Reading #1 – Leviticus 9
Reading #2 – Psalms 42
Reading #3 – Proverbs 24
Reading #4 – Habakkuk 3
Reading #5 – Titus 23
Leviticus 9 – The Priests begin their ministry – Having done everything that was prescribed for the priests, they begin the time of ministry. What is interesting is that the “eighth day” was also the same amount of time since the day Jesus was crucified and then resurrected. The covering of blood marked him as “forgiven”. The night of prayer in the upper room gave way to the movement of the Holy Spirit which parallels the falling of fire upon the sin, guilt, and fellowship offerings. In John Schultz’s commentary on Leviticus, this event also parallels the events of the building of Solomon’s temple. Up to this point, the people had only to act on faith as they had no physical proof for their actions. Once the fire fell, the people had something to hold onto and a reason to celebrate. It was the same way for the fledgling survivors of Jesus’ disciples, up until Jesus’ resurrection, all the group had to go on was his word which, he never violated and always honored so, the group acted in faith. In a way, I think of the events of the priestly anointing, the building of Solomon’s temple, and the events of Acts 2 were all a test to see if the people would act in faith. After the fire fell on the altar, just as it was when Solomon dedicated the temple, and the disciples came out of the upper room, even the most hard-hearted of an individual was changed.
Psalms 42 – A Maskil or “Teaching Psalm” – Where do I put my faith? Do I put my faith in what I see, hear, smell, or taste? Do I put my trust in what people tell me? Or, do I trust in the Lord God who has never failed me. There is a part of the Bible that is sometimes overlooked and that is, it is more than words on the page, it is the stories and prayers of people who have long since died but left their words to encourage all who would come behind them. Elisha received Elijah’s robe (2 Kings 7:13), Jesus’ disciples were indwelled by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-31), and we have the very words of the early church fathers to read and know that God is still in control, still able to heal, and still able to bring from the dead our lifeless souls. I say to God my rock, `Why hast Thou forgotten me? Why go am I mourning in the oppression of an enemy? With a sword in my bones Have mine adversaries reproached me, In their saying unto me all the day, `Where [is] thy God?’ 11 What! bowest thou thyself, O my soul? And what! art thou troubled within me? Wait for God, for still, I confess Him, The salvation of my countenance, and my God (9-11 KJV)!
Proverbs 24 – By wisdom is a house built, And by understanding it establisheth itself. 4 And by knowledge, the inner parts are filled, [With] all precious and pleasant wealth (3-4 NIV). It is a great struggle dealing with our flesh that wants its way and when we get our way, it isn’t pleasant nor is it sustainable. Unfortunately, the flesh never sees the “big picture” it only sees the current moment and thinks, “I’ll never have ___________ so why wait for it?” This kind of viewpoint leads us into miry pits of self-pity, anger, frustration, and headlong into the Devil’s trap. Fret not thyself at evildoers, Be not envious at the wicked, 20 For there is not a posterity to the evil, The lamp of the wicked is extinguished. 21 Fear Jehovah, my son, and the king, With changers, mix not up thyself, 22 For suddenly doth their calamity rise And the ruin of them both–who knoweth (19-22 KJV)! Envy is a powerful foe because it makes the treasures of others to be bigger than they are. When we try to “keep up with the Jones’ “ it is a treacherous path because they will always get one better and we will always fall short.
Habakkuk 3 – Habakkuk’s prayer or Shigionoth (a deep and emotional prayer) – For Habakkuk, he had no physical proof of God’s promise, just the promise itself. He had heard all about the acts of the Lord God of the Universe or Yahweh, heard about how He worked on behalf of his chosen vessels, how a nation was brought from slavery to autonomy through the trials, storms, and many setbacks. This all inspired Habakkuk to trust God no matter what was going on or what was not going on. Though the fig-tree doth not flourish, And there is no produce among vines, Failed hath the work of the olive, And fields have not yielded food, Cut off from the fold hath been the flock, And there is no herd in the stalls. 18 Yet I, in Jehovah I exult, I do joy in the God of my salvation. 19 Jehovah the Lord [is] my strength, And He doth make my feet like hinds, And on my high places causeth me to tread (17-19 YLT). Though I cannot see your promises coming to fruition in the field of my life, I cannot always hear your voice calling me, and I do not see your promise come true on my timeline, I will trust in you for you have never forsaken me, never forgot about me, and always look after my best interests (Mike’s encouragement). While I am waiting, help me to work for you and to use the time you have given me to honor you all of my days.
Titus 3 – The Order of Our Life – Titus the Pastor of the young church was given strict guidance for running his church. The most important part of anything we do is how we order our life. Though we may not like it nor even agree with it, we are under order by our commander to honor the laws of the land unless they come into disagreement with God’s laws. The world wants “something different” and if what we have is just “more of the same”, they will not want it even if it is not “true Christlike behavior”. It is very easy to fall into the habit of acting like the world all it takes is to “cop an attitude” and then the Devil will come in with the full force of his kingdom to take root in our life. Steadfast [is] the word; and concerning these things I counsel thee to affirm fully, that they may be thoughtful, to be leading in good works–who have believed God; these are the good and profitable things to men, 9 and foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law, stand away from–for they are unprofitable and vain (8-9 YLT).