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January 27

Pastor’s Note

May today’s reading remind us that we are not our own. May it prompt us to be thankful for the leadership and provision of God in our everyday lives. May it also cause us to remember the high value God places on our earthly promises and covenants. Praying that your time in the word continues to make an impact in your life throughout the day.

— Pastor Mike

Exodus 13-15

Consecration of the Firstborn

13:1 The Lord said to Moses, “Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine.”

The Feast of Unleavened Bread

Then Moses said to the people, “Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the Lordbrought you out from this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten. Today, in the month of Abib, you are going out. And when the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, you shall keep this service in this month. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LordUnleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days; no leavened bread shall be seen with you, and no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory. You shall tell your son on that day, ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ And it shall be to you as a sign on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the law of the Lord may be in your mouth. For with a strong hand the Lord has brought you out of Egypt. 10 You shall therefore keep this statute at its appointed time from year to year.

11 “When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as he swore to you and your fathers, and shall give it to you, 12 you shall set apart to the Lord all that first opens the womb. All the firstborn of your animals that are males shall be the Lord‘s. 13 Every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. Every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem. 14 And when in time to come your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall say to him, ‘By a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. 15 For when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of animals. Therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all the males that first open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.’ 16 It shall be as a mark on your hand or frontlets between your eyes, for by a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt.”

Pillars of Cloud and Fire

17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” 18 But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle. 19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph [1] had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones with you from here.” 20 And they moved on from Succoth and encamped at Etham, on the edge of the wilderness. 21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. 22 The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.

Crossing the Red Sea

14:1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel to turn back and encamp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baal-zephon; you shall encamp facing it, by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the people of Israel, ‘They are wandering in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.’ And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.” And they did so.

When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the mind of Pharaoh and his servants was changed toward the people, and they said, “What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” So he made ready his chariot and took his army with him, and took six hundred chosen chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the people of Israel while the people of Israel were going out defiantly. The Egyptians pursued them, all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and his horsemen and his army, and overtook them encamped at the sea, by Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.

10 When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord11 They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” 13 And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

15 The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. 16 Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground. 17 And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen. 18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”

19 Then the angel of God who was going before the host of Israel moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them, 20 coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel. And there was the cloud and the darkness. And it lit up the night [2] without one coming near the other all night.

21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 23 The Egyptians pursued and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. 24 And in the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down on the Egyptian forces and threw the Egyptian forces into a panic, 25 clogging [3] their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily. And the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from before Israel, for the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians.”

26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.” 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal course when the morning appeared. And as the Egyptians fled into it, the Lord threw [4] the Egyptians into the midst of the sea. 28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen; of all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea, not one of them remained. 29 But the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

30 Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.

The Song of Moses

15:1 Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying,

“I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
 the horse and his rider [5] he has thrown into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my song,
 and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
 my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
The Lord is a man of war;
 the Lord is his name.

“Pharaoh’s chariots and his host he cast into the sea,
 and his chosen officers were sunk in the Red Sea.
The floods covered them;
 they went down into the depths like a stone.
Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power,
 your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy.
In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries;
 you send out your fury; it consumes them like stubble.
At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up;
 the floods stood up in a heap;
 the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea.
The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake,
 I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them.
 I will draw my sword; my hand shall destroy them.’
10 You blew with your wind; the sea covered them;
 they sank like lead in the mighty waters.

11 “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods?
 Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
 awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?
12 You stretched out your right hand;
 the earth swallowed them.

13 “You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed;
 you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode.
14 The peoples have heard; they tremble;
 pangs have seized the inhabitants of Philistia.
15 Now are the chiefs of Edom dismayed;
 trembling seizes the leaders of Moab;
 all the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away.
16 Terror and dread fall upon them;
 because of the greatness of your arm, they are still as a stone,
till your people, O Lord, pass by,
 till the people pass by whom you have purchased.
17 You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain,
 the place, O Lord, which you have made for your abode,
 the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established.
18 The Lord will reign forever and ever.”

19 For when the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, the Lord brought back the waters of the sea upon them, but the people of Israel walked on dry ground in the midst of the sea. 20 Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing. 21 And Miriam sang to them:

“Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.”

Bitter Water Made Sweet

22 Then Moses made Israel set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. [6] 24 And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 And he cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a log, [7] and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.

There the Lord [8] made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them, 26 saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.”

27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they encamped there by the water.

Matthew 19:1-15

Teaching About Divorce

19:1 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” [9]

10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”

Let the Children Come to Me

13 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, 14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And he laid his hands on them and went away.

Footnotes

[1] 13:19 Samaritan, Septuagint; Hebrew he
[2] 14:20 Septuagint and the night passed
[3] 14:25 Or binding (compare Samaritan, Septuagint, Syriac); Hebrew removing
[4] 14:27 Hebrew shook off
[5] 15:1 Or its chariot; also verse 21
[6] 15:23 Marah means bitterness
[7] 15:25 Or tree
[8] 15:25 Hebrew he
[9] 19:9 Some manuscripts add and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery; other manuscripts except for sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery

  • CheriClark

    OT
    Exodus 15: 25-26 There the Lord made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them, 26 saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.

    Then: God has rescued the Israelites from Egypt and they have seen all the plagues that were done there. They have passed through the Red Sea safely and seen the Egyptian army destroyed. Yet here they are a short time later complaining and grumbling about the water. God has Moses throw a log in to the water at Marah and it becomes sweet to drink. God then gives them a statute, a rule, that if they do all that He has commanded He will be their healer. He states that He is their provision.

    Always: God cares for His children and provides for our needs.

    Now: How many times does God show His graciousness to me by providing for my needs and then I complain when the next problem comes along? How many times do I take His provision to me and not acknowledge it? How many times do I not thank Him for my very breath? And even more importantly, do I exalt and thank Him for the gift of His salvation? He is the One who provides it all. Father, help me to rest in You and not grumble. I know that You love me, You have provided for me, and You will continue to do so. Help me to rest in the fact that You have proven Yourself to be my Provider over and over again.

    NT
    Matthew 19:13-15 13 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, 14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And he laid his hands on them and went away.

    Then: People were bringing children to Jesus seeking for Him to bless them. The disciples rebuked them but Jesus said to let them come to Him. He said that Heaven belongs to those who come as children. This is the second recorded time that Jesus has said a similar statement. (Matthew 18:3-4) Jesus states that we need to come to Him as little children.

    Always: We, as believers, need to come to Jesus as children.

    Now: Children rely on their parents with trust, in humility, and knowing that their parents will provide for them in ways they, the children, cannot do for themselves. That should be our attitude towards Jesus. We know He loves us. We know He provides for us. We know we can trust Him. And we know that we cannot save ourselves,. We must rely totally on Him. Help me, dear Jesus, to constantly come before You in humility knowing that I cannot save myself. That work belongs entirely to You. That You lived the perfect life I could not, You died a terrible death to pay my penalty for sin that I could not, and that You rose again in victory over sin and death. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.