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Today in Exodus chapter 29 we read about the dedication of Aaron and his sons as priests!
Verse 37 stood out to me in this chapter: "After that, the altar will be exceedingly holy, and whatever touches it will become holy." It's interesting to consider the verses prior to this - with the 7 days of sacrifices of young bulls. For some reason this verse reminded me of Jesus and how people could simply touch the tassels of his robes and they would be healed. I think it's fair to say that Jesus was much more holy than this altar was - and Jesus did not require purification rituals or sacrificing of bulls to make Jesus holy, as this altar did. Jesus "embodied" holiness! (and we'll get to the power of Jesus' body in today's Matthew readings...) Below is an image of the altar of burnt offering in use:
In Chapter 30 we read about the incense altar:
I read a commentary that said the incense from this altar represented prayers to God from his people. We can see this similarity in Revelation chapter 8 verses 3 & 4: "Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great quantity of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God's people, to be offered on the gold altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of the saints, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out." It is wonderful imagery to realize that our prayers to God are like fragrant incense!
Today in Exodus chapter 30 we read about the bronze basin. The bronze basin was used by the priests to cleanse themselves before performing their duties. It was cast from bronze mirrors donated by women who served at the entrance of the Tabernacle:
Chapter 31 verses 1 through 3 stood out to me today: "The LORD also said to Moses, "Look, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, intelligence, and skill in all kinds of crafts." These verses make me wonder about our lives. Has God chosen you? What has God given you as gifts and skills? Do you believe that your gifts, skills, and wisdom come from God? Are you using these gifts, skills, and wisdom in the service of God?
In verse 13 we read: "Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever. It helps you to remember that I am the LORD, who makes you holy." How about for you? Do you think taking one day of rest – true rest – as a Sabbath is a good idea? Is there an activity that you are doing 7 days a week, that you can do just 6 days a week? Are you over-scheduling yourself maybe 7 days a week? Can you take 1 day a week to not be scheduled? Tons of great Biblical commentary on the Sabbath is online at bible.org at this link, and at this link, and at this link.
Today's OT readings finish with verse 18: "Then as the LORD finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, written by the finger of God."
Worship God: Today's final verses in our Exodus readings reminded me of the movie The Ten Commandments. Here's a nice trailer someone put together of the movie:
Do you know the Ten Commandments? Click here and meet the Creator of them all!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Say to the Israelites, 'You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy.'" Exodus 31:13 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you enjoy the gift of a Sabbath day of rest each week.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!