fbpx

Day 37 – The Mystical Works of God


Exodus 17

1 The whole community of Israelites left the desert of Sin, travelling by stages as Yahweh ordered. They pitched camp at Rephidim where there was no water for the people to drink.

2 The people took issue with Moses for this and said, ‘Give us water to drink.’ Moses replied, ‘Why take issue with me? Why do you put Yahweh to the test?’

3 But tormented by thirst, the people complained to Moses. ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt,’ they said, ‘only to make us, our childrenand our livestock, die of thirst?’

4 Moses appealed to Yahweh for help. ‘How am I to deal with this people?’ he said. ‘Any moment now they will stone me!’

5 Yahweh then said to Moses, ‘Go on ahead of the people, taking some of the elders of Israel with you; in your hand take the staff with which you struck the River, and go.

6 I shall be waiting for you there on the rock (at Horeb). Strike the rock, and water will come out for the people to drink.’ This was what Moses did, with the elders of Israel looking on.

7 He gave the place the names Massah and Meribah because of the Israelites’ contentiousness and because they put Yahweh to the test by saying, ‘Is Yahweh with us, or not?’

8 The Amalekites then came and attacked Israel at Rephidim.

9 Moses said to Joshua, ‘Pick some men and tomorrow morning go out and engage Amalek. I, for my part, shall take my stand on the hilltop with the staff of God in my hand.’

10 Joshua did as Moses had told him and went out to engage Amalek, while Moses, Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill.

11 As long as Moses kept his arms raised, Israel had the advantage; when he let his arms fall, the advantage went to Amalek.

12 But Moses’ arms grew heavy, so they took a stone and put it under him and on this he sat, with Aaron and Hur supporting his arms on each side. Thus his arms remained unwavering till sunset,

13 and Joshua defeated Amalek, putting their people to the sword.

14 Yahweh then said to Moses, ‘Write this down in a book to commemorate it, and repeat it over to Joshua, for I shall blot out all memoryof Amalek under heaven.’

15 Moses then built an altar and named it Yahweh-Nissi

16 meaning, ‘Lay hold of Yahweh’s banner! Yahweh will be at war with Amalek generation after generation.’

Exodus 18

1 Jethro, priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, had heard all about what God had done for Moses and for Israel his people: how Yahwehhad brought Israel out of Egypt.

2 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, then took back Zipporah, Moses’ wife, whom Moses had sent home,

3 with her two sons; one of them was called Gershom because, he had said, ‘I am an alien in a foreign land,’

4 and the other called Eliezer because ‘My father’s God is my help and has delivered me from Pharaoh’s sword.’

5 Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, with Moses’ sons and wife, came to Moses in the desert where he was encamped, at the mountain of God.

6 ‘Here is your father-in-law Jethro approaching’, Moses was told, ‘with your wife and her two sons.’

7 So Moses went out to greet his father-in-law, bowed low to him and kissed him; and when each had asked how the other was they went into the tent.

8 Moses then told his father-in-law all about what Yahweh had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, and about all the hardships that they had encountered on the way, and how Yahweh had rescued them.

9 And Jethro was delighted at all Yahweh’s goodness to Israel in having rescued them from the clutches of the Egyptians.

10 ‘Blessed be Yahweh’, Jethro exclaimed, ‘for having rescued you from the clutches of the Egyptians and the clutches of Pharaoh, for having rescued the people from the grasp of the Egyptians!

11 Now I know that Yahweh is greater than all other gods. . .’

12 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, then offered a burnt offering and other sacrifices to God; and Aaron and all the elders of Israel came and ate with Moses’ father-in-law in the presence of God.

13 On the following day, Moses took his seat to administer justice for the people, and the people were standing round him from morning till evening.

14 Seeing all he did for the people, Moses’ father-in-law said to him, ‘Why do you do this for the people, why sit here alone with the people standing round you from morning till evening?’

15 Moses replied to his father-in-law, ‘Because the people come to me to consult God.

16 When they have a problem they come to me, and I give a ruling between the one and the other and make God’s statutes and laws known to them.’

17 Moses’ father-in-law then said to him, ‘What you are doing is not right.

18 You will only tire yourself out, and the people with you too, for the work is too heavy for you. You cannot do it all yourself.

19 Now listen to the advice I am going to give you, and God be with you! Your task is to represent the people to God, to lay their cases before God,

20 and to teach them the statutes and laws, and show them the way they ought to follow and how they ought to behave.

21 At the same time, from the people at large choose capable and God-fearing men, men who are trustworthy and incorruptible, and put them in charge of them as heads of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens,

22 and make them the people’s permanent judges. They will refer all important matters to you, but all minor matters they will decide themselves, so making things easier for you by sharing the burden with you.

23 If you do this — and may God so command you — you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.’

24 Moses took his father-in-law’s advice and did just as he said.

25 Moses chose capable men from all Israel and put them in charge of the people as heads of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.

26 These acted as the people’s permanent judges. They referred hard cases to Moses but decided minor matters themselves.

27 Moses then set his father-in-law on his way, and he travelled back to his own country.

Leviticus 12

1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

2 ‘Speak to the Israelites and say: “If a woman becomes pregnant and gives birth to a boy, she will be unclean for seven days as when in a state of pollution due to menstruation.

3 On the eighth day the child’s foreskin must be circumcised,

4 and she will wait another thirty-three days for her blood to be purified. She will not touch anything consecrated nor go to the sanctuaryuntil the time of her purification is over.

5 “If she gives birth to a girl, she will be unclean for two weeks, as during her monthly periods; and will wait another sixty-six days for her blood to be purified.

6 “When the period of her purification is over, for either boy or girl, she will bring the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting a lamb one year old for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or turtledove as a sacrifice for sin.

7 The priest must offer this before Yahweh, perform the rite of expiation for her, and she will be purified from her discharge of blood. “Such is the law concerning a woman who gives birth to either a boy or a girl.

8 If she cannot afford a lamb, she must take two turtledoves or two young pigeons, one for the burnt offering and the other for the sacrifice for sin. The priest will perform the rite of expiation for her and she will be purified.” ‘

Psalm 73

1 [Psalm Of Asaph] Indeed God is good to Israel, the Lord to those who are pure of heart.

2 My feet were on the point of stumbling, a little more and I had slipped,

3 envying the arrogant as I did, and seeing the prosperity of the wicked.

4 For them no such thing as pain, untroubled, their comfortable portliness;

5 exempt from the cares which are the human lot, they have no part in Adam’s afflictions.

6 So pride is a necklace to them, violence the garment they wear.

7 From their fat oozes out malice, their hearts drip with cunning.

8 Cynically they advocate evil, loftily they advocate force.

9 Their mouth claims heaven for themselves, and their tongue is never still on earth.

10 That is why my people turn to them, and enjoy the waters of plenty,

11 saying, ‘How can God know? What knowledge can the Most High have?’

12 That is what the wicked are like, piling up wealth without any worries.

13 Was it useless, then, to have kept my own heart clean, to have washed my hands in innocence?

14 When I was under a hail of blows all day long, and punished every morning,

15 had I said, ‘I shall talk like them,’ I should have betrayed your children’s race.

16 So I set myself to understand this: how difficult I found it!

17 Until I went into the sanctuaries of the gods and understood what was destined to become of them.

18 You place them on a slippery slope and drive them down into chaos.

19 How sudden their hideous destruction! They are swept away, annihilated by terror!

20 Like a dream upon waking, Lord, when you awake, you dismiss their image.

21 My heart grew embittered, my affections dried up,

22 I was stupid and uncomprehending, a clumsy animal in your presence.

23 Even so, I stayed in your presence, you grasped me by the right hand;

24 you will guide me with advice, and will draw me in the wake of your glory.

25 Who else is there for me in heaven? And, with you, I lack nothing on earth.

26 My heart and my flesh are pining away: my heart’s rock, my portion, God for ever!

27 Truly, those who abandon you will perish; you destroy those who adulterously desert you,

28 whereas my happiness is to be near God. I have made the Lord Yahweh my refuge, to tell of all your works.

Thoughts and Reflection

We should take a moment and reflect on the supernatural that is highlighted in scripture from time to time. As we read these passages, there are lots of discussions of miracles happening that simply can’t be explained. When a miracle is claimed, the Church looks to see if there is a natural explanation first. Once that is exhausted and a natural explanation has been eliminated, then we can conlude it was some sort of miracle that occurred.

What we have read so far in the bible describes several miracles – the parting of the Red Sea, manna from heaven, the defeat of Amalek, the water from the rock at Meribah, and Massah. With the absence of natural explanations, we are left with God fighting for us.

Leviticus speaks of a woman being “unclean.” What is this exactly? In the Old Testament it is not a moral judgment but simply refers to being ritually unclean. Therefore a woman after giving birth cannot approach the sanctuary until a prescribed period has passed and a ritual is done to spiritually cleanse her.

Jumping to the present day, do miracles still happen? Yes! The church takes each claim seriously and finds a way if scientific evidence can explain what happened. Many times they simply cannot. Read here some recent Eucharistic Miracles that have been documented by the church and Pope Francis.

Have you seen miracles in your life?

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!


Leave a Reply

Like what you are reading? Subscribe and get notified of new posts.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

%d bloggers like this: