AM Feb 1st Matt 22

February 1st       Matthew 22       The wedding banquet

1: And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, 2: The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3: And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4: Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. 5: But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. 7: But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8: Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9: Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 10: So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. 11: And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13: Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14: For many are called, but few are chosen.

Christ and taxes

15: Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. 16: And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. 17: Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? 18: But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? 19: Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. 20: And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? 21: They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. 22: When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

This parable of Christ is prophetic in the sense that it is regarding the coming kingdom In this parable it describes the ministry of the John, Christ His Apostles and the Tribulation saints. The judgment is possibly the destruction of Jerusalem. The Invitation of the King is all of his provision. He provides everything and the call is come for all things are now ready. Christ also describes the situation of a man who creeps in but has no wedding garment. He is bound hand and foot and cast out of the house where there is all darkness and weeping. The Pharisees try to entangle Christ but asking a trick question to which they think there is no answer. They ask, Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar? Which ever way Christ answers they think they have got him. If he says yes then he is betraying his Jewish heritage. If he says no they he is betraying himself to the Roman authorities. He calls them actors who show a false face but secretly seek to trap him. He says Show me the tribute money. Then Christ asks whose this picture is? They say Caesars. Then says give back to Caesar his own money and give to God what is his. The people were amazed.

PM Jan 31st Ex 26

January 31st       Exodus 26        The Tabernacle

1: Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them. 2: The length of one curtain shall be eight and twenty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and every one of the curtains shall have one measure. 3: The five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and other five curtains shall be coupled one to another. 4: And thou shalt make loops of blue upon the edge of the one curtain from the selvedge in the coupling; and likewise shalt thou make in the uttermost edge of another curtain, in the coupling of the second. 5: Fifty loops shalt thou make in the one curtain, and fifty loops shalt thou make in the edge of the curtain that is in the coupling of the second; that the loops may take hold one of another. 6: And thou shalt make fifty taches of gold, and couple the curtains together with the taches: and it shall be one tabernacle. 7: And thou shalt make curtains of goats' hair to be a covering upon the tabernacle: eleven curtains shalt thou make. 8: The length of one curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and the eleven curtains shall be all of one measure. 9: And thou shalt couple five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves, and shalt double the sixth curtain in the forefront of the tabernacle. 10: And thou shalt make fifty loops on the edge of the one curtain that is outmost in the coupling, and fifty loops in the edge of the curtain which coupleth the second. 11: And thou shalt make fifty taches of brass, and put the taches into the loops, and couple the tent together, that it may be one. 12: And the remnant that remaineth of the curtains of the tent, the half curtain that remaineth, shall hang over the backside of the tabernacle. 13: And a cubit on the one side, and a cubit on the other side of that which remaineth in the length of the curtains of the tent, it shall hang over the sides of the tabernacle on this side and on that side, to cover it. 14: And thou shalt make a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering above of badgers' skins. 15: And thou shalt make boards for the tabernacle of shittim wood standing up. 16: Ten cubits shall be the length of a board, and a cubit and a half shall be the breadth of one board. 17: Two tenons shall there be in one board, set in order one against another: thus shalt thou make for all the boards of the tabernacle. 18: And thou shalt make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards on the south side southward. 19: And thou shalt make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for his two tenons, and two sockets under another board for his two tenons. 20: And for the second side of the tabernacle on the north side there shall be twenty boards: 21: And their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board. 22: And for the sides of the tabernacle westward thou shalt make six boards. 23: And two boards shalt thou make for the corners of the tabernacle in the two sides. 24: And they shall be coupled together beneath, and they shall be coupled together above the head of it unto one ring: thus shall it be for them both; they shall be for the two corners. 25: And they shall be eight boards, and their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board. 26: And thou shalt make bars of shittim wood; five for the boards of the one side of the tabernacle, 27: And five bars for the boards of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the side of the tabernacle, for the two sides westward. 28: And the middle bar in the midst of the boards shall reach from end to end. 29: And thou shalt overlay the boards with gold, and make their rings of gold for places for the bars: and thou shalt overlay the bars with gold. 30: And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was shewed thee in the mount. 31: And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made: 32: And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver. 33: And thou shalt hang up the vail under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the vail shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy. 34: And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place. 35: And thou shalt set the table without the vail, and the candlestick over against the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south: and thou shalt put the table on the north side. 36: And thou shalt make an hanging for the door of the tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework. 37: And thou shalt make for the hanging five pillars of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, and their hooks shall be of gold: and thou shalt cast five sockets of brass for them.

Exodus 27        The Altar for burnt offering

1: And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits. 2: And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof: his horns shall be of the same: and thou shalt overlay it with brass. 3: And thou shalt make his pans to receive his ashes, and his shovels, and his basons, and his fleshhooks, and his firepans: all the vessels thereof thou shalt make of brass. 4: And thou shalt make for it a grate of network of brass; and upon the net shalt thou make four brasen rings in the four corners thereof. 5: And thou shalt put it under the compass of the altar beneath, that the net may be even to the midst of the altar. 6: And thou shalt make staves for the altar, staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with brass. 7: And the staves shall be put into the rings, and the staves shall be upon the two sides of the altar, to bear it. 8: Hollow with boards shalt thou make it: as it was shewed thee in the mount, so shall they make it.

The Tabernacle curtains

9: And thou shalt make the court of the tabernacle: for the south side southward there shall be hangings for the court of fine twined linen of an hundred cubits long for one side: 10: And the twenty pillars thereof and their twenty sockets shall be of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets shall be of silver. 11: And likewise for the north side in length there shall be hangings of an hundred cubits long, and his twenty pillars and their twenty sockets of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets of silver. 12: And for the breadth of the court on the west side shall be hangings of fifty cubits: their pillars ten, and their sockets ten. 13: And the breadth of the court on the east side eastward shall be fifty cubits. 14: The hangings of one side of the gate shall be fifteen cubits: their pillars three, and their sockets three. 15: And on the other side shall be hangings fifteen cubits: their pillars three, and their sockets three. 16: And for the gate of the court shall be an hanging of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework: and their pillars shall be four, and their sockets four. 17: All the pillars round about the court shall be filleted with silver; their hooks shall be of silver, and their sockets of brass. 18: The length of the court shall be an hundred cubits, and the breadth fifty every where, and the height five cubits of fine twined linen, and their sockets of brass. 19: All the vessels of the tabernacle in all the service thereof, and all the pins thereof, and all the pins of the court, shall be of brass. 20: And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always. 21: In the tabernacle of the congregation without the vail, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before the LORD: it shall be a statute for ever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.

Exodus 28        The Priests clothes

1: And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons. 2: And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty. 3: And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office. 4: And these are the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office. 5: And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen. 6: And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work. 7: It shall have the two shoulderpieces thereof joined at the two edges thereof; and so it shall be joined together. 8: And the curious girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof; even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen. 9: And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel: 10: Six of their names on one stone, and the other six names of the rest on the other stone, according to their birth. 11: With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel: thou shalt make them to be set in ouches of gold. 12: And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial. 13: And thou shalt make ouches of gold; 14: And two chains of pure gold at the ends; of wreathen work shalt thou make them, and fasten the wreathen chains to the ouches. 15: And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it. 16: Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof. 17: And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. 18: And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. 19: And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. 20: And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings. 21: And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes. 22: And thou shalt make upon the breastplate chains at the ends of wreathen work of pure gold. 23: And thou shalt make upon the breastplate two rings of gold, and shalt put the two rings on the two ends of the breastplate. 24: And thou shalt put the two wreathen chains of gold in the two rings which are on the ends of the breastplate. 25: And the other two ends of the two wreathen chains thou shalt fasten in the two ouches, and put them on the shoulderpieces of the ephod before it. 26: And thou shalt make two rings of gold, and thou shalt put them upon the two ends of the breastplate in the border thereof, which is in the side of the ephod inward. 27: And two other rings of gold thou shalt make, and shalt put them on the two sides of the ephod underneath, toward the forepart thereof, over against the other coupling thereof, above the curious girdle of the ephod. 28: And they shall bind the breastplate by the rings thereof unto the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, that it may be above the curious girdle of the ephod, and that the breastplate be not loosed from the ephod. 29: And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually. 30: And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually. 31: And thou shalt make the robe of the ephod all of blue. 32: And there shall be an hole in the top of it, in the midst thereof: it shall have a binding of woven work round about the hole of it, as it were the hole of an habergeon, that it be not rent. 33: And beneath upon the hem of it thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem thereof; and bells of gold between them round about: 34: A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe round about. 35: And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before the LORD, and when he cometh out, that he die not. 36: And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD. 37: And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be. 38: And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD. 39: And thou shalt embroider the coat of fine linen, and thou shalt make the mitre of fine linen, and thou shalt make the girdle of needlework. 40: And for Aaron's sons thou shalt make coats, and thou shalt make for them girdles, and bonnets shalt thou make for them, for glory and for beauty. 41: And thou shalt put them upon Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him; and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office. 42: And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach: 43: And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him.

In today’s Bible reading Moses continues to record the instructions he receives from the Lord regarding the building of the Tabernacle of meeting. This time he describes the main construction of the timber framework which is overlaid with coverings and curtains. Then Moses describes the Altar for the burnt offerings then the Tabernacle curtains and finally the clothes of the priests. The description that Moses starts with are very specific and detailed. The first thing is ten curtains of fine twisted linen with pictures embroidered into them depicting cherubims made of threads of blue purple and scarlet. These curtains were carried separately yet they were very carefully joined together when it was time to set up the tabernacle. These curtains were covered up by other curtains made of badger skins. Next Moses describes the construction of boards that when fixed together form the shape of the Tabernacle. They were very long and had tenons on the bottom fitting into sockets of silver. They were coupled in the dust and coupled up very high. Like believers they are coupled in the dust and coupled in heaven. The boards were joined top, middle and bottom by bars that ran through the boards. Then a veil was made to separate between the Most holy place and the holy place. Next the Lord describes the making of the Altar of burnt offering. This was effectively a very large timber b-b-q. Made of hollowed out timber frame but overlaid with copper. The copper protected the timber from burning. It was square. Five cubits square and three cubits high. It was high enough to burn a whole bull. There were lots of implements made for its service. The altar had rings and staves for moving it. Next the Lord turns to the making of the curtains that surrounded the courtyard. It created a huge area for the service of the Lord. All of these items are hugely significant yet we must not get hung up on them and remember that they all point to Christ. Then the Lord gave instructions for the making of the priestly and high priestly garments. There were certain people of the children of Israel who were specially gifted to make these things. The high priestly garments were for glory and beauty. The high priest’s garments were truly amazing. They were woven with gold thread. On the shoulders of the high priest were two onyx stones on which were engraved the names of the twelve tribes, six on one and six on the other. Aaron bore on his shoulders the names of the children of Israel. When the Lord Jesus appears before his father in heaven as our high priest he bears our names on his shoulders. Next the Lord describes the making of a breast plate which contains twelve precious stones on which are engraved the names of the twelve tribes. Inside the breastplate were the Urim and Thummim. These were used as lots for determining the will of the Lord. Around the hem of his robes were bells and models of pomegranates. These speak of joy and fruitfulness. The high priest was to bear on his headdress a golden plate on which was written ‘Holiness to the LORD’. All of these things prevented the high priest and his sons to not die before the Lord.


AM Jan 31st Matt 21

January 31st       Matthew 21       Christ enters Jerusalem

1: And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, 2: Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. 3: And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. 4: All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, 5: Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. 6: And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, 7: And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. 8: And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. 9: And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. 10: And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? 11: And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

Christ cleanses the temple

12: And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 13: And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. 14: And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them. 15: And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased, 16: And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise? 17: And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there.

Christ and the fig tree

18: Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. 19: And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. 20: And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! 21: Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. 22: And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Christ’s authority

23: And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? 24: And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25: The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? 26: But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. 27: And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

The two sons

28: But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. 29: He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. 30: And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. 31: Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. 32: For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

The vineyard

33: Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: 34: And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. 35: And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. 36: Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. 37: But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. 38: But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. 39: And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. 40: When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? 41: They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. 42: Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? 43: Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 44: And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. 45: And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. 46: But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

We come to the eventful day of Christ glorious entrance into Jerusalem. The disciples are sent to fetch an ass and a colt upon which Christ sat to ride into Jerusalem. As Christ descended the Mount of Olives and entered the Great city the people came together to welcome him. Who gathered the people? And why did they hail him as the Messiah. No doubt they were led and inspired by the Holy Spirit. Christ entered into the Temple to inspect it. Finding the Temple effectively turned into a market with all the associated debris, filth and corruption. Christ heals the sick and answers the complaint of the religious leaders that peopling are calling him the Christ. At the end of the Day Christ spent the night at Bethany. On his return he sees a fig tree but finds no figs. Christ curses the tree and it withers. The tree is symbolic of Israel Christ came looking for fruit but finding none. When Christ is teaching in the Temple the Jewish leaders demand to know by what authority he teaches the people. Christ simply asks what authority John the Baptist had. This throws them into consternation. How can they answer? They give no answer and so Christ also gives no answer. Christ gives the Parable of the two sons. One was full of talk but no follow through, but the other initially refused but went after he had thought about it. The question was, ‘Who did the Will of the Father’? In other words who did what was right? Who was righteous? Answer - The one who obeyed. How unlike the NT believers are they righteous because they do what is right? No, they are righteous because they put their faith in the one who did right. Again Christ gives another parable regarding Israel in which he uses the image of the vineyard. How pathetic are the words, Last of all he sent his Son, saying, ‘They will reverence my Son’. Christ asks, ‘What will the owner of the vineyard do? They respond by stating the judgment of God that will fall on them. (Which came in AD 70) the passage is full of the most terrible warnings to Israel. The religious leaders want to take Christ but they are afraid of the People.

PM Jan 30th Ex 24

January 30th       Exodus 24        The Covenant of Jehovah with Israel

1: And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off. 2: And Moses alone shall come near the LORD: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him. 3: And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do. 4: And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. 5: And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD. 6: And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7: And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. 8: And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words. 9: Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: 10: And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. 11: And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.

The tablets of stone

12: And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. 13: And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God. 14: And he said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them. 15: And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount. 16: And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17: And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. 18: And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.

Exodus 25        E. The Tabernacle          Offerings of goods

1: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2: Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. 3: And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, 4: And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, 5: And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood, 6: Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, 7: Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. 8: And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. 9: According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.

The Ark of the Covenant

10: And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. 11: And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about. 12: And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it. 13: And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. 14: And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them. 15: The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it. 16: And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee. 17: And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. 18: And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. 19: And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. 20: And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. 21: And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. 22: And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

The Table of the Shewbread

23: Thou shalt also make a table of shittim wood: two cubits shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. 24: And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, and make thereto a crown of gold round about. 25: And thou shalt make unto it a border of an hand breadth round about, and thou shalt make a golden crown to the border thereof round about. 26: And thou shalt make for it four rings of gold, and put the rings in the four corners that are on the four feet thereof. 27: Over against the border shall the rings be for places of the staves to bear the table. 28: And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, that the table may be borne with them. 29: And thou shalt make the dishes thereof, and spoons thereof, and covers thereof, and bowls thereof, to cover withal: of pure gold shalt thou make them. 30: And thou shalt set upon the table shewbread before me always.

The Lampstand

31: And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same. 32: And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side: 33: Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick. 34: And in the candlestick shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers. 35: And there shall be a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out of the candlestick. 36: Their knops and their branches shall be of the same: all it shall be one beaten work of pure gold. 37: And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it. 38: And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold. 39: Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it, with all these vessels. 40: And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.

In today’s reading we have the Lord entering into covenant with Israel as a nation. We have the giving of the Mosaic law and we have the beginning of the instructions to the children of Israel regarding the construction of the Tabernacle of meeting. Starting with the furniture which was in the most holy place the ark of the covenant the table of showbread and the lampstand. First the LORD entered into Covenant with his people the children of Israel. The Lord called Moses Aaron, His sons the priests and seventy elders (The judges) of Israel and they stood afar off but Moses drew near to the Lord. When Moses recounted all the laws of the Lord and his judgments the people answered with one voice. They promised to keep the words of the Lord in doing them. Then Moses built an altar and set up twelve pillars – one for each tribe and the priests offered burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord. Moses took the blood and sprinkled half of it on the altar and half of it on the people. Then Moses took the book of the covenant and read it to all the people and again they promised to keep the whole law. Then all the leaders of the people drew near and saw the Lord. Then the Lord called on Moses and Joshua his servant to come up the mountain and there the Lord gave him stone tablets on which were written with the finger of god the Commandments. Moses was in the mountain for 40 days and nights. Then the Lord instructed Moses to tell the people to bring a freewill offering to the Lord. And these offerings became the basis of the materials for the constructing of the tabernacle. They brought gold, silver, brass. Cloth that was blue, purple scarlet and fine white linen. They brought goat hair cloth, rams skins dyed red, badgers skins and shittim wood. They brought oil for light spices for making the anointing oil and for incense. They brought precious stones. Then the Lord gave careful detailed instructions regarding the making of the Ark of the Covenant. Its interesting that the Lord begins with the Ark and then goes progressively outward to the people and then finally describes how Israel is able to draw near to the Lord. The ark or box was 2½ cubits long, 1 cubit deep and 1 ½ cubits high. It was made of wood and overlaid with gold. There were four rings to carry it and staves in the rings to lift it. On top of the ark was a lid called the mercy seat. It was a little longer and deeper than the ark itself. On the mercy seat there wee two models of cherubim facing each other from each end. This was the place where the LORD met with his people. The next item of furniture was a table on which was placed loaves of bread. The table was 2 cubits long, 1 cubit deep and 1½ cubits high. It had a rim going around it to prevent the bread from falling off the top. It was made of shittim wood overlaid with gold. It also had rings and staves for lifting it. There were also dishes, spoons covers and bowels made of pure gold. The third item of furniture in the holy place was the lampstand. This was made of pure gold beaten together (not cast) No height is given but it had seven branches altogether, three on either side. The whole thing was covered in significant ornament. Included in this item were instruments for tending it. All of these items speak of Christ. The mercy seat was the place where God met men. We know that Christ himself is the meeting place between God and men. It was made of that which grew on earth and contained the Law of God, yet it was covered by gold speaking of his deity and protected by angelic beings. The table spoke of Christ in that he is the one who feeds the souls of men and the lampstand speaks of Christ who brings light to all.  


AM Jan 30th Matt 20

January 30th       Christ will die and rise again

17: And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, 18: Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, 19: And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.

A mother’s ambition

20: Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. 21: And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. 22: But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. 23: And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. 24: And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. 25: But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26: But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27: And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Christ heals two blind men

29: And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. 30: And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. 31: And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. 32: And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? 33: They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. 34: So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.

The Lord Jesus explains very clearly what was going to happen to him at Jerusalem yet the Disciples could not accept or comprehend that he was going to the Cross. There are some people that say that what Christ preached is the same as we preach today – this cannot be the case. John the Baptist, Christ and the Apostles never preached the Cross of Christ. Now we know that nobody can preach the Gospel today without preaching the Cross. Paul states that the Gospel is, ‘that Christ died for our sins was buried and rose again according to the scriptures’. What Christ and the Apostles preached throughout the cities of Israel was the glad tidings of the coming Kingdom. This is very different to the Gospel of the grace of God. Faith in Christ’s atoning work was never preached before the cross. The men of old did not even imagine such a thing.  Next we have the interesting case of the Mother of Zebedee’s children. She comes to Christ asking that her sons might sit next to Christ in the Kingdom. Christ says you do not realise what you are asking. Then he says will you be baptised with the baptism that l will suffer – The execution of crucifixion. They say yes – not knowing what they are saying. Christ says yes you will. However to sit on my right and left is not mine to give, but it will be given of my Father to whom he wills. This little passage shows the Father to be a separate person to Christ and one who has a separate will and determination. Those who say that there is only one God and this one God is Jesus, are quite wrong. Christ now uses this opportunity to teach the proper relations between brethren. Christ contrasts the dominion which is exercised over men by the princes of this world. Christ says very clearly this shall not be so among you. In fact, Christ says the one who is great is your servant. Christ says it’s even like this will me l did not come to be served but to serve and to give my life. As they were leaving Jericho for the long upward journey west to Jerusalem, from the Jordan valley. Two blind men called out for healing, (It would be their last chance) they called Him Lord – Son of David. They knew he was the Messiah.  Christ never left the road but called them to him. Their eyes were opened and the first thing they saw was Jesus and they followed him.

PM Jan 29th Ex 21

January 29th       Exodus 21        The care of servants

1: Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them. 2: If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. 3: If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4: If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself. 5: And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: 6: Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever. 7: And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. 8: If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her. 9: And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. 10: If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. 11: And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.

Judgement on violence

12: He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death. 13: And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand; then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee. 14: But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die. 15: And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. 16: And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death. 17: And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. 18: And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed: 19: If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed. 20: And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. 21: Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money. 22: If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23: And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, 24: Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25: Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. 26: And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake. 27: And if he smite out his manservant's tooth, or his maidservant's tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth's sake. 28: If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit. 29: But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death. 30: If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him. 31: Whether he have gored a son, or have gored a daughter, according to this judgment shall it be done unto him. 32: If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned. 33: And if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit, and not cover it, and an ox or an ass fall therein; 34: The owner of the pit shall make it good, and give money unto the owner of them; and the dead beast shall be his. 35: And if one man's ox hurt another's, that he die; then they shall sell the live ox, and divide the money of it; and the dead ox also they shall divide. 36: Or if it be known that the ox hath used to push in time past, and his owner hath not kept him in; he shall surely pay ox for ox; and the dead shall be his own.

Exodus 22        Repayment for loss

1: If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. 2: If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. 3: If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. 4: If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double. 5: If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man's field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution. 6: If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith; he that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution. 7: If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man's house; if the thief be found, let him pay double. 8: If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges, to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbour's goods. 9: For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing, which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour. 10: If a man deliver unto his neighbour an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast, to keep; and it die, or be hurt, or driven away, no man seeing it: 11: Then shall an oath of the LORD be between them both, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour's goods; and the owner of it shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good. 12: And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner thereof. 13: If it be torn in pieces, then let him bring it for witness, and he shall not make good that which was torn. 14: And if a man borrow ought of his neighbour, and it be hurt, or die, the owner thereof being not with it, he shall surely make it good. 15: But if the owner thereof be with it, he shall not make it good: if it be an hired thing, it came for his hire.

Judgement on evil

16: And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. 17: If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins. 18: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. 19: Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death. 20: He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed. 21: Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. 22: Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. 23: If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry; 24: And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless. 25: If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury. 26: If thou at all take thy neighbour's raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down: 27: For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious. 28: Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people. 29: Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me. 30: Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it me. 31: And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs.


Exodus 23

1: Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. 2: Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment: 3: Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause. 4: If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. 5: If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him. 6: Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of thy poor in his cause. 7: Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked. 8: And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous. 9: Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

The Sabbath

10: And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof: 11: But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard. 12: Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed. 13: And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.

Three feasts a year

14: Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year. 15: Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:) 16: And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field. 17: Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD. 18: Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the fat of my sacrifice remain until the morning. 19: The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.

The Angel of the Lord

20: Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. 21: Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. 22: But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. 23: For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off. 24: Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images. 25: And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. 26: There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfill. 27: I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee. 28: And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. 29: I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. 30: By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. 31: And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee. 32: Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. 33: They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.


In the next section of Exodus we have recorded the judgments of the Lord on various issues. The first is the judgment of the lord on the care of servants. Slavery today is almost universally condemned yet in Biblical times and even up until modern times slavery in one form or another was just a fact of life. What is interesting is that the Lord regulated slavery and made it quite humane even benevolent. If a Hebrew purchased another Hebrew as his servant this was on the basis of a time limit. A Hebrew could only be a servant for six years and on the seventh year he was released from his servitude. If he came in single then he left single but if he was married then his wife was set free too. However if his master gave him a wife then n the seventh year he was free but not his wife and children. If a servant found that his master had been so good for him then he was allowed to devote himself to his master for the rest of his life. He was a bond servant. This involved him being pierced through his ear to the door post of the house. This probably signified that his ear was forever open to his master and his ear was constantly open at the door of his master to hear his masters call. He had to state his devotion to his master and both he and his family was brought to the judges and this piercing  of his ear was a legal life long devotion. He was not serving his master on the basis of Law and obligation but on the basis of Grace and love.  The arrangement for the purchase of a young Jewish woman was quite different to that of a young man. If she does not please her master then those that are near kinsmen may redeem her. But they must not allow her to be sold to a strange nation. If he does not take her to wife then he is to set her free with food clothes and obligations of care. She is released for no money. The judgment of the Lord regarding violence was that the punishment was to be proportionate according to the crime. If a man struck another man and he died then the murderer was to be executed. This was the law of the Lord from the time of Noah. Then the Lord in this passage states clearly all the variations of cases in which judgment of execution would go against a man. this applied to the murder of parents. The stealing of a man to sell him for money. The cursing of a mans parents. The murder of servants. The hurting of a pregnant woman causing her to loose her child will be determined by the judges and the husband. The phrase – Life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe, shows that there is not to be an escalation of punishment nor a diminishing of punishment. If an animal hurt a man that the animal died. The owner of the animal is free from prosecution unless there is had past knowledge of a similar event – then the owner may pay with his life. however he might pay a very large fine determined by the injured. And on and on the cases go. Next we have the judgment of the Lord regarding compensation for loss. A thief must restore what is stolen five or four times the costs depending on the case. Again all the variations of cases are described and the compensation stated. Next we have the judgment of the Lord on evil. A number of cases are described such as. The defilement of a virgin which was a very heavy fine. Those who practise witchcraft are to be executed. Those who have sexual relations with beasts are to be executed. Idolaters are to be executed. Oppressing strangers, widows and orphans will bring about judgment from the Lord. The poor are not to be charged interest on loans of money. If his coat is taken as a pledge of honour then it must be returned by the end of the day. No-one is to speak evil of ‘the gods’ i.e. the rulers of the people. Because they are appointed by the Lord to rule the people. The first fruit of the vine, wine, sons are devoted to the Lord. The same is true of oxen and sheep etc. no meat is to be eaten that is not killed in purpose. No-one is to give a false witness. Or pervert the course of judgment. No-one will turn away a poor man who seeks justice. If you see your neighbours donkey going astray you must bring it back to your neighbour. Justice must always follow correctly and there must be no bribery in the courts. Next we have the judgment of the Lord regarding the Sabbath. The land may be cultivated for six years but on the seventh year it is to be laid fallow. Word is only allowed on six days on the seventh day Israel must rest. On the Sabbath even the name of false gods must not be uttered. Next we have the judgments of the Lord regarding attending the presence of the Lord. The Lord specified at least three occasions when all Israel were to observe the feasts of the Lord. The first was the feast of unleavened bread. The second was the feast of harvest. The third was the feast of ingathering. All males were to present themselves before the Lord GOD. Then the Lord gives three more stipulations regarding sacrifice. Firstly the blood of sacrifice must not be linked to the Passover. (This ends the Roman dogma forever) Secondly the fat of sacrifice must not remain to morning. Thirdly, The very first of the first fruits are to be brought into the house of the Lord and last a kid must not be boiled in his mothers milk. Then the Lord explained how Israel is to find guidance in the wilderness. The Lord was going to send ‘the angel of the Lord’ (Christ himself) to lead them and keep them on the right path. The Lord gives clear warnings and caution to always hear and obey his word. If they obeyed the Lord then he would give then complete health, virility, fruitfulness and no enemies would stand against them. All their enemies would have the fear of the Lord on them. Israel is to make no covenant with the Canaanites or with their gods. They are to be completely destroyed. Israel will be the instrument of the Lord to bring judgment on these idolatrous and vile nations. 


AM Jan 29th Matt 20

January 29th       Matthew 20       The labourers in the vineyard

1: For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. 2: And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3: And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4: And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. 5: Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. 6: And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? 7: They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. 8: So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. 9: And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 10: But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. 11: And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 12: Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. 13: But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 14: Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. 15: Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? 16: So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

Here we have a Parable of the Kingdom. Christ is describing something about the Messianic kingdom to come. Christ is illustrating the statement that he made at the end of the previous chapter that the first shall be last; and the last shall be first. He reiterates the phrase at both the beginning and the end. Christ is showing that people enter into the vineyard (the kingdom) at different times, that they all receive exactly the same reward for their service and that those who come in first will be the last to be rewarded and those who come in last will be rewarded first. Christ in the Kingdom will give reward according to service. This is most unlike the Church where believers are blessed on the basis of faith and Grace not merit and effort.

PM Jan 28th Ex 19

January 28th       Exodus 19        D. The Law given           Mount Sinai

1: In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. 2: For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount. 3: And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4: Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. 5: Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. 7: And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. 8: And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD. 9: And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD. 10: And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, 11: And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai. 12: And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: 13: There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount. 14: And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. 15: And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives. 16: And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. 17: And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. 18: And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. 19: And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice. 20: And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up. 21: And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. 22: And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them. 23: And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it. 24: And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them. 25: So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them.

Exodus 20        The Ten Commandments

1: And God spake all these words, saying, 2: I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3: Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6: And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. 7: Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. 8: Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9: Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. 12: Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 13: Thou shalt not kill. 14: Thou shalt not commit adultery. 15: Thou shalt not steal. 16: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 17: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's. 18: And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. 19: And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. 20: And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. 21: And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

How to build an altar

22: And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. 23: Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold. 24: An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. 25: And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. 26: Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.

In today’s reading we have the record of the momentous event of the giving of the ten commandments at Mt Sinai. It took three months for Israel to get from Egypt to Mt Sinai. This mountain in south west Saudi Arabia. It can be seen today. The Lord gave a clear and great promises of blessing if only Israel will keep the Commandments of the Lord. He promises that if they obey him then he will make them a peculiar people above all of the nations of the earth. They will be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. (This expression call only be used of Israel - not the church. The Church is never a nation, It is made up of individuals of every nation) These words were spoken before the people of Israel and the people responded saying, ‘All that the Lord has said we will do’. Then the Lord told Moses to prepare the people wby washing themselves and their clothes, because in three days the LORD will come down onto the top of the mountain. Then the Lord told Israel to be very careful not to come near to the mountain. Anyone who did come near was to be executed. And when they hear the long trumpet blast they are to gather to the Lord at the bottom of the mountain. On the third day first thing in the morning when the Children of Israel woke up, they heard thundering and saw lightening and a thick cloud on the top of the mountain and they heard the sound of a very loud trumpet which caused everyone in the camp to be very afraid. When the Lord came down onto the top of the mountain the whole top of the mountain was burning like a furnace and smoke ascended like a huge cloud and the mountain quaked. The Lord called Moses to go up the mountain, so he went up. Then the Lord told him to go down the mountain and warn the people not to break through the boundary of the mountain - lest they die. He told the people that the priests are to sanctify themselves (wash) lest the Lord should destroy them. Moses and Aaron went up the mountain and the Lord gave them what we call today the ten commandments. The Lord began by setting the context of these laws. He said 'I am the LORD thy God who brought you out of the land of Egypt out of the house of bondage'. This law was specific to Israel. It applied only to them and is never applied to uncircumcised gentiles.

Commandments related to God

1.       You shall have no other gods before me.    
Worship is sacred.
2.       You shall not make graven images.             
Work is sacred.
3.       You shall not misuse the name of God.       
God’s name is sacred

Commandment related to the Sabbath day

4.       Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy  
Rest is sacred

Commandments related to family

5.       Honour your father and mother                    
Respect and the Provision for parents sacred
6.       You shall not murder                                  
Life is sacred
7.       You shall not commit adultery                     
Marriage is sacred

Commandments related to neighbours

8.       You shall not steal                                      
Possessions are sacred
9.       You shall not give false witness      
Reputations are sacred
10.   You shall not covet                        
Desires are sacred

When the People saw the mountain quake and the thunder and lightening they went back and stood afar off to look on. But Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was. Then the Lord instructed Moses that when the children of Israel want to offer a sacrifice it must be on an altar of stones. There the Lord promised to be with them and bless them. The stones must be taken from the earth not having any tool working on them. If men work on the stones then the stones are polluted. And the altar is not to be high up because as the priest climbs his legs will be exposed and this would be showing ones nakedness. This would be a great sin.