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.

Matthew 5, the sermon on the mount, the Beatitudes, salt and light, fulfill the law, murder, adultery, divorce, oaths, an eye for an eye, love your enemies

Matthew 5