Watching Daily At My Gates

November 8 Read Exodus 24

This chapter begins the account of Moses meeting with God. Let us notice the words of the people before he went up Mount Sinai. “All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.” That is quite the confession of faith. And yet, time and time again, Israel failed at keeping it. We should take those words upon our lips and into our hearts, but we must fully realize that we fail to keep Jehovah’s words. Then we must come to the blood of the Lamb and pray for forgiveness. As we make our journey through this wilderness let us keep the Word and the blood fully in the forefront of our thoughts. Sing Psalter 334.

November 9 Read Exodus 25

Part of the ceremonial law given to Moses and Israel was the plans for the building of the tabernacle. Each stitch, each symbol, and each piece of furniture had two functions. First of all, they showed the glory and grandeur of God who must be worshipped. Secondly, they pointed to Christ. Israel had to look ahead while we look back and ahead. There is instruction for us in Israel’s ceremonial and civil laws. Let us learn from the church in the wilderness, and let us bow before God whose glory is greater than all the gold in the tabernacle. Sing Psalter 225.

November 10 Read Exodus 26

Here we have the continuation of the instructions for the building of the tabernacle. As in every building, if the builder does not follow the plans explicitly, the building will not look as designed. As we saw yesterday God designed this building so that it showed his glory. The church is made up of many parts like the tabernacle. Each person has a function in that church. When each of us is functioning as God has ordained, the church will be at peace. Let us seek out our function and let us do our part in God’s church that he may be glorified. Sing Psalter 223.

November 11 Read Exodus 27

A light shines forever in God’s church. That light was pictured in the lamp found in the Holy Place. That light is Christ in the new dispensation. Our lives must be ordered in such a way that he shines in them. We cannot quench that light, but we hide it when we take on the works of Satan. We cannot stop the flow of oil, the Holy Spirit, but we do grieve that Spirit when we do not walk in that Light. Israel of old knew that when they did not follow God’s ordinances, life was hard. Have we learned that lesson? Sing Psalter 287.

November 12 Read Exodus 28

There are many aspects of the priestly garments we might examine. Today let us look at that plate mounted on the high priest’s mitre or headwear. On that plate were the words “Holiness to the Lord.” Israel was to be a holy nation, and the high priest was to hold that before them every time he was wearing his priestly robes. The hymn title, “Take Time to be Holy,” loses something, I believe. We should not just take time to be holy we should be holy as Jehovah God is holy. Holiness is not a garment that we put on and take off. It should be as much a part of us as any part of our body. Let us walk in holiness, and therefore please God. Sing Psalter 368.

November 13 Read Exodus 29

Many were the ceremonies that went with the ordination of Aaron and his sons to the priests’ office. We must remember that Israel was living in the time of types and shadows. They needed these ceremonies to look to Christ. For us worship is simpler. Worship is to be done in spirit and in truth. Both the churches of the old dispensation and new dispensation must worship. Both have the same goal. We worship so that we know the God of the last two verses of the chapter. Read them again and then worship God as he would have himself worshipped. Sing Psalter 251.

November 14 Read Exodus 30

Laws, ordinances, rules. This is what governed Israel’s worship as they waited for Christ to come. Everything had to be done just right or as the last verse states, they would be cut off from among their people. We might wonder why? But then we remember that God is holy, and he would redeem only a holy people made holy by himself and not by their works. Christ has come and fulfilled all of those laws, ordinances, and rules. Yet, we must worship him as he has ordained and not how we might desire. Let us be instructed by the old dispensation that we must worship a holy God and be holy ourselves. Sing Psalter 218.

November 15 Read Exodus 31

Are there any Bezaleel’s or any Aholiab’s reading this today? In other words are there any out there whom God has endowed with a talent? But then, we all fall into that class. Each of God’s people has been given some special gift with which to serve him. Not all of us are builders. Some of God’s people are preachers, some are fathers, some mothers, some writers, some teachers, and some are good with small children. The list goes on and on. The gift that God has given us must be used in his church for his honor and glory. Are you using yours? Sing Psalter 174.

November 16 Read Exodus 32

Are you on the Lord’s side? That was the question Israel had to face as Moses came down the mountain full of anger at the way God was being treated. That is the question we must face as we go throughout our lives. Many times we hear God’s name being taken in vain. Many times we see his day being desecrated even by those in the church. Many times we see idol worship around us. Are we ready, like those valiant Levites, to be on the Lord’s side? This is not easy; it can only be done by grace through faith. Let us pray for that grace to be on the Lord’s side. Sing Psalter 164.

November 17 Read Exodus 33

In the first verses we have a foretaste of that which would come. Israel would become weak in the faith and would not want to follow the path on which God would lead them. Moses mediated for them, and God promised that his presence, the Shechinah cloud, would be with them. Moses then begs to see a glimpse of God’s glory. That was all that he could see as no one can stand before God and live. That will change as through the blood of the Lamb we are made able to worship at his feet in heaven. Do we long for that day? Sing Psalter 155.

November 18 Read Exodus 34

Once again Moses ascends into heaven and spends forty days and forty nights in God’s presence. Once more he must bring two tables of stone on which God with his finger inscribes the law. Moses realizes that he and the people are not worthy to have God for their God. He shows that he is a type of Christ and mediates for the people. God renews his covenant with Israel and reminds them through Moses of the laws they must keep to show that they are a chosen people. Then with a shining face Moses descends the mount to bring God’s word to Israel. We no longer have these types and shadows. We have something better. We have the full Word of God and the knowledge of the Mediator who died for us on the cross. Sing Psalter 149.

November 19 Read Exodus 35

Often throughout the books of the law Israel is reminded to keep the Sabbath holy. We, too, need that reminder. It used to be easier to outwardly keep the Sabbath. Stores were closed, and there were very few Sunday entertainments. Now, the day is not kept by almost anyone. Yet, the calling is the same. God must be worshiped, and his day must be kept in the way that he has commanded. Does the world around us know that we keep the Sabbath? Against the backdrop of the world’s Sunday, we should stand out starkly different. This takes work. This takes grace. Sing Psalter 137.

November 20 Read Exodus 36

Along with the detailed description of the tabernacle’s design, stands verse 5. After a call for an offering, there had to be an announcement for Israel to stop giving. Could it be true? Could it be true today? Could God’s people give so much that the church leaders say, “Stop!” Giving must come from the heart. Hearts must be prepared to give. This is not a one-time act. This is a daily work. We must think that of the bounties God has given to us, we must give back to him weekly and even daily. We must also teach our children this principle because it is a part of the worship ordained by God for us. Let us give thanks even as we are privileged to give. Sing Psalter 311.

November 21 Read Exodus 37

The details given in this chapter were for Israel and also for us. We might think that Moses would just say that this piece of furniture was built, and then that one, and so forth. But it was not that way. By divine inspiration Moses records exactly how the tabernacle was to be built. This was done for the church of all ages’ instruction. Israel of old had to know how that tabernacle was to be built for the proper worship of Jehovah. We must know that God has not changed, and what he says about proper worship is how we must carry it out. All the things of the tabernacle pointed to Christ; the same Christ who saved us from our sins. May we worship God as he has commanded. Sing Psalter 133.

November 22 Read Exodus 38

This chapter continues with the description of the work of building and furnishing the tabernacle. Notice how the last chapter gave the description of the furnishings of the inside of the tent. They were of gold, the most precious of metals. Now we move outside the door and the furnishings are made of brass. This was less precious but fully as beautiful. Then we have the coverings and the fence. These things, too, had a purpose in the worship of Jehovah. Notice that much of the brass came from mirrors of the women. They had obtained these in Egypt and had now given them up to God’s worship. Are we as zealous? Finally an accounting of all the materials is given. Israel was happy to give of their abundance; are we? Sing Psalter 131.

November 23 Read Exodus 39

Not only were the furnishings of the tabernacle described in great detail, so were the garments that the priests wore in the service of God richly described. Each color and each stone symbolized some aspect of that worship. The crowning piece was the headpiece or mitre. On that headpiece was a plate inscribed with the words, “Holiness to the Lord.” Israel was commanded to live a holy life and to worship Jehovah in a holy way. This command goes to us as well. Because God has given this information to us twice, we cannot emphasize it enough. We must worship God in the beauty of holiness. This should be our goal today as we seek to enter the Holy of Holies in heaven. Our high priest has entered there for us. Let us look ahead to the day when we can enter that most blessed place. Sing Psalter 266.

November 24 Read Exodus 40

Nearly a year has passed since Israel left Egypt. Now on the first day of the first month they are ready to erect the tablernacle. This was not by accident; this was God’s design. The erecting of the tabernacle was not done in a haphazard way, but it was done in the way in which God had ordained it. This was their place of worship. Everything had to be sanctified for the worship at the time God appointed. It is good for us at the beginning of each calendar year to set apart a time to sanctify ourselves for the worship of Jehovah in the coming year. As we read through Israel’s call to worship, let us make the spirit of that worship ours. Sing Psalter 270.

November 25 Read Leviticus 1

Not only were there exact plans given for the place in which Israel had to worship, so were there exact methods given for worship. The animals brought for worship had to be perfect. Israel had to give of their best to God—not that which was left over. After they brought it to the tabernacle, it had to be killed a certain way, and in a certain manner it was offered to the Lord. Israel lived in the day of types and shadows. Each of those sacrifices pointed ahead to the perfect atonement for sin. As we look back at Christ on the cross and ahead to him returning on the clouds of glory, we, too, must worship him according to the regulative principles given in Scripture. We must also worship him in spirit and in truth. Sing Psalter 250.

November 26 Read Leviticus 2

Here another type of offering, the meat offering, was ordered by God. It was an offering given in thanksgiving for his wonderful works. All of God’s people whether they were rich or poor were to bring this offering. A part of it was given to the priests and Levites for their service to God. God’s people were required to take care of those who had been ordered to serve. We have that calling as well. Our ministers must live out of the gospel that they preach. We must bring thank offerings for God’s wonderful works for the use of those servants of Jehovah. Sing Psalter 237.

November 27 Read Leviticus 3

Another type of offering was a peace offering of thanksgiving. This was divided three ways. One part was offered unto God; one part was given to the priests, and one part was returned to the offerer for his use with his friends and families. It was an offering of reconciliation, that is, an offering which brought God and man together to live in peace. As there must be peace around our family tables, so there must be peace between God and his people. As the sacrifice signified that peace, so Jesus gives to us the peace that we need to draw near to God around the table of communion on this earth and the table of the great feast in heaven. Sing Psalter 360.

November 28 Read Leviticus 4

The second verse is one that we should consider often. We might use the excuse, “I did not know,” and expect to get away with what we have done. The teaching of this section tells us that that reason is not excused by God. Sins of ignorance must be confessed and must be repented of. We must do this to obtain forgiveness from our forgiving God. He does have mercy for his people, but those people must repent of all sins, even those of ignorance. Let us seek forgiveness from God each day for all sins that we commit. In that way we please our heavenly Father. Sing Psalter 235.

November 29 Read Leviticus 5

Related to the sins of yesterday’s passage is the teaching of this chapter. When we know about sins of others, even if they are seemingly mild, we become responsible for the guilt of those sins. In the office of believers we have this as a responsibility. We must look after all of our brothers and sisters in the faith. We must also guard the holiness of God’s name and attributes wherever we are. We may not ignore sin no matter what it is and no matter what the severity is. We must be holy even as God is holy. Sing Psalter 24.

November 30 Read Leviticus 6

As we read these chapters, we cannot help but be struck by the different varieties of sins mentioned. We also cannot help but be struck by how often we fall into the same sins. We see that in this chapter as well. We are commanded to care for our neighbor. Part of carrying for our neighbor is to care for his goods. We are to have this as an obligation of the command to love our neighbor. Our Heidelberg Catechism speaks of this in its exposition of the eighth commandment. We do well to read this often. Let us seek our neighbor’s welfare in all things, and in that way glorify our God. Sing Psalter 83.

December 1 Read Leviticus 7

Rules! Rules! Rules! We may wonder that the same God who abhorred the rules of the Pharisees at the time of Christ enacted all of these rules in this book of the law. We must see the difference between the two kinds of rules. The rules of Leviticus were enacted to show Israel a proper way to worship Jehovah and to point the way to his Son. The rules of the Pharisees were enacted to bring their desires to pass and had little to do with God’s glory. We must obey the rules that God and his officebearers have set for his church to bring glory to his name by the proper worship of that name. Let us recognize that fact and seek to glorify God’s name in our worship of that name. Sing Psalter 109.

December 2 Read Leviticus 8

How often do we contemplate the ordination of officebearers? How many times do we consider their election no different than the democratic process the republics of the world undertake every so many years? Our election of officebearers and their subsequent ordination into office must be different. These are men of God’s choosing (the others are as well) for the care of his church and the benefit of the believers in that church. We must treat the offices and their holders with the respect that God has placed upon them. He has determined to use these men, weak vessels that they may be, for his glory and our service. May his name be glorified in their work in the churches. Sing Psalter 371.

December 3 Read Leviticus 9

Sometimes we might wish that fire from heaven would come down upon one of our meetings so that all might know God’s power. This is and is not done today. We do not see this in our worship since Christ has come and has fulfilled all of the Old Testament laws and ordinances. This is not done today because we have the full revelation of Scripture to testify of God’s power to us. But it is done when we look at the signs of Christ return that are sent to us daily. Do we think of this when we hear of an earthquake, a volcano, a flood, or any of the so-called natural disasters that God brings upon this earth and maybe even upon us? God’s power is evident all around us. Do we acknowledge it? Sing Psalter 385.

December 4 Read Leviticus 10

On the very day that they were consecrated to serve Jehovah in the way in which he had commanded, Nadab and Abihu rebelled against that way. They refused to worship God in the way that he had ordained. Their punishment was death before the congregation. God will not be mocked. He has ordained the manner in which we are to worship him. If it is not followed, he will bring distress to those who are disobedient. Now, as we saw yesterday, he does not bring down fire upon those sinners, but he does bring them to justice whether it is in this life or the life to come. Let us be careful how we worship; let us bring no strange fire to his altar of worship. Sing Psalter 318.

December 5 Read Leviticus 11

In this chapter we see the listing of the clean and unclean animals. God brought this regulation upon Israel’s life for several reasons. The reasons are still valid today. First of all, Israel had to know that they must live an antithetical life. We, too, must walk in that sort of a path saying yes to the things of God and no to the things of Satan. Secondly, Israel had to know that their God was holy. In their obedience to these dietary laws they acknowledge and confess the holiness of God, as we must do all through our lives as well. Finally, in these laws Israel saw the liberty that they had to serve God in a right manner. Do we use our Christian liberty in such a way? Sing Psalter 342.

December 6 Read Leviticus 12

In this set of regulations, God showed Israel what they must do to preserve his holiness even as they obeyed his command to be fruitful and multiply. That command stood then and still stands today. Did you remember as you read this passage that Joseph and Mary kept these ordinances correctly? God directed them to obey these laws for us. Jesus had to “fulfill all righteousness” as the gospel according to Matthew informs us. In fulfilling these laws our salvation was ensured. Let us thank God for such a great gift. Sing Psalter 261.

December 7 Read Leviticus 13

Leprosy was that illness that most surely showed the effect sin has upon our spiritual bodies. Just as leprosy rotted away the body and rendered it unpleasant to the eye, so does spiritual leprosy corrode our souls. For a picture of what leprosy did to the physical body remember Job’s condition when Satan struck him. God gave to Israel the manner according to the law to receive a healed one back into their fellowship. God sent his Son to make it possible for us to be brought back into favor with him. Just as the one leper gave thanks to Christ for his cleansing so must we thank God for the atonement of Christ that cleansed us. Sing Psalter 140.

December 8 Read Leviticus 14

How great a sign Israel had in leprosy! It is probably incomprehensible to most of us how leprosy could affect a garment or a whole house. But the truth of the teaching is clear. Sin affects the whole of our spiritual being. Sin that is left unchecked will destroy a person, a family, and even a whole congregation. Sin must be removed, and the affected party must be pronounced clean. By God’s grace we have the way for this process to be carried out. Christ was made sin for us in order that we can be presented before the throne of grace spotless and can receive the white robes of righteousness. May we see that day and live lives of holiness as we wait for it to come. Sing Psalter 141.