|Week beginning 13 June 2021|
|This week we finish Proverbs and dive into Ecclesiastes!|
This week you’ll become familiar with two new books of wisdom literature, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs. These books are focused on two very different areas of our lives but are intended to leave you with a newfound understanding of human experience and the world around us.
Ecclesiastes will introduce you to a critic who will try to turn your world upside-down. You thought you’d get ahead by following the wisdom of Proverbs? Think again because it doesn’t always work that way. While Ecclesiastes is an intensely wise book, it can leave you feeling a little low. Luckily, it’s followed up by Song of Songs, a collection of ancient Hebrew love poetry that celebrates the beauty and power of God’s gift of love and sexual desire.
P.S. One of the most overlooked books of the Bible, this week we look at Song of Songs and its literary and spiritual value.
Sunday: Read Proverbs 28-31, Psalm 7. Watch Proverbs.
Monday: Read Ecclesiastes 1-4, Psalm 8. Watch Ecclesiastes.
Tuesday: Read Ecclesiastes 5-8, Psalm 9.
Wednesday: Read Ecclesiastes 9-12, Psalm 10. Watch Ecclesiastes.
Thursday: Read Song of Songs 1-4, Psalm 11.
Friday: Read Song of Songs 5-8, Psalm 12. Watch Song of Songs.
Saturday: Read Jeremiah 1-3, Psalm 13. Watch Jeremiah.
Once you finish the book of Proverbs, you’ll dive right into the book of Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes is primarily interested in exploring three different ideas, which initially seem to be at odds with the wisdom of Proverbs.
The primary character in Ecclesiastes, the teacher or critic, believes that time stops for no one. Rich or poor, young or old, the world goes on and mostly forgets you ever existed. If you think that’s heavy, the critic also explores the concept of death. Everyone dies, no exceptions. What is the point then? Just wait because the last point makes even less sense. The critic believes that life is random in nature. The wisdom in Proverbs sounds nice, but things don’t always work out the way they should. While all this might sound really depressing, the critic’s main point is not. This book is intended to help build humility, appreciation for the small things, and a healthy fear of God.
This paves the way for the next book, the Song of Songs. This book is a beautiful exploration of love, sexual desire, and the longing and yearning between two lovers. It is written in the wisdom tradition of King Solomon. Some would say that the metaphorical nature of this book might be pointing to God’s love for Israel or Jesus’ love of the Church, but all we know for sure is that it describes the divine gift of love within an idyllic garden of Eden-type setting. Love is a powerful emotion, and when the flame of love is contained within the proper boundaries of two people who love one another fully, it is life-giving.
|Week beginning 6 June 2021|
|This week we dive into Proverbs 7-27!|
You’re already into the book of Proverbs at this point, but have you noticed that the classic, short proverbs don’t start until chapter 10? Why does this book start with nine chapters of long speeches? This is all by design, as these speeches introduce you to the book as a whole and the best way to read it. We highly encourage you to read this week’s blog post and watch both videos on Proverbs to help you grasp what is going on in this timeless book. The proverbs themselves are only half the story!
The collections of proverbs in chapters 10-29 are not intended to be read just once. They’re designed for a lifetime of repeated readings and reflection. These short sayings cover a range of human experiences at different stages of life, and they’re designed to guide you towards a virtuous life. It’s important to keep coming back to Proverbs in all seasons of your life, whether you’re a child or parent, husband or wife, boss or employee. Proverbs is for all people, helping you to see God’s wisdom and learn how to properly interact with God’s created world.
P.S. Wisdom is a repeated word and theme in Proverbs. This week we dive deeper into this theme in our newest blog post, Proverbs and How Human Wisdom Becomes Divine.
Sunday: Read Proverbs 7-9, Psalm 150. Watch Proverbs.
Monday: Read Proverbs 10-12, Psalm 1. Watch The Book of Proverbs.
Tuesday: Read Proverbs 13-15, Psalm 2. Watch Poetry.
Wednesday: Read Proverbs 16-18, Psalm 3. Watch Metaphor in Biblical Poetry.
Thursday: Read Proverbs 19-21, Psalm 4.
Friday: Read Proverbs 22-24, Psalm 5.
Saturday: Read Proverbs 25-27, Psalm 6.
|The book of Proverbs is more than just a list of short, clever sayings. It has a clear literary design and structure. Proverbs 1:1-9 explicitly informs the reader that this book is for gaining wisdom. This refers to the Hebrew concept of “applied knowledge,” its foundation being a fear of the Lord.|
In chapters 1-9, you’ll find 10 speeches given from a father to a son that create the framework for the rest of the book. You could call it the “moral logic” of the book of Proverbs. You’ll also find four distinct poems by a character referred to as Lady Wisdom, which clues us into the divine and human nature of wisdom literature. Proverbs is not merely a collection of good advice; it’s God’s personal invitation to learn wisdom from previous generations and tap into an invisible attribute of God that he wants to share with us.
In chapters 10-29, you will find hundreds of these proverbs that cover the gamut of topics, all filtered through the framework of chapters 1-9. These are not formulas for how to get ahead in life. They’re simply wise ways of living in relatively normal circumstances. However, exceptions to these proverbs are common, which is why there are two additional books of wisdom literature to guide the reader through these situations. As you close the book of Proverbs, you’ll find two examples (Proverbs 30-31) of how someone might use this book to practically live out a more wise, virtuous, and God-pleasing life.
|Week beginning 30 May 2021|
|This week we finish Job and dive into Proverbs!|
You’re almost through the book of Job, a formidable literary masterpiece. Ancient Hebrew poetry, especially on challenging topics like the ones covered in Job, is not easy to consume or digest. If you’re feeling a little lost, hang in there. God is about to speak up again, and he’ll provide an answer to this ongoing debate between Job and his friends. It’s important to remember the three questions on the line as you move into the final section of the book.
Is God just? Does God run the universe on the strict principle of justice? How is Job’s suffering to be explained?
The problem is that not all of these can be true at the same time, so how will God answer? It might surprise you.
P.S. Want to dive deeper? Start with our weekly blog post, God’s Virtual Tour of the Cosmos with Job.
Sunday Read Job 32-34, Psalm 143.
Monday: Read Job 35-37, Psalm 144.
Tuesday: Read Job 38-39, Psalm 145.
Wednesday: Read Job 40-42, Psalm 146. Watch Job.
Thursday: Read Psalms 1-2, Psalm 147.
Friday Read Proverbs 1-3, Psalm 148. Watch The Book of Solomon.
Saturday: Read Proverbs 4-6, Psalm 149. Watch Proverbs.
|Job and his friends have exhausted the best that ancient Near Eastern philosophy has to offer, and it’s time to summarize all that we’ve learned. The book concludes with four final speeches: Job’s last speech (Job 29-31), Elihu’s caution (Job 32-37), Yahweh’s response to all these speeches (Job 38-41), and a short reply from Job (Job 42:1-6).|
Job wants to believe God is just, but because he still maintains his innocence, it doesn’t align with the divine retribution principle. He simply demands an answer from God, who he believes could possibly be unjust.
Without Elihu’s voice, readers might have a tendency to idealize Job and conclude that his response to suffering was impeccable. While Job was innocent on the matter pertaining to his suffering, his response to God was nowhere near perfect.
God gives an answer to Job but not in the way you might expect. He never actually answers the question of Job’s suffering. In fact, God’s answer does not even explain why righteous people might suffer because the cosmos is not designed to prevent righteous people from suffering. The purpose of the book of Job is not to provide an answer as to why we suffer; rather, it gives us a model for how we can relate to God in the midst of suffering.
While God does not endorse Job’s arrogant accusations, he does sympathetically describe Job’s struggle as “speaking rightly about me.” God condemns Job’s friends for presumptuously assuming they know how God works in the world. In his final speech, Job apologizes for questioning God and learns to trust God’s wisdom in all things.
|Week beginning 23 May 2021|
|This week we dive into Job 4-31!|
You’ve made it through the pre-exilic prophets! These men called out Israel’s covenant unfaithfulness while also providing much-needed hope in the future messianic King who would save all nations from injustice. If you kept reading through the Bible chronologically, you would find books like Esther, Daniel, and Ezra-Nehemiah, which explore Israel’s time in captivity and their return from exile.
However, we want to let you digest all that’s happened, so we’re starting the wisdom literature, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job. Biblical wisdom literature can be incredibly intricate and profound, and our reading for this week is no exception. The book of Job explores the difficult question of God’s relationship to human suffering.
It’s a beautiful work of ancient literary genius, but it’s easy to get confused about its true meaning because of some of the imagery it uses. So we encourage you to read this week’s blog post to set yourself up for success!
P.S. The first two chapters of Job contain scenes from God’s throne room and conversations between God and Satan. What is this all about? In this week’s blog post, we dive into Job chapters 1-2.
Sunday: Read Job 4-7, Psalm 136.
Monday: Read Job 8-11, Psalm 137.
Tuesday: Read Job 12-15, Psalm 138.
Wednesday: Read Job 16-19, Psalm 139.
Thursday: Read Job 20-23, Psalm 140.
Friday: Read Job 24-28, Psalm 141.
Saturday: Read Job 29-31, Psalm 142.
|Job is a beautiful and intricate book that addresses some of life’s most profound questions. The author is anonymous and uses an ambiguous time and setting for the story. The characters aren’t even Israelites, yet this is a rich work of Hebrew poetry. All of this is intentional as to not distract you from the profound theological statements the book makes. It’s easy to get lost in the dense Hebrew poetry of the book of Job, so try and remember the flow and structure of the book.|
In chapters 3-28, Job and his friends will focus on three topics of debate: Is God just? Does God run the universe on the strict principle of justice? How is Job’s suffering to be explained?
Job is not able to answer these questions, and in chapters 29-31, he demands God make a personal appearance and explain himself. However, before he does, we will hear from one more of Job’s friends, Elihu, who we’ll cover next week.
|Week beginning 18 April 2021|
|This week we finish up Kings and dive into Isaiah!|
As you finish up 1 and 2 Kings, we hope the important role of Israel’s prophets has started to make sense to you. They warned that Israel was on the precipice of major judgment from Yahweh and that an enemy nation was coming to take out the northern Israelite tribes. And they were right.
As you read the final chapters of 2 Kings, you’ll discover that Jerusalem suffered a similar fate when the Babylonians took over, and then the book ends. This was a watershed moment in Israel’s history and in the story of the Bible. Israel’s existence as a national kingdom with rulers, land, and a temple was destroyed. The Hebrew Scriptures began to take their modern shape in the wake of these events.
Even though this event comes in the middle of the biblical drama, its ripple effect reaches throughout all of Scripture. The exile to Babylon was one of the most formative events in biblical history. Our reading plan will now continue in the ancient Jewish ordering of Scripture, which places the book of Isaiah after 1 and 2 Kings. Only the prophetic hope of Isaiah could turn this tragic story back into one of hope.
P.S. Want to dive deeper? Check out our weekly blog post, Jerusalem has Fallen: Despair and Hope.
Sunday: Read 2 Kings 18-19, Psalm 106.
Monday: Read 2 Kings 20-22, Psalm 107.
Tuesday: Read 2 Kings 23-25, Psalm 108.
Wednesday: Read Isaiah 1-4, Psalm 109. Watch The Prophets.
Thursday: Read Isaiah 5-8, Psalm 110. Watch Holiness.
Friday: Read Isaiah 9-12, Psalm 111. Watch Spiritual Beings.
Saturday: Read Isaiah 13-17, Psalm 112. Watch Elohim.
|At the end of last week, you saw the Assyrians take the northern kingdom of Israel into exile because of their idol worship and covenant unfaithfulness. As you continue reading 2 Kings, the prophets will also explore the covenant rebellion and failure of Judah.|
This week you’ll also see the same fate come upon Jerusalem. There are a few bright moments, like the reigns of Hezekiah and Josiah. But by the time you get into the final chapters of 2 Kings, there is not a lot to be hopeful about. The good news is that the biblical story doesn’t end with 2 Kings! You will also read Isaiah 1-17, which will take you back into Jerusalem a century after the exile. Isaiah offers a lot of reflection on why that disaster happened, and he also looks forward with hope.
Take your time in this book and digest the poetry slowly. There’s a reason the book of Isaiah is one of the most important biblical texts for Jesus and his disciples.
|Week beginning 11 April 2021|
|This week we finish 1 Kings and start 2 Kings!|
|If this is your first time in 1 and 2 Kings, it may have been surprising to read about Solomon’s role in the eventual split of the Israelite tribal kingdoms. This rift between southern Judah and northern Israel (sometimes referred to as Samaria) can help you understand why Jesus’ parable about the good Samaritan was so provocative. From this moment in Israel’s history, Samaritans would continue to grow into the archenemies of the Judeans living around Jerusalem.|
As you read through this section of Kings, don’t forget this is a prophetic view of history, not a linear historical account. It’s an interpretation of Israel’s history by the prophets, which is why it focuses so much on the wayward kings and the prophets God sent to help Israel return to faithfulness. In fact, this week’s blog post further explores the interplay between the kings and prophets.
P.S. Who are these old guys always claiming to represent God, and what are they all about? In this week’s blog post, we explore the role of the prophets in Kings vs. Prophets.
|Sunday: Read 1 Kings 17-19, Psalm 99. |
Monday: Read 1 Kings 20-22, Psalm 100.
Tuesday: Read 2 Kings 1-3, Psalm 101.
Wednesday: Read 2 Kings 4-7, Psalm 102.
Thursday: Read 2 Kings 8-11, Psalm 103.
Friday: Read 2 Kings 12-14, Psalm 104.
Saturday: Read 2 Kings 15-17, Psalm 105.
|Week Beginning 4 April 2021|
|This week we finish 2 Samuel and dive into 1 Kings.|
This week we come to the end of David’s reign with a heavy heart. In the end, his story doesn’t seem much different from Saul’s. David set into motion a series of events that all but destroyed his family and certainly destroyed him. While he may have found his way back to the throne, he is not the same David we saw at the opening of 2 Samuel.
The epilogue to this book provides several stories that are out of chronological order but are still important (2 Samuel 21-24). David gives a solemn and poetic rumination on the events of 1 and 2 Samuel, which should inspire confidence that God is at work despite arrogant and prideful humans who may interfere with his plan.
Most importantly, it reminds us that God will fulfill his promise to bring a messianic king who will deliver Israel in the ways that King Saul and King David failed to. At the beginning of 1 Kings, you’ll see David one last time as he gives his son Solomon parting advice before passing away. Unfortunately, as we’ll discover after reading the first movement in Kings, that advice only partially sinks in.
P.S. This week we’ll meet a king who will leave us scratching our heads. We dive into this important king in this week’s blog post, Solomon: Love Him or Hate Him?
Sunday: Read 2 Samuel 19-21, Psalm 92.
Monday: Read 2 Samuel 22-24, Psalm 93.
Tuesday: Read 1 Kings 1-3, Psalm 94. Watch 1-2 Kings.
Wednesday: Read 1 Kings 4-7, Psalm 95.
Thursday: Read 1 Kings 8-10, Psalm 96.
Friday: Read 1 Kings 11-13, Psalm 97.
Saturday: Read 1 Kings 14-16, Psalm 98.
|As you read the stories about King Solomon this week, you might feel like someone pulled a fast one on you. Wasn’t he supposed to be the wisest person on earth? We’re glad you asked because that’s what this week’s blog post is all about. Like most characters in the Bible, Solomon is a mixed bag.|
Solomon asked God for wisdom (1 Kings 3-4). God grants this, and it helps Solomon to build a beautiful temple for God (1 Kings 5-8). However, as you will see in chapters 9-11, Solomon’s bad decisions multiply, and the kingdom of Israel goes downhill fast. By the end of his reign, Solomon becomes a symbolic Pharaoh in an intentional parallel from the author.
Unfortunately, Solomon’s son Rehoboam is no better. In fact, he sets into motion a sequence of events from which the kingdom of Israel will never recover.
|Week beginning 28 March 2021|
|This week we finish 1 Samuel and dive into 2 Samuel 1-18.|
You’re probably beginning to see connections between Hannah’s prayer (1 Samuel 2) and the character traits embodied in Saul and David. Saul lacks integrity and is dishonest, prideful, and incapable of escaping his own self-deception. As promised in her prayer, God brings low the prideful (Saul’s progressive downfall) and exalts the lowly and faithful (David’s rise to king).
David is a shepherd. He is small in stature and status but righteous because of his radical trust in Yahweh. David becomes the anointed king of Israel (1 Samuel 16), but he suffers and is persecuted by Saul. During this same time, Saul’s jealousy and madness grows, and in the first few days of this week’s reading, you’ll see it culminate in Saul’s grisly demise. This is again contrasted with David’s final enthronement and major moral and social progress in the kingdom of Israel.
P.S. David is more than a good king. He becomes a symbol of something far greater in Israel’s story. We look at David’s life and reign in this week’s blog post, David: What’s the Big Deal?
Sunday: Read 1 Samuel 25-27, Psalm 85.
Monday: Read 1 Samuel 28-31, Psalm 86.
Tuesday: Read 2 Samuel 1-3, Psalm 87. Watch 2 Samuel.
Wednesday: Read 2 Samuel 4-8, Psalm 88.
Thursday: Read 2 Samuel 9-12, Psalm 89.
Friday: Read 2 Samuel 13-15, Psalm 90.
Saturday: Read 2 Samuel 16-18, Psalm 91.
|After witnessing the end of Saul’s reign, this week you’ll see King David finally enthroned as the first king of a truly unified Israel. The kingdom of Israel is strengthened around its new political and spiritual centre, the city of Jerusalem, which he calls Zion.|
You’ll also see one of the most important stories in the entire Bible, the establishment of the covenant between God and King David (2 Samuel 7). However, as you are riding high from the first half of this book, you’ll see a devastating turn for Israel’s king. David gives into temptation, which leads to adultery, murder, and the destruction of his own family.
This week, we will end our reading with a series of poetic reflections written by David on the whole storyline of Samuel. We will also be introduced to David’s son and the new king of Israel, Solomon.
|WEEK BEGINNING 21 MARCH 2021|
|This week we dive into 1 Samuel 1-24!|
|Last week we witnessed Israel’s slow descent into madness in the book of Judges. Ruth gave us a reprieve and a glimmer of hope for a Messiah who can truly deliver Israel from its enemies and their cycle of sin and self-destruction. This week you’ll move on to 1 and 2 Samuel, which might be more accurately called “1 and 2 David.” This is because the whole purpose of the book is to introduce you to King David, who becomes the first king over all the tribes of Israel.|
The story begins with the rise of Samuel, the prophet who will establish Israel’s monarchy and appoint their first king, Saul. Saul’s reign is tragic. Outwardly, Saul looks like everything we should aspire to be, but as we’ll unpack in this week’s blog post, his inner life is a different story. Saul’s story shows us something true about ourselves and gives us the opportunity to choose a different path.
1 Samuel tells of Saul’s slow demise and how it coincides with the rise of David. But first, we’re introduced to the touching and beautiful tale of Hannah. Her story, and especially her song, introduces the key themes that will be explored in greater depth in the story to follow.
Want to dive deeper? Start with this week’s blog post, Saul and Self-Deception
Sunday: Read 1 Samuel 1-3, Psalm 78. Watch 1 Samuel.
Monday: Read 1 Samuel 4-8, Psalm 79.
Tuesday: Read 1 Samuel 9-12, Psalm 80.
Wednesday: Read 1 Samuel 13-14, Psalm 81.
Thursday: Read 1 Samuel 15-17, Psalm 82.
Friday: Read 1 Samuel 18-20. Psalm 83.
Saturday: Read 1 Samuel 21-24. Psalm 84.
|1 Samuel begins with two coinciding historical events that serve as the backdrop for the first half of this book: the Philistines’ rise to power as Israel’s archenemy and Samuel’s role as the leading prophet in the tenuously connected kingdom of Israel.|
The people of Israel demand a king, which is not bad in and of itself. However, God knows the true motivation of their hearts, and at the centre of this request is a desire to be like all the other nations. This gets them into trouble because it’s a sign they’ve stopped acknowledging God as their true King. Yahweh honours this request and gives them a leader, Saul. We quickly discover that he has deep character flaws, providing a contrast to David, who is the first embodiment of a humble and obedient king (1 Samuel 16-17).
The rest of 1 Samuel tracks Saul’s slow descent into insanity as he eventually reaches his breaking point. 1 Samuel concludes with the death of Saul and sets the stage for David’s enthronement and reign in 2 Samuel.
|Week beginning 14 March 2021|
|This week we finish Judges and dive into Ruth!|
The book of Joshua concludes with two speeches from Joshua that should remind you of Moses’ final words in Deuteronomy. Joshua challenges the people of Israel to shema, that is, to listen to the commands of the Torah in order to receive the blessings promised to them by Yahweh. However, after Joshua dies, things get really bad really quick. The book of Judges is one long story of the Israelite’s failures and how they assimilate to Canaanite culture instead of becoming a kingdom of priests (remember Exodus 19:4-6).
The book of Judges is disturbing, and we hope you’ll take the time to read the blog post this week. It will explore the hope the author is trying to highlight through the telling of these dark stories. Fortunately, this week will conclude with the book of Ruth, which should bring you back from the edge of your seat. It is a beautifully woven story that stands as an amazing testament to God’s redemptive power. It is also the topic of our bonus blog post this week. Check it out here.
P.S. The book of Judges is difficult reading. To help you along, check out this week’s biblical theology blog post, Judges and Messianic Hope.
Sunday: Read Judges 4-5, Psalm 71.
Monday: Read Judges 6-8, Psalm 72. Watch Plot
Tuesday: Read Judges 9-12, Psalm 73.
Wednesday: Read Judges 13-15, Psalm 74.
Thursday: Read Judges 16-18, Psalm 75.
Friday: Read Judges 19-21, Psalm 76.
Saturday: Read Ruth 1-4. Psalm 77. Watch Ruth
|For those who only know the story of Samson from children’s Bible stories, the real story may come as a shock. The bumbling but heroic strongman bears little resemblance to the arrogant, violent, and sex-crazed Samson we meet in the book of Judges. And he’s just one among a larger cast of morally ambiguous characters in Judges. Their stories are not told so you can aspire to become a thug like Jephthah or an assassin like Ehud. These characters are part of a larger narrative arc that shows how the Israelites become progressively more and more like Canaanites and less and less like Israelites.|
The book of Judges is intentionally designed to show you that God is still at work even when he doesn’t have much to work with. And by the time you get to Judges 17-21, you’ll feel like the Israelites are at rock bottom. These stories are some of the darkest in the Bible because they expose the pain and violence caused by the human condition. The only glimmer of hope you’ll find is in the following book of Ruth, which ignites the promise of a future messianic King from the line of David.
|Week beginning 7 March 2021|
|We are finally in the promised land as we get ready to close the last chapter of the Torah! This is a big accomplishment, and it’s worth looking back on the beautiful literary foundation that has been laid. It is also important to pause and remember all the times that God was faithful to his covenant promises despite human resistance. We need to take seriously the accounts of God executing his justice upon those who redefine good and evil in ways that hurt others (like Pharaoh and most of the Exodus generation).|
This week you will read through the book of Joshua (Moses’ protégé and new leader of Israel), which recounts how the Israelites inherited the land that God promised to Abraham. A word of warning: all the violence in this book might bother you, and when you open the book of Judges later this week, it won’t get any lighter! We really encourage you to read this week’s blog post to gain a better perspective on Israel’s ancient holy war.
P.S. This week we unpack one of the biggest challenges for modern readers in the latest blog post, Divinely Sanctioned Violence.
Sunday: Read Deuteronomy 32-34, Psalm 64. Watch Deuteronomy
Monday: Read Joshua 1-4, Psalm 65. Watch Joshua
Tuesday: Read Joshua 5-8, Psalm 66. Watch Design Patterns
Wednesday: Read Joshua 9-12, Psalm 67.
Thursday: Read Joshua 13-21, Psalm 68.
Friday: Read Joshua 22-24, Psalm 69.
Saturday: Read Judges 1-3, Psalm 70. Watch Judges
|This week you’ll read through the book of Joshua, which has three major movements followed by a short conclusion. The first five chapters of the book recount how Israel crossed the Jordan River to enter the promised land. This should remind you (as it certainly reminded the Israelites) of how God parted the sea in the book of Exodus. Prepare yourself by reading the blog post and watching the weekly videos as you dive into chapters 6-12, which condense decades of battles between the Israelites and the Canaanites.|
For the most part, Israel remains passive as they watch God fight their battles. In the next movement, we see Joshua divide up the land and apportion it to the twelve tribes of Israel (Joshua 13-22). The book concludes with Joshua warning the people against breaking their covenant with God. His words deliberately echo the final words of Moses in the book of Deuteronomy. Finally, you will open the book of Judges, but we will cover more of this book next week.
|Week beginning 28 February 2021|
|After forty years of wilderness wandering, a new generation is almost ready to enter the promised land. Let’s take a moment to reflect on everything that has happened so far in the story.|
God promised Abraham that through his family, he would restore all the nations of the world to his blessing. Abraham’s descendants became enslaved in Egypt, but God rescued them and brought them to Mount Sinai, where he entered into a covenant with the nation of Israel. Sadly, Israel broke that covenant at Mount Sinai (remember the golden calf incident?). God then disqualified the Exodus generation from entering the promised land, making them wander for forty years in the wilderness.
At this point in the story, Moses offers the children of the Exodus generation many words of warning and wisdom as they prepare to cross into the promised land. Without further ado, let’s wrap up Deuteronomy and hear Moses teach the Torah to this new generation.
P.S. Want to dive deeper? Check out this week’s blog post, Moses Predicts the Israelite Exile.
|Sunday: Read Deuteronomy 13-14, Psalm 57. Watch Lev/Heart|
Monday: Read Deuteronomy 15-16, Psalm 58. Watch Nephesh/Soul
Tuesday: Read Deuteronomy 17-20, Psalm 59. Watch Me’od/Strength
Wednesday: Read Deuteronomy 21-23, Psalm 60.
Wednesday Bible Study 7:30 pm via Zoom
Thursday: Read Deuteronomy 24-27, Psalm 61.
Friday: Read Deuteronomy 28-29, Psalm 62.
Saturday: Read Deuteronomy 30-31, Psalm 63.
|Week Beginning 21 February 2021|
|Hopefully, the central portion of Numbers and the Israelite’s repeated rebellion hasn’t disheartened you too much. The Israelites continue to struggle with their covenant promise, and while God justly disqualified the Exodus generation from entering the promised land (including Moses, Numbers 20), we also see his mercy shine through in Numbers 23-24. Yahweh is determined to fulfill his covenant with the Israelites.|
Ultimately, these stories serve as a sobering reminder. While God will be faithful to his covenant promises, he will also let humans exercise choice, allowing them to face the consequences of their rebellion. This week, we will close the book of Numbers and open Deuteronomy, the last book of the Torah.
P.S. At the start of Deuteronomy, we’ll find the command that Jesus called the most important. Explore this famous prayer with us in this week’s blog post, The Shema.
|Sunday: Read Numbers 31-32, Psalm 50.|
Monday: Read Numbers 33-34, Psalm 51.
Tuesday: Read Numbers 35-36, Psalm 52. Watch Numbers
Wednesday: Read Deuteronomy 1-3, Psalm 53. Watch Deuteronomy
Thursday: Read Deuteronomy 4-6, Psalm 54. Watch Shema/Listen
Friday: Read Deuteronomy 7-9, Psalm 55. Watch YHWH/Lord
Saturday: Read Deuteronomy 10-12, Psalm 56. Watch Ahavah/Love
|Week beginning 14 February 2021|
|This week we’re in the middle of the book of Numbers. Israel has been camped at the foot of Mount Sinai for one year. And in that time, Moses received the instructions for building the tabernacle (Exodus 25-31, 35-40) and the sacrificial system was outlined and inaugurated (Leviticus 1-10). Now that Israel has a working tabernacle, the tribes have organized and are prepared to leave the mountain (Numbers 1-10). Our hopes are high as the family of Abraham sets out for the promised land. The debacle of the golden calf (Exodus 32-34) still casts a shadow over the past, but we’re rooting for Israel. Surely they’ll be faithful to their God as they venture into the wilderness. Right?|
P.S. If you can already smell the conflict coming, then dive into this week’s blog post, Wilderness Rebellion Narratives.
|Sunday : Read Numbers 11-13, Psalm 43. |
Monday : Read Numbers 14-16, Psalm 44.
Tuesday: Read Numbers 17-18, Psalm 45.
Wednesday: Read Numbers 19-21, Psalm 46.
Thursday: Read Numbers 22-24, Psalm 47.
Friday: Read Numbers 25-27, Psalm 48.
Saturday: Read Numbers 28-30, Psalm 49.
|Week beginning: 7 February 2021|
This week we finish Leviticus and dive into Numbers!
|We hope you’re still reading along with us. We’ve tackled a lot of dense passages so far, but just take the readings one day at a time! We just finished reading about an important ritual festival for the ancient Israelites called the Day of Atonement. As you read on, you’ll continue exploring the new way of life for the Israelites as they live near God’s presence. You’ll end the week diving into the book of Numbers, which has some of the most interesting (and disturbing) stories in the Old Testament. Before you finish Leviticus, pause and appreciate what a strange and beautiful book this is and how it says so much about God’s love for his people. This book provides a beautiful background for understanding the prophets and Jesus’ teachings later in the biblical story.|
P.S. Want to dive deeper? Check out this week’s blog post as we explore old rituals and new realities.
|Sunday: Read Leviticus 19-20, Psalm 36. |
Monday: Read Leviticus 21-23, Psalm 37.
Tuesday: Read Leviticus 24-25, Psalm 38.
Wednesday: Read Leviticus 26-27, Psalm 39. Watch Leviticus
Thursday: Read Numbers 1-4, Psalm 40. Watch Numbers
Friday: Read Numbers 5-7 (skim), Psalm 41.
Saturday: Read Numbers 8-10, Psalm 42.
Week Beginning Sunday 31 January: reading plan
|Week beginning Sunday 31 January 2021: |
This week we start the book of Leviticus!
|The second half of Exodus continues to reveal more about the corruption of the human heart and the sinful nature of humanity. The Israelites are chosen and delivered by God, but they continue to act just as obstinate as Pharaoh. Everything that happens between the deliverance from Egypt and the base of Mount Sinai points forward to the first great rebellion of Israel, the manufacturing and worship of the golden calf (Exodus 32).|
God’s presence is on the mountain overlooking Israel, yet they break the covenant they just committed to! Moses intercedes on the people’s behalf, and this interaction reveals a great deal about God’s character. “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in covenant faithfulness. He forgives sin, but will not let the wicked go unpunished” (Exodus 34:6-7).
This week we will witness the building of Israel’s sacred tent, the tabernacle, which will bring us to the close of Exodus. But this tent creates a whole new set of problems, which is what the book of Leviticus and our videos on sacrifice, atonement, and holiness are all about.
P.S. Animal Sacrifice? Really? In this week’s blog post, we take a closer look at a strange piece of the Hebrew Scriptures.
|Sunday: Read Exodus 35-40, Psalm 29. Watch The Book of Exodus – Part 2|
Monday: Read Leviticus 1-4, Psalm 30. Watch Leviticus
Tuesday: Read Leviticus 5-7, Psalm 31. Watch Sacrifice & Atonement
Wednesday: Read Leviticus 8-10, Psalm 32 Bible Fellowship 7:30 pm via Zoom
Thursday: Read Leviticus 11-13, Psalm 33. Watch Law
Friday: Read Leviticus 14–15, Psalm 34. Watch How to Read Biblical Law
Saturday: Read Leviticus 16-18, Psalm 35.
|Week beginning Sunday 24 January: reading plan|
|Sunday: Read Exodus 16-18, Psalm 22. Watch The Book of Exodus – Part 1|
Monday: Read Exodus 19-21, Psalm 23. Watch Exodus 19-40
Tuesday: Read Exodus 22-24, Psalm 24. Watch Justice
Wednesday: Read Exodus 25-27, Psalm 25. Bible fellowship 7:30 (Zoom)
Thursday: Read Exodus 28-29, Psalm 26.
Friday: Read Exodus 30-31, Psalm 27. Watch Sabbath
Saturday: Read Exodus 32–34, Psalm 28. Watch Character of God
|Week beginning Sunday 17th: This week we finish Genesis!|
|From the Bible project…|
We’re off to a great start! We’re only halfway through the first month, and we’ve already finished our first book of the Bible (and one of the largest too). Last week, we saw the story of Abraham’s family and God’s faithfulness despite human failure.
It’s probably becoming apparent to you that God has a plan for humanity, but it’s mysterious and often unfolds through strange events and surprising people. God stays committed to Abraham’s family despite their selfish actions. He transforms their failures into redemption. We hope you can see the thread weaving all these stories together. These narratives are beautifully told, and they’re essential for understanding the rest of the biblical story. The next part of this story is all about the slavery and redemption of Abraham’s family. Let’s dig in.
P.S. Dive deeper each week with a blog post that explores different topics related to biblical theology. This week we talk about biblical storytelling techniques.
|Sunday: Read Genesis 46–47, Psalm 15.|
Monday: Read Genesis 48–50, Psalm 16. Watch The Book of Genesis 12-50
Tuesday: Read Exodus 1-3, Psalm 17. Watch Exodus 1-18
Wednesday: Read Exodus 4-6, Psalm 18. Watch Character
Thursday: Read Exodus 7-9, Psalm 19.
Friday: Read Exodus 10-12, Psalm 20.
Saturday: Read Exodus 13–15, Psalm 21.
WEEK BEGINNING 10TH JANUARY 2021
This week we’re studying Genesis 25-45.
|Last week we saw how God appointed humanity to rule the world as his image-bearers and how they rebelled by seizing autonomy and defining good and evil for themselves. After this, the world begins to spin out of control. It’s easy to lose hope, but God doesn’t let human evil get the final word. We are introduced to Abraham and told that somehow God will use this family to restore humanity to a place of divine blessing. God makes a covenant with Abraham to confirm that he will not go back on his word. |
This week we learn more about Abraham and the early descendants of his family line.
Want to dive deeper? Check out our weekly blog post. This week we talk about the many names of God.
|Sunday 10th January: Read Genesis 25-28, Psalm 8. |
Watch Image of God
Monday 11th: Read Genesis 29-31, Psalm 9.
Watch The Book of Genesis Part 2
Tuesday 12th: Read Genesis 32-34, Psalm 10.
Wednesday 13th : Read Genesis 35-37, Psalm 11. Midweek Fellowship 7:30 pm (via Zoom)
Thursday 14th: Read Genesis 38-40, Psalm 12.
Friday 15th: Read Genesis 41-42, Psalm 13.
Saturday 16th: Read Genesis 43-45, Psalm 14.