OYB February 2

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Exodus 15:19-27, Exodus 16, Exodus 17:1-7
NT: Matthew 22:1-33
Ps: Psalm 27
Pr: Proverbs 6:20-26

Today´s notable verse:

Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.

Exodus 15:27 (NIV)

Israel entered Egypt with 12 sons and 70 descendants altogether (Exodus 1:5). Do the twelve springs and seventy palm trees at Elim have any relationship - symbolic or otherwise - with Israel's entourage, or are these two merely coincidental?

For many are invited, but few are chosen.

Matthew 22:14 (NIV)

Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."

Matthew 22:30 (NIV)

At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.

Matthew 22:21 (NIV)

A trio of difficult-to-comprehend teachings from Jesus. The first invokes the debate between free will versus predestination with respect to salvation. I think our discussion of God's hardening of Pharaoh's heart is enlightening, and I think I can draw the same conclusion: God invites everyone to the marriage banquet, but only chooses those who would be chosen. What, though, to make of the man at the banquet without proper attire, who was thrown out?

The second teaching speaks to a question I have had regarding tithing; do I consider my actual income, or only my after-tax income, when deciding what my tithe is? It's really only a theoretical question, because while what I give now is actually between the two, I believe I am being called to give a different amount that would exceed either - and what part of that is a tithe, and what part is an offering matters little compared to the gratitude in my heart to be able to give to God out of that with which He has blessed and to which He has entrusted me.

The third teaching deals with life after the resurrection, and how it will compare to our earthly lives with respect to marriage. Jesus' teaching makes sense here in that, while in marriage the two become one flesh, the two remain two distinct spiritual beings. Of course, being able to make such a statement doesn't imply that I fully grasp its meaning...

I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

Psalm 27:13 (NIV)

What a beautiful and powerful statement in witness to faith in God's ability to overcome all circumstances!

The One Year Bible Blog asks:

Comments from you & Question of the Day - Based on God's words about the Sabbath in our Exodus readings today, do you take a Sabbath? What do you do - or not do - on the Sabbath? Does it bless the other 6 days of your week? How long have you been in the habit of taking a Sabbath? Is it hard to get in the habit? Any other "tricks of the trade" you can share with all of us about taking a Sabbath?

For one, my employer knows that, for me, work and Sunday are mutually exclusive. My employment does not even exist in my mind on Sundays. Beyond that, I am unsure - being that I am single, saying that Sunday is a "family day" has little meaning. My normal church service is Saturday night, though I do still attend one of the Sunday morning services occasionally (especially weekends that I work one service with the pre-schoolers). I'm curious to see what everyone else has to say on the matter.