Go. "But...but..." GO!

Week 4, Day 5 Exodus 4. 10-17 10 But Moses said to the Lord, ‘O my Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.’ 11 Then the Lord said to him, ‘Who gives speech to mortals? Who makes them mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak.’ 13 But he said, ‘O my Lord, please send someone else.’ 14 Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, ‘What of your brother Aaron the Levite? I know that he can speak fluently; even now he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you his heart will

“The bush was blazing…”

Week 4, Day 3 Exodus 3.1-15 1 Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. 3 Then Moses said, ‘I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.’ 4 When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ 5 Then he said, ‘Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ 6 He s

Hear! Remember! Notice!!

Week 4, Day 1 Exodus 2.23-25; 3.1-15; 4.10-17 The entire passage for this week, which presents excerpts from the early career of Moses, can be found below this post. But I wouldn’t read it if I were you. Instead I would read all of the first 4 chapters of Exodus. As always, you need the rest of the story. Reading that whole section will give you a much better sense of the trouble Israel was in and the trouble Moses was in and the surprises in store for the for the king of Egypt. Today we will consider just Exodus 2. 23-25. 23 After a long time the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned under their slavery, and cried out. Out of the slavery their cry for help rose up to God. 24 God h

And now for some good news...

Week 3, Day 5 Genesis 28. 10-17 10 Jacob left Beer-sheba and went towards Haran. 11 He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. 12 And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And the Lord stood beside him and said, ‘I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; 14 and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and t

How big a lie...

Week 3, Day 3 Genesis 27. 15-23 15 Then Rebekah took the best garments of her elder son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob; 16 and she put the skins of the kids on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17 Then she handed the savory food, and the bread that she had prepared, to her son Jacob. 18 So he went in to his father, and said, ‘My father’; and he said, ‘Here I am; who are you, my son?’ 19 Jacob said to his father, ‘I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, so that you may bless me.’ 20 But Isaac said to his son, ‘How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?’ He answered, ‘Because the L

Stolen Blessing, Part I

Week 3, Day 1 Genesis 27. 1-4 1 When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called his elder son Esau and said to him, ‘My son’; and he answered, ‘Here I am.’ 2 He said, ‘See, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. 3 Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field, and hunt game for me. 4 Then prepare for me savory food, such as I like, and bring it to me to eat, so that I may bless you before I die.’ The saga of Jacob and Esau begins, as twin sibling rivalries often do I suppose, I their mother’s womb. Before their birth the two fight like cat and dog, causing poor Rebekah untold grief. After their 9 month battle, the first

How much darkness can you bear?

Week 2, Day 5 Genesis 22. 6-10 Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac said to his father Abraham, ‘Father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ He said, ‘The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?’ Abraham said, ‘God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son.’ So the two of them walked on together. When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took

Questions, and More Questions

Week 2, Day 3 Genesis 22. 1-3 1 After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ 2He said, ‘Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt-offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.’ 3So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt-offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. Why is Abraham silent when God gives the command to sacrifice Isaac? This questions has puzzled readers since the story first appeared. Just 4 chapters earlier, G


Week 2, Day 1 The Akedah This week, more than most, it is especially important that we read the entire story before looking at its various parts. You will find it below. The story in Genesis 22 is known in Hebrew as the “Akedah”—the Binding of Isaac. We know it more commonly as the “Sacrifice of Isaac”. Far more that most Bible stores, the Akedah has been worked over by scholars and readers from every conceivable angle for almost 3000 years. The rabbis said Scripture has 70 faces. This may be a case of 70 X 7 faces. There are so many questions, and so many problems, raised by this account that we will no doubt need to look at it from many directions to try to make

Rest, Tranquillity, Serenity

Saturday: Genesis 2. 1-4 “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and God rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation. These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.” The Hebrew word translated here as “rest” is “sabbath”. “God finished the work that he had done, and God sabbathed on the seventh day from all the work that he had done.” It turns out that the end of Creation—that is, the purpose of Creation is rest. Think about

Let the Earth Bring Forth...

Friday: Genesis 1. 24-31 “And God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.’ And it was so. God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good. “Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’ So God created humankind in his image, in the image

"Let there be lights in the dome of the sky..."

Thursday: Genesis 1. 14-23 “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.’ And it was so. God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day. And God said, ‘Let the waters bring forth swarms of living

Water, Water Everywhere...

Wednesday: Genesis 1. 6-13 “And God said, ‘Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.’ So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. “And God said, ‘Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, ‘Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every

Darkness, Void, Wind--Light

Week 1, Day 2 Tuesday: Genesis 1. 1-5 “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.” In ancient Near Eastern mythology, and especially for those nations who didn’t “go down to the sea in ships” (Psalm 107.23) the sea was a place of threat and danger; the realm of terrifying monsters. In t

The Beginning

Today I'm starting a new project as a part of our Fall education offering. Most of you know, especially if you are fortunate enough to attend Ruth Dobson's adult Bible study (downstairs around the kitchen table at 9:00 a.m on Sunday mornings--don't miss it!) we've had the practice for the last few years of studying downstairs the same text we later read upstairs in the worship service. This year I am attempting to add a daily devotional reading on the week's story and to send these out to you each day from Monday through Saturday. I say "attempting" because writing this volume of material every day will be challenging, to say the least, so we'll see. Most weeks will have 6 installments

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