Leviticus 5-7: Sin and Sacrifice

Leviticus 5-7; Psalm 39; Matthew 17:14-27; Acts  24  Leviticus 5-7: We now have descriptions of the burnt offering (Lev. 1, 6:8-13), the grain offering (Lev. 2, 6:14-18), the sin offering (Lev. 4:1-5:13, 6:24-30), the guilt offering (Lev. 5:14-6:7, 7:1-7), the ordination offering (Lev. 6:19-22), and the peace offering (Lev. 3, 7:11-21, 28-36) (7:37). These are…

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Leviticus 1-4: Sacrifice

Leviticus 1-4; Psalm 38; Matthew 17:1-13; Acts  23:12-35  Leviticus 1-4:  Leviticus is a book of the Bible that many people, when they start to read, quite soon give up! It appears a little obscure, overly detailed, and (frankly) irrelevant. In context, Moses is giving instructions to the Levites, the priests. Having established the tabernacle where God’s…

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Exodus 38-40: Glory!

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…

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Exodus 35-37: Instructions

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…

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Exodus 34: Unveiled

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…

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Exodus 32-33: Golden Calf

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…

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Exodus 30-31: Written by God

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…

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Exodus 27-29: Priests and The Priest

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…

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Exodus 24-26: Mercy Seat

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),…

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Exodus 21-23: Law and Promise

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…

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