Through the Bible – Day 50

Bible text(s)

Laws and punishments

Laws about sacrifices

1The LORD told Moses 2to give the Israelites the following laws about offering sacrifices:

3Bulls or rams or goats are the animals that you may burn on the altar as sacrifices to please me. You may also offer sacrifices voluntarily or because you made a promise, or because they are part of your regular religious ceremonies. The smell of the smoke from these sacrifices is pleasing to me.

4-5If you sacrifice a young ram or goat, you must also offer a kilogramme of your finest flour mixed with a litre of olive oil as a grain sacrifice. A litre of wine must also be poured on the altar.

6-7And if the animal is a full-grown ram, you must offer two kilogrammes of flour mixed with one and a half litres of olive oil. One and a half litres of wine must also be poured on the altar. The smell of this smoke is pleasing to me.

8If a bull is offered as a sacrifice to please me or to ask my blessing, 9you must offer three kilogrammes of flour mixed with two litres of olive oil. 10Two litres of wine must also be poured on the altar. The smell of this smoke is pleasing to me.

11-13If you are a native Israelite, you must obey these rules each time you offer a bull, a ram, or a goat as a sacrifice. 14And the foreigners who live among you must also follow these rules. 15-16This law will never change. I am the LORD, and I consider all people the same, whether they are Israelites or foreigners living among you.

17-19When you eat food in the land that I am giving you, remember to set aside some of it as an offering to me. 20From the first batch of bread dough that you make after each new grain harvest, make a loaf of bread and offer it to me, just as you offer grain. 21All your descendants must follow this law and offer part of the first batch of bread dough.

22-23The LORD also told Moses to tell the people what must be done if they ever disobey his laws:

24If all of you disobey one of my laws without meaning to, you must offer a bull as a sacrifice to please me, together with a grain sacrifice, a wine offering, and a goat as a sacrifice for sin. 25Then the priest will pray and ask me to forgive you. And since you did not mean to do wrong, and you offered sacrifices, 26the sin of everyone—both Israelites and foreigners among you—will be forgiven.

27But if one of you does wrong without meaning to, you must sacrifice a year-old female goat as a sacrifice for sin. 28The priest will then ask me to forgive you, and your sin will be forgiven.

29The law will be the same for anyone who does wrong without meaning to, whether an Israelite or a foreigner living among you.

30-31But if one of you does wrong on purpose, whether Israelite or foreigner, you have sinned against me by disobeying my laws. You will be sent away and will no longer live among the people of Israel.

A man put to death for gathering firewood on the Sabbath

32Once, while the Israelites were travelling through the desert, a man was caught gathering firewood on the Sabbath. 33He was taken to Moses, Aaron, and the rest of the community. 34But no one knew what to do with him, so he was not allowed to leave.

35Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell the people to take that man outside the camp and stone him to death!” 36So he was killed, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

The tassels on the people's clothes

37The LORD told Moses 38to say to the people of Israel, “Sew tassels on to the bottom edge of your clothes and tie a purple string to each tassel. 39-40These will remind you that you must obey my laws and teachings. And when you do, you will be dedicated to me and won't follow your own sinful desires. 41I am the LORD your God who led you out of Egypt.”

The people rebel

Korah, Dathan, and Abiram lead a rebellion

1-2Korah son of Izhar was a Levite from the Kohathite clan. One day he called together Dathan, Abiram, and On from the Reuben tribe, and the four of them decided to rebel against Moses. So they asked two hundred and fifty respected Israelite leaders for their support, and together they went to Moses 3and Aaron and said, “Why do you think you're so much better than anyone else? We're part of the LORD's holy people, and he's with all of us. What makes you think you're the only ones in charge?”

4When Moses heard this, he knelt down to pray. 5Then he said to Korah and his followers:

Tomorrow morning the LORD will show us the person he has chosen to be his priest, and that man will faithfully serve him.

6-7Korah, now here is what you and your followers must do: get some fire pans, fill them with coals and incense, and place them near the sacred tent. And the man the LORD chooses will be his priest. Korah, this time you Levites have gone too far!

8-9You know that the God of Israel has chosen you Levites from all Israel to serve him by being in charge of the sacred tent and by helping the community to worship in the proper way. What more do you want? 10The LORD has given you a special responsibility, and now, Korah, you think you should also be his priest. 11You and your followers have rebelled against the LORD, not against Aaron.

12Then Moses sent for Dathan and Abiram, but they sent back this message: “We won't come! 13It's bad enough that you took us from our rich farmland in Egypt to let us die here in the desert. Now you also want to boss us around! 14You keep promising us rich farmlands with fertile fields and vineyards—but where are they? Stop trying to trick these people. No, we won't come to see you.”

15Moses was very angry and said to the LORD, “Don't listen to these men! I haven't done anything wrong to them. I haven't taken as much as a donkey.”

16Then he said to Korah, “Tomorrow you and your followers must go with Aaron to the LORD's sacred tent. 17Each of you take along your fire pan with incense in it and offer the incense to the LORD.”

18The next day the men placed incense and coals in their fire pans and stood with Moses and Aaron at the entrance to the sacred tent. 19Meanwhile, Korah had convinced the rest of the Israelites to rebel against their two leaders.

When that happened, the LORD appeared in all his glory 20and said to Moses and Aaron, 21“Get away from the rest of the Israelites so I can kill them at once!”

22But the two men bowed down and prayed, “Our God, you gave these people life. Why would you punish everyone here when only one man has sinned?”

23The LORD answered Moses, 24“Tell the people to stay away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.”

25Moses walked over to Dathan and Abiram, and the other leaders of Israel followed. 26Then Moses warned the people, “Get away from the tents of these sinful men! Don't touch anything that belongs to them or you'll be wiped out.” 27So everyone moved away from those tents, except Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and their families.

28Moses said to the crowd, “The LORD has chosen me and told me to do these things—it wasn't my idea. And here's how you will know: 29if these men die a natural death, it means the LORD hasn't chosen me. 30But suppose the LORD does something that has never been done before. For example, what if a huge crack appears in the ground, and these men and their families fall into it and are buried alive, together with everything they own? Then you will know they have turned their backs on the LORD!”

31As soon as Moses said this, the ground under the men opened up 32-33and swallowed them alive, together with their families and everything they owned. Then the ground closed back up, and they were gone.

34The rest of the Israelites heard their screams, so they ran off, shouting, “We don't want that to happen to us!”

35Suddenly the LORD sent a fire that burnt up the two hundred and fifty men who had offered incense to him.

36Then the LORD said to Moses, 37“Tell Aaron's son Eleazar to take the fire pans from the smouldering fire and scatter the coals. The pans are now sacred, 38because they were used for offering incense to me. Have them hammered into a thin layer of bronze as a covering for the altar. Those men died because of their sin, and now their fire pans will become a warning for the rest of the community.”

39Eleazar collected the pans and had them hammered into a thin layer of bronze as a covering for the altar, 40just as the LORD had told Moses. The pans were a warning to the Israelites that only Aaron's descendants would be allowed to offer incense to the LORD. Anyone else who tried would be punished like Korah and his followers.

The Israelites rebel and are punished

41The next day the people of Israel again complained against Moses and Aaron, “The two of you killed some of the LORD's people!”

42As the people crowded around them, Moses and Aaron turned towards the sacred tent, and the LORD appeared in his glory in the cloud covering the tent. 43So Moses and Aaron walked to the front of the tent, 44where the LORD said to them, 45“Stand back! I am going to wipe out these Israelites once and for all.”

They immediately bowed down and prayed. 46Then Moses told Aaron, “Grab your fire pan and fill it with hot coals from the altar. Put incense in it, then quickly take it to where the people are and offer it to the LORD, so they can be forgiven. The LORD is very angry, and people have already started dying!”

47-48Aaron did exactly what he had been told. He ran over to the crowd of people and stood between the dead bodies and the people who were still alive. He placed the incense on the pan, then offered it to the LORD and asked him to forgive the people's sin. The disease immediately stopped spreading, and no one else died from it. 49But fourteen thousand seven hundred Israelites were dead, not counting those who had died with Korah and his followers.

50Aaron walked back and stood with Moses at the sacred tent.

Numbers 15:1-16:50CEVOpen in Bible reader

The preaching of John the Baptist

1This is the good news about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2It began just as God had said in the book written by Isaiah the prophet,

“I am sending my messenger

to get the way ready

for you.

3In the desert

someone is shouting,

‘Get the road ready

for the Lord!

Make a straight path

for him.’ ”

4So John the Baptist appeared in the desert and told everyone, “Turn back to God and be baptized! Then your sins will be forgiven.”

5From all Judea and Jerusalem crowds of people went to John. They told how sorry they were for their sins, and he baptized them in the River Jordan.

6John wore clothes made of camel's hair. He had a leather strap around his waist and ate grasshoppers and wild honey.

7John also told the people, “Someone more powerful is going to come. And I am not good enough even to stoop down and untie his sandals. 8I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!”

The baptism of Jesus

9About that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the River Jordan. 10As soon as Jesus came out of the water, he saw the sky open and the Holy Spirit coming down to him like a dove. 11A voice from heaven said, “You are my own dear Son, and I am pleased with you.”

Jesus and Satan

12Straight away God's Spirit made Jesus go into the desert. 13He stayed there for forty days while Satan tested him. Jesus was with the wild animals, but angels took care of him.

Jesus begins his work

14After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee and told the good news that comes from God. 15He said, “The time has come! God's kingdom will soon be here. Turn back to God and believe the good news!”

Jesus chooses four fishermen

16As Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew. They were fishermen and were casting their nets into the lake. 17Jesus said to them, “Come with me! I will teach you how to bring in people instead of fish.” 18At once the two brothers dropped their nets and went with him.

19Jesus walked on and soon saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat, mending their nets. 20At once Jesus asked them to come with him. They left their father in the boat with the hired workers and went with him.

Mark 1:1-20CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.9
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