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QUESTIONS OF THE DAY:

“ Based on God's words about the Sabbath in our Exodus readings today, do you take a Sabbath? What do you do - or not do - on the Sabbath? Does it bless the other 6 days of your week? How long have you been in the habit of taking a Sabbath? Is it hard to get in the habit? Any other "tricks of the trade" you can share with all of us about taking a Sabbath?…”

Yes, but I don’t call it “the Sabbath.” To me it’s “ the Lord’s Day” which I observe on Sunday, the first day of the week, based on Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2. Some teach that the Roman emperopr Constantine, who converted to Christianity, changed the holy day to Sunday but I think the Church was already practicing that in the apostolic era at least 250 years before that. The main reason, in my view, why the early Church switched to Sunday is because the Jews persecuted the early Jewish believers in the synagogues and in the Temple on the Sabbath Day. Would you want to go there knowing you were not welcome? The Apostle Paul still went to the synagogues on the Sabbath Day to preach to the Jews but from the Scriptures it appears that the churches by then were coming together on Sunday. My sister is a Seventh Day Adventist who believes in keeping the Sabbath on Saturday as do the Jews and they teach falsely that this is the prophesied Mark of the Beast spoken of in the Book of Revelation.

“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:”

- Colossians 2:16 ( KJV )


As an act of worship, I don’t think it matters so much what day of the week we keep holy day but what is important is the principle of it and the spirit of the law in keeping the Sabbath. Therefore, it is not a day to do your own pleasure but rather to delight yourself in the Lord, according to Isaiah 58:13. Therefore, I try to keep the day holy by not doing such things as attending sports events, going to the mall or to the movies. That means if someone offered me a ticket to see the Super Bowl, for example, I would have had to turn it down based on that principle because I couldn’t go without violating my conscience and breaking a vow I made to the Lord concerning not to attend sports events on Sunday several years ago. At the time I did that I was not attending church regularly but I was going to a lot of professional baseball games on Sundays. The Holy Spirit really convicted me about that. If other believers want to do that then I won’t judge them for it but that is just my personal conviction.

As a day of rest, yes, it certainly makes a big difference to have a day off of work to refresh ourselves which is one reason why God gave it to man ( Mark 10:27 ). It makes us happier and more productive employees. In this country many of us have been blessed with both Saturday and Sunday off. What working person doesn’t look forward to the weekend? We have always placed a high value on it but as the nation becomes more and more secularized the Sabbath is beginning to be deemed less and less important in our society. Today there is no respect to God’s holy day and eventually the fruit of that will be no respect given by companies and businesses for working class people’s need for a day off. In fact, I think we already seeing that. Keeping the Sabbath Day holy is one of the Ten Commandments so it cannot be ignored.

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 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: 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."

- Exodus 20:8 ( KJV )

EXODUS 15:19-17:7
Miriam leading the women in worship with timbrels and dancing ( 15:20 ) reminds me of going to a charismatic church with a Christian friend not long after I became a believer. That is the way they worshipped at his church. I thought it was very strange at the time and I was somewhat intimidated by it because I had never seen that done in any other church I had visited before. However, it was a form of worship in ancient Israel and still is among messianic Jewish believers and some charismatic Christians today.

The key to enjoying good health is obedience to God’s commandments ( 15:26 ). So then, we see disease, plagues and sickness linked to sin.

If I learned anything in these chapters it is that God is not pleased by murmuring or complaining ( 16:8,12 ). My wife reminds me of that all the time, lol.

God miraculously provided the need of the Israelites for water ( 15:22-25; 17:1-7 ) and food ( 16:2-21 ) in the wilderness of Sin even though their faith in His ability to provide for them was weak. One of the wonderful and amazing things about God is that He remains faithful even when we are not.

The manna which came down upon the earth from Heaven ( 16:4-15 ) was, of course, a foreshadow of the coming of Jesus Christ. As Jesus Himself said:
“ …Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. …I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”
- John 6:32-33, 35 ( KJV )

MATTHEW 22:1-33
The parable of the king who prepared a wedding for his son ( vv.1-14 ) is an illustration of an event still yet to come which is known as the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. The king is God the Father and Jesus is the Son. The Bride, though not mentioned by name here, is the Church. Invitations were first given out by the prophets of Israel to that nation but the people persecuted and killed them ( 22:6 ) for which God judged the nation ( 22:7 ). So God sent abroad other servants who are the apostles and evangelists to other nations with the gospel message ( 22:8-10 ). When the invitations are given some will accept and some will refuse the invitation offering lame excuses ( 22:5 ). Some will try to attend without a “wedding garment “ ( 22:12 ) which is salvation through the righteousness of God imputed to us by faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. They will instead come in their own self-righteousness which is as “filthy rags” ( Isaiah 64:6 ) in God the Father’s sight but God will separate them from the guests and He will send them away to await the final judgment ( 22:13 ).

“ I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for HE HATH CLOTHED ME WITH THE GARMENTS OF SALVATION, HE HATH COVERED ME WITH THE ROBE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”
- Isaiah 61:10 ( KJV )

“ And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. 6And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be ARRAYED IN FINE LINEN, CLEAN AND WHITE: FOR THE LINEN IS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF SAINTS. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are THEY WHICH ARE CALLED UNTO THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”
- Revelation 19:5-9 ( KJV )

PSALM 27:1-14
This world is an evil place but faith in the Lord will help us to see His goodness in the midst of it ( v.13 ). He will strengthen our faith in times of trouble and when our enemies rise up against us ( v.12 ) he will take away our fears ( v.1 ).

PROVERBS 6:20-26
How important it is for parents to be godly and to teach their children the Word of God (v.20 ). In doing so their kids will be better prepared to face the spiritual darkness of this world for God’s Word will be a light to them ( v.23 ). It will teach them godly morals so that they will not be so easily seduced by sexual temptation and walk after their own lusts ( vv. 24-26 ).

Bill,

I enjoyed reading through your comments this morning. The Israelites are such whiners in Exodus, aren't they? I wish my own sin and lack of faith were equally apparent to me! It's easy to see their flaws across the distance of time and scripture, but NOT so easy to see it here and now, in my OWN life. ; )

Moses nails the problem here:

"Moses continued, "The LORD will give you meat to eat this evening and abundant bread in the morning, for He has heard the complaints that you are raising against Him. Who are we? Your complaints are not against us but against the LORD." -Exodus 16:8

It makes me wonder...how much of my own frustration with life circumstances or my own anger toward another is really misdirected anger at the Lord?? What does this reveal about the condition of my heart? Do I really trust Him to work it all for my good and His glory?

As Moses says "Who are we?" It's a great question and points out our tendency to focus on man and blame man. We'd much rather hold another human being accountable (besides ourselves of course!) because if our anger and doubt is toward God, well that opens another can of worms that we don't feel like dealing with, doesn't it.

But God himself is the one who orders our days and allows circumstances. And, just as Joseph acknowledged the providential hand of the Lord in his life--

"But don't be upset, and don't be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives." -Genesis 45:5

---we also have the opportunity to recognize His hand working in our own lives--to release others (as Joseph forgave his brothers--and to submit to His will for our lives, trusting that His plans are ultimately for our GOOD and His glory.

The Israelites were shortsighted, Joseph saw the BIG picture. I wish I could say that I usually see the big picture in my own life, but I see a lot of myself in the Israelites--hoarding manna, not trusting God fully. I'd prefer to have all my manna at once so that I could count it up and ration it myself-- but this isn't the way the Lord works.

Exodus 15:19-17:7

The Waters of Marah and Elim

- The Lord had led them here to bitter water. Why? I believe this is the continuation of the lesson to be still and trust/depend on the Lord.

-Did the people learn the lesson from the parting of the Red Sea? No, they complained to Moses when they should have been calling on the Lord.

-Here Moses does the right thing and calls on the Lord (intercession).

- Symbols:
Water: Washing with is being bathed in His Word. Drinking is taking in the Holy Spirit.
Tree: Garden had the tree of life, Psalm 1 and Rev 22 the tree is for healing. 1Peter2:24 the tree is used by God to deliver righteousness.

-The Picture: God provides healing and righteousness throuh the tree (cross) so that the Holy Spirit can be taken in. Did the Israelites get this - no. It is one of the many examples in the OT foreshadowing Christ and God's Work.

NOTE: The Israelites could not obey Law (no one can), hence there was sickness (symbol of sin) later. God provides the instruction on what to do about sickness (sin) later.

-Stautes and ordinances were not given in Egypt - only after the redemption. The Picture: We are not ecpected to be able to hold to Law until after we are saved. How? "If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God...." Even saved we cannot obey the Law written in our hearts unless we continually and carefully allow the Lord to lead us - it is His work to sanctify us as much as it was to redeem us.

- Elim: I believe that God is providing a picture here that the Holy Spirit (water ingested) is with the twelve tribes of Israel and/or the nation of Israel (70 came into Egypt).
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Manna

The Lesson on dependance on the Lord is still not learned. Again the people did not call on the Lord, but complained to Moses. Amazing in tough times how the past looked better. I tend to doubt that it was all that rosy and full of good eating back in Egyptian servitude.

God provides our needs not our wants.

Aren't we instructed: Give us our daily bread in the Lord's prayer.

Sabbath is a picture of rest (ceasing to toil and work) in the Lord. Rely on and depend on the Lord. More on this when we get to commandments.
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Water From the Rock

This time the people did not just complain they argued with Moses. Again they did not call on the Lord.

Moses loses it a bit here as Moses shows he is not a perfect intercessor (patience). Moses complains to the Lord about the people.

The picture: The rock is Christ. Struck once - will die once for all sins. Living water will spring from Him (John 7), and through the death and resurrection of Christ the Holy Spirit (water) comes and is taken in.

The Israelites do not get this, but it is a more explicit foreshadowing of Christ and God's Work. Something the Pharisees could have looked back on and seen if their heart was right.

Matthew 22
The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

a few notes:
1) Those that rejcted Christ and killed the prophets were cut off straight away. Who did that the rulers and priests at that time. It does not say that the whole country (Israel) was cut off permanently.
2)Marriage in Greek context and connotation represents the blessings of the Messiah's kingdom. (one of which is eternal life.)
3)good and bad were invited. Many were called (not all because of those cut away above). Believers and non-believers were invited.
4) Requirements: must be wearing the wedding garment. In Jewish marriage ceremony the host provided the wedding garments. The garments are the robes of rigteousness a covering provided by the blood of Christ.
5) Example given of one who did not put on those robes. Asked why and the man was speechless. So will it be if you try to gain entrance into heaven wearing your own robes (which Isaiah says are nothing but filthy rags to God.) Will you be able to talk/debate/argue your own way into heaven, No - you will be as speechless as this man.
6)What happens: He is cast into Gehenna (hell). There is no appeal. Few are chosen. Sadly many that are drawn by God will not put on the provided robe of righteousness. The chosen are the ones who depend on the covering (robes) provided by Christ.
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21"Caesar's," they replied.
Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."

What does God want? God wants your heart. Your trust and belief in Him and His plan.

Heart/Trust/dependance what any mother or father here would want from his/her young child. How much more so God?????
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Marriage at the Resurrection

Sadducees only believe in the Torah (first five books of Bible). They do not believe in angels (strange as they ARE in Torah) because they are supernatural, and the Sadducees think everything is about our life here on earth (no resurrection).

- Christ says you err because you do not know (all) the Scriptures nor the power of God (to provide eternal life.)

- Christ answers the marriage question, but says you miss the bigger point. God is the God of the living - not the dead. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are alive (in spirit) and they will be resurrected. God is not the God of some guy buried and dead in the ground. But for those who have imputed righteousness God will be their God forever for through Him they have eternal life.

First of all, the One Year Bible program has made daily devotional fun and easy. I feel like I am growing with each Scripture, ready for spiritual warfare. You asked for our major takeaways. I'll give you one. The Parable of the Wedding Feast convicted me. I diligently go to Bible study every Thursday and will also go to church. There I will open my Bible. Not at home though! I made a renewed commitment to daily fellowship with the Lord when I decided to read the Bible in one year. This parable just reinforced my decision. Was I really too busy to spend some quality time with the Lord? Did I really have more important things to do? Were my other ventures more fulfilling and joyous? No, no, no.

I look forward to this journey of getting to know my Lord better each day and with every verse. I also look forward to taking notes each day on what was bold print to me. I also look forward to visiting your blog so I can continue to grow spiritually as I learn from others in His community.

God Bless you Russatta--may the Lord bless your heart to grow in knowledge of His word this year ; )

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