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Showing posts from February 10, 2013

Differentiation

What foods do you eat? Leviticus 11 contains a unique listing of animals through identifiable marks that were considered clean and unclean food for the people of Israel. All species were considered including land animals, marine life, birds of the air, creeping things and reptiles.

But what was this all about? On three different levels we can see God's purpose for instituting such food laws:
On the level of the spiritual, specifically in their sacrificial systems, Israelites were to avoid any similarities to pagan people's worship which included the consumption of the flesh of these animals. They were to reveal their worship was different and they served a God that was distinct from so called pagan gods.On the level of the mental, their particular regimen of diet was a mark of commitment as a people group. As they obeyed God's directives concerning food they were reinforcing in their own minds the conviction that they were a…

Power Source

What is the source of the strength you have as you work for God? Do you possess the power to accomplish anything for God in and of yourself? This is a great question because it goes to how we are empowered to the do activities that are looked on in 1 Corinthians 3:12 as being rewarded with "gold, silver, costly stones."
Paul answers this question without trying in Colossians 1:29 where he says, "to this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me." Here is what Paul is saying. "Labor" is more clearly understood as working until actually exhausted. "Struggling" is more clearly understood in the context of contending in an athletic game. And the word "energy" is used only of superhuman power, whether that be of God or the devil.
What we see is a man who is exhausted by his labor and yet he is continuing to put up a battle to do more and finish the work. Here is the key; Paul recognized that he did this not …

Burnt Offering

Most of us would pass over the third book of the Bible, Leviticus, as a manual for Jewish priests. We would believe that there is nothing of value in it for us and therefore ignore it. But it is an essential book to understand the holiness of God and what He requires in sacrifice. Further, it creates a backdrop for incredible parallel statements in the New Testament.
Immediately in Leviticus 1 we are faced with the requirements for and results of the burnt offering. God's grace is seen in His allowance for three different types of animals to be offered (bullock, sheep, or turtledove/pigeon) depending on the means of the one who offers but all will be offered as a dying sacrifice. The offering had to be given voluntarily (vs. 3) and it had to cost the giver something therefore the reason for domesticated animals which would have required time and expense to keep. Blood was spilt and the animal was to be completely consumed on the altar, "an offering made by fire," as a sub…

Obedience

Is obedience overrated? Are there actual positive rewards for doing that which you are told?
As the people of Israel traveled through the wilderness, they were challenged to the first four of the Ten Commandments. Not creating idols and continuing to observe the Sabbath obtained the following blessings according to Leviticus 26:1-13:
Rain will come in its proper seasonGround will yield its crops and trees their fruitThreshing will continue until grape harvest and grape harvest until plantingYou will eat all the food you wantYou will live safely in the landSavage beasts will be removed from the landThe sword will not pass through the landYou will be victorious in battleFavor from God and He will make you fruitful as a peopleYou will be eating last year's harvest when the new harvest comes inGod will walk among youSeems like that there is no better way to live than in obedience to God; His blessing will be on those who do what He asks them…

Exact Equivalents

God is a just God and does not do anything without meaning that extends far beyond just that moment. In Exodus 3:13 the Lord said to Moses, "I have taken the Levites from among the Israelites in place of the first male offspring of every Israelite woman. The Levites are mine, for all the firstborn are mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set apart for myself every firstborn in Israel, whether man or animal."

Here we see some great correlations with our own redemption. But first, let me explain that the firstborn were the beneficiaries of the death of the Passover lamb who's blood was placed on the doorpost of the house of each Israelite the night before they left Egypt. All the firstborn males of livestock and of the families of Egyptians were killed on that same night by the death angel. Now the Lord explains that the firstborn are His but are to be replaced by the tribe of the Levites. Here was the process. First, the men of the Levites a month old and …

Trumpet Call

I used to play the trumpet. I was given one that had a wrinkled bell and so I played only for a short period during my stint in the seventh grade band. I liked it because it had a bright sound, one that could be heard a long ways away. This is an instrument that was used with the people of Israel. There were several different "alarms" that it could send out. God instructed Moses in Numbers 10:2 saying, "Make two trumpets of hammered silver, and use them for calling the community together and for having the camps set out." When you think about two million people you do begin to wonder how they could communicate effectively with them. Without some means the camp could not be ready to do anything. The trumpet is the answer to that. Note the different messages they would send according to Numbers 10: When both were blown then the assembly would assemble at the door of the Tabernacle.When only one was blown the heads of the clans were to assemble before Mos…