Yesterday I found out that I’m a finalist for the Sinai and Synapses fellowship. It’s a two year program where I would study and learn from others about science and religion. My interview is next Monday (8/7) and I’m excited about the possibility of doing this.
I’ve been pretty tired the past few days and I gotta admit, the readings from exodus have been challenging. The instructions are so lengthy and the details are a little overwhelming.
Exodus 28: Chapter is all about vestments for the priests, in this case Aaron and his sons, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. The vestments are pretty extravagant. The one thing that really stood out to me was the turban Aaron had to wear. We live in a time where there is a lot of confusion and hate towards people who wear turbans. This is based on a lack of understanding of the differences in religions as well as what the Muslim faith is about. It really is a shame that ignorance plays such a large role in our society.
Exodus 25: Time for the tabernacle and the first mention of the ark of the covenant. The description of how the ark is to be made as well as the furniture in the tabernacle is interesting. There is so much gold. I mean a bunch of gold. Yet, this seems opposite of what Jesus said. Jesus didn’t seem to want gold. I am curious as to why God wanted things in gold and Jesus didn’t. I just find this very interesting. I read that gold is supposed to represent the most holy, but does gold have a different meaning? Does it represent something else? Here is what the notes have to say:
Exodus 22: More ordinances and rules from God. The beginning ones (verses 1-15) are about loss of property, not including slaves. We then get to what happens if a man seduces a virgins and has sex with her (he either marries her or doesn’t, but in both cases, he pays her father). Sorcery and bestiality are punishable by death. So is sacrificing to another god. Now, this is where we get into the importance of helping those in need or less fortunate than you:
Exodus 17 is where we hear about Moses striking a rock and getting water. In his first sermon on science and faith back in 2014, Father Kevin preached about this part of scripture. I put a little bit below, but will do a post on his sermons at a later date.
Exodus 16: Second crisis for the Israelites: lack of food. God decides to rain bread on them, but he decides to test them. He tells the people that they need to gather as much food as they need for each day, but no more. Then on the 6th day, they will take enough for that day and the sabbath. At twilight they eat meat, and the morning they gather their bread for the day. Some people try to hoard some bread on the first day and it goes bad. Some also try to gather food on the sabbath. God gets angry because some people fail to listen to him. They seem to at least learn for now. We also learn that they are in the wilderness for 40 years.
I had a lot to say on this reading.
Exodus 13: This chapter starts with God telling Moses that all firstborn of the humans and animals should be consecrated to him, declaring them his. It then jumps to reiteration of the seven day celebration his people are supposed to have every year (passover) with unleavened bread. The people are told to tell their children about what happened, making this an educational experience. On a side note, as an educator, this is definitely an effective way to do that. Back to the text. The story they returns to discussion of the consecration of the firstborn, this time specifically saying males. I have to admit that when I first read this I thought God was telling them that they all had to sacrifice their firstborn males. Glad I was wrong once I read a little further.
There are some days where reading the Bible is a challenge. It’s not necessarily a chore, just challenging to read. Sometimes it’s the message in the text, sometimes it’s everything else going on with work, or sometimes it’s just because I’m tired. Today was one of those days.
Several parts of this reading today seemed to bother me.
Exodus 10: The eighth (locusts) and ninth (darkness) marvels occur in this chapter. Pharaoh seems like he is slowly coming around after his officials tell him that he needs to let Moses and his people go. He relents, but says they can’t take any of the young people. Moses says it needs to be everyone. Pharaoh says no. On with the locusts. Those little pests destroy all remaining vegetation in the land. Pharaoh begs them to stop and pray to God for him. God gets rid of the locusts, but “the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (Ex. 10.20) again! Seriously!!! Then after the next marvel (darkness) occurs, Pharaoh says all people can go, but no livestock. Moses disagrees. Again, “the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (Ex. 10.27). Pharaoh steps up his rhetoric and tells Moses the following: “‘Get away from me! Take care that you do not see my face again, for on the day you see my face you shall die.’” (Ex. 10.28) On to the 10th plague, which is sad.