Spiritual Rants: February 14 “For The Love Of God” Daily Readings to read through the Bible in a year: Exodus 37:1-38:31 Matthew 28:1-20 Psalm 34:11-22 Proverbs 9:9-10

Old Testament:   Exodus 37:1-38:31

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Exodus 37:1-38:31    For The Love Of God

Intro:

Everything for the Tabernacle was paid for in advance.

Only the best was used for all, that was their stance.

Exodus 37:1-38:31

Exodus 37:1-29  Furnishings finished

More work, more construction.  You can speed read this section unless you are a contractor or a carpenter.

Bezalel made the ark, the mercy seat (“seat of atonement” NIV), the table the lampstand and altar of incense according to directions previously mentioned.  The lampstand and mercy seat were gold, the others were made of acacia wood.  He also prepared the  holy anointing oil and did the work of a “perfumer” to create the incense.

Exodus 38:1-20  Tabernacle finished

Even more work, more construction.  Bezalel made the altar of burnt offering and the laver of bronze.  Then he worked on the courtyard and the curtains.  Only the best materials were used, silver, gold and bronze.  Even the nails were bronze.  The curtains were made of linen with blue, purple and scarlet thread.

Exodus 38:21-31  Tabernacle paid

Everything was paid for in shekels which were a weight of precious metal.  They were not coins. The NIV margin states that over a ton of gold was used, about 3 3/4 tons of silver and about two and a half tons of bronze.  Notice they didn’t borrow any money.  They had enough to pay for everything.  Just sayin.’

Summary:

More work was done until the Tabernacle was finished.

New Testament:   Matthew 28:1-20

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Intro:

Jesus had already risen from the dead.

Two Marys expected a grave but met an angel instead.

The religious leaders said the true story would be banned.

The disciples were given a Great Command.

Matthew 28:1-15   He is Risen Indeed!

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave on the first day of the week (the reason we have worship services now on Sunday).  As mentioned, there had been an earthquake, apparently from an angel rolling away the stone meant to keep anyone from stealing the body of Jesus.  The angel’s appearance was “like lightning” and his clothes were as white as snow.  (Look out the window, remember snow?)  The guards had a normal reaction.  They fainted.

I like it when angels say, “Don’t be afraid.”  They always seem to say that.  Everyone seems to faint anyway.  These women were maybe of tougher stock.  They didn’t faint.  The angel said that Jesus had kept His word and wasn’t there.  He had risen!  They could even take the tour of the tomb (about 1 sec) and see that He was gone.  The angel told them to tell the disciples that Jesus had risen from the dead and was going ahead of them to Galilee.

Meanwhile, back in Jerusalem, the Temple guards reported the story to the chief priests.  Brilliant guys that they were, they all assembled and decided to pay off the cops.  The cover story, “The disciples stole the body.”  “We’ll take care of the governor,” they said.  So that’s the story the police had been spreading even up to the time of Matthew’s writing.

Matthew 28:16-20   Get out of here, I mean it!

The remaining “eleven” disciples met Jesus in Galilee and worshipped Him.  Jesus told them to “make disciples” in all the nations, not just Israel.  In Acts He will tell them to go beyond Judea, Samaria and to go to all  the world.  The gospel was going to be offered to all, not just Jews.  They were to baptize their disciples and teach them everything He had taught them.  They were to continue till “the end of the age.”

Summary:

Jesus rises from the dead.  Mary Magdalene and another Mary visited the grave and found the stone had been moved away by an angel.  The authorities paid off the Temple guards to lie, saying the disciples had stolen the body.  Jesus gave the disciples the Great Commission to spread the word about His resurrection and make other disciples around the world.

Psalm 34:11-24   A Hymn Of Praise And Thanksgiving by David

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Psalm 34:1-10  Tasty, Part 2

We finish Psalm 34 today.  Don’t forget the superscription on this psalm, indicating that this is a psalm of David on the occasion of acting like a madman in front of Abimelech.  You can read about that in 1 Samuel 21.

Instead of just trusting the Lord, David acted like a crazy man.  He must have been a good actor because his scheme worked.  How humiliating for the person who defeated Goliath, though.  He even let “spittle” dribble down his beard (cf. 1 Sam. 21:15 KJV).  He drooled down his whiskers (cf. 1 Sam. 21:15 NLT)!  Ugh . . . .

Despite David’s thesperian proclivities, God saved him.  So David praises the Lord and exhorts others to do the same (v. 11).  I think as king he probably viewed himself also as the shepherd of Israel and responsible for the people’s relationship with the Lord. After all, David began as a shepherd (cf. 1 Sam. 16:11).

The way to be blessed by God is to obey His commands (vv. 12-14, cf. 1 John 2:3-6).  Of course, we can only please the Lord by coming to Him first by faith (cf. Heb. 11:6).  In 1 John 2:3-4, note that John says those who keep his commands “have come to know Him.”  He says it twice for emphasis.  We can’t please God without first obeying His first command, to believe.  “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).  “Obey” is in parallel with “believe.”  The first command of God is to believe in His Son.  To obey is to believe.

If you obey God in belief, He will answer your prayers (vv. 15-17).  He is near the “brokenhearted” and “crushed in spirit” (v. 18).  This is a good verse to remember when you are down and out.  Or, maybe even memorize.

Romans 5:2-5 seems to indicate a cycle of suffering and tribulation.  God gives us relief but suffering seems to be God’s mechanism for our growth.  We go from the hope we have in Christ to tribulations to perseverance to character to hope again.  Then He begins the cycle all over again, it seems.

But Warren Wiersbe likes to remind us, ” . . . when His people are in the furnace, the Creator keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat. He knows how long and how much, and He is always in control.”  We have many “afflictions” but God rescues us from them all (v. 19).  It is our hope to be rescued, one way or the other.

Verse 20 brings to mind how God kept Jesus’ bones from being broken at the crucifixion.  “For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, “NOT A BONE OF HIM SHALL BE BROKEN” (John 19:36).

Wicked people will be done in by their own wickedness (v. 21a, cf.Ps. 7:14–16; 9:16, 10:2; Prov. 5:22).  The Cains, Korahs, Shimmies, and Doegs will all have their day.  The righteous believers will prevail (cf. Prov. 4:18-19).

The Lord does not ever lose even one of His own (cf. John 6:39, 10:28, 17:12; 18:9).  If you have trusted Christ, you don’t have to worry about going to Hell.  You have already crossed over from death to life (cf. John 5:24)!

Proverbs 9:9-10  Ain’t We Got Fun?

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Remember the song, “God bless the child”?  It has the lyric,

“Them that’s got shall have
Them that’s not shall lose
So the Bible said and it still is news”

It supposedly comes from Matt. 13:12, ” “For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.”  It is taken, generally, as applying to wealth, “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”  That sentiment is found in the sarcastic 20’s song, “Ain’t We Got Fun?”

But in Matt. 13:12 the text is speaking of faith.  However, the sentiment could have come from our passage today, “Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning.”  The smart get smarter!

They are the ones that learn that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (cf. ) which is the theme of the book of Proverbs.  “Knowledge” of God is “understanding” which is wisdom.”

As Proverbs 25:2 says, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”

“Ain’t We Got Fun?”

Choose Life: Scripture:  Exodus 38:24-25  NASB    “Quit Giving So Much!”

“All the gold that was used for the work, in all the work of the sanctuary, even the gold of the wave offering, was 29 talents and 730 shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary. The silver of those of the congregation who were numbered was 100 talents and 1,775 shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary . . . The bronze of the wave offering was 70 talents and 2,400 shekels.”   Exodus 38:24-25, 29

The Bible Knowledge Commentary says that there was over a ton of gold, four tons of silver, and two and one half tons of bronze used in the making of all the parts and utensils of the Tabernacle.  If you were to convert all that precious metal into cash, it would be a ton of money ($35,551,656.00 for the gold; $1,967,000 in silver;  $26,400 in bronze for a grand total of $37,545,056.00).  Of maybe we should say “tons” of money.

Moses had to tell the people that they should stop donating so much to the Temple construction.   “‘The people are bringing much more than enough for the construction work which the LORD commanded us to perform.’ So Moses issued a command, and a proclamation was circulated throughout the camp, saying, ‘Let no man or woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary.’  Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more.” (Exod. 36:5-7).

Can you imagine what could be done for the Lord if people gave to God’s work this way?  Wouldn’t it be amazing?

I’ve already written on tithing (see blogs A Tithy Over TithingThe Meaning of LifeHappy Reapers, and What’s In Your Wallet?).   Tithing was Old Testament.  Giving in New Testament is proportionate and the standard by which it’s measured is how much we love the Lord (cf. 2 Cor. 9:7).  This means rich people are not off the hook if they only give ten percent and poor people should not feel guilty if they can’t always give up to ten per cent.

But I think it is astonishing that Moses had received so much in offerings that he had to tell the Israelites to quit giving so much!

The Bible tells us that we will reap what we sow in our giving (cf. 2 Cor. 9:6; Gal. 6:7, 9-10).  Are you sowing so that you will reap a great harvest someday?

If you are, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!

Fun Application:

Here’s my rule on giving which represents the New Testament, I think.  Stretch but don’t strain.

Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive (cf. Acts 20:35).  If you believe that, you will give.  You’ll give what you should.  You should determine in your own heart how much you should give (cf. 2 Cor. 9: 7).  Don’t do it to show off (cf. Matt. 6:1-4).  There is no real value in being rich (cf. James 4:1-4).

The bottomline is that you should give.  Give to God’s work first.  If you have something leftover after that, give to God’s people (Gal. 6:10b).  And if you have something left after that, give to whomever you will (cf. Gal. 6:10a).

God will let you know if you are giving too much.

Until then . . .  give.

You’ll be blessed if you do!

The purpose of Choose Life is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog:   For The Love Of God

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