Today is leap day, February 29, and we could take the day off, but the Holy Bible is the most important book ever written and too important to ignore, even for a day. It is the word of God.
May I suggest we go back to the beginning.
The three chapters chosen for today are Genesis 1 ,John 1 and 1 John 1 (click on the chapter to begin reading)
Both Genesis 1 and John 1 start with the words “In the beginning”. , Genesis 1 deals with the physical creation, but with a spiritual emphasis, laying the groundwork for spiritual understanding of how and why we exist. The gospel of John then deals with creation spiritually.
We are existing in time and space. The question is: What was there before time and space existed, before the beginning?
Answer: God, existing in three persons, God the Father, God the Son (the Word) and God’s Spirit, (the Holy Ghost).
They alone are eternal, everything else, including time and space, is created.
1 John 1 then starts from the beginning and deals with how we should live today, in time and space, with an eternal perspective.
In between the gospel of Matthew and the gospel of Mark we enjoy reading one short Psalm and two chapters of Numbers.
February 28: Psalm 15, Numbers 14,Numbers 15, (click on the chapter to begin reading)
Psalm 15 is only 5 verses long but full of truth that carries on into the New Testament. For that reason there are five 5 references from the New Testament added.
In Numbers 14 the people rebelled and refused to go into the promised land. As a punishment the people had to continue wandering for forty years in the desert until that generation, with the exception of Caleb and Joshua had passed away. Meanwhile the people tried to take on the Amalekites in their own strength, but failed miserably.
Numbers 15 deals with Laws of Grain and Drink Offerings, Laws Concerning Unintentional Sin, Laws concerning Presumptuous Sin, Penalty for Violating the Sabbath, and specifies how to make Tassels on Garments, all good stuff if you are an orthodox Jew.
Relaxing between the gospel of Matthew and the gospel of Mark we read two short Psalms and two chapters out of Exodus.
February 27: Psalm 13, Psalm 14, Numbers 12, Numbers 13, (click on the chapter to begin reading)
Psalm 13 is only 6 verses, but there is a moving Anglican Chant written and sung. Enjoy.
Psalm 14 is also short. It begins “The fool has said in his heart, there is NO GOD.”
In Numbers 12 Miriam and Aaron opposed Moses and Miriam suffered the consequences.
In Numbers 13 God prepared His people to take the land He had promised them, so they were sending out scouts to survey the land and how best to take it. They came back with a discouraging report; it is a good land flowing with milk and honey, but the people are too strong for them, they felt like grasshoppers in their sight. Only Caleb dissented. (Joshua joined Caleb in the next chapter)
As we are taking a pause between the gospel of Matthew and the gospel of Mark we enjoy reading one chapter of Proverbs and two chapters of Numbers.
February 26: Proverbs 3, Numbers 10, Numbers 11 (click on the chapter to begin reading)
Proverbs 3 continues to tell of the benefits of wisdom. The verses most often quoted are ”Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will direct your paths.”
Numbers 10 tells of making two silver trumpets and with the blasts from them they finally leave Sinai, still in formation , tribe by tribe.
In Numbers 11 the people complained about eating manna every day, so God put His spirit on seventy elders to prophecy, but He also sent them quail , a delicious game bird, but after eating quail for a whole month until it came out their nostrils they got sick, and God punished the gluttons.
Taking a rest between the gospel of Matthew and the gospel of Mark by reading two short Psalms and three chapters of Numbers that only appear long.
February 25: Psalm 11, Psalm 12, Numbers 7, Numbers 8, Numbers 9 (click on the chapter to begin reading)
Psalm 11 has the phrase “flee as a bird to the mountain”, which bring back memories of songs we used to sing in choir.
With all the double speak today, Psalm 12 is especially valid. The Lord has something to say about that.
Numbers 7 has 89 verses, but the chapter only seems long since the same offerings for the dedication of the tabernacle are repeated for each of the twelve tribes.
Numbers 8 deals with setting the Levites apart for their duties.
Numbers 9 defines how the Passover shall be celebrated from that time on. It also describes the cloud over the tabernacle, if it lifted they moved on, if it stayed, they stayed.
In between the gospel of Matthew and the gospel of Mark we take time out to read two Psalms and two chapters in Numbers.
February 24: Psalm 9, Psalm 10, Numbers 5, Numbers 6 (click on the chapter to begin reading)
Psalm 9 and Psalm 10 may belong together as they do in the Septuagint. They speak of God’s faithfulness and the only temporary victories of the wicked one.
Numbers 5 deals with purity, how to deal with leprosy or dead bodies, restitution for wrongdoings and how to deal with marital unfaithfulness, especially for women.
Numbers 6 tells of the vow of the Nazarite, how he (or she!) must separate themselves totally to the LORD, not shave the hair, not eat anything from the grape, not even the dry skin, not touch any dead bodies and so on. When the separation is over an offering must be given. Thankfully the chapter ends with the priestly blessing: “ The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.“
Today there are four chapters to read, ponder the significance of the resurrection in Matthew 28. The three first chapters in Numbers are interesting for historians.
February 23: Matthew 28, Numbers 2, Numbers 3, Numbers 4 (click on the chapter to begin reading)
Matthew 28 begins with Jesus being in the grave for the two adjoining sabbaths, the first day of unleavened bread followed by the normal sabbath, then there was an earthquake and the stone was rolled away. Jesus was no longer in the grave. The guards were bribed to tell the story that the disciples took the body, but two women, the two Marys met the resurrected Jesus. He told them to tell the remaining disciples that he was risen from the dead. The Gospel of Matthew ends with Jesus giving the great commission: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Numbers 2 tells how the tribes are to be arranged around the tabernacle, three to the east, three to the south, three to the west and three to the north and the Levites in the middle.
Numbers 3 lists the sons of Aaron and the Levites by clan.
Numbers 4 tells of the duties of the Kohathites, the Gershonites and the Merarites. Then these Levite clans are numbered.