The ten commandments are framed as negative statements. Does that mean that they are negative in purpose, and restrictive of freedom? Not at all:

“A negative command is far more liberating than a positive one, for a positive command restricts life to that one course of action, whereas a negative command leaves life open to every course of action except one.” (Motyer, page 215)

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The law as table manners

Thu, 08/07/2010 - 14:36 -- James Oakley

Looking at Exodus 19-24 for Sunday morning, I'm struck by the structure of the law there. It is anchored with back-references to the deliverance from Egypt in chapter 19 and 20:1-2, and the climax is a meal shared by 74 of the Israelites in the presence of God in chapter 24. They enter heaven, and they eat and drink without dying.

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