Daily Scripture readings for July, set #14:
– Exodus, chapters 35-37
– Psalm 37:1-22
– Matthew 16:1-12
– Acts 22
If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m trying to make one (maybe two) notes per reading for each day. Sometimes one of the readings has so many notes in it that I spend the whole post on just that, but I’m hoping to not do that too often. I want these posts to be somewhat concise. That being said…
Exodus is so great! There are so many things going on – my notes are longer here than almost any of the other readings for the whole year. I’ll keep it to three things on today’s chapters:
1. Chapter 35 starts off with some direct verses regarding the Sabbath, including the penalty of death for not observing it properly. “Six days work shall be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death” (vs 6). So you did some work on 7th day of the week? BOOM… you’re dead. Why such harshness? Well, it’s exactly what God said would happen in Genesis 2, that’s why! This is another great example of the MASSIVE difference between the Old and New Covenants. As I revisit my notes the second time around, I’m really realizing how significant the two covenant theme is in the whole of Scripture.
2. The end of chapter has another mention of Bezalel and Oholiab, and this one includes a description of the two men’s God-given ability to TEACH (vs 34). On a personal note, this verse really lit a fire in me to be more proactive and focused on teaching my drum students how to play in a church setting, as opposed to teaching them how to play ripping solos.
3. Exodus 36:2 says this: “And Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whose mind the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to do the work.” I’m noticing in this verse that the “stirring in the heart” is placed directly alongside the “skill in the mind.” It is clear that it is the Lord that puts skill in individuals, so could we then also say that it is the Lord that stirs the heart? We all know what it feels like to have a stirring in our hearts, and if this verse shows that it was the Lord who stirred the hearts of the temple workers, could we also say that the Lord is responsible for the stirring of OUR hearts today? And if so, is it the Lord who stirs our hearts EVERY TIME they are stirred?
I’ve also got two different comments for today’s Psalm reading:
1. Is it just me or is verse 4 basically a circle? “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” If I am delighting in something, then my heart most likely desires that thing that I’m delighting in. Potential verse 4 paraphrase: “Delight in the Lord, and He will give you more of Himself.”
2. Verse 13 contains another one of those “not very popular” dimensions of God’s character: “The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him, but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming” (vs 12-13). I wonder how the Old vs New Covenant theme relates to these verses.
It’s definitely important to not miss the fact that, per my previous posts’ notes on Matthew 15, verses 9-10 in Matthew 16 make ABSOLUTELY CLEAR that the two miraculous feedings weren’t just a single event being told two different ways: “Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered?”
In Acts 22 Paul shares a little about his conversion experience, and this particular detail stuck out to me just now: “Now those who were with me saw the light but did not understand the voice of the one who was speaking to me” (vs 9). Physically speaking, how is it that Paul could hear AND UNDERSTAND Jesus speaking to him, but none of his companions could? This reminds me of Jesus’ “those who have ears to hear” statements, and demonstrates the uniqueness of Paul’s calling.