Search

Week 11 June 10, 2020

What we are reading this week (beginning Wednesday, June 10, 2020):

• Exodus 21-27

• Jeremiah 5-11

• John 3-9

• Psalms 71-77

Notes on Exodus

Moses had ascended Mount Sinai in chapter 19. God begins to give him the Law, which will forever be known as the Law of Moses. This exchange will extend throughout the week.

***

There are many very practical and fair commands given regarding servants (not slaves as we understand them today, but as bond-servants paying off debts through employment) and personal injuries in chapter 21; protection of property and social responsibility in chapter 22; justice and mercy in chapter 23.

In chapter 23, the focus changes to the observances and festivals for the people. God commands festivals, along with food and drink and celebration. Key to all of them is the Sabbath, the weekly celebration (10-13). Even a seventh year is to be a sabbatical for the entire nation.

Pay attention throughout the Old Testament regarding the Sabbath. We return to it again and again, and it is very important to the Lord.

***

Three of the seven major Jewish festivals are introduced in 14-19.

***

God gives instruction on the procedure of taking the Promised Land (20ff). The Lord himself would do the heavy lifting in pushing out those nations currently occupying the territory (see verses 27-28).

***

In chapter 24, God asks Moses to bring his brother Aaron, Aaron’s two sons, and seventy elders up on the mountain along with him, where they all encounter a brilliant, majestic revelation of the glory of the Lord. The covenant is confirmed to all of them. Moses writes it all down.

***

The group returns, leaving the mountaintop. Moses remains, with Joshua at a distance. Here, Moses stays for forty days, supernaturally fasting without food or water.

***

Now (in chapter 25) God begins to give instructions to Moses on how to build the articles to be used in worship. Most important is the ark of the covenant. (10-22). “There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you…” Eventually, it would be placed in the holy of holies.

***

Instructions for tabernacle are given in chapter 26. This will be the portable temple, a prototype in a way of the permanent Temple that would eventually be built by Solomon hundreds of years later. All of the sacrifices and ceremonial worship would be initiated with the tabernacle, then eventually transferred to the Temple after its completion.

In between the tabernacle and the Temple, David would pitch a tent as an interim house of worship. However, this tent would become God’s favorite house.

***

Everything about the construction of the tabernacle is significant and symbolic, including the colors.

***

More objects for worship are defined in chapter 27. The tabernacle, though portable, would also require (portable) walls to create a perimeter housing a courtyard, about 150 X 75 feet.

***

All while Moses is on the mountain during this time we are reading, the rest of the Israelites are getting restless… to the point of making the golden calf.

Notes on Jeremiah

God is trying to find a reason to forgive his people in chapter five.

***

In chapter six, the siege of the Babylonians begins. However, the people are blind to enemies within and without. They say, “Peace, peace,” as they are on the verge of utter destruction. They are likewise blind to their detestable conduct. See verses 14-15.

***

For too long, the Israelites held onto the idea that being the Chosen People, and having the Temple, they were utterly indestructible (7.4). They were about to learn a very painful lesson (7.20). In spite of their reliance on their special status in regard to Yahweh, they continued to vigorously pursue idols. This was a very bad idea.

***

God’s rebuke continues in chapter 8. Verses 11-12 summarize the situation.

***

Jeremiah is known as the “weeping prophet.” We see evidence of why in chapter 9, as he is overwhelmed in grief by the poor response and sin of his people.

***

Jermiah’s words fell on deaf ears, but we today can find some great wisdom in them:

“This is what the Lord says: ‘Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the Lord” (9.32-24).

***

Jeremiah picks up a theme we find in Isaiah: Are you really sure you want to worship something that you have to nail down so it doesn’t fall over? Do you want to trust your salvation to a god that you have to carry around and prop up and cannot even speak? See 10.3-5. See also verses 14-16.

***

A great prayer to meditate on—and to memorize and incorporate into your own prayer time—is found in 10.6-7.

“No one is like you, Lord; you are great, and your name is mighty in power. Who should not fear you, King of the nations? This is your due. Among all the wise leaders of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like you.”

***

God’s covenant with Israel was conditional. They leaned on it as though it didn’t matter how they responded, but that was a grave mistake. God says, “I will bring on them a

disaster they cannot escape” (11.11). Scary words.

But it gets worse. As in Isaiah, we find that there comes a time and place where God will not listen to our prayers anymore—and here God’s says he will not even listen to Jeremiah’s prayers of intercession on their behalf. Seriously! See 11.14.

***

Jeremiah’s reward for bringing this message to the people was death threats (11.18-19).

***

Notes on John

In chapters three and four, we see two intimate conversations in Jesus’ life. The first is Nicodemus, the second the woman at the well. As you read through, I would like to highly recommend you make a list to compare all of the differences you can find between the two encounters. Perhaps next week I’ll share my list. But I want to give you an opportunity to do this yourself.

***

Since there were no quotation marks in the original, it is sometimes hard for scholars to know exactly whether there was dialogue or commentary going on. In chapter three, they are undecided on where Jesus’ words ended and where the commentary kicked in. The pivotal verse is 16, the most famous verse in the Bible. It is worth you time to think through verses 16-21 as if Jesus spoke them, and as if he had not.

John adds a lot of commentary into his gospel, far more than the others.

***

In chapter five, we find Jesus healing a man that apparently didn’t want

to be healed. This is a very unusual moment for Jesus.

***

In spite of a lot of commentary in his gospel, John also includes discourses of Jesus responding to the crowds. We find some of his exclusive text in this regard in 5.19-47.

***

Jesus feeds the five thousand in chapter six. All of the gospels record this miracle (the only miracle of Jesus that we find in all four), but John adds a lot of detail, and takes it far beyond where the others did. There is ongoing discussion with the crowds following this miracle, and Jesus describes himself as the bread that came down from heaven, tying himself symbolically into the manna that we find in the Old Testament.

And this dialogue, by the end of the day, ostracizes the great majority of his followers (see 6.66).

***

John 7 takes place in Jerusalem at the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus speaks and the people respond. There is amazing dialogue here. There is great debate and conflict over who he is. See 30-32.

***

This conflict and argument continues through chapter eight. Jesus is given the opportunity to describe himself through responding to accusations. John gives us some very intense and critically important words of Jesus describing himself that we find no where else.

***

Jesus heals a man born blind in chapter nine. There was no question whatsoever about the miraculous touch that had occurred. However, Jesus’ enemies found a way to criticize it anyway, and Jesus used this as an illustration of spiritual blindness.

***

Notes on Psalms

I trust you continue to find blessing in reading these every day. We will cross the halfway point in the Book of Psalms this week at Psalm 75.

***

Solomon’s only psalm is 72. He is asking for a blessing on the king (himself) but ends with praise directed to God.

***

Book III of Psalms begins with the 73rd psalm.

***

I love the picture painted in 73.16-17: “When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God…” Though regarding a specific situation, I find encouragement in the process of finding relief in the presence of the Lord.

***

The last five psalms this week, as we enter Book III, were written by Asaph. He speaks of the same struggles as David, which are similar to our own. Like David, he finds the remedy in the presence of the Lord and remembering all he has done in the past.

“Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?

Then I thought, ‘To this I will appeal: the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand. I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.’

“Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.”

4 views

Recent Posts

See All

Week 30 October 21, 2020

What we are reading this week (beginning Wednesday, October 21, 2020): • Joshua 17-23 • Amos 4-9 ~ Obadiah • Philemon ~ Hebrews 1-6 Notes on Joshua In chapter 17, the dividing of the land continues. T

Week 29 October 14, 2020

What we are reading this week (beginning Wednesday, October 14, 2020): • Joshua 10-16 • Hosea 14 ~ Joel 1-3 ~ Amos 1-3 • 2 Timothy 1-4 ~ Titus 1-3 There is some really great reading this week and the

 

260.492.6716

©2020 by The Ridge. Proudly created with Wix.com