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August 31, 2015

Today you should read: Leviticus 16

When you read Leviticus 16 you begin to see how much God detests sin. We forget… we see our sin as trite, harmless acts that really don’t matter all that much. After all – just a prayer of confession and we’re good right?

Thank God for the cross! Jesus paid it all – all our sin was laid on Him and He atoned for it.

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:2

Before the cross – the only bandaid for sin was animal sacrifice. The steps were detailed and laborious.

  • Young bull and ram sacrificed for the priest’s sin (v.3)
  • Wear the right priestly clothes in the prescribed was (v.4)
  • Two male goats for a sin offering a ram for burnt offering (v.5)
  • One of the goats for a sin offering – one as a scapegoat (v.9-10)
  • Incense and burning coals (v.11-13)
  • Sprinkle the blood from the bull seven times (v.14)
  • All done the correct time involving the correct participants

All of this and more – just to temporarily “atone” for the sins of the people. Every year – over and over. Then God sent Jesus to become the eternal sacrifice for our sins.

It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when Christ came into the world… And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:4-5a, 10

 Some things to Ponder on Today…

  • The cost and seriousness of our sin
  • The price Jesus paid
  • The awesomeness of being completely forgiven

Posted by: Tim Parsons


August 29, 2015

Today you should read: Leviticus 15

 

Leviticus 15 is about discharges from male and female reproductive organs. The rules in this chapter are symmetrically structured:

  • A serious case of male discharge (vv.2-15)
  • Man’s emission of semen (vv. 16-17)
  • Sexual intercourse (v.18)
  • Female menstruation (vv. 19-24)
  • A serious case of female discharge (vv. 25-30)

One characteristic of these regulations is their emphasis on the transmission of contagion from one person to another. Transmission of infection may occur in any number of ways: for example, by sitting on an object that a defiled person had previously sat on, by touching contaminated cooking utensils, and by having direct contact through touching or spitting. No matter how it happens, the person infected is required to separate and undergo the purification ritual. It is clear that “unclean” is not the same as “sinful,” but rather has to do with what is permitted (cf. note on 13:3). The Bible does not view the process of reproduction, with its associated bodily functions, as evil; this is part of the original good creation (even though human nature is severely damaged by the fall of Adam). Certainly the Creator of these functions has the right to tell his obedient creatures how and when to use them. (ESV Study Bible Notes)

I know that Leviticus can be a tough book to read and this chapter leaves little to the imagination. Why did God care about these details? It is tough to understand the spiritual significance of these rules. However, I think we need to understand the intricate love that God has for his children. When these issues were deemed “unclean” that didn’t mean “sinful” necessarily. These were protective measures to prevent disease from running rampant throughout the tribes of Israel. God’s commands and rules are meant to keep us from sin but they are also there to protect us from death and destruction. The truth is that when we follow the commands of scripture our lives tend to go better. You don’t have to worry about getting a DUI or wrecking into someone when intoxicated if you follow the command to not be drunk (Galatians 5:19-23). Also, abortion is not an issue if we would all avoid sexual immorality.

God’s love for us is deeper and more spiritual then any of us can understand but it plays out in very practical ways in our life. What commands do you need to embrace and how can you see the love of God in your life through that obedience?

Posted by: Chad Wiles


August 28, 2015

Today you should read: Leviticus 14

Throughout the book of Leviticus, and even much of the Bible, there are distinctions drawn between clean and unclean people, animals, food, offerings, etc. The Lord seems to place a heavy emphasis on these things. Since He is totally pure and He is the Standard-Setter, it makes perfect sense to Him. To us, though, it can feel a little overbearing. We have to strive to see this through His eyes, though.

Let’s think through this with the mind of Christ.

If I were to hand you a cup of water that has been contaminated, not only would you not drink it, you would not offer it to someone else. That might be a pale comparison to this chapter and the overall concept, but it helps you grasp the bigger picture. Parents: you don’t let your kids put on their filthy laundry over and over again. You offer them something clean, something sanitized. God is instructing the set-apart people of Israel to do the same. In Leviticus 14, those with skin diseases come to the forefront of the discussion, which takes things a bit further, because now we’re dealing with people who are unclean, not just things or circumstances.

This is fantastic foreshadowing to Jesus. He is the only True Priest who could cleanse lepers forever. He liberally gives sinners like us internal healing (sin/guilt/shame cleansed and conquered) and external healing (glorified bodies). He is the Great Physician, the true remedy.

Unfortunately, many of us and many among us will live with certain illnesses and defects until we meet Jesus. This is the reality of living in a depraved, fallen world. Does this mean it was caused by our own sin? No, scripture is clear about that. John 9 is a great passage to turn to about this very issue:

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. John 9:1-7

Long for healing, pray for it, and believe that He is able to give it. Trust, though, that His plan might include Jesus being glorified through your reliance on Him in whatever you have to deal with.

Posted by: Todd Thomas


August 27, 2015

Today you should read: Leviticus 13

Well, today’s reading certainly isn’t for the non queasy or the faint of heart. God definitely wanted to make sure Moses and the Israelites knew about every skin disease and deformity possible. I’m also sure Aaron and the priests were more than appreciative to have this as part of their job.

So why is this in the Bible? Why did God go out of His way to make sure this was part of His regulations for His people? Well I think there are two main reasons:

1. Keep the people clean physically

The people needed to know what to look for with diseases so they would be able to protect themselves from spreading them around. Cleanness in general was a big problem in these times and God knew the people could easily spread these germs and diseases amongst each other

2. Keep the people clean spiritually

Even more importantly than cleanness physically was that God wanted to paint the picture for His people of spiritual cleanness. As is true with many other parts of God’s law, the physical aspect of the law was pointing to spiritual truth. The truth is that they, and we, are all spiritually unclean and in need of being removed from among God’s people. We are all pronounced unclean. However, in Christ, we are made clean and He stands before God and pronounces us clean to God and His people. So thank the Lord Jesus today for taking upon Himself the uncleanness of our sin upon Himself.

Posted by: Robbie Byrd


August 26, 2015

Today you should read: Leviticus 12

At first I thought it was quite interesting that God would ordain that I write the jumpstart for this chapter. I’m a married man, but God hasn’t blessed us yet with the beautiful gift of having a child and all that the process involves. I had to do some research here.

Much of this chapter is spent teaching the people about cleanliness of people. Some of the previous chapters have been instructions regarding food, possessions, and actions which were impure and thus deemed unfit for God’s chosen people. But here, God gives commands concerning our own state of being clean or unclean. Historically, God’s law pronounces a woman, after giving birth, unclean, that is, for a certain amount of time, the reasons for which can be studied further in biology. In this chapter, it’s stated that a woman is unclean for more than 33 days after giving birth to a male, and if the child is female, the time of uncleanness is somewhere around 66 days. The reason for the prolonged uncleanness in the case of a female child is unknown for certain, but some believe it could have to do with the fact that a female child will grow up and similarly have opportunity to bear children and thus be unclean as well. Later, after the time of her purifying had past, the mother was instructed to bring an approved sacrifice to the Lord, and because of that sacrifice, she would be restored to God and her people.

Despite the way our present culture views motherhood, birth, and other things of this sort, I believe we can apply some of the truth found here to today. The Bible teaches us that we are sinners by nature, condemned simply because we are imperfect humans, (Romans 5:12). We are unclean, no matter how morally or “clean” we try to live. The Bible also says that no good or clean fruit can come from an unclean tree, (Matthew 7:18). Since our parents are sinners, we too are natural born sinners, and “children of wrath,” (Ephesians 2). Only a pure sacrifice, and ultimately Jesus’ own blood can atone for this mother, her child, and us as well.

As I studied this chapter, I looked intently to allow God to speak to me through it. I believe God often uses his law, no matter how strange it may seem to us now, to point us to the reality that we all are bound to fall short. We desperately need Him. I don’t have experience in bearing children, but I do have experience in being deemed unclean. My record condemns me. My sins are stacked against me. But thank God He made a way! I must put my faith in Jesus and let his sacrifice count for me and I will be made clean.

Posted by: Taylor Gilliam


August 25, 2015

Today you should read: Leviticus 11

Whenever someone wants to argue and debate about the Bible with a Christian, they tend to bring up the following Scripture that we read in Leviticus 11. In this specific chapter, God lays out a bunch of do’s and don’ts regarding animals. What animals you can touch or eat and what animals you cannot touch or eat. For example…

Do’s:
• cattle
• deer,
• goats
• sheep
• bluegill
• grouper
• cod
• chickens
• doves
• ducks;
• grasshoppers
• locusts

Don’t’s:
• pigs
• dogs
• cats
• horses
• donkeys
• rats
• shellfish
• lobster
• oysters
• catfish
• owls
• hawks
• vultures
• reptiles and amphibians

Yes this does mean that the Israelites were allowed to eat chocolate covered grasshoppers but one of my personal favorites, bacon, was on the naughty list. Although proven that the Leviticus 11 diet could be beneficial to one’s health, it’s not the reason why God told His people to touch and each certain animals over others. His reasons are found in Leviticus 11:44-45 which reads:

44 For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy…. 45 For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”

God reminded His people that they are set apart and to be looked upon as different then the rest of the world. This dietary law associated with their consecration like Christians of today have certain commands in the new covenant that sets us apart still today. By God’s grace, Jesus has fulfilled the law and even abolished certain laws like this one at the time (Colossians 2:16) freeing me up to eat all the bacon that I want (moderation erik, moderation) but He still expects our lives to be different and holy for His use. Our different lives point to the Gospel as others wonder why we’re so different then a world that leaves us empty and unsatisfied.

Posted by: Erik Koliser


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