October 14, 2019

What I Read Today;

Revelation 13; Matthew 2; Jeremiah 51; Psalm 76-77; 1 Kings 15-16; Leviticus 19

I know that a lot of folks don’t like the book of Leviticus.  This may sound crazy, but it’s one of my favorite books of the Old Testament.  The imagery of the ceremonial law and some of the laws covering civil matters are interesting.

However, I find the lessons of Chapter 19 to be a message that we should spend a lot of time talking about in our society today.

After removing the ceremonial and farming discussions, I think you can break this chapter down into two parts.

The first part is how we worship God and where we put him in our lives.  In verses 2-4, 26-28, and 31, God gives examples of worship that he simply doesn’t approve of.  Idolatry, witchcraft, mediums, and other forms of idol worship come between God and mankind.  Today we have so many types of religions vying for our time that we fail to realize the afront to God almighty.  When we participate in these types of activities, we fail to recognize that God is a jealous God.  He won’t share his time, and he won’t take second place.

Secondly, we hear about how we are supposed to treat one another.  If we followed the direction in vs. 9-10 and 35-36, how different would our business practices look?  Would we see insulin at over $350 a bottle?  Would we see college costing more than 20k per year?  Would price gouging after a hurricane disappear?

If we lived out verses 11-18, would we see Twitter wars going on?  Would are politicians behave more civilly to each other?  Would we treat our neighbors as ourselves?  Would our attitude towards each other change?

What would our nation look like if we acted out vs. 33-34?  Would our current fight over immigration look differently?

There are incredible nuggets throughout the book of Leviticus.  You should reread it sometime.  You might find something you don’t expect.


October 13, 2019

What I Read Today;

Revelation 12; Matthew 1; Jeremiah 50; Psalm 74-75; 1 Kings 13-14; Leviticus 18

We live in an era of anything goes.  People have decided that they can say or do whatever they want, and there are no consequences whatsoever.

Our culture has become so degraded that our consciences no longer even whisper to us anymore when we see something that is morally wrong.

In much of the first five books of the Bible, God lays out what he expects of his people Israel.  Now we have come to understand that there are three parts to the Law of Moses.  There are the laws that governed the land, or political law.  There were the laws that governed the religious life, or ceremonial law.  Finally, there are moral laws that were to govern people internally as well as externally.

Of these laws, only moral laws remain.

Leviticus 18 is a section of scripture that discusses how we are to behave sexually towards one another.  These laws have come to be quite controversial in our day and age of free love, free divorce, and anything goes.

Sadly, we see the terrible consequences of not following these laws.  We witness the broken families and the destruction that has come when people simply throw away their families.

In verses 6 to 18, we see how God intends us to behave with our family members.  In fact, Moses dedicates 40% of this chapter to dealing with family.  When we think about it, that makes perfect sense.  How many families have been destroyed because of rape, incest or affairs with family members?  The destruction that is done to young victims of incest is so horrible that it never really heals.  Affairs between a brother-in-law and a sister-in-law wreck, not one family but two.  Yet we have TV shows that seemingly celebrate the idea of precisely this type of an affair.

While some may wish to focus on verse 22, which deals with Homosexuality, many forget that the majority of the chapter focuses on other forms of sexual behavior, including Bestiality.

Many will also miss the discussion of child sacrifice.  While we no longer sacrifice children on an altar, I wonder if the parallel to abortion might apply here.  Many of our politicians seem hell-bent on ensuring that we can abort children up until the moment of birth and possibly right after birth.

Our society is decaying.  It’s incredible how quickly it’s happening.  It would be wise of all of us to understand that God is patient and loving but that he also does not wait for us forever.

Christians must be in prayer for our nation and our world.

October 12, 2019

What I Read Today;

Revelation 11; Acts 28; Jeremiah 49; Psalm 72-73; 1 Kings 11-12; Leviticus 17

Psalm 73 vs. 21-26, “When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, I was stupid and ignorant; I was like a brute beast toward you.  Nevertheless I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.  You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me with honor.  

Whom have I in heaven but you?  And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Too often we focus on our mistakes and our failures.  We fall into Satan’s trap and afterward, we wallow in our guilt and shame.

But God’s mercy is infinite and his grace is supreme.  He knows our failings and our failures yet he loves us just the same.  He focuses on today, not yesterday.  He stands with us and carries us through those times in which we fail.

That is the God we serve.  The God of second chances and the God of infinite mercy.

October 11, 2019

What I Read Today;

Revelation 10; Acts 27; Jeremiah 48; Psalm 71; 1 Kings 10; Leviticus 16

The Day of Atonement was meant to be an annual reminder of the sin that continues to plague each one of us throughout our lives.  It was a reminder that we needed peace with God.

The demonstration started with the priest having to make a sin-offering for himself.  Even in his lofty position, the priest needed God’s forgiveness.  He was no different than any of the ordinary people walking the street.  His need for the salvation that only God could provide was as real as the need of any other person.

Two Goats were provided.  One to pay the congregations sin debt and one to carry our sins away into the wilderness to be forgotten forever.

Finally, the high priest would enter the most holy place where he would sprinkle the blood of the goat on the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat.  This ceremony would provide a symbol of the grace and mercy of our loving God.

The Day of Atonement was designed to show every person that God truly desired to forgive all of our sins and bring us to him in eternity.


October 10, 2019

What I Read Today;

Revelation 9; Acts 26; Jeremiah 47; Psalm 70; 1 Kings 9; Leviticus 15

Revelation is a book that is hard to understand.  It almost reads like Lord of the Rings with its images of dragons, demons, angels, and plagues.  But if you break the Book of Revelation down to its core, it is about God patiently holding his hands out to a broken humanity and humanity rejecting God.

In spite of what God has offered, peace, love, joy, and eternal life, humanity has held onto its idolatry, violence, and self-serving lifestyles.

If you look at any of the so-called news services, you can see this evidenced every day.   Murder, violence, promiscuity, anger, and rage dominate every significant headline.  We decry the behavior of our elected leaders but fail to realize they are just a reflection of who we are.

More and more people fail to see that God is standing at the door of their hearts, waiting for them to respond.

Will you be the one to show them how to open the door?

October 9, 2019

What I Read Today;

Revelation 7; Acts 25; Jeremiah 46; Psalm 69; 1 Kings 8; Leviticus 14

Psalm 69 vs. 29-34, – “But I am lowly and in pain; let your salvation, O God, protect me.  I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.  This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs.  Let the oppressed see it and be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive.  For the Lord hears the needy, and does not despise his own that are in bonds.  Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them.” NRSV

The Psalmist tells us what to do when we are depressed and downcast.  He gives us a roadmap that we should follow when life is overwhelming you and me.

His answer is to praise the God of Heaven and Earth.  To praise the salvation that Jesus has prepared for each one of us.  The Psalmist tells us to take comfort in the fact that God knows our predicament and will help us through.

Our praise of God shouldn’t stop when tragedy strikes.  In fact, it should be just the opposite.  In those moments of trial, we should praise God more and more.

October 8, 2019

What I Read Today:

Revelation 5-6; Acts 23-24; Jeremiah 44-45; Psalm 68; 1 Kings 6-7; Leviticus 13

Psalm 68 vs. 4-6, “Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds his name is the Lordbe exultant before him.  Father of orphans and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.  God gives the desolate a home to live in;  he leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious live in a parched land.”

God created each one of us for a purpose.  When he made Adam and Eve, they lived in perfect fellowship with God.  God made them to love God and each other in a complete state of perfection.

When sin entered into the world, that state of perfection was broken.  Psalm 68 speaks about our lives in this world of imperfection.

Believers thirst for God.  They seek him and cannot wholly feel his love because we are constantly reminded of our sin and our past.  But God honors our seeking of God and protects us by filling our need for a relationship with God by giving us Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  He promises to lead us back to that state of perfection with him beginning in this life and ending when we move on to spend eternity with God in Heaven.

Those who choose to fight God and to rebel will find themselves always seeking to fill that hole in their souls through other means.  Maybe it will be a career that will end.  Or partying that will cease.  Or physical activity that our bodies won’t allow us to do as we age.  Maybe it will be in relationships or sex.  But ultimately, only God will fill that hole that is in the center of our hearts.

Seek God while you can find him!