Exodus 19-27 daily devotionals by Kevin E. Jesmer 2015

Exodus 19-27 daily devotionals by Kevin E. Jesmer 2015

great picture of the tabernacle

Friday, January 1 NEW YEARS DAY (Exodus 19 starts on January 2)




Deuteronomy 6:1-9

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (5)


First, God seeks to bless his people (1-3). Not many wish that their kids would fear the Lord. But this is a blessing. To fear the Lord, means to have a deep respect for God and a strong desire to do what is right. Those who have a fear of God, walk with God, for they are led by him throughout their lifetime. They are blessed people.


Second, love God with our whole being (4-9). God gave the command to love him with all we’ve got. God acknowledges those who obey him as those who love him. This love is not just a feeling, but it is also a decision to put God first in our thoughts, words and deeds. Let’s break it down. We must love God with all of our heart. The heart is the center of our emotions from where love emanates. We also must love our God with all our souls, the very core of our being. Strength involves a physical and inner component. We can never love with this quality and intensity on our own, but God helps us by his grace. Just step out in faith, thank God and ask him to help you to love him with this quality of love.


Lord, thank you for seeking to bless us. Help us to love you, fear you and obey your word.
One Word: Love God with everything you have

Saturday, January 2




Exodus 19:1-6

You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.” (4)


First, God will raise you up on eagles’ wings. (1-4) Through Moses, God made his grace clear. They survived for three months in the barren wasteland, learning of God’s power and his love. God used an illustration to help them understand. He led them on eagles’ wings. Mother eagles drop their eaglets and swoop down to catch them on their back. They do this over and over again until the eaglet can fly. (Dt 32:10-11). The experience is very effective in helping them to soar on their own eagle wings. God helps his people to “soar” spiritually.


Second, God has a glorious purpose for his people (5-6). God reveals his purpose for carrying his people. It was to make them into a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. (6) They were to represent his way of life, teach his word and be an agent of salvation to the world. There were many nations in the world, but God chose them to become his missionaries who could point the rest of the world back to God.


 Lord, thank you for your carrying me like an eaglet on eagle’s wings. Grow me so that I can live up to your purpose.


One Word: Thanks be to God for carrying us

Sunday, January 3




Exodus 19:7-25

“Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.” (17)


First, the people promised to obey him (7-10).      The elders responded well and entered into a covenant relationship with God. In this time, it was through obedience to God. They were full of good intentions, but were never able to obey God fully. God would help them. It was all part of the journey.


Second, God call us to be consecrated (11-25). The people were not ready to meet the holy God. They were unholy. But that didn’t stop God. Moses was told to go and consecrate the people. For three days they were to become as clean as possible and set themselves apart from daily routines. Through this physical process, they realized that God was seeking something much deeper. God also put strict laws about approaching the mountain. They were allowed to approach only when summoned by God himself (13b). When they assembled, there was an awesome display of fireworks. The mountain trembled violently (18). God really wanted to teach them about his holiness and their need to be consecrated.


Lord, you are extremely holy. I am a sinner. Consecrate me and draw me into your presence.


One Word: Be consecrated by God

Monday, January 4




Exodus 20:1-21

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.” (2-3)


First, entering into a right relationship with God (1-11). The first four commands deal with our relationship with God. God reminded them of his grace. The commands of God become very sweet, when accepted in light of God’s grace. God wanted his people to worship him exclusively, for his salvation is completely affective. The Sabbath is a way to nurture a personal relationship with this God who cares enough to reach out to his people. The Sabbath day is set aside for rest and worship. It portrays the fact that there is true rest in God for those who humbly come to him in faith.


Second, we are called to love our neighbor as ourselves (12-21). The last six commandments limit our freedom, requiring us to respect other’s lives and property. They are not only given to build a just society. They are given to see our sinfulness and our great need for God. God showed his mighty power to help people fear him so that could respect him, listen to him and obey him willingly. We need to stop and listen carefully to what God is teaching.


Lord, establish the right relationships with you and with others around us.


One Word: Love and fear God; love your neighbor

Tuesday, January 5




Exodus 20:22-21:11

“If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything.” (21:2)


First, worship in God’s way (22-26). God helped the people know how to worship. An altar is a place of worship, where people come to offer burnt offerings to receive atonement for their sins. The altar was a holy place where people approach their Creator. God’s people had no Bible and few religious traditions. And so God taught them how to worship. To stop idolatry, God did not allow the altar stones to be cut in an attempt to embellish the altar. People were not to worship what their own hands have made. They must worship God alone.


Second, God infuses justice for all (21:1-11). God thought of everything for he was charting a moral course for his people, lifting them up from being a nation of former slaves to being a holy nation. God equipped them, not just with food and water, but with intangible things, like laws and justice. God cared about the rights of all individuals, infusing justice for all. In such a society people could mature spiritually as they sought the Lord. God’s law lit a candle in a dark world, and still do.


Lord, strip my heart of idols and teach me to worship you, your way.


One Word: God thinks of everything. Trust him

Wednesday, January 6




Exodus 21:12-36

“However, if it is not done intentionally, but God lets it happen, they are to flee to a place I will designate.” (13)


First, God curbs our propensity to violence. (12-34) In 1400 B.C. the world was very violent. There were assaults, damage to property and people being injured by someone else’s animal. But God gave laws to protect people from violence and exploitation. God’s law set a standard for justice. We see the mercy of God in his instituting cities of refuge. God’s laws also strike a balance between the rights of the injured and the rights of those who cause it. For example, God’s justice does not allow for undue retaliation, preventing cruel punishments. God knows the value of human life and provides laws to preserve life. He cares.


Second, God protects the falsely accused (35-36). God’s laws protected slaves and those dragged though the court system, falsely accused. God is fair. The poorest and the rich and powerful were all subject to God’s justice. If we are to be called his people, we need to reflect his justice and fairness in our dealings with others.


Lord, thank you for providing laws for a safe, equitable society. Your word is a light in a dark world.


One Word: God cares about justice

Thursday, January 7




Exodus 22:1-15

“…Anyone who steals must certainly make restitution, but if they have nothing, they must be sold to pay for their theft.” (3b)


First, make things right with others (1-9). God provided opportunities for restitution. There needs to be a means to make things right, even for the poor who have nothing to give. There is always a way to make restitution. These laws ease the pain of loss. They help the wronged person to be forgiving. They empower a person to make a new start. Being able to make restitution preserves human dignity. God’s people must overcome selfishness and personal grudges to make things right with others.


Second, God’s wise justice in complicated cases (10-15). Sometimes implementing justice is complicated. God’s law covers these instances too. Someone protecting someone else’s property is not responsible for lost or damaged items. The owner can not take revenge of the keeper. Owners can not say, “Can you take care of this?” and then steal it and blame the keeper in order to get more for themselves. God is very wise to cover all angles.


Lord, thank you for opportunities for restitution. Help me to make things right.


One Word: God’s laws protect on so many levels


Friday, January 8




Exodus 22:16-31

“….When they cry out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.” (27b)


First, there were protections for the vulnerable (16-28). God hears the cries of the oppressed, who may be young women, animals, immigrants, widows, orphans and the poor. The law emphasized fairness and social responsibly. The cloak is an example of protecting the rights of the poor. To deprive a person of their cloak was to deprive a person of their jacket today. God’s people must have compassion towards the weak and vulnerable. After all, it was God who was kind and generous to us. He continues to be kind.


Second, true worship enshrines protections (29-31). God wants to preserve the protection of the vulnerable by promoting and preserving true worship among his people. You can not have the protection of the vulnerable without preserving the true worship of God. This means dispelling the darkness that keeps people from coming to God. We can share in God’s heart by worshipping him in spirit and in truth; showing the way to God; and making the path clear.


Lord, you have been so caring to me in my weaknesses. Help me to care about others.


One Word: True worship involves caring for the vulnerable

Saturday, January 9




Exodus 23:1-19

“Three times a year you are to celebrate a festival to me.” (14)


First, God enshrines justice in the land (1-9). God is different than people. We tend to lie; to steal; to gloat over other’s losses; take bribes and turn a blind eye to the poor. But God is generous. He protects peoples’ rights. He enshrines justice in the land. As God’s people we must integrate God’s justice into our lives. A just society is refreshing to all who live in it. Praise the Lord for his justice.


Second, God calls for community celebration of his grace (10-19). God wanted times of rest for his people. The Hebrews were not to work their servants, their animals, their land nor themselves, to the point of collapse. They were to set aside times of rest. They could rest and interact with their families and neighbors and worship God. To this end, God ordained three annual festivals, keeping God in mind from the beginning of the harvest and to the end. God’s people need to come to God for refreshment of body and soul. God adds rest, celebration, joy, and thanksgiving. He promotes relationships. He helps people remember his grace, coming together in corporate worship. In God is life!


Lord, thank you for helping us to find true rest in you. We celebrate your grace and seek justice.


One Word: God is so refreshing

Sunday, January 10




Exodus 23:20-33

“See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.”(20)


First, God goes on before his people (20-26). The powerful, war-like, Canaanites were in the land. How could a nation of former slaves ever take the land? An angel went on before them. God led his people through this angel. The Hebrews didn’t have to worry. There was some responsibility on the part of the Israelites. The Lord would handle the situation if they listened to and obeyed God’s words. God will guard our way. He will bring us to a prepared place. But we must listen to what God says.


Second, everything in God’s way and in God’s time (27-33). God promised to drive out their enemies, but not all at once. God would give victory to his people little by little. God set boundaries for the people. He went before them and brought them victory within these boundaries. They must go in by faith and obey God one step at a time. This is how God gives spiritual victories, too. He advances us little by little, challenging Satan’s strongholds.


Lord, I know that you are going on before me. Thank you for granting spiritual victory as I follow you.


One Word:  Fear not, God goes on before us

Monday, January 11




Exodus 24:1-18

“Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.” (8)


First, approach God by the blood (1-8). The people could never approach the Lord, because of their sins. But God made it possible. (4) The blood of the burnt and peace offerings must be shed, and the blood sprinkled on the representatives of the people. After sprinkling the blood, Moses read the covenant. The people were willing to obey. The penalty for sin had been paid.  The covenant was sealed, their sins were forgiven. And now they could be reunited with God as God’s holy people serving God’s holy purpose for their nation.


Second, enter into fellowship with God (9-18). God accepted the blood sacrifice and forgave them, allowing them to approach. He opened their hearts to comprehend him and they marveled at his beauty. They ate and drank in his presence. This symbolized their love relationship with God. Real fellowship among God’s people must be before the Lord.


Lord, thank you for making fellowship with you possible and drawing me near by your grace.


One Word: Draw near to God through the blood


Tuesday, January 12




Exodus 25:1-22

“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.” (8)


First, inviting the Lord to dwell among us (1-8). When Moses received instructions about building the sanctuary, he asked the people to make a freewill offering. The purpose was to gather materials for building the sanctuary, expressing their faith and thankfulness to the God who had delivered them. God was confident that, in light of his grace, the people would step up to build the tabernacle, inviting him to dwell among them.


Second, the ark, where a sinner meets God (9-22). The ark was a small chest holding the Ten Commandments. The atonement cover is the lid, called the “mercy seat”. The cherubim looked down on the blood which was placed there once a year by the High Priest. The lid and the cherubim were all one piece of gold. The atonement cover covers the justice and righteousness of the law with God’s mercy and forgiveness. It was here that God’s righteousness and mercy met. This blood soaked space was the only place that God can meet with sinners. God made it possible to dwell with him through the blood sacrifice.


Thank you for making a way to dwell with me by your grace. I invite you into my life.


One Word: Our hearts are God’s sanctuary

Wednesday, January 13




Exodus 25:23-40

“Put the bread of the Presence on this table to be before me at all times.” (30)


First, we find the table and the bread (23-30). The table held the bread. The rim kept the bread in place when Israel was on the move. The dishes were used by the priests when they ate the bread. Twelve loaves of bread were baked fresh each week. The old bread was eaten by the priests. They kept the bread before the Lord at all times. This took vigilance. We can understand the nature of our faith, which is a daily fellowship with the Lord. The table and the bread symbolize the peace and the new relationship which forgiven sinners have with God. Eating the meal together speaks of the friendship and fellowship among God’s people.


Second, the lampstand (31-40). The lampstand held seven lamps. It was made of one piece of gold. It was the only source of light in the entire holy place. The lamps were lit twice a day, in the morning and evening. It represented God’s living presence as the light of the world and as their guiding light. When the lamp was lit, the darkness fled and they were left with only the beauty of the Lord in his tabernacle.


Lord, we thank you for the fellowship you have created with us and with each other.


One Word: Fellowship in the light of God

Thursday, January 14




Exodus 26:1-37

“Make the tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, with cherubim woven into them by a skilled worker.” (2)


First, the curtains reveal more of God (1-29). The inner curtain separated the Most Holy Place. God, in his holiness and moral perfection, is separate from the world. Yet, God made himself accessible by the blood. The curtains meant the tabernacle was made to travel. God travels with his people. The curtains were blue and scarlet and purple. The curtains reflected the beauty of the Lord. Yet its final covering was made of the hides of sea cows. The tabernacle was beautiful on the inside and dull on the outside. God is beautiful to those who know him. He honors inner beauty.


Second, God utilizes the gifts of his people (30-37). Artisans were living among the Hebrews. They could now use all of their skills and talents for the glory of God. God has given each of us talents. But we are to bring glory to God with our talents in God’s way and not our own. Everything was to be done according to his pattern. When we know the will of God and obey it, we can find God’s gifts and utilize them in the most God honoring way.


Lord, thank you for granting us access to you. May our lives bring you glory.


One Word: God is accessible and inclusive

Friday, January 15




Exodus 27:1-21

“Build an altar of acacia wood, three cubits high; it is to be square, five cubits long and five cubits wide. Make a horn at each of the four corners, so that the horns and the altar are of one piece, and overlay the altar with bronze.” (1-2)


First, God opened the way for all people to offer sacrifices (1-19). The first thing people saw, was the bronze altar. The altar had bronze plates. It was light, with rings allowing transport. The people could interact daily with God. Burnt sacrifices were offered to atone for sin. Thank offerings of grain were offered. Its vivid presence constantly reminded the people that they could seek God by means of the burnt sacrifice, each day. The crowds came to pray, some to repent, others to give thanks. People could hold onto the horns of the altar to seek mercy and forgiveness.


Second, God watches day and night (20-21). God commanded to keep the lamp in the tent of meeting burning continually from evening to morning. The lamps kept burning throughout the night. God is always awake and keeping watch over his people. He hears and answers their prayers day and night.


Lord, Thank you for inviting us to worship you each day. We know you are listening to our prayers.


One Word: Interact with God each 

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