Reading #1 – Leviticus 3
Reading #2 – Psalms 75
Reading #3 – Proverbs 13
Reading #4 – Micah 3
Reading #5 – Galatians 2
Leviticus 3 – Law of Peace Offerings or Fellowship Offering. The Peace Offering was not an offering to make “Peace” but to celebrate the Peace already made (A.J. Pollock). According to another commentary, this offering was offered as a tribute of gratitude for health and other benefits (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown). So if you put these tidbits together, you could infer that the problem or offense that caused the problem in the first place is proffered. This was a sacred feast between the Lord, the priests, and the people and is symbolic of the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb” (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown).
Psalms 75 – G_d Abases the Proud, but Exalts the Righteous. Despite man’s very best efforts to assert his/her power and presence, his or her’s word is not final. The problem is, while the powerful hold sway over the poorer or weaker people, G_d has his perfect timing (1-2). While the powerful wreak havoc in our world, we want to ask “Why don’t you do something G_d” and we will be made to feel “helpless (3-5). Our salvation does not come from our government(s) and nor does it come from retaliation, it comes from the Lord the Maker of Heaven and Earth (6). The conflict is that the people that hold power will seem immune to destruction, legal action, and rule of law but the one thing they are not immune from is “Time” and decay of the body. G_d is never quick to act and will always know the perfect time to pour out the wine of destruction (7-8). My response through the process should always be “Praise to the Living G_d” and to live my life in the Light of His presence (9-10).
Proverbs 13 – Contrast of the Wicked and Upright. In life, we have two logical paths to follow when we come to a crossroads: to the right or the Left. In the same way, we have two books we can adhere to G_d’s word or man’s. Man has shown his/her prowess for causing problems in communities, families, and nations; we can glean the actions leading up to the destruction and the outcome from History (1-2). Those who learn from history will not repeat the mistakes made by others in similar circumstances (George Santayana). It is, for this reason, we have the recorded actions of mankind coupled with the outcome in the Word of G_d.
Micah 3 – Rulers Denounced. All of the illicit actions of the leadership in Samaria and Jerusalem are about to reach a crescendo. For years the leadership, priests, and false prophets have promised “roses and sunshine” for a tidy prophet and this is what was happening in Ahab’s court during the official meeting with King Jehoshaphat (1-3, 1 Kings 22). G_d never condones sin even when it is done in ignorance so when we walk in step with the world, we should never be surprised when we do not hear from Him, sense His presence, and/or receive His mercy (4). The false prophets had an inverse view of who G_d was and for this reason, proclaimed peace for a reward and trouble if their needs were not met. The Lord’s reward for the prophets was silence and darkness causing people not to listen to them (5-7). The difference between Micah and Ahab’s cadre’ of religious people was that he had the power and authority of G_d to declare judgment because he was not guilty of sin and he was telling the truth for free (8-11). Micah’s prophecy pointed out that because of the mess created by the nation’s spiritual leader, the destruction of Samaria and Jerusalem would be unavoidable (12).
Galatians 2 – The Council at Jerusalem. Paul goes on to talk about his ministry and its blessings from the council at Jerusalem. Jerusalem was the parent church of all the churches throughout Asia minor so it was appropriate for Paul to present his ministry and message to the elders. Paul was wise to bring with him Pastors Barnabus and Titus so that everything Paul said was verified by the witnesses (1-3). Paul knew he had an uphill battle with the message preached by the false prophets because once the seed was sown, the naïve would believe it and act upon it as opposed to Paul’s response (4-5). The false prophets played to the powerful because the powerful would pay them handsomely for touting the lofty plans of the powerful. Unfortunately, Paul did not march to the beat of the powerful or elite, he listened and followed G_d’s word for his life and ministry; just as G_d was not impressed with the powerful or elite, nor was Paul (6-8). The only recommendation given by the council was that he would remember the poor (9-10, Acts 15). The mention of Paul correcting Peter for his hypocrisy was to point out that everyone who calls themselves after the name of Christ Jesus will be corrected when their actions betray the word of G_d (11-14). No one is above the law in the courts of the Kingdom and He will never advocate or promote our sin by turning a blind eye to it (17). To be crucified with Christ implies “I will honor G_d as an automatic response not because the law of Moses demands it and is the background of the two great commandments. The law will never save people from the pits they are in because it says, “do this” and “don’t do this” (20-21).