Thank you to everyone who in the hustle and bustle of yesterday took the time to read chapter one and for the many of you who texted or messaged me about your thoughts as you pondered the partridge in a pear tree.
If you didn’t get a chance to read the intro or day 1 it’s ok - you can catch up today!
Lost your luggage or it’s delayed or
The mail didn’t arrive
Send me a private note with your email and I’ll make sure you get the chapters you need.
At the end of each chapter are deeper dives. If you don’t have a Bible there are great online apps. I like the YouVersion because you can compare multiple Bible versions for the verse you’re reading.
Also at the end of each chapter are songs that I liked as I wrote the chapters. I only included 5 songs per chapter (60 in total) and the songs are in a playlist on Spotify or YouTube under the name of the book Twelve Days: A Christmas Exploration.
Today I’m going to include 2 other songs that I liked but ended up not selecting for this chapter.
Below is what I am calling “extras”. This is not written in the book but maybe I’ll add it to a supplemental book one day. This is my gift to you today on this second day of Christmas.
2. A significant number.
The Bible has many references to the number 2. Here are 22:
Father and His only Son (the entire purpose of this “holiday”)
On day 2 God separated the sky from water and named the sky heavens
2 people. A Man and woman in a garden until a serpent spoiled the scene forever
2 brothers born - 1 killed the other out of jealousy
2 of each kind of animal entered the ark before the world was flooded
King Solomon’s temple had 2 pillars; 2 capitols on top of the pillars; 2 decorative filigrees for the capitols; four hundred pomegranates for the 2 filigrees (a double row of pomegranates for each filigree) - and more. Read 1 Kings 7 to see how lavish it was
In 1 Kings there’s a story of 2 women who both gave birth but one baby died and the other didn’t and they were fighting over whose baby the living one was. The king said “bring the baby to me and a sword. I’ll cut it in half and give each of you half”. The first mother cried out in anguish and said to just give the baby away so he could live. The other mother said “if I can’t have him then cut away”. “The king gave his decision: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Nobody is going to kill this baby. She is the real mother.”
In 2 Kings chapter 2 something crazy happens. A bunch of kids were taunting older people and making fun of them. You’ve heard the saying likely all your life to respect your elders. Well they didn’t. So Elisha cursed the children for doing so and 2 bears suddenly appeared and attacked 42 children and tore them from limb to limb. Seriously - read the Bible. You’ll be amazed at some of the stories that you didn’t learn or won’t remember from growing up.
In Zechariah it says there was a vision of Heaven that is prophesied before Revelation ““And the 2 olive trees on either side of the lampstand?” I asked. “What’s the meaning of them? And while you’re at it, the 2 branches of the olive trees that feed oil to the lamps—what do they mean?” He said, “You haven’t figured that out?” I said, “No, sir.” He said, “These are the 2 who stand beside the Master of the whole earth and supply golden lamp oil worldwide.”
There’s another one where a woman was sitting on a basket with a lead lock. She was wicked and was put inside the basket. Must have been a big basket. But then? The prophet says ““I looked up and to my surprise saw 2 women flying. On outstretched wings they airlifted the bushel basket into the sky.” The chapter goes on to say they took it somewhere, built a garage for it, and stored it there. Read the chapter to find out what was inside the basket besides the evil woman
Naomi had 2 sons. They both died. One daughter-in-law stayed behind to get remarried. The other DIL was Ruth. She stayed by Naomi’s side and is the only book in the Bible named after a woman
Lazarus had 2 sisters. Mary and Martha. The Bible mentions them by name in a few stories. Women were not often mentioned by name back then. When Lazarus died - Jesus stayed away 2 more days before coming to raise him from the dead
“Mark it down: God hates it when you demonstrate a double standard— one for “them” and one for “you.” Proverbs 20:10 TPT
5 loaves and 2 fish fed 5000
Once at a dinner - Jesus told a story of 2 men - both in debt. One severely so. Both debts were forgiven. He asked the audience who would be more grateful.
In Luke 17 it talks about the end of times when Jesus returns and says “On that Day, 2 men will be in the same boat fishing—one taken, the other left. 2 women will be working in the same kitchen—one taken, the other left.” Don’t look back.
Jesus tells another story of 2 sons. One left home and was reckless and the other stayed and took care of his father. The one son got to the lowest of lows in life and finally returned home. This prodigal son was always loved by the father and was welcomed back
2 people were judged - a murderer and Jesus. Barabbas was a criminal but was set free
2 people hung on either side of Jesus. 1 told Jesus to save himself. 1 asked to be remembered that day and Jesus said that day he would be in paradise with Him
Jesus said if you have 2 coats, give one away to someone who is cold. This is a great time of year to take your extra costs or blankets to homeless shelters or churches who can get them to people in need
In Leviticus 12:8 it says if you’re too poor to sacrifice an expensive unblemished lamb when a child is born - you can sacrifice 2 birds - 2 turtle doves - which we know of as 2 simple pigeons. Mary and Joseph sacrificed 2 birds the day Jesus was brought to the temple as a baby
Jesus tells the listeners that of all of the commandments of Moses - they are all summed up into 2 things - 1. Love God. 2. Love people.
Our world would be so different if this was how we all lived.
Jesus had 2 arms outstretched nailed to a cross 33 years after that first Christmas. The baby grew up.
2 things happened. 1 - he died a gruesome death. 2 - on the 3rd day he rose again.
Today’s verse is about sacrifice. What do you have to give? Perhaps only 2 turtle doves. An unblemished lamb was given for us. Jesus. He is the way, truth, and life. He is the living sacrifice.
Thank you Lord for Your word, for sacrifice, for wisdom, for the celebration of Jesus. May we all be mindful of the reason for this season.
Welcome today to Day 2 - 2 turtle doves, or 2 pigeons? See what 2 could mean.
If you don't have the book Twelve Days: A Christmas Exploration, you can get it here for an instant download.
I discuss even more extras on this podcast.
This one is from JJ Heller Song 1 - https://youtu.be/skVyUI9MvK0
And this from Brandon Lake Song 2 - https://youtu.be/oUWiWzK0P24