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Julie Ferwerda Christian Blog and Commentary

OYB February 12

  • Julie Ferwerda
    Are you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
  • 2009 Feb 12
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Today's One Year Bible Reading

Exodus

34:1-2 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. Be ready in the morning to climb up Mount Sinai and present yourself to me on the top of the mountain. The Word/Torah is "resurrected" and then taken back up on the "Mountain of God."

No unclean thing may go into God's dwelling place (vs. 3).

34:9 "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." Moses, the Christ-type, becomes the mediator, interceding for the people. "Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus? No, for he is the one who died for us and was raised to life for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for [interceding, mediating] us." Romans 8:34

34:15 "Do not make treaties of any kind with the people living in the land. They are spiritual prostitutes, committing adultery against me by sacrificing to their gods. If you make peace with them, they will invite you to go with them to worship their gods, and you are likely to do it." This was true then, it is true today. Making peace treaties with pagans, I believe, means inviting them into your life in such a way that you share their customs and become "one of them." Instead of showing them truth and faithfulness in the way we live, we begin adopting their way of life, and intermarrying with them. In our society today, the lines have become so blurred between liberals and conservatives, so much of our pure and simple devotion to God has become polluted or watered down. Some of the mentalities and spiritual prostitution for believers in America have come down through evolution, pagan customs in church history (as we saw yesterday), sinful lifestyles being promoted in church, even from leadership, materialism, and just a lack of love for the Word. God is very direct and clear about this, and through the centuries, His warnings have always come true. It is so easy for us to be pulled down spiritually.

34:26 "You must not cook a young goat in its mother's milk." I have no idea what this means, but I found a couple comments online as to why this might be:

  • "A similar rite is recorded on the Ras Shamra tablets, which indicates that if one wishes to gain favor with a deity, he should slay a young goat in milk and present it to the deity." Archeology and Bible History, by Joseph P. Free. pg 105.

  • Jesus separated from His mother before facing the darkest part of His suffering (John 19: 26-27)

Matthew

27:20-24 There is a much deeper meaning to the releasing of Barabbas. In short, he is a fulfillment to Levitical Law (chapter 16) where two goats were selected and chosen by "lots," one to die as a sacrifice, and the other to be the scapegoat and to be set free to carry the sins of the people into the wilderness. Strangely, a red string was tied to the horns of the scapegoat, and each year the string on the scapegoat would miraculously turn white after it had carried the sins away. This stopped happening right about the time of Jesus' crucifixion. After the priest sent the goat away, he would wash his hands. Another interesting detail is that Barabbas full name, according to historical documents, was Jesus bar-Abbas, which means, "Jesus, son of the father." There is a lot of documentation to this, but I like this blog the best.

Proverbs

9:1 Wisdom has built her house; she has carved its seven columns. What are the seven pillars of wisdom? James 3:17 describes them. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

Questions for reflection:

  • It's hard to swallow the realization of the lies we've been taught unaware. It can be very confusing and frustrating. Have you identified any particular lies you have been taught, ones God has revealed to you? What were they and how did you combat it/them?

  • Can undetected lies threaten your faith? How?

  • Why is it important to continue searching for truth if we are living under grace? How do lies we believe and practice affect our relationship with God? With people?