February 14 - Hebrews 10.19-39, Exodus 11-12 and Proverbs 4
Encouragement and WarningHebrews 10 19My friends, the blood of Jesus gives us courage to enter the most holy place 20by a new way that leads to life! And this way takes us through the curtain that is Christ himself.
21We have a great high priest who is in charge of God's house. 22So let's come near God with pure hearts and a confidence that comes from having faith. Let's keep our hearts pure, our consciences free from evil, and our bodies washed with clean water. 23We must hold tightly to the hope that we say is ours. After all, we can trust the one who made the agreement with us. 24We should keep on encouraging each other to be thoughtful and to do helpful things. 25Some people have gotten out of the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other, especially since you know that the day of the Lord's coming is getting closer.
26No sacrifices can be made for people who decide to sin after they find out about the truth. 27They are God's enemies, and all they can look forward to is a terrible judgment and a furious fire. 28If two or more witnesses accused someone of breaking the Law of Moses, that person could be put to death. 29But it is much worse to dishonor God's Son and to disgrace the blood of the promise that made us holy. And it is just as bad to insult the Holy Spirit, who shows us mercy. 30We know that God has said he will punish and take revenge. We also know that the Scriptures say the Lord will judge his people. 31It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God!
32Don't forget all the hard times you went through when you first received the light. 33Sometimes you were abused and mistreated in public, and at other times you shared in the sufferings of others. 34You were kind to people in jail. And you gladly let your possessions be taken away, because you knew you had something better, something that would last forever.
35Keep on being brave! It will bring you great rewards. 36Learn to be patient, so that you will please God and be given what he has promised. 37As the Scriptures say,
"God is coming soon! It won't be very long.
38The people God accepts will live
because of their faith.
But he isn't pleased with anyone who turns back."
39We are not like those people who turn back and get destroyed. We will keep on having faith until we are saved.
Moses Warns the Egyptians That the LORD Will Kill Their First-Born SonsExodus 11 The LORD said to Moses:
I am going to punish the king of Egypt and his people one more time. Then the king will gladly let you leave his land, so that I will stop punishing the Egyptians. He will even chase you out. 2Now go and tell my people to ask their Egyptian neighbors for gold and silver jewelry.
3So the LORD made the Egyptians greatly respect the Israelites, and everyone, including the king and his officials, considered Moses an important leader.
4Moses went to the king and said:
I have come to let you know what the LORD is going to do. About midnight he will go through the land of Egypt, 5and wherever he goes, the first-born son in every family will die. Your own son will die, and so will the son of the lowest slave woman. Even the first-born males of cattle will die. 6Everywhere in Egypt there will be loud crying. Nothing like this has ever happened before or will ever happen again.
7But there won't be any need for the Israelites to cry. Things will be so quiet that not even a dog will be heard barking. Then you Egyptians will know that the LORD is good to the Israelites, even while he punishes you. 8Your leaders will come and bow down, begging me to take my people and leave your country. Then we will leave.
Moses was very angry; he turned and left the king.
9What the LORD had earlier said to Moses came true. He had said, "The king of Egypt won't listen. Then I will perform even more miracles." 10So the king of Egypt saw Moses and Aaron work miracles, but the LORD made him stubbornly refuse to let the Israelites leave his country.
The PassoverExodus 12 Some time later the LORD said to Moses and Aaron:
2This month is to be the first month of the year for you. 3Tell the people of Israel that on the tenth day of this month the head of each family must choose a lamb or a young goat for his family to eat. 4-5If any family is too small to eat the whole animal, they must share it with their next-door neighbors. Choose either a sheep or a goat, but it must be a one-year-old male that has nothing wrong with it. And it must be large enough for everyone to have some of the meat.
6Each family must take care of its animal until the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, when the animals are to be killed. 7Some of the blood must be put on the two doorposts and above the door of each house where the animals are to be eaten. 8That night the animals are to be roasted and eaten, together with bitter herbs and thin bread made without yeast. 9Don't eat the meat raw or boiled. The entire animal, including its head, legs, and insides, must be roasted. 10Eat what you want that night, and the next morning burn whatever is left. 11When you eat the meal, be dressed and ready to travel. Have your sandals on, carry your walking stick in your hand, and eat quickly. This is the Passover Festival in honor of me, your LORD.
12That same night I will pass through Egypt and kill the first-born son in every family and the first-born male of all animals. I am the LORD, and I will punish the gods of Egypt. 13The blood on the houses will show me where you live, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. Then you won't be bothered by the terrible disasters I will bring on Egypt.
14Remember this day and celebrate it each year as a festival in my honor. 15For seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. And on the first of these seven days, you must remove all yeast from your homes. If you eat anything made with yeast during this festival, you will no longer be part of Israel. 16Meet together for worship on the first and seventh days of the festival. The only work you are allowed to do on either of these two days is that of preparing the bread.
17Celebrate this Festival of Thin Bread as a way of remembering the day that I brought your families and tribes out of Egypt. And do this each year. 18Begin on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month by eating bread made without yeast. Then continue this celebration until the evening of the twenty-first day. 19During these seven days no yeast is allowed in anyone's home, whether they are native Israelites or not. If you are caught eating anything made with yeast, you will no longer be part of Israel. 20Stay away from yeast, no matter where you live. No one is allowed to eat anything made with yeast!
21Moses called the leaders of Israel together and said:
Each family is to pick out a sheep and kill it for Passover. 22Make a brush from a few small branches of a hyssop plant and dip the brush in the bowl that has the blood of the animal in it. Then brush some of the blood above the door and on the posts at each side of the door of your house. After this, everyone is to stay inside.
23During that night the LORD will go through the country of Egypt and kill the first-born son in every Egyptian family. He will see where you have put the blood, and he will not come into your house. His angel that brings death will pass over and not kill your first-born sons.
24-25After you have entered the country promised to you by the LORD, you and your children must continue to celebrate Passover each year. 26Your children will ask you, "What are we celebrating?" 27And you will answer, "The Passover animal is killed to honor the LORD. We do these things because on that night long ago the LORD passed over the homes of our people in Egypt. He killed the first-born sons of the Egyptians, but he saved our children from death."
After Moses finished speaking, the people of Israel knelt down and worshiped the LORD. 28Then they left and did what Moses and Aaron had told them to do.
Death for the First-Born Sons29At midnight the LORD killed the first-born son of every Egyptian family, from the son of the king to the son of every prisoner in jail. He also killed the first-born male of every animal that belonged to the Egyptians.
30That night the king, his officials, and everyone else in Egypt got up and started crying bitterly. In every Egyptian home, someone was dead.
The People of Israel Escape from Egypt31During the night the king sent for Moses and Aaron and told them, "Get your people out of my country and leave us alone! Go and worship the LORD, as you have asked. 32Take your sheep, goats, and cattle, and get out. But ask your God to be kind to me."
33The Egyptians did everything they could to get the Israelites to leave their country fast. They said, "Please hurry and leave. If you don't, we will all be dead." 34So the Israelites quickly made some bread dough and put it in pans. But they did not mix any yeast in the dough to make it rise. They wrapped cloth around the pans and carried them on their shoulders.
35The Israelites had already done what Moses had told them to do. They had gone to their Egyptian neighbors and asked for gold and silver and for clothes. 36The LORD had made the Egyptians friendly toward the people of Israel, and they gave them whatever they asked for. In this way they carried away the wealth of the Egyptians when they left Egypt.
37The Israelites walked from the city of Rameses to the city of Succoth. There were about six hundred thousand of them, not counting women and children. 38Many other people went with them as well, and there were also a lot of sheep, goats, and cattle. 39They left Egypt in such a hurry that they did not have time to prepare any food except the bread dough made without yeast. So they baked it and made thin bread.
40-41The LORD's people left Egypt exactly four hundred thirty years after they had arrived. 42On that night the LORD kept watch for them, and on this same night each year Israel will always keep watch in honor of the LORD.
Instructions for Passover43The LORD gave Moses and Aaron the following instructions for celebrating Passover:
No one except Israelites may eat the Passover meal.
44Your slaves may eat the meal if they have been circumcised, 45but no foreigners who work for you are allowed to have any.
46The entire meal must be eaten inside, and no one may leave the house during the celebration.
No bones of the Passover lamb may be broken. 47And all Israelites must take part in the meal.
48If anyone who isn't an Israelite wants to celebrate Passover with you, every man and boy in that family must first be circumcised. Then they may join in the meal, just like native Israelites. No uncircumcised man or boy may eat the Passover meal! 49This law applies both to native Israelites and to those foreigners who live among you.
50The Israelites obeyed everything the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron to tell them. 51And on that same day the LORD brought Israel's families and tribes out of Egypt.
Advice to Young PeopleProverbs 4 My child, listen closely to my teachings
and learn common sense.
2My advice is useful, so don't turn away.
3When I was still very young
and my mother's favorite child,
my father 4said to me: "If you follow my teachings
and keep them in mind, you will live.
5Be wise and learn good sense;
remember my teachings and do what I say.
6If you love Wisdom and don't reject her,
she will watch over you.
7The best thing about Wisdom is Wisdom herself;
good sense is more important than anything else.
8If you value Wisdom and hold tightly to her,
great honors will be yours.
9It will be like wearing a glorious crown
of beautiful flowers.
The Right Way and the Wrong Way
10My child, if you listen and obey my teachings,
you will live a long time.
11I have shown you the way that makes sense;
I have guided you along the right path.
12Your road won't be blocked,
and you won't stumble when you run.
13Hold firmly to my teaching and never let go.
It will mean life for you.
14Don't follow the bad example of cruel and evil people.
15Turn aside and keep going. Stay away from them.
16They can't sleep or rest until they do wrong
or harm some innocent victim.
17Their food and drink are violence and cruelty.
18The lifestyle of good people is like sunlight at dawn
that keeps getting brighter until broad daylight.
19The lifestyle of the wicked is like total darkness,
and they will never know what makes them stumble.
20My child, listen carefully to everything I say.
21Don't forget a single word, but think about it all.
22Knowing these teachings
will mean true life and good health for you.
23Carefully guard your thoughts
because they are the source of true life.
24Never tell lies or be deceitful in what you say.
25Keep looking straight ahead, without turning aside.
26Know where you are headed,
and you will stay on solid ground.
27Don't make a mistake by turning
to the right or the left.
This reading is from The
Holy Bible, Contemporary English Version, copyright © American
Bible Society, 1995.
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