Scriptures: Exodus 34:27-28, Jeremiah 15:16, & Nehemiah 8:9-12
Song of Praise: Doxology
There is no question that Moses is one of the most prominent and typological figures of the Old Testament. He not only served as one who mediated God's covenant to God's people but he was also God's prophet, declaring His Word to the people of Israel.
After God delivered His people out of bondage in Egypt, He led them to the foot of Mount Sinai. It was there that God delivered His law to Moses.
His law outlines His plan and purpose for how a redeemed people should live, if they were going to pursue fellowship with God.
There, on top of the mountain, God descended. It was frightening to the people of Israel.
Having Moses go up the mountain was one thing, (Exodus 20:18-19), but they were much too troubled to climb the mountain, and meet God for themselves.
As we saw in our scripture, for forty days and forty nights, Moses received the word of God up there on the mountain.
Interestingly, the forty day span was a fast for Moses. He neither ate nor drank during His time on the mountain. Forty days seems like an awful long time to go without sustenance.
After all, food and drink are necessary elements to keep us alive.
Miraculously, Moses didn't need common food and drink during these forty days.
They were of little use before the presence of God; the very source of life.
The Prophet Jeremiah proclaims that life and vitality are found in the very words of God. We must remember the redemptive paradigm that Moses and Exodus provides; God saves His people, leads them through the desert, gives them His law, then finally sends them into the promised land. It is in the land of abundance that God's people must conquer their enemies.
Only after God's law is given do we see the prospect of fruitful gleaning and conquering/subduing in the promised land.
Many years later, and after continual disobedience to God's law, the King of Babylon captures Israel. This exile generated vast ignorance in God's people; whole generations of Israelites had never heard God's law.
God sends them the Prophet Nehemiah.
Nehemiah received favor from the very Kingdom that had brought Israel into exile.
The king allowed Nehemiah to rebuild Jerusalem's borders, rebuilding what the exile had broken.
After many perilous days of hard labor, the walls of Jerusalem had been rebuilt.
Upon the wall's commemoration, the priest, Ezra, brought out the scrolls of God's law. Reading them aloud to the people, all of Israel was overcome with tears.
They were no longer in bondage or in the desert. Ezra says to all of them,
"Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
They were back in the promised land. This marvelous redemption called for a feast, and so, a feast, filled with much rejoicing was had!
We too have been brought from the exile of our own disobedience to God.
God's law beckons us toward blessing and feasting.
So come and feast at a table prepared for you. Like the Israelites, God has delivered us, provided us with His law, and has given us His life-giving feast, promising us a place in His glorious Kingdom.
May the Lord bless you and keep you;
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Table Talk Questions:
When did God allow for Israel to enter the promised land, before or after He have them His laws?
What caused Nehemiah and all of Israel to weep?
How are we similar to Israel in our own disobedience?
Meal: Tuscan Chicken Mac & Cheese, Bacon Fried Corn, & Cherry Shortbread Tart
Tuscan Chicken Mac & Cheese
Prep and Cook Time: 45-60 minutes
2 large skinless boneless Chicken Breasts, pounded to 1 inch thickness (or 4 boneless and skinless chicken thigh fillets)
Salt and Pepper, to season.
½ teaspoon Paprika (sweet or smokey)
½ teaspoon dried Parsley
1 Tablespoon Oil, divided
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 small Yellow Onion, chopped
6 Cloves Garlic, finely diced
⅓ cup Chicken Broth
14.5 ounce Fire Roasted diced Tomatoes, drain
3 Tablespoons Flour
2 cups Chicken Broth
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
1 box elbow Macaroni uncooked
3 cups Baby Spinach
1 cup Parmesan cheese
¾ cup Mozzarella cheese
½ Cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 Tablespoon Parsley
Season chicken with salt, pepper, paprika, dried parsley, and 2 teaspoons of the oil.
Heat the remaining oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
Once Pan is hot add chicken searing both sides until golden brown, and cooking completely.
Transfer Chicken to a plate covered with tin foil to keep warm.
In the same pan, add butter, onion, and garlic until the onion becomes transparent, stirring occasionally.
Add ⅓ Cup of chicken broth and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, or until beginning to reduce.
Drain fire roasted diced tomatoes and add to pan and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Stir the flour into the pot.
Add 2 Cups chicken broth, 2 ½ Cups milk, herbs, salt, pepper, and bring to a low simmer.
Add the dry macaroni and stir occasionally as it comes to a simmer.
Reduce heat to medium-low and stir regularly while it cooks for 9-10 minutes or until the sauce thickens and the macaroni is cooked al dente.
Add spinach and stir until wilted.
Take the pot off the stove and stir in all the cheese.
Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
If sauce is too thick add the remaining ½ Cup of milk Until reaching desired thickness. Keep in mind the sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
Slice the chicken into strips and stir through the pasta (pour in any juices from the chicken. sprinkle with fresh parsley and stir through.
Bacon Fried Corn
Prep and Cook Time: 30-45 minutes
6 slices Bacon, diced
⅓ cup Onion, finely diced
6 cups Corn Kernels, frozen (thawed)
1 teaspoon Sugar
Salt and Pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons Chives, sliced
Place the bacon in a large pan and cook over medium high heat until browned and crisp.
Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain.
Drain grease off pan until approximately 1 tablespoon remains.
Add the onion to the bacon grease.
Cook for 2-3 minutes or until translucent.
Add the corn, sugar, salt, and pepper to the pan.
Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until corn starts to caramelize and brown on the edges.
Stir the bacon back into the corn.
Top with chives and serve.
Cherry Shortbread Tart
Prep and Cook Time: 1 ½ hours
Serves: 12 slices
1 cup Butter, at room temperature
½ cup Sugar
¼ cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
2 ⅓ cups All-Purpose Flour
½ teaspoon Salt
1 can Cherry Pie Filling
For vanilla icing:
½ Cup Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon Butter, melted
1-2 Tablespoons Milk
Preheat oven to 350 F
Grease a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan and place this on a baking tray.
Using a food processor or mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla, and brown sugar vigorously until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
It’s an important step to beat the butter and sugar well together this ensures the shortbread is light, crisp, and will hold together.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour and salt.
Add it to the butter mixture and mix until blended forming large clumps.
Turn onto a floured surface and using floured hands, press two-thirds of the mixture evenly into prepared pan (including the sides).
Spread the cherry pie filling evenly over the dough. Crumble the remaining dough into large crumbs and scatter evenly over the filling, covering most of the surface.
Bake tart for 40-45 minutes, until lightly browned.
Leave to cool completely in the pan.
In a small bowl whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, butter and one tablespoon of milk. If it looks to thick add a second tablespoon of milk.
Drizzle the cooled tart with the icing, remove from the pan and serve on the base.