Today’s Reading: Exodus 32, 33, 34:1-16, 34:27-35
Highlights (actually low lights) of Today’s Reading: While Moses is on Mount Sinai the children of Israel turn to idolatry. Moses breaks the original tablets and God punishes their disobedience. Moses returns to the Mountain and a new set of laws is made. An interesting fact of this story is how Moses’ face would shine as a result of being in the presence of God.
It is surprising how soon they lost respect for God’s laws. It is especially disappointing to see Aaron’s complicity in the sin and his pitiful lie about the gold calf coming out of the fire. The nature of their “worship” suggests some type of immorality (32:6).
In spite of all that God had done they still struggled with their loyalty to God. How were they punished for this sin? How do you account for the fact that Aaron was not punished?
Today’s Reading: Exodus 29, 30, 31:1-11, 31:18
Highlights of Today’s Reading: More details about the tabernacle: Rituals for Aaron and his sons who will perform the daily services, daily offerings to consecrate (make holy) the tabernacle, instructions for an altar and laver, recipes for the anointing oil and incense, gifted men who would do the actual construction, and a few other miscellaneous laws.
One thing that stands out is the shedding of blood of blood in animal sacrifices. A bull and two rams were to be sacrificed to purify Aaron and the tabernacle itself, but also a bull and two lambs everyday as an offering for the tabernacle. This, we will see, is just the beginning of the animal sacrifices made by the children of Israel.
In 29:21 they were to take blood and sprinkle it on the beautiful garments that we read about yesterday! What happens when you sprinkle blood on fine clothing? What is the purpose of all this shedding of blood?
Today’s Reading: Exodus 25-28
Highlights of Today’s Reading: God gives instructions for tabernacle. This includes some of the articles that go in the tabernacle as well as the external structure of the tent. Special garments for those who will serve in the tabernacle are also revealed.
Much attention is going to be given to the tabernacle in the next few daily readings. God is very detailed in His instructions and demands it be built exactly as revealed. The most sacred part is the “Holiest Of All” where the Ark of the Covenant was placed.
What do 25:8 and 22 tell us about the purpose of this unusual tent? See also Numbers 7:89.
Today’s Reading: Exodus 19, 20, Exodus 23:20-33, Exodus 24
Highlights of Today’s Reading: 3 months after the Exodus the children of Israel arrive at Mount Sinai. God appears on the mountain in an awesome, fearful scene of thunder, lightening, and earthquakes. The 10 commandments are given and the people promise to keep God’s law. Moses will spend 40 days on the mountain receiving the law and commandments.
God is making a covenant with the children of Israel. God wants to bless them but from the beginning it is clear that this is a conditional relationship. Exodus 19:5 “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me…”
The holiness and power of God are on display at Mount Sinai. When you think of God, do you think of images like these?
So far our readings have been fairly straightforward…Exodus 1, 2, 3, etc. Beginning Monday there will be some skipping around. Let me explain why…
Our schedule of readings is based (for the most part) on LaGard Smith’s “Daily Bible”. It is a “chronological Bible” – same Bible we are used to, but with the material arranged in chronological order.
In the life of David, for example, Psalms that David wrote are placed with the events that were the occasion of the Psalm. Later when we get into the history of Israel in the Kings and Chronicles, the books of Kings and Chronicles will be harmonized and the prophets (Isaiah – Malachi) will be placed along side the history concerning which they were written. It really makes sense to read it this way. It should make both the history and the prophets easier to understand. We see some of this also in the parallel accounts of Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy.
It may be a little less convenient to read it this way, especially if you are listening to an audio Bible, but we suggest follow along with the flow of the Bible story. I should say again, we are not leaving anything out. Every Bible event and teaching will be read.
By the way – we would like to hear more comments, especially from those who have not yet joined in the discussion!
Today’s Reading: Exodus 15:22 – 18:27
Today’s Highlights: Events of the journey from the Red Sea to Mount Sinai. The people complain about (1) bitter water, (2) no food, and (3) then no water. God gives them manna and quail to eat. They defeat the Amalekites and Moses’ father-in-law gives him advice.
3 times in this reading the people complain against Moses. They complained in yesterday’s reading when they were hemmed in at the Red Sea and we will see this many more times in their future. On the one hand they were in difficult situations – bitter water, no food, no water – these are big problems; but on the other hand, what might they have thought about to calm their worries? Worried or not, its their attitude that is the biggest problem. What did you notice about the “tone” of their complaints?
Today’s Reading: Exodus 13:17 – 15:21
Highlights of Today’s Reading: Using a cloud by day and pillar of fire by night, God leads the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt. Pharaoh changes his mind and pursues them, but God delivers them through the Red Sea and drowns the Egyptian armies. A song of celebration and praise is sung.
Hebrews 11:29 says “By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned”. Why did it take faith to pass through the Red Sea? What other choices did they have?
Today’s Reading: Exodus 12-13:16
Highlights: The 10th plague, death of the firstborn, strikes Egypt and Pharaoh begs the children of Israel to leave. Instructions were given to the children of Israel concerning how they would escape the plague and also how they will observe a weekly feast each year as a memorial of how God had set them free. This is the origin of Passover.
The passover night was a horrible night for the Egyptians. So horrible that even Pharaoh had had enough of the Israelites. But even the good Egyptian families lost their firstborn sons.
For the Israelites, the night liberated them from bondage and was the beginning of their being an independent nation.
How do you think the horror of the Passover night affected the children of Israel, that night, and the memory of it in generations to come? Give some thought to 12:42.
Today’s Reading: Exodus 9-11
Today’s Headlines: The test of wills between God and Pharaoh continues. Pharaoh tells them they can leave, then changes his mind. God keeps sending horrible plagues: Cattle Disease, Boils, Hail, Locusts, and announces one last plague, the death of all firstborn.
It is difficult to believe Pharaoh held out as long as he did. He reminds me of an insane tyrant. Even his servants said, “Do you not yet know that Egypt is destroyed” (10:7)? Sometimes it says God “hardened his heart” and other times it seems to be his own stubborn personality (8:32, 9:34). Why do you think he refused to let them go? Are we ever like Pharaoh, turning to God when times are tough, but when things get better forgetting our vow?
Today’s Reading: Exodus 5-8
Highlights of Today’s Reading: Moses and Aaron go to Pharaoh, but he has no interest in letting the children of Israel go. Pharaoh is angered and increases the burdens on the children of Israel. This trouble causes the people to turn against Moses and causes Moses to question God (5:21-23). God begins to bring plagues (Blood, Frogs, Lice, Flies) on Egypt but Pharaoh refuses to let them go.
It quickly becomes apparent that leaving Egypt is not going to be easy. As is often the case with our frustrations and troubles, this delay and difficulty will be an opportunity for God to do something that would have otherwise been impossible. What was God able to do because of the stubbornness of Pharaoh (See 6:1, 7:3-5, 8:22, looking ahead – 10:1,2)?
More on Pharaoh’s stubbornness tomorrow.