Reading #1 – Leviticus 7
Reading #2 – Psalms 78:38-71
Reading #3 – Proverbs 17
Reading #4 – Micah 7
Reading #5 – Galatians 6
Leviticus 7 – The Priest’s Part in the Offerings. When an individual brought an animal to receive atonement for a sin he/she committed, a specific part of the animal is given to the priest for their portion. The priest who performed the sacrifice received the portion (3-7). According to Matthew Henry’s Commentary, the person bringing the offering could eat a portion of the peace offering but not of the sin offering. It was forbidden for anyone to eat the blood of an animal whether it is dead or offered for a sacrifice because life is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11).
Psalms 78:38-71 – Guidance of His People Despite their Unfaithfulness. The people’s tendencies to be rebellious did not stop the Lord G_d from loving them nor from being compassionate towards them (38-40). Israel witnessed first-hand Egypt’s decimation yet, Israel failed to remember these events and became as rebellious as the nation Egypt (41-52). Israel inherited Canaan which was a promise given to Abraham (53-55, Genesis 15:18-21). With time the nation Israel became no better than the nations that were removed from the land which made the G_d they served appear to be a hypocrite. When this happened, the Ark of the Covenant was stolen by the Philistines, and the nation was decimated on the day of the battle where Hophni and Phineas the sons of Eli were killed in battle. To make matters worst, the resting place of the Ark, Shiloh, was abandoned and later burned to the ground (56-64). After reading this section, you might wonder why G_d did not give up on Israel and the answer is, “because there were still seven thousand people who had not bowed a knee to Baal”. As long as there is one person who refuses to follow the hoard, G_d will still dwell in the land as evidenced by the rise of King David (65-72).
Proverbs 17 – Contrast the Wicked and the Upright. At the heart of Psalms 78, lies a little gem that sums up the whole Psalm (2). In Israel’s history, there are noted men and women who served the Lord righteously and justly. Joseph had every justification for turning on his brothers, but he didn’t. After being thrown into prison for no fault of his own, he had every reason to be upset and retaliate but he didn’t and I believe this pleases G_d and is the reasoning for the special treatment he received from his father. The Lord tests the heart of man through pleasure, through hard times, and good times so how we react to the situation we are in will greatly determine how long we stay where we are (3). In this world, we have ample amounts of destructive and malicious tongues and they are very easy to listen to because their maliciousness is not pointed at us at least not while we are in attendance (5).
Micah 7 – The Prophet Acknowledges Injustice. The Prophet Micah had a firm grasp of the situation in the land and understood his predicament. In the world there will always be trouble no matter how many laws we write, how many training sessions we establish, and/or how many times exceptions we made. The same amount of troubles that confronted Moses were the same amount of troubles Micah faced, would be the same amount of troubles facing Jesus, and would be the same amount confronting us today (3-6). The only problem I see in this situation is that the prophet is speaking from his perspective sort of like Elijah (1-2, 1 Kings 19:10). Micah knew the only person he could change was himself (7). The prophet could have just as easily colluded with the enemy and abandon his post but, Micah knew the power of the Lord because he walked in it daily (8-10). When we see evidence of the enemy’s prowess for destruction, it is difficult not to be overcome with the enemy’s power and reach (11-13). The thing is, if we can just hold on a little while longer and not lose faith, the struggle we are facing will be overcome (14-20).
Galatians 6 – Bear One Another’s Burdens. Paul’s encouragement to the beleaguered church was, “bear one another’s burdens” (1-2). No one is without fault, as Paul reminds us so we do not have room to judge the pit another person is in (Romans 3:10). The enemy of our soul will always get us to think “that we are special because we are not a sinner like this individual (3-5, Luke 18:9-14). When our mind is set on “how good we are”, we will miss an opportunity to minister and be ministered to. To have the quality of peace that heals wounds restores the broken, and sets the captive free, it must begin at the house of G_d (7-10, Luke 7:22, 1 Peter 4:17). Paul knew he was up against a formidable foe called “hypocrisy” and “Religious B.S.” and he wasn’t willing to contend with it rather, he set the church straight so that it could grow and mature in Christ Jesus (12-13). Physical circumcision had been taught since the time of Abraham and the Religious leaders taught well into the 1st century and beyond. The thing, having it done for anything other than a health issue will not draw us any closer to G_d nor makes us anything special in His Kingdom. Circumcision of the heart means to “remove the outer poisonous cover” so that the heart can be whole again (14-18, Jeremiah 4:3-4). As long as the outer cover of the heart remains, all of the seeds that are planted in our life will die out quickly because the poison will kill it (Matthew 13:20-22).