Reading #1 – Leviticus 27
Reading #2 – Psalms 60
Reading #3 – Song of Solomon 6
Reading #4 – Zechariah 13
Reading #5 – James 4
Leviticus 27 – Redemption of Gifts Offered to the Lord. Making vows to G_d is a very serious commitment. When it comes to dedicating a property, animal, and/or individual, there is a law of commutation that is, that person, land, or animal can be bought back by its previous owner but it there will be penalties and added values that will be applied before the land, person, or animal can be “redeemed”. The price for the property is set at a value based on the amount of seed required to plant a crop. The value set on the individual was based on how much work could be derived from that person. As humans, we are prone to vow things or children in our zeal to honor G_d. “It is better that you not vow than to vow and not pay” (Ecclesiastes 5:5).
Psalms 60 – A Miktam of David. There are times in our life when the trouble we have caused cannot be fixed by our finances, eloquent speech, and/or piety. David had caused more problems for the nation than it could handle. With his back up against a wall, David turned to the one person he knew without a doubt could bring them through and that was the G_d of the universe whom he had a sweet and abiding relationship with since he was a little child. This connection led to the successes he would enjoy for the remaining days of his life. In our life, we too bring trouble to our homes (Proverbs 11:28). These troubles can either compel us to surrender to the darkness and bow our knees to it or, like David, trust in the Lord, confess our sins before him, and ask for his help.
Song of Solomon 6 – When we come to the Lord G_d and enjoy even one meal in his kingdom, we will want nothing else but it. This sonnet brings out the depths of the character’s heart who is loved by Solomon and loves Solomon. We have no idea what this woman looks like and we do not know what her preferences are yet, those things are unimportant in this relationship. In the same way, when we come to G_d we see the heart of G_d for us and we love Him in return. Our love for G_d compels others to seek the same relationship.
Zechariah 13 – A Fountain of Cleansing. The death of Jesus on the cross cleanses us from impurities and propels into ministry. In Jesus’ time, many came to him to hear the truth. When they ate the bread and fish, they were filled and wanted nothing but that food. When we come to Christ Jesus and accept him as our Lord and personal Savior, we will by very nature surrender the idols of our life and lay them down at the cross and the blood will cover them. Those who are prophesying lies will become ashamed when confronted with the truth. If you stay in my word, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8;31).
James 4 – Drawing Close to G_d. When we first begin our journey to the Kingdom of G_d, the areas of our lives that hold us down are still in play and still hold onto us. It is “these things” that cause us to stumble. When we can no longer put up with the chains, we will by very nature confess them and lay them down at the cross. We do not all have the propensity of Zaccheaus who gave back to the people whatever amount that was overcharged. 8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much (Luke 19:8)”! When we hang onto those areas of sin, they become the very ones that stop us in our tracks. G_d will never demand us to “lay down your sins” because it will cause Him to be like the world around us and make the Word of G_d to be a lie. That said, it is important to note that when we pray to Him for relief from our troubles, He will point out those areas and how they contribute to the problems of our life. When we pray that G_d will change sinner Joe, He will do so by working on us first and sinner Joe will change because he sees “the good that we do and give glory to G_d.”