Day 21 – January 21, 2022

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Exodus 6:28-9:35; Psalms 22, 23; Proverbs 4:13–18; Matthew 14:1–21

Exodus 6:28-9:35 

God’s Instructions to Moses and Aaron

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28 In the day the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, 29 the Lord said to him, “I am the Lord. Speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt everything I tell you.” 30 But Moses said before the Lord, “Behold, I am weak in speech; and how shall Pharaoh heed me?”

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1 Now the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you a god to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet. 2 You shall speak all I command you, and Aaron your brother shall speak to Pharaoh to send the children of Israel from his land. 3 I will harden Pharaoh’s heart and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. 4 But Pharaoh will not heed you; and I shall lay My hand on Egypt and bring My people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt with My power and great vengeance. 5 Then all the Egyptians shall know I am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them.” 6 Thus, as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did. 7 Now Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three years old when they spoke to Pharaoh.

8 Again the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 9 “When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying, ‘Show us a sign or a wonder,’ then you shall say to Aaron your brother, ‘Take your rod and cast it on the ground before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent.’ ” 10 So Moses and Aaron went before Pharaoh and his servants, and they did so, as the Lord commanded them. Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 In response, Pharaoh called together the wise men, the sorcerers, and the charmers of Egypt, and in like manner, they did the same with their sorceries. 12 For each man threw down his rod, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods. 13 But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not give heed to them as the Lord commanded.

  The Plague of Water Turned to Blood

14 So the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is hardened; he refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh early in the morning, when he goes to the water, and you shall stand by the river’s bank to meet him; and you shall take in your hand the rod that turned to a serpent. 16 Then you shall say to him, ‘The Lord God of the Hebrews has sent me to you, saying, “Let My people go, to serve Me in the desert”; but indeed, until now you would not hear. 17 Thus says the Lord: “By this you shall know I am the Lord. Behold, I will strike the water in the river with the rod in my hand, and it shall be turned to blood. 18 Then the fish in the river shall die, the river shall stink, and the Egyptians will be unable to drink water from the river.” ’ ” 19 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Say to Aaron your brother, ‘Take your rod in your hand and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over their rivers, their canals, their ponds, and all their standing water, so they may become blood. There shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood and of stone.’ ”

20 So Moses and Aaron did so, as the Lord commanded them. Aaron lifted his hand with the rod and struck the waters in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants. Then all the waters in the river were turned to blood. 21 The fish in the river died, the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink water from the river. So there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. 22 Then the sorcerers of Egypt did the same with their sorceries; and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not heed them, as the Lord said. 23 Pharaoh then turned and went to his house. Neither was his heart moved by this. 24 So all the Egyptians dug around the river for water to drink, because they could not drink water from the river. 25 Then seven days passed after the Lord struck the river.

The Plague of Frogs

26 Now the Lord spoke to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Let My people go to serve Me. 27 But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all your territory with frogs. 28 So the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into your house, into your bedroom, on your bed, into the houses of your servants, on your people, into your ovens, and into your kneading bowls. 29 The frogs shall come up on you, your people, and all your servants.” ’ ”

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1 Again the Lord spoke to Moses, “Say to Aaron your brother, ‘Stretch out your hand with your rod over the rivers, the canals, and the pools, and cause frogs to come up on the land of Egypt.’ ” 2 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. 3 Then the sorcerers did the same with their sorceries and brought up frogs on the land of Egypt.

4 Pharaoh then called for Moses and Aaron and said, “Pray to the Lord for me, and let Him take away the frogs from me and my people; and I will let the people go and sacrifice to the Lord.” 5 Moses replied to Pharaoh, “Appoint me a time when I shall pray for you, for your servants, and for your people to make the frogs disappear from you, your people, and your houses. Only in the river will they remain.” 6 So Pharaoh said, “Tomorrow.” Moses then said, “Let it be according to your word, that you may know this is none other than the Lord. 7 Now the frogs shall depart from you, your houses, your servants, and your people. They shall remain in the river only.”

  8 Then Moses and Aaron departed from Pharaoh, and Moses cried to the Lord about the time He had agreed to, concerning the frogs He had brought against Pharaoh. 9 So the Lord did just as Moses said, and the frogs died away from the houses, the villages, and the fields. 10 Then they gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank. 11 But when Pharaoh saw there was relief, his heart was hardened; and he did not heed them, as the Lord said.

The Plague of Lice

12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your rod and strike the dust of the land, that it may become lice on men, on four-footed animals, and throughout all the land of Egypt.’ ” 13 Thus Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod and struck the dust of the earth, and it became lice on man and four-footed animals; and there were lice in all the dust of the land. 14 Now the sorcerers so worked with their sorceries to bring forth lice, but they could not; and there were lice on man and four-footed animals. 15 Then the sorcerers said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not heed them, as the Lord said.

The Plague of Flies

16 Again the Lord said to Moses, “Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh as he goes to the water. Then say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Let My people go to serve Me in the desert. 17 Or else, if you will not let My people go, behold, I will send the dog-fly on you and your servants, and on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians shall be filled with the dog-fly, and also the ground on which they stand. 18 Now on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no dog-fly be there, that you may know I am the Lord, the Lord of all the earth. 19 I will make a difference between My people and your people. Tomorrow this shall be a sign in the land.” ’ ” 20 So the Lord did thus; and the dog-fly came in abundance into the houses of Pharaoh, and into his servants’ houses, and into all the land of Egypt, and the land was destroyed by the dog-fly.

21 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God in the land.” 22 But Moses said, “It is not right to do so, for we would be sacrificing the abomination of the Egyptians to the Lord our God. If we should sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, they would stone us. 23 We will go three days’ journey into the desert and sacrifice to the Lord our God, as He said to us.” 24 Pharaoh then said, “I will send you away, and you shall sacrifice to the Lord your God in the desert; only you shall not go very far away, and then pray for me to the Lord.” 25 Then Moses said, “Indeed, I will go out from you and pray to God, and tomorrow the dog-fly will depart from you, and from your servants and your people. But let Pharaoh not deal deceitfully anymore in not letting the people go sacrifice to the Lord.”

  26 So Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to God. 27 Thus the Lord did as Moses said and removed the dog-fly from Pharaoh, his servants, and his people. Not one remained. 28 But Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also; neither would he let the people go.

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The Plague of Diseased Cattle

1 Now the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of the Hebrews: “Let My people go so they may serve Me. 2 But if you refuse to let them go and still hold them, 3 behold, the hand of the Lord will be on your cattle in the fields—on the horses, the donkeys, the camels, the oxen, and the sheep—a very severe pestilence. 4 Then I will make a clear distinction between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt. So nothing shall die of all that belongs to the children of Israel.” ’ ”

5 Then God appointed a set time, saying, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this thing in the land.” 6 So the Lord did this thing on the next day, and all the cattle of the Egyptians died; but of the cattle of the children of Israel, not one died. 7 Then Pharaoh sent, and indeed, not even one among the cattle of the Israelites was dead. But the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go.

The Plague of Boils

8 So the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take for yourselves handfuls of ashes from a furnace, and let Moses scatter it toward heaven in the sight of Pharaoh; 9 and let it become dust in all the land of Egypt, and it will cause boils to break out in sores on man and beast throughout all the land of Egypt.” 10 So they took ashes from the furnace and stood before Pharaoh, and Moses scattered them toward heaven; and they caused boils to break out in sores on man and beast. 11 Now the sorcerers could not stand before Moses because of the sores, for the sores were on the sorcerers and in all the land of Egypt. 12 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart; and he did not heed them, as the Lord said to Moses.

The Plague of Hail

13 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of the Hebrews: “Let My people go, so they may serve Me, 14 for at this time I will send all My plagues into your very heart, and on your servants and your people, that you may know there is not another such as I in all the earth. 15 For now I will stretch forth My hand and smite you and kill your people, and you will be cut off from the earth. 16 But for this very reason were you preserved, that I might display in you My strength, and that My name might be declared in all the earth. 17 As yet, you exalt yourself against My people in that you will not let them go. 18 Behold, tomorrow about this time, I will cause very heavy hail to rain down, such as has not been in Egypt since its founding until now. 19 Therefore, hurry now and gather your cattle and all you have in the fields, for the hail shall come down on every man and animal found in the fields; and whatever is not brought home shall die.” ’ ” 20 Thus he who feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh gathered his cattle into the houses. 21 But he who did not regard the word of the Lord left his servants and cattle in the field.

  22 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, and there shall be hail in all the land of Egypt—both on man and cattle, and on every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.” 23 So Moses stretched out his rod toward heaven; and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire darted to the ground. Thus the Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt. 24 This hail and the fire mingled with it were so very heavy, there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation; and 25 throughout the whole land of Egypt it struck both man and cattle and every herb of the field, and broke every tree of the field. 26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, there was no hail.

27 Then Pharaoh sent and called for Moses and Aaron and said to them, “I have sinned this time. The Lord is righteous, and my people and I are ungodly. 28 Therefore, pray for me to the Lord, and let Him cause the thunderings of God to cease, and the hail and fire, for I will let you go and you shall stay no longer.” 29 So Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the Lord; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail and rain, that you may know the earth is the Lord’s. 30 But as for you and your servants, I know you will not yet fear the Lord.” 31 Now the flax and the barley were struck, for the barley was ripe and the flax was beginning to seed. 32 But as for the wheat and the rye, they were not struck, for they were late crops.

33 So Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh and spread out his hands to the Lord; then the thunder and the hail ceased, and the rain was not poured on the earth. 34 Thus when Pharaoh saw that the rain, the hail, and the thunder ceased, he sinned yet more; and he hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants. 35 So the heart of Pharaoh was hardened; neither would he let the children of Israel go, as the Lord said to Moses.

Psalms 22

1 A psalm by David.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters.

3 He restores my soul;

He leads me in the paths of righteousness

For His name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil, for You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You anoint my head with oil;

Your cup runs over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

All the days of my life;

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord to the end of my days.

Psalms 23

1 A psalm by David; on the first day of the week.

The earth is the Lord’s, and its fullness,

The world and all who dwell therein.

2 For He founded it upon the seas

And prepared it upon the rivers.

3 Who shall ascend to the mountain of the Lord?

Who shall stand in His holy place?

4 He who has innocent hands and a pure heart;

He who does not lift up his soul to vanity;

He who does not swear deceitfully to his neighbor.

5 He shall receive blessing from the Lord

And mercy from the God of his salvation.

6 This is the generation of those who seek Him,

Who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

(Pause)

7 Lift up the gates, O you rulers,

And be lifted up, you everlasting doors,

And the King of glory shall enter.

8 Who is this King of glory?

The Lord strong and mighty,

The Lord powerful in battle.

9 Lift up the gates, O you rulers,

And be lifted up, you everlasting doors,

And the King of glory shall enter.

10 Who is this King of Glory?

The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.

Proverbs 4:13–18 

13 Do not go in the ways of the ungodly,

Neither be zealous for the ways of the lawless;

14 In whatever place they encamp, do not go there,

But turn aside from them and pass by.

15 For they cannot sleep unless they do evil;

Their sleep is taken away, and they do not rest;

16 For they feed on the bread of ungodliness,

And they are drunk with the wine of lawlessness.

17 But the ways of the righteous shine like a light;

They go before and give light until full daylight.

18 But the ways of the ungodly are dark;

They do not know how they stumble.

Matthew 14:1–21

John the Baptist Beheaded

1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Jesus

2 and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.”

3 For Herod had laid hold of John and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife.

4 Because John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.”

5 And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.

6 But when Herod’s birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod.

7 Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.

8 So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, “Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter.”

9 And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given to her.

10 So he sent and had John beheaded in prison.

11 And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.

12 Then his disciples came and took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus.

Feeding the Five Thousand

13 When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities.

14 And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.

15 When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.”

16 But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

17 And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”

18 He said, “Bring them here to Me.”

19 Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes.

20 So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained.21 Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

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