But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. Psalm 1:2 NLT
In the quiet hours of the morning, as the world awakens to a new day, a question lingers in the hearts of many: “Can I really read the entire Bible in a year?” It’s a question filled with curiosity and a hint of skepticism as if the thought of journeying through the pages of this ancient and sacred text in just 365 days seems like an insurmountable task.
But let me assure you, my friend, that the answer is a resounding “Absolutely! You can!” Reading the Bible cover to cover in a year is not merely a feat of endurance; it’s a profound and enriching experience that means more than just the completion of chapters and verses. It’s about delving into the depths of God’s Word, immersing yourself in His timeless truths, and allowing His narrative to shape your life.
Picture the Bible as a treasured book, a literary masterpiece with a plot that unfolds from Genesis to Revelation. Every chapter and every verse is a vital piece of this grand narrative, revealing the intricate twists and turns of God’s epic story of salvation, redemption, and unfailing love.
Reading the Bible in a year is not a mechanical task. It’s a transformative journey. I know because it has been for me. It’s about more than just reading words on a page. It’s about letting those words seep into your soul, challenging your beliefs, comforting your heart, and guiding your steps. It’s an opportunity to deepen your understanding of God, His intimate relationship with humanity, and His unchanging character.
But what if the idea of embarking on this journey alone feels daunting? What if you’re unsure where to start or how to stay on track? Well, my friend, there’s a perfect solution for you.
Allow me to introduce you to the Daily Bible Podcast, a vibrant and enlightening companion for your year-long adventure through the scriptures. This podcast, co-hosted by myself and the wonderful Michelle Hill, is designed to enhance your reading experience. We use the One Year Chronological Bible, a remarkable edition that arranges the text in the order that events occurred, providing you with a unique and historical perspective.
Here are some intriguing facts about the Daily Bible Podcast:
Engaging Commentary: Our podcast is more than a recitation of verses. It’s an exploration of the text, offering thought-provoking commentary and practical applications for each day’s reading.
Chronological Format: The One Year Chronological Bible is our guide, unveiling the biblical narrative in the order of historical events. It’s like taking a chronological journey through history while studying God’s Word.
Daily Guidance: Each episode corresponds to a specific day’s reading, making it easy for you to follow along and stay in sync with your Bible reading plan.
Accessible Anywhere: Whether you’re commuting to work, breaking a sweat at the gym, or simply unwinding at home, our podcast format ensures that you can immerse yourself in the Word of God wherever you are.
To make the most of your reading experience, we recommend a simple approach: read the day’s Bible passage first, and then listen to the Daily Bible Podcast. This combination will enrich your understanding and bring new insights to your Bible study.
So, my dear friend, as we step into the new year, I invite you to embark on this transformative journey with the right tools and a heart wide open to receive God’s teachings. Let 2024 be the year you fully embrace the Bible, allowing its timeless wisdom to deepen your faith and illuminate the divine narrative that continues to shape our lives.
Weekly readings for the Daily Bible Podcast with Tricia and Michelle
The Way Through the Red Sea
This part of the Exodus story is a thrilling reminder of God’s power and plan. Despite the Israelites’ fear as the Egyptians pursued them, God planned to display His glory through Pharaoh’s defeat, demonstrating His sovereignty.
The Power of Deliverance
The crossing of the Red Sea showcases God’s mighty hand, a theme echoed in the Song of Moses, a hymn of salvation. Rich Mullins’ song “My Deliverer” poignantly captures this sentiment, reminding us of the unbreakable promises of God. The deliverance from Egypt reminds us of God’s ability to bring salvation against seemingly impossible odds.
Forgetting and Remembering
At Marah, the Israelites’ encounter with bitter waters becomes a metaphor for our tendency to forget God’s greatness and promises. This recurring theme of forgetfulness versus the remembrance of God’s deeds is a powerful lesson in faith.
Dedication of the Firstborn
In Exodus 13:2, God commands the Israelites to dedicate every firstborn. This points to the ultimate dedication of Jesus, His firstborn son. This act symbolizes a deeper meaning of redemption and sacrifice, themes that are central to the faith journey.
The Concept of Redemption
The term “redeem” is the price paid for rescue or deliverance. This is vividly portrayed in the pidyon ha-ben ceremony, where the father redeems his firstborn son, symbolizing that redemption transcends monetary value and points towards a spiritual exchange.
The Personal Story of Thomas Graumann
The story of Thomas Graumann, a Holocaust survivor, beautifully illustrates the power of dedication and God’s plan. His journey from being a Jewish child sent to safety on a Kindertransport to becoming a Christian missionary is a testament to the mysterious ways in which dedication and faith can shape a life. His mother’s will, hoping for him to join a Christian family and become a missionary or pastor, reveals a remarkable foresight and faith.
The Symbol of Jesus in Passover
The Passover symbolizes Jesus’s ultimate sacrifice, the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” as proclaimed by John the Baptist. Like the Israelites’ journey, Thomas’ story reminds us of the profound impact of faith and dedication. It teaches us that while we may not always see the immediate results of our dedication, a greater plan at work often transcends our understanding but always holds promise for redemption and hope.
Word of the Day: Dedicate
When we dedicate ourselves and our children to God, we may not see the immediate outcome, but we can trust His grand design.
Today’s journey begins with a remarkable story of sustenance–manna and quail provided by heaven itself. This miraculous event directly responds to the Israelites’ hunger and complaints, underscoring their physical needs and God’s unwavering care. It’s a powerful reminder that we are never forsaken, even in the most desolate wildernesses.
Water from a Rock: A Testament of Faith
The narrative takes an extraordinary turn with water flowing from a rock. Yes, a rock! Following God’s guidance, the parched and desperate Israelites witnessed Moses striking a rock, from which water gushed. This quenches their thirst and serves as a testament to God’s mercy and might. Moses names the sites Massah and Meribah, symbolizing the Israelites’ testing and quarreling and highlighting God’s patient provision.
Battle Against the Amalekites: A Clash of Descendants
The saga continues with the Israelites confronting the Amalekites, led by Amalek, a descendant of Esau. This confrontation isn’t just a battle; it’s the unfolding of a prophecy made to Rebecca about two nations stemming from her womb. The descendants of Jacob (Israelites) and Esau (Amalekites) clash, representing a larger spiritual conflict. With Aaron and Hur’s support, Moses leads his people to victory, marking a significant moment in the Israelites’ journey.
Jethro’s Wisdom: Leadership and Faith
Another highlight is Jethro’s visit to Moses. Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, acknowledges God’s greatness and imparts crucial leadership advice to Moses. This interaction is a testament to the transformative power of witnessing God’s deeds, leading even a priest of other gods to recognize the one true God.
The Revelation at Sinai: A Covenant with Conditions
The chapters culminate with the Lord revealing Himself at Mount Sinai. Here, God lays out a covenant with a pivotal condition: obedience in exchange for being chosen as His special treasure. This moment is significant as it establishes the Israelites as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, setting the stage for their unique relationship with God.
The Importance of Sabbath: A Lesson in Trust and Rest
These narratives also show the Israelites grumbling and complaining, yet God consistently provides. Interestingly, this includes specific instructions about the Sabbath–a day of complete rest and a practice that dates back to creation. This emphasis on the Sabbath is a call to trust in God’s provision and to set aside time for spiritual reflection and rest.
The Power of Testimony: Sharing God’s Works
Finally, we discuss the importance of testifying or sharing what God has done in our lives. Moses’ testimony to Jethro and the command to preserve the story of the manna for future generations are powerful examples. Sharing our experiences of God’s work strengthens our faith and can profoundly impact others, as illustrated by the life-changing conversation on a flight.
These biblical chapters are more than historical accounts; they are rich with lessons in faith, providence, and the importance of sharing and preserving God’s works. As we reflect on these narratives, let us be inspired to trust, obey, and testify to the great works of God.
Word of the Day: Testify – To give evidence or bear witness; a reminder of our role in sharing the wonders of God’s deeds in our lives and history.
Exodus 20-21, Exodus 22-1-15
In the heart of the biblical narrative, God begins the Ten Commandments with a powerful introduction, “I am the Lord your God,” immediately reminding His people of His deliverance from Egypt, the land of their slavery. This preamble sets the stage for the following commandments, intricately divided into two segments: the first four focusing on our relationship with God and the last six concerning our interactions with each other.
1. You must not have any other god but me.
2. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind.
3. You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
4. Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
5. Honor your father and mother.
6. You must not murder.
7. You must not commit adultery.
8. You must not steal.
9. You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.
10. You must not covet… anything that belongs to your neighbor.
These commandments serve as more than ancient laws; they mirror our imperfections and remind us of our innate tendency to worship ourselves and rely on our own merits. They starkly reveal how far we’ve strayed and how desperately we need a Savior, as none can stand before God justified by these laws alone. This realization is humbling and liberating, pointing us toward the perfect fulfillment of these laws in Christ.
The experience of the Israelites at Sinai, overwhelmed by God’s presence to the point of fear, challenges our modern queries of desiring a tangible display of God. Yet, their immediate return to sin post-revelation underscores a profound truth: external manifestations alone cannot transform the human heart.
As we progress through Exodus, we see God’s laws extending to societal structures, from the construction of altars to the treatment of slaves and the protection of personal property. These instructions were not arbitrary but tailored to guide a community freshly freed from oppression toward a just and orderly society grounded in respect for God and fellow humans.
Word of the Day: Instruct
This word resonates deeply, especially as a homeschooling mom. Instructions guide us towards what’s good and beneficial. If only my children listen to my instructions and make good decisions! Yet, our human nature often leans towards self-centeredness, highlighting the insufficiency of laws alone to foster genuine obedience.
This biblical journey through the Ten Commandments and beyond reminds us of our continuous need for grace and the transformative power of a heart aligned with God’s will. It’s a call to reflect on our lives, recognizing that true obedience springs from a heart changed by love, not fear of retribution. In daily living, these ancient words still speak, guiding us toward a reverence for God and genuine love for our neighbors.
Exodus 22:16-3, Exodus 23-24
Today’s scriptures bring us into the heart of Exodus, where we encounter a blend of divine instructions, promises, and intimate encounters that paint a vivid picture of God’s relationship with His people.
Exodus 22 and 23 lay out not just rules but a blueprint for living a life that honors God and respects others. Among these instructions, the principle of Sabbath rest stands out, teaching us the value of renewal for both the land and our souls.
Exodus 23 introduces us to justice, urging us to avoid spreading rumors, resist the urge to follow the crowd blindly and extend help even to those we might consider enemies. This chapter also reiterates the importance of rest, not just as a command but as a divine rhythm of life and renewal, culminating in the instruction to let the land lie fallow every seventh year.
The passage then reveals the celebration of three annual festivals, marking significant moments in Israel’s journey and relationship with God. These festivals are not merely agricultural milestones but spiritual commemorations of God’s deliverance, provision, and continual protection.
A striking aspect of these narratives is the appearance of an angel, believed to be a pre-incarnate manifestation of Christ, guiding and protecting the Israelites. This divine intervention serves as a reminder of God’s unwavering presence and salvation throughout history.
In Exodus 24, we witness a profound covenant moment as Moses, Aaron, and the elders ascend the mountain to meet God. Here, they see the divine presence, represented with vivid imagery of lapis lazili, and share a covenant meal in God’s presence, a moment of awe-inspiring intimacy and fellowship.
This journey through Exodus is not just about ancient history; it’s about how we apply God’s laws and promises to our lives today. “Apply” comes from the Latin “applicare,” meaning to fold or fasten to. God’s instructions, celebrations, and promises require us to apply them actively to our lives, integrating His truths into the fabric of our daily existence.
Reflecting on my journey, I see parallels in my dedication to God at 17 and how we are called to embrace His laws, celebrate His provision, and rely on His promises. Just as the blood of the covenant was applied to the people, signifying their acceptance of God’s instructions, we, too are invited to apply the sacrifice of Christ to our lives, allowing us to sit in fellowship with God daily.
This reflection brings to mind my relationship with my adopted children. Some have fully embraced our relationship, while others, out of fear and past hurts, hold back, missing out on the fullness of love and family we could share. Similarly, our relationship with God requires us to let go of our fears and fully accept His love and sacrifice, allowing us to experience the fullness of His presence in our lives.
Exodus teaches us the importance of applying God’s laws, celebrating His goodness, and trusting in His promises. It’s a call to move beyond mere belief to a lived experience of faith, where we fasten ourselves to God and embrace the fullness of His love and salvation.
Proverbs 1:7 reminds us that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” As we delve into the book of Exodus over the next several days, we find God imparting His wisdom and instruction to Moses to construct a holy sanctuary—a dwelling place for Him among His people.
God’s meticulous plans for this sanctuary reflect His nature as a detailed and orderly God. He desires perfection because this is where He will meet with Moses and His people, and He is a holy God. From offerings for the Tabernacle to the plans for the Ark of the Covenant, Table, and Lampstand, every detail matters.
The construction of the Tabernacle and Altar of Burnt Offering follows God’s instructions closely. His people are asked to follow these divine guidelines, just as He communicated them to Moses on the mountain.
As we read about the plans for the Courtyard and Light for the Temple, we are reminded of the importance of paying close attention to detail and being specific in our measurements. The word “must” comes into play, emphasizing the significance of adhering to God’s instructions.
The clothing for the priests, along with the design of the ephod and chestpiece, further demonstrates God’s attention to detail. He instructs the use of two onyx stones engraved with the names of the tribes of Israel, signifying significance and a constant reminder that they are God’s chosen people.
One remarkable aspect of this reading is the concept of “sacred offerings.” God asked His people to provide gold, silver, linen, oil, wood, and more. These were once enslaved individuals, yet God fulfilled His promise to Abraham by allowing them to leave Egypt with great wealth.
This wealth was then used to build God’s holy tabernacle, a stark contrast to the symbols of worship for false gods that they left behind in Egypt—pyramids, statues, idols, and temples. God established worship for Himself, much like cathedrals were built in the Middle Ages to display God’s glory among an illiterate population.
Symbols abound in these pages, particularly in Exodus 27:20-21, where God commands the use of pure olive oil to keep the lamps burning continually. This mirrors the words of Jesus in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
Word of the day: Display. To make a prominent exhibition of something where it can be easily seen. What was God displaying through these instructions? His glory.
Exodus’s sacred offerings and detailed instructions teach us that offerings to God should come from willing hearts, not mere obligations. It’s not about the type or amount of the gift; it’s about the condition of our hearts when we give. As 2 Corinthians 9:7 emphasizes, we should give cheerfully, for God loves a cheerful giver.
“Then anoint him by pouring the anointing oil over his head,” Exodus 29:7, This verse speaks of Aaron, a very ordinary man for whom God had a divine plan. First, as a mouthpiece for Moses, and then as a holy priest.
As we journey through the pages of Exodus 29, we encounter a profound pattern in God’s instructions. A pattern that reflects the intricacy of His plan for His dwelling place among His chosen people. This pattern, as noted by Hebrew scholar Robert Altar, is arranged in concentric circles.
First, we witness the donation of materials and instructions for the structure. Then, we delve into the directions for the inner sanctum and the altar. Next, we explore the vestments and sacred ornaments of the priests. As the circle continues, we encounter the priests’ dedication and instructions for animal sacrifices. We proceed to the provisions for the tabernacle and daily supplies, including the washbasin for cleansing, anointing oil, and incense. These concentric circles lead us to the culmination of the holy day of the Sabbath.
This pattern, as explained by Douglas Stuart in his commentary, represents Yahweh’s house among the Israelites. It symbolizes God dwelling with His people in concentric circles, as seen in Numbers 2.
But you might wonder, “What does this have to do with me?” The bigger picture is crucial. God’s desire is to dwell with His chosen people, and layer by layer, circle by circle, He is allowing this to come to pass.
In Exodus 31, we witness an extraordinary moment where God calls two very ordinary men, Bezalel and Oholiab, to craft His sanctuary. God fills them with the Spirit of God, granting them great wisdom and expertise in various crafts. This emphasizes God’s personal involvement and empowerment of those He chooses.
As we delve deeper into Exodus, we encounter detailed instructions, such as those for the basin. These details matter because of who God has made us now. Revelation 1:6 states, “He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father.” We are priests chosen by God for a special purpose.
Anointing, as described in Exodus 29:7, involves pouring oil abundantly upon the anointed. It signifies God pouring His divine grace upon His chosen ones. In the New Testament, Acts 10:38 reveals that God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 further confirms that God enables us to stand firm for Christ and identifies us as His own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts. This Spirit, the anointing of God, is given to dwell in us.
As we reflect on these concentric circles and the anointing of God’s Spirit, we are reminded of the intricate plan God has for us to dwell with Him. The Old Testament rituals paved the way for God to be with His people, and in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit resides within us, guaranteeing the promises of God.
The pattern of God’s dwelling place continues to unfold, and as we journey through Exodus, let us embrace the significance of God’s plan and the anointing of His Spirit in our lives.
While Moses was on the mountain, receiving instructions from God, the Israelites grew restless and impatient. They turned to Aaron and demanded gods to lead them. What follows is a tale of disobedience, idolatry, and God’s compassion.
Aaron, tasked with appeasing the impatient crowd, asked them to contribute their gold rings. From these precious materials, he fashioned a golden calf—a grievous violation of God’s commandments. This act of idol worship provoked God’s anger, and He was ready to destroy the Israelites. But Moses, interceding on their behalf, reminded God of His promise and His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Remarkably, God relented, sparing His people from destruction.
The incident with the golden calf serves as a stark reminder of the Israelites’ tendency to stray from God’s path when left unchecked. Even in the absence of Moses, they stumbled into sin. Their enemies watched, amused by their downfall.
Moses, in his righteous anger, threw the stone tablets containing the commandments to the ground. This symbolic act represented the shattering of the covenant due to the Israelites’ disobedience.
But Moses didn’t stop at one intercession. He pleaded with God on multiple occasions, revealing his deep desire to understand God’s ways more fully. In response, God declared, “I know you by name,” emphasizing the personal relationship between God and Moses.
God’s compassion shines through even in the midst of the Israelites’ failures. He provided Moses with a second set of stone tablets and reiterated the importance of the Israelites being set apart. God emphasized the word “must” eleven times, highlighting the necessity of their obedience.
The emotional rollercoaster continues as we witness Aaron’s fall from grace. From being anointed as the high priest, Aaron took a grievous misstep by crafting the golden calf. The consequences were severe—a great plague was sent upon the people as punishment.
Despite these challenges, God’s faithfulness remained unwavering. He sent the Angel of the Lord to guide them, continued to meet with Moses in the Tent of Meeting, and allowed His goodness to pass before him. God rewrote the stone tablets, reaffirming His covenant with His people.
As we reflect on these events, we are reminded of the importance of seeking God’s ways, interceding for one another, and recognizing the depth of God’s compassion. The journey through Exodus reveals God’s high standards and the consequences of disobedience, but it also showcases His willingness to forgive and His desire to dwell with His people.
In Exodus 34:6-8, God declared Himself as “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” These attributes were not just words but were displayed through His interactions with Moses and the Israelites.
Moses’ radiant face after meeting with God serves as an inspiration. It reminds us that spending time in God’s presence can transform us, making us shine with His glory. Just as Moses had been with the Lord, people noticed the difference in him. In Acts 4:13, we see a similar impact when Peter and John, unschooled and ordinary, were recognized as those who had been with Jesus.
Ultimately, these chapters in Exodus teach us that God’s glory is not limited to moments of divine visitation. His presence, often referred to as the Shekinah glory, is a constant reminder that He desires to dwell among His people. Despite our shortcomings, God still seeks to visit and abide with us.
As we journey through Exodus, may we strive to understand God’s ways, intercede for one another, and allow His presence to transform us. Let us be like Moses, shining with the radiance of God’s glory, and boldly proclaim what the Lord has done in our lives.