Moses dedicates the Levites to serve in the temple; this, of course, requires many offerings and animal sacrifices. The Israelites celebrate the second Passover; those who are unable to celebrate at the proper time are told they may do so one month later. God settles on the Tabernacle in the form of a cloud (a fiery cloud at night); the cloud lifts and leads the Israelites whenever they should travel.
Jesus talks more about the end times. Apparently,
"The day is coming when you will see the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing where he [translation note: or "it"] should not be."If that makes sense to you, chime in. Is something lost in translation here or was it this unspecific in the original? [ETA: Qohelet points out that this is a reference to the Abomination of Desolation. So the problem was a translation one, kind of. My translation uses a different phrase than is traditional, making the reference less recognizable.]
When this, whatever it is, occurs the people must flee to the hills without stopping to pack. These will be terrible times, so terrible that everyone would die if God did not shorten them. Many false Messiah's will try to fool the people. The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars will fall from the sky (I am not quite sure how that last bit makes sense, but sure, we'll run with it). Then the Son of Man (Jesus) will come and gather the chosen ones from all over the world. Very dramatic.
No one knows when this will happen except God. Not even Jesus. So Jesus' followers have to stay alert.
Psalms and Proverbs
Our God approaches,More great imagery from today's psalm. Goes rather well with the New Testament reading today. Also, we learn that God does not need sacrifices, just the sacrifice of thankfulness. In that case, why did we have to spend so much time reading about the rules for sacrifices? It was boring!
and he is not silent.
Fire devours everything in his way,
and a great storm rages around him.
Proverbs continues the theme of "godly = good, wicked = bad".