Today our passages are Exodus 26:1–27:21; Matthew 25:1-30; Psalm 31:1-8; and Proverbs 8:1-11. The readings are the Contemporary English Version. If you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal by using the link below.
Exodus 26-27:21 (Contemporary English Version)
Curtains and Coverings for the Sacred Tent
(Exodus 36.8-19)1Furnish the sacred tent with curtains made from ten pieces of the finest linen. They must be woven with blue, purple, and red wool and embroidered with figures of winged creatures. 2Make each piece fourteen yards long and two yards wide 3and sew them together into two curtains with five sections each. 4-6Put fifty loops of blue cloth along one of the wider sides of each curtain, then fasten the two curtains at the loops with fifty gold hooks. 7-8As the material for the tent, use goat hair to weave eleven sections fifteen yards by two yards each. 9Sew five of the sections together to make one panel. Then sew the other six together to make a second panel, and fold the sixth section double over the front of the tent. 10Put fifty loops along one of the wider sides of each panel 11and fasten the two panels at the loops with fifty bronze hooks. 12-13The panel of goat hair will be a yard longer than the tent itself, so fold half a yard of the material behind the tent and on each side as a protective covering. 14Make two more coverings--one with ram skins dyed red and the other with fine leather.
The LORD said:
The Framework for the Sacred Tent
(Exodus 36.20-34)15Build a framework of acacia wood for the walls of the sacred tent. 16Each frame is to be fifteen feet high and twenty-seven inches wide 17with two wooden pegs near the bottom. 18-21Place two silver stands under each frame with sockets for the pegs, so the frames can be joined together. Twenty of these frames are to be used along the south side and twenty more along the north. 22For the back wall along the west side use six frames 23-24with two more at the southwest and northwest corners. Make certain that these corner frames are joined from top to bottom. 25Altogether, this back wall will have eight frames with two silver stands under each one. 26-27Make five crossbars for each of the wooden frames, 28with the center crossbar running the full length of the wall. 29Cover the frames and the crossbars with gold and attach gold rings to the frames to run the crossbars through. 30Then set up the tent in the way I showed you on the mountain.
The LORD said:
The Curtain inside the Sacred Tent
(Exodus 36.35-38)31-33Make a curtain to separate the holy place from the most holy place. Use fine linen woven with blue, purple, and red wool, and embroidered with figures of winged creatures. Cover four acacia wood posts with gold and set them each on a silver stand. Then fasten gold hooks to the posts and hang the curtain there. 34Inside the most holy place, you must put the sacred chest that has the place of mercy on its lid. a<="" value="[a]" >35Outside the curtain put the table for the sacred bread on the right side and the gold lampstand on the left. 36For the entrance to the tent, use a piece of fine linen woven with blue, purple, and red wool and embroidered with fancy needlework. 37Cover five acacia wood posts with gold and set them each on a bronze stand. Then put gold hooks on the posts and hang the curtain there.
The LORD said to Moses:
The Altar for Offering Sacrifices
(Exodus 38.1-7)1Use acacia wood to build an altar seven and a half feet square and four and a half feet high, 2and make each of the four top corners stick up like the horn of a bull. Then cover the whole altar with bronze, including the four horns. 3All the equipment for the altar must also be made of bronze--the pans for the hot ashes, the shovels, the sprinkling bowls, the meat forks, and the fire pans. 4-5Midway up the altar build a ledge around it, and cover the bottom half of the altar with a decorative bronze grating. Then attach a bronze ring beneath the ledge at the four corners of the altar. 6-7Cover two acacia wood poles with bronze and put them through the rings for carrying the altar. 8Construct the altar in the shape of an open box, just as you were shown on the mountain. The LORD said:
The Courtyard around the Sacred Tent
(Exodus 38.9-20)9-15Surround the sacred tent with a courtyard one hundred fifty feet long on the south and north and seventy-five feet wide on the east and west. Use twenty bronze posts on bronze stands for the south and north and ten for the west. Then hang a curtain of fine linen on the posts along each of these three sides by using silver hooks and rods. Place three bronze posts on each side of the entrance at the east and hang a curtain seven and a half yards wide on each set of posts. 16Use four more of these posts for the entrance way, then hang on them an embroidered curtain of fine linen ten yards long and woven with blue, purple, and red wool.
17-18The curtains that surround the courtyard must be two and a half yards high and are to be hung from the bronze posts with silver hooks and rods. 19The rest of the equipment for the sacred tent must be made of bronze, including the pegs for the tent and for the curtain surrounding the courtyard.
The LORD said to Moses:
The Oil for the Lamp in the Holy Place
(Leviticus 24.1-4)20Command the people of Israel to supply you with the purest olive oil. Do this so the lamp will keep burning 21in front of the curtain that separates the holy place from the most holy place, where the sacred chest is kept. Aaron and his sons are responsible for keeping the lamp burning every night in the sacred tent. The Israelites must always obey this command. The LORD said to Moses:
- Exodus 26:34place of mercy on its lid: It was believed that God had his earthly throne on the lid of the sacred chest, and from this place he showed mercy to his people.
Matthew 25:1-30 (Contemporary English Version)
A Story about Ten Girls1The kingdom of heaven is like what happened one night when ten girls took their oil lamps and went to a wedding to meet the groom. a<="" value="[a]" >2Five of the girls were foolish and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps, but no extra oil. 4The ones who were wise took along extra oil for their lamps. 5The groom was late arriving, and the girls became drowsy and fell asleep. 6Then in the middle of the night someone shouted, "Here's the groom! Come to meet him!" 7When the girls got up and started getting their lamps ready, 8the foolish ones said to the others, "Let us have some of your oil! Our lamps are going out."
9The girls who were wise answered, "There's not enough oil for all of us! Go and buy some for yourselves."
10While the foolish girls were on their way to get some oil, the groom arrived. The girls who were ready went into the wedding, and the doors were closed. 11Later the other girls returned and shouted, "Sir, sir! Open the door for us!"
12But the groom replied, "I don't even know you!"
13So, my disciples, always be ready! You don't know the day or the time when all this will happen.
A Story about Three Servants
(Luke 19.11-27)14The kingdom is also like what happened when a man went away and put his three servants in charge of all he owned. 15The man knew what each servant could do. So he handed five thousand coins to the first servant, two thousand to the second, and one thousand to the third. Then he left the country. 16As soon as the man had gone, the servant with the five thousand coins used them to earn five thousand more. 17The servant who had two thousand coins did the same with his money and earned two thousand more. 18But the servant with one thousand coins dug a hole and hid his master's money in the ground.
19Some time later the master of those servants returned. He called them in and asked what they had done with his money. 20The servant who had been given five thousand coins brought them in with the five thousand that he had earned. He said, "Sir, you gave me five thousand coins, and I have earned five thousand more."
21"Wonderful!" his master replied. "You are a good and faithful servant. I left you in charge of only a little, but now I will put you in charge of much more. Come and share in my happiness!"
22Next, the servant who had been given two thousand coins came in and said, "Sir, you gave me two thousand coins, and I have earned two thousand more."
23"Wonderful!" his master replied. "You are a good and faithful servant. I left you in charge of only a little, but now I will put you in charge of much more. Come and share in my happiness!"
24The servant who had been given one thousand coins then came in and said, "Sir, I know that you are hard to get along with. You harvest what you don't plant and gather crops where you haven't scattered seed. 25I was frightened and went out and hid your money in the ground. Here is every single coin!"
26The master of the servant told him, "You are lazy and good-for-nothing! You know that I harvest what I don't plant and gather crops where I haven't scattered seed. 27You could have at least put my money in the bank, so that I could have earned interest on it."
28Then the master said, "Now your money will be taken away and given to the servant with ten thousand coins! 29Everyone who has something will be given more, and they will have more than enough. But everything will be taken from those who don't have anything. 30You are a worthless servant, and you will be thrown out into the dark where people will cry and grit their teeth in pain."
- Matthew 25:1to meet the groom: Some manuscripts add "and the bride." It was the custom for the groom to go to the home of the bride's parents to get his bride. Young girls and other guests would then go with them to the home of the groom's parents, where the wedding feast would take place.
Psalm 31:1-8 (Contemporary English Version)
(A psalm by David for the music leader.)
A Prayer for Protection1I come to you, LORD, for protection.
Don't let me be ashamed.
Do as you have promised
and rescue me.
2Listen to my prayer
and hurry to save me.
Be my mighty rock a<="" value="[a]" > and the fortress
where I am safe.
3You, LORD God,
are my mighty rock
and my fortress.
Lead me and guide me,
so that your name
will be honored.
4Protect me from hidden traps
and keep me safe.
5You are faithful,
and I trust you
because you rescued me.
6I hate the worshipers
of worthless idols,
but I trust you, LORD.
7I celebrate and shout
because you are kind.
You saw all my suffering,
and you cared for me.
8You kept me from the hands
of my enemies,
and you set me free.
- Psalm 31:2mighty rock: See the note at 18.2.
Proverbs 8:1-11 (Contemporary English Version)
In Praise of Wisdom1With great understanding, Wisdom a<="" value="[a]" > is calling out 2as she stands at the crossroads
and on every hill.
3She stands by the city gate
where everyone enters the city,
and she shouts:
4"I am calling out
to each one of you!
5Good sense and sound judgment
can be yours.
6Listen, because what I say
is worthwhile and right.
7I always speak the truth
and refuse to tell a lie.
8Every word I speak is honest,
not one is misleading
9"If you have understanding,
you will see that my words
are just what you need.
10Let instruction and knowledge
mean more to you
or the finest gold.
11Wisdom is worth much more
than precious jewels
or anything else you desire."
- Proverbs 8:1Wisdom: See the note at 1.20.
Verse of the Day
Thought for the Day
Scottish-born mathematician and science fiction writer who lived in the United States for most of his life, Eric Temple Bell/John Taine wrote, “Science makes no pretension to eternal truth or absolute truth; some of its rivals do. That science is in some respects inhuman may be the secret of its success in alleviating human misery and mitigating human stupidity.”