Spiritual Rants: February 17 “I Didn’t Mean It!” Daily Readings to read through the Bible in a year: Leviticus 4:1-5:19 Mark 2:13-3:6 Psalm 36:1-12 Proverbs 10:1-2

Old Testament:  Leviticus 4:1-5:19

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Intro:

A person could sin and not really mean it.

They would still have to make a sacrifice for their crime that fit.

Offerings differed according to their wealth.

There was even a provision for if they knew better which would actually have been stealth.

Leviticus 4:1-5:19

Leviticus 4:1-35  I Didn’t Mean It! Pt. 1

There was no sacrifice for an intentional sin (cf. Heb. 10: 26-28).  Almost all sins fell into the “unintentional” category because an “intentional” sin would have entailed violence against Yahweh or the covenant. It would have been analogous to rejecting Christ in our current era.

However, if there was an “oops-er” and someone sins unintentionally, a person could bring a sacrifice to the tabernacle to “atone” for the sin and make things right with God.  It had to be brought after the person realized they had done wrong.  It makes sense that people with sin natures would sin and thus there would be so many unintentional sins. To think we don’t sin stalls our progress in the Christian life (1John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”).

The sacrifice differed amongst the priests (v. 3), the congregation (v. 13), a leader (v. 22) or a common person (v. 27). The priest or the congregation had to sacrifice a bull, more like the Ford Taurus of sacrifices.  A leader had to sacrifice a male goat, more like the Chevrolet Malibu , the common person had to bring a female goat or a female lamb which might be compared to a Honda Civic.  For the offering of a bull, the fat, entrails, kidneys, and the liver were to be burnt on the altar of burnt offering.  Also, for the bull, the blood is sprinkled seven times before the Lord . For the other animals, hands must be laid on it to symbolize the transference of the sin.  For all the animals, the priest was to put some blood on the horns of the altar and pour the rest at the base of the altar of burnt offering at the doorway of the tent of meeting.  The rest of the animal was to be brought outside the camp and burnt to ashes.

Leviticus 5:1-13  I Didn’t Mean It! Pt. 2

Levitus 5 has to do with guilt offerings. If someone 1) could have testified to a crime and didn’t do or 2) touched something unclean (dead body of a human or animal or forbidden insect or . . . uh . . . a human discharge . . . ick!) by mistake or 3) rash now needed to present an offering. The offering would be a female lamb or goat.

This is cool. There was provision for the poor if they couldn’t afford something as expensive as a lamb or goat.  If a person can’t afford a lamb, he or she could bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons (cf. Mary and Joseph’s offering after Jesus’ birth, Lk. 2: 24; Lev. 12: 8). If a person can’t afford even those birds, they could bring 8 gallons of fine flour.

Leviticus 5:14-19  I Didn’t Mean It! Pt. 3  . . .  Or Maybe I Meant It A Little

Verses 14-19 refers to “guilt” offerings.

If someone unintentionally disrespected any of the “holy things,” he had to sacrifice a perfect ram. His relationship with the Lord would be restored. What does it mean to desecrate the “holy things”?  It could mean they ate meat or grain sacrifices that were only for the priests to eat.  It could mean they didn’t present to God gifts of sacrifices, tithes, first fruit offerings, things dedicated to God or failing to fulfill their vows or failing to serve as they should.  The guilty party would have to provide restitution plus 20%.

When I was a kid, my father always told me that ignorance of the law was not a defense.  Basically, this is what the above offerings were, when you goofed up but didn’t realize it.

We don’t have to offer bulls or goats or lambs anymore.  What should we do? Just confess your sins directly to God, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9 .

Summary:

If someone didn’t mean to sin, he or she had to offer a sacrifice to cover their sin.  The offering differed according to the person’s responsibility before the Lord.  A poor person didn’t have to offer anything near as expensive as a richer person.  In certain instances, someone who failed to give God what they knew they should have could make amends by giving what they should have, plus a twenty per cent surtax.

New Testament:   Mark 2:13-3:6

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Intro:

Jesus called a disciple named Levi, who as author of Matthew, was the taxman.

At his house, Jesus announced that He was going to initiate a new plan.

Jesus also said He was the Messiah after eating some grain.

Afterward He healed a withered hand but the leaders were intent on inflicting on Him pain.

Mark 2:13-3:6

Mark 2:14-22 Putting On At Levi’s

Jesus called Levi to join Him and follow Him.  Levi was Matthew, actually the same as “theee” Matthew, like the first book of the New Testament guy (cf. Mt. 9: 9).  He was about to become a disciple and apostle but at this point, he worked for the IRS (a tax collector).  Unlike today, the tax collection system in Jesus’ day was corrupt.

Jesus was partying with a bunch of “ne’er do wells” like tax collectors and other sinners and irritating the snotty religious leaders. The snotty religious leaders said, “he’s partying with IRS agents . . . WHAT THE HECK??”  Jesus said it wasn’t healthy people who needed a doctor but the sick people. He wasn’t on earth to call righteous people but sinners.  He may have been a little sarcastic.  I think he was calling people who thought they were righteous, too . . . if they admitted they really weren’t righteous.  So never mind, I guess we’re back to just sinners again.

Speaking of righteous people, some of them asked Jesus why He and the disciples weren’t fasting (going without food for religious purposes)? Jesus told them that the “bridegroom,” Jesus Himself, was with them so why would they fast and mourn?  Some day He’d be gone and then they could fast. By the way, why is it called “fasting”?  When I do it, the time goes . . . REAL . . . LY . . . SLOW.

Jesus then said that no ones puts a new patch on an old garment or it will come right off.  No one puts new wine which is fresh and bubbly into old wineskins or it will burst.  Fresh wine has to be put in new wineskins.  That was helpful advice . . . if you realize He was saying you can’t take your old ways like during the time of Moses and put in them in the new times of Jesus and the church. The dispensation of the church and the Holy Spirit was coming.

Mark 2:23-27  Jesus and the Disciples Eat Out

The religious leaders continued picking on Jesus again because He and the disciples were picking grain on a Saturday when no work was supposed to be done.  Jesus cited the Old Testament story of David eating food out of the Temple that was only supposed to be for the priests (see OT reading above).  Jesus said the Saturday laws were supposed to help man not deprive them of sustenance.  He punctuated his point by calling Himself the “Son of Man” who has authority over the Sabbath (Saturday).  By calling Himself the “Son of Man” (a distinctive of Mark writing to non-Jews), He was relating to mankind but also admitting He was the Messiah.

Mark 3:1-6   The Heights of Withering

The religious leaders continued to try to find fault with Jesus.  They thought they could trap Him when He came into the Temple and there was a man there with deformed hands.  The leaders thought that He would try to heal the man and they could accuse Him again for violating the do nothing on Saturday laws.  Ha, ha but Jesus knew their stinking, evil ways and wasn’t intimidated. He asked the leaders if it was right to save life or do good on a Saturday.  Maybe they thought it was a day to kill or do harm?  He wasn’t happy with the leaders.  Needless to say, He healed the man.  The leaders went off ticked and were trying to figure how to get rid of Jesus.  Notice in Mark’s gospel how early this happens, in chapter 2 already. In Matthew, we didn’t read of a plot until about chap. 26 and verse 4.  Everything moves quickly and “immediately” in the book of Mark.

Summary:

Jesus called another disciple, Levi, who was the same guy who wrote the first book of the NT.  Jesus was dining at Matt’s house when He announced that there would be a new era (dispensation) coming that would be better than the old one.

Jesus and the disciples were eating some grain when accosted by the religious leaders again.  He used the occasion to announce His Messiahship.

The religious chided Him for healing a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath.  They began to plan his demise after hearing His answer.

Psalm 36:1-12   A Lament Or Wisdom Psalm Or A Hymn by David

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Psalm 36:1-12  Ranking

Nobody seems to know if this is a Lament by David or a Hymn or a Wisdom Psalm.  Good for David.  He stumped the experts.  Here’s what I’ve been thinking.  Does anybody really know anything???  Seriously.  We have a presidential campaign going on right now and it seems to be an old fashioned ranking war.  One candidate just says everybody else is stupid.  Maybe he nailed it.

People wonder if I am a fundamentalist or an evangelical.  I just say I’m a Bible believing Christian.

The Apostle Paul said, “If any one imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know” (cf. 1 Cor. 8:2 RSV ESV).

We need to particularly need to beware of those who do not believe in God.  They just don’t have the same viewpoint as believers.  It only makes sense, right?  Paul said his viewpoint changed after he was saved.  “Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know [Him] [in this way] no longer” (2 Cor. 5:16).  Then he said, ” . . . If anyone is in Christ, [he is] a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor. 5:17).   I would think if you don’t see things differently after you’re saved, there’s something wrong with you.  Wouldn’t you agree?  You should be seeing things through a biblical grid.

But look at the unbeliever here:

1) He doesn’t fear God and likes to transgress His commands (v. 1)

2)  His standard of righteousness is himself.  Of course, we know this as self-righteousness (v. 2)

3)  He has a potty mouth (v. 3)

4)  He has no sense of evil even when it stares him in the face  (v. 4)

In summary, this is a person that negotiates evil and negotiates with evil people.  It’s a person who is not afraid of God, His principles or His power.  He thinks so highly of himself that he thinks he can do anything.  He thinks others should worship him, basically.  Sounds a little like Antichrist, doesn’t it?

On the other hand,

1) God’s hesed, lovingkindness extends over the entire earth  (vv. 5, 7-8)

2)  God preserves everyone and everything in His own righteous way (v. 6)

3)  God gives fulness of life and truth  (vv. 8-9)

We should pray we are more like God than the evil, self-righteous person (vv. 10-11).  We should pray for protection from the evil, self-righteous person (v. 11).

Evil-doers will end up like the guy in the second part of Psalm 1.  “The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. (Ps. 1:4-6).

The Bible is consistent.  Those who don’t put their faith in Christ end up in H-E double hockey sticks.  Those who want to be like Him and follow His ways will live forever with Him in Heaven.

Word.

Proverbs 10:1-2    Good Vs. Evil

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Coincidentally, or not, we just covered this subject in Psalm 36.  There is real evil out there.  I’m not sure most people understand this.  ISIS is, like, actually evil.  No kidding.  Deal with it.  Hitler was, too.  I’m still stunned by young people who tell me they want to go to Hell after they die because that’s where the party’s at.  Yeah, they end a sentence with a preposition.  But that will only be the beginning of Hell.  It won’t be good.

Have you seen the new Star Wars flick?  “A foolish son is a grief to his mother” (v. 1b).  Even a mother with too much plastic surgery and probably smokes a lot.

A child that is trying to please the Lord makes most parents proud (v. 1a).

I never understood stealing.  Maybe we can talk ourselves into it sometime.  Paul says we all covet (cf. Rom. 7:7).  The worst part of ourselves may fool the best part of ourselves that we aren’t coveting and stealing when we really are (cf. Jer. 17:9).   We should pray like David in Psalm 19: 14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.”

Note bene:  Taking paper clips from working is stealing.  And be careful when you do your taxes, too.

Choose Life: Scripture:  Leviticus 4:2   NASB    “Ooopser”

“Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘If a person sins unintentionally in any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, and commits any of them . . .”   Leviticus 4:2

My father used to tell me that “ignorance was not a defense under the law.”  And then he’d whip the snot out of me.  I didn’t know ignorance could hurt so much.  I guess that’s why I’ve always tried to be smart since then.

Fortunately for the Jews during the time of Moses, if they violated the law and didn’t realize it, they could sacrifice a bull or another animal to cover their sins (cf. Lev. 4:2, 13, 22, 27; 5:15 and verses following for other examples of unintentional sin).  It didn’t hurt near as much.  Well, it hurt the bull a lot I suppose.

There was not a sin offering for an intentional sin.  For example, David knew what he was doing with Bathsheba and did it anyway.  He confessed in Psalm 51 that there was no sin offering for him in that circumstance.  In the book of Numbers that kind of sin was deemed “defiant” (cf. Nu. 15:30-36 NASB NIV HCSB).  It was deliberate, intentional sin.  In fact, if you read the story in Numbers 15, you’ll find that one guy really got stuck after picking up sticks on a Saturday.  He was stoned (with actual stones).

David threw himself on the mercy of God (cf. Ps. 51:1).  He realized that even if he could have offered a sacrifice that what God really wanted was a contrite heart, one broken of its willful sinful tendencies (cf. Ps. 51:16-17,  “For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise”).

In the New Testament there are promises that God will forgive all our sins, intentional or not.   ” . . . If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. . . .  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:7, 9).

How is your heart today?  Are you really trying to follow the Lord but just slipped up?  There is forgiveness for you.  Or have you deliberately violated one of God’s rules and sinned (shame on you, by the way . . .  JK).  Don’t have a pity party.  Just confess your sin.

Ignorance may not be a defense under the law but, fortunately, we’re not under the law.  Confess your sins and be free!

If you do, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!

Fun Application:

Google a weird law that is still in effect in a state somewhere.  For example, in Indiana it’s illegal for a person to have a puppet show, wire dancing or tumbling act and receive money for it.  They will be fined $3.  Any of God’s laws that you can find in the Bible that you didn’t know about?

The purpose of the “Choose Life” is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog:   I Didn’t Mean It!

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