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.