Reading #1 – Leviticus 8
Reading #2 – Psalms 41
Reading #3 – Proverbs 23
Reading #4 – Habakkuk 2
Reading #5 – Titus 2
Leviticus 8 – Preparing for Service – Aaron and his sons were presented before the tent of meeting or the sanctuary and were naked. This, according to commentary, was symbolic of the same shame Adam and Eve had when they first discovered they were naked and felt ashamed. Aaron and his sons were first washed with water which, is symbolic of “water baptism”. Then the tunic was put on with the undergarments, the breastplate or “ephod”, and decorative waistband in the waistband was the “Urim and Thummim”; these were used for making important decisions sort of like “chance” another word for it is “cleromancy”. Some believe such practices as “throwing the dice” determine God’s divine will. Next came the anointing with oil (12). In Psalms, it states, “How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe. Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the Lord has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting (133:1-3 NLT). The men, at this point, were consecrated or set aside for service. The priests were to remain in the temple for seven days; “7” is the mark of perfection which only God could attain.
Psalms 41 – Blessed are those who have regard for the weak (1 NIV). No one knows who the writer of this Psalm is but I think it was King Hezekiah (2 Kings 20), whoever it is though, is going through a time of great emotional sorrow. People would come to speak with him not to get revelation but to get ammunition to harm him by recording his words. This was a similar play to what happened with Jesus. Many came around him to “hear his words” and then spin them to formulate an attack against him; which, was ineffective because of Christ Jesus’ integrity (Isaiah 53:3). Lord, have mercy on me. Make me well again, so I can pay them back (Psalms 23 in reflection)! I know you are pleased with me, for you have not let my enemies triumph over me. You have preserved my life because I am innocent; you have brought me into your presence forever. Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who lives from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and amen (10-13 NLT).
Proverbs 23 – Wisdom for the Child of God. Being called “child” by the Lord God is not a term of endearment, it implies a lineage connection to the family of God. The words of the writer speak about the benefits of adhering to the words of wisdom provided. In this chapter, we read about the “adulteress woman”, the “stingy man”, and the “drunkard”. The one who adheres to the words of wisdom and takes them to heart will not fall into these people’s ways but will honor God by their actions. “My son gives me your heart and lets your eyes delight in my ways, for an adulteress woman is a deep pit, and a wayward wife lies in wait and multiplies the unfaithful among men (26-28 NLT).” This may sound a whole lot like, “the woman is the root of all problems” but, if you change the word “son” for “daughter” and the adulteress woman for the adulteress man you will come to the same conclusion. Both ways, you understand that God’s wisdom will guide you along with the pathways to life. The way of the godly leads to life; that path does not lead to death (Proverbs 12:28 NIV).
Habakkuk 2 – I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guardpost. There I will wait to see what the Lord says and how he[a] will answer my complaint (1 NLT). The first and most important thing we can do in times of great trouble like what we are seeing is, “stand your ground” and never run away. We have no power to stop the onslaught of trouble but, we can live by our faithfulness even though the world long ago gave up such practices (4). What the Devil understands so well is that when his plan fails the person who followed him will be ridiculed and put on trial for their life. The Devil will turn against the one who followed his leading and point out that “even death is too good for him or her (6-8)”. Mankind makes his or her idols and bows down to them as though they can save him or her. We do not make wooden idols these days but, we do make our jobs into idols that are meant to provide for the financial needs of ourselves and our family. At the end of sinful practices, the Lord’s plans will show themselves to be correct (14). The Lord is in His holy temple let all the earth be silent before him (30 NIV).”
Titus 2 – Doing Good for the Sake of the Gospel. “You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine (1). This imperative flies in the face of the ways of the community of the time. In the same way, we are called to preach and teach what is appropriate and in line with sound scriptural doctrine. “In everything” that is every situation, every problem, every trial, every evil charge, “set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us (6-8 NLT). Just as Aaron and his sons were ordained to be the priests of God with Aaron the High Priest, so it is with us as it was with Titus. Titus was Paul’s student and so Titus was Paul in the absence of the great Paul. We represent the High Priest Jesus as we are taught by his Holy Spirit. For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds (10-11 NLT).