February 8 – Daily Notes – Amanda

sheep-goat

We would all like to identify with the sheep in Matthew 25, but there are still hungry people, those who are cold in the winter, and those who sit lonely in prison. So who are we really? Read and find out.

Exodus 28:1-43:

  • 1 – Aaron and his sons become Israel’s priests.
  • 2 – The priestly garments are made “for glory and for beauty.” The tabernacle was built in similar fashion as are sanctuaries today. Places and things that represent God should do so to reflect who God is including his majesty and beauty.
  • 42- Other than the fig leaves in the garden, this is the first time underwear is mentioned.

Matthew 25:31-26:13:

  • 31-46 – A famous passage calling us to serve those who are the least in our society as if we were serving Christ.
  • 6-13 – Interesting placement after the mandate to serve the least of these and then the woman is praised for using expensive things on Jesus that could have been used for the poor. This is a case of doing what is good versus doing what is best.

Psalm 31:9-18:

  • Encouragement to call on and trust in God even in the worst of circumstances.

All Those Exodus Details Explained in Pictures

All those details, measurements, and specifications!  The 2nd half of the Book of Exodus is long on detail and short on drama.  But, the details are actually really interesting, if you can draw back and see the whole picture.

febb87c9004603558b02768b7af9d08e

The 2nd half of Exodus is God telling the Israelites how to properly worship, while they are still roaming in the desert.  It’s important that they get the details right, since the Living God is not someone you carelessly approach.  All these details are meant to help the Israelites understand who this God is who brought them out of slavery.

ark1

 

–AF

February 7 – Daily Notes – Amanda

Exodus 26:1-27:21:

  • 33-34 – Only certain people were allowed in certain areas of the tabernacle. In the Holy Place, only priests were allowed and in the Most Holy Place, only one priest, who was chosen each time someone needed to enter, could go in.
  • If you were building a dwelling place for God, wouldn’t you want specific instructions?

Matthew 25:1-30:

  • 1-13 – We need to be continually prepared for the coming of Christ. We cannot rely on the faith, work, and preparedness of others.
  • 14-30 – We are to use what God has given for his glory and the good of others, not just keep our knowledge, skills, and faith to ourselves. Having “much” here is not necessarily about financial resources.

Psalm 31:1-8:

  • In the Luke account of Jesus’ crucifixion, he quotes verse 5.

Proverbs 8:1-11:

  • We’ve learned how folly cries out to us and entices us into sin and temptation. This passage reminds us that wisdom calls out too and gives us the opportunity to choose that instead.

February 6 – Daily Notes – Amanda

baby bonding.jpg

We require clear instructions. Otherwise, we tend to find ways to mess up. Though they may seem tedious, God gives the Israelites very specific instructions on how to construct the Tabernacle. This was basically a portable temple, or place of worship, that they could pack up and move whenever they needed to wander to a new location in the desert.

Exodus 23:14-25:40:

  • 15 – Feast of Unleavened Bread is Passover
  • 1-7 – These were special offerings requested so the Israelites could build a tabernacle for God.
  • 8-9 – The Tabernacle was God’s mobile house. The Israelites couldn’t build a temple yet because they were still nomadic.
  • 9-40 – Like with Noah, when building his ark, God gives Moses very specific construction instructions.

Matthew 24:29-51:

  • 34 – This tends to be problematic for people because clearly all the people in that generation have since died. Some people interpret it to mean that the Jews will still be in existence until the second coming. Others believe that fulfillment simply requires the beginning of the age and not the full second coming. Of course, no one knows for sure.
  • 40-42 – verses like these are where ideas for things like the “Left Behind” series come from
  • 44 – Jesus’ warning is for those of us who know the truths of Jesus. He warns us not to neglect those truths but be faithful even as we wait and don’t know how long we’ll be waiting.

Psalm 30:1-12:

  • 5 – Encouragement that trouble is always temporary
  • 11-12 – Beautiful imagery of God’s restoration through our trials. What if we all were so aware of God’s part in our getting through difficult times?

What to Expect – Week 6

the-last-supper

This week, it all comes full circle. Last week, in Exodus, we read about God releasing the Israelites from slavery and saving their first-born children through the Passover. This week, we’ll read about the Last Supper, which Jesus offered to his closest companions, the disciples, just before his arrest and death.

Do you see the connection? Is it starting to become clear just how carefully the story of God’s love and redemption for humanity has been in the works over time?

In Exodus the Israelites experience the first Passover and make unleavened bread so they can leave quickly if needed. In Matthew, Jesus eats the Passover meal with his disciples. In Exodus a flawless lamb’s blood could save you from the death of your first-born. In Matthew, Jesus offers up his own blood to save us all. In Exodus God makes a way for his people to receive freedom. In Matthew, he does the same.

The first Passover directly connects to the Last Supper and Jesus’ death, which directly connects to our experiencing Holy Communion on Sundays. This is not just a series of unrelated stories, but one centuries long story of God continually working to achieve our redemption.

Another highlight:
Don’t get bogged down in the details of how to build the tabernacle – they can get tedious. Think of the tabernacle as a traveling temple. The Israelites wanted a home for God that they could pack up and move as they wandered. The tabernacle was the solution. Practical, eh?

February 5 – Daily Notes – Amanda

marty-watch

Yes, we’ve been waiting for over 2,000 years and, who knows, we may still be waiting for a while. Many people have tried to find clues and solve equations to figure out when Jesus is coming back, but the truth is, God said no one knows. We are instructed, however, to always be ready, which means to remain faithful in all circumstances.

Exodus 21:22-23:13:

  • This section of reading is a variety of rules for living in society.
  • 22-24 – Throughout Scripture, widows and orphans get special protection.
  • 29-30 – Often we give from what we have left over after we’ve spent as much as we want. We are to give from our first and best.

Matthew 24:1-28:

  • 1-7 – Many people try to predict the end of the world based on various Scriptures and what they perceive to be the fulfillment, but Scripture says no one knows the timing.
  • 27 – We don’t need to believe folks like David Koresh who come and say they are the Messiah. Scripture says we’ll all know when Jesus is back.

Proverbs 7:6-23:

  • Sin and temptation are attractive, constantly available, and trying to draw us in at all costs.

February 4 – Daily Notes – Amanda

Exodus 19:16-21:21:

  • 22 – Consecrate themselves – to cleanse themselves of sins through ceremonial washings because God cannot be near sin
  • 3 – begins the 10 Commandments
  • 12 – honor your father and mother is the only commandment that comes with a promise
  • 20 – Our fear of God and his power is often what keeps us from sinning. Many of us have lost this fear
  • 1-11 – Slavery passages are obviously problematic. This could be a case, like divorce, that was a practice the Israelites were already engaged in and the law simply gave parameters on how it could be done as faithfully as possible.

Matthew 23:13-39:

  • 13-36 – The scribes and Pharisees are criticized for following the laws and forcing others to but forgetting the things God really valued – justice, mercy, and faithfulness.
  • 25-26 – There are many references throughout the New Testament that remind us that a clean heart is better than clean hands.
  • 37-39 – Prophets had been sent to Jerusalem and ousted by the religious leaders. Jesus suffered the same fate.

Psalm 28:1-9:

  • Throughout most of his Psalms, David expresses his great trust in God despite his current circumstances.

February 3 – Daily Notes – Amanda

rejected

Each of us, to some degree, fear and dread rejection of all kinds. In verse 10 of today’s psalm, David talks about God welcoming him in when he was rejected even by his parents. Like it may be to you, this was real for David. When Samuel came looking for the next king, David’s father, Jesse, marched his other seven sons in front of him, but not David. Even in painful rejection, we can know God’s love and acceptance.

Exodus 17:8-19:15:

  • 8 – Since when were they at war?
  • 9 – Joshua begins as a war hero and becomes Moses’ right-hand-man
  • 10-13 – Moses, with the help of Hur and Aaron, play a major role in defeating the Amalekites
  • 15 – The Lord is My Banner – or Jehovah-Nissi – is one of the many names Bible characters give God based on their experiences with him
  • 13-23 – Jethro encourages Moses to create a system of government – to delegate and form a type of disciple
  • 1-11 – God promises to make the Israelites his most treasured possession if they obey his commands. They agree. They would even hear God speak with Moses.

Matthew22:34-23:12:

  • 37-39 – one of the few times Jesus answers a question directly
  • 2-3 – we should listen even to hypocrites, we just shouldn’t do what they do
  • 5 – Phylactery – small box filled with Scripture men tie to their foreheads while they pray
  • 5 – Fringes – Orthodox Jewish men wear a garment with 8 fringes and 5 knots that represent the 613 laws of Moses to help them remember to follow them
  • 12 – The 2nd time recently to remind us that when we exalt ourselves we’re humbled but when we humble ourselves we’re exalted

Psalm 27:7-14:

  • It is all of our hope that when we make the effort to seek God he will show up
  • 10 – This was literal for David. When Samuel came looking for the next king, Jesse offered up David’s 7 older brothers but not him.
  • 13 – During any struggle, this is a great promise. Despite horrible circumstances, you will see God’s goodness again.

Proverbs 6:27-35:

  • We cannot continually place ourselves in the way of temptation and expect not to fall