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Israel at Mount Sinai

Israel at Mount Sinai.jpg

Moses was told to consecrate the people. This meant getting them physically and spiritually ready to meet God. The people were to set themselves apart from sin and even ordinary routine in order to dedicate themselves to the God. The act of washing and preparing served to get their minds and hearts ready. When we meet God for worship, we should set aside the cares and pre-occupations of everyday life. Use your time of physical preparations to get your mind ready to meet God.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
5 Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine,
8 The people all answered as one: “Everything that the LORD has spoken we will do.” Moses reported the words of the people to the LORD.
18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the LORD had descended upon it in fire; the smoke went up like the smoke of a kiln, while the whole mountain shook violently.

Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gifts of this New Year 2016. With the welcoming of this year we also welcome You among our midst and truly pray that You bless each one of us with abundant blessings and prosperity. O God! Be gracious and bless us all. Amen

Chapter 19: Israel at Mount Sinai
1 On the third new moon after the Israelites had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day, they came into the wilderness of Sinai.
2 They had journeyed from Rephidim, entered the wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness; Israel camped there in front of the mountain.
3 Then Moses went up to God; the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the Israelites:
4 You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.
5 Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine,
6 but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites.”
7 So Moses came, summoned the elders of the people, and set before them all these words that the LORD had commanded him.
8 The people all answered as one: “Everything that the LORD has spoken we will do.” Moses reported the words of the people to the LORD.
9 Then the LORD said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, in order that the people may hear when I speak with you and so trust you ever after.” When Moses had told the words of the people to the LORD,
10 the LORD said to Moses: “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes
11 and prepare for the third day, because on the third day the LORD will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.
12 You shall set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Be careful not to go up the mountain or to touch the edge of it. Any who touch the mountain shall be put to death.
13 No hand shall touch them, but they shall be stoned or shot with arrows; whether animal or human being, they shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they may go up on the mountain.”

14 So Moses went down from the mountain to the people. He consecrated the people, and they washed their clothes.
15 And he said to the people, “Prepare for the third day; do not go near a woman.”
16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, as well as a thick cloud on the mountain, and a blast of a trumpet so loud that all the people who were in the camp trembled.
17 Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God. They took their stand at the foot of the mountain.
18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the LORD had descended upon it in fire; the smoke went up like the smoke of a kiln, while the whole mountain shook violently.
19 As the blast of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses would speak and God would answer him in thunder.
20 When the LORD descended upon Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain, the LORD summoned Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.
21 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people not to break through to the LORD to look; otherwise many of them will perish.
22 Even the priests who approach the LORD must consecrate themselves or the LORD will break out against them.”
23 Moses said to the LORD, “The people are not permitted to come up to Mount Sinai; for you yourself warned us, saying, ‘Set limits around the mountain and keep it holy.'”
24 The LORD said to him, “Go down, and come up bringing Aaron with you; but do not let either the priests or the people break through to come up to the LORD; otherwise he will break out against them.”
25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.

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Jacob’s Children

jacobs-family

Rachel and Leah were locked in a cruel contest. In their race to have more children they both gave their maidservants to Jacob as concubines. Jacob would have been wise to refuse, even though this was an accepted custom of the day. The fact that a custom is socially acceptable does not mean it is wise or right. You will be spared much heartbreak if you look at the potential consequences, to you other, of your actions. Are you doing anything now that might cause failure problems?

Eventually God answered Rachel’s prayers and gave her a child of her own. In the meantime, however, she had given her maidservants to Jacob. Trusting God when nothing seems to happen is difficult. But it is harder still to live with the consequences of taking matters into our own hands. Resist the temptation to think God has forgotten you. Have patience and courage to wait for God to act.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
Then God remembered Rachel, and God heeded her and opened her womb.

She conceived and bore a son, and said, “God has taken away my reproach”;

Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father, give us the patience to bear our difficult and trying times with prayers and faith. Though we would be tempted to take matters in our hands and try to resolve it but you are all knowing have best interests for us. Help us that display full faith and belief in you. Guide and love us always Lord. Amen

Chapter 30: Jacob’s Children

1 When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister; and she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!”
2 Jacob became very angry with Rachel and said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?”
3 Then she said, “Here is my maid Bilhah; go in to her, that she may bear upon my knees and that I too may have children through her.”
4 So she gave him her maid Bilhah as a wife; and Jacob went in to her.
5 And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son.
6 Then Rachel said, “God has judged me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son”; therefore she named him Dan.
7 Rachel’s maid Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son.
8 Then Rachel said, “With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister, and have prevailed”; so she named him Naphtali.
9 When Leah saw that she had ceased bearing children, she took her maid Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife.
10 Then Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a son.
11 And Leah said, “Good fortune!” so she named him Gad.
12 Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a second son.
13 And Leah said, “Happy am I! For the women will call me happy”; so she named him Asher.
14 In the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
15 But she said to her, “Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband?
Would you take away my son’s mandrakes also?” Rachel said, “Then he may lie with you tonight for your son’s mandrakes.”
16 When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him, and said, “You must come in to me; for I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he lay with her that night.
17 And God heeded Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son.
18 Leah said, “God has given me my hire because I gave my maid to my husband”; so she named him Issachar.
19 And Leah conceived again, and she bore Jacob a sixth son.
20 Then Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good dowry; now my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons”; so she named him Zebulun.
21 Afterwards she bore a daughter, and named her Dinah.
22 Then God remembered Rachel, and God heeded her and opened her womb.
23 She conceived and bore a son, and said, “God has taken away my reproach”;
24 and she named him Joseph, saying, “May the LORD add to me another son!”
The birth of Jacob’s flocks
25 When Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, that I may go to my own home and country.
26 Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and let me go; for you know very well the service I have given you.”
27 But Laban said to him, “If you will allow me to say so, I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you;
28 name your wages, and I will give it.”
29 Jacob said to him, “You yourself know how I have served you, and how your cattle have fared with me.
30 For you had little before I came, and it has increased abundantly; and the LORD has blessed you wherever I turned. But now when shall I provide for my own household also?”
31 He said, “What shall I give you?” Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything; if you will do this for me, I will again feed your flock and keep it:
32 let me pass through all your flock today, removing from it every speckled and spotted sheep and every black lamb, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and such shall be my wages.
33 So my honesty will answer for me later, when you come to look into my wages with you. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the lambs, if found with me, shall be counted stolen.”
34 Laban said, “Good! Let it be as you have said.”
35 But that day Laban removed the male goats that were striped and spotted, and all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white on it, and every lamb that was black, and put them in charge of his sons; 36 and he set a distance of three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob was pasturing the rest of Laban’s flock.
37 Then Jacob took fresh rods of poplar and almond and plane, and peeled white streaks in them, exposing the white of the rods.
38 He set the rods that he had peeled in front of the flocks in the troughs, that is, the watering places, where the flocks came to drink. And since they bred when they came to drink,
39 the flocks bred in front of the rods, and so the flocks produced young that were striped, speckled, and spotted.
40 Jacob separated the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the striped and the completely black animals in the flock of Laban; and he put his own droves apart, and did not put them with Laban’s flock.
41 Whenever the stronger of the flock were breeding, Jacob laid the rods in the troughs before the eyes of the flock, that they might breed among the rods,
42 but for the feebler of the flock he did not lay them there; so the feebler were Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s.
43 Thus the man grew exceedingly rich, and had large flocks, and male and female slaves, and camels and donkeys.

 
 

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