Reading #1 – Leviticus 5
Reading #2 – Psalms 38
Reading #3 – Proverbs 20
Reading #4 – Nahum 2
Reading #5 – 2 Timothy 3
Leviticus 5 – The Sin Offering – The problem with sin, as I see it, is not so much the “sin” but what we do with it. As a close-knit community of tribes, sin had to be dealt with because they went everywhere together as one nation although being members of one family. If sin could exist or to be “over-looked” it would create problems for the family. Each of the tribes were also stood century duty so, if sin would be allowed to go unchecked, someone might just accidentally let wolves in which would wreak havoc on the flocks. While this document is thousands of years old, it has impications even to this very day. For the family units around this great nation, when sin can go unchecked or not dealt with correctly, walls are built that divide and weaken the family unit. While today we donot offer a “sacrifice” of an animal, we still need to accept responsibility for our actions and make every effort to make things right with the person or persons we have offended. “When you become aware of your guilt in any of these ways, you must confess your sin. 6 Then you must bring to the Lord as the penalty for your sin a female from the flock, either a sheep or a goat. This is a sin offering with which the priest will purify you from your sin, making you right with the Lord (5 NLT).”
Psalms 38 – A Petition – Through out the Word of God, we read many scriptural passages about this devil called “sin”. God knows all too well what sin does to people, how many petitions for forgiveness he has heard, and how many tears have been shed in remorse for actions taken. While. It is completely impossible to avoid sin or to walk and never sin, becoming desensitized to sin makes a mole hill a “mountain”. I am on the verge of collapse, facing constant pain. But I confess my sins; I am deeply sorry for what I have done. I have many aggressive enemies; they hate me without reason. They repay me evil for good and oppose me for pursuing good. Do not abandon me, O Lord. Do not stand at a distance, my God. Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior (17-22 NLT).
Proverbs 20 – The Two Paths of Life – When it comes right down to it, there are only two paths that you can take in life. Jesus in his parabel spoke about these “two paths of life”. “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell[f] is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it (Matthew 7:13-14 NLT). “The problem with these two paths is that there are intersections or venues of turns that will either bring us closer to the Kingdom of God or propel us further away. In times of trouble, we are prone to promise God anything to get us out of the mess we are in. Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God and only later counting the cost (25 NLT). The thing we need to know the most is that God will never get us out of the trouble we caused, he will help us to clean the mess up and then direct our paths from that mess. Regretfully, God holds us to our word whether we like it or not. Don’t make rash promises, and don’t be hasty in bringing matters before God. After all, God is in heaven, and you are here on earth. So, let your words be few (Ecclesiastes 5:2 NLT).
Nahum 2 – The Fall of Nineveh – The mighty nation once so proud who made sport of its enemies by throwing them in the lion’s den (11-12) now becomes weak like all the nations it deposed of. The king shouts to his officers; they stumble in their haste, rushing to the walls to set up their defenses. The river gates have been torn open! The palace is about to collapse. Nineveh’s exile has been decreed and all the servant girls mourn its capture. They moan like doves and beat their breasts in sorrow (5-7 NLT). While it may seem good to hear about strong nations being destroyed or being judged for its actions, this is not good news because, the implication is that “if _____ can be destroyed because of sin, who am I to think that I am above being judged for my actions? Knowing how sin offends God and how he is able to humble even the strongest, most dispicable person ever known to mankind, should cause us to always stop what we are doing and consider our actions.
2 Timothy 3 – Danger of the Last Days – Despite all that would be coming down the road, the problems that would occur, the people that would cast caution to the wind, or how the public view of sin would change, Paul’s was, just as my encouragement is ,“maintain the course to the Kingdom of God at all costs.“ But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance. 11 You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra—but the Lord rescued me from all of it. Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived (11-13 NLT). We hold in our hands the very words of God, all of his promises, a light to direct our pathways (Psalms 119:109). If we do not take this sword and all of our battle armement and prepare for the trouble to come, we can very easily be blindsided by the trouble and lose our way.No matter what may come today, no matter how anyone else reacts, you maintain the way to the Kingdom of God at all costs.