Reading #1 – Leviticus 24
Reading #2 – Psalms 57
Reading #3 – Song of Solomon 3
Reading #4 – Zechariah 10
Reading #5 – James 1
Leviticus 24 – Olive Oil Set Before the Lord. The golden lampstand lit up the Most Holy place. For this reason, the lamp must be continually tended to by High Priest. In Revelations, it is recorded “I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance (Revelation 1:12-16). The nation would bring the clear pressed olive oil to the priest as an offering. Matthew Henry’s commentary ties in the relationship between the OT High Priest and the NT High Priest Jesus. It is, for this reason, multiple OT references tie back to the work of the High Priest and his associates. In the book of John, it is recorded, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life (John 8:12).” The High Priest had to continually tend the lampstand whereas Jesus’ did this once for all time. The bread of the presence was also replaced daily. Jesus the High Priest provided this bread by giving his life (John 6:25-59). So, all of the requirements of the High Priest were also required of Jesus and he fulfilled all of them.
Psalms 57 – A Miktam of David When Fleeing From Saul. These Miktam’s are “Life Lessons”. When Saul was in pursuit of David, it was difficult for David to know who to trust. For certain, people came to him for refuge from the tyrant. We are not told when the psalm was written but, the life lesson teaches the student to trust in G_d because He never abandoned David as the nation would find out in the days leading up to David’s ascension to the throne. The foundation of David’s kingdom was predicated upon the teachings of the scrolls of the law as written by Moses. When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. 19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 20 and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel (Deuteronomy 17:18-20). In the same way, we can grasp hold of the Word of G_d for our lives if we will but read it and apply it to our life. David’s life lesson was not an easy one because the threat was more than just words Saul was fully committed to ending David’s life.
Song of Solomon 3 – The repeated anthem ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field, Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires (5). This anthem speaks to the tendency of mankind to give away their love to the wrong person; basically, “throwing your life away”. Matthew Henry’s commentary does an adequate job of tieing in this love sonnet to the relationship between Jesus and the church. Yet, it must be understood that this Sonnet was written between an Egyptian Princess and King Solomon. The Princess was a virtual unknown individual and there were multiple women that Solomon could have chosen from among his people. Yet, Solomon married an Egyptian. According to research, Solomon married the Egyptian Princess to cement a political alliance. This alliance would bring problems for the nation in time. There was no doubt that this woman loved Solomon and Solomon loved the woman. I think about the people who have become Christians that you would never imagine would cross the threshold into the Kingdom of G_d; this has happened because Christ accepts “all who will come”.
Zechariah 10 – The Lord Will Care for Judah. Ask the LORD for rain in the springtime;
it is the LORD who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people,
and plants of the field to everyone. The idols speak deceitfully, diviners see visions that lie;they tell false dreams, they give comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep oppressed for lack of a shepherd (1-2). Who do you trust? Many people begin the journey to the Kingdom of G_d but along the way become lost. In the same way, Judah had become lost thanks to some very well planted seeds by the Devil. The nation had trusted in the idols of Israel/Samaria and that was on purpose. Despite the nation’s failure, G_d still loved the nation and so we read about His promises. The Shephards (teachers) of Judah had been teaching false messages and the people accepted them as “gospel truth” despite how misleading the words were. Today, we deal with the same issues and it has caused problems for the nation US when the prophecies do not occur. In the background of many church organizations, wickedness has ruled and the church at large has been held accountable for it. Despite all of the issues, the church is being healed and the walls are being put back up again.
James 1 – Trials and Temptations. Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (2-4). This is really good theology and should be uplifting to the listener. Yet, the trials and temptations Jams is speaking to is the attack by Rome to kill off every believer in Christ Jesus. In times of great persecution, it is tempting to surrender to the demands and throw away your faith. James understood that his time of ministry would end in death and yet encouraged the people to “stay the course”. Being obedient to the message of the cross requires action, not mere words. If we rely on mere words, you can very easily be trapped. 6 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world (26-27). What we do all of the time is exactly what we will do in times of trouble (Mike Krier). So, living for Christ Jesus is not just a “mantra” but a way of life that leads to “eternal life” through our children and their children.