Today’s Reading: Exodus 31:12-17, 34:17-26, 35:1-3
Note About Our Current Reading Schedule
Highlights: Day 2 of 17 in examining the Law of Moses. In today’s short reading we complete the laws from the book of Exodus. God goes into more depth regarding the Sabbath Law and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover). The law of the firstborn is given – all firstborn belong to God, so families must redeem them.
In Exodus 34 the law states that three times a year “all your men shall appear before the Lord” (I assume this means during the feasts), at Jerusalem. What interesting promise does God make to them concerning their obedience to this command? We do not go to Jerusalem but what application would you make of that principle?
Also, what was the penalty for breaking the Sabbath?
Today’s Reading: Exodus 21, 22, 23:1-19
Highlights: Day 1 of 17 days we will spend looking at various laws in the law of Moses. In today’s readings are several laws related to personal injury and personal responsibility, including the famous “eye for an eye” law.
As we read these laws we need remember that we are dealing with a physical nation of over 2 million people. This is not “church”, it’s a nation that needs civil law. In this case the lawgiver is God – so we expect to see wisdom beyond that of any human government. We should also expect that every law will be in harmony with God’s morality and the laws will often address the spiritual needs of the children of Israel as well.
Some of the laws may puzzle us. Feel free to ask about any that are curious to you.
What is good about the “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” law? What capital crimes did you see in today’s reading?
February 18 – March 6 we are reading the Law of Moses. The actual laws are spread throughout parts of Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus and Deuteronomy.
Smith’s “Daily Bible” does something cool here – he arranges the laws topically. Because many of our followers do not use “The Daily Bible” we will have to depart from his arrangement for these 17 days. The order there is too segmented to reproduce. Rather, we will be reading the laws in the order given starting with the laws found in Exodus, and the schedule will be found on dailybiblereview.com.
If you are using “The Daily Bible” you will enjoy the topical arrangement, but we hope you will also look at our schedule and keep adding your thoughts and comments!
After reviewing the details of the Law of Moses, we will pick up the history again with Moses’ final words, his death, and then Joshua leading the conquest of Canaan!
Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 9-11
Highlights: Moses continues to urge the children of Israel to be faithful. He tells them if they are obedient and do not forget God they will be blessed, and if they do forget God they will be cursed. At the end of chapter 11 God tells them about a ceremony that they are to perform when they enter the promised land to further remind them to choose obedience and receive God’s blessing.
Sometimes we think of God in the Old Testament as harsh and unloving and that His expectations of man back then was only strict, legalistic obedience. Look carefully at 10:12-11:1. What did God really want of His people back then? Is it any different today?
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Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 5-8
Highlights: Deuteronomy contains Moses’ farewell words to the nation he has labored with for over 40 years. Chapter 5 reviews the history of the nation at Mount Sinai including the giving of the 10 commandments. In 6-8 Moses urges them to keep God’s law and not forget the good things God had done for them.
Near the end of Chapter 6 Moses anticipates the children asking, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which the LORD our God has commanded you?’ In other words, WHY DO WE HAVE TO DO ALL OF THIS? Note Moses answer – what 3 things does he tell them to motivate them to obey?
Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 1-4
The word Deuteronomy literally means “second law”. The book records Moses’ final words to the children of Israel. As we read some of this over the next 3 days think about how these are Moses’ final words to the people he has led for over 40 years.
Highlights: In chapters 1-3 he reviews the history of the nation from Mount Sinai to their present location across the Jordan from Canaan. In chapter 4 Moses begins to remind them to obey the law and warns them about the consequences if they are disobedient.
Note the contrasting descriptions of God in 4:24 and 4:31. How is each applied to the children of Israel and how would you apply them to your relationship with God?
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Today’s Reading: Num 27:15-23, Num 32, Deut 4:41-43, Num 33:50-56, Deut. 25:17-19, Num 34, Num 35:1-8
The chronological nature of our readings is why we have such a strange set of texts to read today. This will happen a few times. Try to bear with it for one day. There is a logic to the scriptures chosen and their order.
More importantly, these are exciting times as the nation prepares to finally conquer and possess the Promised Land. Joshua is inaugurated as the new leader of the nation. The borders of the land are specified. Instructions are given about dividing the land. 48 cities will be given to the Levites (who have no tribal inheritance). Reuben and Gad choose land east of the Jordan for their inheritance. Cities of refuge are appointed. Warning is given to drive out all the inhabitants with their idolatry.
God is very specific that the children of Israel must drive out the inhabitants of Canaan (Numbers 33:50-56). Note what God said they were to do and what would happen if they didn’t. What practical application can we make to our lives?
Today’s Reading: Numbers 26
Highlights: Location: The plains of Moab, across the Jordan river from Jericho. A second census is taken. The total is 601,730 males over the age of 20 who are able to go to war, plus 23,000 Levites. That is 1800 less than the census taken 40 years earlier. God’s instructs that the land will be divided to each tribe according to the population of the tribe.
The chapter closes with the observation that none of these men were living at the time of the first census, except for Joshua and Caleb, (the two faithful spies). This being true, demographically, what would the nation look like? How do you think the experience of the last 40 years affected their spiritual character?
Today’s Reading: Numbers 25, Numbers 31
Highlights: Sad day…(seems like we say that alot)…the children of Israel become involved in harlotry and idolatry with the women of Moab (Balak’s nation) and Midian, which brings a great judgment from God resulting in the death of 24,000 Israelites. Phinehas the priest is especially zealous in taking vengeance on the offenders. In chapter 31, the children of Israel defeat the Midianites and divide the spoils of war as God instructs.
The prophet Balaam’s involvement in this (see 31:16) sheds additional light on his character . Yesterday we admired how he did not curse them, but in today’s reading what does it appear he has done? For help see Revelation 2:14.
Today’s Reading: Numbers 22-24
Highlights: Israel is camped near the river Jordan across from the land of Canaan. Balak King of Moab, has heard of all their victories and is afraid. He seeks to hire the prophet Balaam to curse the children of Israel. Balaam resists the offer of gifts of Balak and speaks only what God tells him to speak and blesses Israel instead.
What was commendable about Balaam’s actions in this story? What was suspect?
Note: More to come about Balaam tomorrow.