Reading #1 – Leviticus 18
Reading #2 – Psalms 51
Reading #3 – lamentations 2
Reading #4 – Zechariah 4
Reading #5 – Hebrews 8
Leviticus 18 – Prohibited Pagan Practices. This is the infamous section of scripture that causes the world to refer to us as “Homophobic”. Before we get our knives ready to cut into people, we must understand the crucible statement, “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: I am Yahweh your God. 3 Do not follow the practices of the land of Egypt, where you used to live or follow the practices of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. You must not follow their customs. 4 You are to practice My ordinances and you are to keep My statutes by following them; I am Yahweh your God. 5 Keep My statutes and ordinances; a person will live if he does them. I am Yahweh (2-5). If we are to call ourselves by the name of G_d, then we must understand that the word of G_d is written not to the world but the child of G_d. When we do the things that the people often do, we find out what happens behind the closed doors of the world and that is, “destruction”. The Devil will always tell us, “there is no harm in doing ___”. Yet, when problems occur, he is there to condemn us.
Psalms 51 – Prayer for Restoration. It is a funny thing about sin, it always starts with, “there’s no harm.” Yet, when the fruit comes we face problems that we had not expected although we should have seen coming. Sin blinds us to the consequences to get us ensnared. Just as it is in Leviticus 18. Once we are in deep problems, we pray this prayer above; yet, like David, things are not put back to the way they were before the fall. For Adam and Eve, although forgiven, were placed in the rocky ground instead of the sweet supplant ground of Eden. For David, he would see with unvarnished eyes the destruction it would bring in his family and it would continue long past the time of his death. A pastoral friend of mine once said, “when we leave chains in our life hanging down, the Devil will always use them to rattle us”. Being forgiven of our sins is the easiest part of the restoration equation. The hard part is always dealing with the unintended consequences or, as I refer to it, “Consequential battle”. You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it; You are not pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart. In Your good pleasure, cause Zion to prosper; build the walls of Jerusalem. You will delight in righteous sacrifices, whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on Your altar (16-19).
Lamentations 2 – Judgement on Israel. These elegies speak to what happens when we collapse into sin. Before the nation set one foot into the land, the nation was warned of what happens should they sin by following the ways of the previous occupants. The command was given by the Lord for the nation to recite the blessings on one mountain and the cursings on the other (Deuteronomy 27-28). When the nation forgot about these two because they failed to recite them, failure occurred. When we fail to recite the blessings and cursings of God as well as what he commands us to do, failure is certain. The same people who compel us to ignore the ways of God will be the same people who judge us and laugh at us derisively (15-17).
Zechariah 4 – High Priest and the Vision. Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the Angel. 4 So the Angel of the LORD spoke to those standing before Him, “Take off his filthy clothes!” Then He said to him, “See, I have removed your guilt from you, and I will clothe you with splendid robes.”Then I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So a clean turban was placed on his head, and they clothed him in garments while the Angel of the LORD was standing nearby. Then the Angel of the LORD charged Joshua: 7 “This is what the LORD of Hosts says: If you walk in My ways and keep My instructions, you will both rule My house and take care of My courts; I will also grant you access among these who are standing here (3-7). The nation Judah had been in exile because of its sinful past and the people, like Joshua (not the son of Nunn) had grown up in exile so he was not one of the people who committed the sinful actions. Yet, he was paying the price for the actions of those who had passed away or had been killed in battle. The prophetic vision of Joshua points to the coming of the Messiah of G_d Jesus who is called the Christ. For the time being though, Joshua is commanded to govern the land of Judah by the same rules as the kings of Israel (Deuteronomy 17:14-20). “Listen, Joshua the high priest, you and your colleagues sitting before you; indeed, these men are a sign that I am about to bring My servant, the Branch. 9 Notice the stone I have set before Joshua; on that one stone is seven eyes. I will engrave an inscription on it” — this is the declaration of the LORD of Hosts — “and I will take away the guilt of this land in a single day. 10 On that day, each of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and fig tree.” This is the declaration of the LORD of Hosts (8-10). These promises are magnificent! Yet, what are the implications? We are the stepping stones that lead to righteousness or unrighteousness.
Hebrews 8 – A Heavenly Priesthood. The new priesthood of Christ Jesus replaced the old one which would die in time. If another one was set up, it would create competition and a battle. The “Havenly Priesthood” is an “eternal Priesthood” on which would not die. These serve as a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was warned when he was about to complete the tabernacle. For God said, Be careful that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown to you on the mountain. 6 But Jesus has now obtained a superior ministry, and to that degree, He is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been legally enacted on better promises (5-6). As we build upon the ministry of Christ, we too must be careful how we do it and with what intent. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people. And each person will not teach his fellow citizen, and each his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” because they will all know Me, from the least to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their wrongdoing, and I will never again remember their sins (10-12).