April 2022

In April we will be finishing Exodus, working our way through Leviticus and Numbers, and we will get our first tastes of the Psalms. 

Exodus

Exodus is a story that many of us are familiar with. Chances are you’ve seen The Ten Commandments and/or The Prince of Egypt. One of the questions that is often asked of Exodus is, did this really happen? The short answer is historians and Biblical scholars have no idea. The general consensus is that something happened that caused a group of workers to leave Egypt, but that historically speaking the story didn’t happen as told in Exodus. Don’t let the lack of historical evidence get in the way of reading this story for what it is, a story of hope and redemption. 

Leviticus

Leviticus is made up of a series of speeches from God to the people via Moses and Aaron. The book lays out the conditions for God’s presence among the Israelites and it gives the Israelities conditions for living together in a God-centered community. As far as a historical date for Leviticus, scholars think that Leviticus was compiled in its final form during the Babylonian Exile.  

Numbers

Numbers tells the story of the Exodus from Mt. Sinai to the Promised Land. Numbers is full of genealogies and geography. Woven into the genealogies and geographies is a constant reminder of God’s presence with and promise to the Israelites. As we read through numbers pay attention to the way in which the relationship between God and the Israelites develops.In terms of dating, Numbers was probably compiled in the Post-Exilic period.

Psalms

Psalms is a collection of poetry that expresses the human condition in all of its holy messiness. There are Psalms of praise and lament. Some Psalms are written from a communal perspective, while others are written from an individual perspective. Some Psalms are peaceful and others contain violent images of God’s wrath.

Psalms is unique in the canon because it is the only book we have that is composed solely of poetry/hymns. As we read through Psalms you’ll notice the word Selah. Scholars do not know how to translate this word and we don’t know what it means, but scholars posit that it is evidence that Psalms was used as a sort of hymnal. We will also come across the word shehol. Don’t confuse shehol with a Christian hell; Shehol was where all of the dead went. The authorship and dating of Psalms is tricky. Modern scholars are confident that David wrote few if any of the Psalms and that the order our canon has for Psalms was likely not put together until sometime in the first century CE.

Questions

Below are a few questions to help guide you as you read. There are no right answers to any of these, they are here to help us reflect.

Questions to Guide Us Throughout This Practice 

  • What stood out to you in the readings?
  • What did you notice about God?
  • Did anything in the readings make you feel uncomfortable?
  • How does what you read impact your life and your faith?

Questions to Guide Us Through Exodus

  • Before you read Exodus write down your version of the Exodus story. After you read Exodus, write down your version of the Exodus. What changed in your telling of the story after a close reading of the text? 
  • How does the relationship between creator and creation develop in this story? 
  • Did you learn anything about the Exodus story that you did not know before reading the text?

Questions to Guide Us Through Leviticus

  • Before you begin reading Leviticus write down some things that you think are in Leviticus. Keep your list handy as you read. Check off your list as you go. Once we have finished reading Leviticus look to see what you didn’t find. 
  • What place do you think Leviticus should have in our lives? 
  • What is the role of sacrifice in our community?

Questions to Guide Us Through Numbers 

  • What does it mean to live a holy life according to Numbers? 
  • What does a holy life look like to you?
  • If you wrote down your version of the Exodus story when we read Exodus did you include anything from Numbers in your story? If so, what?

Questions to Guide us Through Psalms

  • What is the role of community in Psalms?
  • How do we use the Psalms in our community?
  • As we read through Psalms, think about which themes you resonate with. Why do you think you resonate with that theme?

The hyperlink for the reading will take you to Bible Gateway. The hyperlink “podcast” will take you to the podcast that matches the reading. The hyperlink “YouTube” will take you to a video recording of the Podcast.

April 1 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 2 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 3 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 4 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 5 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 6 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 7 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 8 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 9 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 10 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 11 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 12 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 13 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 14 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 15 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 16 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 17 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 18 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 19 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 20 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 21 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 22 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 23 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 24 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 25 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 26 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 27 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 28 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 29 | Reading | Podcast | Youtube
April 30| Reading 1|Reading 2| Podcast | Youtube