Bible Reading Plan (Day 70)

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DAY SEVENTY — Exodus 23, John 2

Ex 23

Social Justice laws continue. So far, I haven’t seen anything about any kind of an income redistribution plan.

Honesty, even if it goes against the grain of society at large, is a must.

We must treat even our enemies with a level of basic respect. … Let me say that this law is indirect proof of how God views humanity. If the Lord viewed us as all “basically good” what reason would He have to tell us to bring back and aid our enemies lost livestock.

Again… honesty, especially in the judicial realm, is commanded.

Travelers should not be taken advantage of. (Does that include the fifteen dollar admission to “THE BIGGEST BALL OF TWINE IN MINNESOTA” even if you just need to use the restroom?)

God now transitions back to laws regarding the people’s relationship to Him.

Just as the seventh day is meant to be used as a Sabbath, a day of rest, the seventh year is to be a year of rest for the land and for the people.  However we also see the first signs of welfare.  What is left of the land the poor are allowed to gather for their food.

Again, the Lord makes the prohibition against having any other God before Him. 

The Lord also institutes three feasts that the Israelite people are to observe.  The Feast Of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering.

Sacrifices are to be done in a certain way, and with respect to the animals involved.  Offerings are to come from the best that one has.

Now it gets interesting again. (It has been interesting the whole time, but this is a little more of a different tone.) The Lord gives instruction in the taking over of the land of Canaan. God’s angel will prepare the place to be taken over. When the people do they are to destroy all the false gods in that place. They are also not to make any covenant with them since Israel is a holy people and cannot therefore have any connection to an unholy thing. In fact, if they even leave one person living there, he/she will cause them to fall away.

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Jn 2

This is the first miracle recorded in John’s gospel. Jesus does all these miracles to point to who he is. This one shows not that he is a lush or in favor of good liquor at parties, but that the old comes first, but the new is better.

John places the cleansing of the temple at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. It is possible that he did so for theological reasons (keep in mind that ancient middle east biography does not follow modern western style) or that Jesus did it twice. Either way, the principle behind the cleansing is the same. Salvation CANNOT be bought or sold. God’s grace is not a commodity.

Even to those who professed faith in him Jesus would not reveal the full scope of his mission (yet). Why? He knew their hearts. He is God and God does not need anyone to tell him anything about the state of their heart.

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Questions to Ponder:

 * What do you discern on God’s attitude toward the poor and those in socially vulnerable positions based on the last two chapters of Exodus?

* What do you discern Jesus’ attitude toward man is based on John 2?

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