Exodus 39-40 The End

When the tabernacle stood complete, God descended in “the cloud” that “filled the tabernacle”.  Neither Moses nor anyone else could enter it.  Finally, God was dwelling among His people. His redemption of them was now complete. He had liberated them from bondage in Egypt and had adopted them as His special treasure. He had made a covenant with them and now blessed them with His presence. He would guide them from then on “throughout all their journeys”. This is a fitting climax for closing this book.  Moses, however, was not able to enter the tabernacle because of the cloud. This indicates that more provisions were necessary before fellowship with God could continue. Leviticus explains those provisions.



Baby Moses is discovered on the Nile (artist unknown)

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Image: "Moses Receiving the Law"

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Moses did everything just as the Lord commanded him.

Exodus 36-38

Today is another “Tabernacle day”.  The importance of the subject is seen since it is written about in over fifty chapters in the Bible:

  • 13 in Exodus (chs.25-31; 35-40)
  • 18  in Leviticus (chs.1-10; 16-17; 21-25; 27);
  • 13 in Numbers (chs.1-9; 16-19),
  • 3 in Deuteronomy (chs.16-18)
  • and it is a theme to eight in Hebrews (chs.3-10).

 Why?  To remind us that worship and redemption are God-Centered.  

They created the tabernacle “just as he commanded”.  The blueprint, the pattern, the plan, and the design were all made in Heaven.  Every detail is created by God (not man).  The take-home is every detail in Jesus is created in Heaven too.  We are not to “create” our own version of Salvation, Redemption, way of living, or how we worship.  We should be concerned that we follow a Jesus that most have never read about in detail.  I encourage you to think about that as we read through the Bible.  What is more important: reading the Bible written by God or scrolling on your phone.  I say that not as judgment but as encouragement since committing to a read through will be difficult.   The enemy would love nothing more than to distract you with “other” things to do other than daily reading.

I read (listened) today and could only decode about 1%.  That is 1% more than I knew before reading my Bible.  Here are some of my notes:

  • Blue represents divinity
  • Purple represents royalty
  • Scarlet represents the blood sacrifice
  • There are 4 pillars at the gate (the way to God).  ONE gate: 4 Pillars.  We enter through the tribe of Judah (Jesus) the 4 Gospels (Matthew Mark Luke and John).
  • In Numbers 38 we will read entering (trying to enter) the Tabernacle any other way leads to death.  There is only 1 way.  The way.
  • Brass represents Judgement but Silver represents Atonement.  The people would enter and look at the redemption money used to build the tabernacle and we look back on the Cross as the price paid by Jesus for our redemption.

Look at this visual:

Here are some other visuals/videos so that you have a full picture of the Tabernacle as we finish out Exodus.

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  • If you want to take this one step further and see how the Tabernacle compares to the Temple that will be built feel free to watch this.  Click here.
  • If you are storytelling your daily read to your children here is a video for them.  Click here.

(Here are the Videos I posted on Superbowl Sunday in case you skipped that day) 😁

Since I have a Snow day today, I am going to try to push out our fun Trivia Quizzes this afternoon after I catch up on some things.

Exodus 33-35

Even though God is going forward with his plan, the Golden Calf incident was damaging.  Go back to Exodus 19

 “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine,  you  will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

God is still going to fulfill the unconditional Covenant he made with Abraham in Genesis 15,  BUT when God put the asterisk on the Covenant with the “IF“, well that’s damaged.  Now only one tribe will be the priesthood and set apart.  Which one?  The ONLY one that stood with Moses yesterday.  Levites (Tribe Levi).  (Ok, if you lived in my head you would run!  So if each tribe had a “class shirt” with a tribe logo….theirs would have the Minecraft Swords on them…between avenging Dinah’s rape in Shechem and the 3,000 at Mt. Sinia…)  Focus Szymanski….

Chapter 33 is one of my favorites by far:

  • 11 The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. 
  • 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. 
  • “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here”. 
  • And by far my favorite:21 Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”  

Breaking God’s Covenant resulted in the Israelites’ separation from fellowship with Him. It did not terminate their relationship with Him, but it did hinder their fellowship with Him.  Yesterday God was leading them, now he says in verse 2 that He will still fulfill the plan but an Angel will lead them.  (“Go to your room, I love you, but if I see your face I might kill you”, ever have that moment with someone??)  The tent of meeting is set up outside the camp showing the distance that has been caused between God and his people.   The people immediately repent (agree with God that it is wrong and obey) by willingly giving up the “ornaments” that they had used in the rebellion.

You know I don’t talk application BUT think about how serious God takes the 2nd Commandment.  Search your heart.

So Moses is freaking out because until now he just followed God’s lead.  So he meets with God in the tent and pleads with him.  Like one friend to another:

Moses begs for God to pour into him since God won’t be leading.  I LOVE when Moses says “Remember”.  Not sure if you picked up on it, he does it all the time.  As if God needs reminding!  But it is obvious how God loves the intimate relationships and communications.

Then Moses says “Nope! I will not do this!  It is too big!  If you are not going I am not going”….and God says “Ok, I will go” in Verse 17.

Thank Heavens!!

Chapter 34:  It’s a Big one…read?

10 Then the Lord said: “I am making a covenant with you.  (He makes them a checklist) 

✅. Do not make a treaty with them.

✅Break down their places of pagan worship 

✅ Do not worship any other god

✅Do not make a treaty with them (repeats!)

✅Do no marry their daughter!

“Do not make any idols.

“Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread.

✅ Dedicate the firstborn to me

✅ Do not come empty-handed

✅ Honor the Sabbath

✅ Commemorate 3 mandatory festivals and follow the rules of them

✅ Do not mix pagan cultures with ours (goat/milk)

✅“Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.

That’s not a horrible list. He is not asking much.  How many of them do you think they violate?  All of them.

Chapter 35-Materials of the Tabernacle.  When you get to reads like this and find yourself skimming, click the “listen button”.  It might help you hear a pattern or hear something you might have missed.  Try it. Click here for Ch 35

Look for all the small details that just a few weeks ago you would not have picked up on.  The fact that all the yarn is scarlet.  The wood is acacia.  The festivals.  If you have not been able to read every day and have some questions, just ask.  We will fill you in ❤.

(Question:  What did you think about Moses’ face radiating? Do you feel like that this year? ❤️  You may not be able to see it, but others will. 😉)

Exodus 30-32

The word Atonement means to sacrifice for sin.  The sacrifice “covers” our sin.  You might remember that the first atonement (foreshadow of the Cross) was made in Genesis 3.  Adam and Eve tried to cover their sin (nakedness) with fig leaves.  They failed.  They could not cover their own sin, so God sacrificed an animal and covered them with “animal skin”.  HE atoned their sin.  The cover of the Ark was called the Atonement Cover.Image result for ark of the covenant

Only ONCE a year the high priest would go behind the veil and put blood on the cover to Atone the sins of the people.    The day is called “The day of Atonement”.  (On the calendar it is Yom Kippur).

The Altar of Incense.

Are you following the “path” of the Tabernacle?  FIRST, a sacrifice is made.  THEN we cleanse,   The Altar of Incense is before the Ark of the Covenant.  Here is a wonderful visual of how Christ will fulfill the Tabernacle. Image result for inside the tabernacle

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If you are having trouble picturing the inside of the tabernacle, visit a cathedral or a catholic church.  They used the same layout for their church design.  Each item in the tabernacle represents Jesus.  Incense represents “prayer”.  The priests would burn incense in the morning and at night for the Israelites.  The people would see the “prayer” going up to God from a hole in the roof of the tabernacle.  Neat, huh. Image result for the tabernacle

Click here of a handout of the fulfillment of the tabernacle.

Atonement Money:  The directions regarding the tabernacle opened with instructions concerning contributions for its construction. They close with this directive that every Israelite, “20 years old and over,” was to pay a flat fee.  Everyone was to pay the same amount (“the rich shall not pay more and the poor shall not pay less”), because the cost of everyone’s “atonement” was the same in the Lord’s sight.  When we get to the New Testament the lingo will be called the “Temple Tax” but we don’t have a temple yet.  It will become an issue and Jesus will be “tested” on it.

Basin for Washing: The basin was a large reservoir for holding the “water” that the priests used to wash their hands and feet as they performed their duties. It stood between the altar and the sanctuary. Its presence in that position symbolized the fact that cleansing is necessary after making an atonement, but before the enjoyment of fellowship with God.

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Anointing oil and Incense: Both were created with a special mixture God specified for “holy” use only.  One day maybe we will dig into these ingredients if time allows, I bet we would find some cool foreshadows.

OK. We know what to build..now we need the builders.  The Lord fills Bezalel “In the Shadow of God” and his assistant Oholiab “The Father is My Tent” special gifts and wisdom to do it!

If you read this first before the actual Bible read…STOP here and go read Exodus 32. Click here if you need to.  Your head will explode.

This is a story about Apostasy.  Apostasy means “to depart” or “stand away”.  In a biblical sense,  it means to depart from God’s will.  I point this out because apostasy is not about being an unbeliever (which is how I have read this in the past).  The term refers to obedience, not salvation.

It has always been hard for God’s people (insert my name here) to wait for Him.  True or False.

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Calves and bulls have always been used in worshiping pagan gods.  The calf was representative probably of the god ‘Apis’  He was symbolic not as the actual god, but the footstool of the god or the vehicle they rode in on. So who is the golden calf really replacing? God or Moses?  It is unlikely Aaron was replacing God with this calf since the Bible says in verse 5

When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.”

Aaron was responding to verse 1 

When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”

Look for Apostasy in this verse:

They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf.

In other words, they fashioned the calf as a footstool to be used by God just as Moses had been the vehicle used by the Lord.  The English word “idol” derives from the Greek eidolon, meaning “something to be seen.”  Is this a big deal?  Yes!

  • God’s intent was that His people worship Him at the altar revealed to Moses, not at an altar constructed by Aaron.
  • God’s intent was to dwell among His people above the mercy seat above the ark, not above a golden calf.
  • It was His intent that His people celebrate the feasts that He prescribed, not a feast involving pagan revelry.
  • God’s intent was that Moses should lead the people, not Aaron.

Some of God’s intentions had not yet been revealed to the people; Moses was still on the mountain receiving these instructions. Their failure was running ahead of God.  Ouch!

So if you read the story you know that Moses prays that God does not wipe out the Israelites.  God relented “changed His Mind”.  I have struggled with this for years, but now have Peace about HOW prayer works.  I used to think, does prayer matter?? God causes everything to work out the way He wants it to.  He knows what will comes to pass, but Scripture doesn’t say that He dictates how everything will come to pass, or when it will come to pass.  Prayer does matter.

(Sorry this is long.  It is just one of my favorites).  Aaron’s response is probably one of the all-time classics!  “Moses, you know these people they are crazy.  I don’t even know how a calf got made!  I threw the gold in the fire and poooooof…there was a calf!” LOL.  Liar!  So Moses calls for a rally.  The only tribe to side with him was HIS OWN FAMILY!  The Levites!

Their decision and obedience demonstrated their faith in God. They chose to go the way of His appointed leader, Moses, instead of following the rest.  God’s punishment was severe because of the seriousness of their offense. It was also merciful; only 3,000 of the 600,000 men died.  (3,000 were judged, in the NT on the day of Pentecost 3,000 will be given mercy)

Moses intercedes AGAIN by making an atonement for their sin.

Take a moment to sit and think about what this read said to you about your own relationship to the Lord.  Lack of patience?  Idolatry? Prayer?  After that, think about how the people may not always see God on the mountain, but God always sees us ❤️.

Exodus 28-29

No one tried the trivia yesterday?

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Which tribe will be placed at the East Gate to enter God’s presence??  Look for #4.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

The Tribe of Judah will be the entrance to the Gate.  (Yes, we are having Trivia Quizzes next weekend…😁  at school, I am pitting Tiffany against Ramona). Pick a friend to compete with.

Movin’ on.  Look at the family line of Levi.  This is who we are dressing.

28:1:  “Have Aaron your brother brought to you from among the Israelites, along with his sons Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, so they may serve me as priests.Image result for aaron bible family tree

The tribe of Levi has been carved out to maintain this tabernacle.  They will be the priesthood to serve until Jesus fulfills their role on the Cross.    If you go back and look at 29:29, Aaron’s garments, High Priest,  will be passed to his son.  I point this out because when we get to the time of Jesus, the priesthood is so corrupt that this position can actually be bought at the right price.

Let’s get the full-length mirror picture here:

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Exodus: 28:3 The skilled workers were given wisdom from the Lord so there were no mistakes on this important garment.

The ephod and the breast piece go together.  The Ephod was a cloth that fastened to the breastplate.  The Ephod also held the stones on his shoulders that had the names of the tribes of Israel engraved on them-“the way a gem cutter engraves a seal”.

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28:12 Aaron was the wear the names on his shoulders as a memorial before the Lord”.

The Breast Piece- Is the plate holding the stones over his heart. Image result for breastplate bible

Also, the breastplate would hold the Urim and Thummim over his heart.  I don’t know how these worked exactly because I wasn’t a High Priest, but I think they looked something like this

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Think of them as dice that God controlled.  The Lord would use them through the Priesthood to cast lots for decision making.  So in my head, they looked more like the magic 8-ball BUT the Lord actually put what he wanted them to do through the clear screen at the bottom.

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At the bottom of the garment, there were bells.  The bells have to do with God’s attention to the High Priest.  The entire worship ritual is mutual communication between the Lord that utilizes the full sensory experience.  In Genesis, he would say “God SAW that is was good”, and the burnt offerings are a pleasing AROMA.  Sound pleases the Lord too and recognizes the rich senses between the Creator and his worshipers.

Spoiler Alert:  I will say that when we get to Leviticus 10 SOMETHING is going to happen and the Levi family is going to turn these bells into an “Urban Legend”.  LOL  I love it!!!

The Consecration of the Priests (No pictures here…Amen)

Because the priest is the covenant mediator, we start this chapter with the sacrifice of a bull.  It is very very important that we understand that the sacrifice is a true substitute for ourselves that deserves nothing less than death.  In verse 10 Aaron and his sons are to lay their hands on its head.  We are to relate to the animal that will be sacrificed.  Hold their head.  Look them in the eye.  It should hurt our heart that because of our sin, someone innocent must die for us.

So let me ask you, here is the blueprint for the Tabernacle and the dress patterns for the priest.  How long do they have to build and sew?  Think of it this way: God is the Contractor and He will say “I need this done by….”.  What do you think the answer is and WHY.

Exodus 25-27

Superbowl watchers: I have attached 3 optional videos (pick one) that you can watch if you get behind today.  (same length as an SB commercial). Image result for superbowl sunday 2021

It is going to be difficult to visualize what the Lord is describing without a visual.  On Mt. Sinai, the Lord gives Moses 3 things.   The 10 commandments (God will write those on a table for Him), The Book of the Law, and the blueprints of the Tabernacle.

Following the events of Sinai, God will dwell in their presence.  The Tabernacle blueprint is given to build a sanctuary, a Holy place, set apart, for the Lord to dwell among them.  Tabernacle means “dwelling place”.  It is exquisitely constructed, remarkably extravagant, and representative of the beauty and perfection of the Lord as He comes to dwell in the people’s midst.

The entrance to the dwelling begins with an altar of sacrifice.  I know that every detail of this blueprint is a foreshadow of Christ to come, but 2 details stood out to me (well more than 2 but this post can’t be longer than the actual Bible) is the scarlet thread that holds it all together and the acacia wood.

We began talking about the scarlet thread in Genesis 38 when Tamar gave birth to twins.

The acacia wood:

    • This wood is strong and beautiful.
    • It is lightweight to assist in the mobility of this tabernacle to be with his people wherever they go.
    • It is waterproof so this was the SAME wood that was used to make the God’s Ark that Noah was placed (the Gopher wood family) that was used to save lives.
    • It is also indigenous to the area that Abraham was given a substitute when he was with Isaac on the mountain (near Calvary)

During the Exodus, the Egyptians voluntarily loaded them up with metals, fabric, gold, silver, oils, spices etc.  Chapter 12:

33 The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country. “For otherwise,” they said, “we will all die!” 34 So the people took their dough before the yeast was added, and carried it on their shoulders in kneading troughs wrapped in clothing. 35 The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. 36 The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.

Didn’t these seem odd to anyone that they were fleeing yet carrying such items….I would have grabbed my purse and some food and said “Aint Nobody Got Time For That!!”   God always has a plan even when things don’t make sense.

If you watched a video, you are good to go!  Have a wonderful Sunday.

If not here are some pictures:

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The Ark-

Fun Fact-I watched Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark and had NO IDEA this was what they were looking for almost my whole life.

The Ark, made of acacia wood,  will be the sole object in the Most Holy Place.  The Most Holy Place is behind a large thick curtain. Inside the Ark, the tablets from Sinai will be placed (with manna and Aaron’s rod, we will talk about that later)  The Ark symbolizes the footstool of God’s throne and His Sovereignty.    The cover symbolizes “atonement” (we talked about this all the way back in Genesis 3…seems like ages ago!)    The Ark was only approached once a year, on the Day of Atonement.  Well at least until that curtain was torn vertically so that everyone can approach the Lord daily, freely, personally.  The veil will be torn the moment Jesus dies.

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The Table and the Lampstand

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The table for the Bread of the Presence and the Lampstand are in the Holy Place.  Twelve loaves of bread are set out before the Lord on behalf of the 12 tribes also representing the manna we discussed earlier.  The lampstand (7) will be kept burning continually.  The pure radiant light of God’s presence driving away the darkness.  We can connect this to the New Testament scriptures if we sit here all day!

The Tabernacle is built portable to go with them everywhere they go.  It is protected from outside elements by an extra layer of goatskin.  Each detail represents a characteristic of our Holy God.  Inside the Tabernacle, priests would enter the Holy Place and care for the space but only the High Priest would enter the Most Holy Place once a year.

(Trivia:  Whose family will be given the honor of the High Priests?) Comment.

The Altar of sacrifice,  made of acacia wood, is placed in the courtyard.


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When a person entered the gate (facing East), the first thing they would see was the Brazen Altar.  On the Altar, a  substitute was offered as a sacrifice for their sins.  But why did I mention East??

(Trivia:  What tribe will be placed at the East Gate? Explain.   If you did the 2020 readthrough with me and can’t answer this, then I am a terrible teacher!)

As much as I could sit here and talk about every detail, we are going to read about the Taberbacle a lot over the next few months.  If ALL of that confused you…don’t get discouraged, we will talk about it again….and again….

Exodus 22-24

We are continuing from yesterday to read the Book of the Covenant that Moses is writing on Mt. Sinai.  So the 10 Commandments were given however there are “codes/laws” (such as the Hammurabi mentioned yesterday) that were already established that they were to follow.  So God clarifies them so that they know exactly what to do.  Here is an example and you know I am going to pick the gross one.  In verse 22:19 “Anyone who has sexual relations with an animal is to be put to death”.   Having relations with animals was something the Canaanites and Mesopotamians attributed to their gods as a way to worship. God states this not as a general rule,  but as a clarification.  See, Near Eastern Laws already had a law on this.  It stated it was punishable by death if you have relations with certain animals.  God was so good to say ALL animals.

These are the civil, social,  and moral applications to the 10 commandments SO THAT as these people enter the Promised Land,  they will be set apart from the world around them.

As you read them you will see that the Lord limits the punishment.  He cares for the needy, he requires restitution and protects the victim as well as the criminal.  You can see it is unlawful to take advantage of situations with ridiculous lawsuits.

Three times a year you are to celebrate a festival to the Lord (23:14)  Remember the Lord set up in advance the actual days on the calendar he will die on a Cross AND give the Holy Spirit freely.  A great way to spread the Gospel is to have both these events occur during a festival when people gather to the Temple from all over the world so that when they go back home they can account and witness what they saw with their own eyes.  So God tells them to gather for the feasts of “Unleavened Bread, (celebrate the Passover events) “Harvest of the First Fruits” (Weeks, Pentecost), and “Ingathering” (Booths, Tabernacles). Women and children would have normally accompanied the males on the tri-yearly pilgrimages. This maintained the national and social unity of the 12 tribes of Israel, as well as their spiritual unity. (Like a family gathering).  However, God is going to plan MANY events to happen around these three festivals throughout the OT.    The bigger the crowd…the bigger His Glory.

Jewish Calendar | Jewish calendar, Calendar, Feast of tabernacles

Take a moment to reread the end of Chapter 23:  One of the things I want you to notice is the “conditional” aspect of this Covenant.  CIRCLE the “If…Then”.  Pay close attention to the words “I” (The Lord) and “You” (us).

  • 22 If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say..
  • I will be an enemy to your enemies…
  • I will wipe them out…
  • You must demolish them and break their sacred stones to pieces…
  • I will take away sickness from among you…
  • I will send my terror ahead…
  • I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run…
  • I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way….
  • I will establish your borders
  • I will give into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out before you.
      • Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods.
      • Do not let them live in your land or they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you.”

Chapter 24

Sounds easy.  We do the small things, God will handle the big things.

When Moses went and told the people all the Lord’s words and laws, they responded with one voice, “Everything the Lord has said we will do.”Image result for Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu

Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up 10 and saw the God of Israel.

Spoiler alert. Moses’ brother Aaron and his 2 sons are given an opportunity to be with the Lord. The priesthood will be established from the laws that are given in tomorrow’s read.  Aaron will be chosen to be the HIGH PRIEST.  When he dies one of his sons will take his place.  It should be either Nadab or Abihu that will be the High priest after Aaron.  (Sadly, neither)

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Chapter 12 and 24 are connected here. The Covenant confirmed has given them a direct relationship with the Lord.  They are not simply hearing about the covenant given, but they are partaking in it.  The altar is made for them and blood is poured out on both the altar and the people.  This is the moment they are being confirmed into the covenant.  Recognizing his promises and connecting the 70 from Genesis,  we now see that there is a substitute that is sacrificed and the blood is on them. 

Exodus 19-21

We have talked about Unconditional Covenants.  It is one-sided: God will fulfill without any conditions being met.  We are about to read a Conditional Covenant: “If…Then”. The next covenant given to Moses (Mosaic Covenant) is conditional as well as ‘Ad Interim’.  Ad Interim means temporary.  It will span from Moses to Christ.

Does that mean that the Commandments that are about to be given are NOT to be followed by us?  No, we are to follow them, they are just not a Covenant.    Matthew 22 says:

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

When we read the 10 Commandments you will see that the 1st four commandments=Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and the 2nd six commandments=Love your neighbor as yourself.

Chapter 19: Three months have passed since they left Egypt.  The Lord does not change His covenant but he does add an asterisk to it!

Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

In short, the people experienced these blessings only partially, because their obedience was partial. Israel’s disobedience to the Mosaic Covenant DID NOT invalidate (is that a word) any of God’s promises to Abraham.  Those promises did not rest on Israel’s obedience, as these did.

In just 3 months they are going from an Egyptian slave to a member of God’s Kingdom.  They are about to be in the presence of the Lord.  Time to physically and mentally prepare.  They are to consecrate themselves so they are “different” than the people around them.  (I know when you read 19:15 Abstain from sexual relations the men said “why??” and the woman said, “yes, I don’t have to shave my legs”.  This was said because surrounding nations incorporated sexual practices with religious observances.  Some of them are pretty gross….I can’t wait to get to Leviticus).

Did anyone notice how many times Moses climbed UP and DOWN this mountain!  (I never noticed that before!)

Chapter 20.  The 10 commandments.   As stated above they can be put into 2 categories.  Vertically to God.  Horizontally to others.

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Did you ever notice by the way that the first 2 commandments are written in 1st person and the rest are 3rd person?  Keep in mind they have been living in Egypt (polytheistic) and they are going to travel in a year to Canaan, a very pagan nation. Keeping these commandments will set them apart from the people around them (something we need to think about?  Do you blend?)

Commandment #1 and #2.  Who to worship and How to worship.

  1. “You shall have no other gods before me.  This commandment was a call to have only one God. Three months ago God proved that there are no other gods.
  2. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.  People are easily tempted to attribute power to idols that were fashioned by their own hands.  I grew up in a home where a theology of  “saints” and “statues” was prayed to.  Our faith is in God, and God alone. (This is about Idolatry, not art)
  3. “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.  Minimizing God’s name is not acceptable.  His name is Holy because He is Holy.  Misprespresing His name is misusing His name.  Example:  God wants you to be happy…”.  Ummm, no.  He wants you to be Holy.
  4. “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.  The word Sabbath is used 90 times in the Old Testament, and 55 times in the New Testament.  It means to “cease”.  Are you busier than God?  Do you take time to rest in Him?  (When we get to the NT you will see keeping the Sabbath has so many rules, it is so much work to try to keep it!) 😢

  5. “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. Oh, a “so that” is added to this one.  The Hebrew word for honor is “give weight to”.  As God has instructed parents to teach their children THEN they give weight to their instruction  (So if you read this and thought I am going to tell my children this, please remember your teaching them God’s precepts is the first part).  Ouch!  This is the only commandment that is directly linked to a promise.  Is this an OT commandment or an NT commandment??  It is mentioned 2 times in the OT 6 times in the NT.   So you tell me!
  6. “You shall not murder.  What is the value of a life??  What is it’s worth?  The value of something depends on what someone is willing to pay for it, right?  So what is the value of a life?  Jesus paid the highest price possible…with His own life.  
  7.  “You shall not commit adultery. Marriage is a covenant.  A symbol of God’s covenant with us. This commandment puts a protective wall on marriage.
  8.  “You shall not steal. (does this apply to taking a 20 out of my husband’s wallet?)
  9. “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. Lying, defamation, and distortion of the truth.  Listen, no one is more hyperbolic when telling a story than me,  but we need to watch the line of Gossip.  God commanded it.
  10. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”  5-9 were “seeable” (is that a word) actions.  # 10 is an emotion,

What follows immediately after this? If you have been around children or teens after stating the rules you restate the one you know they are going to break!!

  “Do not make any gods to be along side me”

You know I don’t talk application.  Each of us will hear from God in our daily read what He wants us to hear.  Please stop and ask yourself what are the things in your life that you put before the Lord in your walk, your time, your money, and your thoughts.

Chapter 21- This is called the Book Of the Covenant.

This book now is the APPLICATION of the 10 commandments.  Basically, we now take the 10 commandments and put them under a microscope. Let’s glace at one for some clarity so that when faced with an unbeliever, you can defend God:

  • Hebrew Servants- go back to Genesis and the famine.  When someone needed help to survive, people could be an indentured servant, meaning you help them get out of their debt by having them work for you, and then you set them free.  A HEBREW servant will be set free on year 7 (it is complete).  NOW if they love their master and decide to stay they willingly make a sign on their body they have CHOSEN to be a BOND SERVANT.
      • Now think of all the times Paul in the NT starts his letters with: “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God—”  ❤️
  • The rest of the chapter is “Thou shalt not Murder” under a microscope:  So here we are reading “Though Shalt not Murder” and then in it says “…is to be put to death”.  Murder is not the same as Judicial Execution (the death penalty).  Murder is personal.  Murder is taken into our own hands.  Justice must be done with a fair trial.  (was Jesus given a fair trial?)
  • Can we sit here all day and pick these apart?? An Eye for an Eye, a tooth for a tooth.  Now you know where in the Bible we get that!  Remember, the Laws are written so that everyone could understand them.  This lingo…if you do this, then this will happen…. is very familiar to the people already.  They have already been exposed to a “law system” called the Hammurabi Code.  The Hammurabi Code was the law of the land: 282 Laws inscribed on the side of a stone called a “Stele”Image result for Hammurabi code


Extra reading:  Here is a list of 10 scriptures from the words of Jesus.  You should look them up.  Click on them….they will sound familiar after re-reading the 10 commandments.  So, do they still apply to us??

Click on the stuff in blue:

Matthew 4:10,  Luke 16:13,  Matthew 5:34,  Mark 2:27,28, Matthew 10:37 , Mathhew 5:22,  Matthew 5:28,  Matthew 5:40,  Matthew 12:36,  Luke 12:15,