Day Thirteen

Psalm 94, Exodus 40, Esther 7, 1 Corinthians 12

Psalm 94

Ps. 94:7and they say, “The Lord does not see; the God of Jacob does not perceive.” – This could be the life verse of most of the world today. There is a great movement of people who have turned away from Jesus. A USA Today article recently reported that the number of Americans who identify themselves as non-believers is growing at a tremendous rate. It is now the second highest category or “religious groups” in our land. So many there are who have walked away from God. And, yet, there is a remnant. God says that there always will be.

Ps. 94:14-15For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage; 15 for justice will return to the righteous, and all the upright in heart will follow it. – Notice that this verse doesn’t say that the people of the Lord won’t sometimes feel abandoned. But, God’s faithfulness is not dependent upon our feelings. The Lord is good, and His faithfulness towards you is true. He will take care of you.

Exodus 40

Ex. 40 – In Exodus 39 we saw the people bring everything that was needed for the tabernacle and lay it at Moses’ feet. In Exodus 40, Moses begins the work of putting the tabernacle together. It’s quite a job. God gives Moses a step-by-step construction manual for the tabernacle. After Moses finishes the job, God shows up — literally!

Look at verses 34-38 – Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 36 Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. 37 But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. 38 For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.
As I’ve already written as we have gone through Exodus, for those of us who follow God today it is an awesome though that His Holy Spirit dwells within us. We have God with us every day. Let us rejoice in that magnificent truth!

Esther 7

Est. 7 – God valiantly defends Esther in this climax to the Esther story. Haman’s cruelty is brought to light and he is hanged on the very gallows that he prepared for Mordecai. I truly believe that Esther was spared and the Jewish people were spared as a direct result to prayer and fasting. God loves to work through the prayers of His people. He loves when we live our lives dependent upon Him.

1 Corinthians 12

1 Cor. 12 – 1 Corinthian’s twelfth chapter has been called one of the greatest teaching on spiritual gifts in the Bible. Really, 1 Corinthians 12-14 should be taken in it’s entirety as a teaching on spiritual gifts. Apparently there were some divisions in the church over which spiritual gifts were the greatest. Paul talks about all of the gifts being important for the building up of the Body of Christ.

Here are some of the things we should take from this passage:

1) Every follower of Jesus has at least one spiritual gift.

2) All of the gifts are vital to the body.

3) God has given local congregations every gift needed to accomplish his purposes.

4) When one member of the Body of Christ hurts, we all hurt.

5) There was a better way for this church to go in relation to spiritual gifts, which Paul would reveal in 1 Corinthians 13. Hint: It’s love!

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Day Twelve

Psalm 93, Exodus 39, Esther 6, 1 Corinthians 11:2‐34

Psalm 93

Ps. 93:3-4 – 3The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring. 4Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty! – There is something powerful about the imagery of a flood. Floods can devastate a community. Floods can take a life. I read in the notes of my study Bible today that floods were the ultimate sign of uncontrollable chaos to the Israelite. And, that’s what is so amazing about these verses. Our God is greater than any chaos this world can bring our way.

I serve as a police chaplain for the Eden Prairie Police Department. One of our chaplains is fond of saying that it is our job to help bring order to the chaos of a crisis. That is what God does for us. He brings order to chaos. He is dependable. and trustworthy. That is what this Psalm celebrates.

Exodus 39

Ex. 39:32, 42-4332Thus all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting was finished, and the people of Israel did according to all that the Lord had commanded Moses; so they did. 42According to all that the Lord had commanded Moses, so the people of Israel had done all the work. 43 And Moses saw all the work, and behold, they had done it; as the Lord had commanded, so had they done it. Then Moses blessed them. – They were finished! The Children of Israel had accomplished a task that they could feel very good about. They had followed Moses’ instructions, as handed down by the Lord, and created the dwelling place of God. The tabernacle was done! The instructions had been followed, and Moses blessed the people, for they were showing signs of turning their hearts towards God. When the people obeyed God, they prospered. This was one of those times. As the people came together to work I believe that they were blessed too. Blessed from the shared vision and goals. Blessed by the shared labor. Blessed by the fervor for God. May we take note of what can happen when God’s people band together to accomplish His purposes!

Esther 6

Est. 6 – I can’t even imagine what Mordecai must have been thinking. He had been praying. He had been fasting. He knew that Esther had dined with the king and Haman earlier in the evening. And then . . . Haman, the enemy of the Jews came and killed him? No. Tortured him? No. Arrested him? No. He honored him! He honored Mordecai. Had Haman’s heart changed? No. In God’s divine plan, Haman sought honor for himself, and ended up having to give honor to one who had truly served the king. God honored Mordecai in his time. And, soon, God would deliver the Jews. (Read this chapter if you have not done so already.)

1 Corinthians 11:2‐34

1 Cor. 11 – This chapter of Scripture gives instructions for public worship. The church at Corinth had some serious issues. I think all churches have issues that we need to work through. It’s just part of being human beings trying to live in community with one another. One of the issues the Corinthian church dealt with was the issue of whether or not women should wear head coverings in public worship. In Corinthian culture, which was incredibly sex saturated, to not wear a head covering meant that you were either single or that you were married but available. Paul asked the women who were married in that congregation to wear head coverings in worship. To not do so would have been dishonorable. In our culture this might mean wearing a wedding ring or something else to show that you are married. Paul ends the chapter giving instruction on the Lord’s Supper. We will celebrate Communion at our church this Sunday. Paul talks about the significance and the sacred attitude with which we should come to the Lord’s table in verses 23-32. May these verses be a sacred reminder to you.

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.