Bible Reading and Commentary for the Week December 12-17, 2016

Bible Reading and Commentary for the Week
December 12-17, 2016

Monday, December 12, Exodus 32
Vv. 1-6 — When Israel said to Aaron, “Make us gods,” Aaron should have taken a firm stand on the basis of God’s Law. Instead, he tried to persuade the Israelites by human ingenuity or cleverness. Giving up their gold jewelry and building an altar before the golden calf to worship the Lord didn’t dissuade them. Sin can never be dealt with by alternative routes. The correct answer to what is morally right and wrong is God’s Moral Law. The only correct answer to sin being forgiven is always the Gospel. (John 3:16; I John 1:7)
v. 11 — God does get angry with sin. As a result, the Lord may discipline us as He did Israel. (Heb. 12: 5-6) He, however, doesn’t cast aside the repentant Christian. He forgives us and strengthens us through the Gospel and Sacraments.
Vv. 11-14 — Moses, as a Mediator, helped Israel only as far as their earthly life was concerned. Who is the only Mediator to assure us of God’s pardon, love, and assurance of eternal life? Hymn 376 has the answer. Sing it for your devotion.
v. 25 — What they were involved in, is found in I Cor. 10:7-8.

Tuesday, December 13, Exodus 33
Vv. 18-23 — What Moses desired to see, we all do. The Psalmist spoke of that in Ps. 73:25, 26. We sing of it in the Christmas hymn, “Oh, that we were there!” Here on earth we sinners cannot see God in His full glory and expect to live. We find and receive God’s rich, full peace, love, mercy, comfort and forgiveness in His Word, the message of salvation. That sustains us, strengthens us and reassures us until we see God face to face someday in heaven. (I John 3:2) What Moses saw then was only an outward manifestation of the Lord’s glory.

Wednesday, December 14, Exodus 34
Vv. 6-7 — In these verses, we have a beautiful example of the Law and Gospel. Through the Law, God must and will punish the sinner. Through the Gospel, the redeeming work of Jesus, God reveals himself as a merciful and forgiving God who forgives all of our iniquity. (I John 1:7)
Vv. 29-35 — As Moses reflected the glory of God, so do we. But that only happens when we approach God through faith in Jesus. As Israel couldn’t see God’s reflected glory because of the veil on Moses’ face, so by going through the Law to God, a person’s heart would be covered by a veil and cut off from God’s glory. Only the Holy Spirit can take away that veil. He does so at Baptism. At Baptism we become Christians and we begin to reflect the Lord’s glory. We are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
II Cor. 3:12-18.

Thursday, December 15, Exodus 35
v. 29 — In Deut. 14:22, God demanded a tithe (10%) from the Israelites as an offering to Him. This tithe was to be given in the same spirit as the Jews brought their offerings for the building of the tabernacle. They gave willingly out of love for the Lord. (II Cor. 9:7)

Friday, December 16, Exodus 36, 37
Chap. 36:6 — What a tremendous outpouring of love! No one was forced to give. This generous, super-lavish outpouring came because Jewish hearts were stirred by God’s love (chap. 35:21). Before we make out our envelopes on Sunday morning, it would be well to read through The Apostles’ Creed in the Catechism or to think about God’s amazing love in John 3:16 or Rom. 3:23, 24.
Chap. 37:10-11 — Moses records in Leviticus 24:5-9 that 12 loaves of bread (representing the 12 tribes of Israel) were placed on the table. It was a reminder of the Lord’s presence and daily care for Israel. Take this opportunity to review the 4th petition of the Lord’s Prayer. Thank the Lord for all His earthly blessings in your daily life!

Saturday, December 17, Exodus 38-40
Chap. 38:8 — In case you’re wondering how they could make a bronze washing basin out of mirrors, note that “mirrors” in Israel were made out of highly polished bronze.
Chap. 39:42-43 — To see the ornate robes of the priests, the beauty and craftsmanship of the tabernacle and its decorations must have been an impressive sight! Only the best–and it was all done for the Lord.
Chap. 40:34-38 — As the “glory of the LORD” filled the tabernacle, the cloud and the fire were signs that the LORD was present. When it lifted, the Israelites were to move on safely with the Lord’s protection and guidance. Is the Lord present with us in our travels, too? The answer is “Yes!” He promises He’ll never leave us nor forsake us. (Heb. 13:5)

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