Day 162 – June 11
Summon to you your brother Aaron and his sons from among the Israelites to serve me as priests—Aaron and Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, and Eleazar and Ithamar. 2 Make holy clothing that will give honor and dignity to your brother Aaron. 3 Tell all who are skilled, to whom I have given special abilities, to make clothing for Aaron for his dedication to serve me as a priest. 4 These are the articles of clothing that they should make: a chest pendant, a vest, a robe, a woven tunic, a turban, and a sash. When they make this holy clothing for your brother Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests, 5 they should use gold, blue, purple, and deep red yarns and fine linen.
6 They should make the vest of gold, of blue, purple, and deep red yarns and of fine twisted linen with embroidered designs. 7 The vest will have two shoulder pieces attached to its two edges so that they may be joined together. 8 The vest’s belt should be attached to it and made in the same way of gold, of blue, purple, and deep red yarns and fine twisted linen. 9 Take two gemstones and engrave on them the names of Israel’s sons, 10 six names on one stone and the other six names on the other stone, in the order of their birth. 11 Like a gem cutter who engraves official seals, you will engrave the two stones with the names of Israel’s sons. Mount them in gold settings. 12 Attach the two stones to the vest’s shoulder pieces as stones of reminder for the Israelites. Aaron will carry into the LORD’s presence their names on his two shoulders as a reminder. 13 Then make gold settings 14 along with two chains of pure gold, twisted like cords. Attach the corded chains to the gold settings.
15 Make an embroidered chest pendant used for making decisions. Make it in the style of the vest, using gold, blue and purple and deep red yarns, and fine twisted linen. 16 It will be square and doubled, nine inches long and nine inches wide. 17 Set in it four rows of gemstone settings. The first row will be a row of carnelian, topaz, and emerald stones. 18 The second row will be a turquoise, a sapphire, and a moonstone. 19 The third row will be a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst. 20 The fourth row will be a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. Their settings will be made of decorative gold. 21 There will be twelve stones with names corresponding to the names of Israel’s sons. They will be engraved like official seals, each with its name for the twelve tribes.
Then certain individuals came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to discuss this question with the apostles and the elders. 3 So they were sent on their way by the church, and as they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, they reported the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the believers. 4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. 5 But some believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and said, “It is necessary for them to be circumcised and ordered to keep the law of Moses.”
6 The apostles and the elders met together to consider this matter. 7 After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “My brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that I should be the one through whom the Gentiles would hear the message of the good news and become believers. 8 And God, who knows the human heart, testified to them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us; 9 and in cleansing their hearts by faith he has made no distinction between them and us. 10 Now therefore why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? 11 On the contrary, we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”
12 The whole assembly kept silence, and listened to Barnabas and Paul as they told of all the signs and wonders that God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13 After they finished speaking, James replied, “My brothers, listen to me. 14 Simeon has related how God first looked favorably on the Gentiles, to take from among them a people for his name. 15 This agrees with the words of the prophets, as it is written,
16 ‘After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the dwelling of David, which has fallen;
from its ruins I will rebuild it,
and I will set it up,
17 so that all other peoples may seek the Lord—
even all the Gentiles over whom my name has been called.
Thus says the Lord, who has been making these things 18 known from long ago.’
Comment: many a Ph.D. has been written on conflict in church. Praise God the saints of old included the struggle of how the brand new church in Jerusalem, and the church spreading throughout the Hellenistic Middle East, wrestled with old and new ways of being God’s people. The Church continues to learn and grow.
My heart, O God, is steadfast;
I will sing and make music with all my soul.
2 Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
3 I will praise you, LORD, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
4 For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.
6 Save us and help us with your right hand,
that those you love may be delivered.
7 God has spoken from his sanctuary:
“In triumph I will parcel out Shechem
and measure off the Valley of Sukkoth.
8 Gilead is mine, Manasseh is mine;
Ephraim is my helmet,
Judah is my scepter.
9 Moab is my washbasin,
on Edom I toss my sandal;
over Philistia I shout in triumph.”
10 Who will bring me to the fortified city?
Who will lead me to Edom?
11 Is it not you, God, you who have rejected us
and no longer go out with our armies?
12 Give us aid against the enemy,
for human help is worthless.
13 With God we will gain the victory,
and he will trample down our enemies.
Prayer: Be with us, Lord Jesus, and your Spirit guides us through today. Amen