Spiritual Rants: March 2 “Who Wants To Get Blessed?” Readings to read through the Bible in a year: Leviticus 25:47-27:13 Mark 10:32-52 Psalm 45:1-17 Proverbs 10:22

Old Testament: Leviticus 25:47-27:13

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Leviticus 25:47-55   Everyone Is A Slave, Whose Slave Are YOU?

If a poor man becomes a slave to pay his debt, he could be redeemed by a family member.  No matter what, he was to be set free at the Year of Jubilee (see last blog).  He was not to be mistreated (Lev. 25: 53).  We were bought with a price by Christ (1Cor. 6: 20; 7: 23).  We were slaves to sin (John 8: 24; Romans 6: 6, 16) but now are slaves of Christ (Romans 6: 18).  The Old Testament gives us object lessons wherever we look!

Leviticus 26:1-13  Who Wants To Get Blessed?

Some believe that the entire Old Testament can be summed up as, “Curses for Disobedience, Blessings for Obedience.”  This pretty much does sum things up except that the greatest blessing that we can have bestowed on us is a relationship with Yahweh, known in the New Testament as Jesus.  True, in the OT, the blessing was often also in the form of a material blessing.  In the NT and church age, our blessing is primarily spiritual though God may throw some other things in.  In our time, we have the Holy Spirit internally (Rom. 8: 9).  In the OT, the Holy Spirit would sometimes “come on” a person (Judges 14: 6).  In Psalm 51:11, David obviously was afraid that the Holy Spirit could be taken from him, something not possible in the New Testament age.

Another reminder in the Bible to keep the sixth day as a day of rest.  Why do you think God repeats Himself so much?  (We need to get rest!)  Other blessings are cited for obedience in this chapter.  They are all blessings of provision and blessings of protection.

Leviticus 26:14-46  Who Wants To Get Cursed?

The Israelites were God’s people.  He wanted to bless them.  But like a good Father he would punish them if He had to.  Fortunately, they could always come back to Him (cf. the Prodigal in Luke 15: 11 – 32).  We should never feel there is a sin too big that God cannot forgive it.  It is pride to think we have a sin that would keep us from our relationship with God.  No matter what we’ve done or how many times, we should remind ourselves that God wants a relationship with us more than we do.  One of Satan’s favorite techniques is to encourage a sense of false pride that we have committed a sin that God cannot and does not want to forgive.  That is a lie.  What is “big” to God?  What is “small” to God?  You can commit the same sin over and again, one time right after the other and God will forgive it.  If ever you are tempted to wallow in pity over your sins and think that it means something to God, think this:  you are sinning by wallowing in your pity.  ‘Fess up and move on (1John 1: 9).  Then just enjoy your restored relationship and forget about it.

Leviticus 27:1-13  Don’t Be Superspiritual!

The final chapter of Leviticus concerns “vows” made to the Lord.  A vow was a gift over and above what was required by law to support the Theocracy, the Tabernacle or later the Temple.

The first portion of their harvests, firstborn animals, their firstborn sons, a tithe of their increase were all required of the Israelites to begin with.  We’re back to redemption laws.  A man or woman dedicated to the Lord had a worth based on their worth as a worker over the amount of years worked.  How’s that for “self-worth”?  Slaves, animals, houses and land could be offered to the Lord for the benefit of worship in the Tabernacle or Temple.  The Priests determined the value of  the listed things for which equivalents could be given to the Lord in silver value. There was a penalty for taking back certain things from the Lord. The penalty was often twenty percent for taking something back in addition to the value of the item.  The reason for the penalty was to encourage people to think before they offered a vow.  A human could always be redeemed, a clean animal could not be swapped out but a bargain could be made for an unclean animal.  Keeping one’s word was important to God.

By the way, don’t be fooled by current day false prophets who use Scriptures like this in the Old Testament to extract your money and not allow you to get it back.  This Scripture was for the time of the Tabernacle and Temple only and concerned the provision for the Tabernacle and the Temple.

New Testament:  Mark 10:32-52

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Mark 10:32-45  Get Low!

Ronald Reagan used to say, “There you go again!”  Jesus was doing that here.  This was the THIRD time He was telling the disciples about his imminent sufferings and death (cf. (see Mark 8:31; 9:31).  They just weren’t getting it.  They may have just been in denial.  It was stuck in their brains that the Messiah would come in power and set up His kingdom in glory.  We probably would have been the same way.  And who likes to think about lots of suffering coming up in their futures?

They weren’t getting the servant thing either.  They were all jealous of each other and wanted a high place in Heaven.  Jesus said they would get it but a lot of persecution along with it.  Verse 45 is the central verse in Mark.  “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”  Mark shows the Servant-King.  Jesus, although God, was a servant.  His servanthood is portayed before this story in Mark.  Jesus’ sacrifice is portrayed after it (cf. Ryrie Study Bible).

Mark 10:46-52  Blind Bart

Who names their kid Bart outside of the Old West?  Well, apparently Timaeus in New Testament times did.  Bartimaeus was a blind beggar.   He was sitting by the road and heard Jesus coming by.  He yelled out, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!”  A bunch of people told him to shut up.  But he yelled even louder.  (Hooray for Bart!)  Jesus asked what Blind Bart wanted.  Bart said he wanted to see.  Guess what?  “Immediately,” he regained his sight.  Jesus told him that it was because of his faith.

I was saved one night long ago because someone kept telling me to read John 9.  I didn’t see a reason to do it and kept refusing.  Finsally, because he was such a pain, I opened the New Testament he had given me, protesting that I didn’t even know where John 9 was in the Bible.  I opened right to it.  God had my attention and I trusted Christ that night.  The fella that was bugging me about all that said that the blind man in John 9 didn’t only receive his physical sight, he had received his spiritual sight.  Same thing happened to Blind Bart.  He once was blind but now he could see.  Same thing can happen to you if you have faith.  If you are a sinner, you can believe that Jesus died in your place as a “ransom” for you (v. 45 above).  Personally trust Him and you will have eternal life and the lights will come on for you, too!

Psalm 45:1-17    A Royal Psalm by The Sons Of Korah

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Psalm 45:1-17    A Lamb Dinner

Verses 6 and 7 of this psalm are quoted in Hebrews 1:8–9.  It was probably first about Solomon and his wedding, maybe the first wedding?  But it was certainly about Jesus Christ.  We know that it is by the Hebrews reference if we couldn’t already guess it.

The writer has found a good theme to write about (v. 1).  That’s good because otherwise he shouldn’t have bothered writing.  Wait.  Or did he mean he was proud to be writing about the wedding of the king?  Probably, the latter.

The groom is a good looking guy (v. 2) and just as in yesterday’s blog on Proverbs 10:20-21, he uses his mouth to say the right things.  And God has blessed him for it.  That describes Solomon who wrote Proverbs.

Solomon never really fought anyone (v. 3) but, as king, would have represented Israel in battle.  The sword and arrows of verses 3 and 5 speak of the king as warrior.  It certainly describes Jesus in Revelation, portrayed as a warrior at His second coming (cf. Revelation 1:16; 19:15, 21).

Verses 6 and 7 are quoted in Hebrews 1 to show that Christ is the Messiah who will share joy with His friends.  His friends at a wedding are the groomsmen.  The groomsmen of Christ are believers.  Do you have your tux ready for the wedding feast of the Lamb (cf. Rev. 19:7, 9)?  Verses 8-9 describe this feast.  Kings’s daughter, princesses, will be there and, of course, the Queen (v. 9).  The Queen at the Marriage Feast of the Lamb will be the church.  The Jews of that day would have had no clue about the church but there we are, the church is the Queen!

Brides are to leave their families and cling to their husbands (vv. 10-11, cf. Gen. 2:24).  This bride was to “forget [her] people and [her] father’s house.”  The church is to leave the world and serve Christ (cf. 1 John 2:14-15).  The daughter of Tyre represents the people of a great city (cf. Isa. 4:4).  It would be like saying the people of New York City will come and bow down to you.  By way of that figure, we could say everyone in the world will bow down and worship Christ.  If they come from the greatest city, they will come from every other city and town.  Well, that’s my logic anyway.  And Revelation 21:24–26 indicates that all of the people of all the nations will do just that.

The Queen is “King’s daughter” (NASB) who is the “royal daughter” (HCSB) who is the “Princess” (NIV) who is the Bride (v. 13).  The Hebrew is literally “the daughter of a King.”

She is looking very hot (v. 13).  Her bridesmaids, “the virgins,” don’t look too shabby either, I’m guessing by way of implication (v. 14) and they’re pretty happy (v. 15).

Verse 16 could be taken as the promise to David being fulfilled.  There will alway be one of his descendants on the throne of Israel.  The last one king will be the One who endures forever, Jesus Christ, the Messiah (cf. 2 Sam 7:16; of course as we’ve seen verse 6 of this psalm quoted in Heb. 1:8).  Sons will take the place of the fathers as kings in perpetuity.

Yahweh will cause the name of David and Solomon and Jesus to be remembered forever!  Jesus will be worshipped and thanked forever.

The Marriage Feast of the Lamb will be a glorious Day but, then, so will every day after that!

Glory to God!

Proverbs 10:22    Unmitigated Pleasure

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Some day the Lord will wipe away every tear from our eyes (cf. Rev. 7:17; 21:4).  Today He gives us blessings that are not intermixed with any sorrow (v. 22b).  They are pure joy.  

It is this joy that is our strength (cf. Neh. 8:10).  It is this joy that makes us rich, not silver and gold . . .  iPhones (v. 22a).   

And someday, we who have trusted the Lord will be living in pure bliss.

Choose Life: Scripture:  Leviticus 25:47    NASB    “Are You Feeling Poor?”

“‘Now if the means of a stranger or of a sojourner with you becomes sufficient, and a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to him as to sell himself to a stranger who is sojourning with you, or to the descendants of a stranger’s family . . .”  Leviticus 25:47

If you’re feeling poor today, hopefully you won’t feel so bad after understanding our Scripture today.

You might be feeling poor today because you’ve been listening to all the “prosperity” preachers on radio and TV.  They are preaching a lie.  If they were preaching the truth, all the apostles would have been spreading the Word in golden chariots with servants accompanying them.  Maybe they wouldn’t have gone out at all because they would’ve been sipping pomegranate juleps by the Sea of Galilee.  The point is that all the “prosperity” preachers that tell you to give your money to them and you’ll be rich are end-time false teachers.  The Bible just doesn’t support what they’re preaching.

Look at our verse for today.  God doesn’t fault the person who becomes so poor that he has to sell himself to others because of his debt.  By the way, don’t judge that person.  If you’re not independently wealthy then you are, in fact, a slave.  You might get to go home at night but you are selling yourself to someone for so many hours a day.  Whoever you’re working for owns you!  That makes you a slave!

There were three ways that a man could extricate himself from his dilemma.  1)  He could have a relative buy his debt so he could be freed.  2)  The man could buy his own debt if he did well and bought his own freedom.  3)  He could be set free in the Year of Jubilee when everyone and everything was freed from debt.

Now you might feel poor today but if you are a believer in Christ you are not poor.  In the New Testament portion of our reading today, you’ll find the key verse for the entire book of Mark.  It says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”  Jesus is actually the Relative Who came to buy you back from your debt of sin!  And if “the Son sets you free, you are free indeed” (John 8:36, NIV).

You can not be more free than being in Christ, even if you are in debt.  Someday in Heaven, no one will be in debt.  In the meantime, are you trusting Christ with your finances?

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

Fun Application:   Next time you feel like you’re poor, check out the verses Ephesians 1:3 and Philippians 4:19.  Relate them to your situation.  First, thank God that spiritually speaking, you have every spiritual blessing that could possibly be available to you.  If you are in financial debt, trust God, according to Philippians 4: 19, to show you what to do to get out of debt.  James 1: 5 might also help.

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:  Everyone Is A Slave, Whose Slave Are YOU?

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