Scripture: Exodus 30:14-16 “14 Everyone who is numbered in the census, from twenty years old and upward, shall give the Lord's offering. 15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half shekel, when you give the Lord's offering to make atonement for your lives. 16 You shall take the atonement money from the people of Israel and shall give it for the service of the tent of meeting, that it may bring the people of Israel to remembrance before the Lord, so as to make atonement for your lives.””
Observations: Exodus started out with more regulations, and then hopped to the failure of Aaron. I have often struggled with that story. I don’t get the impression the people were going to attack Aaron, yet he gave the excuse they made him do it. Then he acts so innocent – threw the gold in the fire and out popped a calf – not that he fashioned a calf out of it. Why did he get off so easy while others were killed? Yet, not all of the sinners were killed? Someday maybe I’ll understand. In Acts, Saul (later to become Paul) starts on a rampage to kill Christians, while Philip is out bringing more to the faith.
Application: Why is it I never noticed this passage before? The people had to pay for atonement? Wow! I know they used to have the service once a year where they sent a scapegoat out into the desert, but I never noticed that people were expected to pay. Worst yet, it was the same amount of money no matter how rich or poor you were. We do not realize how great we have it. Jesus paid the price for our atonement. Grace. Free. We should NEVER take that for granted.
Prayer: Father God, Holy One, Creator and Sustainer. You loved us so much that you sent your son, Jesus Christ to be an atonement for our sins. We are so blessed to live in the time after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Yet, there are so many lost souls out there who have not accepted your free gift. Lord, tonight I pray for the lost and the confused. I pray for those who are still trying to pay their way to eternal life, and I pray for those who do not know about the freedom they can have in you, and I pray for those who have rejected your gift. Father, I know it is your desire that none should perish. Do not let us get complacent in reaching out. I pray this in Christ, Jesus’ name.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Exodus 33-34; Psalm 16; Acts 9