Reading #1 – Leviticus 22
Reading #2 – Psalms 55
Reading #3 – Song of Solomon 1
Reading #4 – Zechariah 8
Reading #5 – Hebrews 12
Leviticus 22 – Preserving the Sanctity of the Priesthood. It is important to note that the people just like priests were required to treat with respect the offerings that were given and sacrificed. Matthew Henry’s commentary on this segment states, “Let us also remember, that the Lord requires us to reverence his name, his truths, his ordinances, and commandments. Let us beware of hypocrisy, and examine ourselves concerning our sinful defilements, seeking to be purified from them in the blood of Christ, and by his sanctifying Spirit.” When the people brought offerings to be sacrificed in fulfillment of a vow, it had to be the very best and free of all defects because the animal would represent the person’s character before the Lord G_d. It was for this reason that Cain’s offering was more or less frowned on. In other writings, I will speak to the mandate of the Priesthood as it applies to us today.
Psalms 55 – A Maskil of David. The Psalm was supposedly written after the affair with Bathsheba, the death of Uriah, and the present attacks of Absolom (4). Sin is a terrible thing in that the seeds are very small about the size of “faith” seeds yet, like weeds, drown out the growth of fruit. Despite the reasons behind the attacks, David still puts his trust in G_d to lead him through the obstacles and help him to deal with the consequences for sin. David paid for the sacrifice yet, the sacrifice would not put salve on the consequences. David humbled himself before G_d first and foremost. The purpose of this Psalm is to teach a lesson and nothing can be more painful than to teach people from the lesson plan of our failures. When we sin, we go down one of two roads – either towards the Kingdom of G_d or down the road that of denial resulting in us caving into every sinful thing. David prayed for the people attacking him without judging them and without spurning them. Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous be shaken (22).
Song of Solomon 1 – At first glance, the casual reader might dismiss this book as “mere dribble between two love birds” and wonder “why in the world it even exists”. Yet, we can get a glimpse into Christ’s love for the church and the world at large. The woman was not an Israelite, she was Egyptian making her an “unknown” to the nation. In the same way, when we come to the church, we are an “unknown” individual, and people might shy away from us for a little bit or they will shower us with love and acceptance or they will ignore us depending on the spiritual climate of the church, Yet, we do not go to the church for attention any more than the Egyptian princess went to Israel because it was better than Egypt. The princess went to Israel because she was married to Solomon.
Zechariah 8 – The Lord Promises to Bless Jerusalem. AT the time of this writing, not a single rock had been moved since the destruction of Jerusalem yet, the Spirit speaks as though the work were already done. Jerusalem had been a haunt for jackals and other wild animals that had previously occupied the land before mankind set a foot on it. It is sort of like an artist that looks at a blank canvas and sees a completed picture before a single brush stroke is applied. This is how Christ sees our life when we come to the point of salvation. God sees the ministry he has in mind for us before we even accept the salvation message. Promises can be upended and delayed depending on how faithful we are and by what integrity we direct our lives. This is what the LORD says: “I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City, and the mountain of the LORD Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain (3). “Now hear these words, ‘Let your hands be strong so that the temple may be built.’ This is also what the prophets said who were present when the foundation was laid for the house of the LORD Almighty. 10 Before that time there were no wages for people or hire for animals. No one could go about their business safely because of their enemies since I had turned everyone against their neighbors. 11 But now I will not deal with the remnant of this people as I did in the past,” declares the LORD Almighty (9-11).
Hebrews 12 – Running the Race in Face of Adversity. Being a Christian is not any easier than it was for the remnant of Israel. Sin will always stand in the way of forwarding movement as that is why it was sent. When we come to Christ just like the remnant came to the G_d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, it was for healing and restoration. Sin says, “it is no use”. Faith says, “Take one step toward the goal and everything will fall into place and the sin that is standing in the way will step aside. The products used for building ministries are, in all reality, the sins we sacrificed on the altar of repentance.