Highlights In Today's Reading:
Laws instituted; three annual Feasts (Festivals) required, which must be kept; angel promised for a guide; instructions for Tabernacle furnishings. Confirming the Covenant (24:4-8). God desires to dwell with His children, to commune with them (25:8,22).
Verse for Today:
Thou shalt not raise a false report (Ex. 23:1).To raise a false report means more than repeating slander. The Hebrew word carries the thought that a person should also refuse to listen to slander. A few verses later this principle is made more explicit: Keep thee far from a false matter (23:7).
Slander is perhaps the easiest, most subtle sin a person commits; yet, it is so wicked that it is listed with the seven most abominable sins that God hates (Prov. 6:16-19). Of all sins, some of the vilest are committed with the tongue. The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell (James 3:6).
How thoughtlessly some people spread gossip! But God says that he that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool. . . . He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends (Prov. 10:18; 17:9).
By gossiping, some Christians have destroyed the good reputations of others, as well as their own usefulness. They may appear to be fruitful Christians, but the Bible says: If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain (James 1:26).
A talebearer openly hinders the working of the Holy Spirit. The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly (Prov. 18:8). Instead of a good report, there is evil speaking; instead of praise, there is condemnation; instead of loving forgiveness, there is malice. How we need to avoid the horrible sin of gossip and anyone who wants us to listen to gossip!
Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Phil. 4:8).
Thought for Today:
These . . . things doth the Lord hate . . . he that soweth discord among brethren (Prov. 6:16,19).
As the Ark of the Covenant (Testimony). The wood demonstrated His humanity; the gold overlay represented His deity. Only through His blood sprinkled on the Ark could one receive forgiveness. God dwelt above the Mercy Seat (Ex. 25:10-22). Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He (Jesus) entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us (Heb. 9:12).
23:2 neither . . . decline after many to wrest judgement =won't side with the majority to pervert justice; 23:5 forbear to help him =refuse to help him; 23:8 gift = bribe; 23:13 be circumspect = pay strict attention; 23:23 cut them off =utterly destroy them; 23:31 bounds =boundaries; sea of the Philistines = Mediterranean Sea; the river =the Euphrates River; 24:11 laid not his hand =did not strike down; 25:22 commune =speak.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. G.R. Bettle • Staff: Dan Murton • Government Officials: Gov. Chet Culver (IA) and Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ) • Country: Tanzania (31.3 million) in eastern Africa • Major languages: Swahili and English • Churches are expected to help implement Marxist policy • 45% Christian; 19% Muslim; .4% Baha'i; .1% Hindu; 35.5% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Call upon the Lord, for He promises to answer you (Zech. 13:9).
Optional Reading: Matthew 25
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 23:6