Reading #1 – Leviticus 10
Reading #2 – Psalms 43
Reading #3 – Proverbs 25
Reading #4 – Zephaniah 1
Reading #5 – Philemon 1
Leviticus 10 – Death of Nadab and Abihu – John Schultz’s commentary on this section states, “Nadab and Abihu ignored had God’s revelation of Himself, and believed that the fire they made was just as good as the fire that had come from the Lord. They did not distinguish between what was the Lord’s and what was man’s effort. `Wine and strong drink thou dost not drink, thou, and thy sons with thee, in your going in unto the tent of meeting, and ye die not–a statute age-during to your generations; 10 to make a separation between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the pure; 11 and to teach the sons of Israel all the statutes which Jehovah hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses (9-11 YLT). What we do in the Temple of God is just as important as how we do it, why we do it, and with what heart we do it. God will never put his spirit in a place that is polluted nor honor the presence of evil. In our earthly temple, “our heart”, God requires us to keep it pure or he will leave. “Among those who approach me I will be proved holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored” (3, Isaiah 49:3, and 2 Samuel 6:6-8). After Aaron’s two boys were killed, the command was given for Aaron and his two remaining sons to carry on with the ministry and not to mourn the loss of the two boys.
Psalms 43 – A continuation of Psalms 42 – What should our response be to the world that antagonizes us? Should we boycott the media? Will God be honored by us becoming as vile as the people that affront us? Send forth Thy light and Thy truth, They–they lead me, they bring me in, Unto Thy holy hill, and unto Thy tabernacles. 4 And I go in unto the altar of God, Unto God, the joy of my rejoicing. And I thank Thee with a harp, O God, my God. 5 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 (3-5 YLT). We are powerless to change the world’s view of who God is but by living for him, people will come to him. “If I am lifted from the earth, I will draw all men unto me (John 12:32).”
Proverbs 25 – The “Order of Our Life” – What do in life, just as how we do it, will either bring glory or shame to the Lord God. While our parents may do everything right for us to be sure that the path is well prepared, it is really up to us to either go on to greater glory or fall flat on our faces. In the time of the Judges of Israel, it is recorded how an Angel heralded the birth of a special child to Manoah of the tribe of Dan. Manoah and his wife did everything the angel had told them to do yet the child, Samson, went the wrong direction and it cost him his life (Judges 14-16). A spring troubled, and a fountain corrupt, [Is] the righteous falling before the wicked (26 YLT). The funny part about our calling is that God never gives us a pass for sin no matter how enticing it is, how much the world says it is “good”, or how much we think we deserve it. God calls us to live righteously before him in season and out, in times of plenty and in times of famine, and no matter what to always keep our eyes on him.
Zephaniah 1 – The Great Judgement Day – For over 200 years the Lord God had warned the wayward nation of Judah and its adultress sister Israel. The Prophet Zephaniah ministered in the closing days of Josiah who was the last righteous king of Judah. I utterly consume all from off the face of the ground, An affirmation of Jehovah. 3 I consume man and beast, I consume fowl of the heavens, and fishes of the sea, And the stumbling-blocks–the wicked, And I have cut off man from the face of the ground, An affirmation of Jehovah, 4 And stretched out My hand against Judah, And against all inhabiting Jerusalem, And cut off from this place the remnant of Baal, The name of the idolatrous priests, with the priests, 5 And those bowing themselves On the roofs to the host of the heavens, And those bowing themselves, Swearing to Jehovah, and swearing by Malcham, 6 And those removing from after Jehovah, And who have not sought Jehovah, nor besought Him (2-6 YLT). God is patient yet, even he will reach a point in which something must be done. Unfortunately, the people of Judah chose to listen to their sister rather than the God of the Universe. Today, we are not all that much different. We have listened to the wooings of the world rather than the words of the Holy and righteous God. For now, we have people in our nation that are standing in the gap for the US and praying for God’s forgiveness and his restoration. Zephaniah could have very easily have stepped aside and said to God, “go get’em tiger” yet, he lived in the land and if it fell, he would fall too. Being warned about a coming disaster doesn’t imply, “it needs to be” but that it will be if we do not stand in the gap. In the time of Moses, the nation Israel had turned against God yet, Moses stood in the gap to plead God’s forgiveness and so He relented.
Philemon – Don’t forget Onesimus – Onesimus was the property of Philemon a brother in the Lord to Paul. Onesimus had run away from Philemon and straight into the arms of Paul. Under Paul’s direction, Onesimus would become a child of the Living God and servant of Christ. No matter how good his actions were or how much he had from Paul, a problem still existed and that was the matter of his running away. In that time, slave owners had the right to go and retrieve their property. Paul could have turned a blind eye to Onesimus’ running away yet, it would violate everything Paul had believed and taught about the Lord God. Paul could have written Philemon and said, “whatever benefit Onesimus could have brought you is ‘corban’ that is, “a forced offering to God” (Mark 7:11). If Paul had held onto Onesimus, Paul would be guilty of a crime and no matter how much he argued about it, the fact is Paul could have been brought to trial. So Paul sent Onesimus back to Philemon to plead Onesimus’ case. We are not told what would happen to Onesimus once he got home so, we have to come to our own conclusions.