Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Without contradiction, we can say that Christ came to earth to die. From the beginning of His ministry, Jesus instructed His disciples to take up their cross and follow Him. He told them that unless they ate His flesh and drank His blood, they had no life in them.

Moses' revelation of the blood is described in Exodus 12:13: "The blood you have smeared on your doorposts will serve as a sign. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. This plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt." The blood of an innocent, meek lamb would substitute for an entire household. Although the firstborn of Israel deserved death just as much as did Pharaoh's firstborn, the blood of the lamb ransomed (paid for, bought back) their lives.

Like that lamb, Christ was a gentle, humble servant who never sought the glory and exaltation for which the disciples were constantly striving. In humility, never forget Christianity's focus: we deserve to die, but Christ, the spotless Lamb, died in our place-the "just for the unjust" (1 Peter 3:18 KJV). Rejoice today in the power of the blood of Jesus who ransomed you from death!

Exodus 10:1-12:13

The Plague of Locusts

10 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heartS Ex 4:21 and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these signsS Ex 3:19; S 7:3; Jos 24:17; Ne 9:10; Ps 74:9; 105:26-36 of mine among themthat you may tell your childrenEx 12:26-27; 13:8, 14; Dt 4:9; 6:20; 32:7; Jos 4:6; Ps 44:1; 71:18; 78:4, 5; Joel 1:3 and grandchildren how I dealt harshly1Sa 6:6 with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the Lord.”S Ex 6:2

So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, “This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: ‘How long will you refuse to humble1Ki 21:29; 2Ki 22:19; 2Ch 7:14; 12:7; 33:23; 34:27; Job 42:6; Isa 58:3; Da 5:22; Jas 4:10; 1Pe 5:6 yourself before me? Let my people go, so that they may worship me.If you refuseEx 8:2; 9:2 to let them go, I will bring locustsDt 28:38; Ps 105:34; Pr 30:27; Joel 1:4; Rev 9:3 into your country tomorrow.They will cover the face of the ground so that it cannot be seen. They will devour what little you have leftEx 9:32; Joel 1:4 after the hail, including every tree that is growing in your fields.ver 15They will fill your housesJoel 2:9 and those of all your officials and all the Egyptians—something neither your parents nor your ancestors have ever seen from the day they settled in this land till now.’”S Ex 9:18 Then Moses turned and left Pharaoh.

Pharaoh’s officials said to him, “How long will this man be a snareEx 23:33; 34:12; Dt 7:16; 12:30; 20:18; Jos 23:13; Jdg 2:3; 8:27; 16:5; 1Sa 18:21; Ps 106:36; Ecc 7:26 to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the Lord their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is ruined?”S Ge 20:3; S Ex 8:19

Then Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. “Go, worshipS Ex 8:8 the Lord your God,” he said. “But tell me who will be going.”

Moses answered, “We will go with our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters, and with our flocks and herds, because we are to celebrate a festivalS Ex 3:18 to the Lord.”

10 Pharaoh said, “The Lord be with you—if I let you go, along with your women and children! Clearly you are bent on evil.Or Be careful, trouble is in store for you!11 No! Have only the men go and worship the Lord, since that’s what you have been asking for.” Then Moses and Aaron were driven out of Pharaoh’s presence.

12 And the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your handEx 7:19 over Egypt so that locusts swarm over the land and devour everything growing in the fields, everything left by the hail.”

13 So Moses stretched out his staffver 21-22; Ex 4:17; 8:5, 17; 9:23; 14:15-16, 26-27; 17:5; Nu 20:8 over Egypt, and the Lord made an east wind blow across the land all that day and all that night. By morning the wind had brought the locusts;ver 4; 1Ki 8:37; Ps 78:46; 105:34; Am 4:9; Na 3:1614 they invaded all Egypt and settled down in every area of the country in great numbers. Never before had there been such a plague of locusts,Dt 28:38; Ps 78:46; Isa 33:4; Joel 1:4; 2:1-11, 25; Am 4:9 nor will there ever be again.15 They covered all the ground until it was black. They devouredDt 28:38; Ps 105:34-35; Joel 1:4; Am 7:2; Mal 3:11 all that was left after the hail—everything growing in the fields and the fruit on the trees. Nothing green remained on tree or plant in all the land of Egypt.

16 Pharaoh quickly summonedS Ex 8:25 Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinnedS Ex 9:27 against the Lord your God and against you.17 Now forgive1Sa 15:25 my sin once more and prayS Ex 8:8 to the Lord your God to take this deadly plague away from me.”

18 Moses then left Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord.S Ex 8:3019 And the Lord changed the wind to a very strong west wind, which caught up the locusts and carried them into the Red Sea.Or the Sea of Reeds Not a locust was left anywhere in Egypt.20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart,S Ex 4:21 and he would not let the Israelites go.

The Plague of Darkness

21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darknessDt 28:29 spreads over Egypt—darkness that can be felt.”22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darknessPs 105:28; Isa 13:10; 45:7; 50:3; Rev 16:10 covered all Egypt for three days.23 No one could see anyone else or move about for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.S Ex 8:22; Am 4:7

24 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, “Go,S Ex 8:8 worship the Lord. Even your women and childrenver 8-10 may go with you; only leave your flocks and herds behind.”S Ge 45:10

25 But Moses said, “You must allow us to have sacrifices and burnt offeringsS Ge 8:20; S Ex 18:12 to present to the Lord our God.26 Our livestock too must go with us; not a hoof is to be left behind. We have to use some of them in worshiping the Lord our God, and until we get there we will not know what we are to use to worship the Lord.”

27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart,S Ex 4:21 and he was not willing to let them go.28 Pharaoh said to Moses, “Get out of my sight! Make sure you do not appear before me again! The day you see my face you will die.”

29 “Just as you say,” Moses replied. “I will never appearEx 11:8; Heb 11:27 before you again.”

The Plague on the Firstborn

11 Now the Lord had said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you goS Ex 3:20 from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely.S Ex 6:1Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold.”S Ex 3:21, 22(The Lord made the Egyptians favorably disposedS Ge 39:21 toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regardedDt 34:11; 2Sa 7:9; 8:13; 22:44; 23:1; Est 9:4; Ps 89:27 in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people.)

So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘About midnightEx 12:29; Job 34:20 I will go throughout Egypt.Ex 12:23; Ps 81:5Every firstbornS Ex 4:23 son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill,Isa 47:2 and all the firstborn of the cattle as well.There will be loud wailingEx 12:30; Pr 21:13; Am 5:17 throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again.But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any person or animal.’ Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinctionS Ex 8:22 between Egypt and Israel.All these officials of yours will come to me, bowing down before me and saying, ‘Go,Ex 12:31-33 you and all the people who follow you!’ After that I will leave.”Heb 11:27 Then Moses, hot with anger, left Pharaoh.

The Lord had said to Moses, “Pharaoh will refuse to listenS Ex 7:4 to you—so that my wondersS Ex 3:20 may be multiplied in Egypt.”10 Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart,S Ex 4:21; Ro 2:5 and he would not let the Israelites go out of his country.

The Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread12:14-20pp — Lev 23:4-8; Nu 28:16-25; Dt 16:1-8

12 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt,“This month is to be for you the first month,ver 18; Ex 13:4; 23:15; 34:18; 40:2; Dt 16:1 the first month of your year.Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lambThe Hebrew word can mean lamb or kid; also in verse 4.Mk 14:12; 1Co 5:7 for his family, one for each household.ver 21If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat.The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect,Ex 29:1; Lev 1:3; 3:1; 4:3; 22:18-21; 23:12; Nu 6:14; 15:8; 28:3; Dt 15:21; 17:1; Heb 9:14; 1Pe 1:19 and you may take them from the sheep or the goats.Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month,ver 19; Lev 23:5; Nu 9:1-3, 5, 11; Jos 5:10; 2Ch 30:2 when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.Ex 16:12; Dt 16:4, 6Then they are to take some of the bloodver 13, 23; Eze 9:6 and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.That same nightver 10; Ex 16:19; 23:18; 34:25; Lev 7:15; Nu 9:12 they are to eat the meat roastedDt 16:7; 2Ch 35:13 over the fire, along with bitter herbs,Nu 9:11 and bread made without yeast.ver 19-20; Ex 13:3; Dt 16:3-4; 1Co 5:8Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs and internal organs.Ex 29:13, 17, 22; Lev 3:310 Do not leave any of it till morning;S ver 8; Ex 13:7; 29:34; Lev 22:30; Dt 16:4 if some is left till morning, you must burn it.11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste;ver 33; Dt 16:3; Isa 48:20; 52:12 it is the Lord’s Passover.ver 13, 21, 27, 43; Lev 23:5; Nu 9:2, 4; 28:16; Dt 16:1; Jos 5:10; 2Ki 23:21, 23; 2Ch 30:1; Ezr 6:19; Isa 31:5; Eze 45:21

12 “On that same night I will pass throughAm 5:17 Egypt and strike downIsa 10:33; 31:8; 37:36 every firstbornver 29; S Ex 4:23; 13:15 of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the godsEx 15:11; 18:11; Nu 33:4; 2Ch 2:5; Ps 95:3; 97:9; 135:5; Isa 19:1; Jer 43:12; 44:8 of Egypt. I am the Lord.S Ex 6:213 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass overS ver 11, 23; Heb 11:28 you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.S Ex 8:23

A Plague of Locusts

10 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Return to Pharaoh and make your demands again. I have made him and his officials stubbornHebrew have made his heart and his officials’ hearts heavy. so I can display my miraculous signs among them.I’ve also done it so you can tell your children and grandchildren about how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and about the signs I displayed among them—and so you will know that I am the Lord.”

So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: How long will you refuse to submit to me? Let my people go, so they can worship me.If you refuse, watch out! For tomorrow I will bring a swarm of locusts on your country.They will cover the land so that you won’t be able to see the ground. They will devour what little is left of your crops after the hailstorm, including all the trees growing in the fields.They will overrun your palaces and the homes of your officials and all the houses in Egypt. Never in the history of Egypt have your ancestors seen a plague like this one!” And with that, Moses turned and left Pharaoh.

Pharaoh’s officials now came to Pharaoh and appealed to him. “How long will you let this man hold us hostage? Let the men go to worship the Lord their God! Don’t you realize that Egypt lies in ruins?”

So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. “All right,” he told them, “go and worship the Lord your God. But who exactly will be going with you?”

Moses replied, “We will all go—young and old, our sons and daughters, and our flocks and herds. We must all join together in celebrating a festival to the Lord.”

10 Pharaoh retorted, “The Lord will certainly need to be with you if I let you take your little ones! I can see through your evil plan.11 Never! Only the men may go and worship the Lord, since that is what you requested.” And Pharaoh threw them out of the palace.

12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Raise your hand over the land of Egypt to bring on the locusts. Let them cover the land and devour every plant that survived the hailstorm.”

13 So Moses raised his staff over Egypt, and the Lord caused an east wind to blow over the land all that day and through the night. When morning arrived, the east wind had brought the locusts.14 And the locusts swarmed over the whole land of Egypt, settling in dense swarms from one end of the country to the other. It was the worst locust plague in Egyptian history, and there has never been another one like it.15 For the locusts covered the whole country and darkened the land. They devoured every plant in the fields and all the fruit on the trees that had survived the hailstorm. Not a single leaf was left on the trees and plants throughout the land of Egypt.

16 Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron. “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you,” he confessed.17 “Forgive my sin, just this once, and plead with the Lord your God to take away this death from me.”

18 So Moses left Pharaoh’s court and pleaded with the Lord.19 The Lord responded by shifting the wind, and the strong west wind blew the locusts into the Red Sea.Hebrew sea of reeds. Not a single locust remained in all the land of Egypt.20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart again, so he refused to let the people go.

A Plague of Darkness

21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Lift your hand toward heaven, and the land of Egypt will be covered with a darkness so thick you can feel it.”22 So Moses lifted his hand to the sky, and a deep darkness covered the entire land of Egypt for three days.23 During all that time the people could not see each other, and no one moved. But there was light as usual where the people of Israel lived.

24 Finally, Pharaoh called for Moses. “Go and worship the Lord,” he said. “But leave your flocks and herds here. You may even take your little ones with you.”

25 “No,” Moses said, “you must provide us with animals for sacrifices and burnt offerings to the Lord our God.26 All our livestock must go with us, too; not a hoof can be left behind. We must choose our sacrifices for the Lord our God from among these animals. And we won’t know how we are to worship the Lord until we get there.”

27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart once more, and he would not let them go.28 “Get out of here!” Pharaoh shouted at Moses. “I’m warning you. Never come back to see me again! The day you see my face, you will die!”

29 “Very well,” Moses replied. “I will never see your face again.”

Death for Egypt’s Firstborn

11 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will strike Pharaoh and the land of Egypt with one more blow. After that, Pharaoh will let you leave this country. In fact, he will be so eager to get rid of you that he will force you all to leave.Tell all the Israelite men and women to ask their Egyptian neighbors for articles of silver and gold.”(Now the Lord had caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the people of Israel. And Moses was considered a very great man in the land of Egypt, respected by Pharaoh’s officials and the Egyptian people alike.)

Moses had announced to Pharaoh, “This is what the Lord says: At midnight tonight I will pass through the heart of Egypt.All the firstborn sons will die in every family in Egypt, from the oldest son of Pharaoh, who sits on his throne, to the oldest son of his lowliest servant girl who grinds the flour. Even the firstborn of all the livestock will die.Then a loud wail will rise throughout the land of Egypt, a wail like no one has heard before or will ever hear again.But among the Israelites it will be so peaceful that not even a dog will bark. Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites.All the officials of Egypt will run to me and fall to the ground before me. ‘Please leave!’ they will beg. ‘Hurry! And take all your followers with you.’ Only then will I go!” Then, burning with anger, Moses left Pharaoh.

Now the Lord had told Moses earlier, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, but then I will do even more mighty miracles in the land of Egypt.”10 Moses and Aaron performed these miracles in Pharaoh’s presence, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he wouldn’t let the Israelites leave the country.

The First Passover

12 While the Israelites were still in the land of Egypt, the Lord gave the following instructions to Moses and Aaron:“From now on, this month will be the first month of the year for you.Announce to the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each family must choose a lamb or a young goat for a sacrifice, one animal for each household.If a family is too small to eat a whole animal, let them share with another family in the neighborhood. Divide the animal according to the size of each family and how much they can eat.The animal you select must be a one-year-old male, either a sheep or a goat, with no defects.

“Take special care of this chosen animal until the evening of the fourteenth day of this first month. Then the whole assembly of the community of Israel must slaughter their lamb or young goat at twilight.They are to take some of the blood and smear it on the sides and top of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the animal.That same night they must roast the meat over a fire and eat it along with bitter salad greens and bread made without yeast.Do not eat any of the meat raw or boiled in water. The whole animal—including the head, legs, and internal organs—must be roasted over a fire.10 Do not leave any of it until the next morning. Burn whatever is not eaten before morning.

11 “These are your instructions for eating this meal: Be fully dressed,Hebrew Bind up your loins. wear your sandals, and carry your walking stick in your hand. Eat the meal with urgency, for this is the Lord’s Passover.12 On that night I will pass through the land of Egypt and strike down every firstborn son and firstborn male animal in the land of Egypt. I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt, for I am the Lord!13 But the blood on your doorposts will serve as a sign, marking the houses where you are staying. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. This plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt.

10 And the Lord said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him:

And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the Lord.

And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me.

Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast:

And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field:

And they shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers' fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day. And he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh.

And Pharaoh's servants said unto him, How long shall this man be a snare unto us? let the men go, that they may serve the Lord their God: knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed?

And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh: and he said unto them, Go, serve the Lord your God: but who are they that shall go?

And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the Lord.

10 And he said unto them, Let the Lord be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones: look to it; for evil is before you.

11 Not so: go now ye that are men, and serve the Lord; for that ye did desire. And they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence.

12 And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up upon the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, even all that the hail hath left.

13 And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts.

14 And the locust went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such.

15 For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt.

16 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you.

17 Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and intreat the Lord your God, that he may take away from me this death only.

18 And he went out from Pharaoh, and intreated the Lord.

19 And the Lord turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt.

20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go.

21 And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.

22 And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days:

23 They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.

24 And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you.

25 And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the Lord our God.

26 Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the Lord our God; and we know not with what we must serve the Lord, until we come thither.

27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go.

28 And Pharaoh said unto him, Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die.

29 And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.

11 And the Lord said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether.

Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neighbour, and every woman of her neighbour, jewels of silver and jewels of gold.

And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants, and in the sight of the people.

And Moses said, Thus saith the Lord, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt:

And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first born of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.

And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more.

But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.

And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down themselves unto me, saying, Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee: and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger.

And the Lord said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.

10 And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land.

12 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying,

This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.

Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:

And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.

Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:

And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.

And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.

10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.

11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord's passover.

12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.

13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

Matthew 20:1-28

The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

20 “For the kingdom of heaven is likeS Mt 13:24 a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.Mt 21:28, 33He agreed to pay them a denariusA denarius was the usual daily wage of a day laborer. for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

“About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing.He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing.About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

“‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

“When evening came,Lev 19:13; Dt 24:15 the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

“The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius.10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius.11 When they received it, they began to grumbleJnh 4:1 against the landowner.12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heatJnh 4:8; Lk 12:55; Jas 1:11 of the day.’

13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend.Mt 22:12; 26:50 Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius?14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you.15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’Dt 15:9; Mk 7:22

16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”S Mt 19:30

Jesus Predicts His Death a Third Time20:17-19pp — Mk 10:32-34; Lk 18:31-33

17 Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them,18 “We are going up to Jerusalem,S Lk 9:51 and the Son of ManS Mt 8:20 will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law.Mt 27:1, 2 They will condemn him to death19 and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and floggedS Mt 16:21 and crucified.S Ac 2:23 On the third dayS Mt 16:21 he will be raised to life!”S Mt 16:21

A Mother’s Request20:20-28pp — Mk 10:35-45

20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sonsS Mt 4:21 came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down,S Mt 8:2 asked a favor of him.

21 “What is it you want?” he asked.

She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”Mt 19:28

22 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cupIsa 51:17, 22; Jer 49:12; Mt 26:39, 42; Mk 14:36; Lk 22:42; Jn 18:11 I am going to drink?”

“We can,” they answered.

23 Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup,Ac 12:2; Rev 1:9 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”

24 When the ten heard about this, they were indignantLk 22:24, 25 with the two brothers.25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,S Mk 9:3527 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—28 just as the Son of ManS Mt 8:20 did not come to be served, but to serve,Isa 42:1; Lk 12:37; 22:27; Jn 13:13-16; 2Co 8:9; Php 2:7 and to give his life as a ransomEx 30:12; Isa 44:22; 53:10; Mt 26:28; 1Ti 2:6; Tit 2:14; Heb 9:28; 1Pe 1:18, 19 for many.”

Parable of the Vineyard Workers

20 “For the Kingdom of Heaven is like the landowner who went out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard.He agreed to pay the normal daily wageGreek a denarius, the payment for a full day’s labor; similarly in 20:9, 10, 13. and sent them out to work.

“At nine o’clock in the morning he was passing through the marketplace and saw some people standing around doing nothing.So he hired them, telling them he would pay them whatever was right at the end of the day.So they went to work in the vineyard. At noon and again at three o’clock he did the same thing.

“At five o’clock that afternoon he was in town again and saw some more people standing around. He asked them, ‘Why haven’t you been working today?’

“They replied, ‘Because no one hired us.’

“The landowner told them, ‘Then go out and join the others in my vineyard.’

“That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first.When those hired at five o’clock were paid, each received a full day’s wage.10 When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day’s wage.11 When they received their pay, they protested to the owner,12 ‘Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.’

13 “He answered one of them, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage?14 Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you.15 Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?’

16 “So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”

Jesus Again Predicts His Death

17 As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside privately and told them what was going to happen to him.18 “Listen,” he said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man“Son of Man” is a title Jesus used for himself. will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die.19 Then they will hand him over to the RomansGreek the Gentiles. to be mocked, flogged with a whip, and crucified. But on the third day he will be raised from the dead.”

Jesus Teaches about Serving Others

20 Then the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus with her sons. She knelt respectfully to ask a favor.21 “What is your request?” he asked.

She replied, “In your Kingdom, please let my two sons sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left.”

22 But Jesus answered by saying to them, “You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink?”

“Oh yes,” they replied, “we are able!”

23 Jesus told them, “You will indeed drink from my bitter cup. But I have no right to say who will sit on my right or my left. My Father has prepared those places for the ones he has chosen.”

24 When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant.25 But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them.26 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant,27 and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave.28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

20 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.

And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,

And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.

Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.

And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?

They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.

So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.

And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.

10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.

11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,

12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.

13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?

14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.

15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?

16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

17 And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them,

18 Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death,

19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.

20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.

21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.

22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.

23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.

25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Psalm 25:1-15

Psalm 25This psalm is an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

Of David.

In you, Lord my God,

I put my trust.Ps 86:4; 143:8

I trust in you;Ps 31:6; 143:8

do not let me be put to shame,

nor let my enemies triumph over me.

No one who hopes in you

will ever be put to shame,S Ps 22:5; S Isa 29:22

but shame will come on those

who are treacherousIsa 24:16; Hab 1:13; Zep 3:4; 2Ti 3:4 without cause.

Show me your ways, Lord,

teach me your paths.S Job 34:32

Guide me in your truthPs 31:3; 43:3; Jn 16:13 and teach me,

for you are God my Savior,Ps 24:5

and my hope is in youver 3; Ps 33:20; 39:7; 42:5; 71:5; 130:7; 131:3 all day long.

Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,Ps 5:7; 98:3; Isa 63:7, 15; Jer 31:20; Hos 11:8

for they are from of old.

Do not remember the sins of my youthJob 13:26; Isa 54:4; Jer 3:25; 31:19; 32:30; Eze 16:22, 60; 23:3; 2Ti 2:22

and my rebellious ways;S Ex 23:21; Ps 107:17

according to your lovePs 6:4; 51:1; 69:16; 109:26; 119:124 remember me,

for you, Lord, are good.S 1Ch 16:34; Ps 34:8; 73:1

Good and uprightPs 92:15; Isa 26:7 is the Lord;

therefore he instructsPs 32:8; Isa 28:26 sinners in his ways.

He guidesS Ps 23:3 the humble in what is right

and teaches themver 4; Ps 27:11 his way.

10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithfulS Ps 18:25

toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.Ps 103:18; 132:12

11 For the sake of your name,S Ex 9:16; Ps 31:3; 79:9; Jer 14:7 Lord,

forgiveS Ex 34:9 my iniquity,S Ex 32:30; S Ps 78:38 though it is great.

12 Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?S Job 1:8

He will instruct them in the waysver 8 they should choose.Or ways he chooses

13 They will spend their days in prosperity,S Dt 30:15; S 1Ki 3:14; S Job 8:7

and their descendants will inherit the land.S Nu 14:24; Mt 5:5

14 The Lord confidesPr 3:32 in those who fear him;

he makes his covenant knownGe 17:2; Jn 7:17 to them.

15 My eyes are ever on the Lord,S 2Ch 20:12; Ps 123:2; Heb 12:2

for only he will release my feet from the snare.S Job 34:30; S Ps 119:110

Psalm 25This psalm is a Hebrew acrostic poem; each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

A psalm of David.

O Lord, I give my life to you.

I trust in you, my God!

Do not let me be disgraced,

or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.

No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,

but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.

Show me the right path, O Lord;

point out the road for me to follow.

Lead me by your truth and teach me,

for you are the God who saves me.

All day long I put my hope in you.

Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,

which you have shown from long ages past.

Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.

Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,

for you are merciful, O Lord.

The Lord is good and does what is right;

he shows the proper path to those who go astray.

He leads the humble in doing right,

teaching them his way.

10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness

all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.

11 For the honor of your name, O Lord,

forgive my many, many sins.

12 Who are those who fear the Lord?

He will show them the path they should choose.

13 They will live in prosperity,

and their children will inherit the land.

14 The Lord is a friend to those who fear him.

He teaches them his covenant.

15 My eyes are always on the Lord,

for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.

25 Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.

O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.

Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.

Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths.

Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.

Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O Lord.

Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.

The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.

10 All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

11 For thy name's sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.

12 What man is he that feareth the Lord? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.

13 His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.

14 The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.

15 Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.

Proverbs 6:6-11

Go to the ant, you sluggard;ver 6-11; Pr 20:4

consider its ways and be wise!

It has no commander,

no overseer or ruler,

yet it stores its provisions in summerPr 30:24-25

and gathers its food at harvest.Pr 10:4

How long will you lie there, you sluggard?Pr 24:30-34; 26:13-16

When will you get up from your sleep?

10 A little sleep, a little slumber,

a little folding of the hands to restPr 24:33; Ecc 4:5

11 and povertyver 10-11; Pr 20:13; 24:30-34 will come on you like a thief

and scarcity like an armed man.

Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones.

Learn from their ways and become wise!

Though they have no prince

or governor or ruler to make them work,

they labor hard all summer,

gathering food for the winter.

But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep?

When will you wake up?

10 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber,

a little folding of the hands to rest—

11 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit;

scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:

Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,

Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?

10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:

11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.

Jan 29 Jan 31
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