Through The Bible Tuesday 02-20-18 Devotions
22 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell Aaron and his sons to be very careful with the sacred gifts that the Israelites set apart for me, so they do not bring shame on my holy name. I am the Lord. 3 Give them the following instructions.
“In all future generations, if any of your descendants is ceremonially unclean when he approaches the sacred offerings that the people of Israel consecrate to the Lord, he must be cut off from my presence. I am the Lord.
4 “If any of Aaron’s descendants has a skin disease[a] or any kind of discharge that makes him ceremonially unclean, he may not eat from the sacred offerings until he has been pronounced clean. He also becomes unclean by touching a corpse, or by having an emission of semen, 5 or by touching a small animal that is unclean, or by touching someone who is ceremonially unclean for any reason. 6 The man who is defiled in any of these ways will remain unclean until evening. He may not eat from the sacred offerings until he has bathed himself in water. 7 When the sun goes down, he will be ceremonially clean again and may eat from the sacred offerings, for this is his food. 8 He may not eat an animal that has died a natural death or has been torn apart by wild animals, for this would defile him. I am the Lord.
9 “The priests must follow my instructions carefully. Otherwise they will be punished for their sin and will die for violating my instructions. I am the Lord who makes them holy.
10 “No one outside a priest’s family may eat the sacred offerings. Even guests and hired workers in a priest’s home are not allowed to eat them. 11 However, if the priest buys a slave for himself, the slave may eat from the sacred offerings. And if his slaves have children, they also may share his food. 12 If a priest’s daughter marries someone outside the priestly family, she may no longer eat the sacred offerings. 13 But if she becomes a widow or is divorced and has no children to support her, and she returns to live in her father’s home as in her youth, she may eat her father’s food again. Otherwise, no one outside a priest’s family may eat the sacred offerings.
14 “Any such person who eats the sacred offerings without realizing it must pay the priest for the amount eaten, plus an additional 20 percent. 15 The priests must not let the Israelites defile the sacred offerings brought to the Lord 16 by allowing unauthorized people to eat them. This would bring guilt upon them and require them to pay compensation. I am the Lord who makes them holy.”
Worthy and Unworthy Offerings
17 And the Lord said to Moses, 18 “Give Aaron and his sons and all the Israelites these instructions, which apply both to native Israelites and to the foreigners living among you.
“If you present a gift as a burnt offering to the Lord, whether it is to fulfill a vow or is a voluntary offering, 19 you[b] will be accepted only if your offering is a male animal with no defects. It may be a bull, a ram, or a male goat. 20 Do not present an animal with defects, because the Lord will not accept it on your behalf.
21 “If you present a peace offering to the Lord from the herd or the flock, whether it is to fulfill a vow or is a voluntary offering, you must offer a perfect animal. It may have no defect of any kind. 22 You must not offer an animal that is blind, crippled, or injured, or that has a wart, a skin sore, or scabs. Such animals must never be offered on the altar as special gifts to the Lord. 23 If a bull[c] or lamb has a leg that is too long or too short, it may be offered as a voluntary offering, but it may not be offered to fulfill a vow. 24 If an animal has damaged testicles or is castrated, you may not offer it to the Lord. You must never do this in your own land, 25 and you must not accept such an animal from foreigners and then offer it as a sacrifice to your God. Such animals will not be accepted on your behalf, for they are mutilated or defective.”
26 And the Lord said to Moses, 27 “When a calf or lamb or goat is born, it must be left with its mother for seven days. From the eighth day on, it will be acceptable as a special gift to the Lord. 28 But you must not slaughter a mother animal and her offspring on the same day, whether from the herd or the flock. 29 When you bring a thanksgiving offering to the Lord, sacrifice it properly so you will be accepted. 30 Eat the entire sacrificial animal on the day it is presented. Do not leave any of it until the next morning. I am the Lord.
31 “You must faithfully keep all my commands by putting them into practice, for I am the Lord. 32 Do not bring shame on my holy name, for I will display my holiness among the people of Israel. I am the Lord who makes you holy. 33 It was I who rescued you from the land of Egypt, that I might be your God. I am the Lord.”
The Appointed Festivals
23 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. These are the Lord’s appointed festivals, which you are to proclaim as official days for holy assembly.
3 “You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of complete rest, an official day for holy assembly. It is the Lord’s Sabbath day, and it must be observed wherever you live.
4 “In addition to the Sabbath, these are the Lord’s appointed festivals, the official days for holy assembly that are to be celebrated at their proper times each year.
Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread
5 “The Lord’s Passover begins at sundown on the fourteenth day of the first month.[d] 6 On the next day, the fifteenth day of the month, you must begin celebrating the Festival of Unleavened Bread. This festival to the Lord continues for seven days, and during that time the bread you eat must be made without yeast. 7 On the first day of the festival, all the people must stop their ordinary work and observe an official day for holy assembly. 8 For seven days you must present special gifts to the Lord. On the seventh day the people must again stop all their ordinary work to observe an official day for holy assembly.”
Celebration of First Harvest
9 Then the Lord said to Moses, 10 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. When you enter the land I am giving you and you harvest its first crops, bring the priest a bundle of grain from the first cutting of your grain harvest. 11 On the day after the Sabbath, the priest will lift it up before the Lord so it may be accepted on your behalf. 12 On that same day you must sacrifice a one-year-old male lamb with no defects as a burnt offering to the Lord. 13 With it you must present a grain offering consisting of four quarts[e] of choice flour moistened with olive oil. It will be a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord. You must also offer one quart[f] of wine as a liquid offering. 14 Do not eat any bread or roasted grain or fresh kernels on that day until you bring this offering to your God. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation wherever you live.
The Festival of Harvest
15 “From the day after the Sabbath—the day you bring the bundle of grain to be lifted up as a special offering—count off seven full weeks. 16 Keep counting until the day after the seventh Sabbath, fifty days later. Then present an offering of new grain to the Lord. 17 From wherever you live, bring two loaves of bread to be lifted up before the Lord as a special offering. Make these loaves from four quarts of choice flour, and bake them with yeast. They will be an offering to the Lord from the first of your crops. 18 Along with the bread, present seven one-year-old male lambs with no defects, one young bull, and two rams as burnt offerings to the Lord. These burnt offerings, together with the grain offerings and liquid offerings, will be a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 19 Then you must offer one male goat as a sin offering and two one-year-old male lambs as a peace offering.
20 “The priest will lift up the two lambs as a special offering to the Lord, together with the loaves representing the first of your crops. These offerings, which are holy to the Lord, belong to the priests. 21 That same day will be proclaimed an official day for holy assembly, a day on which you do no ordinary work. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation wherever you live.[g]
22 “When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. Leave it for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God.”
The Festival of Trumpets
23 The Lord said to Moses, 24 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. On the first day of the appointed month in early autumn,[h] you are to observe a day of complete rest. It will be an official day for holy assembly, a day commemorated with loud blasts of a trumpet. 25 You must do no ordinary work on that day. Instead, you are to present special gifts to the Lord.”
The Day of Atonement
26 Then the Lord said to Moses, 27 “Be careful to celebrate the Day of Atonement on the tenth day of that same month—nine days after the Festival of Trumpets.[i] You must observe it as an official day for holy assembly, a day to deny yourselves[j] and present special gifts to the Lord. 28 Do no work during that entire day because it is the Day of Atonement, when offerings of purification are made for you, making you right with[k] the Lord your God. 29 All who do not deny themselves that day will be cut off from God’s people. 30 And I will destroy anyone among you who does any work on that day. 31 You must not do any work at all! This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation wherever you live. 32 This will be a Sabbath day of complete rest for you, and on that day you must deny yourselves. This day of rest will begin at sundown on the ninth day of the month and extend until sundown on the tenth day.”
The Festival of Shelters
33 And the Lord said to Moses, 34 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. Begin celebrating the Festival of Shelters[l] on the fifteenth day of the appointed month—five days after the Day of Atonement.[m] This festival to the Lord will last for seven days. 35 On the first day of the festival you must proclaim an official day for holy assembly, when you do no ordinary work. 36 For seven days you must present special gifts to the Lord. The eighth day is another holy day on which you present your special gifts to the Lord. This will be a solemn occasion, and no ordinary work may be done that day.
37 (“These are the Lord’s appointed festivals. Celebrate them each year as official days for holy assembly by presenting special gifts to the Lord—burnt offerings, grain offerings, sacrifices, and liquid offerings—each on its proper day. 38 These festivals must be observed in addition to the Lord’s regular Sabbath days, and the offerings are in addition to your personal gifts, the offerings you give to fulfill your vows, and the voluntary offerings you present to the Lord.)
39 “Remember that this seven-day festival to the Lord—the Festival of Shelters—begins on the fifteenth day of the appointed month,[n] after you have harvested all the produce of the land. The first day and the eighth day of the festival will be days of complete rest. 40 On the first day gather branches from magnificent trees[o]—palm fronds, boughs from leafy trees, and willows that grow by the streams. Then celebrate with joy before the Lord your God for seven days. 41 You must observe this festival to the Lord for seven days every year. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed in the appointed monthfrom generation to generation. 42 For seven days you must live outside in little shelters. All native-born Israelites must live in shelters. 43 This will remind each new generation of Israelites that I made their ancestors live in shelters when I rescued them from the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”
44 So Moses gave the Israelites these instructions regarding the annual festivals of the Lord.
Pure Oil and Holy Bread
24 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to keep the lamps burning continually. 3 This is the lampstand that stands in the Tabernacle, in front of the inner curtain that shields the Ark of the Covenant.[q] Aaron must keep the lamps burning in the Lord’s presence all night. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation. 4 Aaron and the priests must tend the lamps on the pure gold lampstand continually in the Lord’s presence.
5 “You must bake twelve flat loaves of bread from choice flour, using four quarts[r] of flour for each loaf. 6 Place the bread before the Lord on the pure gold table, and arrange the loaves in two stacks, with six loaves in each stack. 7 Put some pure frankincense near each stack to serve as a representative offering, a special gift presented to the Lord. 8 Every Sabbath day this bread must be laid out before the Lord as a gift from the Israelites; it is an ongoing expression of the eternal covenant. 9 The loaves of bread will belong to Aaron and his descendants, who must eat them in a sacred place, for they are most holy. It is the permanent right of the priests to claim this portion of the special gifts presented to the Lord.”
An Example of Just Punishment
10 One day a man who had an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father came out of his tent and got into a fight with one of the Israelite men. 11 During the fight, this son of an Israelite woman blasphemed the Name of the Lord[s] with a curse. So the man was brought to Moses for judgment. His mother was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri of the tribe of Dan. 12 They kept the man in custody until the Lord’s will in the matter should become clear to them.
13 Then the Lord said to Moses, 14 “Take the blasphemer outside the camp, and tell all those who heard the curse to lay their hands on his head. Then let the entire community stone him to death. 15 Say to the people of Israel: Those who curse their God will be punished for their sin. 16 Anyone who blasphemes the Name of the Lord must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel. Any native-born Israelite or foreigner among you who blasphemes the Name of the Lord must be put to death.
17 “Anyone who takes another person’s life must be put to death.
18 “Anyone who kills another person’s animal must pay for it in full—a live animal for the animal that was killed.
19 “Anyone who injures another person must be dealt with according to the injury inflicted— 20 a fracture for a fracture, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Whatever anyone does to injure another person must be paid back in kind.
21 “Whoever kills an animal must pay for it in full, but whoever kills another person must be put to death.
22 “This same standard applies both to native-born Israelites and to the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God.”
23 After Moses gave all these instructions to the Israelites, they took the blasphemer outside the camp and stoned him to death. The Israelites did just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
22:4 Traditionally rendered leprosy; see note on 13:2a.
22:19 Or it.
22:23 Or cow.
23:5 This day in the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred in late March, April, or early May.
23:13a Hebrew 2⁄10 of an ephah [4.4 liters]; also in 23:17.
23:13b Hebrew 1⁄4 of a hin [1 liter].
23:21 This celebration, called the Festival of Harvest or the Festival of Weeks, was later called the Festival of Pentecost (see Acts 2:1). It is celebrated today as Shavuot (or Shabuoth).
23:24 Hebrew On the first day of the seventh month. This day in the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred in September or October. This festival is celebrated today as Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year.
23:27a Hebrew on the tenth day of the seventh month; see 23:24 and the note there. This day in the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred in September or October. It is celebrated today as Yom Kippur.
23:27b Or to fast; similarly in 23:29, 32.
23:28 Or when atonement is made for you before.
23:34a Or Festival of Booths, or Festival of Tabernacles. This was earlier called the Festival of the Final Harvest or Festival of Ingathering (see Exod 23:16b). It is celebrated today as Sukkot (or Succoth).
23:34b Hebrew on the fifteenth day of the seventh month; see 23:27a and the note there.
23:39 Hebrew on the fifteenth day of the seventh month.
23:40 Or gather fruit from majestic trees.
23:41 Hebrew the seventh month.
24:3 Hebrew in the Tent of Meeting, outside the inner curtain of the Testimony; see note on 16:13.
24:5 Hebrew 2⁄10 of an ephah [4.4 liters].
24:11 Hebrew the Name; also in 24:16b.
A psalm of David.
1 O Lord, oppose those who oppose me.
Fight those who fight against me.
2 Put on your armor, and take up your shield.
Prepare for battle, and come to my aid.
3 Lift up your spear and javelin
against those who pursue me.
Let me hear you say,
“I will give you victory!”
4 Bring shame and disgrace on those trying to kill me;
turn them back and humiliate those who want to harm me.
5 Blow them away like chaff in the wind—
a wind sent by the angel of the Lord.
6 Make their path dark and slippery,
with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.
7 I did them no wrong, but they laid a trap for me.
I did them no wrong, but they dug a pit to catch me.
8 So let sudden ruin come upon them!
Let them be caught in the trap they set for me!
Let them be destroyed in the pit they dug for me.
9 Then I will rejoice in the Lord.
I will be glad because he rescues me.
10 With every bone in my body I will praise him:
“Lord, who can compare with you?
Who else rescues the helpless from the strong?
Who else protects the helpless and poor from those who rob them?”
11 Malicious witnesses testify against me.
They accuse me of crimes I know nothing about.
12 They repay me evil for good.
I am sick with despair.
13 Yet when they were ill, I grieved for them.
I denied myself by fasting for them,
but my prayers returned unanswered.
14 I was sad, as though they were my friends or family,
as if I were grieving for my own mother.
15 But they are glad now that I am in trouble;
they gleefully join together against me.
I am attacked by people I don’t even know;
they slander me constantly.
16 They mock me and call me names;
they snarl at me.
17 How long, O Lord, will you look on and do nothing?
Rescue me from their fierce attacks.
Protect my life from these lions!
18 Then I will thank you in front of the great assembly.
I will praise you before all the people.
19 Don’t let my treacherous enemies rejoice over my defeat.
Don’t let those who hate me without cause gloat over my sorrow.
20 They don’t talk of peace;
they plot against innocent people who mind their own business.
21 They shout, “Aha! Aha!
With our own eyes we saw him do it!”
22 O Lord, you know all about this.
Do not stay silent.
Do not abandon me now, O Lord.
23 Wake up! Rise to my defense!
Take up my case, my God and my Lord.
24 Declare me not guilty, O Lord my God, for you give justice.
Don’t let my enemies laugh about me in my troubles.
25 Don’t let them say, “Look, we got what we wanted!
Now we will eat him alive!”
26 May those who rejoice at my troubles
be humiliated and disgraced.
May those who triumph over me
be covered with shame and dishonor.
27 But give great joy to those who came to my defense.
Let them continually say, “Great is the Lord,
who delights in blessing his servant with peace!”
28 Then I will proclaim your justice,
and I will praise you all day long.
9 Jesus went on to say, “I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Kingdom of God arrive in great power!”
2 Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed, 3 and his clothes became dazzling white, far whiter than any earthly bleach could ever make them. 4 Then Elijah and Moses appeared and began talking with Jesus.
5 Peter exclaimed, “Rabbi, it’s wonderful for us to be here! Let’s make three shelters as memorials[a]—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6 He said this because he didn’t really know what else to say, for they were all terrified.
7 Then a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son. Listen to him.” 8 Suddenly, when they looked around, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus with them.
9 As they went back down the mountain, he told them not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man[b] had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept it to themselves, but they often asked each other what he meant by “rising from the dead.”
11 Then they asked him, “Why do the teachers of religious law insist that Elijah must return before the Messiah comes?[c]”
12 Jesus responded, “Elijah is indeed coming first to get everything ready. Yet why do the Scriptures say that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be treated with utter contempt? 13 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they chose to abuse him, just as the Scriptures predicted.”
Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Boy
14 When they returned to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd surrounding them, and some teachers of religious law were arguing with them. 15 When the crowd saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with awe, and they ran to greet him.
16 “What is all this arguing about?” Jesus asked.
17 One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk. 18 And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid.[d] So I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn’t do it.”
19 Jesus said to them,[e] “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”
20 So they brought the boy. But when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw the child into a violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth.
21 “How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father.
He replied, “Since he was a little boy. 22 The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”
23 “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
24 The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that the crowd of onlookers was growing, he rebuked the evil[f] spirit. “Listen, you spirit that makes this boy unable to hear and speak,” he said. “I command you to come out of this child and never enter him again!”
26 Then the spirit screamed and threw the boy into another violent convulsion and left him. The boy appeared to be dead. A murmur ran through the crowd as people said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him to his feet, and he stood up.
28 Afterward, when Jesus was alone in the house with his disciples, they asked him, “Why couldn’t we cast out that evil spirit?”
29 Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer.[g]”
Jesus Again Predicts His Death
30 Leaving that region, they traveled through Galilee. Jesus didn’t want anyone to know he was there, 31 for he wanted to spend more time with his disciples and teach them. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. He will be killed, but three days later he will rise from the dead.” 32 They didn’t understand what he was saying, however, and they were afraid to ask him what he meant.
The Greatest in the Kingdom
33 After they arrived at Capernaum and settled in a house, Jesus asked his disciples, “What were you discussing out on the road?” 34 But they didn’t answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest. 35 He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.”
36 Then he put a little child among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf[h] welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me.”
Using the Name of Jesus
38 John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he wasn’t in our group.”
39 “Don’t stop him!” Jesus said. “No one who performs a miracle in my name will soon be able to speak evil of me. 40 Anyone who is not against us is for us. 41 If anyone gives you even a cup of water because you belong to the Messiah, I tell you the truth, that person will surely be rewarded.
42 “But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around your neck. 43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand than to go into the unquenchable fires of hell[i] with two hands.[j] 45 If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one foot than to be thrown into hell with two feet.[k] 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It’s better to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where the maggots never die and the fire never goes out.’[l]
49 “For everyone will be tested with fire.[m] 50 Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? You must have the qualities of salt among yourselves and live in peace with each other.”
9:5 Greek three tabernacles.
9:9 “Son of Man” is a title Jesus used for himself.
9:11 Greek that Elijah must come first?
9:18 Or becomes weak.
9:19 Or said to his disciples.
9:25 Greek unclean.
9:29 Some manuscripts read by prayer and fasting.
9:37 Greek in my name.
9:43a Greek Gehenna; also in 9:45, 47.
9:43b Some manuscripts add verse 44, ‘where the maggots never die and the fire never goes out.’ See 9:48.
9:45 Some manuscripts add verse 46, ‘where the maggots never die and the fire never goes out.’ See 9:48.
9:48 Isa 66:24.
9:49 Greek salted with fire; other manuscripts add and every sacrifice will be salted with salt.
12 There is a path before each person that seems right,
but it ends in death.
13 Laughter can conceal a heavy heart,
but when the laughter ends, the grief remains.
14 Backsliders get what they deserve;
good people receive their reward.
15 Only simpletons believe everything they’re told!
The prudent carefully consider their steps.
16 The wise are cautious[a] and avoid danger;
fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.
17 Short-tempered people do foolish things,
and schemers are hated.
18 Simpletons are clothed with foolishness,[b] but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
19 Evil people will bow before good people;
the wicked will bow at the gates of the godly.
20 The poor are despised even by their neighbors,
while the rich have many “friends.”
21 It is a sin to belittle one’s neighbor;
blessed are those who help the poor.
22 If you plan to do evil, you will be lost;
if you plan to do good, you will receive unfailing love and faithfulness.
14:16 Hebrew The wise fear.
14:18 Or inherit foolishness.
Wednesday, February 21, 2018