Monthly Archives: February 2013

February 28

Today’s Reading: Numbers 5, 6, 15, 19

Highlights – The next two days we read some laws found in the book of Numbers.  Much of this is more regulation concerning sacrifices.  There is also a test that a jealous husband would use to determine if his wife was unfaithful, regulations concerning the vow of the Nazarite, and the making of a water of purification using the ashes of a heifer.

 
15:22-31 shows that God looks at unintentional and intentional sins  differently. Things done unintentionally, or inadvertently were still wrong – but God prescribed sacrifices to make atonement for the transgressors. The man who sins intentionally or presumptuously was to be “cut off from among his people”.   What are some of the reasons God gives for the severe judgment (see especially verse 30, 31).  A test case follows immediately beginning in verse 32.

 

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February 27

Today’s Reading: Leviticus 26, 27

These are the last 2 chapters of Leviticus and the book closes with a severe warning. Chapter 26 speaks clearly of the blessings the nation will enjoy if they are obedient and the horrible, painful consequences if they are disobedient. Chapter 27 gives specifics about the redemption value of people and things that are dedicated to God.

God foresees the Israel’s disobedience. He states His willingness to forgive if they would repent. He is very longsuffering. But ultimately he foresees their punishment in captivity. In addition to punishing the people for their sin, what other objective does God mention that he will accomplish by taking them away from their land for a time? (Leviticus 26:33-35)

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February 26

Today’s Reading: Leviticus 23, 24, 25

Highlights – Much of this concerns the yearly Jewish religious calendar. The main feasts were Passover (in the 1st month), Pentecost (50 days later) and The feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Feast of Tabernacles (in the 7th month).  In chapter 24 are details about the bread and oil for the Tabernacle and the case of a man who blasphemed God and cursed. Chapter 25 tells about the Sabbath year and the fascinating Year of Jubilee.

God required not only a Sabbath day each week but every seventh year a Sabbath year – a whole year of not working the land. This raised an interesting question, which the law anticipated (in 25:20): what would they eat in the 7th and 8th years? What was God’s answer? How might this be an example to us?

 

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Some New Testament Perspective on the Law

We have been focused on the Law of Moses enough now to realize how tedious the material is. Referring to Leviticus, one gentleman said to me: “I must be honest in telling you that “it’s just not my cup of tea”. I find very little in it to help equip Christians for “living out the Christian life” on a day-to-day basis”.

I appreciate his candor and I can relate. But we are committed to reading through the Bible (all of it!) and we only have 2 more days in Leviticus!

Meditate for a moment on what the New Testament writers said about the Law of Moses:

“A burden … which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear” (Acts 15:10)

“The handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us” (Colossians 2:14)

“For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:4)

Law was “a tutor to bring us to Christ”. (Galatians 3:24)

The Laws were “a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ” (Colossians 2:17)

“(God) has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross”. (Colossians 2:14)

This all may sound like it was a futile institution. Not so! It served God’s purpose and Paul suggests that it was the best law ever (Galatians 3:21). But ultimately, that is all it was – a law – and a law cannot save. It made man aware of his need for a Savior and pointed to Jesus!

“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).

What are your thoughts on the Law?

 

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February 25

Today’s Reading: Leviticus 20, 21, 22

Highlights: This reading starts with the condemnation of those who would “give any of their descendants to Molech”, followed by various laws regarding sexual purity. In 21 and 22 the topic is the purity of the priesthood and the purity of the offerings brought to God.

What expression does God use in 20:22-24 to describe what would happen to them if they practice the abominations of the nations? What do you think God meant by this? Could it apply to nations today?

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February 24

Today’s Reading: Leviticus 16, 17, 18, 19

Highlights – Instructions about the Day of Atonement. Chapter 17-19 list many laws including prohibition against eating blood, warnings against the abominable sexual customs of the Canaanites.

There are several interesting laws in this lengthy – comment on or ask a question about any you find interesting.

Our main thought will concern the important “Day of Atonement”.  The entire nation was to “afflict their souls” – the only day of fasting required by the Law of Moses.  The ritual of the scapegoat is especially meaningful.  What promises did God make to the nation for their observance of this day?

 

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February 23

Today’s Reading: Leviticus 14, 15

Highlights: Instructions for cleansing leprosy and impurity associated with bodily discharges.

There seems to be two purposes in all these instructions. First, it seems God gave very practical rules that would guard against disease. In Exodus 15 God had promised, “If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.”

Much of what the law said however seems to have no practical value in dealing with sickness and germs. Therefore I believe a second purpose in all the rituals is that the physical ugliness and defilement and “uncleanness” is symbolic of sin. There is nothing immoral about being a leper or a touching a dead body. But such were not allowed fellowship when “unclean” and were allowed back only after becoming clean according to God’s rules. I may be wrong – if you have other insights, please help us out!

What seems to be the most practically beneficial of all of the commandments in today’s reading?

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February 22

Today’s Reading: Leviticus 11, 12, 13

See Note About Our Current Reading Schedule

Highlights:  Some really interesting things from the Law of Moses in today’s reading.  Leviticus 11 deals with clean and unclean animals – what may or may not be eaten. Chapter 12 deals with the purification of women after giving birth and in chapter 13 we have laws regarding the priests role in diagnosing and quarantining leprosy.

The clean and unclean animal laws were probably designed to protect them from sickness. The leprosy laws were no doubt to keep the disease from spreading.  But would anyone like to explain (at the risk of alienating all your female friends) why when a woman gave birth to a daughter she was considered unclean twice as long as when she gave birth to a son?

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February 21

Today’s Reading: Leviticus 5, 6, 7

Highlights: Certain types of sins are considered followed by various types of sacrifices.  There were burnt offerings, grain offerings, sin offerings, trespass offerings, and peace offerings, each with its own particular method of making the sacrifice.  Again, lots of shedding of blood.

Regarding the sin offerings, it is interesting in chapter 5 that different offerings were prescribed for those who had less than others. The poor who could not afford a lamb could bring two turtle doves, etc. Everyone could be forgiven.  Is that what it is saying? If so, what quality of God does it seem to reflect?

Where, according to 7:37-38, were these laws given?

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February 20

Note: For the next few days the schedule here differs from “The Daily Bible”.  Explanation.

Today’s Reading: Leviticus 1, 2, 3, 4

Highlights: Leviticus means “law of the Priests”. In chapters 1-4 specific instructions are given for burnt offerings, grain offerings, peace offerings, and  offerings for unintentional sins.

As we read this we are reminded of how common animal sacrifices were in the daily life of the children of Israel as they try to remain in God’s favor.  We are seeing more and more sacrifices and more blood. The death of each animal reminded them (and us) of the seriousness of sin.

What does this reading teach you about the day to day life of the priests? Did they mainly spend their time reading, praying, and meditating on God’s word?

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