The reading for today is one very interesting chapter in Matthew and the three last chapters of Exodus.
February 9: Matthew 14, Exodus 38, Exodus 39, Exodus 40 (click on the chapter to begin reading)
Matthew 14 tells about John the Baptist being beheaded. It is interesting that most people know the name of the daughter of Herodias, but it is not in the Bible. There is another Salome in the Bible, but she was a follower of Jesus. After learning of the beheading of John the Baptist Jesus tried to withdraw from the people by boat to a solitary place, but there he found a large crowd, so he decided to feed the gathering of 5000 plus women and children with five loaves of bread and two small fishes. After all were satisfied the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. Jesus dismissed the crowd, made the disciples go in a boat to travel to the other side of Lake Genesareth, and then after Jesus had prayed alone he joined them by walking on the water. A very interesting read.
Exodus 38 retells of how the altar of burnt offerings and the basin for washing was made, finishing with the courtyard around the tabernacle and all the materials used.
Exodus 39 retells how the priestly garments were to be made, the ephod, the breastplate, the bells and pomegranates, the mitre and undergarments and finally the words “Holy to the LORD” to be fastened to the priest’s turban.
And in Exodus 40 the tabernacle was finished, the Priests installed and finally God blessed the tabernacle with His presence when the Glory of the LORD filled it. That ends the book of Exodus.
In the three chapters for today Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew described what the Kingdom of Heaven is like via parables , then in two chapters of Exodus there is a detailed description of the Tabernacle.
February 8: Matthew 13, Exodus 36, Exodus 37 (click on the chapter to begin reading)
In Matthew 13 Jesus told many parables on the Kingdom of heaven: The sower, the wheat and tares, the mustard seed and the yeast, the hidden treasure, the pearl of great price and the fishermen and the net. Then Jesus explained what the parables meant to his disciples. The parables were well received, except in his own hometown, about which Jesus said: ” Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor”.
Exodus 36 describes in detail how the tabernacle was built.
Exodus 37 continues describing how the Ark was built with its cherubim,( by necessity very sketchy since nobody would be allowed to see them once they were made,) the table, the lampstand and the altar of incense.
The three chapters for today are Jesus continuing his healing ministry in Matthew, and two chapters in Exodus.
February 7: Matthew 12, Exodus 34, Exodus 35 (click on the chapter to begin reading)
In Matthew 12 Jesus proclaimed he is the Lord of the Sabbath and healed a man with a withered hand. Since this was on a Sabbath it was considered blasphemy. Jesus continued to heal in secret, but the Pharisees said he did it by Beelzebub (lord of the flies). What did Jesus answer? “A Kingdom divided against itself will not stand.” Jesus also said “he that is not with me is against me.” There is no middle ground, and there is a sin that cannot be forgiven: Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Continuing on Jesus said that the only sign given will be the sign of Jonah. Finally Jesus in a way rejected his own mother and brothers by pointing to his disciples, saying: “Here are my mother and brothers, for whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother”.
After breaking the two stone tablets, Moses in Exodus 34 had to go back up the mountain and write the words of God on two new stone tablets. Then God repeated much of what was said in previous chapters, even reiterating the Covenant, but the chapter ends with the radiant face of Moses because Moses had spoken with God.
Exodus 35 is a more detailed repeat of Sabbath regulations, materials for the tabernacle and who were the leaders of building of the tabernacle.
Today we red three chapters, one chapter from Matthew and two chapters from Exodus.
February 6: Matthew 11, Exodus 32, Exodus 33 (click on the chapter to begin reading)
In Matthew 11 the followers of John asked if Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus answered back that John is Elijah, sent to prepare the way. Jesus despaired of the current generation, but promised: “Come to me…. my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.
In Exodus 32 Moses had come down from the mountain and what did he find? He found the Golden Calf and the people singing and dancing in orgies. Moses became so angry that he threw down the two tablets with God’s commandments, and they broke in pieces. Then he pleaded with God not to destroy His people.
In Exodus 33 God told the Israelites to leave the place they were staying, take off all the ornaments they were wearing and go to the promised land. Moses established the tent of meeting, and there he asked to see God. God promised Moses he would see His back while hiding “In the cleft of the rock”
Today we read four chapters, one chapter of Matthew and three chapters of Exodus.
February 5: Matthew 10, Exodus 29, Exodus 30, Exodus 31 (click on the chapter to begin reading)
In Matthew 10 Jesus named his 12 disciples and sent them out to preach “the Kingdom of Heaven is near” They did the same miracles as Jesus and did also meet resistance. Jesus promised there will be opposition and division because of the message. A most interesting chapter.
Exodus 29 tells of the consecration of priests.
Exodus 30 describes the altar of incense, mentions rules for the poll tax and the basin for washing, anointing oil and rules for incense.
Exodus 31 is short; it tells of two named craftsmen to be the leaders of performing the artistic aspect of all the work to build the tabernacle. Then there are rules of how to observe the Sabbath, and with that, God finished His message to Moses by giving him the two tablets of stone containing the ten commandments written by the finger of God.
In the four chapters chosen for today the Apostle Matthew wrote of Jesus revealing himself by forgiving sins and continue his healing ministry, all in preparation for his main task, yet to be fully revealed. Then in three chapters of Exodus, the tabernacle, the furnishings and the priestly garments are specified in detail.
February 4: Matthew 9, Exodus 26, Exodus 27, Exodus 28 (click on the chapter to begin reading)
In Matthew 9 Jesus continued his healing ministry, he healed a paralytic, but the real story is; Jesus forgave him his sins, a blasphemy unless Jesus is who he said he is. Then he called Matthew the tax collector and explained why his disciples did not fast while Jesus was with them. Moving on, he healed a woman with a bleeding issue, brought back a girl to life and healed the blind and mute. Then he looked at all the people, seeing they were sheep without a shepherd and said “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few”.
Exodus 26 tells about how the tabernacle was to be built.
Exodus 27 tells how the altar of burnt offering was to be constructed and how to construct the courtyard around the tabernacle. It also specifies there must always be oil for the lampstand.
In Exodus 28 the priestly garments are specified, in detail, with the breastplate, down to the urim and thummim. Even the undergarments are specified.
The four chapters for today are Jesus healing ministry in Matthew, and God giving Moses some of the Law in three chapters of Exodus.
February 3: Matthew 8, Exodus 23, Exodus 24, Exodus 25 (click on the chapter to begin reading)
Matthew 8 tells of Jesus continuing his healing ministry. He healed a man with leprosy and a Roman centurion displayed his faith in Jesus, so Jesus healed his servant because of the great faith of a roman. He healed many others, including the strange encounter with the demon possessed men from east of Lake Genesareth. Many wanted to follow him, but Jesus warned them off by telling the price of following him. It also tells of how Jesus calmed the storm.
Exodus 23 continues with the writing down laws about justice and mercy, how you are to help even someone who hates you. God instituted the Sabbath laws; in six years you may harvest your fields, but the seventh year you will let it go fallow. In my childhood Sweden this seven year planting cycle was still practiced by many farmers, the seventh day rest was to be practiced by all and applied to work animals as well. Moses also defined the three annual feasts, the feast of unleavened bread, the feast of harvest and the feast of in-gathering. Finally God warned of worshiping other Gods.
In Exodus 24 God confirmed His covenant with the people, and Moses went up to Mount Sinai and stayed there 40 days and 40 nights, a long time for the people to be without a leader.
In Exodus 25 Moses told the people make an offering, and out of this offering was made three furnishings for the tabernacle, the ark, the table and the lampstand.