Reading #1 – Leviticus 20
Reading #2 – Psalms 53
Reading #3 – lamentations 4
Reading #4 – Zechariah 6
Reading #5 – Hebrews 10
Leviticus 20 – Punishment for Sin. This is the part of scripture that the world turns on the church or the church modifies its stance to stay “relative”. The land that the Israelites were to inherit had been occupied by pagan nations that polluted the land. If the Israelites were “just another nation” that would do the same things as those being dispossessed, what would be the reasoning behind the bloodshed? We can ask ourselves the same question, “if we are going to be just like the world, why do we need the church”? The nation Israel descended from G_d’s friend Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob three men who trusted G_d with their lives. To ensure the safety of G_d’s friend’s children, there are some rules for them to live by in particular sexual deviance, mysticism, and purity in the camp. These commands may seem harsh but, consider what G_d has seen over the years how “harmless behavior” turns into bigger problems such as illness, destruction of family units, and the breaking down of a community. At first, the behavior has no affects because the seeds need time to grow, however, later on, or “end times” the seeds become unmanageable plants that grow exponentially and choke out the very life of the family, community, and nation. “Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the LORD your God. Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the LORD, who makes you holy (7-8).”
Psalms 53 – A Teaching Psalm of David. 1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; no one does good (1).” If there is no G_d and no one does good, what is the purpose of living a righteous life? I will call this the “escape clause” or the excuse to do whatever you see fit. Before Saul’s ascension to the throne, the nation had no king so, the rise of the mantra “In that time the nation had no king so everyone did as they saw fit” (Judges 21:25). This psalm was written after the time of the Judges so the people had no excuse hence, “the fool says in his heart”. Today, we have a king and his name is Jesus. If we are to call ourselves “Jesus disciples” or “Christians” we are under obligation to honor him in all that we do, say, spend, and commit ourselves to do hence the statement “Be holy as I the Lord your G_d am Holy” (Leviticus 19:2).
Lamentations 4 – Sin’s Bitter End. How the gold has lost its luster, the fine gold become dull! The sacred gems are scattered at every street corner (1). This was written after the fall of Jerusalem the capital city of Judah. No one in the years before the fall believed such utter non-sense that the temple would ever be destroyed; after all, doesn’t the Lord G_d watch over the temple? The problem was, the nation loved the title “G_d’s chosen” but did not want to walk in step with Him. Walking in step with the Lord G_d implies that we must live our lives in such a way as to please him so that we do not drive him out of our life. When we drive G_d out, the Devil will stroll in and take full control and move us to the point of no return. To keep us from going back into the camp of the Lord G_d, he will compel us to do even worst things than we did before (Luke 11:24-26).
Zechariah 6 – Four Chariots and a Crown for Joshua. According to commentary, the “four chariots” are the dispensations of judgment on the earth. Mount Moriah was the place where David had built an altar and sacrificed on it which ended the judgment on Israel (2 Samuel 24:18-24). It is ironic that during war and destruction there is also freedom. According to commentary, the four chariots are an allusion to the four world kingdoms as prophesied by Daniel (Daniel 7:1-8). During the time of war, the crown is made from the gold which was retrieved from Tobiah and Jediah who would be Nehemiah’s greatest critics and would try to impede the re-building. While it may have sounded great to be “going home”, The destruction by the four kingdoms would negatively impact the nation and the rebuilding process but they would not be able to stop it completely. There is good news, though, Those who are far away will come and help to build the temple of the LORD, and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you. This will happen if you diligently obey the LORD your God (15).”
Hebrews 10 = Christ Jesus’ Sacrifice Once for All. In OT, the priests had to sacrifice every year without fail. This sacrifice, although it cost the person who provided the animal as a replacement for themselves, would not permanently wipe away the sins before God’s eyes. These acts were symbolic and would be replaced in G_d’s time (1-5). “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds (16).”