Daily Scripture readings for July, set #4:
– Exodus, chapters 10-12
– Psalm, chapter 27
– Matthew 12:1-21
– Acts 17:1-15
My primary observation from today’s Exodus chapters is in 11:7, where Moses says to Pharaoh regarding the extent of the final plague: “But not a dog shall growl against any of the people of Israel, either man or beast, that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.” It is as clear as possible here that God, at least in this point in history, had selected some to be his people and some to not be. All humanity is God’s creation. All are made in his image. And yet, “the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.” My secondary observation is something I just noticed at the end of chapter 10. Moses tells Pharaoh that he won’t see his face again in 10:29, but then 5 verses later in 11:4 it seems that Moses is back in Pharaoh’s presence speaking with him. Is Moses just all talk in 10:29 or am I reading this wrong?
I mentioned a few days ago that Psalm 25 is one of my favorites, but today’s reading of Psalm 27 confirms that this chapter is officially my favorite… my favorite Psalm, that is. The entire thing is so deeply encouraging. Each stanza describes a reality where David is completely safe and secure, yet also rejoicing nd delighting in God himself and not only in God’s salvation. The final verse sums up how I typically preach to myself in times of trial and struggle: “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heard take courage; wait for the Lord!”
I’m not sure if Matthew 12 is the first mention of “Gentiles” in the book, but it sure is a direct one. God’s overarching salvation plan is for not only the Jews, but for Gentiles also, which this Isaiah quote in verse 18-21 makes clear: “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel or cry aloud, not will anyone hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until hie brings justice to victory; and in his name the Gentiles will hope.”
Lately I’ve heard a lot of dogging on the idea of “belief,” as if an action as simple as believing could not possibly be enough to warrant salvation. Those who are concerned about poverty advocate serving the poor, those who are concerned about the appearance of righteousness advocate certain regulations and restrictions. However, here in Acts 16, Paul answers the Philippian jailer’s question on how to attain salvation succinctly and directly: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (vs 31).
Update: Again, for those following along each day, the above Acts notes are a day off track (behind) the official reading schedule.