Daily Readings and Thought for February 18th. “THIS IS WHAT YOU SHALL DO TO THEM TO CONSECRATE THEM”


We are reading in Exodus (Ch.29) of the elaborate ritual needed to consecrate the High Priest, Aaron, also his sons.  There is a lot of detail about the elaborate garments and head covering they need to wear and the ritual involved in sacrificing a ram and the use of its different body parts.  We also read of the anointing oil and how it should be used.  All this combined to make “a pleasing aroma before the LORD” [v.25].  There is also “one loaf of bread … and one wafer out of the basket of unleavened bread that is before the LORD.” [v.23].  If any of it “remains until morning then you shall burn the remainder of it with fire … because it is holy” [v.34]

There is a big contrast in our reading in Mark (Ch.14) and the simple but most significant actions of Jesus –  “as they were eating” Jesus simply “took bread and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them” saying “This is my body”.  Next “he took the cup” and after giving thanks said “this is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many” [v.22-24] 

A simple act as part of a meal, no special dress or ceremony!  This became a feature in the lives of the first believers, probably “on the first day of the week” [Acts 20 v.7], but there is no command as to which day, laws of this nature were entirely absent among the first believers.  Paul simply details what “I received from the Lord” in 1 Corinthians 11 v.23-27, but it must be not be done “in an unworthy manner” [v.27] there must be self examination. 

This thought takes our minds to our reading of David’s Psalm 86 today. “Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant who trusts in you – you are my God … For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.” [v.1,2,5]

Then David looks to the future time, which is still future now, when “all nations you have made shall come and worship before you O Lord, and glorify your name.” [v.9].  May we be there. Finally note his intimate personal  thoughts of his relationship with God, such an example for us. “Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear thy name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart” [v.11,12]

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