All posts by Cheryl Raine

Step by Step

Sunday, March 24, 2019

“Whenever the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, the Israelites would set out on each stage of their journey; but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, before the eyes of all the house of Israel at each stage of their journey.” [Exodus 40:36-38]

I have to admit that I am a bit jealous of the direct line of communication that is recorded in Exodus between God and the Israelites as they sojourned through the wilderness. The signs were clear. Cloud on the tabernacle means “Stay put.” Cloud lifted from the tabernacle means “Move on.”   Continue reading Step by Step

God’s Palpable Presence

Saturday, March 23, 2019

“Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” [Exodus 40:34]

How would you describe the glory of the Lord?  Is it like the dazzling radiant white of Jesus transfigured in the presence of Moses and Elijah? Is it like the deep and penetrating silence of an empty sanctuary steeped in worship and prayer?  Is it the resounding Hallelujah chorus with a sixty-voice choir and a full orchestra? Is it like a colorful meadow of wildflowers?   Continue reading God’s Palpable Presence

Visible Radiance

Thursday, March 21, 2019

“When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face was shining, and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them; and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses spoke with them.”  [Exodus 34:30-31]

During my pilgrimage to Israel almost ten years ago, I had the privilege of sitting at the feet of Father Elias Chacour for a couple of hours.  He is a man whose radiance is visible, even though he had every reason to be filled with resentment and a desire for revenge.  Continue reading Visible Radiance

Changed Countenance

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

“Moses came down from Mount Sinai; as he came down from the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant in his hand. Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.” [Exodus 34:29]

Moses did not know that his face shone, for being in the presence of God had changed his countenance. What about you? Do you notice a change in your countenance and spirit when you spend intentional time with God? When I think of Moses’ experience on the mountaintop, it brings to mind for me contemplative retreats I have experienced. Continue reading Changed Countenance

Sorting Through Chaos

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

“The law… the decrees… the precepts… the commandment… the ordinances… More to be desired are they then gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.” [Psalm 19:10]

Have you ever watched a bunch of four and five year old children attempt to play soccer?  I call soccer at this age swarm ball, because all the children swarm around the ball. Of course, the two goalies are at opposite ends often picking flowers or looking skyward. And until the children learn the rules and who is allowed to be where at any given time, the game really is just chaos.  Can you image trying to play any sport or game without rules. Continue reading Sorting Through Chaos

Revives the Soul

Monday, March 18, 2019

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. [Psalm 19:7-9]

Are you a rule follower, breaker or bender?  For the most part I am a rule follower, but when it comes to the speed at which I drive I am probably more of a rule breaker, especially on our freeways.  What rules do you bend or break?  The psalmist speaks of God’s rules – law, decrees, precepts, commandment, and ordinances – as life giving, they even revive the psalmist’s soul.  Can you think of a law that revives your soul? Continue reading Revives the Soul

Trusting Instructions

Sunday, March 17, 2019

“And Moses said to them, ‘Let no one leave any of the manna over until morning.’ But they did not listen to Moses; some left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and became foul.”

How hard is it for you to follow instructions?  Do you think you know better than the leader providing guidance? Are you more likely to test the instructions or follow them?  I am sure all of us have not listened to instructions at some point in our lives, whether they came from a parent or friend, an employer or senior colleague.  There must be a gene in all of us that likes to test authority. Continue reading Trusting Instructions

God’s Provision

Saturday, March 16, 2019

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day.” [Exodus 16:4]

In this verse I hear an echo of the Lord’s prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread.”  Notice the word daily.  Notice in our text that God told the people to gather enough for the day.” Yet, we, like the Israelites, tend to gather more than we need.  I know that I do.  I have more than enough to get me through today and many tomorrows. When our storehouses are full, it is all too easy to start relying on ourselves. Continue reading God’s Provision

Focusing on the Rearview Mirror

Friday, March 15, 2019

The Israelites said to Moses and Aaron, ‘If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.’”

The Israelites were hungry. They were so hungry that they wished they still were in Egypt where at least their stomachs were full.  What hunger has surfaced for you in the midst of a wilderness experience. Have you hungered for the known, even if it wasn’t ideal?  Have you hungered to return to the past, even though you know you can’t? Continue reading Focusing on the Rearview Mirror

Spiritual Survival Rule

Thursday, March 14, 2019

“The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.”

The Israelites had just experienced a miraculous escape from the Egyptian army with the parting of the Red Sea. They had danced and celebrated, but three days into the wilderness of Shur they began to complain. Moses cried out to God and God satisfied their thirst at the springs of Elim. Yet, their journey continued into the wilderness of Sin and once again the whole congregation of the Israelites complained to  Moses and Aaron because they were hungry. They people must have known the Rule of 3 for Survival: Continue reading Spiritual Survival Rule