Saturday, February 28, 2009

Day 59 The sin offering

Leviticus 4 & 5 Unintentional sin, goes unaccounted for until they recognize the sin, then they become guilty. Then when people realize their guilt they make an offering, the more public the sin the higher the cost.

There was an acceptance that we are sinners and that it can be atoned for.

1 John 1:8-10 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

Asking forgiveness, is the key to access the purity we desire. Another example of having salty, pure and sacred prayers!

When we ignore the act, rationalize our "special" circumstances, or have medical terms to describe our personal pattern of destruction or addiction. To paraphrase Jonah 2:8 we are "forfeiting the grace that could be ours"

Have a salty week end!

Day 58 Salt of the Covenant

Lev 2:13 The book beings with how the offerings are to be conducted. "Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings".

Exodus 30:34-36 Incense i.e. Our prayers, are to be salty, pure and sacred.

This give us context for Jesus's teaching about us being the salt of the earth.

Everything we offer YHWH, the work of our hands and the thoughts of our hearts are to be salted with the "salt of the covenant"
When I use salt I shake it on a meal, or use it in a marinade that lets the salt soak into the meat before roasting.

By reading the Scriptures we shake it on ourselves, and when we soak ourselves in the word it preserves our very lives.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Day 57 Tent of Appointment

Exodus 40. Behind the curtain in the Dwelling, the Tent of Appointment, we bring the Ark (coffer) of Testimony. Now we need a table, lamp stand and draw up its wick lampwicks, and a gold altar of incense.

I like the phrases from Everett Fox's translation Tent of Appointment, the Ark of the Covenent/Ark of Testimony. There is a deliberate act in comming to YHWH, an appointment is set and the conversation will be based on His set of promises from HIS word, HIS covenant with us.

The only activity happening behind the curtain is making incense.

40 v34-38 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Take fragrant spices—gum resin, onycha and galbanum—and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts,and make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer. It is to be salted and pure and sacred. Grind some of it to powder and place it in front of the Testimony in the Tent of Meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you.Do not make any incense with this formula for yourselves; consider it holy to the LORD. Whoever makes any like it to enjoy its fragrance must be cut off from his people."

Isn't it interesting that YHWH designed the Ark of Testimony for us, and the incense for himself?

In Revelation 5:8 we are told the incense is the prayers of the people.
Our prayers: salted, pure and sacred uuhmmm, now there's a pause for thought!

Any ideas on what constitutes "salty & sacred" prayers?


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Day 56 Healing of the Blind: by spit, word, or mud

Here are three scenarios where Jesus used different ways to heal the blind.
Mark 8:23 He (Jesus) took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him,...

MArk 8:46 Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight
Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. Verse 51 "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him.The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see. Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

John 9:6 Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man's eyes.

Jesus has no set formula for healing!

A friend of mine used to say, (tongue in cheek) that this was the beginning of the division in the church.
Word alone

He's probably not far from the truth :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Day 55 Mark 8 Don't under estimate what you have!

Mark 8, The feeding of the 4,000.
People had come to the end of their supplies and collectively had 7 loaves and a few small fish. Jesus, had compassion for the need of the people, he accepted what was available and given to him, he gave thanks, and began meeting the need by breaking the bread.

How often do we think we don't have sufficient because what is required is more than we have.

2 Peter 1:3
"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness".

When we have the Daily Bread of the Presence of YHWH we have all we need.

When I only see my reality/my lack of what ever, I often have to ask for the sight to see His provision and resources for my need. Then to move slowly out of the personal darkness and into His Light that provides for all my needs.

I have seen YHWH meet my needs as only a Creator and Father can. Here are four examples that I attribute to God's hand in our lives.
Two work positions that were created when I needed to be employed outside the home.
Two vehicles given to me FREE to meet transport needs when I began each new job.
Great educational schools for the boys when homeschooling ceased to be an option for us. Ability to have one or the other parent at home as the boys grew up.

Seeing the Hand of God in those aspects of my life gives me hope for the future.

Day55 Exodus 35 The Willing and Able, more than enough

V 5 Everyone who is willing is to bring to the LORD an offering of ......
v10 All who are skilled among you are to come and make everything the LORD has commanded
v 30-35 "See, the LORD has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 31 and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts- to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic craftsmanship. And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them master craftsmen and designers.

Ch36 v5-7 The people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.

Matthew 9:38 & Luke 10:2
He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

do you think that we are struggling with the "willing" category? or maybe we are fixed in our views of what christian service/ministry is....
What are some "acts of service" that you can think off that are not seen as regular/customary church work?


Monday, February 23, 2009

Day 54 Bread of Presence & Column of Cloud

Ex 33v 14 The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."

This is the central theme to Exodus, all the materials, all the symbols, all the rituals, invited his people into the presence of HIS presence.

If YHWH is not with us we are the most miserable of all peoples. But if HE is with us why are we downhearted? sometimes on the verge of giving up? demanding to know answers beyond our understanding?

Imagine being in a room full of fog! what can you see?
Do you think we would be keener to listen to noise?

What does God asks us to do?
Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

Where did YHWH choose to reveal his glory? in the "column of cloud" - fog.

Let us live like Joshua, who didn't mind living in the fog of HIS presence.

Day 53 The Worship Tent the Training Ground

Exodus 33 V 11
Here we see Joshua remaining at the tent of worship, could this be the reason that he had the courage needed to go to war and claim the promised land?

Both he and Caleb were to only ones who gave the "good report" and eventually led the next generation into the promised land.

Joshua was content to sit listen and learn. YHWH didn't talk with him face to face only Moses, his time would come soon enough.

This tells me that there is a time to worship and stand in awe of YHWH before going into any battle. It is God who trains our hands for war and our fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1 "Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle"

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Day 51 Exodus 25-31 From Slavery to the Sacred

The Exodus begins with slavery to building storage containers, two towns Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. Ex 1:11 and ends with making a sanctuary for the presence of the living GOD.

Would this parable resonated with Jesus's discples?
Luke 12: 16-21 And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.'"Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'"This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving, I'll be a living
Sanctuary for You

It is you, Lord
Who came to save
The heart and soul
Of every man
It is you Lord
who knows my weakness
Who gives me strength,
With thine own hand.

Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and Holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving I'll be a living
Sanctuary for you

Lead Me on Lord
From temptation
Purify me
From within
Fill my heart with
You holy spirit
Take away all my sin

Lord prepare me to be sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and pure
With thanksgiving, I'll be a living
Sanctuary for You

Enjoy the presence of your daily Bread.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Day 50 The lampstand and the story of the talents

Do you remember the story of the talents in Matt 25? 10, 5, and one talent.

The person with the one talent, despised it and hid it, not putting it to use. He was scolded and his talent given to the guy who started out with 10 talents.

If he realized that the lampstand and all the ornaments buds and blossoms and accessories were made out of one talent of gold, would he have despised it?

Matt 5:14-16 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Zechariah 4:2 ff "I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lights on it, with seven channels to the lights. 3 Also there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left."
verse10 "Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel."(These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which range throughout the earth.)"

"Who despises the day of small things? Is this our day of doing something small for another?

Go on hum the tune, this little light of mine!

Day 50 The lampstand

Isn't it wonderful that the vehicle of light is also the vehicle of life. The buds, then the blossoms. There is growth and movement. Just as a plant always grows toward the light, we also search out the light in order to grow and bear fruit.

John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

John 9:5 Jesus said "While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."


Day 50 Exodus 25, 26 The Ark of the covenant , a portable presense.

When Jesus taught his disciple to pray "give us today our daily bread" Matthew 6:11 &Luke 11:3
I believe that the disciples's memory jogged back to Exodus 25:30
"Put the bread of the Presence on this table to be before me at all times".

Also, John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.

The portable presence and promises of YHWH in the person of Jesus the Christ.

May you dine at the table of HIS presence now, whatever you're doing.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Day 49 Exodus 22 23,ff No lawyers!

When YHWH set up the court system of the Israelites, I thought it interesting that there were judges and the principals involved in a law suit but no one else, we have surely complicated matters by including others in our quarrels.

Risk mitigation was addressed by keeping what you control under your control. But we have insurance companies (a third party) to take the place of common sense and looking out for our neighbor, oh I forgot, its LOVE thy neighbor by not putting them at risk and making good when accidents occur.
Accidents in those days came at a high cost; eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life... I wonder that as we took the pain out of recompense and retribution we got sloppy on preventative and proactive measures.

Like medicine is available and cheap in comparison to many countries but with all the information and therapies available we don't pay sufficient attention to preventing the problems in the first place.

It seems that problems arise when we put our pleasure before the pain of others. Siobhan

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Day 48 God given rest

"The Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath.
I am reminded of Jonah 2:8 "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs"

When we don't take the rest the God planned for us, we pay for it! Siobhan

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Day 46 Testing of God by his people

Exodus17:7 And he called the place Massah [a] and Meribah [b] because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the LORD saying, "Is the LORD among us or not?"

What does it take for us to acknowledge that YHWH is with us, through 'thick n thin'?
This is a central question to Exodus and for many of us who have asked the question at various points in our lives.

Emmanuel "God is with us" is the comforting message of the New Testament.
In Malachi ch3, we are invited to test God re tithing, in the area of provision but not His presence. Siobhan

Day 46 Baptism of Repentance & Holy Spirit of Sonship

#Mark 1:8 I baptize you with [e] water, but he will baptize you with [f] the Holy Spirit." ...v10 "Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."
Jesus's Sonship confirmed by a dove on his head, 'the fire already in his belly', he was then sent out to the desert to be tested.

#Matt 3:10-12"I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
# Luke 3:16
John answered them all, "I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Day 44 Proverbs 4 Definatly one to pass on to our kids

v 23Above all else, guard your heart,for everything you do flows from it.

Isn't it a shame that it takes so much time and heartache to learn a simple lesson as this? In a culture that calls us to tolerance, compromise and a veneer of "being christlike" i.e. be nice to others, we end up being walked on and tripped up in life by people we shouldn't allow into our lives never mind into our hearts!

I suppose that's the wisdom of getting older and learning from experience.
I often watch how children and animals react to people and I realize that they have more protective awareness than a lot of adults I know, including myself.
Children although trusting may not be as gullible as some would like to think!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Day 43 From Servitude to Service Exodus 11

It took a generation to get out of a mind-set of slavery to a god-king and into a life of service to the God who is King.
It was the night before the exodus from one stage in the life of a nation and into the transition to a new life and awareness of YHWH as King. The preparations took some time to organize. Food was central to the preparation, the passover lamb and bread served as visual aids for generations to come.

When we look at our families, can we identify the struggles of faith and fortune that our family had as they came to terms with the change in our lives?

I am sure we have our own "visual aids" that engrave conversations and events in our minds. Siobhan

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Day 40 Exodus outline

I came across a breakdown of the book that may help us get our arms around the book.
1 Prologue in Egypt 1
2 Moses early life and call 2-4
3 Moshe's Mission in Egypt 5:1-7:13
4 The first nine plagues 7:14-10:29
5 The tenth plague and the Exodus11-13
6 In the Wilderness 1: The deliverance by the sea 14:1-15:21
7 In the Wilderness 11:Early Experiences 15:22-18:27
8 Covenant at Sinai 19-20
9 The terms (laws)and conclusion of the Covenant 21-24
10 Details of the Tabernacle 25-27
11 Details of the Cult 28-31
12 Rebellion and reconciliation 32-34
13 The building of the Tabernacle, Priestly Vestments 35-39
14 Conclusion 40
This part of the study is brought to you the Schocken Bible vol 1 "the five books of moses" Siobhan

Day40 The deeper the trouble, the more glorious the victory

Exodus 6-8
YHWH....has a cunning plan! A way to dispel any doubt that there is only one King and that the Pharaoh isn't it!

God not only trains Moses and Aaron to lead, he begins to teach the Israelites,(if they are watching and paying attention!)that HE listens and sees the plight of his people, and last but not least Pharaoh will get YHWH's full attention.

It reminds me of Proverbs 19:25
Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence; rebuke a discerning man, and he will gain knowledge.

We can all learn from another's experience.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Day 39 Moses a man with a Mission

As we read about Moses and how his life is in 40yr segments, It made me think of how my life would look like.

Moses had the 1st 40yrs, being rescued by a princess (then it goes downhill from there) and finding his own feet and voice. I wonder when he found out that he was a Hebrew?
2nd 40 flees a murder scene and is a fugitive in Midian. He transitions from being Egyptian royalty to Hebrew shepherd.
3rd 40 yrs leading a motley rebellious group through a desert, establishing a public health and sanitation system, religious social system, judicial system and after all that, has to wait thousands of years to go into the promised land, (along with Elijah, visiting with Jesus on the mount of transfiguration) I am sure I left out something...
It make me think of what YHWH can do with any of us.

What does our next 40yrs look like from where we are today?
In 40 years time I will be 87 AAGH....Moses life mission was just beginning at that age! Siobhan

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Day 37 YHWH Speaks...We listen

Job 38 Then Lord answered Job out of the Storm.
YHWH bypasses Elihu's speech and the three friends, God had Job in his "line of sight".

I like the image of the "Storm" we can interpret this as being literal, God stirs himself and this creates enormous energy in the heavens, or we see this as, God being in the Storm of life with Job and God now will give the clarity Job needs out of the storm.
YHWH asks "Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge"? TNIV
"Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge"? NIV

This reflects what Elihu says in Job35v 16 "So Job opens his mouth with empty talk;without knowledge he multiplies words."

I am reminded that with "many words sin is not absent" Proverbs 10:19
"Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God"
Ecces 5V7

In all of this YHWH doesn't explain to Job how Satan came before him to cause him such grief, pain and discomfort. No explanation of his situation, his righteousness before His throne, where his dead family are...nothing.

This line is repeated a few times in the closing chapters and Job reflects in chapter 42v2-6 "You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?'
Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,things too wonderful for me to know.
"You said, 'Listen now, and I will speak;I will question you,and you shall answer me.'My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.Therefore I despise myself
and repent in dust and ashes."

We are left with a summary of God's greatness and with Abraham can only say
"Won't the Judge of all the earth do right"? Gen18:25 (Abraham speaking to YHWH re saving the righteous out of Sodom and Gomorrah) Siobhan

Day 36 Elihu prepares the way for YHWH to speak

Here is a URL for an outline of Job
I think this will help us as we move along out of Job.

Here is a paragraph from the summary.
"The bulk of Elihu's speech focuses on the justice of God, which
Elihu feels Job has maligned. Elihu charges Job with adding to his sin
by multiplying words against God without knowledge (34:1-35:36). He
concludes his speech with an effort to speak on God's behalf and by
ascribing righteousness to the Almighty. This he does by reviewing
God's justice and majesty. The former as seen in His dealings with
man, the latter as seen in His dealings in nature. With an admonition
for Job to stand still and consider the wondrous works of God, Elihu
seems to be preparing Job for what is about to follow (36:1-37:24)".

There's so much that can't be addressed in a blog, but there's always next year and a years worth of walking with God in between to help us understand scripture :)

Day 36 Elihu & God purpose in trials

Job 35 In the "what's in it for me" culture of today, Elihu asks us what God gets out of our goodness or badness or how does it benefit God when our life takes a "left" turn? Our benefit to God is that he wants "godly children" people to show that they love him by obeying and depending on him.(Malachi 3 gives us the purpose of marriage)...I guess that is just what we want from our children :)
So, when we are going through the tough time, we could just ask ourselves why would God put us through this? do we see YHWH as Father or Foe?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Day 35 What is Job's preception of God in his suffering?

Ch 6 V10.."I would still have this consolation—my joy in unrelenting pain— that I had not denied the words of the Holy One".

Ch 19v 25 "I know that my Redeemer lives,and that in the end he will stand upon the earth".

Ch 23:10
"But he knows the way that I take;when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
My feet have closely followed his steps;I have kept to his way without turning aside.
I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread".

Ch 31 is the culmination of Job's understanding of his heart, and behavior toward his fellow man and God. There are about 15 scenarios mentioned in this chapter, that give us insight into areas of obedience and discipleship. Siobhan

Day 35 Job's response

Ch 12 & 13 The friends were getting high and mighty with their arguments as Job has to keep his own framework of sanity by saying that he has a mind as well as them, he is not inferior to them and won't be bullied into their way of thinking. 12V3b and 13v2b

Job calls them "worthless physicians", and that the greatest good they could do , and the best wisdom they could offer, is to keep silent 13v5.

Maybe looking closely at Job's response will help us, as we try to help those going through trials around us. Do we rub salt into wounds rather than rinse with the saline of our tears, as we share their times of suffering?

Day 34 With friends like these ...Zophar

Job 11 Zophar speaks as if he represents God. V5 "That He would open his lips against you" What is this guy on? Who would want God being against anyone of our friends
Zophar clearly doesn't have a sense of the awe of the Almighty in a practical and real way. I must admit, I have no true understanding of what he's getting at. Job does have a great retort in 12V2 "You,are the people,and wisdom will die with you!"

Is this a drama to understand the meaning of suffering or where to find wisdom?

His friends are not addressing Jobs distress and helping him find ways to relieve it but are piling on more arguments to find deeper fault with him.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Day 34 With friends like these....Bildad

Job 8 v4 Bildad sees the justice of God, goes straight for the "jugular" and attacks the purity and piety of Job's children, as the cause of his problems.
v8-10 He appeals to the wisdom of generations past to inform Job to somehow get released from their guilt.
Job 28:23. Job understands that its not the wisdom of the ages that matter but the God of the Ages holds the key to wisdom "God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells"

When it comes to our children and using wisdom and understanding, we have our choice of Dr. Spock, Dr Laura, Dr Phil, TV Nanny...

What parenting books are on our shelves, I wonder?

Day 34 with friends like these......Eliphaz

I thought it would be good to reflect on what the core advice is from each of the friends.
Eliphaz Ch 4:6: "Should not your piety be your confidence and your blameless ways your hope"? Trust in your own righteousness. Well we all know where that gets us!

v15 He then tells him he has seen "a vision" and uses the promptings of the ghost to guide the rest of the advice. How often have we heard a "Thus saith the Lord" to guide and correct in our congregations?

Ch 5v 6 "For hardship does not spring from the soil,nor does trouble sprout from the ground". As this is the basis for a lot of his arguments, he should read Gen 2. That was the essence of the curse. Hardship, pain and toil are part of life. (Granted, sometimes we may meet it more than half way but that isn't the case with Job)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Day33 For many are called, but few chosen...

Do you have any thoughts on the meaning that Jesus was getting at in these two parables?

1. Matthew 20:16 (Amplified)Laborers receiving wages in the Vineyard
So those who [now] are last will be first [then], and those who [now] are first will be last [then]. For many are called, but few chosen.
In this parable, God said this after he showed generosity to a laborer in his vinyard

2 Matthew 22:14 Wedding Banquet
For many are called (invited and summoned), but few are chosen.
In this one God says it after he throws someone out of the wedding banquet because he doesn't have wedding clothes on.

Was the guest part of the first invited group, who had second thoughts and snuck in the back? In Revelation 19:7-9 we are told that the robes of white linen are the righteous acts of the saints, and specifically talks about the wedding of the Lamb.
Any thoughts?