Monthly Archives: July 2017

7/29 Reading (Exodus 19-21; Psalms 15-17)

Exodus 19: Moses and the people reach Sinai in this chapter. God tells Moses to tell the people that “if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples” (Ex. 19.5). God then tells Moses that he will come to him in the form of a dense cloud and he wants the people to witness it so they will continue to trust Moses. The people are told this will happen in three days, so they prepare. They are also told that they may not touch the mountain or they will be put to death. Moses also says “Prepare for the third day; do not go near a woman” (Ex. 19.15). As in, sex is not allowed. According to the notes this causes impurity. Based on all the sex going on in Genesis, I was a little surprised by this command.

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7/28 Reading (Exodus 16-18; Luke 20)

Exodus 17 is where we hear about Moses striking a rock and getting water. In his first sermon on science and faith back in 2014, Father Kevin preached about this part of scripture. I put a little bit below, but will do a post on his sermons at a later date.

Exodus 16: Second crisis for the Israelites: lack of food. God decides to rain bread on them, but he decides to test them. He tells the people that they need to gather as much food as they need for each day, but no more. Then on the 6th day, they will take enough for that day and the sabbath. At twilight they eat meat, and the morning they gather their bread for the day. Some people try to hoard some bread on the first day and it goes bad. Some also try to gather food on the sabbath. God gets angry because some people fail to listen to him. They seem to at least learn for now. We also learn that they are in the wilderness for 40 years.

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7/28 Reading (Exodus 16-18; Luke 20)

Exodus 16: Second crisis for the Israelites: lack of food. God decides to rain bread on them, but he decides to test them. He tells the people that they need to gather as much food as they need for each day, but no more. Then on the 6th day, they will take enough for that day and the sabbath. At twilight they eat meat, and the morning they gather their bread for the day. Some people try to hoard some bread on the first day and it goes bad. Some also try to gather food on the sabbath. God gets angry because some people fail to listen to him. They seem to at least learn for now. We also learn that they are in the wilderness for 40 years.

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7/27 Reading (Exodus 13-15; Luke 19)

I had a lot to say on this reading.

Exodus 13: This chapter starts with God telling Moses that all firstborn of the humans and animals should be consecrated to him, declaring them his. It then jumps to reiteration of the seven day celebration his people are supposed to have every year (passover) with unleavened bread. The people are told to tell their children about what happened, making this an educational experience. On a side note, as an educator, this is definitely an effective way to do that. Back to the text. The story they returns to discussion of the consecration of the firstborn, this time specifically saying males. I have to admit that when I first read this I thought God was telling them that they all had to sacrifice their firstborn males. Glad I was wrong once I read a little further.

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7/26 Reading (Exodus 10-12; Luke 18)

There are some days where reading the Bible is a challenge. It’s not necessarily a chore, just challenging to read. Sometimes it’s the message in the text, sometimes it’s everything else going on with work, or sometimes it’s just because I’m tired. Today was one of those days.

Several parts of this reading today seemed to bother me.

Exodus 10: The eighth (locusts) and ninth (darkness) marvels occur in this chapter. Pharaoh seems like he is slowly coming around after his officials tell him that he needs to let Moses and his people go. He relents, but says they can’t take any of the young people. Moses says it needs to be everyone. Pharaoh says no. On with the locusts. Those little pests destroy all remaining vegetation in the land. Pharaoh begs them to stop and pray to God for him. God gets rid of the locusts, but “the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (Ex. 10.20) again! Seriously!!! Then after the next marvel (darkness) occurs, Pharaoh says all people can go, but no livestock. Moses disagrees. Again, “the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (Ex. 10.27). Pharaoh steps up his rhetoric and tells Moses the following: “‘Get away from me! Take care that you do not see my face again, for on the day you see my face you shall die.’” (Ex. 10.28) On to the 10th plague, which is sad.

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7/25 Reading (Exodus 7-9; Luke 17)

I feel that something may have finally clicked while reading the Gospel reading for today.

Exodus 7: This chapter starts with God telling Moses to take Aaron and see the Pharaoh. God tells Moses to have Aaron turn the staff into a snake in front of the Pharaoh as well as turn the Nile water into blood and kill off all the fish. Turning the water into blood is the first plague (the text refers to this as marvels, not plagues). Pharaoh’s magicians are able to match this, so his “heart hardens” as God said it would. Before turning the water into blood Aaron also turns his staff into a snake. I find it interesting that Aaron is the one doing these things, not Moses. I know that Moses said earlier that he couldn’t speak well, but here it seems like he’s more like a figurehead. I know that doesn’t end up being the case, but if you just look at this chapter, it definitely seems to be this way.

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7/24 Reading (Exodus 4-6; Luke 16)

I had some trouble with some of this reading today.

Exodus 4: Moses continues to tell God that he is not the right person to do this task. He presents his next two problems to God: (3) “But suppose they do not believe me or listen to me, but say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’” (Ex. 4.1) and (4) ‘O my Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue’ (Ex. 4.10). To answer his third problem, God shows Moses how to turn his staff into a snake, how to damage and reheal his hand, and how to turn water from the Nile into blood. To answer his fourth problem, God says “Then the Lord said to him, “Who gives speech to mortals? Who makes them mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? ¹² Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak.” (Ex. 4.11-12)

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