Day 83 of the Holy Bible One Year Challenge. God settles debate on who is in charge of the Israelites. Jesus heals and forgives a paralytic man.
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36 The LORD said to Moses, 37–38 “Tell Eleazar son of Aaron the priest to get all the incense pans from the fire. Tell him to scatter the coals and ashes. These men sinned against me, and their sin cost them their lives. But the incense pans are still holy. The pans became holy when people gave them to the LORD. Hammer the pans into flat sheets. Use the metal sheets to cover the altar. This will be a warning to all the Israelites.”
39 So Eleazar the priest gathered all the bronze pans that the men had brought. These men had all been burned up, but the pans were still there. Then Eleazar told some men to hammer the pans into flat metal. Then he put the metal sheets on the altar. 40 He did this the way the LORD commanded him through Moses. This was a sign to help the Israelites remember that only someone from the family of Aaron should burn incense before the LORD. Any other person who burns incense before the Lord will die like Korah and his followers.
Aaron Saves the People
41 The next day all the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron. They said, “You killed the LORD’s people.”
42 The people gathered to complain against Moses and Aaron. But when they looked towards the Meeting Tent, the cloud covered it and the glory of the LORD appeared there. 43 Then Moses and Aaron went to the front of the Meeting Tent. 44 The LORD said to Moses, 45 “Move away from these people so that I can destroy them now.”
So Moses and Aaron bowed with their faces to the ground. 46 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Get your bronze pan and some fire from the altar. Then put incense in it. Hurry to the people and do the things that will make them pure. The LORD is angry with them. The trouble has already started.”
47–48 So Aaron got the incense and the fire and he ran to the middle of the people. But the sickness had already started among them. So Aaron stood be- tween the dead and those who were still alive. He did what Moses said to remove their sin, and the sickness stopped there. 49 But 14,700 people died from that sickness—and that is not counting the people who died because of Korah. 50 So the terrible sickness was stopped, and Aaron went back to Moses at the entrance of the Meeting Tent.
God Proves Aaron Is the High Priest
The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the Israelites. Get twelve wooden walking sticks from them. Get one from the leader of each of the twelve tribes. Write the name of each man on his walking stick. 3 On the stick from Levi, write Aaron’s name. There must be one stick for the head of each of the twelve tribes. 4 Put these walking sticks in the Meeting Tent in front of the Box of the Agreement. This is the place where I meet with you. 5 I will choose one man to be the true priest. You will know which man I choose because his walking stick will begin to grow new leaves. In this way, I will stop the people from always complaining against you and me.”
6 So Moses spoke to the Israelites. Each of the leaders gave him a walking stick. There were twelve walking sticks. There was one stick from each leader of each tribe. One of the walking sticks belonged to Aaron. 7 Moses put the walking sticks before the LORD in the Tent of the Agreement. 8 The next day Moses entered the Tent. He saw that Aaron’s walking stick, the stick from the family of Levi, was the one that had grown new leaves. That walking stick had even grown blossoms and made almonds. 9 So Moses brought out all the sticks from the LORD’s place. He showed the walking sticks to the Israelites. They all looked at the sticks, and each man took his own stick back.
10 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Put Aaron’s walking stick back in front of the Box that holds the Agreement. This will be a warning for these people who are always turning against me. This will stop their complaining against me so that I will not destroy them.”
11 So Moses did what the LORD commanded him. 12 The Israelites said to Moses, “We know that we will die! We are lost! We will all be destroyed! 13 Anyone who even comes near the LORD’s Holy Tent will die. Is it true that we will all die?”
The Work of the Priests and Levites
The LORD said to Aaron, “You, your sons and all the people in your father’s family must be punished for any wrong that is done against the holy place or against the priests. 2 To prevent that from happening, you must bring the rest of the men from the tribe of Levi to join you. These Levites will help you and your sons do your work in front of the Tent of the Agreement. 3 These Levites will be under your control. They will do all the work that needs to be done in the Tent. But they must not go near the things in the Holy Place or the altar. If they do, they will die— and you also will die. 4 They will join you and work with you. They will be responsible for taking care of the Meeting Tent and doing all the work that must be done there. No one else may come near the place where you are.
5 “You are responsible for caring for the holy place and the altar. I don’t want to become angry with the Israelites again. 6 I myself chose the Levites from among all the Israelites. They are as a gift to you. I gave them to you to serve the LORD and work in the Meeting Tent. 7 But, Aaron, only you and your sons may serve as priests. You are the only ones who can go near the altar or behind the curtain into the Most Holy Place. I am giving you a gift—your service as a priest. Anyone else who tries to come too close must be killed.”
8 Then the LORD said to Aaron, “I myself gave you responsibility over all the special gifts people give to me. All the holy gifts that the Israelites give to me, I give to you. You and your sons can share in these gifts. They will always be- long to you. 9 The people will bring gifts, grain offerings, sin offerings and guilt offerings. These offerings are most holy. Your share in the most holy offerings will come from the parts that are not burned. All these things will be for you and your sons. 10 Eat these things only in a very holy place. Every male in your family may eat them, but you must remember that these offerings are holy.
11 “The Israelites will bring special gifts that you will lift up to me. I give these gifts to you and your sons and daughters who are with you. This will always be your share. Everyone in your family who is clean will be able to eat them. 12 “And I give you all the best olive oil and all the best new wine and grain. These are the things that the Israelites give to me, the LORD. These are the first things that they gather in their harvest. 13 When the people gather a harvest, they bring all the first things to the LORD. So these things I will give to you. And everyone in your family who is clean may eat them.
14 “Anything in Israel that is a special gift to God belongs to you. 15 “A woman’s first baby and an animal’s first baby must be offered to the LORD. But they will belong to you. The firstborn of unclean animals must be bought back. And every firstborn child must be bought back. 16 Accept the payment for this when the baby is one month old. The cost will be 5 pieces* of silver. You must use the official measure to weigh this silver. Each piece of silver by the official measure is 11 grams.
17 “But the firstborn cow, sheep or goat cannot be bought back. These animals are holy. Splash their blood on the altar and burn their fat as a sweet-smelling gift to the LORD. 18 But the meat from these animals will be yours. And also the breast that was lifted up to the Lord will be yours. And the right thigh from other offerings will be yours. 19 I, the LORD, give you everything that the Israelites offer to me as holy gifts. This is your share forever. I give it to you and your sons and daughters. It is an agreement with the LORD that can- not be broken.‡ I make this promise to you and to your descendants.”
20 The LORD also said to Aaron, “You will not get any of the land. And you will not own anything that the other people own. I myself will be yours. The Israelites will get the land that I promised, but I am my gift to you. 21 “The Israelites will give one-tenth of all their crops and newborn animals. So I give that one-tenth to the Levites. This is their payment for the work that they do while they serve at the Meeting Tent. 22 But the other Israelites must never again go near that Meeting Tent. If they do, they must be put to death! 23 The Levites will do the work of caring for the Meeting Tent. They must be punished for anything done against it. This is a law that will continue forever. The Levites will not get any of the land that I promised to the other Israelites. 24 But the Israelites will give one-tenth of their crops and newborn animals to the LORD, and I will give that one-tenth to the Levites. That is why I said these words about the Levites: They will not get the land that I promised the Israelites.”
25 The LORD said to Moses, 26 “Speak to the Levites and tell them: The Israelites will give one-tenth of their crops and newborn animals to the LORD. That one-tenth will belong to you Levites. But you must give one-tenth of that to the Lord as your offering. 27 That tenth will be your offering to the Lord. It will be like grain from the threshing floor or wine from the winepress. 28 In this way you will also give an offering to the LORD just as the other Israelites do. You will get the one-tenth that the Israelites give to the LORD, and then you will give one-tenth of that to Aaron the priest. 29 When the Israelites give you one-tenth of their crops and newborn animals, then you must give the best and the holiest part of these things as your gift to the LORD.
30 “Moses, tell this to the Levites: When you give the best part of what you receive to the Lord, it will be the same as grain from your own threshing floor and wine from your own winepress. 31 You and your families can eat all that is left. This is your payment for the work you do in the Meeting Tent. 32 And if you always give the best part of it to the Lord, you can eat what is left without guilt. By doing this, you will show your respect for these gifts as holy offerings from the Israelites, and you will avoid being put to death.”
Jesus Heals a Paralysed Man (Matt. 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12)
17 One day Jesus was teaching in a house. Some Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting inside with him. They had come from every town in Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. The Lord was giving Jesus the power to heal people. 18 There was a man outside who was paralyzed, and some other men were carrying him on a mat. They tried to carry him inside and put him down before Jesus. 19 But they could not find a way to get the man to Jesus because of all the people. So they went up on the roof and made a hole by removing some tiles. They lowered the man down on his mat into the crowd, right in front of Jesus.
20 When Jesus saw how much faith they had, he said to the man, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.”
21 This made the teachers of the law and the Pharisees say to themselves, “Who is this man who dares to say such things? What an insult to God! Only God can forgive sins!”
22 But Jesus knew what they were thinking and responded, “Why do you have these questions in your minds? 23 Maybe you are thinking it was easy for me to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ because no one can see whether it happened or not. But what if I say to him, ‘Stand up and walk’? 24 Then, if it happens, you will know that I, as the Son of Man, have power on earth to forgive sins.”
So Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, stand up! Take your mat and go home!” 25 The man immediately stood up in front of everyone. He picked up his mat and went home, praising God. 26 Everyone was completely amazed and began to praise God. They were filled with great respect for God’s power. They said, “Today we saw amazing things!”
Levi (Matthew) Follows Jesus (Matt. 9:9-13; Mark 2:13-17)
27 After this Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the place for collecting taxes. Jesus said to him, “Follow me!”
28 Levi got up, left everything and went with Jesus. 29 Then Levi gave a big dinner at his house for Jesus. At the table there were many tax collectors and some other people too. 30 But the Pharisees and those who taught the law for the Pharisees began to complain to the followers of Jesus, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and other sinners?”
31 Jesus answered them, “Sick people are the ones who need a doctor, not those who are healthy. 32 I have come to ask sinners to change the way they live, not those who do everything right.”
In a short time, there will be no more evil people. You can look for them all you want, but they will be gone.
11 Humble people will get the land God promised, and they will enjoy peace.
12 The wicked plan bad things for those who are good. They show their teeth in anger at them.
13 But our Lord will laugh at them. He will make sure they get what they deserve.
14 The wicked draw their swords to kill the poor and the helpless. They aim their arrows to murder all who live right.
15 But their bows will break, and their swords will pierce their own hearts.
16 A few good people are better than a large crowd of those who are evil.
17 The wicked will be destroyed, but the Lord cares for those who are good.
18 The Lord protects pure people all their life. Their reward will continue forever.
19 When trouble comes, good people will not be destroyed. When times of hunger come, good people will have plenty to eat.
20 But evil people are the Lord’s enemies, and they will be destroyed. Their valleys will dry up and burn. They will be destroyed completely.
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