TODAY’S SPECIAL: Malachi 3:6-12
TO CHEW ON: “'You are under a curse – the whole nation of you – because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,' says the Lord Almighty, 'and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.'” Malachi 3:9,10
“You are robbing God!” Malachi’s words got the peoples’ attention. But how could he say that? They weren’t stealing from the temple.
“You are stealing from God by keeping the tithe for yourselves instead of giving it to Him,” Malachi explained.
A tithe is one tenth. Years earlier God had commanded the people to give one tenth of what they earned and grew (their harvest and their herds of animals) to God. They were to do this whether they were rich or poor and whether times were good or bad. Giving to God in this way showed that they trusted God to supply what they needed. It was also a way of saying thank you for all He had given them. And when they did this, miraculously they...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Leviticus 23:1-8
TO CHEW ON: "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed festivals, the appointed festivals of the Lord, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.' ” Leviticus 23:2
What do you do on special days? Match the holiday with an activity that may happen then:
God also gave the Israelites special days to celebrate. They were called feasts. In some ways they were a lot like our holidays. The Israelites were to take the day off work and they often ate special food.
But these feasts were also different. Most of our celebrations are only a day or a weekend long. Some of the Israelites' feasts lasted a whole week or longer. And while our celebrations are often all about us – what gifts we’ll get, what we’ll eat, how much fun we’ll have – the Israelites’ holidays helped them focus on God....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 40: 1-16, 34, 35
TO CHEW ON: "Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle." Exodus 40:34,35
After Moses had cleaned up the golden calf, God rewrote the smashed tablets of stone. Then Moses asked the people to collect things for building the tabernacle. People brought gold jewelry, beautiful cloth, colorful thread, dyed animal hides, gem stones, spices, incense and oil. Soon there was enough.Israelites bring treasures for the Tabernacle - Artist unknown
Next God told Moses which talented artists and builders to put in charge of building the tabernacle. They organized and taught volunteers who made all the parts of the tabernacle and its furniture and tools.
Finally the tent church and all its furniture was built. On the first day of the first month God told Moses to put up the tabernacle. He also told him exactly where to put each piece of furniture along with each utensil and tool.
God told Moses to dress Aaron and his sons in the special priest clothes. As they stood...
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TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read Genesis 13:1-17Abram and Lot - Artist unknown
TO CHEW ON: "So Abram said to Lot, 'Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me.... Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.'” Genesis 13: 8,9
Abram did take one member of his family along – his nephew Lot. Lot also had flocks and servants. Soon their servants were fighting over the same pastures. Abram didn’t want fighting. He had a meeting with Lot. “I think it’s time for our families to part,” he said.
Abram was the leader and the respected older person on this trip. He could have told Lot to graze his cattle on the scrubby hills while he (Abram) took his cattle to the green valley. Instead Abram let Lot have first choice about where he’d go.
What an easy decision for Lot. Of course he picked the lush green valley for himself. Besides being the best pasture land, it was near the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah where his wife could shop and he could get supplies.
If Abram was sorry about his decision to let Lot pick first, it wasn’t...
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