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.
Matthew 5 chosen for today is probably the most quoted scripture chapter, even by people not knowing from whence the quotation originated. Then there are two chapters of Exodus.
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 added the spiritual dimension to the Law. He had not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill the Law. Jesus first addressed murder, where vengeance is not for us to do, instead be reconciled with your adversary before you can be reconciled to God. Then He dealt 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 addressed taking of oaths, this was serious business under the Law, but Jesus said “Let your yes be yes and your no, no”. Furthermore it was said “An eye for an eye” But Jesus told 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 arrived at the bitter waters of Marah and the sweet waters of Elim.
In Exodus 16 God gave them Manna (what is it?) and quail, and Moses gave the instructions on how to gather it. And they ate Manna for 40 years.
Exodus 16, Manna and Quail from heaven.
The desert (or wilderness) of Sin, the lower part of the Sinai Peninsula. Note there is a wilderness of Zin southwest of the Dead Sea.
An Omer is a dry measure, about 2.4 liters, or about 150 cubic inches.