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November 9, 2018

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year

Text: John 11-12
Audio: John 11-12

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Memory Verse of the Week

“And he gave to Moses, when he had finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.”
(Exodus 31:18 ESV)

Exodus 31 (ESV)

The Lord said to Moses, “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you: the tent of meeting, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is on it, and all the furnishings of the tent, the table and its utensils, and the pure lampstand with all its utensils, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin and its stand, 10 and the finely worked garments, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, for their service as priests, 11 and the anointing oil and the fragrant incense for the Holy Place. According to all that I have commanded you, they shall do.”

12 And the Lord said to Moses, 13 “You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you.14 You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you. Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death. Whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. 16 Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. 17 It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’”

18 And he gave to Moses, when he had finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.

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Next: Exodus 32

Back: Exodus 30

This Post Has 6 Comments
  1. You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you. Exodus 31:13

    The Sabbath

    In the Old Testament, the Sabbath was a day of rest and worship at the end of the seven day week cycle; lasting from Friday evening until Saturday evening.

    Exodus 31:14 tells us that keeping the Sabbath is to "observe" the Sabbath as a holy day where no work is to be done (Exodus 31:15). 

    But Exodus 31 is not the first time the word "Sabbath" is mentioned in Scripture. Before the Lord spoke about the Sabbath(s) in Exodus 31, the Sabbath was previously mentioned seven other times:

    Exodus 16:23 – he said to them, “This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay aside to be kept till the morning.’”

    Exodus 16:25 – Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field.

    Exodus 16:26 – Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, which is a Sabbath, there will be none.”

    Exodus 16:29 – See! The LORD has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day.”

    The Fourth Commandment:

    Exodus 20:8 – “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

    The Fourth Commandment "remember the Sabbath" explained:

    Exodus 20:10 – but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.

    Why the Fourth Commandment "remember the Sabbath" is to be observed:

    Exodus 20:11 – For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

    After Exodus 20, the word Sabbath does not appear again until Exodus 31 (which we find ourselves in today). The word Sabbath is mentioned two more times in Exodus (both in chapter 35):

    Exodus 35:2 – Six days work shall be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death.

    Exodus 35:3 – You shall kindle no fire in all your dwelling places on the Sabbath day.”

    After Exodus 35, the word "Sabbath" appears another 131 times throughout Scripture. 

    More detail is revealed about the Sabbath and what is considered profaning the Sabbath in relation to the people of Israel throughout the Old Testament. 

    Jesus also provides clarity of what IS and what is NOT profaning the Sabbath as the Scribes and Pharisees accused Him and His disciples of not keeping the Sabbath.

    Matthew 12:1-14 says, At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” 3 He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? 6 I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. 7 And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

    9 He went on from there and entered their synagogue. 10 And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse him. 11 He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” 13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.

    The Scribes and Pharisees were extremely zealous in their law-keeping. They added thousands of laws, rules, restrictions and regulations on top of what God revealed in the Old Testament. They expounded and expanded the meaning of God's law to the point that it was twisted and distorted beyond recognition and beyond God's intended purpose. 

    Jesus didn't breaking God's Law. He expressed the heart of the law revealed in the written law of God. He lived out the true meaning and application of the Law and the Prophets. 

    Jesus said, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them" (Matthew 5:17). 

    When a lawyer (who was a Pharisee) asked Jesus, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" (Matthew 22:36), Jesus answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets" (Matthew 22:37-40).

    The law Jesus was breaking was the false interpretation of The Law and the man-made laws of the religions leaders who were guilty of creating a new, false religion of self-generated righteousness and works.

    The Sabbath Today

    Today there are various interpretations (and convictions) regarding the Sabbath – what it is, what it means, how to keep it and what is breaking (or profaning) it. 

    When I consider the totality of Scripture, which gives us a full, broad picture of the meaning, purpose and application of the Sabbath to the people of Israel as well as believers today, I think of the Sabbath in relation to tithing. 

    The Old Testament "tithe" required all the people of Israel to give 10% of everything they earned (including their crops and animals) to the Tabernacle/Temple (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:26; Deuteronomy 14:24; 2 Chronicles 31:5).

    Not only did they give 10% to the Tabernacle/Temple, God received the "firstfruits" of their labor "off the top" (Exodus 23:16; 34:22; Leviticus 2:12-14; 2 Chronicles 31:5).

    There are some people who believe this 10% tithe applies the same today as it did in the Old Testament so they give 10% of their income. Of those givers, most do not give 10% of the "firstfruits" (gross) but what they have left after taxes (net). 

    Other people give but it's less than 10% (and in most cases it's far less). And the giving is often sporadic (when people have a little extra and can afford to give). 

    Giving 10% of our income (gross or net) to the church is a wonderful expression of not only appreciation for what we receive from God through a local church but also the blessing of contributing to the Kingdom work of God through the body of Christ. 

    10% should be a baseline (or starting point) of giving financially to a local church (not the maximum amount we give to meet an Old Testament requirement). 

    We should also be giving more than just financially to the church. Our time is valuable (more than money?) and when we allocate time and energy to ministry (including helping people in our church and our community), those gifts (like our financial gifts) are multiplied and extend the impact of our ministry to one another and those around us beyond what we could do alone.

    Sadly, the majority of people who attend church regularly do not give at all. They don't give financially and do very little (if anything) in terms of giving of their time to help in any way. It may not be their intention but if someone is not contributing at all and is only "taking", there is something lacking in that person's relationship with God and their understanding of their role, purpose and privilege as a member of the body of Christ.

    To me, the principles of the Sabbath are the same. 

    Do I "give God" one day a week while I take six for myself to do whatever I want (or need) to do without thinking about God or considering Him during "my time?"

    Should I focus so much on making money that God (and others) are the furthest thing from my mind?

    Do I keep one day a week "holy" while living the rest of my week unholy?

    While we need to work, we shouldn't compartmentalize God to the point where we only think of Him one day a week.

    While we need to work, we should do everything to the glory of God.

    While we need to work, we should be contributing financially (and with our time and energy) to God's work in our churches and communities. 

    While we need to work, we need to rest. 

    We don't want to live our lives like a hamster in a wheel and at the end of our days look back with regret that we didn't spend enough time loving and learning about God and doing more to love and help people because we lived for the pursuit of money.

    There's a reason you never see a U-Haul behind a hearse. You can't take it with you when you die. 

    It's not all about the Benjamin's or the pursuit of them. It's all about God and others. 

  2. I looove your comment & explanations! 

    I am so truly happy to be serving God by serving others – He blesses me so, even though I know I don't deserve it. 

    LLCC was on my mind this morning, and I have such a huge amount of joy that I get to spend part of the Sabbath with all of you. I used to dread getting up early on Sunday in order to go to church; now, I can't wait until Sunday morning! 

    Jesus has transformed my life through Love and Light Christian Church. 

  3. So much I've wanted to write here about the Sabbath, because it's so important, but I can't get my thoughts together on it right now. So I'll just share a few Scriptures that have become signposts over the years: 

    1) God completed all of Creation in 6 days, and blessed the 7th day and declared it holy (consecrated and set apart to Him).

    "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation." Genesis 2:1-3

    2) God commanded Israel to do the same.

    “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places." Leviticus 23:3

    3) God took this commandment seriously, even placing it in the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 20:8) 

    4) The keeping of God's Law perfectly became the goal for God's people, because they placed the responsibility of securing God's favor and mercy on themselves — on their works. So over time, many rules and regulations were instituted by priests to "help" God's people determine what constituted work and what didn't. The Sabbath became a heavy burden. 

    Jesus changed that:

    "And [Jesus] said to them, 'The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.'" Mark 2:27-28

    4) Our faith in Jesus Christ has set us free from the burden of seeking salvation-by-works, and free from man-made rules and regulations about "how to keep" the Sabbath (as well as man-made rules and regulations about other commandments of God).

     "Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ." Colossians 2:16

    5) We are not to judge our brothers and sisters in Christ according to man-made standards, rules and regulations concerning the Sabbath or other commandments of God. 

    "One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God." Romans 14:5-6

    6) In regards to the Sabbath…

    "So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his." Hebrew 4:10 (read all of Hebrews 4!)


    Thank you, God! 

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