8/4 Reading (Exodus 34-36; Acts 1)

Exodus 34: The chapter starts with God telling Moses to get two new stone tablets and bring them up to Mount Sinai so he can write on them again. I find what he said to Moses really funny: “‘Cut two tablets of stone like the former ones, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets, which you broke’” (Ex. 34.1). I just love that final little remark.

God ends up saying something to Moses at the top of Mount Sinai that I find a little weird:

“The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, ⁷ keeping steadfast love for the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, yet by no means clearing the guilty, but visiting the iniquity of the parents upon the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation” (Ex. 34.6-7).

There’s just something about this that doesn’t really match up with some earlier actions. First, the “slow to anger” part. In Exodus 32 he threatens to pretty much kill everyone because of the Golden Calf incident. Second, the last part. To me this pretty much means that God is punishing generations of families because of the sins of the parents. That just seems kinda strange to me. How is that loving? How would future generations show God that they are not the same as the first generation?

However, as my lovely bride reminded me, this is not true. Jesus came and died for our sins, thus forgiving us and other generations. As in, the God of the Old Testament said this, but the God of the New Testament was different.

Remainder of the chapter is God retelling the 10 commandments to Moses. At the end Moses returns to the people and his skin, especially his face, is glowing. This scares the people and gives him a divine like quality.

Exodus 35: Moses tells the people the Ten Commandments and then tells them that they need to give some offerings to God. The materials will be used to create the tabernacle and everything in it. He also calls on people with different skills to help.

Exodus 36: The tabernacle itself is constructed in this chapter. The description is very detailed. I don’t have much to say here.

Acts 1: The first part of this chapter is simply a retelling of what happened in the Gospel of Luke. Kind of like a summary for the reader. Definitely an effective writing strategy. It worked on me. We then turn to Peter addressing all of Jesus’ followers indicating that what happened had to happen because it was written in the scriptures. The chapter ends with the selection of Matthias as the new 12th apostle who takes the place of Judas. The notes indicate that Judas hung himself (shared in Mt. 27.5). I actually remember that because of a movie. I seem to remember things best when I can see them in that type of medium. Perhaps all of the things I need to read for the rest of my career could be acted out. Ok, I digress. Honestly, I have nothing more to say about this. Except that my curiosity is building as to what happened to the apostles following the death of Jesus.

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