Old Testament: Ezekiel 44:1-45:12
Ezekiel 44:1-45:12 The World Of What’s Happenin’ Then
Chapter 44 Verses 1-3 do not refer to Jesus. It is a man who offers a sin offering for himself (cf. Ezek. 45:22), has sons (Ezek. 46:16) but is a representative of the Messiah in the new government of the kingdom.
The duties of the Levitical priests are enumerated in vv. 10-31. The Levites will be disciplined for not showing the righteous appropriately to the priests before the captivity. They will still do the work around the Temple but not be allowed to offer sacrifices or other duties exclusive to the priesthood. As in Old Testament times, their inheritance will be the Lord, not any ownership of land as the other tribes. They will, once again, live on the offerings given at the Temple (vv. 28-31; cf. Num. 18:20; Deut. 18:1-2; Josh. 13:33).
Chapter 45:1-12 The sectioning of the land is described in this chapter. The Lord will be given a portion as will the ruler of the land, the Prince (not Messiah, see above). The Prince will provide what is needed for the offerings at the Temple.
New Testament: 1 Peter 1:1-12
1 Peter 1:1-12 For Turkeys
Just like some of us, Peter could trip over his own feet. He was rebuked by the Lord (Matt. 16:23); denied the Lord at the crucifixion (Matt. 26:69-70) and even later got in trouble with Paul (cf. Gal. 2:11). Some might think he was just a dumb fisherman but it is evident from his writing that he was educated. Perhaps, because of his faults, he is one of the best apostles to teach on humility (cf. 1 Pet. 5:6) and suffering (mentioned at least 12 times in this book). Tradition has it that he did not want to die in the same manner as his Lord so he was crucified upside down. He is an amazing man as will be evident.
Peter is writing to the persecuted Christians scattered around the area of northern Turkey. I once asked a prosperity preacher what he thought of the book of 1Peter since it contained so many references to suffering. He said it was “irreverent.” I think he meant “irrelevant.” Of course, it is not irreverent or irrelevant. Everyone suffers in this life, even people who hold to prosperity teaching. They suffer, too.
Those who were scattered, possibly due to the persecution in Jerusalem, needed to know that God had chosen them (v. 1b). God knew in advance that they were going to trust Him (v. 2a). The purpose of their Christian lives was to represent Christ and be pure through Jesus’ sacrificial death (v. 2b).
Peter offers praise to God for the mercy that allowed us to know Him when we were converted by trusting Christ (v. 3). It is because of being born again (cf. John 3:3) that we have hope of life into eternity which was exhibited to us by the resurrection of Christ from the dead (v. 3b).
Our “inheritance” is set apart for us and cannot become impure or rot (v. 4). It is protected by God for us as a present at the end of days when Christ returns (v. 5).
This prospect is cause for rejoicing now though for now we have to endure persecution (v. 6). God allows the suffering and trials because it shows their faith which is more valuable than any precious earthly metal (v. 7, v. 8b). Peter’s readers (hey, that sounds funny, “Peter’s readers”) believe in Christ even though many of them had not seen Him like Peter had (v. 8a, cf. John 20:29). They had reason to be happy. Their faith was going to result in a life lived forever with God (v. 9).
The Old Testament prophets didn’t understand that God’s grace was going to result in salvation for everyone who trusted Christ. Even though God had predicted through them the sufferings of Christ and the glories of the kingdom, they didn’t have enough information to put the whole picture together (vv. 10-11). They were not speaking of just Jews but salvation for the entire world (v. 12a). Angels could observe all that was going on but they couldn’t figure it all out either (v. 12b).
Psalm 119:17-32 The Word, Part 2 A Wisdom Psalm By Anonymous
Proverbs 28:8-10 Pitted Out
Jesus said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” In other words, if you obey Him, He will answer your prayers. God will answer the prayers of those who are in close relationship with Him.
Those who don’t even like Him aren’t going to have their prayers answered (v. 9, cf. Ps. 66:18-19). In fact, those who don’t like God might multiply their riches through putting their money in savings and gaining interest. They might even extract exorbitant interest on their money from others. God will award those proceedings to the poor who love Him (v. 8, 10c).
Do you know when life is really the pits? When you lead a good person into sin (v. 10, Prov. 26:27; Ps. 119:85; 57:6; 7:15). You will end up in the same pit that you’ve hollowed out for yourself (v. 10). Then you’re pitted out.
You don’t ever get that way, do you (Matt. 18:6)?
Choose Life: Scripture: 1 Peter 1:3 NASB “Born Again Again”
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead . . .” 1 Peter 1:3
Peter had a passion for saving souls. Of course, he was an apostle and that was his job! He must have known about Nicodemus in John 3. He begins his book with the subject of being born again.
Peter said we had hope because Jesus was raised from the dead. He meant that we knew there was another life than this one down here since he knew Jesus had died and he knew he had also come back from the dead! He knew he could trust everything Jesus had told him. It was all confirmed by His miracles, not the least of which was rising from the dead.
But have you felt like you’ve messed up your life since you trusted Christ? Have you wished that you could go back and be saved and born again all over again? In essence, you can. It used to be, in the old days, people would write on a typewriter. If you made a mistake, you had to use correction tape or white out to cover the mistake and then type over it. Now all you have to do is hit the delete button. And voila, the mistakes are gone!
There is a delete button for the Christian. And when you use it, it is like you are born again all over again. Of course, you can’t lose your salvation but you can become as clean as the day you first accepted Christ. How do I know this? Because in Hebrews, the writer quotes Jeremiah 31: 34 to say, “AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.”
God has forgotten all your sins. Can you follow suit?
If you do, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!
If God has forgiven our sins and forgotten them, we must be more pure than Ivory Soap (99 44/100% is what they advertise). We would be as pure as Jesus Himself. That would 100% pure.
Today you can bask in your cleanliness. Don’t let the devil rob you of your joy. Scripture says that God has removed your sins as far as the east is from the west (cf. Ps. 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us,” also look at Isa. 43:25). Do you know how far that is? Someone has said that east and west will never meet and apparently that is scientifically true.*
How does it feel to know that God has removed your sins from you to the extent that the east is divided from the west? In other words, God has removed your sins from you an infinite distance!
Take some time to delight in your cleanliness today!
The purpose of 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: The World Of What’s Happenin’ Then
*North and south meet in the middle of the earth but east and west don’t technically ever come together. Greenwich Meridian is an arbitrary marker.