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“Ye Shall Be a Peculiar Treasure Unto Me”

Old Testament Lesson 14

Ye Shall Be a Peculiar Treasure Unto Me”- April 25, 2010

INTRODUCTION:

In Lesson 13, we discussed how Moses saved Israel from the plagues in Egypt.  Following the Passover, the Lord asked Israel to participate in the feast of unleavened bread as a reminder of how they were delivered from bondage.

Israel – Faithful or Faithless?

Rather than answering that question right now, let’s look at some of the things that the Lord did for Israel.

On the board, make a list of all of the miracles the Lord performed through Moses for the benefit of Israel in the previous lesson…

  1. The Passover
  2. The feast of unleavened bread – The Lord appeared as a cloud of smoke by day and a pillar of light by night
  3. Parting of the Red Sea

Just a few days into their journey after the Lord had parted the Red Sea the Israelites found no water.  And the people began to murmur.  Moses cried and cried unto the Lord.  The Lord promised them no disease if they would remain faithful.  They continued their journey and came to Elim where they found “twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters.”  They stayed in Elim for a time.  Then they continued on their journey.

SCRIPTURE #1 Exodus 16: 1-3

1 And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.

2 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:

3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

Oh good grief – how on earth these people could say to Moses that it would have been better to have died in the land of Egypt than to walk in the wilderness.

Are there times in your life when you think, “Dang, it would have been way easier to pick Satan’s plan and not come to earth than the trials that I’m having to endure and the decisions I’m having to make here!”?

What does Faithful mean?

What about Faithless?

So, now let’s take a look at my earlier question.  Israel – Faithful or Faithless?

Isreal witnessed amazing miracles, yet it did not help them believe.  Nor did it strengthen their testimonies of God.  Instead they continued to murmur any time there was a tough time ahead of them.   No food, no water, the Red Sea in the way, any challenge meant murmuring.  And they were the CHOSEN people.

What does it mean to murmur?

Why is murmuring so damaging?

Who does it hurt?

What are some other ways you can make a point that you may disagree or struggle with the decisions that someone else has made that affect you?

QUOTE #1

President Wilford Woodruff:  “I want the Latter-day Saints to stop murmuring and complaining at the providence of God. Trust in God. Do your duty. Remember your prayers. Get faith in the Lord, and take hold and build up Zion. All will be right.” (Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p252)

God answered Moses’ prayer for his people by “raining bread from heaven.”   But with this bread they were given very important instruction.   They were told to gather enough food for only 1 day and then on the eve of the Sabbath they were told to gather enough for 2 days.

What happened if they gathered more than enough for one day?

What happened if they didn’t gather enough for the Sabbath?

As always, God has reasons for doing things the way that he does.  By delivering food this way it would cause them to …

  • Show obedience
  • Receive daily reminders of the Lord’s power and love
  • It would teach the people that they do not live “by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord”
  • Humble the people and help them receive salvation

What does the Lord do in our lives that serves as a reminder?

Manna has been likened to the Word of Christ.  How is it similar?

Sustaining the church leaders –

The Israelites and Amalekites battled.  During the battle, Moses stood on a hillside and observed.  When he raised his arms, Israel prevailed.  When he lowered his arms, Amalek prevailed.

Hold up your hands above your head.  I’ll let you know when to lower them.

***Watch the group to see when someone starts to lower.  Stop where you are and ask

If someone could help you hold up your arms, could you do it for a longer time?

QUOTE #2

“I am reminded how Moses up on the hill raised his arms for the victory of the armies of Israel. As long as his arms were raised, Israel prevailed, but when they dropped from weariness, then the enemy prevailed. And so Aaron and Hur ‘stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side,’ and Israel was victorious (Exodus 17:12). So will we be victorious as we hold up the arms of the Lord’s anointed servants” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1986, 98; or Ensign, May 1986, 77).

While Moses was holding up his arms, they would get tired and start to fall.  Aaron and Hur held up his arms for him.

What are some of the spiritual battles that we face today?

Pornography, disaster, addictions…

How are our church leaders holding up their arms so that we might win these battles?

General Conference talks, Humanitarian aid, Meeting with world leaders

How can we help sustain church leaders and make their burden lighter?

Moses on Mount Sinai –

The Lord called Moses to the mountain because He had decided the children of Israel were to be the chosen people.  And felt it was time to deliver them the holy covenants.   As part of these covenants, God revealed the 10 commandments.

Allow us to take a few moments and spend some time discussing the first few of the commandments…

SCRIPTURE #2  Exodus 20: 3-11

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

7 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

President Kimball said this about idolatry, “Idolatry is among the most serious of sins. … Modern idols or false gods can take such forms as clothes, homes, businesses, machines, automobiles, pleasure boats, and numerous other material deflectors from the path to godhood. …

“Intangible things make just as ready gods. Degrees and letters and titles can become idols. …

“Many people build and furnish a home and buy the automobile first—and then they ‘cannot afford’ to pay tithing. Whom do they worship? Certainly not the Lord of heaven and earth. …

“Many worship the hunt, the fishing trip, the vacation, the weekend picnics and outings. Others have as their idols the games of sport, baseball, football, the bullfight, or golf. …

“Still another image men worship is that of power and prestige. … These gods of power, wealth, and influence are most demanding and are quite as real as the golden calves of the children of Israel in the wilderness” (The Miracle of Forgiveness [1969], 40–42).

How can we keep from falling into the trap of idolatry?

Next we are told not to take the Lord’s name in vein.  This is one that we hear constantly.  It is difficult to teach our children why this one is so important when children’s shows constantly take the Lord’s name in vein.

Why is this commandment so important?

QUOTE #3

Elder James E. Talmage:  “We may take the name of God in vain by profane speech. We take it in vain when we swear falsely, not being true to our oaths and promises. We take it in vain in a blasphemous sense when we presume to speak in that name without authority. And we take his name in vain whenever we willfully do aught that is in defiance of his commandments, since we have taken his name upon ourselves.” (CR, Oct 1931)

The last one to look at today is keeping the Sabbath day holy.

In the Doctrine and Covenants we read this about the Sabbath day, D&C 59:9-10

9 And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day;

10 For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High;

How do you keep the Sabbath day holy?

Imagine you are in a forum where no one is judging you and there is no wrong answer, now answer that question again.

How do you keep the Sabbath day holy?

How should we decide what activities are appropriate?

After Moses had taught the 10 commandments, he went up to the Mountain of the Lord again to understand further instruction.

While Moses was on the Mountain with the Lord, it was revealed to him that his people built a golden calf because they were impatient waiting for Moses to return.  They again murmured but this time to Aaron.  So Aaron told them to go and gather their gold and he made the golden calf for them.  They then announced that the calf was the god that saved them from Egypt.  This all being after they had received the 10 commandments.

Obviously the Lord was upset by this behavior but Moses pleaded with him to give them another chance.  So the Lord changed his mind and sent Moses on his way with the plates.

What happened when Moses returned to camp?

The Law of Moses was put into place and the Israelites did not receive the fullness of the covenants due to their wickedness.

I am grateful for Sundays.  I am grateful that they are a day I can rejuivenate spiritually and physically.  The Sabbath is a wonderful day for journal writing, extra scripture study and playing with family.  I am grateful that the Lord gives us reminders of his love – even if at times those reminders are terrible trials.  In the end, we are blessed with His love and power.

COMMENT REQUEST:

Is the Sabbath a

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