Another "standard" week begins. Spent last evening at the home (next door) of Dear Wife's niece and her husband and daughter, and also Dear Wife's sister and her husband. Idea was to watch the Super Bowl and eat chili, etc. We ate chili. And the TV was on with the game. BORING! game, and almost no one watched it. Almost everyone sat in the living room surfing on their phones, playing games on the phones, Niece was doing some things for her side business on the desktop computer in the corner, and everyone took turns paying some attention to The Little One. The get-together is nice and all, and the chili was fine. Beyond that, not sure what this was all intended to do. Not evil, just sort of pointless.
And the game was awful.
Dear Wife is in a whole lot of pain with her infected jaw. Lord willing, we will be visiting an oral surgeon tomorrow morning to plan a wholesale removal of her teeth, most of which are infected throughout, pouring junk into her system, and generally dragging her down. And causing immense pain in the process.
So it should be an interesting week.
The Old Testament reading today is chapters 31, 32, and 33 of the Exodus. Lots here. In the midst of Moses up on the mountain meeting with the Lord and receiving His commandments and seeing some evidence that the Lord had a plan going, the people decided that was a good time to go off on their own way. And did. With the usual predictable results.. Judgment and disaster.
And as Moses is bringing the Law, there is rebellion. And death.
There are a few passages later in Scripture that rather touch on this episode. The rebellion here results in the death of 3000 Israelites. In the New Testament, on the day of Pentecost, 3000 are saved. Consider a verse we will encounter later, "the Law killeth, but the Spirit giveth life" You really thing those matching numbers are just a weird coincidence? Suit yourself, but I think the Lord was making a point.
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,
“and the finely worked garments, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, for their service as priests,
“and the anointing oil and the fragrant incense for the Holy Place. According to all that I have commanded you, they shall do.”
And the Lord said to Moses,
“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.
“‘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.
“‘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.
“‘Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever.
“‘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.’”
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.
When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”
So Aaron said to them, “Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.”
So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron.
And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!”
When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.”
And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.
And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves.
“They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’”
And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people.
“Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.”
But Moses implored the Lord his God and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?
“Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent did he bring them out, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your burning anger and relent from this disaster against your people.
“Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.’”
And the Lord relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.
Then Moses turned and went down from the mountain with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, tablets that were written on both sides; on the front and on the back they were written.
The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.
When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, “There is a noise of war in the camp.”
But he said, “It is not the sound of shouting for victory, or the sound of the cry of defeat, but the sound of singing that I hear.”
And as soon as he came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses’ anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain.
He took the calf that they had made and burned it with fire and ground it to powder and scattered it on the water and made the people of Israel drink it.
And Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you that you have brought such a great sin upon them?”
And Aaron said, “Let not the anger of my lord burn hot. You know the people, that they are set on evil.
“For they said to me, ‘Make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’
“So I said to them, ‘Let any who have gold take it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.”
And when Moses saw that the people had broken loose (for Aaron had let them break loose, to the derision of their enemies),
then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Come to me.” And all the sons of Levi gathered around him.
And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Put your sword on your side each of you, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you kill his brother and his companion and his neighbor.’”
And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And that day about three thousand men of the people fell.
And Moses said, “Today you have been ordained for the service of the Lord, each one at the cost of his son and of his brother, so that he might bestow a blessing upon you this day.”
The next day Moses said to the people, “You have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”
So Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Alas, this people has sinned a great sin. They have made for themselves gods of gold.
“But now, if you will forgive their sin–but if not, please blot me out of your book that you have written.”
But the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot out of my book.
“But now go, lead the people to the place about which I have spoken to you; behold, my angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them.”
Then the Lord sent a plague on the people, because they made the calf, the one that Aaron made.
The Lord said to Moses, “Depart; go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give it.’
“I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
“Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.”
When the people heard this disastrous word, they mourned, and no one put on his ornaments.
For the Lord had said to Moses, “Say to the people of Israel, ‘You are a stiff-necked people; if for a single moment I should go up among you, I would consume you. So now take off your ornaments, that I may know what to do with you.’”
Therefore the people of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments, from Mount Horeb onward.
Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp.
Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would rise up, and each would stand at his tent door, and watch Moses until he had gone into the tent.
When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses.
And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door.
Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.
Moses said to the Lord, “See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’
“Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.”
And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here.
“For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”
And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.”
Moses said, “Please show me your glory.”
And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
“But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.”
And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock,
“and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by.
“Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.”
The New Testament reading is verses 23-46 from the 22nd chapter in the Gospel of Matthew. Keep in mind, this is all occurring in those few days between Palm Sunday and Easter. Very heavy stuff going on here, no light "fluff" at all.
The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question,
saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.’
“Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no offspring left his wife to his brother.
“So too the second and third, down to the seventh.
“After them all, the woman died.
“In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.”
But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.
“For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
“And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God:
“‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.”
And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching.
But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together.
And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
“This is the great and first commandment.
“And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
“On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question,
saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.”
He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,
“‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet”’?
“If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?”
And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.