Spiritual Rants: February 19 “Love and Peace” Daily Readings to read through the Bible in a year: Leviticus 7:28-9:6 Mark 3:31-4:25 Psalm 37:12-29 Proverbs 10:5

Old Testament:  Leviticus 7:28-9:6

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Intro:

Old Testament sacrifices represented with God our relation.

Ceremonial cleansing was taken very seriously throughout the priestly nation.

The people’s sin to an animal was transferred.

Of the law, it was considered important to obey every word.

Leviticus 7: 28 – 9: 6

Leviticus 7: 28 – 38  Love and Peace

The peace offering was of the breast of the bull signifying the love of God.  The thigh was also given as a peace offering, signifying the power of God.

In Exodus 28: 12, in the description of the priest’s clothes, the shoulder of the robe was decorated on one side with a stone with six of the tribes engraved on it.  The other six were engraved on a stone on the other shoulder.  The priest symbolically carried the nation of Israel on his shoulders.  Jesus carried a lamb on his shoulder (cf. the story of Jesus and lost lamb, Luke 15: 5).  Christian leaders are to carry their flocks on their shoulders.  They are to use the power God supplies to walk in ministry.

Aaron and his sons were “consecrated” for ministry.  All Israel was set apart to be priests to God originally but forfeited the privilege in the great golden cow rebellion.  Christians are now all priests to God (1Pet. 2:9, “But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR [God’s] OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”).

Aaron and his sons were consecrated for seven days.  On the eighth day they were to start ministering in the Tabernacle.

The summary statement for this section is found in v. 37 and 38:  it was the law of the burnt, grain, sin and guilt offering.  It was also the law for the ordination offering and the sacrifice of peace offerings, which the Lord commanded Moses at Mount Sinai.

Leviticus 8: 1 – 36  Aaron Things Out

The priests were to be clothed with their special clothes described in Exodus 28.  As Christians we’re are all clothed with Christ.  We are all dirty, rotten sinners.  No seriously.  Our only righteousness comes from Christ and the New Testament says we must be clothed in Him (Rom. 13:14,  “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to [its] lusts;” Gal. 3:27, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ”).

After being clothed, they were to be washed (v. 8ff.).  Jesus washed the disciples’ feet (John 13: 5ff.) at the Last Supper.  We are to be cleansed daily as Christians and certainly as ministers.  John promises that we can be made clean (1John 2:1, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;” 1John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”).

The next step was to set apart all parts of the tabernacle, altar of burnt offering and the bronze basin by sprinkling them with anointing oil.  The oil was symbolic of the Holy Spirit.  It was poured on Aaron’s head (cf. Psa. 133:2, “It is like the precious oil upon the head, Coming down upon the beard,  [Even] Aaron’s beard, Coming down upon the edge of his robes).

A bull was then offered, the offering of the greatest worth.  Again, hands were laid on the bull’s head signifying the transference of sin just as Christ took our sin as the Perfect Sacrifice.  The blood was smeared on the horns of the altar and poured out at the base of the altar to sanctify it (make it holy or set it apart).  The rest was offered as a burnt offering outside the camp as Christ was crucified outside of the town of Jerusalem.

Next, Aaron and sons laid their hands on a ram again signifying the transference of sin.    It was slaughtered and the blood was sprinkled around the altar.  It was then burnt and provided a “soothing aroma” to the Lord, meaning He was pleased with it.  He was also pleased with Jesus (Mark 1:11, “and a voice came out of the heavens:  ‘You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased’” ).

A second ram was also slain after hands had been laid on it.  Moses took some of the blood and put it on Aaron’s and his son’s right ear, their right thumbs and their  right big toes.  Again the blood was sprinkled around the altar.  The blood on their ear signified the purification of their hearing of God, the blood on the thumb the sanctification of their service, and the blood on the toe the sanctification of their walk.

The breast of the ram was waved before the Lord to show their dedication to the Lord as ordained priests in the Tabernacle.  The priests were obeying God.

Leviticus 9: 1 – 6  A Command Performance

The next day, Moses commanded Aaron to offer a calf, a bull and a ram as a burn offering.  The people of Israel were to offer a male goat, a calf, lamb, ox, ram and grain as burnt and peace offerings and sacrifices.  Notice how many times “command” is mentioned in this passage (16).  The people obeyed God and the Lord appeared to them.  We have a similar promise in the New Testament, “John 14:21  “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him” (John 14:21).  As we obey the Lord, He “discloses” (“shows” NIV) Himself to us.

Summary:

Old Testament sacrifices were symbolic.  The ceremonial cleansing of the priests was taken very seriously.  It also is symbolic of our cleansing in Christ.    Priests laid their hands on the sacrifices to symbolize the transference of sin to the offering.  Exact obedience is shown to be very important to God.

New Testament:   Mark 3: 31 – 4: 25

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Intro:

Jesus explained that everyone who trusted Him was his kin.

But as to proximity to God they may not all get that far in.

Mark 3: 31 – 4: 25

Mark 3: 31 – 33 Calling Jesus!

Jesus was told He had a phone call from His mama and brothers.  OK, not literally, but they were calling for Him.  His answer was to question who were really His mother and brothers.  He motioned to all the listeners.  He said it was everyone who does the will of God.  We’ve been studying the work of the priests in the Old Testament readings.  The book that most speaks of Christ as our High Priest also says that He is our brother, “Heb. 2:11 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers” (Hebrews 2: 11).

Mark 4: 1 – 11  Oh, Dirt!

Jesus taught the crowds about dirt.  A farmer went out to sow seed and some seed 1) fell by the road and the birds ate it  2) some  fell on rocky ground where there wasn’t enough dirt  3)  some landed by thorns which choked the seed 4) some fell on good soil and produced exponentially.  His disciples asked why he was obfuscating his teaching.  He was trying to control the time-release of His announcements.  He was protecting Himself from those who would harm Him while at the same time edify those who really wanted to know God.

He explained the parable to His disciples.  He said 1) the seed falling on roadside represented Satan snatching away the truth 2) the seed sown on rocky ground represents the word that is heard but the hearer falls away due to hardship and trial  3)  seed sown amongst thorns represents the word heard but the world dissipates the effect of it  4)  the seed sown on good soil represents people who hear the word and become productive disciples.

Jesus went on to explain that no one puts a light under a basket or a bed (v. 22). A light goes in a socket to be able to shed light all around. He explained that anyone that wanted to know the truth would be able to understand and find it. And the more a person showed a propensity for learning, the more the Lord would reveal to that person (vv. 23- 25).

Did you realize that Bibles have been known to fall out of airplanes? No kidding. Missionaries have done it.

I once knew a man who was taught an eastern religion in a foreign nation. The religion taught that Jesus was a great teacher. He was intrigued by Jesus and couldn’t get Him off his mind. He walked miles to get to a town that had a store that he knew sold Bibles. He read the New Testament and trusted Christ. When I talked to him, he was attending seminary in the United States.

Summary:

Jesus considered all believers his family.  Jesus taught a parable to explain how people would react to His words.

Psalm 37:12-29  A Wisdom Psalm by David

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Psalm 37:12-29   Whoa:  The Cure For Woes, Part 2

This is the second part of Psalm 37, more wisdom from David.

If Christians don’t realize that unbelievers hate them, they will be eaten alive.  That is what Jesus meant when He said that some are wolves in sheep’s clothing (v. 12, cf. Matt. 7:15).  It’s been that way since the beginning of time when unbelieving Cain killed believing Abel (cf. Gen. 4:8).

The Lord laughs at them, ha, ha (v. 13).  He knows how things are going to end up.  I’ve had people criticize me before and I just laugh.  I know what I know what I know, y’know? Of course, some times I cry because I’m not aware that I know what I know.  And I know that.

Unbelievers can be very violent (v. 14) but their own sword can end up being turned back on them (v. 15).  Check out the end of the Clint Eastwood movie from 1976, The Outlaw Josey Wales, for an example of how that works.  Well, it was a bayonet in that case, actually.

You probably will never hear this on Christian TV but “the little of the righteous” can be better than “the abundance of the wicked” (v. 16).  I’m guessing very few Christians believe that nowadays.  In the front of the very first Bible I bought for myself, I wrote, “Lord, I want nothing for myself.”  I had heard someone had written that in their Bible and I thought it was really cool.  I lied.  I have wanted some stuff for myself, mostly with an Apple logo on it.  But I try to remind myself that I wrote that.  Actually, it’s not a biblical phrase.  It’s OK to want things for yourself (cf. John 16:24) but it’s not good to over do it.

The “wicked” will have broken arms (v. 17), won’t be able to sign their checks to pay you back (v. 21), and will evaporate (v. 20, 22a) so you won’t be able to find them!  On the other, unbroken hand, the Lord takes care of believers (v. 17) and gives them a reward (v. 18, 22).  They’ll get to eat when everyone else is starving (v. 19b, check out the story of Joseph in Gen. 30-50).  The righteous, even when they are poor, are giving stuff away to others (v. 21, 26).  Don’t figure that just because someone is giving things away that that person is rich.  He may just be a believer that likes to give stuff away.

You know that step counter thingies that you can buy and wear on your belt?  God is already counting your steps and is more accurate (v. 23).

Michael W. Smith wrote a song based on verse 24 in the NIV called “The Race Is On.”  You can read about it in my blog, coincidentally called, The Race is On.

Have you ever seen a believer starving (v. 25)?  I’ve said sometime, “Boy, I’m starving.”  But I wasn’t.  If you have seen a believer starving, send me a pic, OK?

Doing good is a good thing to do (v. 27).  Doing is evil is . . .  pretty much . . .  evil (v. 27).  Like actual real, devil, Lucifer evil bad.  Don’t kid yourself.  It exists.  Someone told me recently that he thought that things were getting better and better in the world today.  I was stunned.  I said, “Have you ever heard of ISIS?”  Those are the guys in the Middle East who are chopping Christians’ heads off.  His wife even looked at him askew.  But it’s good to be a positive thinker.  Well, you don’t want to be a positive stinker.  By the way, this man was one of the most generous and gracious men I have ever met.  He was very intelligent.  Sometimes the smart thing is not to think about ISIS.   The Lord isn’t going to forsake believers anyway (v. 28b).  At worst, they will be resurrected and “inherit the land” (v. 29).  Evil people  . . .   wait for it . . .  will be gone (v. 28d).

More tomorrow on waiting for God to act.

Proverbs 10:5    A Good Pick

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If you work hard in the summer, you’ll have stuff to eat.

If you sleep during the Fall, you won’t.

Plan and think ahead!

Choose Life: Scripture:  Mark 4:11-12   NASB    “What About The Heathen?”

“ . . . [Jesus] was saying to them, ‘To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables, so that WHILE SEEING, THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE, AND WHILE HEARING, THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND, OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT RETURN AND BE FORGIVEN.””   Mark 4: 11 – 12

Have you ever heard anyone ask, “If everyone is supposed to trust Christ and only Christ for salvation, what happens to the heathen who never heard the name of Jesus?”  Good question, huh?  Acts 4: 12 is very clear that there is no other name under Heaven by which we can be saved.  John 14: 6 also says that He is the only way to God.

The first thing I do is ask the questioner, “If I answer your question, will you trust Christ today?”   The problem is that the question might be a sincere hangup for the person or it could be a stall.  The question is not really what happens to others, the question is what will you, the questioner, do about Christ, since you obviously have heard about him.

Then I proceed to answer their question.  God gives light.  Creation stands as a testimony to God (cf. Rom. 1: 20; Ps. 19: 1 – 2).  Man can tell there is a God just by looking out the window and observing what God has made.  If man acts on what he can see, God gives him more insight.  If not, the person can go deeper and deeper into the darkness (cf. 1Jn. 2: 9 -11, those heading toward the light love other believers and vice versa).  Jesus’ words will make no sense to someone trying to escape God.  “Those who are outside get everything in parables” so that “they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding” (v. 12 quoting Is. 6: 9 -10).  If they understood, they might actually get saved (cf. end of v. 12)!  Of course, God does want everyone to be saved.  The end of verse 12 is a bit sarcastic (cf. 1Tim. 2: 4).

If a person acts on the light he or she has, God will give them more light (see today’s Daily Reading blog Oh, Dirt!).

In fact, just the other night I stopped at a donut joint to get my wife some donuts (I sure don’t need them!).  The place should have been open but had closed early.  But the clerk came from behind the counter and opened the door.  He offered us free donuts.  I sensed he was a Christian and asked him if he was.  He said he was.  So we had fellowship out on the sidewalk in about 20º.  I told him what I did and he asked the big question, “What happens to the heathen who haven’t heard?”   So I explained all of the above to him.  In fact, I told him that my dropping by was an example.  He had a question and I was God’s provision for him.

Are you trusting God today for the answers to your tough questions?   Are you acting on the light that He has already given you?

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

Fun Application:

Ask God to lead you to someone today to be their answer to a question they have.

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:   Oh, Dirt!

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