Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Presence of the Lord Fills the Tabernacle

Today's Reading:
  • Exodus 39:1 - 40:38
  • Proverbs 9:11 - 12
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Exodus 39:1 - 40:38
At last all the pieces of the Tabernacle were completed and it was time to construct it.  Moses constructed the Tabernacle as told by the Lord in a very specific set of ordered instructions.  Aaron and his sons were ordained as priests to serve from generation to generation.

The most interesting thing to me about this whole process was the end, when the presence of God filled the Tabernacle.  I did not realize that a cloud stayed over the Tabernacle day and night -- cloud by day, filled with fire at night.  It says that when the cloud lifted, the people picked up and journeyed forward, following the Lord.  When the cloud stopped, so did the people.

It really is amazing to think about living with a visible indicator of the Lord's presence as the people of Israel did.  The presence of God can be found in so many places today, but it is something that has to be felt.  I think it would be neat to see it. 

Regardless, I love that the Lord does want a relationship with His people.  He does want us to be close with Him.  I want to be closer to Him.

Proverbs 9:11 - 12
Here we see yet another promise that being wise will lengthen your life.  We are told that we will benefit from being wise, but if we scorn wisdom, we will suffer.  The promise of a longer life is enough for me -- I love reading of anything that promises to increase the length of my life here on Earth.  And right now I am definitely increasing my wisdom by studying this wonderful book that has so much to teach us.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Told by Matthew

    Today’s Reading:
  • Matthew 28:1 - 20
  • Psalm 34:11 - 20
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Matthew 28:1 - 20
My reading of the book of Matthew ended very abruptly today.  In 20 short verses we are told of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It is a joyous event, no doubt -- the most joyous event in history.  But I was slightly disappointed at the lack of detail of this telling. 

I think this is because reading about the death of Jesus upset me so, I was very interested in reading all the details of the resurrection and of Jesus appearing to all those he visited after he had risen.  But I also know that there are three more accounts to read through.  But until that point, I just want to say that it is so entirely wonderful that Jesus was resurrected so that God's plan for us could be complete.

Psalm 34:11 - 20
Here we are told to keep from speaking evil and lies and to do good instead.  We are told that the Lord watches over His people who are righteous and he protects them.  Verse 20 states:
"For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous; no one of them is broken!"
I love that verse, it is very powerful.  Part of me does worry about turning my life over to the Lord's will, because I know that when you are truly following God's will, the troubles and interference will build up against you.  Of course we wish it were easy, but the truth is that it is not.  But no matter what happens, it is important for us to remember that the Lord has our backs.  If there's one thing I've seen over and over again, it's that the Lord will come to our rescue.  Even when all hope is lost.  I thank the Lord for that.

I am very excited because I get to start a new book soon -- Mark.  One of the disadvantages of breaking these readings down so that I can get through them in a two year pace is that I feel like I am studying the same book forever. 

When I look at my readings, I see that it has taken me about 3 months to get through the book of Matthew!  I am reading 4 books at any given time, so it's not like an exclusive study of Matthew has taken so long, but I am excited about moving forward in the New Testament. 

I really have enjoyed my study of Matthew.  As much as I have learned from the Old Testament, it is Matthew so far that has given me pure inspiration in my life.  I suppose that is the way it should be, since the New Testament is our covenant with God.  I am sure that the rest of the NT will be just as fulfilling as Matthew was, and I can't wait!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The $62.126 Million Dollar Tabernacle

Today's Reading:
  • Exodus 37:1 - 38:31
  • Proverbs 9:9 - 10
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Exodus 37:1 - 38:31
In an earlier post I did some math to determine the cost of the lamp stand alone, and that price was $2,067,516 in gold.  Well today I have some new numbers to work with.  These appear to be the final numbers for the amount of metals used in the construction of the Tabernacle.
  • Gold:      2,193 Pounds
  • Silver:    7,545 Pounds
  • Bronze:  5,310 Pounds
So let's find out what cost in today's dollar (March 18, 2012 @ 1:30 PM CT).

Price of Gold:  $1,659.42 per Ounce  ($26,550.72 per pound)

Price of Silver: $32.51 per Ounce ($520.16 per pound)

Price of Bronze: Unfortunately, I was unable to find a reliable price per pound.  I will make a guess of $1 per pound, which could be way under, way over or just about right.  So let's say: $5,310 in bronze.

Tallying up the cost:

Gold:  2,193 x $26,550.72 = $58,225,728.96

Silver: 7,545 x $520.16 = $3,924,607.20

Bronze:  5,310 x $1 = $5,310.00

Total Price of the Tabernacle and all in it in today's dollars:  $62,155,646.16

$62.126 MILLION dollars.  It must have been a sight to behold!

Proverbs 9:9 - 10
These verses tell us more about Wisdom and good judgement.  We are told that instructing the wise will make them wiser and teaching the righteous will cause them to learn even more. 

I know these verses talk about teaching, but I can't ignore the reverse of that, which is the learning.  Even if you are wise, even if you are righteous, we are told here that there is always more to learn and more to gain.  More wisdom and life applications are to be had for everyone. So whether you have more to learn or more to teach, you can still be a part of each side of the equation.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Told by Matthew

    Today’s Reading:
  • Matthew 27:32 - 66
  • Psalm 34:1 - 10
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Matthew 27:32 - 66
Well today I read about the death of Jesus.  I really don't have much to say about this.  As I have said before, it does pain me to have to read about it, but my pain is as insignificant as a fly landing on an elephant's back in comparison to what Jesus went through.  I much look forward to my next reading, when Jesus is raised from the dead.

I will say this one thing that stuck out to me, though -- in Chapter 27, verses 52 and 53, it says that godly men and women were raised from the dead, left the cemetery and appeared to many people.  That is the first I have heard of that and it's quite interesting to read.  I was under the impression that Jesus was the only one resurrected that day.  I look forward to reading other accounts of that passage.

Well, at least the next reading will be far more joyous than what I am reading today!

Psalm 34:1 - 10
"Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing." (34:10)
This first part of this Psalm is all about praising and fearing the Lord.  No matter how strong someone is, no matter how tough, no matter how much of a survivalist; none of that matters if you don't have the Lord on your side.

This Psalm states a few times to pray to the Lord; pray and the Lord will listen.  There is mighty power in prayer, I can attest to that in my own life.  The Lord is great -- you have only to trust in Him to unleash that greatness in your life.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Construction of the Tabernacle

Today's Reading:
  • Exodus 35:10 - 36:38
  • Proverbs 9:7 - 8
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Exodus 35:10 - 36:38
The construction for all pieces of the tabernacle has begun.  Bezalel was especially gifted by God -- he made all sorts of things for the tabernacle.

 I lovee how everyone whose "hearts were willing" (35:22) brought the offerings for the tabernacle and came to do the work for it.  Soon there were more than enough sacrifices to build all that was required for the tabernacle. 

I just want to point out that your heart can be stirred by the Lord, especially while reading the bible.  This is what makes reading the bible different than reading an ordinary book.  Sure, books can motivate you, they can delight you, they can cause all ranges of emotions -- but the bible is a book that stands out against all other books ever written.  Give it a shot.  Even if you're skeptical, say a little prayer that the bible speak to your heart.  Then sit down and read.  Listen to what the bible says to your spirit.

Proverbs 9:7 - 8
It seems I accidentally read a bit too far in my previous Proverbs reading.  Today's reading are the two verses that tell us those who rebuke mockers will get insults in return, and those who correct the wicked will get hurt.  We are told to share our knowledge and Wisdom with those who embrace it. 

I commented in my last reading that you can see this verse playing out with all the comment boards on the internet.  There are ridiculous comments on there, comments that fill you with fury just to read them.  But a sensible reply does absolutely no good, it just gets insults hurled back at you.  So we should all try to take heed of what these verses are trying to teach us.  Breathe, relax, and save our energies for those who enjoy the benefit of them.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Joy of Confessing our Sins Before the Lord

Today's Reading:
  • Psalm 32:1 - 11
  • Psalm 33:1 - 11
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Psalm 32:1 - 33:11
Here we are promised that joy awaits those who confess their sins to the Lord.  We are told not to hide our sins away, for they will simply eat us alive and zap all our strength and energy.  All of that changes, however, when we seek and receive the forgiveness of the Lord.

Have you ever done another person wrong?  Let's say you truly apologize to that person and vow to never do it again.  The person says that they forgive you, but you can tell they have not forgiven and are still holding a grudge.

Now let's think about that same scenario.  In this scenario, you confess to that person that what you have done is wrong, and you are truly sorry, and you will earnestly strive to never do such a thing again.  In this scenario, the person says they forgive you -- and they mean it.  You can tell that they sincerely have forgiven you.  How great does that make you feel?  Doesn't it release a burden from your heart, knowing that you have been truly forgiven?

The love of the Lord, the forgiveness of the Lord, is like that second scenario.  When we ask for the Lord's forgiveness with a true heart, He readily gives it to us.  He truly and unequivocally gives us complete forgiveness for the wrong we have done. 

Why would we want to hold on to our sins instead of releasing them to the Lord?  I know that I can hold on simply because I feel ashamed, or because I'm not ready to admit I was wrong and make an honest attempt to change that part of my life.  But I tell you, when I do let it go, the feeling is incredible.  So whatever you are holding onto, let it go!  There is true joy in releasing these burdens we are holding to the Lord.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pilate Washes his Hands, Let the Blood of Christ be Upon Your Children

Today's Reading:
  • Matthew 27:15 - 31
  • Psalm 33:12 - 22
Matthew 27:15 - 31
Jesus was brought before Pilate to have his fate determined.  Pilate did ask the crowd if he wanted Jesus to be released to them, but at the persuasion of the elders a criminal was chosen to be released instead. 

Pilate then famously washed his hands so that they would be free of the blood shed of the innocent man.  The crowd agreed that they would let the blood be upon them and their children.  All I can think of is that they laid a terrible burden upon themselves and their children that day. 

Jesus was then led away to be flogged.  Afterwards they mocked him with the crown made of thorns while they abused him some more.

I don't really have any more to comment on this right now.  It's difficult to read.  It reminds me of when I watched The Passion of the Christ.  I know he was tortured and suffered greatly.  His death would have to be terrible to be able to atone for all our sins.  And still it gives me distress just to read about it.

Psalm 33:12 - 22
This Psalm reminds us that no strength of our own, nor the strength of our nation, nor the strength of our warriors and warhorses can save us.  Victory is for those who believe and fear the Lord.  The Lord will provide and shield those who trust in Him.  So put your trust in the Lord and the rest will fall in place.