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February 15: Glory!

February 15, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Exodus 38-40; Psalm 37:23-40; Matthew 16:13-28; Acts 23:1-11 Exodus 38-40: At first glance these chapters seem yet more instructions, of a rather arcane kind, about how to construct the tabernacle and make priestly garments, instructions that, while perhaps of antiquarian interest, have no real pertinence spiritually today. However, there is a repeated refrain throughout these chapters, and a described result as a consequence at the end of these chapters, that brings out the intended meaning and lesson of these words. The repeated refrain, often in these precise words, if not mild variations of the kind, is frequent enough—multiple times—to be sure that the narrator is intending to draw our attention. “As the LORD had commanded Moses,” so they did. Each activity, precise detail: “as the LORD had commanded Moses.” Here is a people who are obeying, to the letter, with precision and faithfulness, exactly what…

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February 14: Instructions

February 14, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Exodus 35-37; Psalm 37:1-22; Matthew 16:1-12; Acts 22 Exodus 35-37: Moses now assembles the people and gives them instructions concerning the Sabbath (35:1-3), the Sabbath rest that ultimately points, as the book of Hebrews instructs us (Heb. 4:9-10), to the Sabbath rest that we can have by faith in Jesus. These instructions are serious and are to be kept. Next come instructions about a “free will offering” (35:4-29), an offering which is given out of the overflow of gratitude of the hearts of God’s people, not under compulsion, for (as Paul puts it) God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7). They give freely, as their spirits move them, to the work of God, and they give so much that in the end they have to be told not to give (36:2-7). Instructions are given to the chief artisans in the production of the tabernacle,…

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February 13: Unveiled

February 13, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Exodus 34; Psalm 36; Matthew 15:21-39; Acts 21:27-40 Exodus 34: Two new tablets of stone are to be made, and on them God will write his commandments once again as before (34:1-4). It is a repeat, though this time God, in answer to Moses’ prayer, shows Moses his glory. “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and fourth generation” (34:5-7). In other words, God is both loving and holy, and both “sides” of his character, his holiness and his compassion, are true representations of who God is. How can these two aspects of God’s “personality” be reconciled? How…

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February 12: Golden Calf

February 12, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Exodus 32-33; Psalm 35; Matthew 15:1-20; Acts 21:1-26 Exodus 32-33: Disaster! Aaron presumes to solve the problem of the people’s impatience at Moses’ apparent delay by giving them gods to worship (32:1-3). He makes a golden calf, and when they see it, they say that these are “your gods” who brought them up out of Egypt (32:4). They have become “relativistic pluralists,” worshipping multiple gods (32:6) and somehow or other thinking they can include “the LORD” among those gods, saying “tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD” (32:5). Such ideological/theological chaos leads to social chaos, as is always the case. They “break out of their bounds,” and lose all discipline, shape, and cohesion as a people. The LORD is angry (32:7-10). They have broken fealty with him, and he is ready to rain judgment upon them. Moses, however, intercedes, and God relents from his wrath…

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February 11: Written by God

February 11, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Exodus 30-31; Psalm 34; Matthew 14:22-36; Acts 20:13-38 Exodus 30-31: These last two chapters before the infamous golden calf end with the delivery of two stone tablets to Moses (31:18). God describes how the tent of meeting is to be organized and gives instructions for the Day of Atonement (Ex. 30), a day whose fulfillment is found in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for our sins. There is then Oholiab and Bezalel, gifted with knowledge and all craftsmanship, who are commissioned to make the ark and the furnishings and the mercy seat (31:1-11). Bezalel is “filled with the Spirit of God” (31:3), showing that such indwelling and infusing of God’s Spirit is related not only to more narrowly defined “spiritual” matters but practical matters like building. God gifts carpenters as much as preachers, mechanics as much as lecturers, and both have their role…

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Sermon Video: Climate Change, the Environment, and God’s Hope for Nature

February 10, 2016:

Below, on February 7, 2016, Josh Moody preached a message on “Climate Change, the Environment, and God's Hope for Nature" in the sermon series “Confident.” Taken from Romans 8:19-22, this message provides three views of the world, each with massive implications for how you live your life in the most practical of ways. Discussion questions about this sermon can be found here.

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February 10: Priests and The Priest

February 10, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Exodus 27-29; Psalm 33; Matthew 14:1-21; Acts 20:1-12 Exodus 27-29: These kind of details seem only interesting to those who love drawing pictures of bygone ceremonies with precise detail. It is hard (at first glance) to establish the relevance of these matters. Why are they here? What do they say to us today, to a people without this kind of ritualized priesthood, and without all the necessary ceremonies that constitute the ordination of that role? Hebrews 5 is a good commentary. It tells us that what was remarkable about these Old Testament priests was not only that they offered gifts and sacrifices for sins, for people in relation to God, but that they also had to offer sacrifice for their own sins (Heb. 5:1-3). They were then far from being a perfect priest or intermediary between people and God. However, the book of Hebrews reminds…

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February 9: Mercy Seat

February 09, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Exodus 24-26; Psalm 32; Matthew 13:44-58; Acts 19:23-41 Exodus 24-26: The covenant is first confirmed by a special opportunity for the leadership to encounter God in some way (Ex. 24). God is shown to be awesome, majestic, beyond description, and words are used to indicate his purity and beauty—feet on a pavement of sapphire (24:10), and like a devouring fire (24:17). For this meeting to take place blood must be spilt (24:4-8). God is constantly teaching his people, as he did with the Passover, that because he is holy, access to his presence requires the spilling of blood. The same lesson is taught with the construction of the sanctuary (Ex. 25-26). There will be a mercy seat (25:17-22), on which at the Day of Atonement blood will be sprinkled (Lev. 16:14), and which sprinkling finds its fulfillment in the real, true sacrifice of Christ (Hebrews…

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February 8: Law and Promise

February 08, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Exodus 21-23; Psalm 31; Matthew 13:24-43; Acts 19:1-22 Exodus 21-23: Some of these laws seem a little strange to us, others immediately resonant as reflecting the moral principles laid down by the Ten Commandments in more detail now. Behind many of them is the judicial principle of “eye for eye, tooth for tooth.” In a theocratic political setting, it was important to establish precise laws for ensuring that fairness and justice were carried out, that the rich did not prey on the poor, that the strong did not abuse the weak, and that basic health was maintained. Immersed within such matters are many moral matters of expansion and particularization of the commandments already given. Surprising for many are the instructions given about slavery (21:1-32). Have they not just escaped from the land of slavery? Old Testament, Jewish, slavery was very different from antebellum slavery, more…

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February 7: Eagles’ Wings

February 07, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Exodus 19-20; Psalm 30; Matthew 13:1-23; Acts 18:18-28 Exodus 19-20: And so they come to Mount Sinai (19:1-2). They have been “born on eagles’ wings” out of Egypt (19:4). They are a rescued people, a redeemed people, set apart for God as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (19:5-6). And now they are going to hear from God how he wants them to obey him (19:7-8). The pattern is clear throughout Scripture: first rescue, then obedience, grace leading to and empowering works. The legalist reverses this pattern and attempts to earn God’s favor by the Law. But the Law was given after God had rescued his people to teach them what it meant to follow him as redeemed people. That said, this grace is no cheap grace but is shrouded in awe and fear. God is awesome, in that much over-used rendition of…

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