After Moses had been up on the mountain for a while, the people got impatient. They wanted Aaron to build them a god. He obliged and built them a golden calf from jewelry that they brought to him. We are told that Aaron told them to bring him this gold and also that he was the one who carved the calf. (vs. 2-4) When Moses came down from the mountain and questioned his older brother about it, the story was a little different. “And Aaron said, “Let not the anger of my lord burn hot. You know the people, that they are set on evil. For they said to me, ‘Make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ So I said to them, ‘Let any who have gold take it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.” (Exodus 32:22-24) Aaron places the blame on the people for making him do it and then claims the calf just happened to come out of the fire. This was a man who had been left in charge of the people, but gave into their desires after just a few days. It takes strength to stand up for truth when one is in the minority, but our desire should be to please God and not the majority. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (Col 3:23-24)
Today’s reading: Exodus 29-32
Do you remember the children’s song about the wise and foolish men each building a house? The basis for that song comes from the mouth of our Savior. “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.” (Luke 6:46-49) We can also read a similar passage in Matthew 7:24-27. In the song it is fun to sing how that foolish man’s house went ‘splat’. In real life, it is not fun to be that foolish man who Jesus is talking about not following His word.
Today’s reading: Luke 5-6
We see many agricultural analogies used in God’s word. Paul uses one to tell the Corinthians about giving. “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” (2 Corinthians 9:6) This comparison is valid not only for giving of our material blessings, but of our time, energy, and talents as well. God has blessed each one of us in different ways but all for the same purpose. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
Today’s reading: 2 Corinthians 9-10
Jeremiah chapter 52 describes the destruction of Jerusalem. We are told many of the details about the temple being destroyed, down to even the day that it happened. “In the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month—that was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon—Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard, who served the king of Babylon, entered Jerusalem. And he burned the house of Jehovah, and the king’s house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, even every great house, burned he with fire.” (Jeremiah 52:12-13) As terrible as it was for this building to be destroyed, God’s power was not affected. “But it was Solomon who built a house for him. Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says,” (Acts 7:47-48) Each of us have a temple of God that we need to protect and honor. “Know ye not that ye are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man destroyeth the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, and such are ye.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
Today’s reading: Jeremiah 47-52
After God questioned Job about numerous things, He gave Job an opportunity to respond. “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.” (Job 40:2) At an earlier time Job had commented that he desired to talk to God about his issues. “Surely I would speak to the Almighty, And I desire to reason with God.” (Job 13:3) Now, after all that God had said to him, Job must have been humbled a little bit. “Then Job answered the LORD and said: “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.” (Job 40:3-5) God desires each one of us to have a humble heart. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:10)
Today’s reading: Job 39-40
The chapter we have as Psalm 59 are some of David’s writing about King Saul sending men out to watch his house in order to kill him. He describes this enemy and their plans of evil toward him. Mixed in with the descriptions of them are David’s prayer to God for help. His words show that no matter what happened, he knew God was in control of everything. “But you, O LORD, laugh at them; you hold all the nations in derision.” (Psalms 59:8) He repeatedly calls out to his source of strength and protection. “O my Strength, I will watch for you, for you, O God, are my fortress.” (Psalms 59:9) “But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.” (Psalms 59:16) “O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.” (Psalms 59:17) David’s source of strength and protection is the same one that is available for us today.
Today’s reading: Psalms 57-59
David’s own son Absalom conspired against his father to take over as king. He gained power and then he had soldiers go out to try and kill David. In the battle, Absalom was killed by some of David’s men even though that is not what he had commanded them to do. “And the king ordered Joab and Abishai and Ittai, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.” And all the people heard when the king gave orders to all the commanders about Absalom.” (2 Samuel 18:5) With Absalom being killed, David’s life was spared but that was no comfort to David. “And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” (2 Samuel 18:33) David knew that death on this earth was not the worst thing that could have happened to him. He was much more concerned about the lost soul of his son.
Today’s reading: 2 Samuel 15-19
Exodus chapter 25 starts with God telling Moses to ask the people for contributions to build a tabernacle for Him. “The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the people of Israel, that they take for me a contribution. From every man whose heart moves him you shall receive the contribution for me.” (Exodus 25:1-2) The following verses down thru chapter 28 are very specific instructions on how God wanted this tabernacle and everything in it to be built. The details included sizes, types of wood and other materials, even the color of the garments to be worn by the priests. He also let them know that He would dwell there. “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” (Exodus 25:8) So why did God include this level of detail to be preserved in the Bible for us to read today? One reason may be that He wanted us to know the importance of worshiping and honoring Him by following specific details from His word. He probably also wanted them to see the respect that was to be given to the place that He dwelled with them. We can compare this to what we read about His dwelling place with us today. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
Today’s reading: Exodus 25-28
The devil does not leave anyone out with his works of temptation. One of his tactics is to catch his victims at their weakest point. The tempting of our Savior that we read about in Luke chapter 4 happened after Jesus had not eaten for forty days. I can only imagine how weak and hungry a person would be after not eating for that long. What was the first thing the devil tried to get Jesus to do? He challenged him to turn a stone into bread. Jesus did not fall for his tricks and after a few failures, the devil gave up temporarily. “And when the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him for a season.” (Luke 4:13) It is comforting to know that whatever the devil may throw at us, we have a way out. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Today’s reading: Luke 3-4
In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians he knew that he might have hurt their feelings a little bit. “For though I made you sorry with my epistle, I do not regret it: though I did regret it (for I see that that epistle made you sorry, though but for a season)” (2 Corinthians 7:8) Even though it might have bothered the people for a short time, Paul’s motive was backed by love for them. “I now rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye were made sorry unto repentance; for ye were made sorry after a godly sort, that ye might suffer loss by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation, a repentance which bringeth no regret: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” (2 Corinthians 7:9-10) Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to get our feelings hurt a little bit if we will look honestly at ourselves and repent when necessary.
Today’s reading: 2 Corinthians 6-8