February 14 – Scripture of the Day

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The scripture that stood out to me today was Exodus 40:34-35 which says, “Then the cloud covered the Tabernacle, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. Moses could no longer enter the Tabernacle because the cloud had settled down over it, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.”

After the Israelites had finished building the Tabernacle and all the contents, the Lord commanded Moses to construct it on the first day of the year. After that happened, the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.

It must have been a sight to behold, to see a cloud during the day and a fire at night.

To know that the glory of the Lord was with the Israelites.

Wow.

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Today’s reading: Exodus 39:32-40:38, Numbers 9:15-23
Tomorrow’s reading: Numbers 7:1-89

February 13 – Scripture of the Day

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Today’s reading covered the building of the following for the Tabernacle:

  • The Ark
  • The Table
  • The Lampstand
  • The Incense Alter
  • The Alter of Burnt Offering
  • The Washbasin
  • The Courtyard
  • Inventory of materials
  • Clothing for the priests
  • The Ephod
  • The Chestpiece
  • Additional clothing for the priests

But the verse that stood out to me was Exodus 39:30 which says, “Finally, they made the sacred medallion—the badge of holiness—of pure gold. They engraved it like a seal with these words: Holy to the lord.”

They were being commanded to make these things Holy to the Lord. Holy means “set-apart.”

Interestingly, in the New Testament we are commanded to be holy as well.

We are also to be set-apart for God.

We are to be different. We are not to copy the behaviors and customs of the world in which we live; instead we are to live differently.

Jesus definitely called us to live differently.

For example, in chapter six of Luke Jesus tells us to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us and pray for those who hurt us.

If that’s not being different, set-apart, holy, than I don’t know what is.

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Today’s reading: Exodus 37:1- 39:31
Tomorrow’s reading: Exodus 39:32-40:38, Numbers 9:15-23

February 12 – Scripture of the Day

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The scripture that stood out to me today was Exodus 35:2 which is simply another command to obey the Sabbath day. It reads: “You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day must be a Sabbath day of complete rest, a holy day dedicated to the Lord. Anyone who works on that day must be put to death.”

The repeated mention of the Sabbath is a good reminder for me that we need to be intentional about our rest.  In our culture and society, it is all to easy to get caught up doing a thousand things, leaving us feeling rushed, hectic, tired and overwhelmed.

That is one of the reasons one of my goals for 2015 is to DO LESS.

Having margin in our lives is something I am going to write about more coming up, but for now the simple reminder that we need to have a Sabbath day is good. Not only do we need one, but God COMMANDS us to observe it.

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Today’s reading: Exodus 35:1-36:38
Tomorrow’s reading: Exodus 37:1- 39:31

February 11 – Scripture of the Day

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When’s the last time you made up a story to “explain” something stupid you did? Note that I did not ask if you ever did that. Because we all have, we all do.

At this point in Exodus, God has saved the people from Pharoh in Egypt, and led them through the wilderness towards the land of Milk and Honey.

Moses has gone up on the mountain to talk with God, where God gives Moses a bunch of instructions and the 10 Commandments; the actual carved stone tablets that God wrote on.

In the short time that Moses is gone, the Israelites get restless and demand that Moses’ brother Aaron create a “god” for the people to worship.

Aaron’s explanation when Moses returns is an all time classic.

Exodus 32:22-24 says, “Don’t get so upset, my lord,” Aaron replied. “You yourself know how evil these people are. 23 They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.’ 24 So I told them, ‘Whoever has gold jewelry, take it off.’ When they brought it to me, I simply threw it into the fire—and out came this calf!”

…and out came this calf!

Amazing, huh? I mean, POOF…..out came this calf! WOW!

That’s almost as bad as Adam chucking Eve and God under the bus when they ate the forbidden fruit.

We laugh…but don’t we do the same thing?

Yup.

Ouch.

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Today’s reading: Exodus 32:1-34:35
Tomorrow’s reading: Exodus 35:1-36:38

February 10 – Scripture of the Day

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In today’s reading there were many more instructions that God gave Moses. They included:

  • Dedication of the Priests
  • Plans for the Incense Alter
  • Money for the Tabernacle
  • Plans for the Washbasin
  • The Anointing Oil
  • The Incense
  • The Craftsmen
  • Instructions for the Sabbath

But the verses that stood out to me today were Exodus 29:45-46. It is here that God tells Moses why he is giving him all these instructions we read of in the last 10 or so chapters. It reads: “Then I will live among the people of Israel and be their God, and they will know that I am the Lord their God. I am the one who brought them out of the land of Egypt so that I could live among them. I am the Lord their God.”

So much of what God did and does…from the Creation to his saving work in Jesus…is so he can have relationship with us.

God is willing to do all that to have this relationship.

What are we willing to do?

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Today’s reading: Exodus 29:1-31:18
Tomorrow’s reading: Exodus 32:1-34:35

February 9 – Scripture of the Day

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In the reading today, Exodus 25:1-28:43, were instructions from the Lord about how to make several items. Included were:

  • Offerings for the Tabernacle
  • Plans for the Ark of the Covenant
  • Plans for the Table
  • Plans for the Lampstand
  • Plans for the Tabernacle
  • Plans for the Alter of Burnt Offering
  • Plans for the Courtyard
  • Clothing for the Priests
  • Design of the Ephod
  • Design of the Chestpiece
  • Additional Clothing for the Priests

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Today’s reading: Exodus 25:1-28:43
Tomorrow’s reading: Exodus 29:1-31:18

February 8 – Scripture of the Day

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In these verses we read a great deal more of the Lord’s instructions about how to live among one another. There is quite a bit of interesting reading here, some of which makes more sense to our modern ears that other parts.

But the verse that stood out to me was Exodus 22:21, which says, “You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.”

What an excellent reminder of how to treat others. For we all have been in situations that were difficult, frustrating or hurtful. We should remember those, when we encounter others facing similar situations.

It doesn’t matter if its something as mundane as letting someone in ahead of us in busy traffic, or forgiving someone for an unkind word or deed.

Because we have been on the wrong side of those too.

There is a saying floating around on Facebook and elsewhere that says “Be kind to everyone, for you don’t know what they are dealing with.”

That is true.

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Today’s reading: Exodus 22:16-24:18
Tomorrow’s reading:

February 7 – Scripture of the Day

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Well, there is a LOT of interesting reading in these chapters of Exodus.

It beings with the 10 Commandments, which are in Exodus 20:1-17 which says: Then God gave the people all these instructions: 2 “I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery. 3 “You must not have any other god but me. 4 “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. 5 You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. 6 But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those[b] who love me and obey my commands. 7 “You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name. 8 “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy. 12 “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 13 “You must not murder. 14 “You must not commit adultery. 15 “You must not steal. 16 “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor. 17 “You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.”

As if that weren’t interesting enough, the next several chapters cover the following topics:

  • Proper Use of Alters
  • Fair Treatment of Slaves
  • Cases of Personal Injury
  • Protection of Property

Take a read. Very, very interesting.

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Today’s reading: Exodus 20:1-22:15
Tomorrow’s reading: Exodus 22:16-24:18

February 6 – Scripture of the Day

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One of the things I am enjoying most about reading through the Bible daily is reading things in the narrative that I didn’t remember previously.

Today is an excellent example of that.

Those who are familiar with the Exodus story will likely recall the Lord providing manna for the Israelites to eat in the mornings (for the entire 40 years they were in the wilderness, in fact). You may also remember that they were specifically instructed to only collect enough each day for what they needed; when they didn’t obey that command, any extra manna was rotten and full of maggots the next day. This was done so they would learn to trust and rely on the Lord to provide for them (a lesson I still fail regularly).

Except, however, for the sixth day. On that day, there were commanded to pick up enough manna for two days, including for the Sabbath day, or day of rest. That manna collected did not rot.

But what I did not remember, is what I read in Exodus 16:32-34. It says: “Then Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: Fill a two-quart container with manna to preserve it for your descendants. Then later generations will be able to see the food I gave you in the wilderness when I set you free from Egypt.” Moses said to Aaron, “Get a jar and fill it with two quarts of manna. Then put it in a sacred place before the Lord to preserve it for all future generations.” Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded Moses. He eventually placed it in the Ark of the Covenant—in front of the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant.”

Some of the manna was stored in the Ark, as a reminder for the people.

Interesting.

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Today’s reading: Exodus 16:1-19:25
Tomorrow’s reading: Exodus 20:1-22:15

February 5 – Scripture of the Day

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The question is not, “Is the Lord on our side?”

The question is: “Are we on the Lord’s side?”

Exodus 14:23-28 says, “Then the Egyptians—all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and charioteers—chased them into the middle of the sea. But just before dawn the Lord looked down on the Egyptian army from the pillar of fire and cloud, and he threw their forces into total confusion. He twisted their chariot wheels, making their chariots difficult to drive. “Let’s get out of here—away from these Israelites!” the Egyptians shouted. “The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt!”

            When all the Israelites had reached the other side, the Lord said to Moses, “Raise your hand over the sea again. Then the waters will rush back and cover the Egyptians and their chariots and charioteers.” So as the sun began to rise, Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the water rushed back into its usual place. The Egyptians tried to escape, but the Lord swept them into the sea. Then the waters returned and covered all the chariots and charioteers—the entire army of Pharaoh. Of all the Egyptians who had chased the Israelites into the sea, not a single one survived.”

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Today’s reading: Exodus 13:1-15:27
Tomorrow’s reading: Exodus 16:1-19:25