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“40 Days and 40 Nights of God’s Word”
DAY 4: JULY 26
EXODUS 32 – LEVITICUS 17:16
OK – hands up if you skipped through parts of this reading!
Be honest, now. (Don’t be shy!)
My hand is up. In fact, both of my hands are up (lots of skipping going on here!). To make up for it, though, I read through the non-skipped parts twice, which I’m glad I did. As I’ve mentioned previously, no matter how many times I read the Bible, something always pops up that I hadn’t noticed before. I love those parts. That’s God highlighting things for me in invisible yellow ink, and saying: “Take note of this. It’s going to be useful for you.”
- Still can’t get a handle on Moses’ brother, Aaron, and why he caved so quickly to the pressure to make a golden calf. I’m guessing he was a bit of an honest politician in his role as go-between and spokesperson for Moses. But dang, he sure gave in double-time to the people’s demands. Maybe he just wanted to keep the peace and avoid a riot. Whatever the reason, it didn’t take long for the people involved in the golden calf worship to forget everything God had done for them in getting them out of Egypt, though they did pay the ultimate price in the end. Aaron’s own sons later fell for the same temptation and were immediately killed. God didn’t mess around in those days.
- I like how Moses was able to prevent God from destroying the Israelites for their sin by reminding him of his promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. You kinda have the feeling that God wasn’t actually going to destroy them, but he needed to hear the plea from Moses. It was a test; God had told Moses that if he destroyed the children of Israel, he would then make Moses’ lineage great, but Moses turned down the offer. He pleaded instead for all the children of Israel and for God to keep his promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (which, by the way, God has done to this very day).
- As a reward for Moses’ selflessness, God promised Moses that his (that is, God’s) presence would remain with his people throughout their journey and for all time, and that in fact his presence would be the sign that separated them from the rest of the world. God’s promise to Moses, like the ones he made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, also continues to this day. We are God’s people, if we’re born-again followers of Jesus, and God’s presence is still with us. It’s what differentiates us from the rest of the world.
- The description of the tabernacle (the actual first temple, when you think about it) and all the beautiful things that were made for it was a little bit skip-over territory for me, as were the laws on sin offerings, burnt offerings, peace offerings, etc. I read these sections enough to get a general idea of them, but I didn’t focus too closely on the details. How about you? Some believers who are more artistically inclined may have found the description of the tabernacle fascinating. The details were obviously important to God at the time and the people were expected to follow them to the letter, but that tabernacle is long gone now, replaced by the temples of the bodies of true believers. We are the tabernacles of God’s Spirit, if we’re born again.
- The sin offerings and burnt offerings and peace offerings, etc., I also mostly skipped over, as I mentioned above. Even so, I read them enough to see which ones are referred to by Jesus later on. This is good background material and we should have a general idea of the rituals, but they’re no longer required of God’s people. Jesus was the final sacrifice once for all. No more are needed.
- There’s a little bit more skip-over territory coming up in the next days, and then we’re back into the meat of things. But maybe you’re more diligent in your Bible reading than I am and you don’t skip over. I have to admit that I was much more interested in the details about the tabernacle this time around than in previous read-throughs. Like I said before, every time you read through the Bible, God draws your attention to something else.
- I was particularly struck this time by how only the people who felt called to contribute to the materials for building the tabernacle were tasked with doing it. They were, of their own free will, asked to provide the gold, silver, wood, fabric, labour, skills, and so on. There were no pressure sales tactics; only those who felt drawn to do it and called to do it were tasked with doing it.
- This is a stark contrast to today’s church obligations, where people are expected to “volunteer” to help with this or that activity or are pressured to donate, even if they don’t want to. A completely different project emerges from a group effort where all the people involved wholeheartedly want to do it compared to a group effort where only a few or even none want to do it, but are only going through the motions out of a sense of obligation. Jesus says that God is looking for people to worship him in spirit and in truth, not out of obligation. This proto-temple group effort showed what God meant by that. Scripture calls these people who willingly stepped forward “wise”. We would be wise to take note of that.
So what jumped out at you in this reading? Did you skip over anything, or did you put me to shame and read every last word?
God loves it when his kids read his Word, especially when they read it together like we’re doing now. He wants us to respect his Word (obviously), but he doesn’t want us to worship it and to feel that we have to speak in hushed tones and walk on eggshells around it. He wants us to come to his Word exactly as we come to him – face bared, soul bared, and with no pretenses. He knows what’s in our hearts, anyway, so we might as well be open about it.
The BIBLE READ-THROUGH SCHEDULE on PDF is directly below:
“40 Days and 40 Nights of God’s Word”
DAY 2: JULY 24
GENESIS 29 – EXODUS 4:31
- The primary themes of moving/leaving to survive, obedience to God, and having a personal relationship with God continue in this reading. Another theme has also blossomed here, which is the God-given right to deceive, if the deception means the godly survival of the one doing the deceiving. We saw this seed planted already in Day 1’s reading with Abraham passing off his wife Sarah as his sister to ensure their survival among the non-Hebrews, but it really takes off in the reading today. Deception abounds, though not all of it is blessed and encouraged by God.
- When learning the 10 Commandments after I was born-again, I was intrigued that God commands us not to bear false witness; he doesn’t command us not to lie, although many people misconstrue the Commandment as being not to lie. So lying, in and of itself, is not a sin if it’s used for godly purposes. God gives his children leeway to lie if lying saves their butt and furthers his plan. We’ll see more of this as the readings proceed.
- I love the story of Joseph! How he had to cheerfully endure injustice after injustice (that is, test after test) in order to end up in a position of authority that would ultimately enable him to save what would later become the 12 tribes of Israel is classic God (as in “the Lord moves in mysterious way, his wonders to perform”). It’s also a good lesson for us on how to deal with adversity (patient endurance), knowing that God is always in control and his plan is on track, even though it may not look that way while you’re in the midst of it.
- Joseph’s love for his brothers brings me to tears every time. I cry when he cries. Joseph weeping over his brothers reminds me of Jesus weeping with Martha and Mary over the death of their brother Lazarus, even though Jesus secretly knows that Lazarus will be brought back to life shortly. The depth of Joseph’s love and compassion for his brothers’ suffering is intensely moving. He knows he has to make them suffer for what they did to him, but it hurts him to do it. He isn’t punishing them out of hatred or revenge; he is just doing what has to be done, all the while loving them.
- As with many of the main Bible figures (our spiritual forefathers), most of the offspring of Jacob (Israel) were problem children. They were not like their father. In fact, in their younger years, some of them were downright nasty. Nonetheless, we can see during their interchanges with Joseph in Egypt that they had become godlier with age. But their father’s final blessing of them before his death reveals their core characters, and not all of them are admirable.
- Note in particular Israel’s blessing of Judah, Jesus’ tribe. This is one of the early messianic prophecies.
- Even so, warts and all, the twelve sons of Jacobs are the patriarchs of the twelve tribes of Israel and remain so to this day.
- I like that scripture shows the warts and weaknesses as well as the strengths. It humanizes the people being portrayed. It gives them an immediacy that overcomes the thousands of years and different cultures that separate us. These people are our spiritual kinfolk. They served the same God we now serve. They spoke with the same God we now speak with. And they love the same God we love. This makes them our spiritual brethren, and it’s good that we get to know them through scripture. If and when we make it to Heaven, we’ll get to know them in person.
- Really looking forward to getting deeper into the Exodus in tomorrow’s reading! Love the “rod of God” that became symbolic of Moses and is still used out of context today for other far less godly purposes.
- Never a dull moment in the Bible!
By the way, you’re welcome to post your own reflections of the day’s reading in the comment section. If you’ve posted it elsewhere, just copy and paste it here. One of the glories of God’s Word is that we all see different things in it at different times, depending on what’s going in our own lives and what we need to learn.
What jumped out at you in this reading? What did you see this time that you hadn’t noticed before?
Feel free to let us know! Share it with us below.
BIBLE READ-THROUGH SCHEDULE ON PDF:
“40 Days and 40 Nights of God’s Word”
DAY 1: JULY 23
GENESIS 1 – GENESIS 28:22
This is probably the densest, most action-packed section of the Bible. As you can see from the Highlights below, the early chapters of Genesis cover all the major events that have become the foundational bedrock of Christianity. You don’t have to know much about the Bible to know the story of Adam and Eve or Noah or Sodom, but today you have the chance to learn about these people and events in detail and in chronological order. If you’re a born-again Christian, this is a history of your people. These are your spiritual kinfolk. Get to know them!
- The creation
- The temptation and fall of Adam and Eve
- Expulsion from the Garden of Eden
- Cain’s murder of Abel
- Noah’s lineage from Adam
- The ark and the flood
- God’s covenant with Noah
- Abram becomes Abraham
- God’s covenant with Abraham
- The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
- The birth of Isaac
- Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac
- Jacob and Esau
- Jacob tricks Isaac
POINTS TO PONDER:
- What reasons did God give for expelling Adam and Eve from the Garden? And who is God talking to in Genesis 3:22?
- Why do you think God decided to destroy his creation with a flood instead of some other means?
- What does the rainbow signify to God?
Bible Read-Through full schedule (July 23-August 31) on PDF:
Just a few thoughts on “Bible Read-Through Eve” (lol) before we start our 40-day trek through God’s Word tomorrow.
I posted the read-through info yesterday on Godlike Productions, which no, is not a Christian forum, but some of God’s people are there. They took the ball and ran with it, and now we’ve got a whole host of believers joining us on our journey.
Here’s the thread: https://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message4852497/pg1
The GLPers also brought up some good points that I’d like to share with you.
- A few of them mentioned keeping a notebook and pen handy while you’re doing the read-through, in case you want to write down some words that you’re unfamiliar with or make a note of passages that you want to go back and reread later. This is an excellent idea. However, if you’d rather just read and leave the note-taking for another time, that’s good, too. Do whatever works best for you.
- Some were under the impression that we’re going to stream a live read-through, which frankly would be amazing, but that’s not what this is. This read-through is each of us reading on our own but reading the same sections of scripture on the same day. If you prefer to have someone read you the Bible, you can listen to the audio version. You can probably find one online. I prefer holding the Bible in my hands and seeing the words in front of me, but some people prefer having the words read to them. As my grandmother used to say: “To each his own!” Whatever works best for you, do it.
- If you find the daily readings are too short and you want to keep going, you can do as you please. However, it would be best if we all read the same passages on the same day, reliving the spectrum of events together in the same order and more or less at the same time. That’s one of the reasons for doing the read-through together. Maybe instead of going ahead, you could go back and reread some sections that particularly piqued your interest, or you could do an online search on those sections that interested you, to flesh out your understanding with some background material. Or you could do some research on the Bible in general and on how it evolved to the Book we have in our hands today. Again – do whatever works for you, but it would still be best if you could stick with the schedule so that we all finish together on August 31st.
- If you find the daily readings are too long and you’re having trouble keeping up, just skim over the words and let the ones that speak to you sink in. I can’t stress enough how important it is that the whole Bible be read, not just bits and pieces of it – the whole Bible from cover to cover. If skimming is how you can get through the daily readings, then by all means, skim. But if you find you have time after you’ve finished the skimming, then go back and try to read a little deeper. We are to do this read-through “with loins girded, shoes our feet, and staff in hand” – that means, we’re to do it in haste but with our senses fully tuned-in to our task at hand. Remember: you’ll get out of this Bible read-through as much as you put into it, so give it all you’ve got!
- A few people on GLP were curious about which version of the King James Bible we were going to be reading. Whatever version you have at hand is the version we’re going to use. If you choose instead to use a Catholic Bible, the schedule will be slightly off and you might get side-tracked by all the footnotes. But I’m not going to tell you not to use a Catholic Bible, if that’s what you want to read. Me, I prefer my trusty olde English KJV. 😀
Finally, I’d like to remind everyone that this is not a competition or a knowledge exam. It’s an invitation and a blessing that will continue to bless you for years to come. Immersing yourself in God’s Word for 40 days and 40 nights will open new doors to you that you never knew existed. God will make a path for you where you thought there was none. I know, because I’ve done Bible read-throughs, and every time I finish, I want to start all over again. God’s Word is addictive, and the blessings that come from reading his Word from cover to cover are enormous.
But don’t just take my word for it – find out for yourself!
We start tomorrow, July 23, at Genesis 1. Here again is the full schedule:
Thank you so much for accepting the invitation to join the read-through and for handing on the invitation to others.
May God bless you for your efforts!
Please see my previous blog about the Bible Read-Through.
You can get the schedule on PDF by clicking on the dark gray oblong bible-read-through “Download” button below, or you can squint at the two images of the schedule below the Download button.
I’ll be posting the readings early on each of the 40 days from July 23 to August 31, so if you don’t want either to download or squint, you can just check back here to follow along.
This read-through is really important. As I mentioned earlier, it’s not a Bible study, it’s a “loins girded, shoes on feet, staff in hand” kind of reading. It’s urgent and it’s required. I don’t know why it needs to be done now, but God’s leading me to do it now, so I’m doing it.
If your spiritual life were a meal, this Bible Read-Through would be your spiritual veggies. You’re not expected to savor each mouthful, just get the veggies into you and swallow them down. Your body will take care of the rest.
Here’s the Download button for the schedule on PDF:
… and here’s the squinty version:
For anyone who’s interested, I’m doing a Bible read-through starting with Genesis on Friday, July 23rd, and ending at Revelation on Tuesday, August 31st, 2021.
That’s 40 days and 40 nights of God’s Word.
To read the Bible in 40 days and 40 nights, I’ve divided it into 40 readings of roughly 20 pages each. That should take around 2 hours a day. This is not a Bible study, so a deep reading is not the aim here. I’ll be reading with my lamp topped up and my loins girded, so to speak. Again, this is a read-through, not a study.
I usually read the Bible from cover to cover a few times a year, but not at that pace. (I normally take twice as long.) But God said to do it in 40 days and 40 nights and to finish it by the end of August, so that’s what I’m doing. He also said to mention it to you guys in case you might want to do it, too.
It would be great if we could all read the Bible together at more or less the same time, like a cloud of witnesses.
If you think God’s calling you to do this, I suggest you do it. We’ve got some dark days ahead. Born-agains prep by reading God’s Word and remaining in prayer with God and Jesus at all times. Doing a read-through now will help you strengthen your spiritual muscles. We need to be strong for what’s coming. We need to be strong for ourselves and for each other.
I’ll be posting the 40 daily readings later this week on my blog.
The Bible will be the King James Version.