Reading #1 – Leviticus 26
Reading #2 – Psalms 59
Reading #3 – Song of Solomon 5
Reading #4 – Zechariah 12
Reading #5 – James 3
Leviticus 26 – Blessings for Obedience. The commands addressed in this section, although centuries old, are still applicable today. “Do not make idols or set up carved images, or sacred pillars, or sculptured stones in your land so you may worship them. I am the LORD your G_d. 2 You must keep my Sabbath days of rest and show reverence for my sanctuary. I am the LORD (1-2 NLT). One of the “Great Commandments’ is “Love the Lord your G_d with all of your heart, mind, soul, and body” (Mark 12:30, Deuteronomy 6:5). When we love the Lord our G_d with all of our heart, soul, mind, and body we will honor his sanctuary. The sanctuary is in our hearts. When we do the detestable things, we violate that sanctuary we are pushing G_d out. As I said in previous notes, when we push G_d out, the Devil will come in with full force and trample the sanctuary so that it can never again be used for his enemy’s purpose. G_d promised that if the people would be obedient, they would bless them in every area of their lives (3-8). So if G_d blesses for obedience, there must naturally be an alternative for disobedience. Sin infects everyone and everything. It was for this purpose that the Priests wore the “Ephod” to remind them of who they represent and who would pay the ultimate price should they fail to honor G_d. Why was G_d so adamant about sin? Isn’t it forgivable? While sin can be forgiven and messes cleaned up, the consequences are still in play which will cause problems for the family, the city, the state, the nation, and the world. Paul speaking to the church at Galatia said, “A little leaven ruins the whole loaf” (Galatians 5:9).
Psalms 59 – Protect Me Oh My Strength a Miktam of David. This psalm was written during trouble for the writer. Saul was bent on destroying the one that would become king instead of Johnathan the king’s son. The same men that David led into battle, were now looking for the opportunity to arrest David and bring him to trial for “high crimes” that he did not commit. While it was a long, difficult, and harrowing night, David knew one thing for absolute assured and that was, G_d loved him and would always watch over him and deliver him from this trial and every trial to come. The long night passed and David became king over the united kingdom of Israel and Judah. Coming through a battle may leave scars on the body but it also gives substance to our faith. But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress. O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you, O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me, unfailing love. Psalms (16-17). For the kingdom, this psalm encouraged them to keep the faith despite whatever may be going on in your life. I do like the stipulation that was put into this Psalm “Don’t kill them, for my people soon forget such lessons; stagger them with your power and bring them to their knees, O Lord our shield (11 AMP).
Song of Solomon 5 – How Would You Describe the One You Love? Why is it important how we see our spouses? How we see our spouses, like how we see our G_d, will greatly determine how we treat them and how the outside world will treat them. My lover is dark and dazzling, better than ten thousand others! His head is the finest gold, his wavy hair is black as a raven. His eyes sparkle like doves beside springs of water; they are set like jewels washed in milk. His cheeks are like gardens of spices giving off fragrance. His lips are like lilies, perfumed with myrrh. His arms are like rounded bars of gold, set with beryl. His body is like bright ivory, glowing with lapis lazuli. His legs are like marble pillars set in sockets of the finest gold. His posture is stately, like the noble cedars of Lebanon. His mouth is sweetness itself; he is desirable in every way. Such, O women of Jerusalem, is my lover, my friend (10-16).” Now King Solomon probably was nothing like the picture painted by his wife. In the same way, when we describe our spouse, do we refer to them with derogative terms? If we do, then we inherit the wind (proverbs 11:28).
Zechariah 12 – Future Deliverance of Jerusalem. According to the Amplified bible Notes, the statement in paragraph 1, the Lord makes no distinction between Israel and Judah. Both kingdoms were in the crosshairs of G_d’s judgment. The Messiah of G_d would come from the lineage of David’s family line. The Devil knew that if the Messiah was born, his time table was in jeopardy so he had to use every tool in his arsenal to stop this coming king. “On that day,” says the LORD, “I will cause every horse to panic and every rider to lose his nerve. I will watch over the people of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of their enemies. 5 And the clans of Judah will say to themselves, ‘The people of Jerusalem have found strength in the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, their God. “On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a flame that sets a woodpile ablaze or like a burning torch among sheaves of grain. They will burn up all the neighboring nations right and left, while the people living in Jerusalem remain secure (4-6). Therefore, rejoice, O heavens! And you who live in the heavens, rejoice! But terror will come on the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you in great anger, knowing that he has little time (Revelation 12:12).
James 3 – Controlling the Tongue. There are very few things in life that we have absolute control over and one of them is the tongue. If we can control it, we will have control over our body, mind, and soul. When our soul is called into judgment, it will be judged by the things that were allowed in by the owner, “Us”. If we allowed our soul to be negatively affected, then we will pay the price. If we held strict control over it and guarded it with our life, we receive a reward. Teachers have a bigger problem that can either help them or hurt them and that too is the tongue. If the teacher professes lofty goals for his/her students but lives by a different code, they are seen as “hypocrites” and are judged more harshly. ear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way (1-2).