Thursday, 26 Aug 2021: Psalm 15; Exodus 32:1-14; James 1:1-8 ~ trials test our faith

Thursday, 26 Aug 2021:

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening:

Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your
Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your
help, protect and govern it always by your goodness; through
Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the
Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
And let steadfastness have its full effect,
that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
(James 1:2-4)

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Psalms: Psalm 15 
A Psalm of David.

15:1  O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent?
Who shall dwell on your holy hill?

Who May Dwell in Your Sanctuary? – Michaeljon Murphy

He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
and speaks truth in his heart;
who does not slander with his tongue
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
but who honors those who fear the Lord;
who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
who does not put out his money at interest
and does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.

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OT Reading: Exodus 32:1-14 (ESV)

The Golden Calf

32:1  When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” So Aaron said to them, “Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.” And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.

And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’” And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.”

But Moses implored the Lord his God and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent did he bring them out, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your burning anger and relent from this disaster against your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.’” And the Lord relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.

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Promises Maverick City

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NT Reading: James 1:1-8 (ESV)

1:1  James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,

To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings.

Testing of Your Faith

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

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 Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me ~ CityAlight

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Prayer:

+ Gracious Father, we pray for your holy Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Savior. Amen.

+ Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

+ Our God, in whom we trust: Strengthen us not to regard overmuch who is for us or who is against us, but to see to it that we be with you in everything we do. Amen.

+ O God, the Creator of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth; deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you in Jesus Christ; in whose Name we pray. Amen.

+ Christ as a light, illumine and guide us. Christ as a shield, overshadow us. Christ under us; Christ over us; Christ beside us on our left and our right. This day be within and without us, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom we speak; in the mouth of each who speaks to us. This day be within and without us, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside us on our left and our right.

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Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us, wherever He may send us.
May He guide us through the wilderness, protect us through the storm.
May He bring us home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown us.
May He bring us home rejoicing once again into our doors.

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+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Daily Reading: 26 April – The Golden Calf – Exodus 32–34 ~ how soon we forget

Tuesday of Fifth Week of Easter

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

“How quickly they have turned away from the way I commanded them to live!” – Exodus 32:8 (NLT)

E100:5.b The Law and the Land:
The Golden Calf- Exodus 32–34 (NLT)

The Gold Calf

Exodus 32  When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.”

2 So Aaron said, “Take the gold rings from the ears of your wives and sons and daughters, and bring them to me.”

3 All the people took the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, “O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!”

5 Aaron saw how excited the people were, so he built an altar in front of the calf. Then he announced, “Tomorrow will be a festival to the Lord!”

6 The people got up early the next morning to sacrifice burnt offerings and peace offerings. After this, they celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.

The Adoration of the Golden Calf by Nicolas Poussin, 1633 National Gallery, London
The Adoration of the Golden Calf
by Nicolas Poussin, 1633
National Gallery, London

7 The Lord told Moses, “Quick! Go down the mountain! Your people whom you brought from the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. 8 How quickly they have turned away from the way I commanded them to live! They have melted down gold and made a calf, and they have bowed down and sacrificed to it. They are saying, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.’”

9 Then the Lord said, “I have seen how stubborn and rebellious these people are. 10 Now leave me alone so my fierce anger can blaze against them, and I will destroy them. Then I will make you, Moses, into a great nation.”

11 But Moses tried to pacify the Lord his God. “O Lord!” he said. “Why are you so angry with your own people whom you brought from the land of Egypt with such great power and such a strong hand? 12 Why let the Egyptians say, ‘Their God rescued them with the evil intention of slaughtering them in the mountains and wiping them from the face of the earth’? Turn away from your fierce anger. Change your mind about this terrible disaster you have threatened against your people! 13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You bound yourself with an oath to them, saying, ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven. And I will give them all of this land that I have promised to your descendants, and they will possess it forever.’”

14 So the Lord changed his mind about the terrible disaster he had threatened to bring on his people.

15 Then Moses turned and went down the mountain. He held in his hands the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back. 16 These tablets were God’s work; the words on them were written by God himself.

17 When Joshua heard the boisterous noise of the people shouting below them, he exclaimed to Moses, “It sounds like war in the camp!”

18 But Moses replied, “No, it’s not a shout of victory nor the wailing of defeat. I hear the sound of a celebration.”

Moses Smashing the Tablets of the Law Rembrandt, 1659 Gemäldegalerie, Berlin
Moses Smashing the Tablets of the Law
Rembrandt, 1659
Gemäldegalerie, Berlin

19 When they came near the camp, Moses saw the calf and the dancing, and he burned with anger. He threw the stone tablets to the ground, smashing them at the foot of the mountain. 20 He took the calf they had made and burned it. Then he ground it into powder, threw it into the water, and forced the people to drink it.

21 Finally, he turned to Aaron and demanded, “What did these people do to you to make you bring such terrible sin upon them?”

22 “Don’t get so upset, my lord,” Aaron replied. “You yourself know how evil these people are. 23 They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.’ 24 So I told them, ‘Whoever has gold jewelry, take it off.’ When they brought it to me, I simply threw it into the fire—and out came this calf!”

25 Moses saw that Aaron had let the people get completely out of control, much to the amusement of their enemies. 26 So he stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, “All of you who are on the Lord’s side, come here and join me.” And all the Levites gathered around him.

27 Moses told them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Each of you, take your swords and go back and forth from one end of the camp to the other. Kill everyone—even your brothers, friends, and neighbors.” 28 The Levites obeyed Moses’ command, and about 3,000 people died that day.

29 Then Moses told the Levites, “Today you have ordained yourselves for the service of the Lord, for you obeyed him even though it meant killing your own sons and brothers. Today you have earned a blessing.”

Moses Intercedes for Israel

30 The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a terrible sin, but I will go back up to the Lord on the mountain. Perhaps I will be able to obtain forgiveness for your sin.”

31 So Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a terrible sin these people have committed. They have made gods of gold for themselves. 32 But now, if you will only forgive their sin—but if not, erase my name from the record you have written!”

33 But the Lord replied to Moses, “No, I will erase the name of everyone who has sinned against me. 34 Now go, lead the people to the place I told you about. Look! My angel will lead the way before you. And when I come to call the people to account, I will certainly hold them responsible for their sins.”

35 Then the Lord sent a great plague upon the people because they had worshiped the calf Aaron had made.

Exodus 33  The Lord said to Moses, “Get going, you and the people you brought up from the land of Egypt. Go up to the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I told them, ‘I will give this land to your descendants.’ 2 And I will send an angel before you to drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 3 Go up to this land that flows with milk and honey. But I will not travel among you, for you are a stubborn and rebellious people. If I did, I would surely destroy you along the way.”

4 When the people heard these stern words, they went into mourning and stopped wearing their jewelry and fine clothes. 5 For the Lord had told Moses to tell them, “You are a stubborn and rebellious people. If I were to travel with you for even a moment, I would destroy you. Remove your jewelry and fine clothes while I decide what to do with you.” 6 So from the time they left Mount Sinai, the Israelites wore no more jewelry or fine clothes.

7 It was Moses’ practice to take the Tent of Meeting and set it up some distance from the camp. Everyone who wanted to make a request of the Lord would go to the Tent of Meeting outside the camp.

8 Whenever Moses went out to the Tent of Meeting, all the people would get up and stand in the entrances of their own tents. They would all watch Moses until he disappeared inside. 9 As he went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and hover at its entrance while the Lord spoke with Moses. 10 When the people saw the cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, they would stand and bow down in front of their own tents. 11 Inside the Tent of Meeting, the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Afterward Moses would return to the camp, but the young man who assisted him, Joshua son of Nun, would remain behind in the Tent of Meeting.

Moses Sees the Lord’s Glory

12 One day Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Take these people up to the Promised Land.’ But you haven’t told me whom you will send with me. You have told me, ‘I know you by name, and I look favorably on you.’ 13 If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.”

14 The Lord replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.”

15 Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. 16 How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.”

Moses in the Cleft of the Rock The Artisans Gallery
Moses in the Cleft of the Rock
The Artisans Gallery

17 The Lord replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.”

18 Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.”

19 The Lord replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. 20 But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.” 21 The Lord continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock. 22 As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.”

A New Copy of the Covenant

Exodus 34  Then the Lord told Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones. I will write on them the same words that were on the tablets you smashed. 2 Be ready in the morning to climb up Mount Sinai and present yourself to me on the top of the mountain. 3 No one else may come with you. In fact, no one is to appear anywhere on the mountain. Do not even let the flocks or herds graze near the mountain.”

4 So Moses chiseled out two tablets of stone like the first ones. Early in the morning he climbed Mount Sinai as the Lord had commanded him, and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands.

5 Then the Lord came down in a cloud and stood there with him; and he called out his own name, Yahweh. 6 The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out,

“Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. 7 I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations.”

8 Moses immediately threw himself to the ground and worshiped. 9 And he said, “O Lord, if it is true that I have found favor with you, then please travel with us. Yes, this is a stubborn and rebellious people, but please forgive our iniquity and our sins. Claim us as your own special possession.”

10 The Lord replied, “Listen, I am making a covenant with you in the presence of all your people. I will perform miracles that have never been performed anywhere in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people around you will see the power of the Lord—the awesome power I will display for you. 11 But listen carefully to everything I command you today. Then I will go ahead of you and drive out the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.

12 “Be very careful never to make a treaty with the people who live in the land where you are going. If you do, you will follow their evil ways and be trapped. 13 Instead, you must break down their pagan altars, smash their sacred pillars, and cut down their Asherah poles. 14 You must worship no other gods, for the Lord, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you.

15 “You must not make a treaty of any kind with the people living in the land. They lust after their gods, offering sacrifices to them. They will invite you to join them in their sacrificial meals, and you will go with them. 16 Then you will accept their daughters, who sacrifice to other gods, as wives for your sons. And they will seduce your sons to commit adultery against me by worshiping other gods. 17 You must not make any gods of molten metal for yourselves.

18 “You must celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread. For seven days the bread you eat must be made without yeast, just as I commanded you. Celebrate this festival annually at the appointed time in early spring, in the month of Abib, for that is the anniversary of your departure from Egypt.

19 “The firstborn of every animal belongs to me, including the firstborn males from your herds of cattle and your flocks of sheep and goats. 20 A firstborn donkey may be bought back from the Lord by presenting a lamb or young goat in its place. But if you do not buy it back, you must break its neck. However, you must buy back every firstborn son.

“No one may appear before me without an offering.

21 “You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day you must stop working, even during the seasons of plowing and harvest.

22 “You must celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the first crop of the wheat harvest, and celebrate the Festival of the Final Harvest at the end of the harvest season. 23 Three times each year every man in Israel must appear before the Sovereign, the Lord, the God of Israel. 24 I will drive out the other nations ahead of you and expand your territory, so no one will covet and conquer your land while you appear before the Lord your God three times each year.

25 “You must not offer the blood of my sacrificial offerings together with any baked goods containing yeast. And none of the meat of the Passover sacrifice may be kept over until the next morning.

26 “As you harvest your crops, bring the very best of the first harvest to the house of the Lord your God.

“You must not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.”

Moses receiving the Tablets of Law Marc Chagall, 1966 Musée National Message Biblique Marc Chagall, Nice, France
Moses receiving the Tablets of Law
Marc Chagall, 1966
Musée National Message Biblique Marc Chagall, Nice, France

27 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write down all these instructions, for they represent the terms of the covenant I am making with you and with Israel.”

28 Moses remained there on the mountain with the Lord forty days and forty nights. In all that time he ate no bread and drank no water. And the Lord wrote the terms of the covenant—the Ten Commandments—on the stone tablets.

29 When Moses came down Mount Sinai carrying the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, he wasn’t aware that his face had become radiant because he had spoken to the Lord. 30 So when Aaron and the people of Israel saw the radiance of Moses’ face, they were afraid to come near him.

31 But Moses called out to them and asked Aaron and all the leaders of the community to come over, and he talked with them. 32 Then all the people of Israel approached him, and Moses gave them all the instructions the Lord had given him on Mount Sinai. 33 When Moses finished speaking with them, he covered his face with a veil. 34 But whenever he went into the Tent of Meeting to speak with the Lord, he would remove the veil until he came out again. Then he would give the people whatever instructions the Lord had given him, 35 and the people of Israel would see the radiant glow of his face. So he would put the veil over his face until he returned to speak with the Lord.

“Show Me Your Glory” – Third Day

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, give me the heart of Moses, who cared only to see Your glory.

Give me a holy desire to glorify You in my private life, in my public life, and in all my associations. May You be my most prized treasure. I pray You will receive glory from my life. Today, show me Your glory through Your Word and help me to reflect this glory to others. Let me be like Moses who did not know that his face shone — may I live in Your presence and radiate Your presence to others.

Consume me with a desire to see You glorified in my life. Show me Your Glory! I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Closing Sentence

“How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.” – Exodus 33:16 (NLT)

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!