Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Day 16/Chapter 16

Chapter 16 observations
- This chapter divided up into six sections: vv.1-8, 9-12, 13-15, 16-17, 18-20, 21-22. There is a progression within each section; vv.1-17 deal with remembering what God has done, vv.18-20 deal with community relations, and vv.21-22 (this also includes 17:1) deal with the individual.
- Unleavened bread is called “the bread of affliction” in the fist section because it represents Israel’s time in Egypt and when God delivered them.
- The Israelites are to leave no leftovers in the morning when the sacrifice for Passover (v.4).
- Three times the people (the men) of Israel are to appear before God, the feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover), Feast of Weeks (I think this is Pentecost), and Feast of Tabernacles.
- Judges and officials (v.18) are used in each of the Israel’s towns to help keep peace and bring justice to those who need it.
- In the last section (vv.21-22) God warns the people of turning to pagan practices (e.g., Asherah poles and sacred stones).

God, as we have seen already, is all about remembering. Here He establishes three big feasts/or parties. These times of celebration are a time for the community to come together and remember together what God has done. There is something powerful when people gather together with God as their reason for it. I can’t help but think of the church. We gather and remember what Christ has done and is still doing for us. We remember together, especially this time of year (Lent), the actions Jesus performed to deliver us from slavery to sin. As the hymn sings,
At the cross, at the cross where I fist saw the light
and the burden of my soul rolled away.
It was there by faith, I received my sight,
and now I am happy all the day.