February 4, read through the Bible in a year.

Today there are four chapters.

February 4: Matthew 9, Exodus 26, Exodus 27, Exodus 28 (click on the chapter to begin reading)

In Matthew 9 Jesus continues his healing ministry, he heals a paralytic, but the real story is Jesus forgave him his sins, a blasphemy unless Jesus is who he says he is. Then he calls Matthew the tax collector, and explains why his disciples do not fast while Jesus is with them. Moving on he heals a woman with a bleeding issue, brings a girl back to life, heals 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 how the tabernacle is to be built.

Exodus 27 tells how the altar of burnt offering is to be constructed and how to do 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.

February 3, read through the Bible in a year.

Today there are four chapters.

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 heals a man with leprosy and a Roman centurion displays his faith in Jesus, so Jesus heals his servant because of faith. He heals many others, and the strange encounter with the demon possessed men from east of Lake Genesareth. Many want to follow him, but Jesus warns them off by telling the price of following him. It also recalls how Jesus calmed the storm.

Exodus 23 continues with laws about justice and mercy, how you are to help even someone who hates you. He institutes the Sabbath laws, that in six years you may harvest your fields, but the seventh year you will let it go fallow. in my childhood Sweden this 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 harvesting and the feast of ingathering. Finally God warns of worshiping other Gods.

In Exodus 24 God confirms His covenant with the people, and Moses goes up to Mount Sinai and stays there 40 days and 40 nights, a long time for the people to be without a leader.

In Exodus 25 Moses tells of the people make an offering, and out of this offering was made three furnishings for the tabernacle, the ark, the table and the lampstand.

February 2, read through the Bible in a year.

On today, groundhog day there are four chapters, and they are momentous. Read them carefully. (Maybe not Exodus 22, it deals mostly with property rights and social responsibility.)

February 2: Matthew 7, Exodus 20, Exodus 21, Exodus 22 (click on the chapter to begin reading)

Matthew 7 is a continuation of the sermon on the mount. Jesus is admonishing us not to be judgmental but to look to our own faults before condemning others. And don’t waste your time by casting pearls before swine. Ask, seek, knock is another theme, and so is doing to others what you would have them do to you. This sums up the Law and the Prophets. It grows into a crescendo with people claiming to have done good deeds, prophesyings and miracles in Jesus’ name. And Jesus answers them: “I never knew you”. I took the liberty to add my own discovery of the meaning of these verses. It ends with the foolish and the wise builders.

In Exodus 20 Moses is at Mount Sinai and God gives him the ten commandments.

Exodus contains regulations on servanthood and slavery, penalties for manslaughter and personal injuries, all Mosaic law.

 

February 1, read through the Bible in a year.

Today there are four chapters.

February 1: Matthew 6, Exodus 17, Exodus 18, Exodus 19 (click on the chapter to begin reading)

Matthew 6 continues the sermon on the mount. Jesus speaks of doing good, fasting and prayer, do it without fanfare, in secret if possible and be sincere. He then institutes what is called “The Lord’s prayer” which really is a pattern prayer for us, short, direct, but covers the essentials. Then he continues recommending to store up eternal, spiritual treasures, not physical riches, for you cannot serve two masters, you serve either God or money. Then Jesus continues how foolish it is to worry about the future, concentrate what is important, seek first the Kingdom of God, and God will take care of all the other things.

In Exodus 17 lack of water is a recurring theme in the desert. In Rephidim there was no water at all, so God told Moses to strike the rock at the foot of Mount Horeb. Water gushed out and they were all filled. Good it was, for the Amalekites attacked them right afterwards. Joshua and his men fought a good fight, and Moses helped by raising his hands, and as long as he held them high Joshua prevailed. But Moses got tired, so Aaron and Hur held up his hands till sunset, and so the Amalekites were defeated.

Exodus 18 tells of Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law visits Moses, who now is in a difficult situation trying to lead his people all by himself, and Jethro gives Moses good advice about real leadership, delegation of management, a practice essential for all governing.

In Exodus 19, time has come to visit Mount Sinai. God declares that the Israelites will be a Kingdom of Priests and a holy nation. The chapter deals with the three-day consecration that is to occur before Moses goes up to meet with God.

 

 

January 31, read through the Bible in a year.

Today there are three chapters.

January 31: Matthew 5, Exodus 15, Exodus 16 (click on the chapter to begin reading)

Matthew 5 is about the sermon on the  mount, and begins with the Beatitudes. After that Jesus adds the spiritual dimension to the Law. He has not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill the Law. First Jesus deals with murder, where vengeance is out, instead be reconciled with your adversary before you can be reconciled with God. Then He deals with adultery; you are not only not to do it, you are not allowed to even think about it. Likewise, the only time divorce is allowed is for already committed adultery. Piling on, he addresses taking of oaths, this was serious business under the Law, but Jesus says “Let your yes be yes and your no, no”. Furthermore it was said “An eye for an eye” But Jesus tells us to pray for our adversaries, no matter what. And love your enemies.

Exodus 15 tells of the songs of Moses and Miriam, as God had delivered them from the Egyptians. Then they come to the bitter waters of Marah and the sweet waters of Elim.

In Exodus 16 God gives them Manna (what is it?) and quail, and Moses gave the instructions on how to gather it. And they ate Manna for 40 years.

January 30, read through the Bible in a year.

Today there are three chapters.

January 30: Matthew 4, Exodus 13, Exodus 14 (click on the chapter to begin reading)

Matthew 4 tells of Jesus being led into the wilderness and be tempted of Satan as he fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. Jesus combated Satan with scripture, but Satan could quote scripture too. In the end Satan left him and Jesus began his ministry and called his first disciples.

In Exodus 13 the feast of unleavened bread is formulated and the consecrating of the firstborn to the LORD. The Hebrews have escaped from Egypt, and a proposed route is suggested.

Exodus 14 then tells of the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea and how the pursuing Egyptian army drowned.

January 29, read through the Bible in a year.

Today there are four chapters.

January 29: Matthew 3, Exodus 10, Exodus 11, Exodus 12 (click on the chapter to begin reading)

Matthew 3 presents John the Baptist, preaching repentance. He came to prepare the way of the Lord. Jesus came to be baptized by John. Afterwards the holy Spirit descended like a dove on Jesus and a voice from heaven said: “This is my son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased”.

Exodus 10: More plagues, the plague of locusts and the plague of darkness. Now the LORD is hardening Pharaoh’s heart.

In Exodus 11 Moses and Aaron proclaim the tenth and final plague: The death of the firstborn. Interestingly enough the plagues of Egypt are also in the Quran, four are the same, five are different, and one is missing altogether. Guess which one!

Exodus 12 tells of how God instituted the Passover. The name comes from the action that night, that when the angel of death came to kill every firstborn in Egypt, if he sees the blood of the pascal lamb om the doorposts and the lentil of the house, he will pass over that house. The chapter is fantastic, read it and marvel!