February 11 - Hebrews 8, Exodus 5.1-6.27 and Proverbs 1

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A Better Promise

Hebrews 8 What I mean is that we have a high priest who sits at the right side of God's great throne in heaven. 2He also serves as the priest in the most holy place inside the real tent there in heaven. This tent of worship was set up by the Lord, not by humans.
3Since all priests must offer gifts and sacrifices, Christ also needed to have something to offer. 4If he were here on earth, he would not be a priest at all, because here the Law appoints other priests to offer sacrifices. 5But the tent where they serve is just a copy and a shadow of the real one in heaven. Before Moses made the tent, he was told, "Be sure to make it exactly like the pattern you were shown on the mountain!" 6Now Christ has been appointed to serve as a priest in a much better way, and he has given us much assurance of a better agreement.
7If the first agreement with God had been all right, there would not have been any need for another one. 8But the Lord found fault with it and said,
"I tell you the time will come,
when I will make a new agreement
with the people of Israel and the people of Judah.
9It won't be like the agreement
that I made with their ancestors,
when I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt.
They broke their agreement with me,
and I stopped caring about them!

10"But now I tell the people of Israel
this is my new agreement:
'The time will come when I, the Lord,
will write my laws on their minds and hearts.
I will be their God, and they will be my people.
11Not one of them will have to teach another
to know me, their Lord.'

"All of them will know me,
no matter who they are.
12I will treat them with kindness,
even though they are wicked.
I will forget their sins."
13When the Lord talks about a new agreement, he means that the first one is out of date. And anything that is old and useless will soon disappear.

Moses and Aaron Go to the King of Egypt

Exodus 5 Moses and Aaron went to the king of Egypt and told him, "The LORD God says, 'Let my people go into the desert, so they can honor me with a celebration there.' "
2"Who is this LORD and why should I obey him?" the king replied. "I refuse to let you and your people go!"
3They answered, "The LORD God of the Hebrews, has appeared to us. Please let us walk three days into the desert where we can offer sacrifices to him. If you don't, he may strike us down with terrible troubles or with war."
4-5The king said, "Moses and Aaron, why are you keeping these people from working? Look how many you are keeping from doing their work. Now everyone get back to work!"
6That same day the king gave orders to his slave bosses and to the men directly in charge of the Israelite slaves. He told them:
7Don't give the slaves any more straw to put in their bricks. Force them to find their own straw wherever they can, 8but they must make the same number of bricks as before. They are lazy, or else they would not beg me to let them go and sacrifice to their God. 9Make them work so hard that they won't have time to listen to these lies.

10The slave bosses and the men in charge of the slaves went out and told them, "The king says he will not give you any more straw. 11Go and find your own straw wherever you can, but you must still make as many bricks as before."
12The slaves went all over Egypt, looking for straw. 13But the slave bosses were hard on them and kept saying, "Each day you have to make as many bricks as you did when you were given straw." 14The bosses beat the men in charge of the slaves and said, "Why didn't you force the slaves to make as many bricks yesterday and today as they did before?"
15Finally, the men in charge of the slaves went to the king and said, "Why are you treating us like this? 16No one brings us any straw, but we are still ordered to make the same number of bricks. We are beaten with whips, and your own people are to blame."
17The king replied, "You are lazy--nothing but lazy! That's why you keep asking me to let you go and sacrifice to your LORD. 18Get back to work! You won't be given straw, but you must still make the same number of bricks."
19The men knew they were in deep trouble when they were ordered to make the same number of bricks each day. 20After they left the king, they went to see Moses and Aaron, who had been waiting for them. 21Then the men said, "We hope the LORD will punish both of you for making the king and his officials hate us. Now they even have an excuse to kill us."

The LORD's Promise to Moses

22Moses left them and prayed, "Our LORD, why have you brought so much trouble on your people? Is that why you sent me here? 23Ever since you told me to speak to the king, he has caused nothing but trouble for these people. And you haven't done a thing to help."
Exodus 6 The LORD God told Moses:
Soon you will see what I will do to the king. Because of my mighty power, he will let my people go, and he will even chase them out of his country.
2My name is the LORD. 3But when I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, I came as God All-Powerful and did not use my name. 4I made an agreement and promised them the land of Canaan, where they were living as foreigners. 5Now I have seen how the people of Israel are suffering because of the Egyptians, and I will keep my promise.
6Here is my message for Israel: "I am the LORD! And with my mighty power I will punish the Egyptians and free you from slavery. 7I will accept you as my people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I was the one who rescued you from the Egyptians. 8I will bring you into the land that I solemnly promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and it will be yours. I am the LORD!"

9When Moses told this to the Israelites, they were too discouraged and mistreated to believe him.
10Then the LORD told Moses 11to demand that the king of Egypt let the Israelites leave. 12But Moses replied, "I'm not a powerful speaker. If the Israelites won't listen to me, why should the king of Egypt?" 13But the LORD sent Aaron and Moses with a message for the Israelites and for the king; he also ordered Aaron and Moses to free the people from Egypt.

Family Record of Aaron and Moses

14The following men were the heads of their ancestral clans:
The sons of Reuben, Jacob's oldest son, were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.
15The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman.
16Levi lived to be one hundred thirty-seven; his sons were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
17Gershon's sons were Libni and Shimei.
18Kohath lived to be one hundred thirty-three; his sons were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel.
19Merari's sons were Mahli and Mushi. All of the above were from the Levi tribe.
20Amram lived to be one hundred thirty-seven. He married his father's sister Jochebed, and they had two sons, Aaron and Moses.
21Izhar's sons were Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri.
22Uzziel's sons were Mishael, Elzaphan, and Sithri.
23Aaron married Elisheba. She was the daughter of Amminadab and the sister of Nahshon; they had four sons, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
24Korah's sons were Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph.
25Aaron's son Eleazar married one of Putiel's daughters, and their son was Phinehas. This ends the list of those who were the heads of clans in the Levi tribe.

26The LORD had commanded Aaron and Moses to lead every family and tribe of Israel out of Egypt, 27and so they ordered the king of Egypt to set the people of Israel free.

How Proverbs Can Be Used

Proverbs 1 These are the proverbs of King Solomon of Israel,
the son of David.
2Proverbs will teach you wisdom and self-control
and how to understand sayings with deep meanings.
3You will learn what is right and honest and fair.
4From these, an ordinary person can learn to be smart,
and young people can gain knowledge and good sense.

5If you are already wise, you will become even wiser.
And if you are smart, you will learn to understand
6proverbs and sayings, as well as words of wisdom
and all kinds of riddles.
7Respect and obey the LORD!
This is the beginning of knowledge.
Only a fool rejects wisdom and good advice.

Warnings against Bad Friends

8My child, obey the teachings of your parents,
9and wear their teachings as you would a lovely hat
or a pretty necklace.
10Don't be tempted by sinners or listen 11when they say,
"Come on! Let's gang up and kill somebody,
just for the fun of it!
12They're well and healthy now,
but we'll finish them off once and for all.
13We'll take their valuables
and fill our homes with stolen goods.
14If you join our gang, you'll get your share."

15Don't follow anyone like that or do what they do.
16They are in a big hurry to commit some crime,
perhaps even murder.
17They are like a bird that sees the bait,
but ignores the trap.
18They gang up to murder someone,
but they are the victims.
19The wealth you get from crime robs you of your life.

Wisdom Speaks

20Wisdom shouts in the streets wherever crowds gather.
21She shouts in the marketplaces and near the city gates
as she says to the people,
22"How much longer will you enjoy being stupid fools?
Won't you ever stop sneering and laughing at knowledge?
23Listen as I correct you and tell you what I think.
24You completely ignored me and refused to listen;
25you rejected my advice and paid no attention
when I warned you.

26"So when you are struck by some terrible disaster,
27or when trouble and distress surround you like a whirlwind,
I will laugh and make fun.
28You will ask for my help, but I won't listen;
you will search, but you won't find me.
29No, you would not learn,
and you refused to respect the LORD.
30You rejected my advice and paid no attention
when I warned you.

31"Now you will eat the fruit of what you have done,
until you are stuffed full with your own schemes.
32Sin and self-satisfaction bring destruction and death
to stupid fools.
33But if you listen to me, you will be safe and secure
without fear of disaster."

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This reading is from The Holy Bible, Contemporary English Version, copyright © American Bible Society, 1995.

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