Reading #1 – Leviticus 13
Reading #2 – Psalms 46
Reading #3 – Proverbs 28
Reading #4 – Haggai 1
Reading #5 – Hebrews 3
Leviticus 13 – Dealing with Skin Issues. A couple of things are important to note because the same things apply to us today. First, just because they were the “chosen people” did not make them automatically immune from the diseases of the time. Second, while it sounded like God was being a “Big old Meanie”, isolating people with skin diseases served a practical use and that was, if the disease spread in the camp, the number of people being afflicted by it would be exponential. The people of that time did not have a resident doctor or nurse to deal with illnesses so the task fell to the priest to determine which rash was considered malignant and which was not. The Priests were given a specific set of rules to follow to not isolate their opposers and gather in their supporters. When anyone was deemed to be “unclean” they had to tear their clothes, grow out their beards and warn people by saying, “unclean, unclean”.
Psalms 46 – God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging (1-3 NIV). It is important to note that because we are in the world, we are afflicted just like the rest of the world. Yet, we can have confidence in our Lord to bring us through and the world will see a difference both in how we war (2nd Corinthians 10:3) and how we deal with the troubles of the world. The Devil would have us believe that God has forgotten all about mankind. Yet, when trouble strikes the home, the child of God will focus his or her eyes upon the Lord and say in the words of Habakkuk, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior(3:17-18 NIV).
Proverbs 28 – The wicked versus the Righteous. The world seeks “the difference”. It doesn’t take much to walk on the evil pathway towards Satan’s domain, all it takes is to follow the world with closed eyes and ears. It is funny that God’s word refers to the people of God as “sheep” because they just do what all the other sheep do. At the slaughterhouse, one sheep is put in the front and is lead to the slaughter and all of the other sheep follow right along.
Haggai 1 – Call to Rebuild the House of God. This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored, ” says the LORD. 9 “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the LORD Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. 10 Therefore, because of you, the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. 11 I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands (7-11 NIV). “ The “one place” had been destroyed years earlier at the hands of Babylon and now Babylon had been defeated by the Medes and the Persians and the favor of God had been turned back to the remnant. When the nation was just about to go into the new land, they were warned about “worshiping only at the one place of God” (Deuteronomy 12:5). When the people were settled, the “one place was in Shiloh home of Joshua (Joshua 29:49-51). So, it made sense that before the people of God could return to Jerusalem, the temple had to be rebuilt.
Hebrews 3 – Jesus is Greater than Moses. For Israel, Moses was the national hero because of what he had done for the nation. The writer was not trying to downplay Moses or diminish his value rather show how Jesus, who was cut from the same stock as Moses, had been the High Priest that Moses had passed on. Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,” bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory (3-6).