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Showing posts from January, 2018

January 31 + Daily notes & readings

DAY 31 Great job finishing your first month of reading the Bible!  Whether you are already in the habit of reading everyday or this is something new for you, Psalm 1 reminds us that those "whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers."

We're 1/12 of the way through!
DAILY READINGSLeviticus 5-7 & Psalm 31

OBSERVATIONS It seems easy to fall into an unclean category.  A way to read unclean is unholy.  So, you can imagine why that is such an important theme.  Indeed, there are provisions for when you become unclean without even knowing it!  I wonder if there was a level of anxiety that people felt, worrying they would be unclean. 

Notice, though, that there is always a way back.  That is, if you're unclean, these provisions can rectify your standing before God.  These provision a…

January 30 + Daily notes & readings

DAY 30 We're starting the book of Leviticus, the Priests' Manual.  Today's readings is the first 4 chapters which you'll find have a rhythm that makes them fairly easy to follow.  The best way to make sense of the prescribed offerings is to write down what they are and a brief statement about how they're prepared.

Notice what is important the holiness of the people.

Don't forget to take time to watch today's video.  It outlines the book in a






DAILY READINGSLeviticus 1-4 & Psalm 30

DAILY NOTES
Leviticus 1

Offering of livestock Leviticus 2 Grain offering Leviticus 3 Sacrifice of well being Leviticus 4 Sin offering for anointed priest, congregation, ruler or individual

OTHER OBSERVATIONS In reading the final chapters of Exodus and the openings chapters of Leviticus, we notice there is attention to detail.  This seems to matter to God.  We might wonder what the real value of it all is and why should we read about it.

Well, it's our scripture.  We're not…

January 29 + Daily notes & readings

DAY 29We're finishing the book of Exodus today.  That's 2 books of the Bible you've completed.  Hopefully, you've noticed how the story of God carries through so far.  We've come a long way since "the beginning."  We have much further to go.  

In a sense, we are journeying, just like the Israelites.  Their story is ours.  They are our sisters and brothers.  You and I would probably have done some of the same things they did.  So, there's much to learn from them and their walk with God.

I don't have any notes from Exodus today because I think you'll see today's readings don't, necessarily, need any. 

DAILY READINGSExodus 35-40 & Psalm 29

DAILY NOTES Psalm 29

heavenly beings can also be translated as "sons of gods."  Ascribe, give or prepare This is a psalm about the "voice" of God.  Yesterday's sermon was based on the passage where God speaks to the people from the mountain.  Remember how the people responded?  …

January 28 + Daily notes & readings

DAY 28 If you thought Adam and Eve messed up a good thing, wait until you finish reading today.

There's a lot going on in these 3 chapters of Exodus.  Moses is going up and down the mountain of God.  Aaron is making idols.  The people are worshiping other gods.  3,000 people die.  God doesn't even want to be with the people anymore. 

Oh, those stiff-necked people.  I'm glad we don't ever act like them.

DAILY READINGSExodus 32-34 & Psalm 28

DAILY NOTES Exodus 32:1

We were told that Moses was on the mountain 40 days and nights, but the people were not told how long he would be there.Their first response to the delay is to give worship/offering to something else other than God. Exodus 32:4-5 Jewish commentary suggests that Aaron is trying to stall the people.  The call for "tomorrow" is in hopes Moses might return before they follow through with what they want to do.The people immediately give credit/glory to the molded calf for their deliverance. Exodus 32:7 …

January 27 + Daily notes & readings

DAY 27 We'll be reading about atonement today.  Today's video helps make sense of that biblical theme.






DAILY READINGSExodus 30-31 & Psalm 27

DAILY NOTES Exodus 30:6

Everything has its place.   Exodus 30:10 Once a year would be Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). Exodus 12-15 The Lord's offering is required of everyone equally (of the appropriate age).  Strangely enough, there is a designation of rich and poor.  Everyone has just come from Egypt.  How has that distinction arisen?   Exodus 31:13 It's interesting to compare how the idea of sabbath here relates to previous mentions of it.   Exodus 31:18 Moses had written the words down.  Now, with merely his finger, God has provided the tablets for all to remember the covenant that has been made.   Psalm 27 Have you ever prayed and prayed and prayed for something?  The psalmist seems to know the feeling.  His final admonishment, considering all the ways he knows God will care for and protect him, is to wait for the Lord.
OTHER O…

January 26 + Daily reading & notes

DAY 26 DAILY READINGSExodus 28-29 & Psalm 26
DAILY NOTES Exodus 28:1-4 God is making preparations for Aaron and his sons to become priests.God incorporates others into the preparations.  Those who have skill to make vestments are a part of God's order.A breastpiece, ephod, robe, tunic, turban and sash. Exodus 28:30 We're not quite sure what the Urim and Thummim were made of, but they were used to determine God's will for a decision.  It might not be a good illustration, but think of the idea of flipping a coin to make a decision. Exodus 28:35 The vestments become more than a sign.  They keep Aaron alive as he ministers! Exodus 29:18 If it smells good, God accepts it. Exodus 29:25 Being ordained took 7 days.  Priestly orders were passed from generation to generation.   Exodus 29:43 What makes all the offerings holy is God's glory that will be there with the people.   Psalm 26 The Exodus readings are about setting apart priests to serve God.  Psalm 26 is about someone who …

January 25 + Daily notes & readings

DAY 25 In today's reading, Moses receives the plan for the tabernacle.  God has led the people through the pillars.  Now, this new sanctuary will be for the Lord to "dwell among them" (Exodus 25:8).  
Practically speaking, today's reading is fairly easy.  You may end of googling what a cubit is (or you may get the urge to watch Raiders of the Lost Ark).  But you'll notice how easily you can follow the design of the tabernacle.  
For today's notes, I'm providing pictures of the different items mentioned.  Of course, these are all artists' renditions because we don't know exactly what they looked like.  I'm offering them here as a way to help shape what you're reading.  If you were to do research, you'd find differences in the way these times are drawn or imagined by different people. DAILY READINGSExodus 25-27 & Psalm 25

DAILY NOTES The ark of the covenant:

The Table for the Bread of the Presence



The Lampstand
The Tabernacle








OTHER …

January 24 + Daily notes & readings

DAY 24 I don't know how excited you'll get about today's reading.  But you should!  Moses will recite the law to the people.  And, the exciting part, God and the people will make a covenant.  Remember when God made a covenant with specific people before?  Now, the covenant is with all the people.  What a blessing that is to know God covenants with us all.
Today's video takes a look at that idea of covenant.




DAILY READINGSExodus 22-24 & Psalm 24

DAILY NOTES Exodus 22:1-15

Laws concerning restitution of property. Exodus 22:16-27 Laws concerning social dealings Exodus 22:28-31 Laws for religious observances Exodus 23:1-9 Laws regarding personal behaviorNotice how a person is supposed to commit to justice.Within these verses about justice, there is mention of how one deals with 2 types of people: enemies and resident aliens.   Exodus 23:12-13 Moses spoke of the sabbath before as a "holy rest."  It is also meant to be a relief for one's animals and servants. Ex…

January 23 + Daily notes & readings

DAY 23Today's reading introduces the Mosaic law.



DAILY READINGSExodus 19-21 & Psalm 23 DAILY NOTES Exodus 19:3 Moses ascending the mountain of God will become a familiar scene.   Exodus 19:4 It's been said that God chose the illustration of an eagle because no other bird flies higher than an eagle.  Its young are carried on the wings so that they are protected from danger that may come from below. Exodus 19:6-9 The people were brought from Egypt to become a new nation.  They would have equality together as "princes" and have access to God as a "holy nation."  Moses becomes/remains God's messenger and the one that receives the holy law of God.Moses also relays what the people have spoken to God.  Is there a need to do that?  This surely elevates Moses' role as the leader of the people.  Exodus 19:16 After the people have prepared themselves, they are ready to meet the Lord.  God appears in a thunderous scene that brings fear to everyone.   Exodus 19…

January 22 + Daily readings and notes

DAY 22
It's a new day and a new people.  Life as freed people begins in today's readings.  They have much to learn about what it means to be God's people, but God will show them.  God still shows us! DAILY READINGSExodus 16-18 & Psalm 22 DAILY NOTES Exodus 16:1 Jewish commentary suggests this is when they ran out of the cakes the left Egypt with. Exodus 16:2 Another complaint Exodus 16:4 The bread from heaven, in part, will be a test of the people's obedience.  I bet none of us can guess how that test is going to go. Exodus 16:7 God had heard their cry.  Now, God has heard their complaining. Exodus 16:8 So far, God hadn't said anything about meat. Exodus 16:12 "Then you shall know" is odd if you consider what happened a little over a month prior to this.  How could they not already "know" that God was their God?   Exodus 16:15 When they ask, "What is it?" they literally say "manna."   Exodus 16:34 There's a covenant already?…

January 21 + Daily notes & readings

DAY 21 DAILY READINGSExodus 13-15 & Psalm 21

DAILY NOTES

Exodus 13:2

Consecrate, sanctify, hallow.The people belong to God.  Now, they know it.  What is to be described in the coming verses is the way they would remember it.   Exodus 13:8 Telling our children is a recurring theme.
19If the sign is on your hand and, as the text reads, "between the eyes of you,"  you're going to remember it.  It will be on your lips so that you are always prepared to share it.   Exodus 13:13-15 Donkeys are considered unclean.To be clear, to "sacrifice to the Lord every male that first opens the womb" refers to animals. Exodus 13:17-18 This is ironic because the people will consider returning because of far less things than war.Why were they prepared for battle?  Were they thinking Pharaoh was going to follow them?  Were they ready for a fight?  If so, in Exodus 14:11, at the first sign of trouble, they're ready to go back. Exodus 14:8 They were going out boldly.  That is, &quo…

January 20 + Daily notes & readings

DAY 20 We're reading about the last 2 plagues against Egypt today.  What is about to happen is something that will talked about for generations.  It's celebrated even today!

Notice what the purpose of all these events is about.  Pay attention to why God says these things are happening. 

Happy reading!
DAILY READINGSExodus 10-12 & Psalm 20

DAILY NOTES
Exodus 10:2

What is to transpire, and everything that has led up to it, is to be shared with every generation.  There will be a specific way in the coming chapters to do that.  How important is it to intentionally pass on our faith to the next generations?I'm not sure where the NRSV gets the notion of "fool." Exodus 10:7 It seems that everyone has had enough except Pharaoh.  Moses is trapping the people in their own land.  And nothing is left because of it.  We have fell right into it. Exodus 10:10-11 What could be more "evil" than what they have already faced? Exodus 10:17 Once?  We've already gone t…

January 19 + Daily notes & readings

DAY 19 Today's video explains the concept of the Bible's idea of Heaven and Earth.  If you're wondering how this ties into what we're reading in Exodus, just think of one word: Redemption.




DAILY READINGSExodus 7-9 & Psalm 19

DAILY NOTES Exodus 7:1

This reminds us of God's call to Moses in Chapter 4.  Aaron is the voice and Moses is as God to Aaron and now to Pharaoh.  That is, the one who is leading. Exodus 7:3-4 The effects of the signs will be multiplied.  God calls them signs here, but Pharaoh will later call them wonders.The signs are also an act of judgement. Exodus 7:8 God knows Pharaoh is going to want to see something as proof of who God is.  Remember when the people asked Jesus for a sign (John 6:30)?  Since Pharaoh has no knowledge of God, he will want/need to see a sign of who/what God is.  This is how Pharaoh's gods work; they have a power/sign. Exodus 7:11 Even though the priests (magicians) are able to replicate the sign of God, God's is able…

January 18 + Daily notes & readings

DAY 18Today's video gives an overview of the first portion of the book of Exodus.  Look for the 2 words that are given for the first time.



May the Lord add his blessing to your reading today!
DAILY READINGSExodus 4-6 & Psalm 18

DAILY NOTES Exodus 4:1
Maybe, Moses thought, they would listen to me, but they won't believe me.  That is, perhaps they would give him a chance to speak, but then wouldn't not believe what he had to tell them. Exodus 4:10 Moses has questioned both the call of God and his calling from God.   Exodus 4:14 The Lord's anger was kindled.  The text reads that God's anger was "being hot."  That's ironic because God has appeared in a burning bush that is not being consumed.   Exodus 4:15 God tells Moses that his brother Aaron is coming to meet him.  Is this God's sign to Moses? Exodus 4:16 God gives Aaron's and Moses' roles in God's plan.  Aaron is Moses' mouthpiece.  Moses is Aaron's God.  Why doesn't God sp…

January 17 + Daily notes & readings

DAY 17

Welcome to Exodus! 



How does God get your attention?  For Moses it was in the form of a bush that was burning but not being consumed.  Truthfully, that'd probably get anyone's attention.  What began as a normal day in his "new" life, Moses began a journey toward redemption.  It's a powerful story of God's power and mercy. 

And don't think God chooses the people who think they have it all together and are ready to go.  Where's the fun in that? 

Here's an introduction video to the book of Exodus to make a part of your reading:




DAILY READINGSExodus 1-3 & Psalm 17

DAILY NOTES
Exodus 1:1-7

Exodus begins with a clear connection to Genesis. Knowing that the people multiplied and grew exceedingly is an important element of promise.  Even though the patriarchs have passed away, the promise of God continues with the continuation of the Hebrew people Exodus 1:8-14 The new king is not connected to any old promises of the former king(s).  What power a…

January 16 + Daily notes & readings

DAY 16 We're finishing our first book today!  What a great feeling, right?  It's great that we're able to do this together.  That's how we're supposed to read the Bible!  What kind of encouragement have you received? 

Like we've alluded to before, we shouldn't think of these last chapters as the end of Genesis.  Notice, as Jacob blesses his sons, the blessing is a sign of what we will know about the tribes of Israel.  So, let's not look for a Happily Ever After ending.  Let's see how we're just get started!

Blessings.


DAILY READINGSGenesis 48-50 & Psalm 16
DAILY NOTES
Genesis 48:3 Jacob remembers the promise of God!  Don't think that is unimportant.  In the next chapter, Jacob will lay out the "company of peoples" that stems from his family.   Genesis 48:5-7 Jacob includes Joseph's 2 sons in the inheritance of the land.  They have been adopted by Jacob.   Genesis 48:8-20 Perhaps Jacob is emotional, considering he did not thin…

January 15 + Daily Notes & Readings

DAY 15
When I read a book (not just the Bible) and get close to the end, I have coming-in-for-a-landing feeling.  That is, I can tell things are being concluded and the book's content is wrapping up so that I can turn the last page; I can tell it's the end.

As we finish the final chapters of Genesis you might get the same kind of feeling.  DON'T!  It may feel as if the story is winding down.  Joseph is reconnected to his family.  Now he and his family share in riches and new land.  Jacob can die happy because he knows his son(s) is alive. 

Remember, though, we're reading the entire Bible.  And the Bible is an entire narrative of the story of God.  There's much more to discover and witness.  Pay attention to how the events of the final chapters of Genesis set us up to be ready to read Exodus.

Have a great day of reading!

DAILY READINGSGenesis 46-47 & Psalm 15

DAILY NOTES

Genesis 46:1-4

Jacob was literally "sacrificing sacrifices."Was Jacob fearful of m…

January 14 + Daily Notes & Readings

DAY 14 Two weeks!  We'll be done with the book of Genesis is a couple of days.

In today's reading, Joseph reveals to his brothers his identity.  Who would have ever thought things would turn out the way they did.  I wonder if this scenario ever crossed Joseph's mind when he first interpreted Pharaoh's dream.

The tests of Joseph seem exaggerated, but they will show his brother's newfound concern for each other.  Joseph will know for sure what he needs to know about who his brothers are now.

Let's get reading.
DAILY READINGSGenesis 43-45 & Psalm 14

DAILY NOTES Genesis 43:2
It was Jacob's (Israel) idea for the brothers to go to Egypt the first time.  Now that their provisions were running low again, presumably, he recommends they make another trip.  There is no mention of the lost brothers.  It seems strange their only intent would just be to go buy more food. Genesis 43:3 Judah repeats the interaction they had with Joseph.  Before, Reuben had promises to t…

January 13 + Daily Notes & Readings

DAY 13 Imagine having everything go wrong.  Your life feels ruined.  The only thing you know is that God is with you. 
Is that enough?  It seems to be for Joseph.  Surely he felt loss.  He knew everything happened to him was unfair and unjust.  The text never says he doubted God or rejected God.  Rather, he remained sure of God's mercy and power.  In today's reading, he could have easily taken credit for his abilities.  Instead, he tells everyone that what he is able to do, is only because God does it.   DAILY READINGSGenesis 41-42 & Psalm 13

DAILY NOTES Genesis 41:1-8

Since Pharaoh will recount his dreams to Joseph, the main point of this passage seems to be the passage of time.  Once again Joseph finds himself in troubled, forgotten days.  No one from Pharaoh's court is able to interpret the dreams.  This is probably a commentary on the uselessness of foreign gods and religion. Genesis 41:9 "Faults" (Read sins) Just his faults that landed him in prison?  Or …

January 12 + Daily Notes & Reading

DAY 12 I think you'll find today's readings easy.  The chapters are fairly short, and I'm sure several of you might find what you read familiar today.

But don't get comfortable!

I've found it's easy to skim through a story you think you know.  Avoid that temptation.  I've learned this from our Jewish friends.  Right now, you and I are reading the Bible together.  That's great.  You could say we're climbing on top of the iceberg, searching for meaning and insight.  A Jewish reader isn't on top of the iceberg.  They are under the water, under the iceberg, digging inside.

That's a whole other level of study.  We'll get there.  One way we do is by not just skimming.  Read.  Underline.  Ask questions.  Read again.  Read aloud.  Ask someone what they think about something that happened.  Pray.  Read again.

Speaking of reading, let's get to it. 

DAILY READINGSGenesis 38-40 & Psalm 12

DAILY NOTES Genesis 38:1

The placement of this story …